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Smoked Beef Shanks

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    Smoked Beef Shanks

    So, if I can find these at ShopRite or Giant tomorrow, I'm going to make them in the smoker for New Year's Eve. I'm thinking "brisket style"like Huskee's beef ribs the other day. Does anybody have any suggestions on particular things I should do, watch out for our avoid? I have some BBBR made up for the occasion.

    I do more veal shanks than beef, but I use a brisket style cooking process. They are fantastic! Go for it and tell all of us how things go. They don't seem to take as long as brisket, and you can go to a bit higher temps, 250-300 ish, if needed. I do mine at 250 with no issues.


      Thanks, Stat.


        So I got 2 nice shanks (picture in the What are you Cooking channel). I have a couple of questions:

        1. Does anybody think I should tie them up around the circumference like I would if I was going to brine them to keep them plump and from falling apart?

        2. How do you think I should gauge the temp while cooking? Should I stick the Mav ET-733 probe in as a a general guide and then use the instant read when it seems to be getting closer, say 170 or 180? Or will the Mav be totally useless with this thickness of meat?



        • Strat50
          Strat50 commented
          Editing a comment
          I saw your pic of the shanks, and I would tie them, just to be safe. I would use my probe at an angle, avoiding the bone, where you are in the "deepest" part of the meat. If your temps seem "weird," you can use the old chef's trick of turning a fork in the meat. The easier it turns, the more tender it is. Be gentle. Many times, when I do veal osso bucco (really just cross-sawn shanks), temps are almost useless as there can be more bone than meat. The fork trick helps me in these uncommon situations.

        • Dewesq55
          Dewesq55 commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks, Strat. I read on another site that they are hard to get to stay moist so last night I injected them with a bit of beef broth and tied them just to hold their shape. The other site had done some comparison tests and decided that the best way was to wrap them up with a bit of liquid when the IT gets to about 150° and let them braise the rest of the way. I am thinking about doing that with a little beer.


        Good ideas, Strat! I would try to use my hand-held to check it once in awhile... just cause that is what I do LOL!

        I am interested in how this turns out, Dew... keep us informed. Thanks
        Last edited by smarkley; December 31, 2014, 09:21 AM.


          Here they are rubbed, tied and ready to go in the smoker:
          Click image for larger version

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          I set the cooker for 250°. Right now the Mav 733 is reading 261 at the grate. I put the other Mav probe in one shank at an angle, as suggested by Strat50 and put the Masterbuilt's built-in probe in the other. I am smoking on a mix of apple and pecan chips. The Mav meat probe is reading 84° right now (started at 39°). I will pull and wrap with a little beer at about 150°. The plan is to take them to 195-200 and then rest them for a couple of hours.


            These shanks seem to have hit the stall at about 142°. After sky-rocketing from 39° to 142° in only 2 hours, they have been bouncing between 142° and 144° for over an hour now. The smoker is holding well at the moment at 226°. I still plan to wrap with a little beer/beef stock mix at 150°.


              Still at 145° so I wrapped them with a bit of beer mixed with beef broth and pushed the cooker temp to 250°

              Here they are just before being wrapped:
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              Attached Files


                Having never wrapped before, it's amazing how well it works. After about 2 hours hovering around 144°, in less than an hour in the wrap the IT is up to 176°. Wow.


                  Now IT is 192°. I have the faux cambro ready. I will test with the instant read at 195°, but the current plan is to try to take them to 203°.


                    So the shanks came off the cooker about 90 mins ago and the IT is down to 160°. I put them, still wrapped, into a 170° oven to prevent the temp from dropping further while #1 makes some sides (her job tonight). I will take pics and post after I unwrap them. I have MH's Texas Mop/Sauce to serve along side. It has been sitting and melding for a few hours and tastes great. I will heat it up right before everything goes on the table.


                      So the shanks were actually pretty good. They weren't fall-apart or even pull-apart tender, BUT they also weren't tough and they weren't dry. You had to cut them with a knife but the collagens had broken down/melted nicely and the meat was easy to chew with a silky gelatinous mouth feel to most of it. #1 didn't really care for the Texas Mop/Sauce. She thought it was too sweet although I followed MH's recipe exactly except for the green bell pepper which I forgot to get at the store. She enjoyed them naked. They were pretty smoky, but not bitter or oversmoked. I would make them again.

                      Here's the final pix.

                      Texas Mop Sauce
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                      Cut open
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                        You did an exemplary job sir! I like the mop sauce too with my shanks as well. Great finish as well! Many think shanks should be fall off the bone tender, but I disagree. They should be tender, but not loose like a braised shank would be. Due to the association with the bone, I think shanks should be more like ribs in texture. You nailed it well. A perfect "dry braise."


                          Thanks, Strat. That means a lot coming from a pro chef like you.



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