Unleash the Mighty Thor’s Hammer Beef Shank Recipe!

Are you ready to transform a tough cut of meat into a mouthwatering shredded beef masterpiece? Look no further than the sensational beef shank, affectionately known as “Thor’s Meat Hammer”. In this comprehensive tutorial, we will delve into the secrets of smoking this showstopping recipe, ensuring that your taste buds are tantalized.

If you think you’ve smoked it all, from brisket to beef ribs, chuck roast to birria, prepare to be awestruck by the unique magnificence of the bone-in beef shank. Often overlooked due to its tendons, silver skin, and tougher muscle, this cut of meat has a hidden potential waiting to be unlocked.

Believe me when I say that this recipe has won my heart, surpassing many other BBQ creations I’ve made over the years. It is, simply put, that good! So, if you haven’t embarked on a smoked beef shin-style cook before, join me as we explore its wonders, discover preparation tips, and uncover the secrets of the smoking process.

Essential “School” Supplies:

Before we dive into the culinary adventure that awaits, make sure you have the following supplies at your disposal:

  • Knife and Cutting Board
  • Small Baking Sheet
  • Cooling Racks
  • Spray Bottle
  • High-Quality Digital Thermometer
  • Butcher Paper
  • Basting Brush

Informative “Class” Notes:

Welcome to my virtual classroom! Here, I will address commonly asked questions to help you gain a deeper understanding of this recipe and its cooking process. I’d also like to extend a shoutout to fellow chef and pitmaster, Josh Milson of @Born_To_Chef, for his invaluable assistance in developing this masterpiece.

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Are you ready to start cooking? If so, feel free to jump straight to the recipe below and let the culinary journey begin!

Exploring the Beef Shank:

What exactly is a beef shank? Well, it’s also known as the beef shin, and it refers to the leg portion of the cow located above the knee. Due to its location, the muscles in this area are heavily used, resulting in a tougher cut of meat. However, the beauty of BBQ lies in its ability to transform less ideal cuts into something extraordinary, and the beef shank is no exception.

For this recipe, I recommend using a bone-in beef shank that has been frenched, exposing 2-3 inches of the bone from the meat. While cross-cut shanks, also known as osso buco, can be used, they won’t provide the same visual impact, and the smoking time will vary.

Ingredients for Smoked Beef Shank:

To embark on this culinary journey, gather the following ingredients:

  • 1, 8-10 lb. Frenched Bone-In Beef Shank (ask your butcher to French it if needed)
  • BBQ Rub (I recommend a coffee ancho rub for this recipe)
  • Binder (olive oil, mustard, hot sauce, etc.)
  • Beef Broth or Beef Stock (for building your flavorful bark while smoking)
  • Beef Tallow (for wrapping and finishing off your cook)


When you receive your beef shank from the butcher, you’ll notice a hefty and thick fat cap, possibly accompanied by silver skin. Surprisingly, for this recipe, we will leave both intact, as we won’t be using any braising liquids. Instead, we will slow smoke the meat and wrap it in butcher paper, much like a pork shoulder or brisket.

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To prepare for this tantalizing cook, follow these steps:

  1. Remove the meat from the packaging and pat it dry.
  2. Trim off any large pieces of the fat cap that hang off the edge of the meat, leaving the rest intact.
  3. Apply a binder to the meat, such as the sauce from a can of adobo peppers (ideal for an ancho chili coffee rub).
  4. Season the beef shank with a generous layer of your chosen dry rub. Then, place it on a cooling rack suspended over a baking sheet. Let it sit uncovered in the fridge overnight.

Smoking The Shank:

Now that the stage is set, let’s move on to smoking the beef shank:

  1. Preheat your smoker (whether it’s a pellet or charcoal smoker) to 225-250°F (107-121°C).
  2. Before smoking, cover the exposed bone with foil. Place your beef shank on the middle rack of the smoker and allow the bark to develop. Insert a thermometer into the thickest part of the beef.
  3. After 1-2 hours, lightly spray the outside of the bark with beef stock or broth. Repeat this process every 45-60 minutes until the bark sets and the internal temperature reaches approximately 175-180°F (79-82°C).
  4. Remove the beef shank from the smoker, and brush melted beef tallow over the bark and onto the butcher paper. Carefully wrap the butcher paper tightly around the beef shank and return it to the smoker.
  5. Continue smoking until the beef shank reaches a tender texture and an internal temperature of about 203°F (95°C).
  6. Once cooked, let the beef shank rest, wrapped in a towel, and placed in a cooler for at least an hour (remember, the rest is crucial!).
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Please note that cooking time may vary depending on several factors. For reference, my 10 lb. beef shank took approximately 8-9 hours, with an additional hour of resting before pulling.

Now, it’s time to shred the meat, just as you would with pulled pork. Remove any tendons or cartilage while breaking down the meat. Serve alongside a heavenly side dish, such as smoked mac and cheese.

That’s it! You’ve conquered the formidable Thor’s Hammer Beef Shank recipe. Prepare to bask in the glory of your exceptional culinary masterpiece, reminiscent of the mighty hammer itself.

To discover more tantalizing recipes and BBQ wonders, visit the Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ website, where flavor and excellence collide.