Smoker 101

I have received a lot of awesome feedback and questions with regards to this picture of our dinner on the5oclockrush on Instagram

Instagram Picture

Instagram Picture

Smokers are an awesome piece of equipment! The most rejected meats can turn them into fall-off-the-bone delicacies when you use a smoker. Sadly, the money or space for a smoker needed for a smoker is not available to everyone. Thankfully, even without a smoker you can get that aroma and taste of meat that is slowly cook in your backyard on your grill even in your house in your oven.

We currently own this smoker Bradley Digital 4-Rack Electric Smoker | Canadian Tire

Smoker 101

Pork Tenderloin with Apple Rings and Fresh Peach Mango Salsa

Memphis Dust Rub Pork Tenderloins with Apple Rings and Fresh Peach and Mango Salsa

Pork Tenderloins with Apple Rings and Fresh Peach and Mango Salsa

What Type of Wood Chips to Use

Some woods are stronger than others, and some pair better with certain types of meat. Meat can be smoked with a variety of different hardwoods, all of which impart a unique flavor to the meat. You can mix different types of wood that have properties you like. Choose from these options:

  • Mesquite will give your meat a delicious but very strong smoky flavor. If you want to use only mesquite, use it with smaller cuts that won’t have a very long cooking time. For bigger cuts that will require all-day cooking, mix mesquite with a milder type of wood.
  • Hickory has a strong flavor pairs best with red meat.
  • Oak is good for cooking big cuts of red meat that need to smoke all day long, because its flavor is more subtle than that of mesquite or hickory.
  • Cherry is a great complement for beef or pork.
  • Apple wood has a sweet taste that’s delicious with pork or poultry, and you can use it to smoke fish, too.
  • Maple is another sweet wood that pairs well with pork or poultry.
  • Alder is light and sweet, perfect for poultry or fish.

To prep the wood chips, soak them in water for at least 3-5 hours. Since you’re working with a grill or oven where you’re not actually using the wood chips as fuel.

Once soaked, drain your wood chips through a colander, reserving some of the chip water in a container.

You can put the chips in a smoke box, or use aluminum foil pan with a foil lid. Like the holes in the box, make sure to leave a chimney or poke holes on top pan to let the smoke escape.

During the smoking process, the water may become absorbed, drying out your chips and conversely your meat. Pour some of your reserved chip water in, rewetting the chips and re-creating the film of water at the bottom.

How to Smoke Different Varieties of Meats

Smoking meat is all about low and slow. The temperatures for smoking meat should be around 225-275 degrees, and not any higher, which goes for both the oven and the grill. Smoking meat is an all day process so be prepared the night before or early morning. It takes at least 4 to 6 hours, sometimes more depending on your meat preference.

On the grill, place the meat of choice off to the side, not directly over coals. This indirect cooking method will allow for the full smoky flavor, without over cooking your meat.

Remove the meat using meat thermometer to determine its doneness and it has reached the right temperature.

Poultry should reach 165 degrees. Any pork and all ground meats should be 160 degrees. The internal temperature of steaks, roasts and chops should be 145 degrees.


Smoked Pork Tenderloin with Fresh Peach Salsa and Apple Rings

Check out the smoke ring. During the smoking process, a pink ring will form just underneath the delicious outer crust of the meat. When you cut into your meat and see a pink smoke ring, you’ll know that you smoked it right.

Our smoker has gotten a lot of use this summer and check out my other post Smoker Pork with Homemade Pineapple, Apple BBQ Sauce | the 5 o’clock rush.

Homemade Pineapple Sauce

Homemade Pineapple Sauce


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