If you're new to smoking meat or preparing meat for smoking, I've got a few tips for you! I hope it will keep you from making costly mistakes and help you enjoy one of my favorite hobbies!
Smoking Brisket Tips
Brisket is tricky in that it will continue to cook as it rests, and the temperature will increase by as much as ten degrees. Aim to pull it when it hits 205°F. You can tell it’s ready when it jiggles like jelly, and a toothpick probe slides in like a warm knife through butter.
Prime Rib Cooking Tips
After smoking prime rib, you’ll probably want to finish it over a hot grill to brown the exterior.
Smoked Sausage Tips
Turn up the heat for sausages that aren’t properly cured.
Pork Cooking Tips
Pork should always cook to a minimum of 165°F. For pork butt, aim for 195°F to 205°F. This typically takes about two hours per pound of pork. An 8-pound pork butt can take up to 16 hours total.
Technically ribs and pork, in general, are safe to eat after 165°F, but they’re not really done until the fat and collagen have melted into delicious tenderness. That happens between 190-203°F. For a full slab of baby back ribs allow approximately 4-5 hours, but spare ribs take 6-7 hours.
Rib Cooking Tips
Ribs should be tender but not falling off the bones. You can test for doneness by giving it a gentle bounce with your tongs. If the surface starts to crack, you’re good. Also, the meat will start to pull cleanly from the bones when they’re good to go.
Smoked Turkey Tips
They’ll gobble up your smoked turkey if you stick to a 10-14 pound bird. Anything bigger puts your fans in danger of food poisoning.
Smoked Lamb Tips
When you smoke lamb, cooking at 300-350° F yields a better crust.
Cooking Whole Hams Tips
For whole hams, cook at 225-250° F for 6-8 hours. You’ll know a bone-in ham is ready when the bone pokes through the top around a half inch.
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Do you have a tip you'd like to share? Comment below!