An active smoker with lid closed

Achieve Consistent Results by Using the Best Method to Smoke Meat

As the weather warms up, there are ample opportunities for smoking meat outside. Although there’s an easy way to smoke meat right in your kitchen, it doesn’t yield the same results as smoking outdoors does. Even then, it’s hard to be consistent when first starting with meat smoking. So we tapped an expert for the best way to smoke meat for routinely flavorful results.

In recent years, smoking meat has become a more popular cooking method. If you already have a gas grill, you’re halfway there to being able to smoke your meat. Yet, for Adam Truhler of The Grilling Dad, that wouldn’t be his first choice. “While you can smoke meat on a gas grill using something like a woodchip smoke box, it can be difficult to achieve consistently delicious results,” he says. “I prefer using a pellet grill or a charcoal grill.”

Pellet grills are pretty straightforward and they heat up quickly, but to Truhler, they still have their drawbacks. “A pellet grill is very easy and convenient to use, but generally only produces a mild smoky flavor.” Instead, Truhler favors charcoal grills. “A charcoal kettle grill requires more tending (adding charcoal and wood chunks throughout the cook) and has more of a learning curve than a pellet grill, but if you are willing to stick with it for a handful of cooking sessions, [a charcoal grill] will ultimately produce much more flavorful, smoky barbeque.”

Use these tips when smoking meat with a charcoal grill

chicken and potatoes smoking on charcoal kettle grill

Charcoal kettle grills give the meat an incredible flavor, but getting a handle on them can be a little difficult. They tend to get extremely hot, which is the opposite of the low and slow method that smoking requires. One of the first tips you need when cooking with a smoker is to control the amount of air that flows in when using the charcoal kettle grill. A larger amount of airflow produces a faster, hotter fire that could char the meat rather than smoke it. Close the intake vent to control the fire and partially close the outtake vent to prevent the grill from getting too hot.

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Before you figure out the absolute best cuts of meat for smoking, you must learn how to give them the best flavor. Despite being called a charcoal kettle grill, wood chips are imperative for smoking meat. Different varieties of wood chips can infuse the meat with their own respective flavors. Additionally, wood chips produce more smoke than charcoal, although they don’t last quite as long. Replace them roughly every 30 minutes and avoid soaking the wood chips for the best results.

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