If you’ve been scouring social media lately, you might have come across a remarkable culinary phenomenon known as the beef shank. This tough cut of beef, with its impressive appearance resembling a colossal mallet or hammer, has captured the attention of food enthusiasts everywhere. Referred to as the Meat Hammer, Thor’s Hammer, or Beef Hammer interchangeably, this cut has an undeniable mystique surrounding it.
But here’s the thing: cooking a beef shank is no easy feat. It requires skill and finesse to transform this tough piece of meat into something tender and juicy. Fortunately, I’m here to guide you through the process, step by step, with foolproof instructions on how to smoke a beef shank like a pro.
Unveiling the Beast: Smoked Beef Shank AKA Meat Hammer
Before diving into the recipe, let’s take a closer look at this intriguing cut of meat. Thor’s Hammer, as it is affectionately known, is derived from the cow’s beef shank. This particular cut comes from the shin of the animal, making it a heavily used muscle and, subsequently, a notoriously tough piece of beef. Generally, cuts closer to the ground tend to be tougher, while the more tender portions are found higher up the animal.
To ensure the best results, I recommend having your beef shank expertly trimmed and tied by a skilled butcher. This technique helps keep the meat intact during the long cooking process, ensuring optimal tenderness. Speaking of tenderness, let’s move on to the preparation of the Smoked Beef Shank AKA Meat Hammer.
Preparing the Meat Hammer
To kickstart the tenderizing process and infuse a delightful burst of flavor, we’re going to brine the meat. Start by placing the beef shank in a resealable plastic bag and adding salt and your favorite beef seasoning. For an added touch of excellence, consider using stout beer as part of the brine. Don’t worry if the concept of using beer raises an eyebrow; I’ve got an alternative recipe for you, courtesy of my friend Irene.
Once you’ve sealed the bag, gently agitate it to ensure the salt dissolves evenly. Then, transfer the bagged shank to the refrigerator, allowing it to brine for a minimum of four hours and up to twelve hours. This crucial step enhances both the tenderness and flavor of the beef shank.
After the brining process, it’s time to smoke the meat hammer to perfection. Prepare your smoker or pellet grill, aiming for a temperature of 225°F. While your grilling apparatus reaches the desired heat, carefully remove the beef shank from the bag, placing it in disposable aluminum pans. Reserve the brine solution in a large vessel with a spout.
Now, generously season Thor’s Hammer with your chosen beef seasoning. The brine should provide enough saltiness, so no additional salt is required. As you sprinkle the rub, take a moment to appreciate the sheer magnificence of this cut, resembling a mighty hammer.
The Smoking Process
Once your grill is set up and ready, transfer the pans containing the beef shank to the smoker. Pour a portion of the stout brine into the bottom of the pans, reserving the rest for later use in a spray bottle. This brine infusion ensures maximum flavor and moisture retention throughout the smoking process.
To monitor the internal temperature accurately, insert a remote probe thermometer into the thick side of the meat, making sure it doesn’t touch the bone. This step is crucial for determining when the beef shank reaches its optimal tenderness.
Now, let’s pause and summarize the smoking process before proceeding further.
How to Smoke a Beef Hammer
- Set your pellet cooker or smoker to a stable temperature of 225°F.
- Place the seasoned beef shank in a double layer of disposable aluminum pans and position them in the smoker.
- Pour a portion of the stout brine into the pans, ensuring their bottom is adequately coated.
- Close the lid and begin the smoking process.
- Once every 30 minutes, spritz the beef shank with the remaining stout brine using the spray bottle.
- Maintain a closed lid between spritzing sessions, allowing the smoke and heat to work their magic.
- Continue smoking until the beef shank reaches an internal temperature between 150°F and 160°F. This typically takes around 3-5 hours, depending on various factors, such as the size of the shank and environmental conditions.
- As the beef shank approaches these temperatures, cover the pans tightly with foil. This steams the meat in the stout brine and its own juices, further enhancing tenderness.
- Keep smoking until the internal temperature reaches a range of 203°F to 206°F, denoting the desired level of doneness.
- Carefully remove the beef shank from the smoker, discarding the disposable aluminum pans and any leftover stout brine.
- Wrap the smoked beef shank tightly in foil, followed by an old beach towel, and allow it to rest for a couple of hours. This crucial step ensures the connective tissues break down, resulting in an exceptionally tender cut.
- Finally, it’s time to unveil the magnificence of the Meat Hammer. Unwrap the shank, and get ready to marvel at its succulent, smoky goodness.
The Grand Finale: Smoked Beef Shank AKA Meat Hammer
After many hours of smoking and resting, let’s explore the final product. Imagine the savory allure of a pot roast infused with the subtle sweetness of stout beer. That’s the essence of the Smoked Beef Shank AKA Meat Hammer. Its mesmerizing presentation alone makes it a perfect centerpiece for festive occasions, such as a holiday feast or Christmas dinner.
Here’s a pro tip before serving: sprinkle a little extra beef seasoning over the pile of meat. This simple touch enhances the overall flavor, making every mouthful an unforgettable experience.
If you have any questions or comments about this recipe, feel free to share them below or shoot me an email. For more tantalizing recipes and enticing content, be sure to follow us on our GrillinFools Facebook page, Instagram, and YouTube feeds.
And before we conclude, let’s savor a few more snapshots from this remarkable cooking journey:
With a little patience and a touch of culinary prowess, you too can harness the power of Thor’s Hammer and create an awe-inspiring dish that will leave everyone in awe. So fire up that grill, prepare your beef shank, and let the intoxicating aroma of smoked beef weave its magic. Enjoy the journey, and relish the sensational flavors that await you!