For those of you who want to skip the tutorial and get straight to the bbq recipes click on a meat for an awesome recipe...
How to Smoke MeatMaybe it’s just the experience of spending the day bonding with your food, caring for it like it's a new born baby. Whatever the reason is, there is no better way to cook than with a smoker.
Smoking your food takes a lot of patience and technique, but PLEASE don’t let that stop you from enjoying the amazing benefits of it. Once you learn a few basics, the sky is the limit and I guarantee you will be hooked and making your own bbq recipes! Let’s start by addressing the 3 main reasons that people avoid smoking their food.
Misconception #1. They are afraid they will either under or overcook the meat - I know the thought of food poisoning can be scary, but please realize that if you take the proper measures to ensure correct food temperature, you will not have to worry. It is as simple as buying a thermometer and using it. You can get a thermometer to measure your smoker’s internal temperature as well as one to measure the temperature of your meat. Once you know the safe temperatures for cooking, you will not have to worry about this anymore. Here is a guide to the proper temperature for certain meats:
Meat Cooking TemperatureYou can be sure that your food is fully cooked when it reaches the following temperatures:-
* Steaks & Roasts - 145°F
* Fish - 145°F
* Pork - 160°F
* Ham – 170°F (unless reheating in which case 140°F)
* Ground Beef - 160°F
* Egg Dishes - 160°F
* Chicken Breasts - 165°F
* Chicken Thighs and Wings - 180°F
* Whole Poultry - 165°F
* Duck & Goose - 180°F
Misconception #2. They think it is too expensive - This is a very big myth. Many smokers cost much less than your average grill. They may require a little more equipment, but not much and bbq recipes are typically made of things you'll already find in your pantry. The only difference is you will need more charcoal and wood for the extended cooking time. There are a ton of things you can add to flavor your meat like rubs, juices, flavored wood chips etc. These can get a little pricey, but you don’t need all of that, it’s more of a luxury. You will find the difference in cost is very minimal when compared to the improvement in taste that smoked meat has over grilled.
Misconception #3. They think it is too hard - I will admit, smoking your food is not as simple as firing up the grill and charring a burger. It is a fairly lengthy process, but very well worth it. I prefer to set the day aside so I can caress and care for my meal with proper attention. I also recommend picking up your favorite 6-pack for the adventure. There are so many ways and variations to smoke and flavor your food. Once you learn the basics, you will start to put your own spin on them and you will probably find it very hard to turn back! Now, on to the basics...
Meat Smoker BasicsFirst, obviously, you will need to get a smoker. Some clever folks out there have made their own smokers from raw materials such as industrial sized tanks. I commend these people for being so talented. However, if you are like me, you are better off buying a nice smoker like the ones we offer here. You can get a simple one for under $100 or go for the more elaborate ones if you have the dough. You can’t go wrong either way. To help you choose, read our quick explanation of the types of smokers out there.
Now that you have a smoker, you will need a way to create smoke. This is done using a combination of charcoal and wood chunks. You will need to experiment with these in the beginning as different types wood and charcoal burn at different speeds and temperatures. I would suggest starting with briquettes as opposed to lump charcoal because they burn at a medium heat and last a little longer. I would also suggest using a mild wood for the same reason. Some people like to wet their wood first so it lasts longer, you can use water or for more flavor, you can use juice or even beer.
Once you get the hang of temperature control, you can experiment with the wide variety of charcoals, woods, bbq recipes and other flavors. My suggestion is to keep your internal smoker heat between 225 and 240 degrees for the majority of your meats and you will be ok.
Now let’s talk meat! We will take a look at the most popular meats and cuts. As our site expands, we will have more detailed cooking information for each meat. For now, I will give you my absolute favorite, can’t miss rub recipe for each. Then you can experiment and come up with your own creations.
Bubba’s Big Bad Brisket Rub Recipe
Bubba’s Hoppin’ Rib Rub Recipe
Bubba’s Rip Roarin’ Chicken Rub
Bubba’s Hokey Pokey Pork Rub
Bubba’s Sweet and Sassy Salmon Rub