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Smoked Beef Cheek Tacos

Smoked Beef Cheek Tacos

By Matt Pittman

Forget boring tacos and go BOLD. These beef cheek tacos are smoked, then slow braised for an ultra-tender finish. Load up your tortillas and pile on the toppings for the ultimate taco Tuesday feast.

Prep Time

20 Minutes

Cook Time

6 Hours




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Units of Measurement:
Beef Cheeks
3 Pound beef cheeks, trimmed
To Taste Meat Church Holy Cow BBQ Rub
1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
1 Medium white onion, quartered
18 Ounce beef stock
20 Small corn tortillas, 6"
1 bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped
1 Small white onion, chopped
Cotija cheese, for serving (optional)
Lime wedges, for serving (optional)


  • 1

    Trim the fat off the beef cheeks. Season the trimmed cheeks moderately with Meat Church Holy Cow BBQ Rub. Let sit for least 15 minutes.

    • 3 Pound beef cheeks, trimmed

    • To Taste Meat Church Holy Cow BBQ Rub

  • 2

    When ready to cook, set the Traeger temperature to 275°F and preheat wit the lid closed for 15 minutes.

    275 ˚F / 135 ˚C

  • 3

    Place the beef cheeks directly on the grill grates. Insert the probe into the center of one of the cheeks. Close the lid and smoke until the internal temperature reaches at least 160°F and the cheeks are nicely browned, 2-2 1/2 hours.

    275 ˚F / 135 ˚C

    160 ˚F / 71 ˚C

    Super Smoke

  • 4

    Transfer the beef cheeks to a half-size steam pan. Add the garlic and onion to the pan, then pour the beef stock over the cheeks; you should have about 1 inch of liquid in the pan. Cover the pan with foil.

    275 ˚F / 135 ˚C

    160 ˚F / 71 ˚C

    Super Smoke

    • 1  head of garlic, halved crosswise

    • 1 Medium white onion, quartered

    • 18 Ounce beef stock

  • 5

    Place the steam pan to the grill grates, close the lid, and cook, flipping once, until very tender, 4-5 hours. (Pro Tip: If you want to smoke the cheeks overnight, set the Traeger temperature to 200°F and check back the next morning.)

    275 ˚F / 135 ˚C

    Super Smoke

  • 6

    Shred the beef cheeks, then serve in corn tortillas with cilantro, onion, and Cotija cheese, if desired, on top and lime wedges alongside. Enjoy!

    • 20 Small corn tortillas, 6"

    • 1  bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped

    • 1 Small white onion, chopped

    •  Cotija cheese, for serving (optional)

    •  Lime wedges, for serving (optional)

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