Meat smoking mistakes to avoid:
Smoking meat is an art form, and just like art, everybody has their own interpretation of how it’s done. While there may be a variety of ways to reach ‘Cuetopia, there are definitely common mistakes to avoid on your journey to the mouthwatering promise land!
Check out Meyer’s list of common smoking snafus so you don’t end up suffering from embarrassmeat!
Don’t overload your smoker.
No matter which kind of smoker you have, cramming too much meat into it is a terrible idea. Not only will your meat take that much longer to cook, but it affects temperature regulation and how evenly everything cooks. If one brisket takes 6 hours to cook, shoving 2 in your smoker will increase that time closer to 10 or 12 hours.
A good rule to keep in mind is that you want at least 2 to 3 inches of space around your slab of meat to ensure the smoke and heat can cook the meat from all angles.
Don’t over season.
When preparing your rub for smoking meat, the urge to dive into your treasure trove of spices, herbs, and blends can be almost overwhelming. The best suggestion is to keep it simple, especially when you’re trying to figure it out through trial and error. Start off using just salt and pepper. Once you figure out the amounts of each and how they interact with each other, you can then begin to slowly incorporate other flavors in small amounts to see how they work together and affect the meat. A good rub is like a flavor painting, all the colors work together to create a unified sensory experience. (Almost sounds like we passed art class!)
Don’t be impatient.
Smoking meat is a long process and cutting corners will only result in a subpar piece of meat. Unlike cooking in an oven, smoking meat is not about whether it’s on time, rather it’s about whether the meat tastes good. For that to happen you need to focus on two things: temperature and time. The wrong temperature can lead to undercooked meat or burnt meat. Trying to rush the process will not produce the kind of brisket, or any other meat, you were trying to achieve. The goal here is tenderness, and tenderness takes time and patience.
How would Michael Bolton smoke meat? – Time, Love, and Tenderness
Don’t use lighter fluid.
The only reason to use lighter fluid is if you’re in a hurry, and if that’s the case see the previous point about patience. Using lighter fluid is one of the worst things you can do to your smoker. The fuel will leave a terrible taste in the smoker for several cookouts to come. The odors will linger and infuse with the meat giving your guests a mouthful of fuel flavor. Yuck! Using lighter fluid will also cause the wood to burn much more rapidly and then produce a lot more smoke than needed which can ruin your meat. Too much smoke will dry it out much quicker than you expect and result in flavorless, tough meat – which, let’s face it, is the opposite of what you want when using a smoker.
Don’t let the temperature fluctuate.
Low and slow is the key to smoking. The low temperature and long duration allow the meat to absorb all the flavors of your rub while remaining tender and juicy. The precise temperature of the smoker depends on the type of meat you’re smoking, as does the internal temp of the meat.
Don’t trust the smoker thermometer.
Temps can fluctuate in just a couple of inches and the thermometer on a smoker is typically at the top on the lid – nowhere near the meat. We highly recommend getting a temperature probe. They’re cheap and are placed inside the meat to give you a much more accurate reading.
Don’t forget – Meyer’s Mail Order ships nationwide!
The urge to do it yourself is always admirable, except when you’re still learning how to smoke meat properly and have gotten yourself into a situation where the date is fast approaching to when you’ll be feeding a lot of people. Thankfully, Meyer’s is here to help! We’ve got sauces, rubs and seasonings, and all the pre-smoked meats you could want including award-winning smoked sausages, smoked boneless turkey breast, and even fully-cooked, seasoned, and ready-to-eat brisket and ribs, – all available with nationwide shipping! And to make it even easier, we’ve got a cowboy package filled with everything you need to feed a crowd!