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Some Notes on Beef Tongue

gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,950
edited 12:50PM in EggHead Forum
Hi, all,

I've been smoking tongue a few times a year, with mixed results, both before and after getting the Egg. The one I did this last weekend turned out pretty well, but with room for improvement. I thought I might share what I did. Any comments welcomed.

I started with a 2.5 lb beef tongue, which is pretty good size. The outer skin was the thickest I've encountered. It was so rough at the top, near the base, that it could have been used as a rasp. To start the preparation, I slit the skin along the bottom, and brined the tongue in a simple salt and lemon juice mixture for 24 hrs, changing the water once. I then pressure cooked it at 15 p.s.i. for 10 minutes in a minimum of water.

Upon removing it from the cooker, the outer portion of the skin peeled off pretty easily, but the substrate of connective tissue was still mostly very tough. Perhaps another 5 minutes in the cooker would have helped save me the 20 minutes of razor work removing the inner layer. In the picture below, you can see some white patches still remaining. I suppose I might have cooked it with the inner layer still on, but I suppose that the flesh would have dried before the tissue broke down.


Notice that I separated the tongue into 2 pieces. The tip section is noticeably thinner than the base, and will reach 200 much sooner than the base. The base also has some fat to render. I cut off some bits of fat and cartilage that were at the base, but found no bone bits.

I rubbed the pieces, and placed them direct on an elevated grill, with the dome around 260. At 2 hours the thinner piece was getting a little dry, so I mopped it and the other hunk. A drip pan might have been useful as a shield. At 3 hours the tip was at 200. I took it out, and cut off a few slices.


They were a little charred on the outside, but the outer 1/4" remained quite chewy. I'm pretty sure that the outer portion has a different tissue structure than the inner. I returned the meat to the Egg in a foil pan w. some beer. It did soften up a little, so next time I will foil the tip. Maybe chop it up, and do a sort of burnt ends.


The base was 200 at 4 hrs. As you can see, it turned out very moist and unctuous, with a pleasantly crunchy outer coating. Made some very nice sandwiches on rye w. mustard and onion. By itself, it is so rich and unctuous that more than a few ounces is almost too much. Although a bit of work, at 1.79/lb, its some of the best sandwich meat I've had. I'll call it "mock wagyu."

Something else I might try next time is to cook the base to 180, with only a light rub. Then slice, and return to the grill with rub and maple syrup and cook the slices a'la pig candy.


  • NoVA BillNoVA Bill Posts: 3,005
    Thanks for sharing and very interesting cook.
  • Richard FlRichard Fl Posts: 8,248
    Nice loking snack. See you did some bison a few years back. I look at Thirdeye's site and play. Did this last fall.

    Beef, Tongue, Smoked, Richard Fl

    This was served at the Florida Mini Fest Aug. 21-22, 20090 in Indialantic, Fl. This recipe is basically the one Thirdeye has posted on his web site. Thanks Wayne!


    2 3 1/2 Beef Tongue
    Cooking Liquid Mix:
    2 Tbs Garlic Powder
    2 Green Onions, Sliced Thin
    2 Bay leaves
    2 Tbs Black Pepper
    1 Favorite Beer
    Water to cover
    Horseradish Spread:
    1 8 Ozs Pkg Cream Cheese
    1 Cup Mayonnaise
    1 Cup Sour Cream
    6-8 Large Tbs Horseradish
    2-3 Scallions, Diced fine
    1 Lemon, Juice
    2 Tbs Black Pepper
    2-3 Tbs Worcestershire Sauce

    1 Poke some small holes in the tongue and soak in water with 1/2 cup salt and 4 Tbs garlic powder. Refrigerate. After the soak cycle, drain and rinse. Soak in plain water 8 hours or overnight in refrigerator. Remove and place in large pan with the ingredients. Bring to a boil and let simmer 1 1/2-2 hours. Depending on size of tonque. If doing 1 tongue, cook 1 1/2 hours.
    2 Let cool and then peel the outer skin off. B#%&^& of a job!! Set BGE up indirect and light smoke about 1 hour at 200°F-225°F until internal reaches 145°F-150°F. Cool and slice thin. Meat slicer works great here.
    Horseradish Spread:
    1 Soften cream cheese and mix all together. Serve with small dinner rolls.
    2 Had some tongue leftover and a few days later served with wasabi horseradish sauce it was very good.

    Recipe Type
    Beef, Side Dish

    Recipe Source

    Source: BGE Forum, Richard Fl, 2009/08/22
  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428


    I have some new photo's to post on my Beef Tongue page that Pork Smoker sent me, these show the finished product.
    Happy Trails

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • pattikakepattikake Posts: 1,175
    looks yummy, great job.

  • GandolfGandolf Posts: 882
    The only note I have in my recipe file for beef tongue is :DON"T DO IT!" :laugh: My Mom used to serve, or rather force feed, that stuff when I was a kid. As long ago as that was, I remember it well. ;)
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,950
    I like the sear marks!

    Have you ever done a tongue with the skin on? Came across one fellow saying that's the only way he's ever done it. Seems like it wouldn't get much flavor.
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,950
    I would not recommend it in large quantities myself.

    Having bad food memories from childhood can last a long time. My mother served all sorts of cabbage dishes, much to my father's delight, and my chagrin. Still can't stand sauerkraut, altho my wife says my mother's was better than any she had tasted either in Germany of Eastern Europe. However, my wife grew up on fish sticks, and I can hardly get her to eat any fish.
  • Smut-buttSmut-butt Posts: 142
    Stick some garlic wedges in and around the tongue after the prep. That is good eating.
  • Car Wash MikeCar Wash Mike Posts: 11,244
    Can you give those notes to Egret? :woohoo: Joking, hope you get the results you like.

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