Meat, ground ‘em, smash ‘em, stick ‘em in a stew, or you can try frying them, baking them, roasting, or curing them. There’s a lot you can do with meat. Another magnificent option is smoking them! Who doesn’t like the aroma and taste of smokey meat? In our pursuit of the best things that can come out of your kitchen, we did the research on what are the best meats to smoke!
Let’s get our delectable smokey meat on!
Smoking Meat vs Grilling Meat
Grilling meat is great and all. But there’s so much more you can do with your favorite meat cuts that gives it a greater flavor and tenderness. Smoking meat is a longer process than grilling, sure. But the wait is so worth it!
The incredibly piquant flavor will surely set your taste buds dancing.
Why Choose to Smoke Meat
Smoking is similar to grilling except for that smoking is cooking the meat slowly at a very low temperature. It’s unlike grilling in that grilling frist sears the meat at high heat before cooking it through.
The slowness is smoking should not be taken lightly. Smoking can take as much as 12 to 16 hours, sometimes more. So why bother smoking meat when there’s an easier and time-efficient way to effectively cook it?
The good thing is that the smoke adds a unique flavor and texture to the meat. Plus, the long exposure to low heat gives the meat a soft, juicy, delicate taste. Searing the meat over high heat evaporates the moisture within it quite quickly. But the slow process of smoking over low, indirect heat keeps the moisture locked into the meat. You can achieve a wonderful combination of tenderness and juiciness through this process.
Addiionally, smokingmeat slowly over indirect low heat creates what is known as the “bark” – the dark, chewy, tangy, spicy, and crispy texture on the surface of the meat. And it tastes HEAVENLY!
Best Meats to Smoke
Smoking produces wonderful results. But without the proper meat for it, you’re just pathetically wasting your time. Here are the best meats that will give you the wonders smoking offers!
- Chuck roast
- Beef butler’s steak (flat iron steak, feather blade steak, or oyster blade steak)
- Lamb shoulder
- Chicken quarters
- Turkey breast
Brisket is one of the powerhouses of delicious smoked meat – if done right. The meat will melt in your mouth if the process is done impeccably. It will take about 10 to 14 hours to smoke beef brisket in a smoker, depending on how big and dense the meat is.
For optimum deliciousness, you want the smoker to reach an internal temperature of 105° Fahrenheit (96° Celsius). Additional pointers: brisket absorbs the smoke and flavor from the wood used to create the smoke. Try experimenting with various wood chips. Oak, pecan, and cherry are all wonderful favorites. But don’t be afraid to try one of your own; you might land on something magical!
Once you set the meat in the smoker, leave it alone. Let the smoke do its magic.
If you love brisket but don’t have the time (nor the patience) to smoke it all day long, there’s another amazing option. The chuck roast cut is similar to the brisket, but instead of the fat being on the exterior of the meat, the chuck roast has the fat inside! And a lot more of it than the brisket, too!
Why is chuck roast good for smoking? Because of its abundant fat marbling! The fat dissolves when smoked. And it integrates into the meat, making it tender and juicy.
You’ll only need about 6 hours to smoke a chuck roast. Like the brisket, you need to reach an internal temperature of 105° Fahrenheit (96° Celsius). To get the most scrumptious result, use pecan or hickory wood chips.
Pork ribs, which meat lover doesn’t love pork ribs? It’s fun to eat with your hands, and it’s satisfying to the taste buds, too! Thankfully, baby back ribs and spare ribs are part of the few pork cuts you can smoke.
Oftentimes, a rack of ribs needs 4 to 6 hours to smoke. The spare ribs need more time to cook since it is bigger. Because the cut includes bones, it can be challenging to determine the internal temperature of the meat. What you can do is try sticking a toothpick through the meat. If it penetrates all the way through, it’s good to go!
You can try various wood chips to smoke pork ribs. These include cherry, maple, or apple.
Lamb is an interesting meat to smoke. It’s unique, and not the first meat you think of. But it is no less appealing.
Heat up your trusty smoker to around 300° Fahrenheit (149° Celsius) and throw in the lamb shoulder. The lamb should reach an internal temperature of 195° Fahrenheit (90° Celsius). Take the lamb shoulder off, wrap it in aluminum foil, and let it rest for an hour.
Chicken is a classic favorite, and you can make it even better! Smoking chicken quarters only takes about an hour and a half. The internal heat of the meat should reach 180° Fahrenheit (82° Celsius). Maple and apple wood are wonderful choices of wood chips to smoke chicken.
Keep in mind that smoking chicken will not give it the coveted crispy skin. If that’s what you want, smoking is not an option.
Turkey is another fowl you can smoke. To enhance its flavor, rub some butter and seasonings underneath the skin. Like in chicken, the skin will not turn out crispy. But keep the skin on during the smoking process to keep the meat juicy.
It will take about 2 hours to smoke a turkey breast. Internal temperature should reach 160° Fahrenheit (71° Celsius). Choose only mild woods to smoke the turkey.
Get Smoking Today!
Smoking may take a while. But it’s so worth it! With this list of beat meats to smoke and how to smoke them, you are ready to enjoy protein as you’ve never done before!