Making Your Own Smoked Beef Tongue is Easy

Now I already know what you are thinking? Smoked beef tongue? I’ll pass. However, if you make this smoked beef tongue you will make all your friends tongues wagging for more.

There are several different ways to prepare beef tongue. Some folks will boil it, braise it or in my case smoke it. And when done cooking, you can slice it up for a sammich or make into tacos de lengua.

Tongue isn’t always the easiest to find and I can usually find mine at Sam’s Club, but call ahead to make sure that they have them readily available. Most cow tongues are in the three to four pound range.

Smoked Beef Tongue – Quick Guide

Here is what you will need for this recipe:

  • Cow tongue
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 onion quartered
  • 6 to 8 cloves (not clove powder, the real deal)
  • 6 to 8 peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of kosher salt
  • A pressure cooker or stewpot

Steps for pre-smoking your beef tongue:

  • Wash your beef tongue thoroughly
  • Place steamer rack into pressure cooker (stewpot alternative below)
  • Put beef tongue on steamer rack
  • Pour in water and all ingredients
  • Close your pressure cooker and use stew setting (if on an Instapot) or set timer for 45 minutes
  • You will want to let the pressure naturally release itself

The alternative stewpot method is to place your beef tongue into a stewpot and use enough water to cover the beef tongue. Then add all of your ingredients and cover your stewpot. You will want to simmer the beef tongue for two to three hours.

Once you have finished your pressure cook or simmering of the beef tongue, you will want to cool the beef tongue enough so that you can easily handle the beef tongue. At this point, you will want to peel off the skin that surrounds the beef tongue. You can smoke right away, however I put my beef tongue into the fridge for an overnight nap.

Smoked Beef Tongue
Cooled and Peeled Beef Tongue

Preparing Your Beef Tongue For Smoking

The first thing I always do when smoking any meat is to pull my meat out of the refrigerator before I start my smoker. I typically like to have my meats sit in room temperature for an hour before I begin smoking my meats.

Fire up your smoker and in this smoke, I used my Big Green Egg for smoking. You will be targeting a pit temp of 225 Fahrenheit.

While you have your smoker at 225 degrees it is now time to prep the beef tongue.

Here is what you will need for smoking your beef tongue:

  • Aluminum pan filled with ice
  • Pecan wood chunks or another heavy or hearty wood such as oak, beef or even hickory
  • Dijon mustard
  • All purpose or beef rub of your choice. I used Caribeque’s Big & Bold Beef Rub.

Place your beef tongue on to a plastic cutting board and slather a thin layer on one side of the tongue with dijon mustard. Next you will want to sprinkle on your rub. Flip the tongue over and repeat until the you have rub on the entire tongue.

How to Smoke Smoked Beef Tongue

Once you have completely rubbed your beef tongue, head back to your smoker. Place your wood chunks on top of the charcoal and then put your platesetter in feet up for the Big Green Egg. For those on a Kamado Joe, put in the divide and conquer system and the heat deflectors on top of the X-grate.

Next take your aluminum pan filled with ice and place on to your platesetter or heat deflectors. Place a stainless steel grate on top of the aluminum pan. The aluminum pan acts as not only a drip pan, but as the ice as it melts helps to keep the beef tongue stay nice and juicy.

Place a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the beef tongue. Do not place into the long part of the tongue as that is the thinnest part of tongue and will smoke the fastest.

Close the lid of your smoker and grab your favorite libation and now relax.

You will want to smoke the beef tongue until it reaches an internal temperature of 150 degrees. I would highly suggest using a Thermapen or other instant thermometer to check multiple places with the beef tongue.

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Total smoke time should be about two to three hours and I also flipped my tongue over at about and hour.

Smoked Beef Tongue
Beef Tongue Resting Before Slicing

Eating Your Smoked Beef Tongue

Once you have smoked your beef tongue to an internal temperature of 150, remove from the smoker and let it rest for at least 10 minutes. Generally speaking, I like to let my tongue cool all the way down before I slice.

When you cool down your tongue it is easier to slice, but most of the time I just cannot resist.

You can thinly slice the smoked beef tongue with your brisket knife and this makes excellent sandwiches. You can also slice and then chop the beef tongue for making tacos de lengua.

Smoked Beef Tongue
Sliced Smoked Beef Tongue

What ever way you prepare your smoked beef tongue, you and your guests will have just eaten the most freaking delicious beef tongue ever.

I am a pitmaster, poet and storyteller. For more of my adventures, please feel to follow me on Twitter here, Instagram here, like my Facebook page here and subscribe to my YouTube channel here.