Accurate temperature monitoring and heat absorption are two critical aspects of producing high quality smoked meats. In order to be successful at either, it is important to have the proper smoking tools and provisions. Professional pitmasters and smoked meat enthusiasts rely on such tools to continually achieve great results, and they highly recommend them for beginners as well.
Continue below to learn about some fundamental tools for smoking meats, and start planning your next smoked masterpiece!
Meat Temperature Basics
Before getting started on enhancing your skills at smoking meats, it is important to understand more about meat temperatures. Not only is it necessary to keep a steady temperature within your smoker, it is equally important to control heat absorption. Smoking on too low of a temperature can put your meat at risk of producing unhealthy bacteria, especially in larger cuts.
Smoking on too high of a temperature can jeopardize everything from moisture to flavor. These temperature mistakes will reduce the quality of meat. Some people use water pans in their smokers to add moisture and control heat absorption. Some even use sand in their pans for added heat absorption. These tricks can greatly reduce severe heat fluctuation within a smoker chamber.
Aside from water pans, thermometers, wireless dual probe transmitters, injectors, and more are all important components to producing great smoked meats. Here are some examples of recommended items to buy for smoking meats at home:
Flavor is the ultimate goal in smoking meats; is it not? So a quality flavor injector is a must-have item. Although you can successfully season meat and produce wonderful flavors, however, every pitmaster will tell you that flavor injecting is the better method. You will find many types, from syringe injectors to commercial pumps, but all you need is a simple version that has finger holes to fill and inject with one hand.
Try the Grill Beast® 304 Stainless Steel Meat Injector Kit – $24.99
Wireless Dual Heat Probe
These are aftermarket thermometers come with two transmitters that record the meat and chamber temperature and then send the data to a remote display you can keep up to 300 feet away, either on your person or set up in your home. This makes temperature monitoring much easier, especially when it’s chilly outside or you have company to entertain.
Try the ThermoPro® TP20 Wireless Remote Digital Cooking Food Meat Thermometer with Dual Probe – $59
Commercial Grade Quick-Read Thermometer
Commercial grade digital quick read thermometers are a terrific tool to use if you want to protect yourself from undercooked or overcooked meat. Consuming undercooked meat like pork and poultry is dangerous, while consuming overcooked meat is simply unpleasant. This tool allows you quickly read your meat temperatures without hovering over the heat for too long. Many models are water, dust, and shock resistant.
Try the Maverick® Pro-Temp Commercial Thermometer PT-100 – $59.99
If you plan in burning charcoal for smoking meats, you may benefit from a charcoal chimney. They are basically a cylinder with venting holes, which allows it to ignite and achieve temperature quickly. These are very helpful for beginners because you only need a little dry paper and a match to get your charcoal lit and started. It is also easier to add charcoal and maintain steady temperatures.
Try the Weber® 7416 Rapidfire Chimney Starter – $19.99
Misting Spray Bottle
Misting bottles are must-have tool. They are great for covering a lot of surface area on your smoked meats, allowing for quick and easy application. The great thing about these tools is that they are the cheapest and easier item to buy. You can even head to your local dollar store and find some that work perfect for smoking meats. In fact, you should buy several at this price point so that you always have clean extras on hand.