Best Meat to Smoke for a Beginner

Best Meat to Smoke for a Beginner

Have you ever smoked meat before using a smoker? Do you know how to choose the best meat for smoking? Well, this guide is for you if you’ve not smoked meat before or if you want to experiment with something different.

To get the full taste and flavor of the meat, it is essential to pick the right meat for it. If you use meat that is not preferable for smoking, you will not get the desired taste and pleasing experience. 

So, this blog post is on the best meat to smoke for a beginner. It will make your smoking task easy and simple to start your smoking experience and make it even better. Let’s get into it!

What is Meat Smoking? 

You would be curious about the process if you haven’t tried smoking meat before. In this cooking method, smoke is used to soften the meat’s internal threads. The meat will be cooked at a fixed temperature for a long period in a smoker. It will allow the meat to become tender and flavorful as a result.

Many people are used to contrasting smoking and grilling. Both methods will need to be cooked using charcoal, hardwood, or other fuel sources. It is essential to give the meat a deep smoky flavor and aroma. 

The duration and tastes produced when smoking over grilling meat are the key differences, and both methods always need wood to prepare. That wood can be different.

Smoking can take up to two hours. On the other hand, you can BBQ some chicken in as little as ten minutes. The cause of this is the heat at which the meat is being cooked. 

The meat will break apart within your hands and have a delicious flavor. It will occur because of the lengthy and slow preparation of meat.

Only when you have enough free time should you smoke the meat. It is because smoking requires a lot of time to prepare meat. When getting ready to smoke meat, you should keep in mind that most meats require many hours to cook. Meanwhile, you must avoid overcooking and undercooking.

What are the best Meats to Smoke for a Beginner?

Are you prepared to start meat smoking? It is essential to remember that various food pieces will cook at different temperatures. Also, you must be aware that some meats smoke better with particular types of wood than others. Your overall performance will be ensured by recognizing the cooking process and the proper flavor combination.

The size, general hardness, amount of fats and gelatin, and amount of collagen in the meat slice will all affect how long it takes to cook meat. 

In a nutshell:

  • A thin piece of meat with a low-fat content will require little preparation, temperature, and time. But because it must be smoked for a long-time during smoking, the low level of oil will cause it to turn dry.
  • A thick slice with lots of fat can be smoked for many hours without drying out. It is because the fats will retain the meat’s fluids and moisture.
  • Besides keeping its moisture during cooking, a piece of meat with a combo of harder fibers, fat, and a lot of gelatins will also provide more flavor and taste to the meat. It happens because the gelatin collapses in the smoker.

So, it is necessary to consider the stiffness, amount of fat, and gelatin composition of the meat. Besides that, the kind of wood used also affects whether there is a shot of smokey taste within the meat or not. 

There are many different kinds of wood flavors available. That’s why determining which flavor goes best with particular meat is essential for having a tasteful flavor in the finished item.

Let’s look at the various types of meat that are ideal for novices as well as the mixing of wood flavors.

  • Whole Chicken 
  • Pulled Pork 
  • Pork Ribs 
  • Tomahawk / Ribeye Steak 
  • Pre-Cut Bacon 
  • Smoked Sausage 

Whole Chicken 

The simplest meat to smoke is a full chicken because it is affordable and an excellent option for a first effort. You must try choosing a chicken breast instead of that.

Pulled Pork 

Another popular cut with smokers is Boston Butt because it is simple to smoke and has lots of tissue fat. It means it won’t be dried out easily. As most flavors go nicely with this pork belly butt, you should not hesitate to experiment with spices and seasonings.

Pork Ribs 

Even when matched to pig butt and pork chop, pork ribs are a simple, delectable alternative. It is because this is a staple at every barbecue. So, how long to let pork butt rest? You will require 2 hours to prepare pork butt in the smoker. 

Tomahawk / Ribeye Steak 

A steak is raised to a new level by smoking, and it is simple to prepare. After the smoking process, these steaks will seal the tasty flavor and aroma by giving amazing texture.

Pre-Cut Bacon 

Among the simplest meats to smoke is pre-cut bacon because of its simplicity. You can put the bacon in the smoker for 30 minutes at 200°F. Then you will raise the heat to 400°F for an additional 20 minutes. In less than an hour, you will have delicious, smoked, and crunchy bacon.

Smoked Sausage 

Sausage is another delicious meat that is simple to smoke in the smoker. Thus, the foods that smoke quickly include beef or chicken sausage, chorizo, kielbasa, and bratwurst. You should smoke the sausage for 3–4 hours or until it reaches a core temperature of 165°F in the smoker. It will give you amazing results.

What is the best meat for smoking? 

The coarser and fattier kinds of meat are ideal for smoking. It is because they will soften and become more supple while cooking in the smoker.

Novices will be able to experiment and understand the fundamentals of the smoking process by beginning with a cheaper piece of meat. If you don’t have easy accessibility to these pieces, Butcher-Box can be a good option.

Novice should check that the smoker is producing the right shade of smoke. Thus, the preparation times will be shortened by not removing the lid excessively.

When it relates to smoking meat and having a great time while doing it, humbleness is essential. It determines whether a smoked beef is rich and flavorful or dry and harsh.

You must start by smoking a whole chicken or pig short rib to refine your technique. When your confidence grows, you should move on to smoke longer-cooking foods.

Tips for Newbies 

It can initially appear a little confusing when you consider all the different meats and the time required for every type of meat. Yes, smoking meat will take longer than conventional preparation in an oven, on a cooktop, or on a grill. But the process will be completely worth it.

You can develop your talents once you have experienced smoking. Once you achieve the level of proficiency, you will be capable of preparing more pricey and hard meats. Also, you will get a lot of flavors you have never experienced before.

There are a few tactics and ideas you can use to ensure the procedure runs smoothly:

  • Wait 
  • Reach on Peak Time 
  • Keep your Vents free of Ash 


One issue with smoking is that some people want to increase the heating time to speed up the cooking process of the meat. Yes, this might work, but it will increase the chance of dryness of the meat. Also, it will prevent flavor creation. 

So, let it happen and let the flavor of the wood saturate the meat. If you delay for a few hours, this will offer the finest flavor and texture.

Avoid Peaking

When you monitor your smoking meat, the temperature will decrease and increase the preparation time. You must wait for it out and delay until the ending time before peeking.

Keep your Vents free of Ash

You should prevent Ash from your outlets and pipes. It is essential to maintain oxygen intake in your smoker as flames need oxygen to keep performing. So, you can achieve this by making sure nothing is clogging your valves.


In this article, I have developed a list of the top type of meats for novices to smoke. I have written this guide to help you easily find the best meat to smoke for a beginner. The best meat smokers in the US rank the most convenient and easiest meats to cook for newbies. 

So, you must be aware that not all types of meats are suitable for smoking. That’s why it is essential to get to know the right selection of meats for smoking. This will allow you to enjoy the tasty, smoked meat. 

If you found this article interesting, share your remarks with me!


What makes good smoking meat? 

The finest meats for smoking are those that are thick, tight, and contain a lot of gelatins. As the fat requires to soften and tenderize the meat from inside, intramuscular fat is preferable to a big fat crown.

What is the cheapest meat to smoke? 

It would be great if you started smoking meat with inexpensive pieces of meat. Chuck roasting is strongly advisable because it combines affordability, appeal, and uses for a variety of smoked meat dishes.

What is the best smoker for a beginner? 

When it comes to making a decision based on personal preference, you must use Pit Boss grills. They are professionally constructed using only the finest materials. You will adore this item due to many reasons, including its durability and stability.

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