Smoked meat smells good, tastes even better, and the texture is exceptional. It’s no wonder food smoking dates back to the caveman days. Anyone can master the art of smoking meat to perfection if you follow a few important principles.
Food smoking is a simple process of cooking meat slowly using hot air along with smoke created by wood, charcoal, or other fuel sources to flavor the meat. Smoking works well for beef, pork, chicken, turkey, and fish.
To get the best flavor, make sure you have the right food smoker. Here we’ll walk you through the different types of smokers with a quick overview of each along with Bradley tips and tricks to get delicious smoked meat every time.
Choose Your Smoker
A quality smoker gives you well smoke meat with reliable results. They are a few different types of smokers, but electric smokers are the best option because they offer the convenience of the set it and forget it style of food smoking. All you have to do is place your meat in the smoker, set the timer, and watch the magic happen! Bradley Smokers combine the convenience and consistency of an electric smoker with the right amount of smoke flavor.
Here are some of the important factors when you’re looking for a good electric smoker.
Quality: Make sure your food smoker is manufactured with quality materials and construction. The Bradley smoker is made from stainless steel to increase durability and makes for easy cleaning maintenance. We also offer a full 1-year warranty while many of our competitors only offer 90 days.
Consistency Is Key!
Consistency: You can find electric smokers that offer quality construction, but few are able to give you perfect smoked meats every time. Bradley is obsessed with every step of the smoking process so you get delicious results. Our smokers are used by chefs at fine dining restaurants and high-end hotels around the world.
Bradley developed CleanSmoke Technology to utilize our uniquely designed 100% natural wood smoking bisquettes. These bisquettes are dispended with a conveyor system, smoked for an exact amount of time, and then extinguished before the wood turns to ash. This process is very important for clean smoke that makes your meat taste delicious every time. If the wood turns to ash, it imparts foul smoke that makes your meat taste bitter. Bradley owners who use our bisquettes enjoy clean, consistent smoke for incredible flavour and tenderness every time.
Versatility: Another important factor is versatility. Only with Bradley smokers, can you do both cold smoked and hot smoked beef, pork, fish, and poultry. Whether you are using it for 8 hours to smoke the perfect pork butt or 40 hours to smoke brisket, the Bradley smoker will make sure your meats turn out delicious every time.
Cold smoking can be done right at home with the right equipment and a bit of time and attention. Cold smoking is the only method to allow you to do smoked cheese yourself and other recipes that are exclusively done with cold smoking.
Simplicity: A quality electric smoker should be simple to use and clean. Bradley smokers are deliciously simple with no babysitting required so you can focus on making mouthwatering smoked foods.
6 Tips to Smoke Meat to Perfection
Once you have a smoker, it’s time to get cooking! Use the Bradley tips below to take your smoked meats to the next level of delicious!
Have a good idea of what your cook time should be for the meat before you start smoking. The smoke times for different types and cuts of meat can vary considerably. It takes around 8 hours for most beef cuts and pork ribs, while brisket should cook for over 20 hours.
2. Check meat temperature
Check the internal temperature of the meat to see if it’s done. You will need to do this with a thermometer. This helps to make sure it tastes great and is safe to eat. Beef steaks should be around 145 degrees, pork near 160 degrees, and poultry at 165 degrees.
Pro Tip: Use the Bradley digital smoker thermometer for the perfect meat temperature probe!
Tip: How to Place Your Meat In The Smoker
3. How to place the meat in the smoker
There are a number of different schools of thought on how you should place your meat in the smoker. Here are two rules of thumb we recommend. First, never smoke meat on direct heat. Your meat will be burnt on the outside before it’s cooked on the inside. You’ll never have this problem with a Bradley, as we have a diffuser that helps the heat to not be directly on the meat and be able to evenly distribute the smoke. Second, if you’re cooking brisket always place the flat side down towards the smoke with the deckle (fat side) facing up.
Pro Tip: Remember to never allow the meat to touch the walls of the smoker, as grease and liquid from the meat will not follow the flow designed on the smoker to reach a drip pan, creating possible security hazards.
Don’t allow different types of meat to touch itself it in the same rack while smoking, as the flavors can mix/ruin each other.
If smoking more than one type of meat at the same time, we recommend to have it on different racks, and to place a foil pan on a rack between those to catch drippings, avoiding it to fall on your other preparations.
Remember To Baste Your Meat!
4. Baste your meat
For brisket and ribs, the right baste or “mop sauce” can help keep it moist and tender. You can find more tips and tricks for tender and juicy brisket here.
5. Cover the meat
Many food smoking recipes recommend a process known as 3:2:1. This is where you smoke the meat for three hours, cover the meat for two hours with butcher paper or craft paper, and then uncover the meat for the last hour to finish.
Good temperature control is critical to getting tender and delicious smoked meat every time. You should aim for 200 to 220 degrees Fahrenheit over a long period of time to get the best results. Your meat should reach an internal temperature of between 145 degrees and 165 degrees to be safe to eat.
However, the secret to getting tender and juicy results from tough cuts of meat is to aim for a higher temperature of around 180 degrees. They should be smoked over a long period of time to get the flavorful results you want.
Food smoking done right is one of the best ways to enjoy beef, pork, fish, poultry, and maybe even vegetables. We hope the Bradley tips and tricks have given you some ideas on how to meats to the next level of delicious! Don’t hesitate to check out the Bradley Smoker Blog for more juicy tips & tricks year-round!