There really is nothing like the rich, succulent flavor of smoked meat. Whether it’s beef, pork, chicken, or turkey, that unmistakable, savory taste of wood is infused into every juicy morsel. If you have a smoker grill, you have everything a griller could want. But if you’re just starting in the skills of smoking meat, you may have some questions.
You might first ask “What are the best things to cook in a smoker?” Well, the answer to that is… everything! From ribs to roasts to brisket to sausages, that smoke-infused flavor is just irresistible. But more important question to ask should be, “What are the best smoker recipes?” There are thousands of them, all with different dry rubs, marinades, and woods that lend their unique qualities to food. And while we’re not about to tell veteran smoke masters how to do their business, we do have some handy recipes for rookies of the style, along with a look at two of our best smokers grills to get the job done right.
Here, the outdoor cooking experts at Appliances Connection have conferred to discover the very best smoker grill recipe’s for the first timer. Simple to make and so satisfying to savor. So, get that grill going and get ready to smoke.
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 ½ tablespoons brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 5 pounds pork spareribs
- 2 pounds hickory wood chips, soaked
- In a bowl, mix paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, ground black pepper, cumin, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Apply this liberally to the ribs.
- Place ribs in a large roasting pan, cover, and refrigerate overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 1 hour before smoking.
- Prepare an outdoor smoker, bringing the temperature to 200 to 225 degrees.
- Smoke ribs for 6 to 8 hours, adding wood chips to maintain a steady smoke (about one handful every 30 to 45 minutes). Ribs are done when crispy outside and tender inside.
- Remove from smoker and set aside for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.
SMOKED STANDING RIB ROAST
- 15 pounds charcoal briquets
- 2 pounds hickory wood chips
- 1 cup bourbon whiskey
- 4-pound standing rib roast, bone in
- ½ cup steak seasoning
- Start with at least 10 pounds of the charcoal in a vertical smoker. You will need a fairly hot fire.
- Fill the secondary pan with cold water and wait for the coals to turn white. Soak hickory chips in bourbon with enough water to cover.
- Rub the roast liberally with steak seasoning, being sure to coat all surfaces.
- When the coals are ready, place the roast on the top grate. Throw a few handfuls of soaked hickory chips onto the fire and close the lid.
- Check the fire every 45 minutes or so, adding more charcoal as needed to keep the fire hot. Every time you check the fire, add more wood chips.
- Cook for 8 to 10 hours, or to your desired doneness. Use a meat thermometer to check the roast.
PRICE: $500.12 *
This recipe specifically calls for a vertical smoker, and this Landmann 38" Two Drawer Wide Vertical Gas Smoker is the epitome of simplicity and sufficiency, offering five levels of adjustable grates adding up to an impressive cooking capacity. With its heat saving easy access drawers you'll be able to access the wood chip box and water pan without opening the main chamber door and affecting the interior temperature. It's also equipped with an adjustable top chimney and side damper vents with plastic tab guards for optimum temperature control.
K.C. BARBECUE BURNT ENDS
- 1 6-8 pound brisket point
- 2 teaspoons coarse Kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons coarse black pepper
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 cup beef stock
- 1 cup Kansas City-style BBQ Sauce
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees using oak wood.
- If you are starting with a whole packer brisket, separate the point from the flat by running a knife through the vein of hard white fat between the two muscles. Trim up your brisket point by removing any remaining hard fat and trimming the top fat cap down to ¼-inch thickness.
- Combine the salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Shake liberally on all sides of the brisket point.
- Place the seasoned brisket point on your smoker, close the lid, and smoke until the internal temperature of your meat reads 165 degrees. This step typically takes 6-8 hours, depending on the size and thickness of the brisket. Spritz with the 1 cup of beef stock every hour during this initial smoke period.
- Once the brisket reaches 165 degrees, wrap tightly in peach butcher paper and return to the smoker. Smoke until the internal temperature reaches 195 degrees and then remove to a cutting board. This typically takes another 3 hours.
- Unwrap from the butcher paper, draining any liquid from the paper into an aluminum pan. Cut the brisket point into cubes, about 1 1/2 inches thick.
- Place the cubes into the aluminum pan and toss with the BBQ sauce and brown sugar. Work quickly during this step to prevent your brisket from cooling down too much.
- Set the uncovered pan of burnt ends back on the smoker and close the lid. Continue smoking at 225 degrees for 1-2 more hours, or until the burnt ends have started to absorb the BBQ sauce and caramelize on all sides and are very tender.
- Remove the burnt ends from the smoker and serve with a slice of white bread for an authentic experience.
- 12 ounces large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon ground paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon parsley flakes
- Preheat smoker to 250 degrees.
- Place shrimp in a bowl. Add oil, paprika, and parsley and stir gently to coat. Transfer to a 6x8-inch baking sheet.
- Smoke shrimp until bright pink on the outside and the meat is opaque (about 45 minutes.
- Serve hot with your choice of garnish.
PRICE: $2,152.99 *
For a smoker that offers the temperature control and advances features that can handle even delicate foods like shrimp, the experts at The Good One offer a smoker based on practicality and performance with a burly configuration all its own. Their 38" Gen 3 “The Marshall” Smoker offers a massive cooking surface of 2849 sq in. and a host of features for flawless results every time. From its four adjustable slide-out racks to a fire box with its own grating for direct grilling to the separate smoking chamber above the fire box for even indirect heat distribution, this smoker has everything—and can handle anything—an outdoor cuisine enthusiast could want.
SMOKED WHOLE CHICKEN
- 4-5 lb. whole chicken
- Chicken brine (optional but recommended)
- 1/4 cup BBQ spice rub
- Parsley for garnish optional
- 1 gallon of water
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup Tabasco sauce
- ½ cup kosher salt
- Prepare the chicken brine by dissolving the brown sugar, Tabasco, and salt in the water.
- Brine the chicken for 24 hours. You may need to place a plate or other heavy object on the chicken to keep it submerged.
- If you're short on time, you can skip brining the chicken and still have a good result.
- Preheat the smoker to 250 degrees F. Load the smoker with apple wood chips or wood chips of your choice.
- Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry. Tuck the wings underneath the chicken and tie up the legs with kitchen twine.
- Place the chicken in a disposable aluminum pan and coat the chicken with the spice rub. Be sure to loosen the skin and rub some of the seasoning directly onto the meat underneath the skin.
- Place the chicken in the smoker. Smoke for 3 ½ to 4 ½ hours or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 degrees F. You will need to replenish wood chips during the cook time, so keep an eye on your smoker.
- Remove the chicken from the smoker and let it rest for 10 minutes.
- Carve the chicken, garnish with parsley and serve.
- 2 large salmon fillets or sides, pin bones removed
- 1 cup kosher salt
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- 1 tbsp crushed black peppercorns
- In a bowl, mix the salt, sugar, brown sugar and peppercorns.
- Spread extra-wide aluminum foil a little longer than the length of the fish and top with an equally long layer of plastic wrap. Sprinkle 1/3 of the rub onto the plastic. Lay one side of the fish skin down onto the rub. Sprinkle 1/3 of the rub onto the flesh of the salmon. Place second side of salmon, flesh down onto the first side. Use the remaining rub to cover the skin on the top piece. Fold plastic over to cover then close edges of foil together and crimp tightly around the fish.
- Place wrapped fish onto a plank or sheet pan and top with another plank or pan. Weigh with a heavy phone book or a brick or two and refrigerate for 12 hours. Flip the fish over and refrigerate another 12 hours. Some juice will leak out during the process so make sure there's a place for the run-off to gather.
- Unwrap fish and rinse off the cure with cold water. Pat salmon with paper towels then place in a cool, dry place (not a refrigerator) until the surface of the fish is dry and matte-like. This usually takes one to three hours depending on humidity. A fan may be used to speed the process.
- Smoke fish over smoldering hardwood chips or sawdust, keeping the temperature inside the smoker between 150 and 160 degrees until the thickest part of the fish registers 150 degrees. Serve immediately or cool to room temperature, wrap tightly and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
SMOKY CHICKEN WINGS
- 16 chicken wings, tips discarded
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup your favorite dry chicken rub for chicken
- 1 lb. mesquite wood chips, soaked in water
- Blue cheese salad dressing
- Place chicken wings in a large bowl. Pour in olive oil; toss with hands until coated. Coat wings evenly with dry rub.
- Light charcoal and heat smoker to 170 to 200 degrees according to manufacturer's instructions.
- Drain wood chips and place half of them directly on the charcoal. Spread wings evenly on the cooking grate skin-side down.
- Smoke wings until fragrant, about 1 hour.
- Flip wings. Add remaining wood chips to the charcoal. Continue smoking until an instant-read thermometer inserted near the bone reads 165 degrees about 1 hour more.
- Serve chicken wings with blue cheese dressing.
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We hope you enjoy these beginner smoker recipes, and that they deliver tender ribs with meat falling off the bone, beef bursting with juicy flavor, and chicken that will have you clucking with delight. And we’re sure that once you get a taste and a talent for smoking, it will soon become one of your favorite ways to cook outdoors—after all, who can resist the results?
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.
If you want to know more about purchasing an outdoor grill of any sort, explore our buyer’s guide here:
Is it worth buying a smoker?
It’s worth buying a smoker if you truly enjoy cooking outdoors and want to expand your culinary ambitions. Smoking is an entirely different method from grilling. It takes time and patience. But when you experience the end result, you’ll know it was worth it.
What are the best meats to smoke?
The best meats to smoke are those with a higher fat content such as brisket, pork, and ribs are excellent for smoking, as they won’t dry out during the process.
What is the best smoker?
What the best smoker is depends entirely on your needs, how often you smoke meats, and how advanced your smoking skills are. And Appliances Connection can help you find the perfect smoker for you.