T Nation

Smoking Meat

Just bought a cheap little smoker and a few types of wood chips (apple, hickory, and mesquite). I’ve smoked meat in the past, but with little success. Any advice? Tips? Recipes? I’d prefer to start with some simple recipes and move from there, obviously. My problem in the past has been with temperature. It’s simply a bitch to maintain a nice, low temperature for a minimum of six hours.

http://amazingribs.com/

Not Safe For Dieters.

Your temperature problem is due to the equipment you are using. When you are talking about smoking meat the most important thing is temperature control and the cheaper smokers usually have major issues with temp control. That being said what types of meat are you looking to smoke. I have found shoulders for pulled pork to be the most forgiving.

http://thesmokering.com/index.php/library/recipes
The above link has several that I have tried in the past, plus just like everything else with cooking its a ratio thing. Compare a couple of recipes and you will get the basic idea on the salt / sugar ratios then it is just a matter of taste.

http://barbecuebible.com/recipes/

I have one of his books and they are pretty good as well.

This is something I really want to get into in the future but right now I just don’t have the time.

I know it isn’t a true smoker, but my friend has an electric pellet smoker which uses an auger to burn up the pellets. He has cooked us up some things on there and they are rather delicious.

[quote]bigbubby wrote:
http://amazingribs.com/

Not Safe For Dieters.
[/quote]
DB take this man’s advice. His sole post in four and a half years has been to give you cooking advice.

Thank god, it’s a food thread!

I was really worried when DB started a thread titled “smoking meat.”

[quote]jjackkrash wrote:
Thank god, it’s a food thread!

I was really worried when DB started a thread titled “smoking meat.” [/quote]

^^^^

[quote]jjackkrash wrote:
Thank god, it’s a food thread!

I was really worried when DB started a thread titled “smoking meat.” [/quote]

I assumed it was something about Pushs’ knob.

[quote]MartyMonster wrote:

[quote]jjackkrash wrote:
Thank god, it’s a food thread!

I was really worried when DB started a thread titled “smoking meat.” [/quote]

I assumed it was something about Pushs’ knob.[/quote]

wouldn’t that be “little smokies”

Equipment aside, one thing I suggest is to let the meat sit out for a while. Don’t put it on cold.

DBCooper,

Cabela’s has some ok mixes. You need the “Cure” to preserve the meat and the spices are fine but I like to add some of my own stuff. I like to add Sweet Baby Rays buffalo sauce to mine.

Here’s a few tips for cut meats;

Mix everything and vacuum pack it. It can be hard in a vacuum bag so I use a vacuum container. If you use a bag, leave a lot of extra bag because it will draw some of the liquid out. You can make a thicker mix if losing too much liquid. Put it in the refrigerator for 3 days; mix and smoke is a waste of time and money.

I have a mid-range smoke. It is insulated but in the dead of winter in Pa, it’s cold. Smoking venison you just shot during flintlock can be an issue. Take you meat out of the refrigerator 8 hr. before you open it. Put everything in a pot with a lid on in in the oven at the lowest temp you can for an hour. Remember, you smoking it, not cooking it. Then move it to the smoker for 2-3 hr.

My smoker came with a smoke chip pan but I just cut some hickory and place it directly on the element. If you use whole wood, drill a hole in it and soak it in water for an hour. It will keep the wood smoldering without igniting. Dampering it down stops a flame up but can reduce temperature.

[quote]csulli wrote:

[quote]bigbubby wrote:
http://amazingribs.com/

Not Safe For Dieters.
[/quote]
DB take this man’s advice. His sole post in four and a half years has been to give you cooking advice.[/quote]

Have you looked at this site?

This man may just have changed my life…

[quote]jjackkrash wrote:
Thank god, it’s a food thread!

I was really worried when DB started a thread titled “smoking meat.” [/quote]

Leave it to you to try and take things in that direction :slight_smile:

[quote]orion wrote:

[quote]csulli wrote:

[quote]bigbubby wrote:
http://amazingribs.com/

Not Safe For Dieters.
[/quote]
DB take this man’s advice. His sole post in four and a half years has been to give you cooking advice.[/quote]

Have you looked at this site?

This man may just have changed my life…[/quote]

What do you think I’ve been doing for the last 24 hours?

What kind of meat/cuts are you smoking? What does your smoker look like?

Filling up a truckload of wood is cheaper and better than buying chips IMO.

Most people over think smoking. I’ve built or picked up every smoker I’ve used for less than 40$.

Opinions are strong and everyone has their own methodologies, but here are some of my thoughts. I rarely go over 4 hours smoking time depending on the cut.

Turkeys can be precooked in an oven then smoked if need be. A 15lb bird thawed needs about 4 hours on the grill. Less if precooked. I prefer hickory, but mesquite and oak work. Generally just use season salt.

Ribs. No reason to long smoke them. An hour +. Garlic salt. Pork really holds the smoke, so any kind of hardwood.

I stay away from sugary tomato based sauces, because they burn. I only finish the meat with the sauce if used. Stubbs is my favorite.

Flat cut brisket time depends on the size. Don’t overcook, just salt pepper and smoke. I hate brisket with a fat cap.

Chicken thighs, an hour depending on the heat. Season with anything.

[quote]Captnoblivious wrote:
What kind of meat/cuts are you smoking? What does your smoker look like?

Filling up a truckload of wood is cheaper and better than buying chips IMO.

Most people over think smoking. I’ve built or picked up every smoker I’ve used for less than 40$.

Opinions are strong and everyone has their own methodologies, but here are some of my thoughts. I rarely go over 4 hours smoking time depending on the cut.

Turkeys can be precooked in an oven then smoked if need be. A 15lb bird thawed needs about 4 hours on the grill. Less if precooked. I prefer hickory, but mesquite and oak work. Generally just use season salt.

Ribs. No reason to long smoke them. An hour +. Garlic salt. Pork really holds the smoke, so any kind of hardwood.

I stay away from sugary tomato based sauces, because they burn. I only finish the meat with the sauce if used. Stubbs is my favorite.

Flat cut brisket time depends on the size. Don’t overcook, just salt pepper and smoke. I hate brisket with a fat cap.

Chicken thighs, an hour depending on the heat. Season with anything.

[/quote]

As you say, everyone has their own opinions and methods. With that said, what you are prescribing is more “grilling” than “smoking”. You can’t just cook some meat with some wood smoke thrown in and call it smoking.

No way a slab of ribs will be ready in a little over an hour at 225-250, which is standard smoking temps. That is unless you boil your ribs first which many wouldn’t consider real smoking anyway.

Smoking chicken takes longer than an hour as well. Grilling chicken with indirect heat then maybe an hour is more like it.

Typical cook times for pork are around 1.5 hours per pound at 225-250. So a 6lb shoulder will be up around 8hrs or more.

[quote]cueball wrote:

[quote]Captnoblivious wrote:
What kind of meat/cuts are you smoking? What does your smoker look like?

Filling up a truckload of wood is cheaper and better than buying chips IMO.

Most people over think smoking. I’ve built or picked up every smoker I’ve used for less than 40$.

Opinions are strong and everyone has their own methodologies, but here are some of my thoughts. I rarely go over 4 hours smoking time depending on the cut.

Turkeys can be precooked in an oven then smoked if need be. A 15lb bird thawed needs about 4 hours on the grill. Less if precooked. I prefer hickory, but mesquite and oak work. Generally just use season salt.

Ribs. No reason to long smoke them. An hour +. Garlic salt. Pork really holds the smoke, so any kind of hardwood.

I stay away from sugary tomato based sauces, because they burn. I only finish the meat with the sauce if used. Stubbs is my favorite.

Flat cut brisket time depends on the size. Don’t overcook, just salt pepper and smoke. I hate brisket with a fat cap.

Chicken thighs, an hour depending on the heat. Season with anything.

[/quote]

As you say, everyone has their own opinions and methods. With that said, what you are prescribing is more “grilling” than “smoking”. You can’t just cook some meat with some wood smoke thrown in and call it smoking.

No way a slab of ribs will be ready in a little over an hour at 225-250, which is standard smoking temps. That is unless you boil your ribs first which many wouldn’t consider real smoking anyway.

Smoking chicken takes longer than an hour as well. Grilling chicken with indirect heat then maybe an hour is more like it.

Typical cook times for pork are around 1.5 hours per pound at 225-250. So a 6lb shoulder will be up around 8hrs or more.

[/quote]

Does smoke not flavor the meat with shorter cooking times?

BTW, I knew someone would bring this up. Thus my caveat.

[quote]Captnoblivious wrote:

[quote]cueball wrote:

[quote]Captnoblivious wrote:
What kind of meat/cuts are you smoking? What does your smoker look like?

Filling up a truckload of wood is cheaper and better than buying chips IMO.

Most people over think smoking. I’ve built or picked up every smoker I’ve used for less than 40$.

Opinions are strong and everyone has their own methodologies, but here are some of my thoughts. I rarely go over 4 hours smoking time depending on the cut.

Turkeys can be precooked in an oven then smoked if need be. A 15lb bird thawed needs about 4 hours on the grill. Less if precooked. I prefer hickory, but mesquite and oak work. Generally just use season salt.

Ribs. No reason to long smoke them. An hour +. Garlic salt. Pork really holds the smoke, so any kind of hardwood.

I stay away from sugary tomato based sauces, because they burn. I only finish the meat with the sauce if used. Stubbs is my favorite.

Flat cut brisket time depends on the size. Don’t overcook, just salt pepper and smoke. I hate brisket with a fat cap.

Chicken thighs, an hour depending on the heat. Season with anything.

[/quote]

As you say, everyone has their own opinions and methods. With that said, what you are prescribing is more “grilling” than “smoking”. You can’t just cook some meat with some wood smoke thrown in and call it smoking.

No way a slab of ribs will be ready in a little over an hour at 225-250, which is standard smoking temps. That is unless you boil your ribs first which many wouldn’t consider real smoking anyway.

Smoking chicken takes longer than an hour as well. Grilling chicken with indirect heat then maybe an hour is more like it.

Typical cook times for pork are around 1.5 hours per pound at 225-250. So a 6lb shoulder will be up around 8hrs or more.

[/quote]

Does smoke not flavor the meat with shorter cooking times?

BTW, I knew someone would bring this up. Thus my caveat.

[/quote]

LOL

Putting BBQ sauce on baked chicken flavors it, but it doesn’t make it BBQ’d chicken.

Throwing your caveat in doesn’t make what you recommended for smoking any more valid. Your times and suggestions are consistent with grilling. That’s fine, but the question wasn’t about grilling.

I would assume the OP would want proper info for smoking meat, which requires more than “smoke flavoring” obtained by burning some wood while grilling. Which is perfectly fine, BTW, and I’ve done it while grilling myself for that added bit of flavor, but it’s not smoking.

[quote]cueball wrote:

[quote]Captnoblivious wrote:

[quote]cueball wrote:

[quote]Captnoblivious wrote:
What kind of meat/cuts are you smoking? What does your smoker look like?

Filling up a truckload of wood is cheaper and better than buying chips IMO.

Most people over think smoking. I’ve built or picked up every smoker I’ve used for less than 40$.

Opinions are strong and everyone has their own methodologies, but here are some of my thoughts. I rarely go over 4 hours smoking time depending on the cut.

Turkeys can be precooked in an oven then smoked if need be. A 15lb bird thawed needs about 4 hours on the grill. Less if precooked. I prefer hickory, but mesquite and oak work. Generally just use season salt.

Ribs. No reason to long smoke them. An hour +. Garlic salt. Pork really holds the smoke, so any kind of hardwood.

I stay away from sugary tomato based sauces, because they burn. I only finish the meat with the sauce if used. Stubbs is my favorite.

Flat cut brisket time depends on the size. Don’t overcook, just salt pepper and smoke. I hate brisket with a fat cap.

Chicken thighs, an hour depending on the heat. Season with anything.

[/quote]

As you say, everyone has their own opinions and methods. With that said, what you are prescribing is more “grilling” than “smoking”. You can’t just cook some meat with some wood smoke thrown in and call it smoking.

No way a slab of ribs will be ready in a little over an hour at 225-250, which is standard smoking temps. That is unless you boil your ribs first which many wouldn’t consider real smoking anyway.

Smoking chicken takes longer than an hour as well. Grilling chicken with indirect heat then maybe an hour is more like it.

Typical cook times for pork are around 1.5 hours per pound at 225-250. So a 6lb shoulder will be up around 8hrs or more.

[/quote]

Does smoke not flavor the meat with shorter cooking times?

BTW, I knew someone would bring this up. Thus my caveat.

[/quote]

LOL

Putting BBQ sauce on baked chicken flavors it, but it doesn’t make it BBQ’d chicken.

Throwing your caveat in doesn’t make what you recommended for smoking any more valid. Your times and suggestions are consistent with grilling. That’s fine, but the question wasn’t about grilling.

I would assume the OP would want proper info for smoking meat, which requires more than “smoke flavoring” obtained by burning some wood while grilling. Which is perfectly fine, BTW, and I’ve done it while grilling myself for that added bit of flavor, but it’s not smoking.

[/quote]

ha! Overcooking meat via the highly scientifically accepted method called smoking has ruined more meals and quality cuts of meat than I care to remember.

I was trying not to turn DB’s thread into an epic battle about grilling/smoking methods. Too late…lol