Total Cook Time: 7 hours
Temperature Range: 250 F
5.5 pounds of beef cheek produces 2.5 pounds barbacoa
Seasoned only once before wrapping in butcher paper
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
We coated both sides of the meat and let it sit on the counter while the smoker came to temperature. Trying to keep the taste of the barbacoa as authentic as possible this is the only time any seasoning was added. All the rest of flavor comes from the meat and fat juices during the cook.
Once the smoker is at temperature, wrap the beef cheeks in two layers of butcher paper so that you will not lose any of the fat drippings. Wait an hour before putting the temperature probe into the meat so it will stay completely sealed off. The smoke will still penetrate through the butcher paper. After the first hour make sure to put the probe in through the top careful so that none of the juices can escape.
Using this method, even after 7 hours of hickory smoke and the beef cheeks are at 205 F, not a single drop made it into the pan below.
Once the meat reaches 205 F, let it rest 1 hour before opening
All that's left is to pull it into the consistency you want to eat it as. You won't have to do anything else to it, except enjoy some juicy delicious barbacoa tacos topped with onion and cilantro.
This recipe is as close to Authentic Barbacoa as we could get without burying it in a pit in the ground as tradition would have it.