Best Meats to Smoke

The best meats to smoke are fatty cuts like beef brisket, pork shoulder and ribs. Although the smoking process can dry out some types of meat, the high fat content of brisket and pork shoulder help keep them moist, tender and delicious. Get more tips for smoking below!

1

Smoking: A Backyard Tradition

Nothing beats food cooked on the grill. This grilling season, try smoking your meat for a change.

The best meats to smoke include:

Beef brisket – This is the premier cut for smoking. The secret to creating a good smoked brisket is choosing the best piece of meat. Ample marbling and a healthy fat layer will keep the meat moist. Look for the most tender piece you can get. Ask your butcher to lift a piece of brisket a bit. The more it bends, the more tender it will be when cooked. Most people prepare beef brisket with a rub.

Pork shoulder (Boston butt) – Pork shoulder has a great ratio of fat to lean meat, making it perfect for slow smoking. The result is deliciously moist and flavorful pulled pork without the need for rubs or sauces. Enjoy traditional pulled pork sandwiches, but also consider more creative recipes, like pulled pork tacos, mac and cheese, and casseroles. Follow this recipe for Smoked BBQ Boston Butt.

Pork and beef ribs – Who doesn't like smoked spare ribs on a lazy summer day? Ribs are easy to smoke after you remove the membrane and rub them with your favorite blend of spices and seasonings. Fun to eat, tender, and tasty, ribs are a go-to meat for smoking. Follow this recipe for perfectly smoked ribs.

2

Choose the Best Wood, Too

You can smoke meats in an electric smoker or on an infrared grill. Remember to choose a wood that complements the meat you're smoking.

  • Alder & fruitwoods such as pecan, apple and cherry lend a smoky sweetness to the meat.
  • Hickory infuses a stronger smoke flavor and works well with bolder cuts of meat like pork butt and ribs.
  • Mesquite is the strongest smoking wood and is ideal for smoking dark meats.
  • Maple has a mild, sweet flavor that is perfect for poultry and vegetables.
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