For this blog post, I’m going to give you the best meats to smoke in an electric smoker.
This is because smoking meat is really hard and some people don’t want to do it for hours on end, so they buy a smoker that has electricity powering it.
The first time you smoke a brisket or pork butt, it’s going to be awful. It might even be inedible. You will most likely throw away your first few attempts at smoking meats – but don’t give up!
It takes practice and patience to learn how to smoke meat properly, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll never go back!
You see, there are a lot of people out there who think that they can just put any old meat into their electric smoker and it will turn out great.
They end up with dry or burnt meat that doesn’t taste very good at all. It’s like they don’t even care about what comes out of their smoker! That is not us.
We take our time smoking meats so that we get the most delicious flavors possible from each cut of meat we use.
And guess what?
The secret ingredient is love! But if you want some more tips on how to make your smoked meats better than ever before then read on…
If you want juicy and flavorful smoked meats every single time then this guide is for you! I
In this guide, we have outlined everything you need to know about finding the best cuts of meat for your electric smoker as well as providing detailed instructions on how long and at what temperature these cuts should be cooked for maximum flavor potential.
In addition, you can check out my post on the best price on masterbuilt electric smoker to see if it is worth it for you.
So let’s get started, shall we?
Table of Contents
A brisket is a cut of beef from the breast or lower chest area. It’s one of the toughest cuts of meat but it can be made amazing with some TLC.
The good news is that most electric smokers don’t require you to constantly tend to them, so there is more time to do other things while your smoker does its thing.
A full packer brisket, which is simply a whole beef brisket with the point cut off and the fat cap left on, should be cooked between 220°F to 225°F for about 12 hours (give or take).
Be sure to rest it for at least an hour before cutting into it because this will allow the tenderness to set in.
Beef Chuck Roast
A beef chuck roast is also an incredibly tough cut of meat. That’s because it’s one of the muscles that assist with almost every movement your body makes!
It’s also full of connective tissue and fat, but when you cook this cut for a long period at low temperatures, all this connective tissue becomes soft and tender.
Cooked between 225°F to 240°F for at least 6 hours (give or take), with the lid open for the first two hours to allow heat to escape, these roasts will come out juicy and tender, perfect for sandwiches or a simple family dinner.
Pork Butt (Pork Shoulder)
The shoulder area is another tough muscle used to assist with almost every movement that your body makes.
However, this cut of meat is full of connective tissue which breaks down and becomes moist and tender when cooked for hours at low temperatures.
A full pork butt should be between 220°F to 225°F for at least 12 hours (give or take). You can rest it for an hour, slice into it and enjoy the tasty goodness!
Pork belly is one of my favorite cuts of meat to smoke. It’s incredibly tender and full of flavor and the best part is that it won’t take as long to cook as most other cuts of meat.
Cooked at about 225°F for around 4 hours (give or take), you will end up with tender slices of pork belly, great for a Sunday family dinner!
All-Natural Pork Sausage
Not to be confused with commercial pork sausages which can contain fillers and preservatives, all-natural pork sausage is made from pure meat. And it’s super easy to make using your electric smoker!
You should cook these sausages between 225°F to 240°F for around 2 hours (give or take). This will ensure that the meat gets cooked through and has a nice smoky flavor to it.
Poultry Brined Chicken Thighs
Chicken thighs with the skin on are incredibly juicy, especially when brined. You can use this recipe or simply marinate your chicken thighs in an all-purpose rub before putting them in your smoker.
Cooked at about 240°F for around 2 hours (give or take), these chicken thighs will come out incredibly tender and flavorful.
These tasty little guys are super easy to make in your smoker! Simply marinate them in an all-purpose rub overnight before cooking them between 225°F to 240°F for around 2 hours (give or take).
These wings can be eaten as a snack or added to a salad or casserole! They are so versatile you can use them in anything.
All Natural Bratwurst
Another one of my favorite cuts of meat to smoke is all-natural bratwurst. These guys are brined and smoked using applewood, which gives them such a wonderful flavor.
Cooked between 225°F to 240°F for around 2 hours (give or take), these sausages will come out juicy and flavorful every time!
These are just some of the cuts of meat that you can cook in your electric smoker. With the amazing properties of electric smokers – being able to set it and forget it while doing other things – you can cook these cuts of meat in your smoker without having to babysit them.
Things you must know before smoking meat
– Never press the open or close button on your smoker if your smoker is running. This will cause a dip in temperature and you will have to wait for it to come back up before continuing cooking!
(I personally only use my remote control for setting the time and temperature, but that’s just me).
– Always check and adjust your smoker’s temperature before you wrap up cooking if the temperature is too high or too low. This will cause your meat to come out overdone, underdone, or burnt!
– Always make sure that the wood chips are smoking correctly. If they aren’t producing smoke, your meat won’t taste as good as it should be (although this can be used in other delicious recipes!)
make sure that you always…
– Check and clean all removable parts of your electric smoker before using them again.
– Make sure that there is no food debris inside the drip pan. You want to keep this part clean at all times – otherwise, you might find yourself with a mess that you need to clean up.
– Always change the heating element and replace it with a new one if you see any signs of corrosion or wear. If the heating element starts to rust, this means that it won’t be able to heat your smoker properly!
To make sure that you get the most out of your electric smoker, always remember these 5 tips. With proper care and maintenance, you will have no problem using your electric smoker for years!
How Does Smoking Work?
Smoking is a process in which food is exposed to smoke from burning or smoldering material, most often wood.
The smoking of food dates back to the time of primitive cave dwellers who would smoke large cuts of meat on a fire that burned down slowly and had little oxygen making the meat tender and more flavorful than if cooked quickly over direct heat.
Meat/fish that was preserved before modern times would have been smoked as an additional step to increase its life span.
Even though using an electric smoker doesn’t add any extra flavors when compared to other smokers it does help extend your normal cooking time because all you are doing is heating the unit!
Electric Smoker Recipes You must learn what
Foods you can smoke and how long it takes to cook them because the smoker cooks much slower than other methods.
Some electric smokers have little trouble maintaining their temperature at 225°F but some of them might require an occasional adjustment in temperature while cooking certain foods.
Please keep in mind that meat will continue to tenderize for about 10 minutes after cooking so do not let your meat sit out and cool off before serving or eating.
Brine Recipe For All Natural Bratwurst
3 Liters Water
1/2 cup Kosher Salt
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar (packed)
2 Tbsp Garlic (minced)
2 Tsp Black Pepper – freshly ground is best
4 Bratwurst links
The night before, mix all ingredients except bratwurst in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cool completely and pour in a container big enough for the bratwurst.
Add bratwurst, cover, and refrigerate overnight (8 – 12 hours).
Remove meat from marinade, discarding marinade (but keep it to add to your drip pan when you start smoking), pat dry with paper towels, and load onto smoker/grill.
Use hickory wood chips but you can also use other types of wood depending on what type of flavors you want… vary them all for best results! Smoke at 225°F for 2 hours or until internal temperature reaches 155°F.
What’s the easiest meat to smoke?
All smokers are different and some of them might perform better than others, but the easiest meats to smoke would have to be:
– Turkey (Although Smoking a turkey takes quite some time. Check out my post on how long it actually takes to smoke a turkey to know in deep detail.)
– Fish (but you must keep a watchful eye on it)
What is the hardest meat to smoke??
– Beef Ribs
These two portions of meat require constant attention as they can dry out fast and turn to ashes. You will need to monitor the temperature of these meats very closely or you might end up with a burnt piece of meat.
The best way is to use a reliable probe thermometer that has an alarm function so that you don’t have to keep checking your grill all the time. Sometimes it’s just better not to be distracted by everything going on around you. This is when food tastes its best because you can sit back, relax and enjoy yourself while your food cooks! It’s like heaven, I know… 🙂
What goes good with smoked meat?
Everybody has their smoking habits and various types of wood that they will use for certain dishes. Some people swear by using hickory while others prefer the flavor of pecan or mesquite.
Many leave this decision up to the smoker manufacturers simply because they know that most models come with these materials already preloaded into the chip tray! Choosing what wood you want to use is mostly based on personal preference so enjoy experimenting with all the different flavors!
How Long Does It Take To Smoke Meat?
The duration of time that it takes to smoke meat is dependent on how much you’re smoking and what type of smoker you are using. If you use a cold smoking method then this will take more than twice as long because your food will be closer to the heat source.
On average, it is best to expect that cooking times for large pieces of meat such as beef and pork roasts should be around 2 hours/pound while whole chickens can take about 1 hour/pound.
Fish fillets should only need 1-2 hours while smaller cuts such as sausage or shrimp might not even require any additional time at all!
The final tip we have is to not be afraid of a little experimentation!
You may need to try out different recipes and cuts of meat to find the best ones for your smoker.
Keep experimenting until you’ve found what works best, then enjoy the fruits (or meats) of your labor by cooking up some delicious smoked cuisine whenever you want it.
Also, check out my post on the best price on masterbuilt electric smoker to cook the best meats for your meal ever.