Welcome to my Ultimate Guide To Smoked Meat. If you love smoked meat then you will love this post and it also includes the best ever smoked meat recipes!
Smoked meats go back centuries. It was a way past cultures could preserve meats from going back when there was no refrigeration. Meat would be cured in salt and smoked where it could last years without spoiling.
Today, smoking meat is still done for creating many popular types of smoked meats like bacon, ham, and smoked fish. It’s also handy for adding flavor to dishes like pulled pork. We’re here to share our ultimate guide into smoked meat to help get you started.
What is Smoked Meat?
Smoked meat is meat and seafood that is exposed to smoke at low temperatures. It’s usually treated to a dry rub of sugar and salt first and then placed into a smoker where it absorbs smoke for hours.
If you’re thinking of smoked meats, you’re thinking of things like bacon, barbecued ribs, pastrami, smoked sausages, brisket, and even hams. Smoked meat often uses a cheaper cut of meat that isn’t as tender.
Smoking in for hours at 200 to 300 degrees F breaks down the tougher tissue and makes the meat melt in your mouth. Temperature is key. You don’t want the meat to cook too quickly. It needs time to absorb the flavoring the smoke adds.
Equipment Needed for Smoked Meat
Fancy equipment isn’t needed for smoked meat. If you have a gas or charcoal grill that seals well, you’re set. You will need wood chips. There are so many kinds of wood chips. These are the ones that are easiest to find.
You might find blends, too. A blend usually has a mix of three or four types of wood chips. A typical combination is apple, hickory, and oak. You can also create your own if you have favourites.
If you’re throwing them right onto coals, you should soak them for at least 30 minutes prior to use. If you’d rather skip this step, save yourself some hassle and purchase a smoker box.
A smoker box is a stainless steel, heat-proof box with a hinged lid. Fill the box with wood chips and set it on the grill. As it heats up, the wood chips smolder and release smoke. If you’re using a gas grill, a smoker box is a must.
Types of Meats to Smoke
Any tougher cut of meat is ideal for smoking. You can also smoke fish, poultry, and game. Some of the more popular cuts for smoking are:
- Beef brisket
- Pork ribs
- Turkey legs
If you’re feeling adventurous and have a crowd coming over, a whole smoked pig makes for a stunning meal. You can also smoke a lamb leg and feed a crowd.
Benefits of Smoked Meat
Smoked meat cooks a low temperature, so you don’t have to be actively manning the grill for hours. You actually want to get it started, get the temperature set, and leave it alone. You’ll need to be around and make sure the temperature isn’t dropping too much or getting too high. You don’t have to be turning the meat constantly.
Meat is full of protein, but there’s also fat. Smoking renders fat, so it can be lower in fat.
Tips for Perfect Smoked Meats
#1 – Monitor the Temperature
If you don’t already have a digital thermometer with a wired probe, you should invest in one. A thermometer that connects to Wi-Fi and sends alerts to your phone is even better. If the temperature fluctuates too much, you’ll know instantly and can adjust as needed. You’ll also know when the meat you’re smoking is at the correct temperature.
#2 – Save Money and Smoke Sale Meats
Stock up on meats you find on sale or in clearance bins. They tend to be the tougher cuts of meat that people don’t buy as readily. They’re perfect for smoking.
#3 – Don’t Buy Pre-Packaged Spice Rubs
Another tip for saving is to skip buying spice rubs in the baking aisle. Make your own rubs. You’ll get a fresher rub that you can make in bulk and store in the freezer. You want a sugar to salt ratio of about 3:1. Add spices like paprika, chili powder, black pepper, cinnamon, and whatever suits you.
Top 10 Smoked Meat Recipes You Need To Try
Fire up your grill, add some wood chips, and start smoking. If you’re looking for some inspiration, try these smoked meat recipes.
I love that delicious taste of smoked Ham and this lady has really nailed it!
Is it wrong that I want to binge eat on these delicious smoked Cornish game hens? I love the taste of Cornish hens and this gives it a delicious long lasting flavour.
My daughter eats chicken wings like a dog. She will literally eat the entire wing meat until you are left with a shiny bone. She is 3 and I can’t believe for her age how much she likes chicken wings like this at such a young age.
If you love a rib roast then you will love this smoked version. It is so good that you will be back for 2nds and 3rds.
I love pork shoulder and as soon as hear the words “pork shoulder” I am there. Its so delicious and perfect for easy family summer meals.
My summer is just not the same without smoked BBQ ribs. I love to have them with a big fat cobb salad and plenty of napkins to mop up the juices.
If you love soup, then you will absolutely love this smoked pork soup. It is perfect for some rustic summer bread for you and your family.
If you love brisket, then try this Texas inspired one that is smoked to perfection. Once this is sliced up, I am sure everyone will be lost in food heaven.
If you love lamb, then you must try smoked rack of lamb. Of course, it is way too good for sharing!
Chuck roast smoked has my name written all over it. It’s worth buying a smoker box just for this one recipe!
Cave Tools Meat Smoker Put To The Test
We have often heard about the Cave Tools Meat Smoker and we were dying to put it to the test!
The Cave Tools Meat Smoker is fantastic because:
- Begins smoking in approximately 10 minutes
- Better for the environment thanks to the long-lasting, durable design
- Can be used on gas or charcoal grills
- Comes with a downloadable guide with recipes and videos
- Compact size holds a lot of chips without taking up much grill space
- Doesn’t warp in heat
- Hinged lid for easy opening
- Lifetime money-back refund
- Thick stainless steel construction
- Wood chips do not burn due to box design
Is Cave Tools Meat Smoker Worth It?
I love cooking with wood chips. Whether I’m cooking on the charcoal grill or in our small smoker, ribs, pulled pork, and brisket all benefit from the smokiness gained by adding some soaked chips to charcoal or a foil package of wood chips on the grates of the gas grill. This was my first try with a smoker box, and I was very pleased with the Cave Tools Smoker Box.
The box is very durable. It’s made of thick stainless steel and didn’t show any signs of warping after a couple hours of use. Plus, it was so easy to clean up after. There are no holes in the bottom, so the wood chips don’t burn to ashes. They char and smoulder but remain whole. When I was done, I waited for the box to cool, tipped the chips into the compost bin, and was done with clean-up. I love how quick and easy it was to clean the grill after.
There’s no soaking the chips. Flip open the lid, fill the box with whatever wood chips you prefer, close the lid and place it on the grate. The instructions say to place it between the flavorizer bars and grill grate. I was baffled. I had to look up flavorizer bar and found that it’s just the shield that keeps juices and grease from falling onto the burner. Mine is so angled, there’s no way this box would sit on that bar anyway. I placed them right on the grill grate.
Once in place, it took about 10 minutes before I could see and smell smoke coming from the box. I added the pork shoulder, turned off that side of the grill so that I had the meat off the flames and cooking at just over 225 degrees F. Every 30 minutes or so, I checked the level of the charred chips. They did seem to burn out after about 45 minutes, so I added them when needed.
Once I’d smoked the pork for a couple hours, I moved it to my slow cooker with onions and beer. It was the greatest pulled pork I’ve made in a while. I saved propane, didn’t have to spend all day checking the grill in between chores, and the smoker box kept away the mess, which is a definite win-win.
Overall – The Cave Tools Stainless Steel Smoker Box for wood chips is worth every penny. It’s so easy to use. It’s even easier to clean up after. The smoke infused the pork with the flavour I wanted and never got messy. You have to try this grill accessory. Once you have, you’ll wish you tried it ages ago.
You can buy the Cave Tools Meat Smoker by clicking on the banner or by clicking here. We wholeheartedly recommend it for providing you with the best smoked meat solution.
Or even better Save 15% off any purchase on their website by using the coupon code MEDIUMRARE (all caps).