Are you ready to embrace summer and start cooking your meets in a smoker? Check out these seven good meats to smoke for a delicious meal.
Smoking meat is an ancient tradition that lost its appeal once preservatives and other chemicals took over. These days, we all want to embrace natural flavors and foods, which is where smoking shines above the rest.
If you’re new to the smoking game, it’s difficult to know which meats are good meats to smoke. There are so many cuts out there, which ones are the best?
If you’re not sure, check out this list of the top meats that work like magic in a smoker. Even for a beginner, these meats are sure to turn into a meal you’ll savor with every single bite.
1. Beef Brisket
Brisket is one of the most popular meats for smoking. It’s one of the more difficult meats on our list, but it’s also the most rewarding.
The thick layer of fat on a brisket keeps the smoked meat moist and tender and protects it from drying out or getting tough. It also creates the perfect sponge of that delicious smokey flavor we all want in our meats.
What’s nice about brisket is that it’s easy to find in most supermarkets, so you won’t even need to go to a butcher to get started. It’s a good idea to get some experience under your belt before tackling brisket, but even beginners can get beautiful depths of flavor with this cut.
It’s hard to beat this classic choice for any menu. Pork ribs are a cheap cut of meat that smokes to perfection and makes it easy to try lots of different wood flavors without breaking the bank.
Some people don’t enjoy ribs due to all of the bones to eat around, but the infusion of flavor is hard to beat. The bones are what helps give ribs their tenderness and punch of flavor, so never try to smoke rib meat that is cut off from the bone.
Making several racks of ribs is enough for everyone in your family and if you do it right, the meat falls right off the bones so there’s no hassle involved.
Ribs work great with budget-friendly propane smokers.
3. Pork Shoulder
If you’re feeling uncertain about which meats to smoke, pork shoulder is a great one to choose as your first attempt. It’s a forgiving cut of meat with plenty of fat throughout to keep it from becoming too dry. It also loves to soak up flavor so you’ll never end up with a dud.
It’s the perfect choice for beginners who want to step into the smoking world without spending too much in one go.
Many cuts of ham already come pre-smoked, but sometimes we want something fresher or stronger than what the supermarket provides. Hams are great for smoking purposes because of the ring of fat that protects the meat.
Most hams come pre-cooked as well, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t throw them into your smoker. A pre-smoked ham is a perfect candidate for getting even more of that delicious smokey flavor.
You’ll want a lower temperature since you’re only trying to increase the flavors rather than cook it. It doesn’t take too long before the smoke gets into the meat, boosting what was already there.
Ham is an easy cut to smoke since it’s very forgiving and doesn’t need much tending throughout the process.
5. Whole Chicken
In general, lean cuts of meat are not a good option for smoking. They tend to dry out far too much before any of the smoke infuses into the meat. That’s why chicken breast and other lean poultry cuts are not suitable for a smoker in most cases.
A whole chicken, on the other hand, is perfect for a meat smoker. The outer skin protects the meat and gets crisp while cooking. Keeping the meat on the bones ensures that everything stays moist.
It’s easy to toss in the whole bird (after removing the innards!) and in a few hours, you’ll have a delicious meal.
Bonus! Many people think that turkey is often bland, but it’s so important to Thanksgiving that we make it anyway. Whole turkeys are perfect for a smoker and work similar to chicken, so try smoking your turkey next holiday and impress all of your family members!
Sausage is one of the easiest meats to smoke, especially if you are not making the sausages from scratch. Give your favorite sausage an extra kick by smoking it for a few hours. It’ll bring a whole new flavor profile to your meal.
There’s no real prep or recipe necessary to follow when it comes to smoking meat sausages, which makes them great for beginners. They’re difficult to mess up no matter how long you leave them to smoke. The meat to fat ration within the sausage keeps the links from getting too overdone.
Salmon is full of flavor all on its own, but when you add smoke to this fish, it brings everything to a whole new level. This fish has a lot of natural oils that continue to coat and moisten the meat as it smokes, making it juicy and delicious.
The delicate layers of salmon make it tricky to smoke without it all falling apart, but a practiced hand makes all the difference. After a couple of attempts, you’ll get the hang of it in no time.
Although salmon isn’t the easiest thing to smoke, it does cook up in just a handful of hours. If you’re ever pressed for time to make an impressive dish, try smoking salmon for your guests.
These Good Meats to Smoke Are Perfect for A Day in the Sun
With this list of good meats to smoke, you have a huge variety available to satisfy any craving. When it’s time to spend the day out with friends and family, you’ll have the best meats to show off and share.
A few hours of effort is all it takes to be the king of the barbecue.
Looking for even more pointers? Check out the rest of our blog!