Cooking Guide: What Are The Best Meats To Smoke?

Cooking Guide: What Are The Best Meats To Smoke?

The art of cooking is a passion that usually starts out of the love in pleasing a love one. Then on, it has gotten more complex in time. The simple barbecue that was known to be the first method of cooking has grown into many ways like grilling, baking, frying and so on.

Smoking is one of the methods in cooking meat. So for your cooking guide, we are going to reveal to you the best meats to smoke.


What Does Smoking Meat Mean?

Smoking meat is a method of cooking food like barbecue. It is also called the browning, seasoning or preserving (storing) with the use of smoke. The only difference is that it is being cooked as far away from the fire as possible.

What Does Smoking Meat Mean?

Using indirect heat, the meat is cooked placed in the very far upward part of the area where there are a lot of smoke. The heat source could be coal or wood, gas or electric and steaming.

The Best Meats For Smoking


Poultry considered as the easiest meat to smoke, this is the first choice since it cooks fast. If you need to feed your family for dinner, then you can smoke it in the afternoon. It would only take a few hours before its done.

The Best Meats For Smoking: Poultry


  • For faster smoking, chicken must be more or less 8 lbs.
  • If you are in a bit of a hurry, you can opt for chicken cutlets. It is a lot cheaper too.


Smoking is best for cooking big cuts of meat. Preferably the shoulder, butt or ribs part would be excellent. 

The Best Meats For Smoking: Pork

These cuts offer a lot of delicious fat that runs during the process of smoking. As the fat linger over time on the skin, it naturally seasons the meat into perfection!


The top of all the best meat is the beef. Welcome the beef brisket! It always ends up tender and juicy. It has this delectable fatty part that is moist and so mouthwatering to the last bite. It is so luscious!

The good thing in here is that beef brisket is very common in local markets and groceries. It is often offered on sale too!

The Best Meats For Smoking: Beef Brisket


  • Choose a brisket with a level cut (mostly flat).
  • Another option is the prime rib. However, it is very expensive so if you are not yet and expert in the method of smoking, start with the brisket first.


Surprised? Yeah, lamb is very good meat in smoking. Try the shoulder part. It has this oozing fat that turns out into a perfect cook. This is very popular, especially for outdoor parties.

It is not always available in certain markets so you’ve got to keep an eye on days that they do sell it, you might even negotiate a good price.

The Best Meats For Smoking: Lamb


  • 2nd choice for the shoulder is the leg. It does not cook fast as the shoulder and you need to find an appropriate position in your smoker to give it an even cook, but it is worth it.


You know what comes first when you think smoking meat with seafood? Salmon!

The Best Meats For Smoking: Salmon

Yeah, it has lots of fat that when you smoke it, it gives an awesome taste that would champion every meal. It is always available too.

Steps In Smoking Meat



Using cooking tools, of course, makes your cooking a lot convenient, faster and easy. A long time ago, our ancestors just do it with a hole in the ground. Now, lucky us, we have a lot of options!

Below are the different smokers for you to choose from.

  • Wood - The favorite source of heat, it is said that it gives the best flavor. Hardwood block and chips do the part since they burn well. It is important to keep an eye on it though since it quickly burns, you need to feed it frequently.
    To give you more clear idea on how it is, here is a video for you to watch:
  • Charcoal - If you are a newbie in smoking meat, it is best to start using a charcoal. It does not need for you to keep on watching over it. It burns longer and its heat is constant. It is much easier than wood.
    Here is a video to show you how:
  • Gas - Getting hi-tech? Of course, gas is very easy and quick to use. You do not need to worry about monitoring the temp and easy to heat. However, it does not produce the same tasty meat compared to wood and charcoal.
    Here is a video demo using gas:
  • Electric - Much better than gas, it heats fast. This is very useful for multi-tasking especially if you are going to have a party within the day. All you need to do is put the meat inside, and take it out when the timer comes off. The electric smoker is costly though and like gas, it does not have that authentic flavor that the wood and charcoal can offer.
    Here is a video to show you:


The most important factor in smoking using wood is the type of wood you choose to use. As they say, a different type of wood, a different type of taste to the meat. You can opt to use and mix them all though. A little experiment won’t hurt.

Steps In Smoking Meat: Choose Your Wood

Do you think you can have all the different flavors too? Huh? Choose from this wood types:

  • Mesquite - The result is yummy but gives you a very concentrated taste.
  • Hickory - Best used when you have red meat.
  • Oak - Suitable to use when you have big cuts. It burns longer than the others.
  • Cherry - If your favorite cuts are beef and pork.
  • Apple - Best used for poultry, seafood, and pork too!


Two methods of smoking meat:

  • Dry method - Is the method of smoking without using water, this is the traditional way.
  • Wet method - Water is used when smoking just to keep the temperature stable. Some smokers are built to have a compartment for water. When using charcoal or wood, you can actually improvise and just put water in any container and place it in the smoker. See to it that it never runs out.


Prepare your smokers and wood. Be sure to wet the wood chips before starting the heat. Leave the big woods dry.



Whatever meat you prefer, smoking gives its own yummy flavor but if you want to add more spice and twist to its taste, you can do marinating, brining or rub.



While you are still burning the woods. Keep your marinated meat within room temperature. It would help in making sure that the meat is cooked evenly.



Steps In Smoking Meat: It's Smoking Time

Place the meat in the smoker. Make sure you have set the needed time if you are using an electric smoker. Either way, you need to know how long it needs to be cooked.



To keep the moisture, you need to baste the meat once in a while. Keep it covered too. Yet you need to cover it after an average of 2-3 hours of smoking.



During smoking, you must be vigilant in monitoring the temperature. When it reaches the desired temperature. You can take the meat out. It is completely done.

Below is the suitable temp for the type of meat:

  • Poultry - 165 deg. C
  • Pork - 160 deg. C
  • Beef steaks, pork chops - 145 deg. C


The most effective way of knowing that you have smoked the meat just right is to look for the smoke ring. It should be at the yummy outer part of the meat.

Steps In Smoking Meat: Look For The Smoke Ring

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Smoke rings happen when there is a chemical reaction in when the smoke penetrates the meat. The color should be pink and it is the result of the nitric acid in it.

Now you know what smoking meat is all about and you can now choose the meat of your choice when it comes to that. I wonder what you would choose? Basing on our steps provided on how to do the smoking method, you should be able to do it pronto.

Take notice of the tips too since it would be a simple reminder to guide you how to make it perfect. Here are 5 additional techniques/tips to help you:

We all know that smoking meat is controversial when talking about health risks. It is best that you should understand its nutritional value and probable disadvantages if eaten in certain conditions.

Health risks means it is avoidable, provided you heed precautions. You can always put a wonderful balance in all good things. Try to research and know more about its pros and cons. Knowing is a great help.

For me, the best meat for smoking is pork. It always is! Share your ideas with friends and know what their meat choices too.

Cooking Guide: What Are The Best Meats To Smoke?
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About the Author Rose

There’s nothing in this world that excites me more other than cooking. From appetizers to desserts, since then, I’ve always been passionate on making foods.

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