Can you Smoke Frozen Meat?

Can you Smoke Frozen Meat?

In short, it is not a good idea to smoke frozen meat because doing so would ruin the texture and taste. It is because the meat contains about 70% water. Many individuals have noted that smoking meat frozen correctly results in larger puffs of smoke.

Undoubtedly, smoked meat is excellent and makes all meat lovers enjoy it. You can smoke the meat with many different methods using the smoker. Here the question arises when you get ready to start smoking your meat but forget to defrost it, what would you do? Can you smoke frozen meat if you want to smoke it directly from the freezer?

Well, in this article, I’ll guide you about smoking frozen meats and their demerits!

Can you Smoke Frozen Meat? 

It is possible to smoke fully frozen meat, but it is not preferable to do. There are essentially two causes of it:

  1. The meat will be spent too much time in a dangerous area. The temperature in the level between 40°F and 140°F is known as the Danger Area. Within this region, dangerous germs can quickly grow and spread. So, if you smoke, the meat that hasn’t been frozen will stay here more than it should be.
  1. As a result of this, you will get dried meat. The meat’s cell membranes are flexible and they can withstand a significant amount of water without shattering. 

That’s why the cellular structure must be able to handle additional water when smoking frozen chicken. Due to this, ice particles will start to develop. This will tear the collagen fibers in the meat and leave it dried.

Why you shouldn’t Smoke Frozen Meat? 

There is a plethora of reasons why cooking experts do not advise smoking frozen meat. Thickness, flavor, and reliability are the major factors. 

Let’s examine all of the factors separately:

  1. Lose Texture 
  2. Taste can be Diluted
  3. Greater Safety Risks 

Lose Texture 

The first thing that will occur is the quality of meat. The meat will lose the quality and texture that you are going to smoke. This is because the moisture content of meat can range between 60% and 70%, based on the type of meat. So, there is a lot of water in the frozen meat, and it will have a major impact.

You must keep in mind that frozen meat will have a lot of water and when it starts melting, it will expand. Due to this, the cell membranes will be broken and enable the water to leak out.

The cellular membranes of meat are not composed of glass and are flexible. So, it is not sure that the structure of the meat would change when it is smoked in a cold or frozen form. But it would be great if you consider it. 

The growing and cracking of cell membranes can be prevented or at least minimized by using an appropriate frozen technique.

Taste can be Diluted

Have you ever prepared something from frozen meat and cut the meat? Then you must be noticed that a huge quantity of the juices is dripping onto the chopping board. It won’t happen if you cook fresh meat instead of frozen. This will also alter the taste of the meat. 

Greater Safety Risks 

As you know, if the meat contents have a damaged cell membrane, its flavor will also go. When you flavor your meats with salt, pepper, sauce, and your favorite rubs and garlic before smoking them, they will acquire and enhance the flavors as they smoke. 

The flavor will also leak in significant proportions if the cell membranes are torn. It will allow the moisture content to leave.

What Frozen Meats can you Smoke? 

There are the best meats to smoke for beginners if you are going to smoke the meat. Well, you can smoke the following type of meats; 

  1. Brisket 
  2. Pork shoulder 
  3. Ribs 

How to smoke brisket, pork shoulder, and Ribs? 

Applying rubbing or seasoning to frozen meat can be tricky. Mustard must be used as a sealant when applying the rub on totally frozen meat. Thus, for the greatest effects, the meat’s exterior should be defrosted first. 

There are 2 methods to do this: 

The first and most recommended way is thawing the exterior of the cut of your meat before adding your rubs. You must ensure that your meat defrosts under cool water as you start up the barbecue. This will enable the meat’s exterior to defrost enough for your rubs to adhere. 

Applying the rub after the meat has tended to soften in your smoker is also another simple method.

How long will it take to smoke? 

The thickness of the meat will decide how long it takes to defrost when smoking meat that is frozen. The meat will smoke normally and easily once it has defrosted. 

It will increase the cooking process and time by an hour or two for shorter and thinner portions of meat like ribs. On the other hand, larger meat chunks like hog shoulder and ribeye can take significantly more time to defrost. 

You will just have to allow yourself plenty of time to smoke until you can experiment. According to the USDA, smoking meat from frozen requires an additional 1.5 times to try. But this estimate is dependent on lesser pieces of meat.


So, can you smoke frozen meat? The answer is no, meat shouldn’t be smoked while it’s frozen. It would be best to simmer or cook it instead of using a smoker. In this blog post, I have explained it briefly. 

In the smoker, the meat will be smoked at low temperatures. Meat that is defrosted or melted will remain at low temperatures for a prolonged time. This will allow the growth of bacteria. Then you might obtain food that should not be used.

What you will say about it? Share your thoughts via feedback!


Can you cook frozen meat on a Pellet Grill? 

Undoubtedly, you can use a pellet grill to prepare frozen meat. To avoid overcooking the outer surface before the interior part is fully cooked, you must lay the meat high on the grill than normal. It will give the meat a lovely and rich appearance.

How long does it take to thaw a frozen rack of ribs? 

Ribs normally require 24 hours to thoroughly thaw. If you keep them outside from the freezer for a long time, you will face trouble while cooking. If you defrost the ribeye at room temperature, you should use them immediately to stop the formation of germs.

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