An American Story

The history of grilling at Kingsford is a classic American story. It all started in 1919 when Edward G. Kingsford helped Henry Ford procure a stretch of timberland to supply wood for his auto plants.

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Kingsford® Preserve the Pit

Kingsford remains committed to celebrating Black barbecue culture by launching the second year of Preserve the Pit and doubling the investment in aspiring barbecue professionals.

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American Pride

An American-made company founded over 100 years ago, Kingsford has a lot to be proud of. Our employees have been continuing the family tradition in backyards across the nation.

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Recipes

BBQ Smoked Oxtails

Buttery and rich oxtail is undeniably delicious. Grill it up with Kingsford® Charcoal and your favorite smoking wood and you’ve got a dish full of flavor.

Grill-friendly weather alert! It’s the perfect week to make brisket *weather forecast provided by Openweathermap.org
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Cooking for 20 people

Ingredients

  • 20 lb. fresh-cut beef oxtails
  • 2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 32 oz. beef stock
  • 0.5 cup kosher salt
  • 0.5 cup black pepper
  • 0.5 cup paprika
  • 0.5 cup granulated garlic
  • 2 liters Dr Pepper
  • heavy-duty foil & large foil pans
  • 3 post oak sticks
  • 2 pecan wood sticks
Add extra flavor
Suggested rubs:
  • Jerk
  • Asian-inspired
  • Cajun spice
  • Mexican adobo
Suggested marinades:
  • Red wine
  • Soy sauce & ginger
  • Caribbean jerk
  • Korean BBQ
  • Citrus & herb
Suggested injections:
  • Beef broth
  • Herb & garlic butter
  • BBQ sauce
  • Cajun spice
  • Red wine & garlic

1 Food Prep

Preparing Smoked Oxtail:
  • Remove oxtail from packaging and pat dry to remove excess moisture to achieve the best results.
  • Allow oxtail to come to room temperature (never longer than 2 hours) before grilling to ensure even cooking and flavor.
  • A cherry cola with bold licorice, citrusy and/or vanilla notes works great in this recipe.
Trimming Oxtails:
  • Slightly trim the heavier fat with a sharp knife and discard.
Seasoning Oxtails:
  • Combine your dry ingredients to make your dry rub blend.
  • Place your trimmed beef oxtails into a large container, adding Worcestershire sauce and mixing well with the rub blend.
  • Avoid grilling immediately after applying seasoning, and let it sit for awhile to allow oxtails to absorb the flavor.

2 Grill Prep

Fuel: We recommend Kingsford® Original Charcoal Briquets

Method: The Charcoal Snake

Temp: 350°F (Medium Heat)

3 The Cook

Steps to Smoke Your Oxtail:
  • When you’re at temp, put cooking oil on a folded paper towel. Grab the oiled paper towel with long-handled tongs and oil the grate thoroughly.
  • Let your beef oxtails smoke for 1–2 hours, turning carefully every 30–40 minutes to ensure proper cooking on all sides.
  • When the beef oxtails become crispy, colorful and cooked through, pull them off of your grill and place them evenly in a doubled up large foil pan. This will hold the weight of the oxtails for the braising method.
  • Pour the beef stock and soda over the oxtails in the foil pan. Cover tightly with heavy-duty foil. Place back on your grill at a lower temperature of 300–325°F and smoke for 3 hours.
  • After 3 hours, remove your oxtails from the grill and use the juices in the pan to glaze the beef oxtails or lightly stir in the juices.
  • Serve your oxtails whole.
Pairs Well With:
  • Rice & peas
  • Fried plantains
  • Coconut rice
  • Collard greens
  • Mashed potatoes
How to Store Oxtail:
  • Let leftover cooked oxtail cool completely, then store it in the fridge (wrapped tightly in foil or a container, whole or shredded) for 3-4 days, or freeze it (double wrapped tightly with plastic wrap then a bag/container and labeled with the date) for up to 3 months.
  • For more information on food storage, consult the links below:

    Cold Food Storage Chart

    4 Steps to Food Safety

    Foodsafety.gov
How to Reheat Oxtail:
  • Reheat it low and slow (oven or stovetop) with a splash of broth or water to avoid drying. Aim for an internal temperature of 165°F. You can reheat it wrapped in foil in the oven at 250°F for 20-30 minutes, or simmer it in a pan with a lid on the stovetop for 10-15 minutes. Just remember to let it rest for a few minutes before digging in for the best flavor and texture.

Credit: Recipe created by Randy Duncan of Daddy Duncan’s BBQ on behalf of Kingsford® Charcoal.

For safe meat preparation, reference the USDA website.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the best charcoal flavors for grilling oxtail?
    Hickory and Mesquite offer a bold, smoky punch that complements the richness of oxtail. Feeling adventurous? Cherrywood's fruity sweetness creates a unique and delightful pairing.
  • Should I brine oxtail?
    Brining oxtail before grilling is optional. Benefits? Extra tender meat and deeper flavor from the brine. However, oxtail cooks for a long time already so the tenderness difference might be subtle. Brining also adds prep time so skip it if you're short on time or prefer pure beef flavor. Experiment to see what you like best!
  • Should I trim oxtail?
    Trim your oxtail before grilling for a tastier experience! This removes excess fat that can make it greasy and ensures even cooking. You'll also want to take out silver skin and connective tissues for a more tender, less chewy texture. Don't worry about trimming everything - some fat adds flavor. Just focus on the big stuff and cut the pieces to your desired size for grilling.
  • What are the best spices for oxtail?
    For grilling oxtail, focus on spices that enhance its richness: smoky (smoked paprika, chipotle powder, cumin), warm (allspice, cloves, coriander), and fresh (thyme, rosemary, oregano). Add black pepper for a classic kick, and adjust heat with cayenne or red pepper flakes.
  • What should I pair with oxtail?
    Grilled oxtail is a versatile main course that pairs beautifully with a variety of sides. Starchy options like rice & peas and coconut rice soak up the flavorful sauce, while fried plantains offer a sweet and textural contrast. For a more balanced plate, consider collard greens, which add a touch of bitterness and essential vegetables. If you prefer a creamy counterpoint, mashed potatoes are another great choice.
  • How to store cooked oxtail?
    Let leftover cooked oxtail cool completely, then store it in the fridge (wrapped tightly in foil or a container, whole or shredded) for 3-4 days, or freeze it (double wrapped tightly with plastic wrap then a bag/container and labeled with the date) for up to 3 months.
  • How should I reheat oxtail?
    Reheat it low and slow (oven or stovetop) with a splash of broth or water to avoid drying. Don't blast it with heat! Aim for an internal temperature of 165°F. You can reheat it wrapped in foil in the oven at 250°F for 20–30 minutes, or simmer it in a pan with a lid on the stovetop for 10–15 minutes. Just remember to let it rest for a few minutes before digging in for the best flavor and texture.
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Reviews
5.0
3 Reviews
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Omg This is the best oxtail recipe. My husband has prepared three times and each time the oxtails are the first meat to clear the table. The last time everyone waited til 9pm just to get a plate.
Date published: 2023-10-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thank You Daddy Duncan This will be my first time trying this receipt but I am so excited to do so... My heritages are DUNCAN's ... O' it got to be good.
Date published: 2021-07-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great recipe I've used this recipe several times....MAN! oxtails turnout on point...I've had several people ask me to sell plates!! Forget any other recipe...this is it!!
Date published: 2021-01-12
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