How to Smoke Meat for Beginners: 7 Steps For a Nice Result


Smoking meat is a technique that has been used for many years in the world of cooking and meat preparation. It is characterized by leaving the meat with a strong and outstanding flavor.

However, with so many new cooking techniques that have been created and used over the years, meat smoking has fallen by the wayside.

Still, if you are here looking for the best way to smoke meat, today we will be leaving you with a guide on how to smoke meat for beginners.

How to smoke meat: Step by step

To smoke our meat in the best way we must take into account many things, from the grill or grill we use, to how we prepare the meat and how we rest it. So here we will be explaining all the necessary steps in this meat smoking guide.

1.  Choose your smoker or grill to use

It is essential that you choose the cooking instrument that you will use to smoke your meat.

You can do it either through a specific smoker or even with your grill. You can look for and choose from the following:

  • Smokers: wood smoker, charcoal smoker, gas smoker, electric smoker.
  • Grill: charcoal grill, gas grill.

Electric smokers are a great option if you are not used to work with fire. Besides, they come with some great tools to measure and control temperature.

Check out >> What Is the Best Electric Smoker to Buy

2. Choose the type of firewood to use

Although this may not seem like a relevant step at first glance, it is. Each type of wood chips can give a different flavor to the meat, and some even cook better with certain types of meat, which is why this step is also essential when smoking meat.

Among the types of firewood, you can use are:

  • Mesquite firewood
  • Pecan wood
  • Oakwood
  • Cherry wood
  • Maple wood
  • Smooth wood
  • Applewood

Check out >> Variety of Wood Chips

3. Set the temperature for smoking your meat

The best way to smoke meat is cooking it through indirect heat, that is to say, maintaining a low and constant heat that allows it to cook. The temperature range when smoking meat is between 200°F (93°C) and 250°F (121°C).

So, you should constantly check the temperature of your grill or smoker. You should also take into account the following:

  • When smoking meat for hours, the charcoal and wood should be changed every two hours.
  • If you use a gas grill you should change the wood when it has been consumed

4. Choose the meat to be smoked

Usually, any type of meat can be used at the moment of smoking. However, it is recommended that they are hard cuts of meat that require long, slow cooking.

This, allows you to smoke your meat for long periods of time so that the fat can be broken down and the meat is left with a tender texture. Among the meats that are best to smoke, we find:

  • Beef ribs, beef tenderloin, canned beef.
  • Ham, roast pork crown, pork chops, or pork ribs
  • Turkey and chicken legs
  • Salmon, trout, lobster, lobster, tilapia

5. Prepare the meat

This is an important step since you must perform certain actions before smoking your meat.

First, you must examine the cut of meat, if it has a lot of fat, you can remove some of it. You should not remove all the fat, but you should keep it to a minimum.

Next, you should sprinkle equal parts of salt and pepper on all sides of the meat. After this you have two options, you can wrap the meat and save it for the next day, or you can prepare it all at once.

We may recommend you to store it and leave it like this for a day so that the flavor is more intense when smoked.

6. Smoke the meat

At the moment of smoking the meat, remember to place your grill or smoker at a temperature between 200°F (93°C) and 250°F (121°C), recommended to be at 225°F (105°C).

You must place your meat inside the grill or smoker.

It is recommended to smoke it for about two and a half hours without checking the meat, because it is essential to let it cook while closed so that the smoke from the charcoal has its effect.

Once the two and a half hours have elapsed, you should open the grill or smoker and check the meat. At this point in the cooking process, you can sprinkle the meat with water and apple cider vinegar.

Then, you should close it and let it cook for another hour.

Once that hour has passed, the meat may stick, so you can increase the temperature to 250°F for about 45 minutes. After this time, you should wrap the meat in butcher paper and smoke it for five and a half hours more.

In total, it should cook for about 9 hours.

7. Check the temperature and let it rest

Once all the cooking hours have elapsed, check the temperature of the meat at different points. It is convenient that the thickest and thinnest pieces are at a temperature between 195°F (90°C) and 205°F (96°C).

When the meat is at that temperature, it is ready. It is important to let it rest for about three hours.

Is smoking meat easy?

Yes, actually smoking meat is not complicated, but it does take time and dedication.

That is to say, for the smoking to look good, the ideal is that it is cooked at the correct temperatures and times. By following the steps described above, you will be able to smoke your meat in the best way.

Smoking meat does not require being an expert in the subject, there are smokers for beginners meant to make the job simpler. Remember that the steps described are especially for beginners in the subject, so the methodology is very simple to perform.

Check out >> What Is the Best Smoker for a Beginner

Did you think it was possible to learn how to smoke meat in such a simple way? Well, yes, it is, and with this guide, you will be able to surprise everyone at your meals.


Tyler Lachance is a cookout professional. His expertise on cooking grilled food, creating marinades, formulating sauces and matching his food with the perfect drink is unrivaled.

Born and raised in a family that has a long history of cookout, he has treated this activity as a part of his culture and who he is.