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recipe for using smoked beef cheek to make barbacoa tacos in caramello tortillas

BBQ Smoked Beef Barbacoa using Beef Cheeks

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  • Author: Jess Pryles



23 lb of beef cheeks

34 tablespoons Hardcore Carnivore Black seasoning OR 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt

4 cups beef broth

6 cloves garlic

To serve: tortillas, salsa, fresh lime and salt to taste.


  1. If necessary, start by trimming beef cheeks. Cut away and discard any sinew to leave behind “pillows” of muscle that are the actual cheeks.
  2. Preheat a smoker to 275f.
  3. Coat the cheeks well in the Hardcore Carnivore Black seasoning, then place into the smoker and cook for 2.5 hours.
  4. Smash the garlic cloves with the side of a knife or bottom of a pot to split them open slightly. This makes them more aromatic. Place the cloves along with the beef broth in a foil pan.
  5. Add the beef cheeks to the braising liquid in the pan, and return to the smoker to cook for a further 4-5 hours until tender. To speed the cook, you can cover the pan with foil, but this will reduce the smokiness. Cheeks are ready when they are completely probe tender and pull apart easily.
  6. Shred the cheeks and then spoon some of the braising liquid over the meat for maximum moisture. Add extra salt, if desired. Serve with tortillas, salsa and a wedge of fresh lime.