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Smoked Oxtail

Today, we’re diving headfirst into the smoky, savory world of oxtail – that’s right, smoked oxtail! If you’ve never tried it before, you’re in for a treat. So, grab your apron, fire up your smoker, and let’s get cooking!

Alright, picture this: a warm summer evening, a group of friends gathered in your backyard, and the tantalizing aroma of smoked oxtail wafting through the air. It’s the stuff foodie dreams are made of, and I’m here to help you make it happen.

smoked oxtail

How to Make Smoked Oxtail

Let’s get down to business with a quick summary of the steps to smoky perfection:

  1. Selecting Your Oxtail: Head to your local butcher and pick out some quality oxtail. Don’t be shy; ask for the best cuts!
  2. Marinate: Whip up a flavorful marinade with your favorite spices, herbs, and a dash of your secret ingredient (more on that later). Slather it generously all over your oxtail and let it soak up those flavors for a few hours or overnight.
  3. Fire Up the Smoker: Get your smoker ready to roll. Aim for a temperature around 225°F (107°C) – low and slow is the name of the game here!
  4. Choosing the Wood: Now, let’s talk wood. The type of wood you use can make or break your smoked oxtail. I’m talking hickory, mesquite, or fruitwood for that extra kick of flavor.
  5. Time to Smoke: Place your marinated oxtail in the smoker and let it work its magic for about 4-5 hours. Be patient; good things come to those who wait!
  6. The Wrap and Rest: Once your oxtail has that beautiful smoky crust, wrap it in foil, and let it rest for about 30 minutes. This step is crucial for that juicy, fall-off-the-bone goodness.
  7. Serve and Enjoy: Finally, slice that smoked oxtail up and serve it to your eager guests. Watch their faces light up as they take that first, mouthwatering bite!

The Best Rub

Now, let’s talk rubs. I’m a firm believer that a good rub can elevate any dish. For smoked oxtail, you’ll want a rub that’s equal parts sweet, smoky, and savory. Here’s my go-to recipe:

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Mix it all together, and you’ve got yourself a flavor bomb waiting to happen. Rub it generously on your oxtail, and let the flavors meld together during that heavenly marinating process.

how long to smoke oxtails

Wood Options

Ah, the wood choices – this is where the real magic happens. Each type of wood adds its unique flavor profile to your smoked oxtail. Here’s a quick rundown:

  1. Hickory: This wood delivers a strong, hearty, and slightly sweet smokiness. It pairs perfectly with the richness of oxtail.
  2. Mesquite: If you want a bolder, more robust flavor, mesquite is your answer. Just be cautious – a little goes a long way!
  3. Fruitwood: Cherry, apple, or pecan wood can add a hint of fruity sweetness to your smoked oxtail. It’s a lighter touch for those who prefer a milder smoke.

What to Serve

Let’s talk about sides because what’s a meal without ’em, right? Here are a few ideas to complement your smoky masterpiece:

  1. Creamy Mashed Potatoes: The creamy goodness of mashed potatoes is the perfect foil for the smoky richness of oxtail.
  2. Grilled Veggies: Fire up the grill for some asparagus, bell peppers, or zucchini. Grilled veggies provide a fresh, crisp contrast to your smoky main dish.
  3. Cornbread: A slice of cornbread drizzled with honey – need I say more? It’s a match made in food heaven.
  4. Coconut Rice: For an exotic twist, try coconut rice. The sweet and savory flavors play wonderfully with smoked oxtail.

smoked oxtail recipe

So there you have it, folks – the smoky, succulent world of smoked oxtail, served up with a side of humor and heart. It’s a dish that’s sure to impress your friends and family at your next backyard BBQ. Remember, it’s all about the low and slow, the right rub, and a touch of wood-fired love.

I hope you give it a try and create some delicious memories of your own. Thanks for joining me on this culinary adventure. Until next time, happy smoking and happy eating, my fellow foodies! Good food is worth the wait, and great company makes it even better. Cheers!

Smoked Oxtail

Indulge in the rich and savory flavors of smoked oxtail with our easy-to-follow recipe. Impress your guests with this delicious dish.

Course Main Course
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Servings 4


  • 4 pounds of oxtail
  • For the Marinade:
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Wood chips hickory, mesquite, or fruitwood


Marinating the Oxtail

  1. Mix all the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl until well combined.
  2. Place the oxtail in a large, resealable plastic bag or a shallow dish.
  3. Rub the marinade mixture generously over the oxtail, making sure each piece is well coated. Seal the bag or cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but ideally, overnight for maximum flavor infusion.

Preparing the Smoker

  1. Preheat your smoker to 225°F (107°C). Use your choice of wood chips (hickory, mesquite, or fruitwood) to get that perfect smoky flavor. Soak the wood chips in water for about 30 minutes before using.

Smoking the Oxtail

  1. Remove the oxtail from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature for about 30 minutes.
  2. Prepare your smoker by lighting the charcoal or wood pellets and maintaining a steady temperature at 225°F (107°C). Add the soaked wood chips to the smoker for that smoky goodness.
  3. Place the marinated oxtail directly on the grill grates, making sure there's some space between each piece for proper smoking.
  4. Close the smoker's lid and let the magic happen! Smoke the oxtail for about 4-5 hours, maintaining the temperature as close to 225°F (107°C) as possible.

Wrapping and Resting

  1. Once the oxtail has developed a beautiful smoky crust and reaches an internal temperature of about 190-200°F (88-93°C), it's time to wrap it up.
  2. Carefully remove the oxtail from the smoker and wrap it tightly in aluminum foil. This step helps to lock in the juices and ensure that fall-off-the-bone tenderness.
  3. Place the wrapped oxtail in a cooler or insulated container and let it rest for 30 minutes. This resting period is crucial for that mouthwatering texture.
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