Discover the basics of smoking to enhance the flavor and aroma of BBQ.

BBQ lovers maintain that proper smoking is an essential part of true barbecue. They believe that soaking in the penetrating vapors deepens its flavor and gives it a lip-smacking chewy texture. Because of that, Smithfield offers the following primer on the techniques involved with smoking, from types of smokers to the best wood varieties to the optimal cooking times for different cuts. In addition, you can search for many delicious recipes featuring smoked BBQ by clicking here.

For more information on how Smithfield can build BBQ business for you, contact us today.

The Best BBQ Smoker Types

Smoking meats with wood produces the most flavor, but the process is very labor-intensive. But correctly done, it results in irresistible BBQ.

Earth Oven
An ancient cooking structure that is simply a pit dug into the earth. Wood is inserted and then burned down to a smolder. Meat
is placed in the pit and then covered to cook.

Traditional drum smoker
A large cylindrical cooking chamber with a smaller firebox chamber attached. This is where the wood is smoked. Airflow is tightly controlled in order to achieve the proper temperature in the cooking chamber. Variations include an upright drum, and vertical water smoker.

This method cooks using a combination of wood and charcoal to achieve the desired smoke effect. Less work is required, since charcoal burns longer than wood.

Using these smokers, there’s no need to constantly monitor temperature because the flame burns in a more controlled environment at a constant pace while the wood chips smolder. Heat comes from a gas burner at the base. Just above the burner is a box that contains wood or charcoal – small holes in the box starve the wood or charcoal of oxygen allowing it to smoke instead of burn.

The Best BBQ Smoking Woods

The Best BBQ Cooking Times

There’s an old saying in BBQ, “Low and slow is all you need to know.” And that’s because certain cuts like pork butt need to be cooked at a lower temperature in order to avoid overcooking the outside while waiting for proper internal temperature to be reached. Internal temperature is the most important factor in determining whether the meat is done or not.

Below are some optimal cook times for various pork cuts.

Smoker
Temperature

Smoker-temp

225 – 240F

Time in
Smoker

Time-in-smoker

14 Hours

Finished
Temperature

Finished-Temp

250

Smoker
Temperature

Smoker-temp

225 – 240F

Time in
Smoker

Time-in-smoker

5 Hours

Finished
Temperature

Finished-Temp

180

Smoker
Temperature

Smoker-temp

225 – 240F

Time in
Smoker

Time-in-smoker

3-5 Hours

Finished
Temperature

Finished-Temp

145

Smoker
Temperature

Smoker-temp

225 – 240F

Time in
Smoker

Time-in-smoker

2 Hours

Finished
Temperature

Finished-Temp

145

Watch our own Chef Frank as he explains regional variations in BBQ and adds his own special touch to recipies.

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Chef’s Spotlight

Chef Rob Magee, Owner of Q39, offers his award-winning expertise and unique insights on Kansas City BBQ.

Spice up your menu with a mouth-watering collection of BBQ pork recipes — from the classics to the latest on-trend ideas.

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