Smoked beef cheeks with gravy

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Smoked beef cheeks with gravy

I love beef cheeks more than brisket. Even my brisket. And that says it all. Beef cheeks got a lot of flavour and collagen that turns into juicy gelatine while smoking.

And it’s much cheaper than brisket too. So why don’t you try it out? Don’t be afraid of the long list of ingredients. They are all easy to find if they are not already in your kitchen cabinets.


  • 4 beef cheeks
  • butter

For the dry rub

  • 1 part ground black pepper
  • 1 part fleur de sell
  • 1/4 part onion powder
  • 1/8 part garlic powder

For the mopping sauce

  • 1 bottle of dark beer
  • 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup of beef broth
  • 2 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp of sugar
  • 1 tbsp of the dry rub

For the gravy

  • 2 cups of beef broth
  • 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
  • 100 ml of dark beer
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 2 tbsp of cornstarch

How to

  1. Trim the beef cheeks to get rid of the silverskin so that all the meat is exposed.
  2. Mix the dry rub and sprinkle an even layer on the meat. Make sure to keep 1 tbsp of the rub aside.
  3. Fire up your grill with an indirect temperature off 120°C (248F) and some smoke wood. Place the cheeks on the grates and close the lid.
  4. Now you can make the mopping sauce by mixing all the ingredients in a pan and heating it till the sugar dissolved.
  5. After one and a half hours, the beef cheeks got some smoke colour, and the dry rub is attached to the meat. Now you can brush on the mopping sauce and repeat that every 2 hours to build up a bark.
  6. When the beef cheeks reached the desired temperature of 94°C (201F), wrap them in aluminium foil with a few lumps of butter. Let this sit for at least half an hour in the cooler so that they become even more tender and tasty. You can keep them warm this way for several hours if that’s necessary.
  7. While the cheeks rest, we start making the gravy. Put a pan on the fire and pour in the beef broth, vinegar and beer. Then add a quartered onion and garlic clove.
  8. Mix a 1/4 cup of water with 3 tbsp of cornstarch in a bowl and whisk it up. Add this to the beef broth mix.
  9. Bring it all to a boil and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Then take out the onion and garlic.
  10. Unwrap the beef cheeks and slice them thin. Serve with some mashed potatoes and the gravy.

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BBQ gear used

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