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How to Smoke Meat

zThe unique flavors of smoked meat can be exactly what you need to spice up your next recipe. From smoking a couple racks of ribs to smoking a turkey or chicken, you can make delicious main courses or use the smoked meat as ingredients for casseroles, salads and other dishes. The possibilities are endless when you have the tools and the know-how to smoke meat. After you've chosen the meat that you're going to smoke, just follow these easy steps to create delicious smoked meat.  

What you'll need:

  • Meat of choice. Consider traditional smoked meat options like ribs, brisket, ham, turkey, chicken or salmon.
  • Marinade, dry rub or brine. You can opt for any of these choices to lock in extra flavor.
  • Wood chips. Choose the best flavor to accompany your meat
  • Smoker. You can choose from a charcoal, gas or electric smoker.
  • Water bowl and water. Adding water to your smoking process can help keep the temperature even with big pieces of meat.
  • Meat thermometer. You'll need this to confirm the meat has reached a safe temperature while cooking.

Step 1: Season the meat.

A marinade, dry rub or brine can add flavor and seal in juices for a tender and delicious smoked meat.


Step 2: Prepare the smoker.

Follow the user's manual to set up your grill according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer for the best results. Make sure to use a flavorful hardwood in your smoker like hickory, maple, oak or apple.


Step 3: Add water to the smoker.

If you have a wet smoker, follow the instructions according to the manufacturer's manual. If you are using a dry smoker or a grill, place a bowl of water at the base of the grill. Always check with the manufacturer's instructions before you add water to a smoker or grill.


Step 4: Pre-heat the smoker.

Let the smoker reach the heating temperature before adding meat to ensure an even temperature throughout the process.


Step 5: Place meat in the smoker.

If you're cooking with a charcoal smoker, try to keep the meat away from the direct heat of the coals. Place charcoal on one side of the smoker and meat on the other side.


Step 6: Smoke until the meat reaches the desired temperature.

The cook time can vary greatly depending on the type and size of your meat. Follow the timing guidelines in your recipe for best results. Chicken and turkey should reach an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit while steaks and roasts need only reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.