Beef: What Is It And Why Is It Good For Smoking?

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  June 4, 2022

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Beef is a meat that comes from a cow or bull. It’s considered a red meat because of its high levels of protein and iron. It’s also high in fat, especially saturated fat, which is why it’s so delicious! It’s great for smoking because it has a high fat content, which helps to keep the meat moist while it cooks.

Why is beef good for smoking

Smoking the Best Cuts of Beef

Brisket: The King of Barbecue

When it comes to smoking beef, brisket is the undisputed king. It’s the cut of meat that’s synonymous with barbecue and it’s no wonder why. Brisket is packed with connective tissue, collagen, and fat, which makes it a tough cut of meat to smoke properly.

But when done right, it’s a thing of beauty. A whole brisket is made up of two muscles, the flat and the point. The flat is leaner and is usually sliced across the grain and served as is or on a sandwich. The point, however, is where the real magic happens. It’s packed with fat marbling and is wicked tender when cooked properly. Plus, it’s the source of those delicious burnt ends that are a definite crowd-pleaser.

Chuck Roast: The Poor Man’s Brisket

If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to brisket, chuck roast is your best bet. It’s almost 1/3 or 1/4 of the cost of a choice brisket and can be prepared, smoked, and eaten in the exact same way. Plus, it takes half the time to smoke, at around 6 hours.

When it comes to taste and texture, chuck roast more-so resembles brisket flat slices. But if you’re looking for something closer to the burnt ends from the point, chuck roast won’t cut it.

Beef Short Plate Ribs: The Best of the Best

When it comes to beef ribs, short plate ribs are the best of the best. They come from the beef short plate or ribs 6, 7, and 8 and are trimmed into ribs that are 4-5″ in length. The serratus ventalis muscle is the heavily marbled meat that sits just below the fat seam and silver skin and is the reason why these ribs are so tasty.

The only downside is that they’re next to impossible to find in a grocery store. But if you can get your hands on some, you won’t be disappointed.

Smoking Tips

When smoking beef, nut-woods like post-oak, pecan, or hickory are the way to go. And if you’re smoking chuck roast and it starts to stall, you can always Texas crutch with aluminum foil to blow past any sort of plateau you may experience.

So there you have it – the best cuts of beef to smoke. Now all you have to do is fire up the smoker and get to work!

Smoking Chuck Roast: A Quicker Alternative to Brisket

What is Chuck Roast?

Chuck roast is a cut of beef from the shoulder of a cow. It’s a lot like brisket, but it’s smaller and takes less time to smoke. So if you’re looking for a delicious, smoky meal but don’t have all day to wait, chuck roast is the way to go!

Smoking Chuck Roast: Key Facts

  • Cook Time: 5-6 hours
  • Preferred Smoke Wood: Hickory, Pecan
  • Target Internal Temperature: 205°F

Where to Buy Chuck Roast

If you’re looking for the best chuck roast around, you can’t go wrong with Porter Road. Their pasture-raised heifers and steers live active and happy lives, which results in extra flavorful beef. Plus, you can order it straight from their website, so you don’t even have to leave the house!

Treat Yourself to Some Delicious Beef Ribs

What are Beef Ribs?

Beef ribs are a delicious cut of meat from the upper back of the cow, and they share the same bones as the ribeye steak. They can be hard to find, but they’re well worth the effort!

How to Cook Beef Ribs

Cooking beef ribs is relatively easy and doesn’t take too long. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Cook Time: 5-6 hours
  • Preferred Smoke Wood: Oak, Cherry, Hickory, Pecan
  • Target Internal Temperature: 135°F

Treat Yourself to Some Delicious Beef Ribs

Ready to treat yourself to some delicious beef ribs? Here’s what you need to do:

  • Get your hands on some beef ribs from the chuck plate
  • Fire up the smoker and get it to the right temperature
  • Smoke those ribs for 5-6 hours
  • Enjoy the deliciousness!

The Art of Smoking Beef

The Low and Slow Method

Smoking beef is like a slow dance – it takes time, patience and a whole lotta love. It’s a low-temperature, low-and-slow cooking process that can take up to 20 hours for some cuts of meat. But don’t worry, it’s worth it!

Tough cuts of meat that you’d usually turn your nose up at can become tender, juicy and downright delicious when smoked. That’s because the collagen in the meat breaks down and turns into sugars, which sweeten the meat and keep it moist. Plus, the smoke has plenty of time to infuse the beef with its signature smoky flavor.

Smoking Tips for Beginners

If you’re new to the smoking game, here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Start with a lean cut of meat. It’s easier to work with and won’t dry out as quickly.
  • Get to know your smoker. Different smokers work differently, so it’s important to get familiar with how yours works.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment. Try different types of wood, different temperatures and different cooking times to find the perfect combination for your meat.
  • Be patient. Smoking takes time, so don’t rush it.
  • Have fun! Smoking is an art form, so don’t take it too seriously. Enjoy the process and you’ll be rewarded with delicious smoked meat.

Smoking Tri-Tip: A Primer

What is Tri-Tip?

Tri-tip is a cut of beef that is sometimes mistaken for sirloin, but is actually a small portion of the larger sirloin. It can be a bit tricky to find, but if you can get your hands on some, it’s worth the effort!

Smoking Tri-Tip: Key Facts

  • Cook Time: 90 minutes
  • Preferred Smoke Wood: Oak, Cherry, Hickory, Pecan
  • Target Internal Temperature: 135°F

Why Tri-Tip?

Tri-tip steak is a lean cut of beef, so it only takes about an hour to smoke before it’s ready to be seared on a grill. Plus, it’s tender and packed with flavor, so you can get a lot of bang for your buck with just one cut! So why not give it a go?

Where to Buy Tri-Tip

If you’re looking for a quality cut of tri-tip steak, look no further than Their selection of tri-tip is like no other, so you know you’re getting the best of the best!

Smoking the Perfect Brisket

What is Brisket?

Brisket is the king of BBQ. It’s a large cut of beef that’s smoked down to tender, succulent perfection. It’s got a layer of fat to keep it juicy and a ton of flavor packed into every bite.

Choosing the Right Cut

When you’re looking for the perfect brisket, here’s what you should keep in mind:

  • Look for a strong graining presence
  • Make sure it’s got a good layer of fat
  • Feel it to make sure it’s tender
  • If it bends, it’s a good sign that it’ll be extra tender when cooked

Smoking Brisket: Key Facts

Smoking a brisket is no small feat, but if you do it right, you’ll be rewarded with a delicious meal. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Cook Time: 10-14 hours
  • Preferred Smoke Wood: Oak, Cherry, Hickory, Pecan
  • Target Internal Temperature: 205°F

Where to Buy Brisket

If you’re looking for the best of the best, you can’t go wrong with dry-aged beef brisket. It’s got next-level flavor and unbelievable texture. Plus, it’s pasture-raised, hormone-free, and without antibiotics. So, if you’re ready to take your BBQ game to the next level, head on over to Porter Road and get your hands on some of the tastiest brisket around.

Smoking Top Sirloin Steak – A Guide for the Average Joe

What is Top Sirloin?

Top sirloin is a cut of beef that comes from the back of the cow. It’s leaner and tougher than other cuts of beef, but don’t let that scare you away! With the right preparation, top sirloin can be a delicious and juicy treat.

Smoking Top Sirloin: The Basics

  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Preferred Smoke Wood: Mesquite, Hickory
  • Smoking Temperature: 225°F
  • Target Internal Temperature: 145°F

Tips for Smoking Top Sirloin

  • Marinate the sirloin for at least a few hours before cooking. This will help keep it juicy and prevent it from drying out in the smoker.
  • Buy top sirloin filet for the best results. This cut is tender and juicy, and should be cooked medium-rare for the best flavor.
  • If you’re feeling adventurous, try adding a strong sear to finish off the steak.

Smoking Beef Top Round: A Guide for Beginners

What is Beef Top Round?

Beef top round is a cut of beef from the back leg of a cow. It’s a lean cut of meat, so it’s best cooked rare for the best results. It’s great for smoking, and can be served as a steak, or sliced up and used in tacos or fajitas.

How to Smoke Beef Top Round

Smoking beef top round is easy, but there are a few key things to keep in mind:

  • Cook Time: 4-5 hours
  • Preferred Smoke Wood: Oak
  • Smoking Temperature: 225-250°F
  • Target Internal Temperature: 135°F

You’ll also need to get your top round cut specifically by a butcher, as store-bought cuts tend to be a bit small. To get the best results, you’ll need to do a dry brine. This is super simple: just lightly coat the top round in kosher or table salt and keep it in the fridge overnight. This will help the top round retain its natural moisture when smoking, so it doesn’t dry out.

Where to Buy Beef Top Round

You can buy top round online from places like So get your smoker ready, and let’s get cookin’!

Smoking Flank Steak: A Different Take on the Meat

What is Flank Steak?

Flank steak is a lean cut of beef that’s usually cheaper than other types of steak. It’s packed with muscle fibers, giving it a really intense and meaty flavor.

Smoking Flank Steak

If you’re looking to try something different with your steak, why not try smoking it? It might sound a bit strange, but smoked steaks are delicious and offer a unique take on the meat. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Preferred Smoke Wood: Hickory, Mesquite
  • Smoking Temperature: 225°F
  • Target Internal Temperature: 145°F

Where to Buy Flank Steak

If you’re looking for the best flank steak, you can’t go wrong with dry-aged, pasture-raised steak. It’s rich in flavor and perfect for a standalone steak, or sliced for tacos, sandwiches and more. Plus, you can get it delivered right to your door!


Beef Vs Fish For Smoking

Smoking beef and fish are two very different processes. Beef is a tougher cut of meat and requires a longer smoking time. This is because the fat content of beef needs to be broken down and the collagen needs to be softened. Fish, on the other hand, is a much softer cut of meat and requires a shorter smoking time. The fat content of fish is much lower than beef, so it doesn’t need to be broken down as much. Additionally, the collagen in fish is much softer, so it doesn’t need to be softened as much. As a result, smoking fish is much quicker than smoking beef. Furthermore, the smoke flavor that is imparted to beef is much more intense than the smoke flavor that is imparted to fish. So, if you’re looking for a smokier flavor, beef is the way to go. However, if you’re looking for a milder flavor, fish is the way to go.

Beef Vs Pork For Smoking

When it comes to smoking, beef and pork are two of the most popular meats. Beef stands out for its ability to carry heavily spiced rubs and strong smoky flavor, while pork is known for its juicy, tender texture. When it comes to choosing between the two, it really comes down to personal preference.

Beef is great for those who like bold flavors and a smoky taste, while pork is ideal for those who prefer a juicy, melt-in-your-mouth texture. Both are relatively cheap cuts, so you don’t have to break the bank to enjoy them. Plus, they both respond well to low n slow cooking, so you can take your time and enjoy the process.


Smoking beef is a great way to get the most out of your meal. Whether you choose to smoke a brisket, chuck roast, or tri-tip, you’re sure to be in for a delicious treat. Just remember, low and slow is the name of the game here – so don’t rush it! And don’t forget, the key to a successful smoke is to use the right wood – so go NUTS and get creative! So, don’t be afraid to fire up the smoker and get your beef on!

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Lakeside Smokers is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with BBQ Smoking (& Japanese food!) at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.