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Smoked Beef Shank – Thor’s Hammer

This Smoked Beef Shank was not only massive, it was massively delicious. Also known as Thor’s Hammer, or Mjollnir (pronounced Me-yol-neer), it takes a lot of time and care to get this giant beef shin to transform into the tender, beefy, fall-apart meal you see pictured below. The good news is that most of it is passive time, so you can kick back and relax into your weekend and wait for one of the best dinners you’ve ever had.

Traeger Smoked Beef Shank

If you’ve been seeing these giant beef shanks all over the internets lately, you aren’t alone. Beef Shanks, also known as “Thor’s Hammer” are everywhere these days and for really good reason. They are impressive, like a Tomahawk steak is, and so full of beefy, savory flavor.

This is a great recipe to show off your smoking skills, and it is faux-fancy. It seems like it is really hard to make, but it is actually simple, and mostly hands-off.

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Smoked Beef Shank shopping list

Wondering if you have to hit the store? Here’s the list of items you’ll need to make this recipe. For specific amounts, please refer to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • beef shin bone (trimmed)
  • granulated garlic
  • rock salt
  • black pepper
  • onion powder
  • beef stock
  • red wine
  • bay leaf
  • pearl onions
  • baby potatoes
  • carrots
  • cornstarch

Ask your butcher to trim your beef shin for you

We have a fantastic grocery store near us called Central Market. It is part of a local chain called Town & Country Markets, and we are frequent fliers there. They have to best ingredients, all kinds of unique and hard-to-find stuff, and the staff is always so helpful. They’ve saved pork neck bones for me before for my Homemade Tonkotsu broth. They’ve answered countless questions, helped me find things, offered help out to my car, etc. It is by far my favorite grocery store. (And no, they aren’t paying me to say that. 😉 I paid for this beef shin all by myself, and they are not sponsoring this post.)

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Meet Amir! My new favorite butcher.

When I stopped by the meat department and asked for a “Thor’s Hammer”, the team had never heard of that before but didn’t hesitate to help me out after I described what I wanted. (Ask for a beef shin, trimmed so there’s a “handle” of bone exposed. Keep that meat they trim off, but tell them to ditch most of the fat that’s trimmed away.)

This will save you a ton of work that can be done in minutes by an experienced butcher with the right tools. I also tend to have the meat department slice my pork shoulder for Smoked Al Pastor too!

How to make Traeger Smoked Beef Shank

This is just the overview so you can see what you’re actually getting into here. When you are cooking, you’ll want to use the full recipe at the bottom of the page.



225° is the target. We’re going low-and-slow and want to get lots of smoke into this meat.


Season and Smoke

Season with the salt, pepper, garlic and onion powders. Put the shank on the grill and smoke for 4-5 hours.



Put the shank in a roasting pan with the broth, wine, onions, and bay leaf. Cover and cook for another 1 1/2 hours.


Time for vegetables

Remove the cover and add in your potatoes and carrots. Cook another 1 1/2 hours.



Test the tenderness of your shank at this time. It should be fall-apart tender, or close to it. If it isn’t fall-apart tender yet, re-cover and cook another 30-45 minutes and check again.


Make gravy

Mix your cornstarch slurry together and set aside. Remove the shank from the roasting pan along with the potatoes and carrots.

On the stovetop, heat the braising liquid to a simmer and whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Cook until thickened.



Serve with the carrots, and potatoes and some crusty bread. Ladle gravy over everything and enjoy!

Don’t skip on our Traeger Smoked Prime Rib Roast!

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Smoked Beef Shank FAQ

How do you store leftovers?

Cover tightly and store refrigerated for up to 5 days. The leftovers make a great stew too!

What’s the best way to reheat leftovers?

The microwave works really well for reheating these. I’d suggest reheating the gravy separately though. That typically takes longer to reheat than the other items do, and the end result will be better if you heat the things separately.

Love venison? Try our Grilled Venison Backstrap recipe!

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Yield: 8 servings

Smoked Beef Shank

Smoked Beef Shank

Thor's Hammer, aka the smoked beef shank, has been rising in popularity recently in the states, and for great reason. It is impressive, meaty, and super tender and juicy when cooked low-and-slow and brainsed.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 1 whole beef shin bone (trimmed)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon rock salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 6 cups beef stock
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 bay leave
  • 12 pearl onions
  • 4 pounds small red and gold potatoes
  • 2 pounds carrots


  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 tablespoons cold water


  1. Preheat the pellet grill to 225°.
  2. Mix the salt, pepper, garlic, and onion powder together and sprinkle evenly over the entire beef shank.
  3. Place beef shank into a cake pan and put it on your smoker. Smoke for 4-5 hours.
  4. Remove beef shank from the grill and place it into a large roasting pan. Add in the beef stock, wine, bay leaf, and pearl onions. We cooked it standing up on end, but you could also lay it down if space necessitates it.
  5. Cover with the lid or a foil tent if the lid won’t close all the way. (Since the pot is covered, there won't be anymore benefit from cooking on the grill. If you'd rather, you can move this part to the oven. If you don't want to heat up your house, you can keep it on the grill.)
  6. Place back on the grill for 1 1/2 hours at 325°. Check for tenderness. It won't be fall-apart tender at this point, but you should be able to stick a fork in it pretty easily.
  7. Add the carrots and potatoes to the pan.
  8. Cover and cook for another 1 1/2 hours at 325.
  9. Check the beef and vegetables. All should be fork tender.
  10. If desired, remove all the meat and vegetables from the pot and bring the braising liquid to a simmer. Mix together the cornstarch slurry and slowly drizzle into the simmering broth, whisking while adding. Add and stir until the mixture is as thick as you'd prefer. (You may not need the entire slurry mixture, or if you like it thick you may need a little extra.)

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 193Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 1229mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 5gSugar: 7gProtein: 9g

Nutrition data provided here is only an estimate.

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Nicole Johnson

Nicole Johnson, a self-taught expert in grilling and outdoor cooking, launched Or Whatever You Do in 2010. Her blog, renowned for its comprehensive and creative outdoor cooking recipes, has garnered a vast audience of millions. Nicole's hands-on experience and passion for grilling shine through her work. Her husband, Jeremiah Johnson, also plays a pivotal role in recipe development, adding his culinary flair to the mix. Together, they form a dynamic duo, offering a rich and varied outdoor cooking experience to their followers.

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