What are the best meats for beginners to smoke?

There is an almost unlimited selection of meats and methods you can try when it comes to BBQ smoking. But the ones that we have found to be the easiest to get right from the start, plus aren’t very expensive to buy,(which is a bonus if things don’t go according to plan first time round!) are chicken, ribs and pulled pork.

Chicken, whole or part.

A whole chicken is a great way to get started, its relatively cheap and hard not to get right.  One method that we’ve used which guarantees a moist and tasty chicken is the beer can method, though we don’t literally use beer cans.

All you need is:

  • Whole Chicken
  • Ceramic Chicken roaster (to replace the beer can)
  • Chicken rub of your choice. This can be as simple as olive oil and seasoning or a mixed chicken rub
  • Choice of liquids for the chicken roaster, either a quality pale ale or chicken stock work equally well
  • Smoking wood

There is a huge amount of recipe variations available, but it’s basically about placing a rubbed chicken on the chicken roaster (with liquid of choice inside), and placing in the smoker/BBQ indirectly at a temperature of approx. 180C and leave until cooked, it couldn’t be simpler.

Pork Ribs

A combination of a good rub and sticky sauce are just one of the many ways that you can cook ribs to make super tasty, tender, fall off the bone ribs.

There is minimal preparation required for the meat and then it’s simply a case of adding the rub of choice and placing it in an indirect heat within your smoker at about 110C.

One common method used is the 3-2-1 method which means 3 hours in the smoker, 2 hours wrapped in foil and placed back in the smoker then the last hour with the foil removed and the glaze added. Though quite often you see some variations of these timings, but we see it as a great place to start.

That’s all there is to it, though there are host of different combinations of ingredients and methods that can be tried to create all sorts of flavour, the fun is in trying as many as you can and perfecting a favourite!

Pulled Pork

One of the reasons that pulled pork is a good meat to start smoking with, is that it’s an extremely simple process plus being a low and very slow cook, your almost always guaranteed a lovely, juicy flavoured meat at the end of it.

A large bone-in pork shoulder is required, the larger the better the cook, then it’s a sweet rub of choice and a good BBQ sauce to mix in when it’s all finished and shredded.

Apply your rub of choice and let the pork reach room temperature.  Meanwhile get the smoker going to a temp of 110C and add your chosen woods for extra flavour, pecan or a fruit wood are our favourite.

You’re aiming for an internal temperature of the pork to be about 90C, which could take anything from 6 hours plus depending on the size of the pork shoulder you are using. 

Once done simply serve in a bun with homemade coleslaw.