Best smoked oxtail ever! This is how to smoke oxtails on Traeger or as an electric smoker recipe this week. Then enjoy meat as is or in a soup.
Traeger oxtails are the way to go if you love this cut of beef. We have shared all different ways of how to cook oxtail on our site and this one rounds out the list! If you love cooking outside on the grill this should be on your list of meals next. (affiliate links present)
If you are new to this cut of meat, don’t be scared. It is easier to cook than you think and the meat is absolutely delicious. And where it comes from is in it’s name, sorta.
- Originally it came off an ox but nowadays it’s essentially a cows tail, sliced. With a deep beef flavor it adds tons of flavor to an oxtail soup once it’s tender, or with a simple side dish.
When it comes to oxtail seasonings you can add a lot, which we love, or just go super simple with salt and pepper. Most want to slightly tame the deep flavor so the addition of garlic and thyme or basil is great too. You can use what you love and what you would typically use for any other cut of beef really.
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To get your meats absolutely perfect we have this printable meat smoking chart to refer to so each and every time it will be fork tender.
- Recently we upgraded to this Traeger pellet smoker and grill and love it.
- We started with an electric smoker that was a Charbroil which worked well to start with.
- These are the pellets we always have on hand and use for almost everything.
- This smoker cookbook has some more great ideas if you want to cook outside more regularly.
Whether you have an electric version or a popular pellet grill such as a Green Mountain or Traeger grill the directions would remain the same. There are only a few ingredients needed for this too. If you don’t find this cut in the meat section just ask your butcher. They can almost always order them, or may be in the frozen section of your store.
- 1 lb oxtails
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1.5 tsp olive oil
If you do buy frozen oxtails you will want to defrost them ahead of time. I have grilled frozen beef before but it isn’t ideal. It ends up more dry, takes longer and the seasons don’t really stick. Just take my word for it, let them thaw out before you start on this.
Believe it or not this is pretty much a set it forget smoker recipe. You do need to set aside several hours to get it tender enough for the meat to pull away from the bones so don’t be in a hurry. The best way to tell when it is done is to use a fork. If it pulls away easily then they’re done, if it doesn’t add another 20 minutes and check again.
To rinse or not to rinse meat? I guess that is the debate right? More so with poultry I guess many say a hard no but I typically always do just a bit with this or our oxtails and rice recipe.
After that though you will want to dry the moisture off so the olive oil will stick nicely. Then sprinkle on your go to flavors.
- Rinse oxtail and pat dry with paper towels. Spread olive oil on oxtail, top, bottom, sides.
- I do NOT trim excess fat from outer edges as I feel like it adds flavor to the meat
- You do not have to sear and add in a large pan over medium heat, the grill will do this part for you
- Mix together spices and rub on oxtail, top bottom, sides.
- Fill smoker with hardwood BBQ pellets.
- Prepare smoker by placing 2-3 long sheets of aluminum foil along the bottom of the smoker element, underneath the rack, for easy cleanup.
- Brush grill rack clean. Set smoker to smoke.
- Once it starts smoking, set temperature to 350°.
- Place ox tail on smoker grate for 2 hours.
- At this point the meat should be very tender and pull off the bones easily with a fork.
- If not give them more time and check again 20 minutes later.
Add time like this on the smoker and continue to cook remove oxtails from smoker and serve when fork tender. It should pull away like pulled pork, baked pot roast or short ribs does when it is just melt in your mouth soft.
How to Smoke Oxtail
You could do this on a barbecue too with hot coals or smoke flavor but those tend to not keep an even temperature so it likely would take longer. Our smoked oxtails recipe has been made time and time again with huge success, even with people who were nervous to try it. There are many other ways these turn out well too though.
Like our oxtails on the stove starting of with some oil in a large cast iron pot they simmer for hours in a sauce that is just to die for. A great way to try if it is too cold outside to cook that way. Same goes for the low and slow method, old fashioned style.
Yes, I am talking about Crockpot oxtails. Our first go around with these were this way and even my kids loved it (because I didn’t tell them what it really was).
I just kept going from there because I was just so curious what way wouldn’t work out so well. I still haven’t tried a way that wasn’t a real winner. The key to all is to have patience, period.
How do you reheat oxtail in the oven
If you do have leftovers they save well. Wait until they cool completely and then store in an airtight baggie or container. Leave on the counter for 30 minutes when ready and then place in a small pan with a bit of beef broth or beef base on top to add moisture. Cover pan with foil and heat at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes or until warmed.
Alternatively you could heat a pan on the stove with a bit of broth, stir in Worcestershire, reduce for 3 minutes and saute until warm. OR just take the meat off the bone and make a new dish entirely with what is left, like oxtail pho. Use any or all of our leftover beef recipes to make something like a casserole with it or just serve over rice with gravy (and some red wine).
Want to see a few of my favorite things that I am totally obsessed with?? Take a peek and see how many you might already have…twinsies!
- 1 smoker
- Rinse oxtail and pat dry with paper towels. Spread olive oil on oxtail, top, bottom, sides. Mix together spices and rub on oxtail, top bottom, sides. Fill smoker with hardwood BBQ pellets.
- Prepare smoker by placing 2-3 long sheets of aluminum foil along the bottom of the smoker element, underneath the rack, for easy cleanup. Brush grill rack clean. Set smoker to smoke.
- Once it starts smoking, set temperature to 350°. Place oxtail on smoker grate for 2 hours. At this point the meat should be very tender and pull off the bones easily with a fork, if not give them more time and check again 20 minutes later.