Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Oct 16, 2008 08:39 PM

Beef Tongue

Ok, so I am a culinary student and I don't know how to do this so hopefully someone out there will.

I really love beef tongue and have enjoyed it since I was a kid. I am planning on smoking this one I just got and i know how to brine it, poach it, skin it and smoke it but I don't have any idea how to clean it...
I know that after you peel the skin your supposed to remove the glands so I got rid of these big fatty things that ran on both sides of the underside of the tongue... are those the glands? is that all I have to do before I smoke it?! please help!


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. wow. Never ever, tried smoked beef tongue! I'm just an amateur who loves beef tongue.
    I do the usual method: boil/simmer, cool, peel, simmer some more, chill, slice, serve.
    Would love to hear more about your smoking technique.
    As for the glands...I've always just peeled the top layer off and anything else that looked "odd".,
    It seems to me that smoking would not tenderize the tongue.
    I'm always up for new ways to enjoy tongue.
    Marked this thread.

    1. try NE Meat market in Peabody MA or Henrys in N Beverly MA

      1. While I've never smoked beef tongue before, that's all the prep that I do before cooking the tongue.

        Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

        1. Once you have cooked and skinned it, it's all edible. The skin itself, especially on top is tough.

          The tip, which has skin on all sides, is pretty uniform in texture. In the back, the upper part is much like the tip, but lower down it becomes fattier. And as you note, there may be fatty or glanular lumps along side the base. It's really your call as to what you trim off, prior to further preparation and serving, whether that involves smoking, pickling, or just warming in a piquant sauce.

          It would be educational just to cook and skin the tongue, cut it up to see the texture of the different parts, and try half a dozen preparations. You could even smoke just a portion in a stove-top smoker.

          4 Replies
          1. re: paulj

            hmmmm....sorry but i just had to resurrect this one.
            paul, do you recommend smoking the tongue after the traditional method?
            wouldn't the hot smoke dry out the tongue?
            perhaps, one would smoke before the slow cook???
            would appreciate your suggestions. smoked tongue would be....delish, imho.

            1. re: ritabwh

              I've never smoked a tongue, so can't help, beyond what any of us can find on the web.

              This ehow brines it, partially cooks it in flavored liquid, and then smokes the rest of the time.

              1. re: paulj

                Sounds ok, except I can't see repeatedly coating the tongue with oil during smoking. That may prevent drying out, but also will prevent the smoke from penetrating the meat.
                Also, I would not smoke then braise, since it would wash out a lot of the smoky flavor. Smoked tongue sounds like something I might like, so next time I cook tongue I'll probably brine and braise first, as in the recipe, then allow the surface to dry, then heavy cold smoke for 4-6 hours, and if not tender to my liking, finish wrapped in foil in the oven. If you only have a grill to smoke in, try to keep it at the lowest temperature that produces a decent amount of smoke (for how long I have no idea), then finish in the oven.

                I've never smoked tongue, either, so this is all theoretical.

                1. re: Zeldog

                  i don't have the equipment to cold smoke, but i'm starting get ideas on how to use my propane using the warming rack and my smoke chips on 1 burner on low .

          2. I have been enjoying tongue for near 70 years but always smoked until recently. I never knew that it came any other way. Then about 10 years ago it disappeared from all the markets here in the DFW area. Smoked tongue needs to be cooked just like a fresh one.

            I fake it now by adding a bottle of liquid smoke and 2 or 3 TBS of vinegar to the cooking liquid mixture (water, garlic, peppercorns, & etc) and letting it sit in the fridge overnight. I then cook it for an hour and a half in a pressure cooker. Not quite the same but pretty close.

            2 Replies
            1. re: OnkleWillie

              "Smoked tongue needs to be cooked just like a fresh one"
              onclewillie, can you elaborate on your comment???
              it's amazing. no beef tongue in the DFW area? what is this world coming to?

              1. re: ritabwh

                The smoked tongue that used to be sold at all of our local grocery chains, Albertsons, Kroger, Minyards, Safeway, and Tom Thumb, was raw and required cooking just like a fresh tongue. Then suddenly, about ten years ago, they just disappeared and I haven’t seen one since in a mainline grocery store (smoked or fresh). Even the local full line butcher that I dealt with for 35 years said that they couldn’t find any smoked tongue.

                About three years ago I found fresh tongue at two local Hispanic chains and I have been making do with that. The only problem is that one is a 40 mile drive and the other only sells twin-packs.