Food Smoking is one of the funnest and most satisfying things you’ll ever do when cooking. It’s amazing to be able to take some meat and make it taste 100x better with very minimal effort! Knowing the basics to food smoking is key to making sure your meat is smoked to perfection and cooked thoroughly. One key to food smoking is good temperature control. Food smoking is best done in the range of 200-220 degrees F. To be safe most meats need to be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees F and poultry to 165 degrees F. I personally like my meat very tender. If you want a more tender meat you will want a higher final temperature, say around 180 degrees F.
Keeping your heat low is the key to successful food smoking. It will give the smoke enough time to envelope your meat and naturally tenderize it. Slow smoking the meat also give the fibers in the meat time to break down and become tender. This allows the the fibers to change into basics sugars, helping it taste a a little bit better (without adding calories)!
Remember, the basics of food smoking are; All meats have to be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees F and poultry to 165 degrees F or it won’t be properly cooked. If you want your meat tender I would recommend around 180 Degrees F.