Thors Hammer Beef Shank

Thors Hammer Beef Shank

Thors Hammer has been on my cooking bucket list for a few years. It’s a very intimidating piece of meat, mostly because of its size, but also because it contains a bunch of intramuscular tissue that makes it tough with tendon and sinew.  When handled properly, this cut makes the best pulled beef, amazing beefy gravy and quite the shots forInstagram!  I was fortunate to have a beef shank given to me by a You Need a BBQ customer.  He wanted to know the best way to cook it, but I couldn’t tell him, because I had never actually cooked one.  So, after he dropped it off, I spent a week coming up with a plan of attack and then this past weekend, I executed it.  Let me tell you, it was amazing.  We served it pulled on rice with caramelized onions, beef gravy and corn succotash salad. My lucky dog got the bone afterwards, so there was no waste in this cook.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 hours
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Beef
Difficulty: Medium
Servings: 6 People
Author: Russell Bird



  • Prep
    Preheat theSmoker to 275 degrees.
    Remove thebeef shank from any packaging.  The shankI was given had 3 strings wrapped around it to keep the meat on the bone anduniform, this came in handy as te shank started to tenderize.  So if your shank is not already tied, I’drecommend throwing some string or wire around it.  I seasoned quite heavily with Yonedas whiteand then a coat of Yonedas gold over the top afterwards.  I let the meat setup on the counter for about20 minutes before putting it on the smoker.
  • Place theThors Hammer on the smoker
    My smokeris tall enough, so I put the shank on the smoker, bone side down.  This helps to protect the meat from some ofthe heat and get a more even cook.  Ifyou don’t have the height required then consider putting the shank on a wirerack, elevated off the cooking grills. Smoke the hammer until it reaches around 160 degrees internal temperateor gets to be the dark color you are looking for.
  • Wrapping the hammer
    Raise thesmoker temperature upto 350 degrees.
    When wrapping the shank, it’s important to add additional liquid to the wrap.  I used about 1 liter of beef broth.  I heated the beef broth up on the stove, half wrapped the shank and then poured the hot beef broth into the foil, then sealed up the foil.  Then I added a second layer of foil to prevent any punctures that could release the beef broth into the smoker.  I added an extra layer of protection by placing the whole wrapped shank into a deep cake pan that could catch any spilling liquid.  Make sure the wraps are tight because you want the liquid to envelope the meat and braise the meat (not steam it!)
  • Cook until tender
    I probed the meat inside the foil and took it up to an internal temperature of 208degrees.  I removed it from the smoker and wasn’t incredibly happy with the tenderness, so I re-wrapped and let it cook for an additional 30 minutes.  After that I pulled it off the smoker and put it into a cooler to rest for 1 hour.
  • Serving the Beef Shank
    I pulled the meat off the bone to make an incredible rich beefy shredded beef.  I reserved the jus from the foil to make a grazy and served it on rice with caramelized onions.  But the uses for shredded beef are endless, from beef tacos to sandwiches, chili or pizza toppings.  Let us know what you decide to go with!
  • Step byStep
    1.     Preheat Smoker to 275 degrees
    2.     Season the beef shank with Yonedas White and Yonedas Gold.
    3.     Smoke until it reaches internal temp of 160 degrees.
    4.     Wrap with foil and pour in 1 liter of beef broth.
    5.     Braise the meat back on the smoke rat 350 degrees until 208 degrees internal
    6.     Confirm tenderness and rest for 1-3hours.
    7.     Serve shredded with your choice of sides.


Additional Thoughts:
What is a Thors Hammer?
ThorsHammer is the leg of a cow, with the meat pushed down to create a bulbous hammer looking piece.  This can come off the front or hind legs of a cow, we cooked a rear leg for this one. You can tell the different because the front legs are cut to the shoulder and the hind legs are cut to the hip, so the joint looks different.  This extremely lean cut has lots of connective tissue, so it needs to be cooked for a long time to break the tissue down and make it pleasurable to eat.
Is this recipe healthy?
Yes, beef shank contains very little fat. This lean cut is a great way to get tonnes of beefy flavour without packing on additional calories from fat.
What ifI am Gluten Free?
This recipe is entirely gluten free.  So if your celiac friends are coming for dinner, this is a great recipe to give a try.
Where can I buy Thors Hammer?
Call your local butcher!  Many local butcher shops bring in whole animals for breaking down, you won’t usually find this cut when walking the aisles of your local grocery store. This cut can be sold as Thors Hammer, Beef Shank, Osso Bucco , beef shin, Fore Shank, Hind Shank, Beef leg. All of these cuts of names of cuts can be prepared in this method.
Tools and Accessories required to complete this recipe.
To complete this recipe, there are a few things you will need including tools and accessories.  Some of these tools are optional, but they will make your life easier if you have all of them.
1.     100% hardwood Wood Pellets
2.     BBQ Gloves
3.     Pellet Grill or charcoal smoker
4.     You Need a BBQ Cutting Board
5.     Foil Tray
6.     Aluminum Foil
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop