Learning how to smoke meat is something anyone can do. It doesn’t have to cost the earth either. All you need is a basic Weber Kettle and a small area to setup your grill in.

The best part is with just a bit of research you’ll be enjoying delicious smoked meat as you learn. Unlike the old pit masters who learnt everything the hard way (and ruined a lot of good meat in the process), you can learn from the best bbq and smoking experts without ever leaving your home.

There’s a lot of advice out there but I’ve scoured the internet and collected only the best resources for learning how to smoke meat like a pro.

  1. BBQ smoking basics
  2. How to buy the right smoker
  3. What are the essential accessories for smoking meat
  4. What to look out for when buying and using charcoal
  5. What wood types are suitable for smoking
  6. What are the best beginners guides
  7. How to smoke different types of meat
  8. What are the most common mistakes amateur smokers make
  9. What are the best online bbq & smoking blogs & communities

Learn how to smoke meat at home resources

1) BBQ smoking basics

 

2) How to buy the right smoker

If you’re just getting started on your smoking journey you probably just need a moderately priced smoker. For affordability, durability and the ability to grill or smoke, a Weber Kettle grill is super versatile and can used as an excellent smoker.

If you’re ready to go straight to a dedicated smoker the Weber Smokey Mountain Charcoal Cooker is a good place to start. Or check out the links below for more in-depth advice.

 

  • The Best Smokers Under $500 – Updated in 2015 Serious Eats guide to inexpensive smokers under $500 breaks down a number of options including log burners, charcoal smokers, gas smokers, pellet smokers, and electric smokers and includes their recommendation for each.
  • How To Buy A Smoker – Smoking Jesus Meathead Goldwyn breaks down what to look for when buying a smoker. A quick look at temperature control, materials, accessories comprehensive reviews of a range of different smokers.

 

3) What are the essential accessories for smoking meat

The beauty of using a Weber Kettle to start smoking meat is that you don’t need to buy a lot of expensive accessories. While I would always recommend using a Charcoal Chimney Starter to start your charcoal BBQ and a good leave-in thermometer to monitor temperatures, you can improvise the rest and still get good results.

 

4) What to look out for when buying and using charcoal

You’ve decided to switch from gas to cooking with charcoal. Just need to grab a bag from the store right? Any charcoal is fine to start with, but I remember being surprised by the amount of choice you have.

 

Skip the budget charcoal which is held together with petroleum products, and grab a bag of premium hardwood lump charcoal. Charcoal is one of the main variables you control so it’s worth experimenting.

 

5) What wood types are suitable for smoking

Just like with buying charcoal, you can use anything from the BBQ section and get a pretty good result. I still recommend learning about how different types of wood are best suited.

 

  • How to Use Smoke Woods – The ability to use different types of wood while smoking is one of the best parts of cooking with charcoal. Learn about the different ways of using some woods.

6) The best beginner bbq guides

You’ve bought your charcoal bbq, got everything setup and now it’s time to cook! These guides are all great introductions to using a Weber Kettle or similar BBQ for smoking.

 

7) How to smoke different types of meat

It’s true that you use a lot of the same principles and techniques to smoke different types of meat. I’d still recommend starting with a more forgiving meat like pork butt or chicken before working your way up to ribs and then finally brisket.

Pork butt / shoulder:

  • BBQ with Franklin: Pulled Pork (VIDEO) – Learn how to cook a Texas style pulled pork butt. Great simple steps, and no injecting or brining.
  • Perfect Pulled Pork Recipe – More detailed instructions for cooking a pork butt, but again without any marinades, injections or brines.

Ribs:

Chicken:

Brisket:

8) The most common mistakes amateur smokers make

Learning how to smoke meat at home is all about experimenting, making mistakes and adjusting. That said there are several mistakes almost everyone makes when first getting started. Learn from them.

 

9) The best online bbq & smoking blogs & communities

Reading and taking part in online BBQ community forms & blogs is a great way to speed up the learning process. Lots of other people are all sharing their bbq experiences and these are the best places to take part.

  • Reddit BBQ – Great community of BBQ enthusiasts. Lots of pictures and BBQ write ups.
  • Reddit Smoking – Another Reddit but this time dedicated to “enhancing food with wood smoke flavor”. Lots of delicious looking pictures and good discussion.
  • BBQ Brethren Forums – With over 1,842,140 posts about backyard BBQ alone, chances are someone else has already had the same question as you.
  • Texas BBQ Forum – Lots of dedicated forums for recipes, general BBQ discussion, competition and more.

 

Now it’s your turn

These are just a few of the best places to learn how to smoke meat at home. I know there are a tonne of resources out there that I didn’t mention. I’m curious to know what resources you turn to for the best BBQ information. Let me know in the comments!

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