How to cook oxtails on the stovetop? | Professional guide

Are you a home chef looking to add another delicious dish to your repertoire? Oxtails cooked on the stovetop can make a delectable meal. This classic recipe is full of flavor and relatively easy to prepare, making it an ideal comfort food for colder months. Keep reading if you’re ready to learn how to cook oxtails on the stovetop.

What are oxtails?

Oxtails are the tail of cows or other large animals, typically used to make soup or stew. The tail is made up of many small bones connected by tendons and covered in a thin layer of fat. It can be prepared using a variety of methods, but for this recipe we’ll focus on cooking oxtails on the stovetop.

What are oxtails?

Oxtails nutrition facts

Oxtail is a good source of protein, with 24g per 3.5-ounce (100g) serving. It’s also rich in iron, zinc, and certain B vitamins like niacin and thiamine. Oxtails are high in fat and cholesterol, but they can be cooked in a way that reduces the total amount of fat consumed.

The best temperature to cook oxtails on the stovetop

When cooking oxtails on the stovetop, it’s important to get the temperature right. A low-medium heat of around 350°F is best for tenderizing and infusing flavor into the meat. Make sure to keep an eye on the pot while cooking so that the heat doesn’t get too high or too low.

Preparing the oxtails for cooking on the stovetop

Before cooking oxtails on the stovetop, it’s important to prepare them properly. Start by patting the pieces dry with a paper towel and then season them generously with salt and pepper. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large pot over medium heat before adding the oxtails in batches, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Once all the oxtails are in the pot, brown them on all sides for about 8 minutes.

How to cook oxtails on the stovetop?


  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 2 lbs. oxtails, cut into pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the oxtails and brown on all sides for about 8 minutes.
  2. Once the oxtails are browned, add garlic, onion, carrots, and celery to the pot and sauté until vegetables are softened.
  3. Pour in the beef broth and Worcestershire sauce, stirring to combine. Add the bay leaves and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 2-3 hours, or until oxtails are tender. Stir occasionally while stewing to prevent burning on the bottom of the pot.
  5. Once cooked, remove oxtails from the pot and serve with your favorite side dishes.

Now that you know how to cook oxtails on the stovetop, it’s time to start experimenting in the kitchen. Try adding different herbs or vegetables for extra flavor.

How long to cook oxtails on the stovetop?

The time it takes to cook oxtails on the stovetop will vary based on the size of the pieces and how tender you prefer them. Generally, it takes about 2-3 hours on a low-medium heat for the oxtails to become tender. You can check every hour or so to make sure they are not overcooking and adjust the heat if needed.

Factors influencing cooking time of oxtails on the stovetop

  • Size of the pieces: Smaller oxtails will cook faster than larger ones, so make sure to adjust cooking time accordingly.
  • Heat level: A low-medium heat is best for tenderizing oxtails, but if you prefer them to be very tender, you may need to increase the heat slightly.
  • Type of pot used: Heavy duty pots retain heat better, so if you’re using a thin-bottomed pot, you may need to adjust cooking time accordingly.

Benefits of cooking oxtails on the stovetop

Cooking oxtails on the stovetop has many benefits. It’s a great way to infuse flavor into the meat, and it’s relatively easy to do. Plus, you can control the heat level so you don’t end up overcooking or burning your meal. Oxtails cooked this way are packed with flavor and perfect for making soups and stews.

Benefits of cooking oxtails on the stovetop

Tips for cooking oxtails on the stovetop perfectly

  • Start by seasoning the oxtails with salt and pepper before browning them in a pot.
  • Make sure to cook on low-medium heat to prevent burning.
  • Sauté the vegetables first before adding the oxtails, as this will help infuse flavor into the soup/stew.
  • Add spices or herbs to the pot for extra flavor.
  • Stir occasionally while cooking to prevent burning on the bottom of the pot.
  • Check the oxtails every hour or so to ensure they’re not overcooking.
  • Let the oxtails cool slightly before serving, as this will help them retain their juices and flavors.

With these tips and a little practice, you’ll be able to make delicious oxtails cooked on the stovetop. Serve them with your favorite sides for a hearty comfort food meal.

Serving suggestions for cooked oxtails on the stovetop

Cooked oxtails on the stovetop can be served with a variety of side dishes. Mashed potatoes, white rice, or pasta are all great options to pair with this dish. You can also try adding vegetables like carrots, peas, or corn for extra nutrition and flavor. If you’re looking for an alternative to classic sides, grilled asparagus or braised kale are great options. Top the oxtails with freshly chopped parsley or chives for a pop of color and flavor, and you’ll have an amazing meal that everyone will enjoy.

How to store leftover cooked oxtails on the stovetop?

Leftover oxtails can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days. Make sure to keep them in an airtight container, as this will help preserve their flavor and texture. You can also freeze cooked oxtails for up to six months by wrapping them tightly in freezer-safe containers or bags. When ready to enjoy, simply thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then heat on the stovetop or in the oven until hot. Enjoy your oxtails with your favorite side dishes for a delicious and comforting meal.

How to store leftover cooked oxtails on the stovetop?

Conclusion: How to cook oxtails on the stovetop?

Cooking oxtails on the stovetop is easy and rewarding. Start by seasoning the pieces with salt and pepper before browning them in a pot. Then, add vegetables to the pot along with beef broth and Worcestershire sauce for extra flavor. Simmer on low-medium heat for two to three hours or until the oxtails are tender. Serve with your favorite sides for a hearty and delicious meal. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer for later use. With these tips, you’ll be able to master cooking oxtails on the stovetop in no time.

FAQ: Cook oxtails

Why does oxtail take so long to cook?

Ever wondered why oxtail takes so long to cook? It’s all about the amazing composition of this cut. With its abundance of connective tissue, cartilage, and precious bone marrow, oxtail requires the gentle art of slow cooking. Specifically, braising in a moist heat is the key to breaking down these components. So, it’s simply a matter of giving oxtail the time it needs, adding a braising liquid, and doing very little work yourself.

How do you tenderize oxtails before cooking?

Enhance the tenderness of oxtails with these expert techniques. Opt for the flavorsome method of braising rather than boiling, and let the low and slow cook work its magic. This not only adds depth to the stock but also remarkably tenderizes the meat, cartilage, and even extracts rich flavors from the bones and marrow.

Why are my oxtails not tender after cooking?

Trouble with tough oxtails? If your slow cooker hasn’t delivered tender results after 5 hours, it’s likely that the low setting is not providing enough heat.

Should I soak oxtails in vinegar before cooking?

Enhance flavor and tenderness: Soak your oxtails in vinegar for just 5 minutes. Then, simply drain and rinse with cold water. This simple technique effectively eliminates any lingering blood while providing a tenderizing touch.

Is it possible to overcook oxtail?

Oxtail can indeed be overcooked, as the connective tissues and collagen can become excessively tender. To prevent this, it is recommended to monitor your braising stock and adjust cooking times as needed. This will ensure consistently moist and tender results every time.

How do you know when oxtails are done cooking?

Determining the doneness of oxtails: indicators and characteristics to look for. When the meat achieves a delicate texture, resembling jelly, and effortlessly detaches from the bones, you can be certain it is cooked to perfection.

Do you remove fat from oxtails before cooking it?

Should you trim fat from oxtails before cooking? Excess fat can result in an undesirable greasiness. To avoid this, consider removing any visible fat before cooking the oxtails.

Is it necessary to wash oxtails before cooking?

Properly cleaning and trimming the oxtails before seasoning and cooking is crucial, including removing as much fat as possible.

Do you have to brown oxtails before you cook them?

To enhance flavor and caramelize the oxtail, it is essential to thoroughly brown it in hot oil before adding any cooking liquid.

Why do my oxtails taste bitter after cooking?

Prevent bitter oxtails: Achieve perfect tenderness by adjusting cooking times and heat levels. Oxtail’s rich fat content calls for a longer, slower cook. Avoid bitterness by carefully monitoring your cooking process. If necessary, add a touch of sugar to counteract any unwanted bitterness.