Beef Tongue?

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Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Jul 24, 2007
Sacramento, CA
My cow got slaughtered today and I have the opportunitly to get a heart, liver, or tongue. I've had liver, and its ok, I've never had heart but don't want it either. I've also never had tongue but it did make me wonder if it is something that would be good smoked.

So have any of the fine folks here ever smoked beef tongue? If so was it any good?

Thanks for the replies!
Well, I can honestly say that I just have not been able to try cow tongue... can't get past the idea of something licking me during the chewing/evacuating processes...
In the early 80's I had a job during summer break from school, a co-worker from Mexico brought tamales his wife made. They were delicious! After I ate them he told me the meat was "beef tongue", she pressure cooked them first. Have not had any since.
Tongue if you can get over over eatting something that tasting you back is quite good and very lean.

I think Mama used to slice them about 1.5 inches thick and fry it quick in bacon grease. But then I think all meat back then was fried in bacon grease. LOL Don't forget to peel off the sanpapery top layer of skin. I think she boiled it and it came right off.

If you smoke it wrap it good in bacon - like I said it's very lean! I used to love it til I found out they weren't really filet mignons. Then it grossed me out!
Thanks for the replies, humorous at that!

I really appreciate the bacon wrapping tip there Debi, that should help keep it from getting too dry. A good friend told me if you didn't know what you were eating you would think it was the best meat you ever had. Kinda what PTJD said.

I'm gonna get it and try it. My girlfriend is completely grossed out.
I've never smoked a beef tongue before, BUT if it's cooked right it can be very good. Here it is:

Fill a large pot with water. Set the temp to boil. Once boiling add cut up turnips, carrots, and the beef tongue. Add some salt and pepper. Cover and reduce to simmer. It needs to boil for a few hours. (you may need to add water periodically) After a few hours have passed, cut up and add an entire head of cabbage. Continue to simmer another 30 minutes or until the cabbage is tender. Once completely cooked, remove the tongue, drain the water and save the veggies. Make sure to remove the thick layer of skin from the tongue. You may need to add more salt and pepper to the veggies.

I like the tongue without any is very tender...actually the tip of the tongue is the best!

It's worth a try. Pickled tongue is good also....don't have a recipe. This is a traditional Basque recipe....that's all I know.

Like I said before I knew what it was I loved it and as a kid I didn't like meat much (it was always well done). This is very tender and wonderful meat if you can get by the tasting thing ...
Crock pot the cow tounge with Mexican style spices for great taco filling! It is good savory style for pierogi filling too and so is the heart (I would have to find an old Polish woman to figure out the best way to do it)

I will eat liver (I don't know why though) Maybe just to gross out others or because it is supposed to be good for you. Flour the liver and fry it in bacon grease with large slices of onion and maybe some banana peppers.

For what it is worth, I would have to say that the heart has the best taste as far as the straight meat goes, tounge second place, although I have eaten way more tounge than heart. And liver is just plain nasty stuff! Actually I never cook liver, but my ma-in-law does a fair job of cooking it up and I will eat it at one of my favorite Greek restraunts a couple of times a year. Calf liver is better if you have a choice. And the worse part is that I have eaten more liver than the other, go figure.

It would be a shame to waste any cuts of meat because you are afraid to eat them. Perhaps give them to someone who will.

I don't really know how to smoke any of them, but if the end result was to be used as a chopped filler or such, I don't think you could screw up. My thinking is that anything is good when it is spiced up Mexican style and put in a tortillia.
OK..That cow gave its life for you. Don't waste ANYTHING. Get all the organs you can. Liver is wonderful. Coat it in flour, fry it and make a onion gravy out of the pan drippings. Tongue is one of the most flavorful meats on a bovine there is. It tastes like really tender pot roast. Tacos de lingua are to die for.

Kidneys you cook outside and give them to the dog.

Brains, well, they're an acquired taste. Cook them with scrambled eggs.

The tail made into soup or braised for a few hours is a taste of heaven. Have the stomach(s) cleaned and scalded and make some menudo with the hooves too..

The heart needs to cook for a few hours because it can be tough. Bit, once it's tender and you have it in gravy on top of smashed taters.. Oh my goodness.

Sweetbreads (thalamus glands) are succulant and tender. Fry thim up like rocky mountain oysters. But, if this was a cow, you probably don't have the oysters..
Don't forget head cheese

I think the only parts of that animal that I wouldn't eat are the intestines, kidneys, and the lungs.. Some of the parts I mentioned, I would rather eat than prime rib. You might not get the brains though since mad cow disease scared everyone. I don't think they are legal to sell or to even give back to the owner of the animal. If you have dogs, they would love the lungs, kidneys, "cleaned" intestines all ground up and cooked for them.

Oh, and the leg bones MUST be cut about 4" long, roasted and the marrow served with bruschetta. That IS heaven!
Rest assured all, nothing will go to waste. The good friend I mentioned above is the one who has the property where the cattle are raised. His parents are from Germany and they eat EVERYTHING! In fact thats what promted my post, he called me and wanted to know if I wanted any of the organs, if not he was going to give them to his folks. The stories he has told me of what they ate growing up is amazing.

Nope, no oysters hehe. That does remind me of a funny story I need to share with you all about my buddy and me going to a livestock auction for the first time. When I have more time to type I'll share that with you all.

Thanks again for the replies. I'm only getting the tongue, his folks can have the rest, and I'm going to smoke the tongue. Somehow.
I love tongue, heart, and liver ... in that order!

Heart stuffed and slow roasted is very good.

Tongue slow simmered with onion, celery, carrot, bay leaf and some thyme until tender. I like it hot or cold in sammies with a little of my favorite mustard or some worcestershire sauce. It is a treat!
Don't forget to remove the skin after cooking (comes off easy then)

Liver is great dipped in milk, dredged in seasoned flour and fried in oil or bacon fat until just slightly pink in centre ... yummy!

As for smoking .... hmmmm? ... I just don't know if it would be as good?
I love liver! No one else here does but I do. Slow cooked over a thick bed of mushrooms, onions and peppers and another pile on top!

You try smoked bacon wrapped Chicken livers yet? They're yummy! Melt in your mouth! I think I posted that somewhere ... my site maybe?
When we ran the Slaughter truck, we had customers that wanted the beef tongue smoked. We used the same brine solution that we used for hams and bacon. When smoked it tasted like ham and sliced thin made for some great sandwich meat.
Im not eating anything that came from a cows mouth.Id rather have some eggs.
When I have a beef butchered they grind the heart and liver in with the hamburger.I cant eat liver,Ive tried to many times,I just cant get with the taste.When its in the burger you never know it by the taste.
In all fairness, you can't say you don't like something until you have tried it!
Beef tongue is great! I don't even need to smoke it, cause it is so good slow simmered ...
Hey Debi, I'm a liver lover too! Trouble is, I never get it anymore since I married my bride... she can't even look at the stuff! I like mine fried in bacon grease, smothered in onions, garlic, shrooms and peppers, served with a side of hush puppies.

It's a cardiologist's dream...
I love beef tongue, I just boil it cut off the skin and serve with Mashed potatoes and breaded baked eggplant...

Then the leftovers (my favorite part of tongue) Slice up the tongue and slap between some bread, add horseradish, no salt or pepper.

Did you know the tongue and heart are used by soup companies to make their vegatable beef soups?
In my distant youth I spent many years in Great Britain, tongue was a common lunch meat there and was frequently "tinned" as well. I liked it as long as I didn't know what it was I was eating. I still like steak and Kidney pie. Nobody in the USA eats kidney that I know of. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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