Let’s just be honest here: smoking meat is enjoyable. If the smoking process is done right, you’re left with a delicious meal, some flavorful red meat, poultry, or fish—and a great time. There are many different ways to smoke meat, such as cold smoking, hot smoking, using different fuel like charcoal, wood chips, or hickory, as well as obtaining the ideal internal temperature to guarantee that perfect smoky flavor. However, quite often, people tend to not enjoy smoked meat as much as others for a variety of reasons. One of the main reasons is based on their meat of choice.
Listen, there are some types of meat that just shouldn’t be smoked. Certain things should just steer clear of the smoker. But there are different types of meat that are quite honestly the best when they’re smoked.
Below is a list of the seven best meat types to smoke, with little tips on how to get the best possible results.
Pork Ribs are probably the most popular forms of meat to smoke, right across the board. Because ribs tend to have a lot of fat, they make the perfect meat to smoke, resulting in such a savory flavor. Not only are they great to smoke, but they also tend to be cheaper than other types of meat that can begin to rack up in terms of money. Most grocery stores carry pork ribs, making them cheaper and easily accessible than other forms of meat.
If you’re looking to get the best out of your smoked pork ribs, try to smoke them using hickory, apple-wood, or smoke-wood. Trust me, you’ll see the difference. If you’ve never smoked pork ribs before, you may become a convert and only smoke pork ribs for now on. After smoking, the ribs can become so moist they begin to fall off the bone, resulting in such a great delicious flavor.
To make these pork ribs the absolute best they can possibly be, make sure you do some proper preparation. Season and get your ribs ready to go prior to smoking them. Some types of meat, you can just throw on (or in) your smoker, others need some proper time to get ready. Pork ribs are one of those that need some added preparation before meeting the smoker. Not much, but a little. Find the seasoning and process that works best for you, and then get to work. Trust me, you’ll enjoy them!
For all the seafood lovers out there, this one's for you. Carp is actually amazing when smoked. Now, if you don’t like seafood or fish, you might want to sit this one out. However, I always recommend everyone to try smoked carp at least once, regardless of whether they like fish or not. Carp has the ability to not taste fishy or oily at all, which most fish can’t attest to. Carp meat, however, is actually pretty firm.
If you really don’t like any type of fishy taste, soak the fillets in salt water, buttermilk, or milk for a few hours before you decide to smoke them. This will leave the fish meat less oily than normal, which can make the fish taste far less fishy.
For the best smoked carp meat experience, smoke them with mesquite wood. It’s amazing.
A Whole Turkey
Looking for a new way to cook that turkey this Thanksgiving? Try smoking it!
If I’m being honest, I prefer smoked turkey before I prefer turkey prepared or cooked any other way. If done right, you’ll get one great meal out of your smoked turkey, whether it’s Thanksgiving or not. Smoked turkey has such complex tastes and flavors that make it to die for. All of a sudden, that dry turkey you’re used to is now moist and delectable. Turkeys aren’t the only birds that go great in a smoker. Other birds such as chicken, pheasant, and duck are also great to smoke!
Now, to make sure that your turkey (or preferred bird of choice) stays moist and doesn’t fall back into that dry territory, you’re going to need to brine them for about one hour per pound. This is probably the most important tip when smoking a turkey, as many people end up with drier than usual meat. However, if you brine them accordingly, you’ll have no issue. I also recommend using some type of rub prior to smoking them to get the ultimate meal.
Now, I know that sometimes, when cooked, deer is super dry and gamey—and that’s never good. However, smoking deer meat results in a completely different type of flavor. The shoulders and tenderloin are the best parts of the deer to be smoked, even though you can technically smoke all parts of deer meat.
Like birds and goat, deer meat smoked does best when you brine the meat beforehand (at about an hour per pound). If you don’t brine the meat, you’ll just end up with incredibly dry meat lacking in flavor.
To get the best results, I recommend smoking with any fruit-woods, though I’ve found that apple smoke-wood is the best.
If you’re searching for something new to do for your next barbeque, look no further: just smoke the beef brisket. Smoked beef brisket is like barbecue 101, but so many people decide to choose other meat when having a barbecue. However, once you try smoked beef brisket, there’s the very real chance you’re never going back. If you love the smoked version, you should also try sous vide roast beef.
Now, don’t judge smoked brisket by the other brisket you may have had. Cooked differently, brisket can sometimes be super chewy and tough, which can be such a bummer. But when you smoke it, this meat instantly changes. All of a sudden, it’s moist, full of flavor (which always surprises every first time smoked beef brisket tasters) and kind of tastes like a cross breed of roast beef and steak.
Plus, beef brisket is incredibly easy to smoke, which is always a positive. However, note that beef brisket smoked is better if you keep the temperature low and smoke it for a while.
If you like less fatty meat and want a “healthier” alternative, goat meat might be the best option for you. Goat is lower in cholesterol and calories than most meat (other than fish), making it a prime opportunity for those who are trying to limit certain intakes.
The main thing you have to pay attention to when smoking goat is the brining you must do prior to smoking. Brining is a priority. If you don’t brine your meat for an hour per pound, you’re going to end up with incredibly dry meat. And that’s just the worst.
For the best results, smoke the goat meat with mesquite smoke-wood.
Smoked Cornish hens have so much more flavor than your average chicken or turkey does. Again, like many of the meat featured here (most notably turkey and deer), if you don’t brine the meat beforehand at an hour per pound, the meat will turn out to be incredibly dry. Therefore, brining beforehand is a must.
If you want the best meal, smoke these Cornish hens with apple smoked-wood.