What Are Some Tips for Cooking in a Smoker?

For good results when using a smoker, allow the smoker plenty of time, keep the heat at a low and steady temperature and use high-quality wood and lump charcoal. Also, keep the air flowing and avoid adding too much wood.

First, prepare the smoker with high-quality hickory, oak, cherry or apple wood chunks, avoiding mesquite and pine, but add only enough so that the smoke streams out of the smoker or grill. Next, use lump charcoal to get the smoking started, and be prepared with more charcoal for hours of smoking. Once the smoking starts, keep the vents open to allow for airflow. Improper air flow creates black smoke, which can ruin the meat's flavor. Have a water pan on hand to keep the heat at a consistent temperature.

Smoke the meat over a long period of time at a low temperature, which allows the smoke to completely infuse the meat and promotes the formation of a dark, caramelized crust. Experts also suggest seasoning the meat or adding a mild rub. For instance, sprinkle it with salt and pepper or mix together a rub containing 1/2 cup of kosher salt, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of lemon pepper, 1 tablespoon of black pepper and 2 teaspoons of chile flakes.