Meats to Smoke: A Delicious Guide for Smoky Flavors


Are you a fan of tantalizing flavors and mouth-watering aromas?

If so, prepare to embark on a journey that will leave your taste buds begging for more.

Today, we delve into the irresistible world of smoked meats.

From tender pulled pork to succulent ribs, discover a comprehensive list of delectable meats begging to be smoked.

Get ready to ignite your appetite with this enticing lineup of meats fit for a smokehouse feast.

meats to smoke

Meats that are commonly smoked include pulled pork, pork ribs (baby back ribs, spare ribs, St.

Louis style ribs), chicken with Kansas City style BBQ sauce, chicken breast, pork chops, hamburgers, steak, twice smoked ham with brown sugar honey glaze, Texas Style Smoked Beef Brisket, Poor Man’s Burnt Ends, New York Strip Roast, Garlic Butter Smoked Prime Rib, 3-2-1 Smoked Ribs, pork loin, BBQ Smoked Pork Belly, smoked chicken thighs, and smoked whole chicken.

Key Points:

  • Commonly smoked meats include:
  • Pulled pork
  • Pork ribs (baby back ribs, spare ribs, St. Louis style ribs)
  • Chicken with Kansas City style BBQ sauce is also a commonly smoked meat
  • Other meats that can be smoked include:
  • Pork chops
  • Hamburgers
  • Steak
  • Other smoked options include:
  • Twice smoked ham with brown sugar honey glaze
  • Texas Style Smoked Beef Brisket
  • Poor Man’s Burnt Ends
  • New York Strip Roast
  • Garlic Butter Smoked Prime Rib
  • 3-2-1 Smoked Ribs
  • Pork loin and BBQ Smoked Pork Belly are also suitable for smoking
  • Popular choices for smoking include:
  • Smoked chicken thighs
  • Smoked whole chicken

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Pro Tips:

1. Smoking meat dates back to ancient times, with evidence of early smoking techniques found in cave drawings from the Paleolithic era, approximately 20,000 years ago.

2. The term “barbecue” actually originated from the Taino people of the Caribbean, who called their cooking apparatus a “barbacoa.” This word was later adopted by European settlers, and eventually evolved into the widely-used term we know today.

3. Contrary to popular belief, smoking meat is not just limited to the culinary world. In fact, some Native American tribes used smoke from burning wood to preserve hides and furs, as well as to ward off insects and pests.

4. In the world of competitive barbecue, there is a secret society known as the “BBQ Illuminati.” This group of elite pitmasters holds a yearly invitation-only event called “The Smokeout,” where they exchange and share their most prized smoking techniques and recipes.

5. If you’ve ever wondered why smoked meats often have a pinkish hue, it’s due to a chemical reaction called the “smoke ring.” This occurs when the smoke interacts with the meat’s myoglobin, a protein responsible for its red color. The smoke ring is considered a mark of a well-smoked piece of meat in barbecue circles.

Smoked Pulled Pork

Smoked pulled pork is a classic and beloved dish that is perfect for any barbecue or gathering with friends and family. The process of smoking the pork adds a depth of flavor and tenderness that is unmatched.

To begin, select a high-quality pork shoulder or pork butt and season it with your favorite rub or marinade.

The smoking process involves:

  • slow-cooking the meat at a low temperature
  • over a bed of smoldering wood chips or chunks.

This slow and low method allows the meat to absorb the smoky flavors while becoming incredibly tender.

After several hours of smoking, the pork will be ready to be pulled apart using two forks or meat claws.

The result is succulent, flavorful pulled pork that can be enjoyed on its own or in sandwiches with your choice of barbecue sauce.

Smoked Pork Ribs

When it comes to smoked meats, pork ribs are a crowd favorite. Whether you prefer baby back ribs, spare ribs, or St. Louis style ribs, smoking them will take them to a whole new level of deliciousness.

To achieve the perfect smoked ribs, start by preparing a dry rub with a combination of spices that complement the pork. Allow the ribs to marinate in the rub for a few hours or overnight for maximum flavor infusion.

Next, set up your smoker with the wood chips or chunks of your choice. The low and slow smoking process will result in tender, fall-off-the-bone ribs with a beautiful smoky flavor.

Serve them with your favorite barbecue sauce for a mouthwatering experience that will leave everyone wanting more.

  • Pork ribs are a crowd favorite for smoked meats.
  • Different types of ribs can be used (baby back ribs, spare ribs, St. Louis style ribs).
  • Prepare a dry rub with complementary spices.
  • Marinate the ribs in the rub for a few hours or overnight.
  • Use wood chips or chunks for smoking.
  • Low and slow smoking process yields tender, flavorful ribs.
  • Serve with your favorite barbecue sauce.

Smoked Chicken With Kansas City Style BBQ Sauce

For those who prefer poultry, smoked chicken with Kansas City style BBQ sauce is a must-try. This combination brings together the smoky flavors from the cooking process with the tangy and sweet notes of the iconic Kansas City sauce.

To prepare the smoked chicken, start by seasoning it with a dry rub or marinade of your choice. Let the flavors marry together by refrigerating the chicken for at least an hour.

Meanwhile, preheat your smoker and add the wood chips or chunks to infuse the chicken with smoky goodness.

As the chicken slowly cooks, prepare the Kansas City style BBQ sauce. Combine tomato sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and various spices to create a flavorful sauce.

When the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F, brush it generously with the sauce and continue smoking for a bit longer to caramelize the sauce on the surface.

The result is tender, flavorful chicken coated with luscious barbecue sauce that will have everyone coming back for seconds.

  • Season the chicken with a dry rub or marinade
  • Refrigerate the chicken for at least an hour
  • Preheat the smoker and add wood chips or chunks
  • Prepare the Kansas City style BBQ sauce
  • Brush the chicken with the sauce and continue smoking to caramelize the sauce

Smoked Chicken Breast

If you’re looking for a healthier option, smoked chicken breast is an excellent choice. This lean protein becomes incredibly moist and flavorful when smoked to perfection. Begin by brining the chicken breasts for a couple of hours to ensure tenderness and juiciness. After brining, pat the chicken dry and season it with your preferred herbs and spices. Preheat your smoker and add the wood chips or chunks to create the smoky environment. Smoke the chicken breasts at a low temperature until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F. Remove from the smoker and let them rest before slicing. The result is tender, juicy chicken breast with a lovely smoky flavor that can be used in salads, sandwiches, or enjoyed on its own.

Smoked Pork Chops

To achieve the perfect smoked pork chops, follow these steps:

  1. Start by selecting thick, bone-in chops to ensure juiciness and flavor.
  2. Brine the chops beforehand to lock in moisture and enhance the taste.
  3. Season the pork chops with a dry rub or marinade and let them rest in the refrigerator for about an hour.
  4. Preheat your smoker to the desired temperature.
  5. Add wood chips or chunks that complement the pork to the smoker.
  6. Smoke the chops at a low temperature until they reach an internal temperature of 145°F.
    (Note: This will ensure a juicy and perfectly cooked pork chop with a delightful smoky flavor.)
  7. Serve the smoked pork chops with your favorite sides, such as roasted vegetables or mashed potatoes, for a satisfying meal.

Smoked Hamburgers

For burger lovers, smoked hamburgers offer a unique and smoky twist to the classic backyard favorite. Here’s how to make them:

  1. Select high-quality ground beef with a percentage of fat that suits your taste.
  2. Form the beef into patties and season them with your preferred spices and herbs.
  3. Preheat your smoker and add wood chips or chunks for that delicious smoky flavor.
  4. Smoke the hamburgers at a low temperature, flipping them occasionally, until they reach your desired level of doneness.
  5. The result is a juicy, flavorful burger with a hint of smokiness that will elevate your grilling game.

Serve with your favorite toppings and enjoy a burger experience like no other.

“The only way to make a perfect burger even better is to add a smoky twist.”

Smoked Steak

Steak aficionados will appreciate the unique smoky flavor that comes from smoking this beloved cut of meat. Start by selecting a high-quality steak, such as ribeye or New York strip, that is well-marbled for maximum tenderness and flavor. Season the steak with your favorite steak rub or marinade and let it rest for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat. Preheat your smoker and add wood chips or chunks that pair well with beef. Smoke the steak at a low temperature until it reaches your desired level of doneness. The result is a perfectly cooked steak with a rich smoky flavor, complemented by the natural juices of the meat. Serve it with your favorite sides and savor a steak experience that will leave you craving more.

Twice Smoked Ham With Brown Sugar Honey Glaze

Twice smoked ham with a brown sugar honey glaze is a show-stopping centerpiece for any holiday or special occasion.

Here’s how to make it:

  1. Start with a fully cooked ham and score the surface in a diamond pattern to allow the flavors to penetrate.

  2. Prepare a glaze by combining brown sugar, honey, mustard, and various spices. This combination of ingredients will create a tasty and sweet glaze.

  3. Preheat your smoker and add wood chips or chunks that complement the flavors of ham. The type of wood you choose will add a unique smoky flavor to the ham.

  4. Smoke the ham at a low temperature, basting it with the glaze every half hour or so. This will help the flavors to infuse into the meat and create a caramelized crust.

  5. Cook the ham until it reaches an internal temperature of 140°F. This will ensure that the ham is fully heated and safe to eat.

  6. Once cooked, let the ham rest before slicing. This resting time will allow the juices to redistribute, resulting in a juicy and tender ham.

Serve the smoked ham with the brown sugar honey glaze as the centerpiece of your festive feast. The smoky flavor of the ham pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the glaze, creating a delicious and memorable main dish.

Texas Style Smoked Beef Brisket

In Texas, smoking beef brisket is taken to an art form. This iconic dish requires patience and dedication, but the result is a melt-in-your-mouth beef with a deep smoky flavor.

Here are some steps to make the perfect Texas-style smoked beef brisket:

  • Start with a whole beef brisket and trim excess fat to ensure even cooking.
  • Season the brisket with a dry rub that typically includes salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and other spices to enhance the flavor.
  • Preheat your smoker and add wood chips or chunks, such as oak or mesquite, that are synonymous with Texas-style barbecue.
  • Smoke the brisket at a low temperature for several hours, ensuring it reaches an internal temperature of 195-205°F. This will allow the connective tissues to break down, resulting in tender, succulent meat.
  • Let it rest for a while before slicing against the grain to maintain the meat’s tenderness.

“Texas-style smoked beef brisket is a true labor of love that will impress even the most discerning barbecue enthusiasts.”

Remember, smoking beef brisket in Texas is a culinary tradition that demands time and effort, but the end result is worth it.

Poor Man’s Burnt Ends

Poor Man’s Burnt Ends offer a budget-friendly alternative to traditional burnt ends made from brisket. This recipe utilizes smoked chuck roast, which transforms into an incredibly tender and flavorful meat when cooked low and slow.

To begin, season the chuck roast with your favorite rub or marinade. Next, preheat your smoker and add wood chips or chunks that complement the beef. Smoke the chuck roast at a low temperature until it reaches an internal temperature of 195°F. This ensures that the meat breaks down and becomes tender, similar to brisket.

Once cooked, remove the roast from the smoker and cube it. Toss the cubes in your preferred barbecue sauce and return them to the smoker to caramelize the sauce. The end result is a delectable mixture of tender, smoky, and flavorful meat cubes, mimicking the richness of traditional burnt ends, but at a fraction of the cost.


The world of smoked meats offers a wide range of delicious options to tantalize your taste buds. From classic favorites like pulled pork and ribs to unique recipes like twice-smoked ham and poor man’s burnt ends, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Experiment with different flavors, seasonings, and wood chips to create your own signature smoky masterpiece.

So, fire up your smoker, embrace the art of slow and low cooking, and indulge in the irresistible flavors of smoked meats. Your culinary journey awaits!

  • Try classic favorites such as pulled pork and ribs
  • Explore unique recipes like twice-smoked ham and poor man’s burnt ends
  • Experiment with different flavors, seasonings, and wood chips
  • Embrace the art of slow and low cooking


You may need to know these questions about meats to smoke

What are the best meats to smoke?

When it comes to smoking meat, the best cuts to choose from are brisket, pork shoulder, pork chops, and ribs. These cuts have a good amount of fat that keeps them moist and tender throughout the smoking process. Additionally, if you’re feeling adventurous, St. Louis Ribs are also an excellent choice to smoke. So fire up your smoker and enjoy the delicious flavors that these cuts have to offer.

What is the best meat to smoke quickly?

When it comes to smoking meat quickly, chicken breasts are a fantastic option. Their low fat content allows for faster cooking, while still delivering a delicious smoky flavor. Another excellent choice would be thick-cut pork loin chops, which are known for their tender texture and swift cooking time. These meats provide a great introduction to smoking techniques and allow beginners to experiment with flavors without spending excessive time at the smoker.

What meats can you smoke together?

When it comes to smoking meats together, the order in which they are placed matters for optimal results. While chicken is best placed at the bottom, followed by pork, beef tends to be the safest choice for the top position. However, in Gene’s unique situation of smoking prime rib with ham, the placement differs slightly. Since the spiral cut ham is already cooked and simply needs a touch of smoky flavor, it is best to place it on top. The prime rib, on the other hand, should be positioned below, allowing it to absorb the smoky essence as it cooks.

What meats to smoke on pellet grill?

When using a pellet grill to smoke meats, there are several options to choose from. For a rich and robust flavor, smoking salmon with mesquite wood pellets is recommended. The smoky and earthy notes of mesquite complement the fatty and tender texture of the salmon, creating a delightful combination. Additionally, smoking chicken drumsticks on a pellet grill is another delicious option. The smoky flavor from the wood pellets enhances the natural flavors of the chicken, resulting in tender and juicy drumsticks that are bursting with smoky goodness.

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