Best Beef Cuts to Smoke [New 2022]- Top 5 Favorite Cuts of Meat

When it comes to making the classic Texas-style BBQ, the first thing that pops up in your mind is beef – and for a good reason. The beef is obtained from a large animal, which means there’s a wide range of flavours and textures to enjoy between the different cuts.

However, its substantial amount of fast and complex connective tissues result in long smoking hours. This cooking method offers rich flavour and sumptuous meals if done right. You won’t get this depth of flavour even from the best char-grilled steak piece.

Now, let’s discuss the best cut of beef for smoking. In this post, we’ve outlined the best cuts of beef to smoke at the coming cook-off, from chuck roast to brisket, flank steak to short rib.

Cuts of Beef to Smoke

Beef Brisket

Beef brisket is a tough cut of beef and quite difficult to cut right but synonymous with smoked BBQ. It requires extra care to get it done correctly. Usually, this cut needs good marbling to add more flavour for a sumptuous meal.

While it might come with a high price task, prime brisket is definitely worth every dime. But if you feel it’s too pricey, then consider this great alternative, choice briskets. It’d be best not to trim the fat but keep it on top when smoking the meat. The fat layer serves as an insulator and locks in the juices while infusing more flavour to the cut.

With a good cut of this meat, you probably won’t need to add a lot of seasoning as beef brisket is rich in flavour. Also, consider a flexible cut that bends easily as a stiffer cut tends to be challenging to cook once. Keep in mind that the secret is to pick the perfect piece of meat.

Key Facts

  • Approx cook time: 10 – 14 hours
  • Ideal smoking temperature: 225 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Target internal temperature: 205 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Preferred wood type for smoking: Pecan, Cherry, Hickory, Oak

Short Ribs/Beef Ribs

When it comes to the easiest cuts of beef for smoking, you want to consider beef ribs. This cut comes from an area between the brisket and flank steak. Plus, they are well-marbled, which means this cut comes with many flavours and fast to keep it moist.

Beef ribs come in huge sizes, which means you probably have to cut into smaller chunks to ensure it fits in your smoker, or so it’s practically easy to eat – thus earning the name ‘short rib.’ The ribs could come from different parts of the animal: chunk plate, brisket, or loin. Therefore, it’s important to be specific when purchasing beef ribs from your butcher: full plate short ribs or chuck plate ribs.

Like beef brisket, short ribs allow you to get away with seasoning using just pepper and salt for a tremendous flavour. Keep in mind that the large bone size supports evenly cooked meat.

Key Facts

  • Approx cook time: 5 – 6 hours
  • Ideal smoking temperature: 250degrees Fahrenheit
  • Target internal temperature: 135 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Preferred wood type for smoking: Pecan, Cherry, Hickory, Oak

Chuck Roast

Chust roast is cut directly above the brisket at the steer’s shoulder. It’s a decent alternative to beef brisket considering its small size, cheaper price point and quick cooking time. Even better, opting for chuck roast won’t require you to sacrifice any of the brisket’s flavour profiles.

With chuck roast, you’ve got two ways to go about it. First, you cook the cut just as you would with a brisket. The end result is often a more tender, still sliceable beef compared to the traditional brisket. To get this done right, aim for a 180 degrees F internal temperature at a 225 degrees F cooking temperature.

The other option requires you to pull the chuck roast just as pulled pork. This method needs you to shoot for a 205 degrees F internal temperature at a 2014 degrees F cooking temperature. Regardless of how you prefer to go about cooking the chuck roast, you’ll end up with a flavourful cut of beef with quick cooking time and less effort compared to the traditional brisket.

Key Facts

  • Approx cook time: 5 – 6 hours
  • Ideal smoking temperature: 240 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Target internal temperature: 205 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Preferred wood type for smoking: Pecan, Hickory

Flank Steak

The flank steak is another best beef cut to smoke on your next cookout. While you might not think of a steak when picturing a smoker, a well-smoked flank steak can be tender with a great beef flavour.

This cut of meat is from the steer’s underside, along the animal’s side and close to its belly. Another interesting thing about flank steak is its affordable price tag and short cooking period. Plus, it’s an ideal choice for newbies looking to make a perfect cookout.

However, it’s important to marinate this meat to ensure it’s tender and juicy enough. This beef cut has a great beef flavour, which means it easily withstand strong seasonings, including lime juice, pepper, and garlic.

The cut of meat offers a distinct deviation from the usually direct high heat grilling. Thus, you get a classic cut of beef to entertain your guests.

Key Facts

  • Approx cook time: 3 hours
  • Ideal smoking temperature: 225 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Target internal temperature: 145 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Preferred wood type for smoking: Mesquite, Hickory

Top Sirloin Steak

Sirloin steak is obtained from the steer’s hip, either the bottom or top; this is based on your preference. If you want a more tender option, you should opt for the top sirloin. Besides, it’s the better option when it comes to smoking.

The sirloin steak is an affordable choice with a rich beef flavour. This cut will offer incredible value for your money. It’d be best to dry brine this cut of meat with kosher salt instead of using a mixture of salt and water. This helps ensure the sirloin steak has a better texture and tenderizes the beef. For incredible results after brining, leave the beef in your fridge for about 24 hours.

This cut is a decent choice for beginners since it’s easy to smoke with a great beef flavour profile and tenderness if you smoke it right.

Key Facts

  • Approx cook time: 1 hour per pound
  • Ideal smoking temperature: 225 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Target internal temperature: 145 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Preferred wood type for smoking: Mesquite, Hickory

Top 5 Favorite Cuts of Meat

Conclusion

In short, a cut of meat often considered “good,” such as a lean roast or pork tenderloin, is not a perfect choice for smoking. Steaks are a better choice when it comes to grilling. It makes absolutely no sense to spend quality time and waste wood on a cut of meat that can simply be cooked quickly over high heat for a sumptuous meal. To help avert this, we’ve discussed in detail the best beef cuts to smoke to ensure your time is well spent and you don’t miss out on great beef flavour.

Staff Writer At Saved By The Max

She is the one who has been with Saved By The Max since its inception. In the first days of coming here, she worked as a waitress, then through the process of working and learning more specialized knowledge, she is now an events manager.

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