Kamado Smoked Beef Cheeks

Kamado Smoked Beef Cheeks
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I love to cook kamado smoked beef cheeks. This cook epitomizes what low and slow cooking is about. That is, take cheaper cuts of tough meat and transforming them into tender, flavoursome and gourmet cut of meat. I cook beef cheeks over indirect heat on my Kamado Bono Picnic for about 5 hours. Once they reach the required tenderness and internal temperature, I remove them from the grill and allow them to rest before shredding.


ABOUT beef cheeks

Well known for its rich flavour, beef cheek is the cheek muscle of cows. If you treat this cut of beef right, it transforms from being tough and chewy to rich and melt-in-the-mouth. Slow cooking this cut gives melting tenderness comparable to the consistency of pulled pork. I buy my beef cheeks from Higgins Family Butchers in Dublin.


When I’m smoking most cuts of beef, I keep my rub really simple and use just two ingredients: sea salt and freshly cracked pepper. I’ve used this rub again on my kamado smoked beef cheeks because it allows the delicious flavour of the beef to shine through. It consists of:

  • 50% sea salt
  • 50% freshly cracked pepper

You can of course add your own twist to this rub. Try out these additions:

  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Chilli flakes


Delicious Oak Smoked Beef Cheeks from the Bono Picnic
Delicious Oak Smoked Beef Cheeks from the Bono Picnic



  1. Use a sharp knife to trim the beef cheeks (loose pieces of meat will just burn)
  2. Remove any silver skin (otherwise it will act as a barrier for flavour)
  3. Coat with a binding agent, I like to use a drop of olive oil
  4. Season with rub and allow to rest in the fridge for 1 hour or more
  5. Fill your kamado with charcoal and some smoking wood
  6. Light and aim for a temperature of 120-135 °C (250-275 °F)
  7. Configure the kamado with the deflector plates installed for indirect cooking
  8. Place the beef cheeks on the grill, turning occasionally if needed
  9. Check for an internal temperature of 100 °C (210 °F),
  10. Remove from the grill – they should be tender enough that you can shred them with a fork
  11. Let it rest for about 20 minutes, then shred and enjoy!


TIPS FOR smoking beef cheeks

  • Make sure to trim the beef cheeks well with a sharp knife. If you don’t then loose pieces of meat will just burn
  • Take the time to remove most of the silver skin. It will act as a barrier for flavour and the cheeks will shrivel up
  • Use digital probe thermometer to check the internal temperature of the cheeks