clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
2 beef cheek tacos with onion, cheese, soured cream, coriander.

Smoked Beef Cheeks Recipe — Pulled for adding to Tacos or Tortillas

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

No reviews

  • Author: Mark Jenner
  • Total Time: 6 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


3 hours smoked then 3 hour braised beef cheeks with a mocha rub, cooked to 210 °F internal temperature until gluey and jelly-like, before being pulled and added to tacos and tortillas.


Units Scale
  • 4x beef cheeks
  • 4x tbsp of dry rub for suitable for beef
  • 150ml dark beer, IPA or APA


  • Set up your smoker for indirect cooking, 250 °F
  • Prepare your beef cheeks by trimming away all tendons, sinew and silverskin.
  • Apply a small amount of dry rub to each beef cheek, perhaps a tbsp to each
  • Add 2x chunks of oak or hickory smoking wood to your smoker, then add the beef cheeks directly onto the grates and smoke at 250 °F for 3 hours.
  • Remove beef cheeks from smoker, place into a tray with 150ml of dark beer, APA or IPA, then seal the tray with aluminum foil and return to the smoker.
  • Cook until they reach 203 °F, then start to probe checking for doneness. They may be ready anywhere between 205 °F and 215 °F. They are ready not at a certain temp, but when they probe like butter. This ‘braising stage’ should be another 3 hours.
  • As soon as they probe like butter, remove from smoker and pull with forks, ready to add to tacos or tortillas with your other favorite fillings.


Make sure you trim away ALL sinew and silverskin. If any remains, it’s very tough and chewy and not at all pleasant to eat.

Avoid sugary, sweet rubs, they do not pair well with beef.

Make sure to cook until buttery tender. This might not be until 210 °F, or even 215 °F. If you cook them only until 190 °F, 200 °F, or even 203 °F, they can be VERY tough and chewy. Patience is key, wait it out and be confident in the process.

You can slice or cube the beef cheeks to put into stews, casseroles or chilies, but I prefer to pull them and use for taco or tortilla filling.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 hours
  • Category: Main
  • Method: BBQ
  • Cuisine: Texan


  • Serving Size: 300g
  • Calories: 270
  • Sugar: 0
  • Fat: 7.23g
  • Saturated Fat: 2,43g
  • Carbohydrates: 3.96g
  • Protein: 44.7g