Benefits Of Smoking Meat: An Educational Guide

Benefits Of Smoking Meat: An Educational Guide

You can consume meat in a numerous amount of ways, but the benefits of smoking meat will prevail over any cooking method. The problem is that smoking meat is not something everyone can do at home.

“How do you smoke meat?” is a question that keeps popping up more now because people want to spruce things up in their kitchens at home.

If you're not a patient person, to begin with, you'll end up having a difficult time cooking delicious smoked meat. Someone has to constantly be around the smoker to move the meat to make sure that both the smoke and spices are thoroughly being soaked in.

Spraying Meat While Smoaking

You want the smoke to penetrate through the meat so it ends up gaining a unique smoky flavor that can’t be created in any other way. It will take days to weeks in order for the smoke to truly set in the meat.

Other methods such as grilling and roasting don’t take up that much of your time and don’t require a certain level of expertise. As long as you know how to operate a grill, you are good to go.

Further on below, we will break down the differences between preparing meat and how smoking meat is the best method to use.

Smoking Meat Vs Other Ways Of Preparing Meat

To choose between the various ways to prepare meat can be overwhelming. All the options you have to choose from results in some form of delicious meat for you and your loved ones to consume.

Even though the number of ways to prepare meat is countless, we will be going in-depth regarding two of them. The chances of you being familiar with smoking meat or preparing it in any fashion depend entirely on where you grew up and traveled to.

Smoking Meat

Out of all the meat preparation methods you can choose from, the one that will be the most time consuming would be smoking meat. If you have never dealt with handling and cooking meat, you should acquire the help of someone who is experienced in smoking meat before you give it a shot.

If you don’t have the luxury of having access to someone who is a pitmaster smoker, then you have to make do with the information that’s presented to you.

Smoking meat is an intensive process, which is commonly found down south in the USA as well as in Italy and Jewish communities. Keep in mind that smoking meat has been happening for hundreds of years. It’s just until recently that innovative ways to cook meat have come to light.                                                                   

In the United States, smoked meats are referred to as Barbecue, which made use of cheap cuts of meat that was cooked at a low temperature for a long time period. The recipes to make signature BBQ smoked meat dishes were largely past down generation to generation.

Many people travel from all over the world to the southern United States just to try a bit of the BBQ smoked meat that may have taken weeks to prepare. Those with a smoker at home can definitely give this a try.


Grilling can be done on a stovetop oven or a outdoor grill using either wood, propane, or charcoal. You'll have to set the meat on high heat which means anywhere from 400 to 560 degrees Fahrenheit for only a couple of minutes.

Grilling Steak

This is an extremely popular form of preparing meat, but it doesn’t taste as good as smoked meat.

Smoking Meat 101

You have two options to choose from when it comes to smoking meat; either cold smoke or hot smoke it.

How To Properly Smoke Meat?

Cold Smoking

This type of smoking works best on food such as salmon, pork chops, sausage, chicken breast, and beef. The temperature of the smoker has to stay anywhere from 68 degrees Fahrenheit to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

You can cut pieces of the meat as its smoking to observe its texture. If the meat is moist and flavorful, then you can take it off the smoker. If the smoked meat is cold, then you'll have to cure as well as cook it before consuming it.

People will often grill or steam their cold smoked meat to ensure that the meat is entirely cooked through.

For those who prefer another method of smoking meats would be interested to read about hot smoking.

Hot Smoking

Having to smoke then cook your meat separately can be tiresome, which is why a lot of people believe hot smoking is the only way how to smoke meat in a smoker. When you follow the hot smoking route, you can rest assured that the meat inside the smoker will fully cook.

This means you do not have to cure the meat before you eat it, which makes the process of smoking meat less hectic on your part.

You have to make sure that the smoker reaches temperatures that range from around 125 degrees Fahrenheit to 175 degrees Fahrenheit. If the smoker reaches a temperature greater than 185 degrees Fahrenheit, it is very likely that the meat has shrunken and lost its moisture.

Ideal Meat

Those trying to cook ribs, ham, pork brisket will find that hot smoking will give you the optimal smoked meat. You couldn’t make any of these meat dishes if you were to try smoking them by adhering to the cold smoking method.

Hot Vs Cold Smoking

When compared to cold smoking, hot smoked meat is much more moist in texture, and flavorful, which we assure you tastes exquisite. You can easily alter the temperature around to get the same result in a fraction of the time it traditionally takes to smoke meat.

Hot Meat Smoaking

Those who only want to cook their meat for a couple of hours but still want to achieve the smoked meat flavor can do so if they have their smoker set to 200 to 220 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature for a few hours, the meat will cook to perfection without it being too dry.

How Do You Smoke Meat?

Learning how to smoke meat isn’t a challenging endeavor if you know exactly what you’re doing. If you’re new to this, it might take several tries before you get it down.

Below we will tell you how to smoke meat step by step, so you don't have to worry about making any mistakes.

First, you have to choose the meat you wish to smoke. Tough cuts will work best because they require a long yet slow cooking time, which is ideal for smoked meat. By slow cooking, the meat, fat breaks down, so the meat is extremely tender.

Ideal Smoked Meats

  • Beef: brisket or ribs
  • Pork Roast
  • Ham
  • Pork ribs
  • Turkey
  • Salmon
  • Lobster

Once you find the meat you want to cook, you can now figure out the spices you’re going to lather on it. You can marinate the meat for several hours before you place it on the smoker.

Another option would be to dry rub the spices onto the meat and let it sit for several minutes before you start smoking it.

For ham and chicken specifically, you should brine the meat. Usually, you should let the meat soak in the brine for 8 hours in the fridge before taking it out.

Before you go ahead and place the meat in the smoker, you have to make sure that the meat itself has reached room temperature. By doing so, you ensure that the meat will cook at an even pace and be cooked all the way through.

It may take 30 minutes to two hours for the meat to reach room temperature. The larger the cut, the more time you’ll have to set it out for.

The recipe you’re following will dictate how long you smoke the meat for. Your standard smoked meat recipe normally takes six to eight hours. After you make sure that the meat won’t come into contact with direct heat, you can set it down right on the smoker.

As the six to eight hours are coming to an end, you should start to monitor the temperature of the meat.

Measuring Meat Temperature

The easiest smoking process to follow would be the "3,2,1". First, you smoke the meat for three hours. For the next two hours, you cover the meat with aluminum foil. The meat should be left uncovered for the last hour.

Make sure to check out the recipe to find out whether or not you have to close the hood anytime throughout the smoking process.

As the meat is smoking, feel free to baste it, so the meat stays tender and moist. However, you should do this only if the recipe calls for it.


End Temperature

Roasts, Steaks, & Chops

145 degrees Fahrenheit

Ground Beef

160 degrees Fahrenheit


160 degrees Fahrenheit


165 degrees Fahrenheit

After you cut up the meat, you should look for the smoke ring. You’ll find it underneath the meat’s outer crust, which is a sign that you did a fantastic job.

7 Tips For Smoking Meat

Kosher Salt

When combined with meat, begins the process of denaturing, which ensures that the meat stays moist during the smoking. You want to rub half a teaspoon of the salt on one pound of meat. You’ll have to do this two hours before you start cooking.

Slow & Steady

You don't want to rush smoking meat because the result will be meat you cannot eat. Don't let that much meat go to waste and be patient with both the time and temperature.

Specify Your Wood

The wood you choose will impact the smoky flavors that the meat soaks up. You can step up your smoking meat game by understanding the difference between woods and how they impact meat.

Don’t Oversmoke

The last thing you want to do is overdo the smoking process and ruin a perfectly good piece of meat. As a rule of thumb, you should use the internal temperature of the meat as a guide for how long it should smoke.

Don’t Keep The Door Open

Unless you have to baste the meat, you shouldn't constantly be opening and closing the smoker door just to admire the meat. The only time you leave the door open is if the recipe says you have to.

Black Meat Smoker

Let The Meat Rest

You don’t want to immediately cut the meat once you take it out because you want the juices to settle.

Use A Thermometer

A thermometer makes things easier by helping you figure out the exact moment you should take the meat off the smoker.


Hopefully, you're going to give the smoking meat a try after reading the information above. If you already have a smoker at home, then what are you waiting for? Smoking meat is a skill that only a select few have, so you should give it a shot.

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