You already have a smoker, or you want to invest in one. You had a delicious BBQ at the restaurant or a friend’s place, and you watched how amazing and fun it is to make it. You have seen all this greatness of smoked meat, and you are now sold on this unique style of preparing meat, and you are ready to try it out yourself. The meat you ate at your neighbor’s might have been beef, but the guy is a pretty talented smoker, so it came out soft and amazing. I’m not saying beef is tough but am saying before you decide to go all on smoking meat, you need to take another look at the choices of your meat. The million-dollar question now is, what are the best meats to smoke?
There are different types of meats which also come in different cuts or parts to choose from but which are the best? Choosing can be daunting, but you have to decide where to start.
What do you look for in meat and what cuts do you need to get the flavor you so much desire? After this, you must know how to best smoke the type of meat you buy to get that juicy flavor and texture bursting in your mouth.
Best meats to smoke
It’s not easy, but we have compiled a list of the best meats to smoke to get that perfect flavor, color and texture of meat that you so much desire.
This is the best meat when it comes to smoking- it leads our list for the best meats to smoke. Some of the most experienced smokers term it as the only meat meant for smoking. Some professionals smoke an entire pig, and the result is impressive. Whether whole or not, pork is naturally high in fat and soft giving you a variety of cuts to choose from. The truth is, with pork, it doesn’t matter what part you purchase whether they are ribs, bacon, pork chops, ham, and many more.
With pork, smoked flavors can be enhanced using any of the flavor features used when smoking. When smoking, remove the skin to let the spices and smoke easily penetrate the meat to add on the flavor. The tenderness of pork makes it possible to inject it with sugar, salt or apple juice. When smoking pork meat, make sure to cut large enough pieces or thin ones if you want to do fast cooking. However, you should be cautious to avoid them getting burnt.
Don’t listen to the bad rap about pigs. Some people see it as less healthy because of the fat, and it potentially contains parasite trichinosis and harmful bacteria that if not exposed to high temperatures can be detrimental to your health. However, pigs today are raised and bread in clean environments and with clean diets and conditions making them leaner than before.
Beef cooks slowly and it is flavorful, and Texas is well known for its fantastic BBQ. However, smoking beef requires a cook’s patience because the best cuts contain fat with complex and vast connecting tissue that has to be broken down during cooking which takes long. If you are hungry and need something to eat instantly, smoking beef will have you giving up in the middle and getting something else instead.
Beef requires hours and hours of smoking, and this helps the beef develop rich flavors that can only be achieved through smoking.
The good thing with beef is that the USDA grades it into different cuts. This way, it is easy to differentiate leanness and fattiness. With beef, the fattier it is, the better it is for smoking to get tender and juicy results. Fat protects tissues from high heat guarding against dryness. A choice grade brisket is the best for starters. It cooks evenly and comes out tender, and the temperature is easier to control through smoking.
No other meat comes close to chicken when smoking. What makes it enjoyable is what you can do with it can’t be compared with any other meat. Poultry generally opens up the cooking landscape with so many options available for you to choose from. The meat when smoked can be sauced, marinated, injected, stuffed, skewered or brined to get the most extensive range of flavors available.
Poultry is however not for the learners or beginners. It requires you to know how to work with the temperature settings of your smoker, and it also doesn’t require a lot of time to cook like beef or other meat.
All poultry chicken pieces are good for smoking, but the best way is to smoke the entire bird when it’s intact. The skin of the bird helps keep it soft and moist throughout smoking and also insulates the white meat.
This is one of the best meat to smoke, and the flavors of the meat match no other. It is, however, lesser-known when it comes to BBQ and smoking, and in the US, it is a regional delicacy. There are popular spots that serve lamb meat smoked to the best of it giving out amazing flavors.
Whether you are adding flavors to the meat or not, lamb comes out explicitly amazing when smoked. Lamb is tender and lean; thus it takes less time to cook, and the variety of cuts provide a wide array of cooking temperatures.
Lambs are young and small, and its meat is not as tough because the connective tissue is not so developed. What makes the meat great for smoking is that it is tender but less fatty.
One of the best types of seafood to smoke is salmon. It is oily and fatty fish, and when smoked, it produces a deep flavor hard to beat from other meat. If you want to induce a good flavor with generally soft seafood, smoke it on a plank of cedar. It becomes infused with a deep smoke and wood flavor, and the taste is just amazing.
Fish is soft and smoking; it requires medium temperatures as well as little cooking time. When it comes to spices, they easily penetrate seafood giving it a deep flavor of any of your desired spices.
Smoking meat is one of the best outdoor experiences that most people enjoy. It might require time and preparation, but if done right, any type of meat comes out deliciously beautiful.
The meats listed above are not the only types of meat that can be smoked; but rather some of the best meats to smoke. There is no comprehensive smoking list because, with smoking, anything can be tried and perfected into a fantastic dish.
There are other types of food suitable for smoking, and they can sometimes beat the above list. Some of these include venison or sausages whose results are just amazing and can’t be compared to the above listed meat.
Whether you are a beginner in smoking or you are experienced, choosing the best meats to smoke depends on your tastes and preferences, plus cooking time. Even the tough cuts become tender when smoked right. If you have time, you can comfortably smoke any kind of meat and perfect it into a fantastic meal. Hungry yet?