How to Smoke Meat In an Outdoor Smoker?

17 minutes read

Smoking meat in an outdoor smoker involves using wood chips to create smoke that flavors and cooks the meat slowly over a period of several hours. To begin, soak the wood chips in water for at least 30 minutes before placing them in the smoker. Then, prepare the meat by seasoning it with your desired spices and letting it sit at room temperature while the smoker preheats to the desired temperature. Once the smoker is ready, place the meat on the grate and add the soaked wood chips to the smoker box or directly on the coals. Close the lid and let the meat smoke for several hours, periodically checking the temperature of the smoker and adding more wood chips as needed. The meat is done when it reaches the desired internal temperature and is tender and flavorful from the smoking process. Enjoy your smoked meat hot off the grill with your favorite sides and sauces.

Best Outdoor Smokers of July 2024

1
Masterbuilt® 30-inch Digital Electric Vertical BBQ Smoker with Leg Kit, Side Wood Chip Loader and 710 Cooking Square Inches in Black, Model MB20070421

Rating is 5 out of 5

Masterbuilt® 30-inch Digital Electric Vertical BBQ Smoker with Leg Kit, Side Wood Chip Loader and 710 Cooking Square Inches in Black, Model MB20070421

  • Vertical digital electric smoker with 710 square inches of cooking space
  • Digital controls to easily set cooking time and temperature up to 275°F
  • Four chrome-coated smoking racks
  • Removable water bowl to add moisture and catch food drippings
2
EAST OAK 30" Digital Electric Smoker, Outdoor Smoker with Glass Door and Meat Thermometer, 725 Sq Inches of Cooking with Remote, 4 Detachable Racks Smoker Grill for Party, Home BBQ, Night Blue

Rating is 4.9 out of 5

EAST OAK 30" Digital Electric Smoker, Outdoor Smoker with Glass Door and Meat Thermometer, 725 Sq Inches of Cooking with Remote, 4 Detachable Racks Smoker Grill for Party, Home BBQ, Night Blue

  • 𝗕𝗲𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝗦𝗺𝗼𝗸𝗲𝗿 𝗙𝗹𝗮𝘃𝗼𝗿: The smoker features a side wood chip loader for continuous smoking for 2-3 hours without opening the door and adding chips, preserving the internal heat, and locking in the smoked flavors
  • 𝗧𝗲𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗿 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗝𝘂𝗶𝗰𝘆 𝗧𝗮𝘀𝘁𝗲: The 800W power heating tube in the electric smoker creates consistent smoke from wood chips, guaranteeing tender, juicy meats through low and slow cooking. Follow EAST OAK's website for more delectable recipes
  • 𝗣𝗿𝗲𝗰𝗶𝘀𝗲 𝗢𝗯𝘀𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗳 𝗙𝗼𝗼𝗱: The visual glass door allows you to directly observe the food in the smoker, and the internal light also aids in illumination. The meat probe detects food temperature and keeps track of smoking progress and heat in real-time
  • 𝗘𝘅𝗰𝗲𝗹𝗹𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗗𝘂𝗿𝗮𝗯𝗶𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘆: The digital smoker features a casing made of three layers of high-quality materials. Additionally, aluminum plating along the edges reduces deformation and damage, ensuring long-lasting durability for outdoor use
3
Ninja OG951 Woodfire Pro Connect Premium XL Outdoor Grill & Smoker, Bluetooth, App Enabled, 7-in-1 Master Grill, BBQ Smoker, Outdoor Air Fryer, Woodfire Technology, 2 Built-In Thermometers, Black

Rating is 4.8 out of 5

Ninja OG951 Woodfire Pro Connect Premium XL Outdoor Grill & Smoker, Bluetooth, App Enabled, 7-in-1 Master Grill, BBQ Smoker, Outdoor Air Fryer, Woodfire Technology, 2 Built-In Thermometers, Black

  • 7-IN-1 FUNCTIONALITY: Grill, BBQ smoke, Air Fry, Roast, Bake, Broil, and Dehydrate with 100% real woodfire flavors​ all in one place.
  • WOODFIRE TECHNOLOGY: Powered by electricity, flavored by real wood burning pellets for all the flavor and none of the flame. Add woodfire flavor you can see and taste. ​
  • FOOLPROOF BBQ SMOKER: Authentic BBQ bark and flavor—fast and easy with just ½ cup of pellets.
  • DUAL THERMOMETER COOKING: Includes 2 built-in thermometers so you can cook 2 different protein types to 2 different doneness settings from rare to well.
4
Ninja OG701 7-in-1 Outdoor Electric Grill & Smoker - Grill, BBQ, Air Fry, Bake, Roast, Dehydrate & Broil - Uses Woodfire Pellets - Portable & Weather Resistant

Rating is 4.7 out of 5

Ninja OG701 7-in-1 Outdoor Electric Grill & Smoker - Grill, BBQ, Air Fry, Bake, Roast, Dehydrate & Broil - Uses Woodfire Pellets - Portable & Weather Resistant

  • MASTER GRILL, BBQ SMOKER, & AIR FRYER: All in one with 100% real smoky flavor..Voltage: ‎120 volts
  • MASTER GRILL: Get all the performance of a full-size propane grill with the same char and searing.
  • FOOLPROOF BBQ SMOKER: Create authentic BBQ bark and flavor fast and easy with just 1/2 cup of pellets.
  • OUTDOOR AIR FRYER: Add smoky flavor to your air fried favorites and cook all your side dishes outdoors.
  • WEATHER-RESISTANT: Cook and store outdoors year-round.
  • 1760-WATT ELECTRIC POWER: No charcoal, propane, or flareups. Balcony & apartment friendly.
5
Cuisinart COS-244 Vertical Propane Smoker with Temperature & Smoke Control, Four Removable Shelves, 36", Black

Rating is 4.6 out of 5

Cuisinart COS-244 Vertical Propane Smoker with Temperature & Smoke Control, Four Removable Shelves, 36", Black

  • Product Dimensions: 19.3" L x 18.1" W x 38.6" H | Weight: 69.5 lb
  • FOUR 14 X 14-INCH REMOVABLE STAINLESS STEEL SHELVES: Four stainless steel racks can be easily removed for smoking whole birds or large cuts of meat. Racks are dishwasher safe, making cleanup easy.
  • BUILT-IN THERMOMETER: Features easy-to-read thermometer on the front door for accessible monitoring of the internal temperature.
  • SEAL-TIGHT TWIST-LOCK DOOR AND HANDLE: The door stays tightly sealed with a twist of the handle.
6
Masterbuilt® 40-inch ThermoTemp Propane Gas Vertical BBQ Smoker with Analog Temperature Control and 960 Cooking Square Inches in Black, Model MB20051316

Rating is 4.5 out of 5

Masterbuilt® 40-inch ThermoTemp Propane Gas Vertical BBQ Smoker with Analog Temperature Control and 960 Cooking Square Inches in Black, Model MB20051316

  • Vertical propane smoker with 960 square inches of cooking space
  • Ignition button to easily light fuel with the push of a button
  • Four chrome-coated smoking racks
  • Woodchip tray to add delicious smoky-flavor to food
  • Adjustable air damper for smoke control
7
Royal Gourmet SE2805 28-Inch Analog Electric Smoker with 3 Cooking Grates, 454 sq inches Cooking Area in Total, 1350W Output, Outdoor BBQ Smoker with Adjustable Temperature Control, Black

Rating is 4.4 out of 5

Royal Gourmet SE2805 28-Inch Analog Electric Smoker with 3 Cooking Grates, 454 sq inches Cooking Area in Total, 1350W Output, Outdoor BBQ Smoker with Adjustable Temperature Control, Black

  • Better Smoked Flavor: The bottom heating tube works with a removable stainless steel water pan and a chip box to add smoked flavor and make it more tender.
  • Outstanding Heating Performance: 1350-watt heating power and an insulated chamber provide an even and consistent heating experience.
8
Vertical Propane Smoker with Temperature Control, BBQ Smoker Grill Outdoor Heavy Duty Three Removable Smoking Shelves, Black

Rating is 4.3 out of 5

Vertical Propane Smoker with Temperature Control, BBQ Smoker Grill Outdoor Heavy Duty Three Removable Smoking Shelves, Black

  • With its simple design and a large smoking chamber, this vertical gas Smoker is the perfect choice for any enthusiast of smoked food, its compact design fits nicely on most patios or decks.
  • Incredibly solid and well-built, this sturdy smoker’s door seals in the smoke. The extra wide racks allow for ample airflow around the meat. Both the water bowl and wood chip tray are easy to access.
  • Smokers with wider racks to allow for larger-format smoking or big cuts of meat. The door of the cooking chamber can seal tightly shut, to trap smoke inside with minimal leaks.
9
Masterbuilt® 30-inch Electric Vertical BBQ Smoker with Analog Temperature Control, Chrome Smoking Racks and 535 Cooking Square Inches in Black, Model MB20070210

Rating is 4.2 out of 5

Masterbuilt® 30-inch Electric Vertical BBQ Smoker with Analog Temperature Control, Chrome Smoking Racks and 535 Cooking Square Inches in Black, Model MB20070210

  • SPACIOUS VERTICLE DESIGN with 535 cooking square inches that fits up to 3 chickens, 2 turkeys or 3 racks of ribs
  • REMOVABLE WOOD CHIP TRAY – Add rich smoky flavor to your food and experiment with different wood chip types.
  • THREE chrome coated smoking racks included


What is the best way to serve smoked meat from an outdoor smoker?

The best way to serve smoked meat from an outdoor smoker is to slice or shred the meat and arrange it on a serving platter. Serve it with your favorite barbecue sauce or other condiments on the side. You can also serve it on sandwiches, tacos, or alongside your favorite sides such as coleslaw, baked beans, or potato salad. Be sure to let the meat rest for a few minutes before serving to allow the juices to redistribute and the flavors to fully develop. Enjoy your delicious smoked meat!


How to monitor the smoke level in an outdoor smoker while smoking meat?

  1. Use a thermometer: A good quality thermometer with multiple probes can be placed inside the smoker to monitor both the temperature and smoke level. Make sure to position the probes in different areas of the smoker to get an accurate reading.
  2. Visual inspection: Keep an eye on the smoke coming out of the smoker. Ideally, you want a thin, blue smoke which indicates a clean burn and is perfect for smoking meat. Thick, white smoke usually means that the wood chips are not getting enough air or are smoldering, which can lead to a bitter taste.
  3. Adjust the vents: Most smokers have vents that can be adjusted to control the airflow. Proper ventilation is important for maintaining a consistent smoke level. If you notice the smoke getting too thick, open up the vents to increase airflow. If the smoke is too thin, close the vents slightly.
  4. Use a smoke generator: If you want more control over the smoke level, consider using a smoke generator. These devices can be filled with wood chips or pellets and produce a consistent amount of smoke throughout the smoking process.
  5. Experiment with different wood types: Different types of wood produce different levels of smoke. For example, hickory and mesquite are known for producing a strong smoke flavor, while fruit woods like apple or cherry produce a milder smoke. Experiment with different wood types to find the right balance for your taste preferences.
  6. Keep a log: Keep a log of your smoking sessions, noting the type of wood used, the temperature, and the smoke level. This can help you track your progress and make adjustments for future smoking sessions.


How to prevent over-smoking meat in an outdoor smoker?

  1. Use a meat thermometer: Monitoring the internal temperature of the meat is crucial in preventing over-smoking. It helps you ensure that the meat is cooked to the desired doneness without being excessively smoked.
  2. Control the airflow: Proper ventilation is key to maintaining the right amount of smoke in the smoker. Adjust the vents to control the amount of oxygen and prevent the meat from getting too much smoke.
  3. Use the right type and amount of wood: Different types of wood impart different levels of smoke flavor. Use hardwoods like oak, hickory, or fruit woods like apple or cherry for a milder smoke flavor. Also, avoid using too much wood at once, as this can result in over-smoking.
  4. Preheat the smoker: Preheating the smoker before adding the meat helps establish a consistent temperature and smoke level. This prevents the meat from being exposed to excessive smoke during the heating process.
  5. Monitor cooking time: Keep track of how long the meat has been smoking to prevent it from staying in the smoker for too long. Follow a recipe or recommended cooking times to ensure the meat is not over-smoked.
  6. Check the smoke color: The ideal smoke color should be a light blue or almost invisible. If the smoke is billowing white or gray, it may be too intense and can result in over-smoking the meat.
  7. Avoid opening the smoker too often: Opening the smoker frequently can cause fluctuations in temperature and smoke levels. Try to avoid opening the smoker more than necessary to prevent over-smoking.


What is the best type of meat to smoke in an outdoor smoker?

The best type of meat to smoke in an outdoor smoker is subjective and can vary depending on personal preferences. However, some popular options include:

  1. Brisket: Brisket is a large, tough cut of meat that benefits greatly from the low and slow cooking process of smoking. It becomes incredibly tender and flavorful when smoked properly.
  2. Ribs: Pork ribs, particularly baby back or spare ribs, are a classic choice for smoking. They develop a delicious smoky flavor and become fall-off-the-bone tender when smoked slowly.
  3. Pulled Pork: Pork shoulder or butt is ideal for smoking to make pulled pork. The meat becomes incredibly juicy and flavorful after long hours in the smoker.
  4. Chicken: Smoking chicken, whether it's whole chickens, chicken thighs, or wings, can yield delicious results. The meat becomes tender and juicy with a pleasant smoky flavor.
  5. Salmon: For seafood lovers, smoked salmon is a popular option. The delicate fish absorbs the smoky flavor beautifully and makes for a delicious and versatile dish.


Ultimately, the best type of meat to smoke in an outdoor smoker is one that you enjoy eating and feel comfortable preparing. Experimenting with different types of meat and finding your favorite is part of the fun of smoking.

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