If we're honest, electric smokers are magical devices. If you want delicious, perfectly smoked meats, it’s the way to go. Since electric smokers make the whole process so straightforward, finding the best meats to smoke seems to be the real challenge.
Obviously, there are a few that are always on the top of the list, such as brisket or pork. But you don’t need to stop with the obvious. It’s time to branch out and find all of the best meats to smoke.
Trying a variety of meats will also allow you to try an array of flavors. When smoking different meats, your choices are endless. You can smoke anything from ham to salmon. However, there are a few that top the list as the all-time best meats to smoke, and that’s why we’re all here.
The best recipes are the key to incredible smoked meats. Once you get the hang of using a smoker and learn what you like, you can play around with flavors and timing. Before you know it, you’ll have your own list of the best meats to smoke.
But what should you consider when you are smoking meats?
The 411 On The Best Meats To Smoke
Finding the best meats to smoke is one step in your quest for a delicious dinner. As we mentioned before, the right recipe, timing, and flavor combinations are crucial. All of these factors are going to depend heavily on the meat you choose.
For instance, ham is incredibly easy to smoke because they usually come pre-cooked and possibly even pre-smoked. All you’re doing when smoking a ham is adding even more flavor. Therefore, you won’t have to worry as much about internal temperature to ensure that the meat is cooked safely.
Instead, you need to focus on keeping it moist during the smoking process. That alone makes it one of the best meats to smoke for beginners.
On the other hand, brisket is more challenging to smoke and can be a little pricey if you’re shooting for perfection. You need to get the right cut and quality if you want a juicy and tender final product. Although, you won’t need to worry as much about seasoning because it has a fantastic flavor on its own.
In most cases, people choose to use a simple combination of salt, black pepper, and garlic.
In the end, finding the best meats to smoke is entirely up to your personal preference. Once you know where you want to start, you need to find a recipe. Each recipe will focus on specific flavors which you can accomplish with the right combination of woods and spices.
The best recipes will tell you everything you need to know. In turn, once you get the hang of smoking meats, feel free to play around with new flavors on your own.
The Perks Of Using An Electric Smoker
Smoking meats is a relatively simple task that many people find intimidating. It can seem like an incredibly touchy process. However, if you have an electric smoker, it will be very straightforward.
An electric smoker will give you the ability to control the heat properly without any extra effort on your part. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about hot spots. All you have to do is set the temperature, prepare your meat, and replenish the wood chips on occasion.
In many cases, an electric smoker is considered one of the best smokers on the market purely because it is the easiest. That doesn’t mean that you couldn’t get the same results with another smoker, but you will need to take more care in tending to the heat source.
Therefore, if you are new to the business of smoking meats, or a veteran, you might be interested in an easy method. It’s nice to learn to control temperatures and replenish heat sources in other types of smokers. But in the end, it’s nice to be able to set the temperature and let an electric smoker do the work for you.
Buying The Best Meats To Smoke May Be More Accessible Than Ever
Most of us go to our local butcher or grocery store on the hunt for the best meats to smoke. Wouldn’t it be so much easier if you could have them delivered right to your door?
Well, many companies can do that, but it can be pricey. Luckily, Amazon intends to make the whole process much more affordable.
Since they have acquired Whole Foods, they have expanded their business to include a wide array of fresh foods.
Nevertheless, we all know keeping food fresh as it travels can be difficult. However, in this ever-changing world we live in, having fresh food delivered to your doorstep is going to be more common than you might think. And much sooner than we all realize.
The Best Meats To Smoke For Amazing Flavor
There are so many different options on the market, and it can make choosing the best meats to smoke a little confusing.
What do you choose? What is the most important thing to look for?
We picked these meats based on popularity and flavor possibilities. Some of them will be common choices, and others may be something you never considered before.
Hopefully, we will be able to give you the fresh ideas and robust flavors you were looking for all along.
The King Of Smoked Meats
We all know that pork is at the top of the list when it comes to the best meats to smoke. There are certainly plenty of choices.
We already mentioned that ham is one of the easiest meats to smoke because it usually comes pre-cooked and even pre-smoked. It makes your job incredibly easy because it is already juicy and packed full of flavor.
Although, you can also consider a pork shoulder, ribs, and various roasts.
The best thing about pork, in general, is the fattiness of the meat. It makes it ideal for slow smoking without running the risk of drying out the meat. The richness of the fat will offer robust flavor, even without rubs, barbeque sauce, or general seasonings.
Nevertheless, the extra flavor will undoubtedly take it over the top.
What to remember when picking your pork
Generally, people seem to get in an argument about cutting away the fat before you pop your pork into the smoker. When it comes to cooking or smoking pork I typically skip this step and get right to it. It helps keep your meat tender and juicy.
Additionally, the fat will fall away easily after cooking. So you won’t have to worry about trimming anyway.
Therefore you can pick a cut that has plenty of fat because it can be a huge help. Keeping that in mind, pork chops aren’t a great choice. They are too small and cut too thin, which can make them extremely tricky.
Chicken Is A Simply Delicious Option
Chicken is incredibly simple to smoke and the type of blank slate that is ideal for practically any flavor combination. However, there are quite a few things you should keep in mind to make the best smoked chicken.
First of all, you need to remember that whole chickens are typically small. So if you’re planning on smoking a few at the same time make sure they are around the same size. It will be much easier to ensure that they cook through evenly.
Brining your chicken is another excellent idea. Most people recommend brining a chicken for about 12 hours. You can even add more ingredients to your brine to infuse flavors, such as wine, fruit juices, or spices. The point of brining your bird is breaking down the tougher parts of the meat and keeping it tender and juicy.
Additionally, “spatchcocking” your chicken is another good idea. I honestly had no idea what this was before and had to read up on it. Spatcocking is a process of removing the backbone from neck to tail. Once you do that, you can lay the chicken flat, and it will cook evenly.
If you are partial to a crispy skin on your smoked chicken, you may also want to consider patting the meat dry before popping it in the smoker. Cook the bird at 225 degrees Fahrenheit until the internal temperature reaches about 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Then you can turn the smoker up to 325 degrees Fahrenheit for another half an hour. It will give you a delicious crispy skin. Talk about yummy!
Time To Beef Up Your Dinner
Beef is one of the best meats to smoke because you can do just about anything and use any cut under the sun. You can make roasts, ribs, and briskets better than ever. It gives you the ability to slow roast the meat until it is incredibly tender.
The key to smoking beef is to cook it on a low temperature for the right amount of time. The time your meat will be in the smoker will depend on the cut and weight of the meat. The best cuts are an even thickness and beautifully marbled, such as brisket.
The marbling of the meat will help you keep it moist during the process. Other than that, the flavor will depend on the wood and the seasoning you use.
Typically, people use rubs, marinades, sauces, or even injections. It all depends on the recipe you’ve got your eye on.
One thing you should remember when smoking beef is the importance of resting the meat. It will enable you to cook the meat to the proper internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Then you should allow it to rest for about an hour.
Resting the meat gives the juices time to settle into the meat. You can lose a lot of flavor and moisture when you cut into the meat directly after pulling it from the smoker.
Texas style beef brisket recipe
Brisket is one of the best meats to smoke of all time, as long as you do it properly. It might sound intimidating, but it’s easier than you might think.
As we mentioned before, brisket is a beautifully marbled piece of meat. Although, if you want it to be flawless, you need to fork out a little money for a high-grade slab of brisket. With all of that in mind, it’s time to check out a delectable Texas-style beef brisket recipe.
- 1If you wish to trim the fat cap on your brisket, make sure to do so when it is cold. It makes the process much more comfortable. If you are cutting the fat cap, make sure to leave about ¼-inch of fat.
- 2After trimming, allow the meat to come to room temperature before putting it in the smoker.
- 3Preheat the smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit and make sure to add the wood of your choice at this point as well. Hickory, apple, cherry, maple, and red oak are fantastic choices.
- 4Mix your salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a bowl or container and evenly distribute over the meat. Make sure to cover the entire surface of the meat on the top, bottom, and sides.
- 5Put your meat on the smoking rack. If you are using an electric smoker, you only need to make sure the fat cap is on top. If you are using another type of smoker, make sure that the thickest part of the meat is pointed towards the heat source.
- 6Smoke the brisket until the internal temperature is 165 degrees Fahrenheit. That should take about 8-hours for a 12 to 14-pound brisket.
- 7When it is done, wrap the meat in butcher paper and let it rest for one hour on the counter. Then you’ll be ready to slice it up and enjoy!
Tender And Delicious Lamb
Some people have inhibitions about eating lamb. Even if you aren’t a vegetarian, it can be an odd thing to wrap your head around, at least in my mother’s case.
However, if you are interested in finding the best meats to smoke, many say that lamb in at the top of the list.
There are plenty of different recipes and ways of preparing lamb.
Smoked Leg Of Lamb Recipe
The “best” lamb recipe is hard to pin down because it comes to personal preference. However, a Greek-style smoked lamb is a classic.
Therefore, we want to give you this classically delicious lamb recipe. It’s simple and straightforward, especially if you get the boneless leg of lamb that is already tied up to the size of a football. Some might say that there is a big difference in the taste when you remove the bone before smoking, but it’s not true. A boneless leg of lamb will cook evenly and give you a marvelous flavor.
So let’s get to it, shall we?
- 1You will need to debone and tie up the leg of lamb, so it forms a roast. You may also need to trim away excess fat, depending on the cut. Keep in mind that you could skip this step if you buy a boneless leg of lamb that is tied up and ready to go. All you need to do is ask a butcher for assistance.
- 2Mix the rest of your ingredients and apply it to the entire roast.
- 3Place the coated lamb in a dish and cover with plastic wrap to marinate in the fridge for an hour.
- 4Preheat the smoker to 250 degrees Fahrenheit while you wait.
- 5Once everything is ready to go, place the meat on a smoking rack and add the wood chips of choice. Hickory, apple, or oak are great choices.
- 6Smoke the lamb for about 3 to 4 hours or until the internal temperature is 145 degrees Fahrenheit. That will bring your meat to a beautiful medium rare with a delicious crust. If you prefer a well-done lamb, you may want to leave it in longer. You could also wrap it in butcher paper and let it rest for an hour.
When You Find The Best Meats To Smoke, You’ll Never Want To Stop
Overall, finding the best meats to smoke comes down to personal taste. We can tell you which ones are popular enough to have tons of recipes. But that isn’t to say that other options aren’t on par.
Honestly, with the right recipe, the list of the best meats to smoke is endless.
Hopefully, we gave you some great ideas and a few handy tips. The recipes in this list are fantastic and would be wonderful to try if you have the time.
But we would also love to hear about your favorite recipes in the comment section below.
After all, we are always hungry for some delicious new ideas!
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