Smoked Oxtail Recipe with Cooking Tips and Serving Suggestions

If you are wondering how to get the tastiest results, you should definitely check out the recipe below.
Jeremy Bivens
Jeremy Bivens
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Jeremy Bivens is a passionate writer and grilling enthusiast. He's been working as a freelance journalist for over 15 years now and has a particular interest in food writing read more
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Bruce Williams
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Last updated: August 28, 2023
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Smoked oxtail is a great way to prepare the tail of a male steer, although nowadays this type of offal meat can also be sourced from any type of cattle. Oxtail typically weighs from 7 to 8 pounds with about an inch of rich meat encased in a layer of fat. This fatty meat, which was formerly a fallback food for the poor is now a gourmet dish that is a favorite of those on a Keto or Paleo diet as oxtail is nutritious as well as full of fat and collagen.

Oxtail is currently sold skinned in tw0- inch long portions, which is an ideal size for smoking on a combination grill plus smoker. Great smoker grills for cooking oxtails are the Camp Chef with Smart Grill Technology that operates by Wi-F, the ZZgrill 7002B Pellet Grill to immerse the meat in hickory smoke, and the Pit Boss 700FB Pellet Grill that is great for searing meat while smoking it.

Simple Smoked Oxtail Recipe

Smoked Oxtail Recipe with Cooking Tips and Serving Suggestions

The recipe below is perhaps one of the oldest and plainest ways of cooking oxtail as it has been cooked for centuries in England, France, and Rome. However, nowadays you have all kinds of seasoning options available to you when it comes to cooking oxtail and from many different cuisines.


  • 7-8 pieces of oxtail
  • 1 cup red wine
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup dried onion flakes
  • ½ cup dried celery flakes
  • 1tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. white pepper
  • a pinch of dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. Worcester sauce
  • 1 tsp. garlic minced
  • 1 tsp. Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ¼ cup of your favorite dry rub


  1. Place the oxtails in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. Place on counter and let rest at room temperature for about four hours to let the meat rest.
  3. Smoked Oxtail Recipe with Cooking Tips and Serving SuggestionsPrepare a braising sauce by heating the olive oil on a side burner or stovetop. Add all of the powdered spices and garlic.
  4. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, tomato paste, and red wine. Reduce for ten minutes and set aside.
  5. Preheat your smoker at 275F and add wood chips or wood pellets.
  6. Trim excess fat from the outer edges of the oxtail and coat with your favorite BBQ dry rub.
  7. Smoked Oxtail Recipe with Cooking Tips and Serving SuggestionsPlace seasoned oxtails on the grill and smoke for two hours.
  8. Remove oxtails from the smoker and arrange in a cast-iron skillet. Pour the braising sauce over the oxtail.
  9. Place the oxtails in the skillet and cook at 275 degrees for three more hours.
  10. Smoked Oxtail Recipe with Cooking Tips and Serving SuggestionsRemove the skillet and let the meat rest in the pan for half an hour.
  11.  Serve the oxtails on rice or potatoes and then ladle the sauce created by the braising over the meat.

Smoked Oxtail Sandwich Recipe

Smoked Oxtail Seasoning Options

  • Old European (Italian, French, English) seasonings – Red Wine, Worcester Sauce, Apple Cider Vinegar, Herbes de Provence (as in the recipe above), parsley.
  • Asian Oxtail Seasoning – Rice vinegar, garlic, chili, orange rind dark soy sauce.
  • Curry Oxtail seasonings – Curry powder, scot bonnet pepper, garlic, all spices, thyme, grated ginger.
  • Jamaican Jerk Oxtail seasonings – Grace browning sauce, hot pepper sauce, paprika, pepper, cayenne pepper, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce or you can buy a premade sauce such as Walkerswood Spicy Jamaican Jerk Marinade.

Serving Suggestions

Smoked Oxtail goes quite well with rice, potatoes, yams, peas, collard greens, and coleslaw.

You can serve the smoked oxtail with the bone on but often the meat is so juicy and tender it falls off the bone all by itself

You can serve smoked oxtail in its braising juice on a bun to make an oxtail beef sandwich au jus.

Cooking Tips

Safety comes first when it comes to grilling any kind of fatty meat, which is why it is a good idea to invest in the best smoker accessories that you can afford. A good investment is a pair of heat-resistant gloves because you are working with hot greasy meat on a fiery grill. It is also a good idea to stay safe by buying the best barbecue lighter that suits your particular type of grill, whether it be electric, propane, or rechargeable. Make sure too that the lighter snaps on and off immediately, is compact, yet possibly extendable, and does not compromise on functionality.

Other cooking tips:

  • You know the oxtails are done when they turn a rich mahogany color.
  • During the last five minutes of cooking, some grill masters dab the oxtail with oil or butter
  • Try not to mix garden herbs with an Asian, Curry, or Jamaican spice mix, or the flavors could clash
  • If you want a darker char to your meat add a bit of brown sugar to your dry rub or wet rub
  • Blend a frozen Italian vegetable mix consisting of carrots, onions, celery, and peppers and add to any wet sauce to enhance the oxtail beef flavor
  • Beef or mushroom-based soup mixes or bullions can be used to create a dry rub or sauce for oxtail
  • A can of condensed oxtail soup can add an intense flavor to your sauces

Tear the meat off of leftover smoked bones and then use the bones to make a collagen-rich broth for soup

Final Thoughts

Oxtail is now a sought-after food, but with so many genetic fakes on the market from cattle, the latest rage is to make sure that the cattle from which the tail was cut was from a genuine (male) steer. The most expensive oxtails are from steers that have been raised as grass-fed animals or free-range. The cheaper cuts can be offal from dairy cattle that has been genetically modified. To make sure that you are getting the real thing, buy your oxtail from a butcher. If you buy your oxtail frozen be sure to let it thaw for a whole day in the refrigerator before barbecuing.

Oxtail is one of those universal, yet under-rated foods, that is nutritious inexpensive yet so versatile, with smoked oxtail being at the top of the list when it comes to serving your friends and family a delicious, nourishing meal.

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