8 Tips for Smoking Meat

Do you love the flavor of slow smoked meat? If you’re new to smoking, with a few tips and a little practice, you too can cook delicious smoked food on a smoker. If you’re just looking to hone your craft, it always comes back to the basics, doesn’t it? Here are 8 Tips for Smoking Meat.

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Don’t Over Smoke
1. Aim for a thin white/blueish smoke from the exhaust vent. How you build the fire and load the firebox directly affects the smoke output. Airflow is key to a clean burning fire that produces the smoke you want. A dense, darker smoke can overpower the taste of the food.
Spritz to Keep Moist
2. When a meat’s surface dries, it forms a barrier that prevents smoke infusion. Spritzing meat with fruit juices, cider vinegar or water while smoking keeps it moist. You can add other ingredients like Worchester sauce, olive oil and soy sauce for flavor variations.
Calculate the Smoking Time
3. Make sure to use the right amount of wood for the desired smoking time. As a general rule, you’ll burn roughly one wood chunk for every hour of smoking.
Don’t Peek
4. Raising the lid too often can significantly lengthen the cooking time as the heat escapes your smoker every time. The only time you should lift the lid is for spritzing the meat or checking the internal temperature.
Use Peach Butcher Paper
5. Use FDA approved, food grade peach butcher paper instead of aluminum foil to wrap meat while smoking. The peach butcher paper will keep the meat moist while allowing smoke to penetrate its surface for that smoky flavor you love.
Use a Water Pan (optional)
6. Place a large aluminum pan with 1-2 inches of water over the heat source. The evaporating water will help to keep your smoker at the ideal temperature for most cooks, between 225°F and 275°F.
Hot TipUsing a water pan is optional and can increase condensation under the smoker lid. Adding spices, beer or wine to the water pan can be used to infuse an added layer of flavor into your food.
Use a Marinade Injector
7. Prior to smoking, inject large pieces of meat with sauces that contain butter, herbs, beef or chicken broth using a marinade injector. The injected liquid will add flavor to the meat and keep it juicy, especially for long smoking times.
Collect Drippings
8. Place an aluminum drip pan under the meat to collect drippings to make gravy or au jus sauce. If you’re using a rack or roast holder, the meat can sit in the pan. Otherwise, place the pan below the grate.

Smoking is one of the most delicious and time-honored ways to cook meat. And you’ll enjoy it so much more when it’s smoked exactly the way you like it. Experiment with these tips for smoking meat and see what works best for you. But most important, have fun with it.


Ready to try your hand at some Applewood Smoked Wings or Smoked Pork Ribs?

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