10 Tips for Perfect Smoked Meat
10 recommendations for perfect smoked meat every time you visit your backyard.
- Apply your Dry or Wet Rub the night before you start smoking and let your meat marinate in the refrigerator.
- The meat on the lower racks in the smoker will cook quicker than the meat on the higher racks, so place larger cuts of meat on the lower racks.
- You will need to rotate the meat about half way through a four hour cooking process. When cooking for longer periods, we never rotate more than 3 times. Rotating the meat will help ensure that all parts of the meat are cooked evenly. If you use a smaller smoker like I do, you will probably have to add more charcoal/wood and you may want to turn the meat at this time to reduce the number of times the door is opened.
- Minimize the number of times you open the smoker door. Each time you open the door, heat escapes and extends the cooking duration.
- Apply a mop to keep the meat moist during the cooking process. A mop is typically a sauce or liquid that is thinner than a BBQ Sauce) applied to the meat during the smoking process. It can be as simple as some apple juice mixed with water or it can be more sophisticated. The mop helps to keep the meat moist. To minimize the amount of heat escaping when you open the Smoker, apply the mop when rotating the meat and/or adding charcoal/wood to the Smoker.
- Even though smoking temperatures are significantly less than a grill, you should still se gloves when handling anything inside the smoker (I have burned my fingers more than the one time it should haven taken to learn this).
- Consider where you place the smoker. I live in a zero lot subdivision and my smoker is on the patio. The first placement was too close to my fireplace vent and when I lit the smoker the aroma filled the house. The smoker is used for hours, perhaps, 6 to 12 at a time. As a result, it should be placed in a low traffic area.
- Don’t use charcoal with lighter fluid presoaked in the briquettes, such as Match Light. The lighter fluid taste will be transferred to the meat.
- If using a Water Smoker, use hot water in your smoker water pan. Cold water will lower the temperature and results in extending the cooking time.
- Apply your barbecue sauce in the last 30 to 45 minutes of cooking. If you apply it any sooner, it will turn black on the meat.