3 Lesser-Known Cuts of Beef that are Perfect for Smoking

Posted on: January 12, 2023

Becoming a pit-master is so different than becoming someone who is a master of the grill. The art of smoking includes 3 lesser-known cuts of beef that are perfect for smoking. In this article, we’ll talk all about those prime examples of great cuts that aren’t as well-known!

Thanks to the decade-long history of the central Texan-style barbecue, when most backyard pit masters cook beef they usually pick brisket. But there are plenty of other cuts worthy of the pit. Here are Bradley’s recommendations that should be smoked more often.

Read 7 more lesser-known cuts of beef to start your smoking journey!

1. Chuck Roll

Delicious chuck rolls!

For smoking, the chuck roll is highly recommended because it’s always available at every single retail store or butcher. It’s the traditional mom-and-pop roast, which is usually slow cooked in the oven as a chuck roast. However, on the smoker or a barbecue pit, it can be transformed into something on the next level.

The first step is to coat the surface with a thin smear of yellow mustard then sprinkle abundantly with a 50/50 blend of salt and pepper. The second step is to put it on your Bradley smoker for 4 to 6 hours at 200 degrees,

After that you can bump it a little bit. You can easily go to 250. Then, double wrap it in aluminum foil or butcher paper. Put it in the oven and let it sit low at 200 degrees overnight. The next morning you will wake up to some of the best smoked chuck roll you’ll ever have.

Pro tip: At your local butcher, ask for a five-pound chuck roast. There’s another roast from the chuck, but that’s usually labelled as arm roast. That’s a bit of a leaner cut, so it depends on how much fat you want.

2. Sirloin Tip Roast

Sirloin tip roast! Mouth-watering!

The sirloin tip is another easy-to-find roast that is great for smoking. It can be used in a similar way as the chuck roast, except it’s leaner. It’s a shredded beef application and not sliced beef. Several hours of smoking later, feel free to wrap it in and finish in the oven or crock pot.

The sirloin tip roast is more like a warmed back up where you can take some beef broth and beer. Then mix those together on the stove with that shredded beef. It’ll warms up perfectly for your next meal.

3. Chuck Short Rib

The most excellent chuck short ribs!

In the past several years, pit-masters at various restaurant chains have been wowing guests with giant beef ribs. These ribs can weigh two pounds of more while feeding 2 or 3 hungry diners at once. However, this style of ribs can be hard to pull off at home.

This is because retailers don’t usually carry plate short ribs, but a great alternative are chuck short ribs.

These come from further up the cow, specifically the the chuck, or the front shoulder area. Butchers usually prepare one-inch sections of the chuck short rib for stove-top or oven braising. These sections are prepared in-house, which means that you can ask to get a whole chuck short rib.

A four bone piece weighs about 4 or 5 pounds. It’s a great option to use for smoking. Once you have the bone prepared, season them lightly with salt and pepper then smoke at 225 degrees for about 6 to 8 hours.

Then wrap them at 160 degrees to let them sweat out and let the moist heat up for further cooking. Finally, smoke the chuck short rib with 200 to 210 degrees Fahrenheit (internal temperature) for the grand finale.

How to Find your Next Cuts

So next time, where do you go to find these lesser-known cuts of beef?

If you’re looking for lesser-known cuts, a lot of times your best option would be to go to a specialty market to snoop them out.

They’re generally hand-cut to order once you request them. Butchers can always recommend new cuts and offer guidance for how to cook them.

On the other hand, supermarkets can be a little more of a hit and miss. It’s always going to depend on who is behind the counter. It improves your odds if you get there early in the day.

If you’re looking for the best-in-class smokers in town, visit our website for a wide array of different food smoking products. Better yet, check out our blog for more tips and tricks for your next smoking adventure!