The Best and Cheapest Cuts of Meat to Smoke

Smoked meats are terrific because they do not have to be the fanciest cut to taste great. In fact, barbecue is rooted on the knack for turning cheap cuts into mouthwatering masterpieces. If you are on the hunt for your next smoked barbecue meal, you do not have to empty your wallet for a successful turnout. Instead, focus on using traditional cuts of meat that are top in quality and cheap to buy.

Continue reading to learn some of the best picks for your upcoming barbecue!

Smoked Meat Dinners 317-688-7290

Smoked Meat Dinners 317-688-7290

Chicken

Chicken is as traditional as it comes when it comes to cheap cuts of meat. Not only can you purchase all sorts of different varieties of chicken (i.e. cage-free, organic, corn-fed, etc.), it is one of the cheapest and most cost-effective options. Smoked chicken is an easy cut of meat to smoke, making it perfect for beginner smokers. Furthermore, you can cook chicken in an endless array of spices, seasonings, marinades, and flavors. Currently, you can visit your local grocer and purchase a whole chicken for an average of $1.09 per pound.

Turkey

Poultry is cheap, and well suited for the smoker, so it should be no surprise that turkey is another option on the list of top quality cheap meats. Turkey is a great candidate for smoking because it absorbs flavors well and cooks evenly. It is inexpensive, and can be seasoned any way you like. Right now, your local grocer is selling turkey for an average of $2.19 per pound.

Brisket

If you love beef, but cringe at the price of your favorite steaks, brisket is the way to go. Beef brisket is simply divine out of the smoker, and fortunately, still one of the most inexpensive cuts of meat that are also high in quality. Currently, you can pick up a 3 pound brisket for less than $25, as they sell for around $7.99 per pound.

Ribs

When looking to smoke a good cut of pork, ribs will certainly deliver. Not only are they easy to cook, everyone loves them. Just be sure you choose a cut that has a lot of meat and little fat. Right now, you can purchase St. Louis style pork ribs for around $1.79 per pound, and boneless pork ribs for around $5.99 per pound. Beef ribs are actually a great, inexpensive choice too, at around $2.69 per pound.

Pork Shoulder

Pork shoulder has been one of the most admired cuts of meat to smoke for centuries. Its natural deliciousness and versatility makes it easy to work with and difficult to turn down. Whether you go for a picnic roast or a Boston butt, pork shoulder is a reliable, inexpensive, top-quality cut to use for pulled pork sandwiches, roasts, and more. Right now, you can buy a full 2-part pork shoulder for around $3.49 per pound.

🍅 Prices derived from Kroger® Grocery

Looking for a Great BBQ Meal Near You?

Rackz BBQ Carmel, IN 317-688-7290

Rackz BBQ
317-688-7290

If you are craving delicious barbecue smoked meats and homemade side dishes, come to Rackz BBQ in Carmel for authentic flavors and great prices! We offer a wide selection of barbecue classics, house-made sides, and tasty desserts, all prepared using the freshest local ingredients. We also offer call ahead and take out ordering and catering! Call 317-688-7290 to learn more about our current menu selections and specials, anytime.

How to Enhance the Flavor of Smoked Brisket

If you wish to add flavor to a brisket, it is important to choose your seasonings carefully. After all, your primary goal is to enhance, not overpower. With the right knowledge, you can easily create a beautifully balanced flavor profile that leaves your mouth watering for more.

Continue reading to learn some helpful tips for seasoning and smoking beef brisket.

Smoked Meat Dinners 317-688-7290

Smoked Meat Dinners 317-688-7290

Whether you are someone who prefers rubs or marinades, there are some basic brisket standards you should follow.

Start With Good Wood

The fundamental component for smoking barbecue brisket is the smoke, which starts with the wood. Most professionals recommend using a wood option that does not render a strong or bitter smoke profile, since beef brisket is already cooked for a long period of time. Stick to mild flavored woods like oak, which is a staple for brisket. From there, you can add other varieties of wood that pair well with brisket without overpowering the flavor, like apple or hickory. If you are someone who really loves mesquite flavors, it is recommended to do so sparingly with barbecue beef brisket.

Rubs and Marinades

Dry rubs are very popular for smoking meats, especially beef brisket. That is because all seasonings are great for flavoring a brisket. Get creative, or simply stick to your favorites. Common go-to rubs include seasonings like garlic, herbs, and spices. Just be sure to take it easy on the rub so that your brisket doesn’t come out too salty. If you plan to mop or baste your brisket while smoking, be sure to coordinate the flavors properly with your rub.

Marinating is another option for smoked brisket. It is a general rule of thumb to marinate beef for a full 24 hours to ensure the fibers have absorbed the flavors as much as possible. For tender beef, you want to stick to an acid-based marinade, which is why lemon juice and vinegar are common choices. Use either lemon or lime juice, or use a vinegar-based marinade; then simply add the seasonings and spices you love most. For sweeter brisket, add brown sugar; for something spicy, go with some cayenne or crushed red pepper. See our blog about recommended tips for marinating cuts of beef.

Bastes and Mops

In the world of barbecued smoked meats, a “mop” is not something you clean with. Instead, a “mop” is a colloquial term used to describe a thin, sauce-like mixture used to keep the meat moist during the cooking process, which enhances the overall flavor of meat. This sauce is also called a “baste.” Traditionally, large cotton cooking brushes are used to baste meats, but there are several other cooking tools that work just as well. Mops should be thin like water. They should not contain too much acid-based seasoning because it can make the meat too bitter. It is important to not use too much sugar-based ingredients, like tomato cause, because too much sugar can make a brisket burn (this is especially true if you are using an offset fire box smoker).

Table Sauces

Sauces are added to smoked briskets after they are done cooking, which is why they are commonly referred to as “table sauces” or “finishing sauces.” They can come in a wide range of viscosities and flavors, from sweet and tangy to spicy-hot. Most table sauces for briskets are tomato-based, but since they are not exposed to heat, they will not burn, so they can contain whatever you want them to.

Come to Rackz BBQ for Lip-Smacking Beef Brisket!

Rackz BBQ Carmel, IN 317-688-7290

Rackz BBQ
317-688-7290

Rackz BBQ is eager to impress you with our delicious beef brisket meals and barbecue cuisines. As a Carmel BBQ restaurant dedicated to quality and value, you can trust us for exceptional customer service, neighborhood prices, and most importantly, authentic barbecue fare that you will love. Contact us at 317-688-7290 to place a call ahead order, or to learn more about our menu selections, prices, and specials.

The Types of Connective Tissues in Meat

When discussing meat preparation and cooking, “connective tissue” is used as an umbrella term to describe a variety of connective tissues found in a cut of meat, such as ligaments, tendons, silver skin, fibrous tissues, and more.

Continue reading to learn about the difference types of connective tissues in meat, including their purpose and how they react to being cooked.

Smoked Meat Dinners 317-688-7290

Smoked Meat Dinners 317-688-7290

Most Common Connective Tissues

In a standard cut of meat, the type of connective tissues present will vary depending on various factors. The most common connective tissues are ligaments, tendons, silverskin, and muscle fibers. Ligaments connect the bones together, while tendons connect muscle to the bone. Silverskin is a white layer of fibrous tissue that encases the entire muscle. Then there are individual muscle fibers that are sheathed within the connective tissues, and are not as easy to see.

What They Do

The purpose of connective tissue is to pull bones into movement when muscle fibers contract. This is why they need to be strong. Additionally, the harder muscles are forced to work, the thicker and tougher any sheathing will be around the muscle fibers. This is why cuts like shoulders and legs have more connective tissue than cuts like ribs and back portions. Shoulders and legs tend to experience higher activity levels than the back and rib areas of an animal.

Connective Tissue Composition

Not only are connective tissues assigned different roles, they are made from different organic components that respond in a different way when cooked. The two most common organic components found in connective tissues are proteins called elastin and collagen.

Elastin is a protein that forms the silverskin and ligaments in a cut of meat. It is what we would consider the “gristle” part on a steak or other cut of meat. Regardless of cooking method or approach, gristle will always be tough and chewy as a result of the elastin proteins. For this reason, it is common practice to remove as much elastin connective tissue, or gristle, from a cut of meat before it’s cooked.

Collagen is another common protein found in meat. It is responsible for sheathing the elongated muscle fibers that make up a cut of meat. You see, meat is made of these long muscle fibers, and each individual one is encased in coat of collagen. Furthermore, these elongated muscle fibers are bunched together to form larger muscle masses, which are also encased in collagen. These “bundles” of meat fibers are known in the culinary industry as the “grain” of the meat. Interestingly, cartilage also contains collagen, but it is not a type of connective tissue.

Cooking Down Connective Tissue

Collagen is similar to elastin in that it is quite tough in its raw form. You would have a really hard time chewing up a raw piece of beef because all the collagen sheathing is still intact. However, unlike elastin, which has a texture that cannot be changed, collagen can be melted away with the proper cooking styles. Perhaps this is where the real invention of great barbecue and smoked meats originally came from!

You see, collagen will soften and melt when cooked low and slow, between 160 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit. It is usually done this way using a smoker or a technique called braising. After being cooked, collagen turns into gelatin, which is the jiggling, translucent substance you see on a prepared cut of meat. Although it doesn’t look appealing, the gelatin coats the muscle fibers, giving meat a moist and succulent texture.

Visit Rackz BBQ for Tender and Juicy Smoked Meats!

Rackz BBQ Carmel, IN 317-688-7290

Rackz BBQ
317-688-7290

Rackz BBQ is eager to impress you with our delicious, made from scratch barbecue cuisines. As a Carmel BBQ restaurant dedicated to quality and value, you can trust us for exceptional customer service, neighborhood prices, and most importantly, authentic barbecue fare that you will love. Contact us at 317-688-7290 to place a call ahead order, or to learn more about our menu selections, prices, and specials.

What You Need to Know About BBQ Rubs

Whether wet, dry, sweet, or spicy, barbecue rubs are a popular option for smoked meat enthusiasts. Using rubs is the perfect way to experiment and customize the flavor of your meat. As you ride the learning curve over time, you will discover the flavors that truly fit your palette, allowing you to produce the ultimate smoked meat masterpiece, every time! It is common to forgo rubs altogether, but if you are interested in giving your product a new twist, trying out a few rub combinations is a great place to start.

Continue reading to learn what you need to know about using BBQ rubs, as well as, some relevant meat smoking tips too!

For Great Smoked Meats and BBQ, Call 317-688-7290!

For Great Smoked Meats and BBQ, Call
317-688-7290!

What is a BBQ Rub?

A barbecue rub is simply a tailored mixture of herbs, spices, and other flavoring ingredients. Rubs can be either wet or dry, or on a spectrum in between the two. Wet rubs are often referred to as a “rub paste”, while dry rubs are often called “seasoning rubs”, “spice rub”, and “dry marinades.” Barbecue rubs are applied onto meats and other foods for the purpose of enhancing and customizing the flavor. Aside from flavor, barbecue rubs also enhance color and create a highly desirable “bark” on the meat. The bark is one of the most prized parts of a smoked meat; it is a heavy, flavorful, smoke-infused crust that is very juicy and delicious.

Why Use Rubs?

Barbecue rubs are popular methods of flavoring because they stick well to the product while smoked or grilled. In most cases, barbecue rubs are the “secret ingredient” to great smoked meats. If you were to ask any professional smoked meat competitor, they will likely tell you that the secret to their product is “in the rub.” Of course, the method of smoking is also very complex and influential to the overall flavor profiles and colors of the meat. You can’t just rely on the rub alone!

How to Make Rubs

The foundation of nearly all rubs is a salt and sugar combination, with more of an emphasis on the salt side. Since sugar burns at 265 degrees Fahrenheit, and smoked meats are generally cooked below this temperature, you can be generous with your sugar increments. Once you have chosen the perfect salt-to-sugar ratio, you have built the base of your rub. From there, you can add whatever ingredients you like relevant to your cuisine culture or personal taste. Keep in mind that a rub is really just a tailored mix of spices.

Common spices and herbs used to make rubs include:

🌶 Paprika
🌶 Cayenne Pepper
🌶 Black Pepper
🌶 Chili Powder
🌶 Garlic
🌶 Onion Powder
🌶 Cumin
🌶 Oregano
🌶 Lemon Juice
🌶 Lime Juice
🌶 Orange Juice
🌶 Worcestershire Sauce

The proper amount of rub to use is whatever will stick to the meat. Any excess is not necessary. Mix your rub combination together ahead of time, and then transfer it to a shaker. Then shake the mixture evenly all over your product, covering all sides. It is recommended to make a large amount of rub to have on hand for future meat products. Dry rubs can be stored safely for months in a cool, dry area. Wet rubs should be refrigerated and used with two weeks for the best flavors.

Looking for a Great BBQ Meal Near You?

Rackz BBQ Carmel, IN 317-688-7290

Rackz BBQ
317-688-7290

If you are craving delicious barbecue smoked meats and homemade side dishes, come to Rackz BBQ in Carmel for authentic flavors and great prices! We offer a wide selection of barbecue classics, house-made sides, and tasty desserts, all prepared using the freshest local ingredients. We also offer call ahead and take out ordering and catering! Call 317-688-7290 to learn more about our current menu selections and specials, anytime.

Which Meats Are Best To Smoke?

For those who love great barbecue, smoking meats is an artistic and worthwhile endeavor. It is a slow and measured cooking method that couples low heat and smoke to add richness, flavor, and tenderness to meat. Although there are various types of meat to choose from when it comes time to plan your meal, there are some cuts that are better left to the grill rather than the smoker.

Continue reading to learn which meats and other foods are well-suited for smoking, and which are not.

For Great Smoked Meats and BBQ, Call 317-688-7290!

For Great Smoked BBQ, Call
317-688-7290!

Meat Quality

Many misconceive their meat options when choosing a product to smoke. It is not always true that a more expensive or higher-end cut of meat is better in the smoker than a cheaper one. In fact, many suggest that cheaper cuts of meat often work well with smoking since leaner cuts can have difficulty withstanding long hours of cooking without drying out. For this reason, using cheaper meats is a great way to experiment as a beginner smoker.

Cuts of Meat

For smoking meat, the best cuts to use are the ones with enough fat and connective tissue to tenderize and fill with flavor. As fat melts and connective tissues breaks down, meat is kept perfectly moist during smoking. So cuts of meat with high fat and connective tissue generally improve with smoking, and finish tender and flavorful. Meats that are chewy and rough tend to do well in the smoker, such as pork shoulders, ribs, and beef brisket.

Best Meat Choices for Smoking:

Ham
Pork Ribs
Pork Shoulder (i.e. Boston Butt or Picnic)
Beef Brisket
Seafood (i.e. Salmon, Mackerel, Herring, and Cod)
Shellfish (Scallops and Oysters)

Additional Foods to Smoke:

Not only can you smoke meats, you can also smoke various other foods. Here are some recommended foods to try in your smoker!

Spices (i.e. Paprika, Salt, and Liquid Smoke)
Nuts (i.e. Pecan, Almonds, and Walnuts)
Cheese (i.e. Monterey Jack, Cheddar, Gouda, and Gruyère)
Vegetables
Olives (Green or Black)
Bologna or Mortadella
Tomatoes (Cherry or Grape)
Peaches
Capers
Potatoes
Hard Boiled Eggs

Meats Better Prepared Using Other Cooking Methods:

Pork Tenderloin
Steak
Lean Roast
Fish
Shellfish

Get Great BBQ in Carmel!

Rackz BBQ Carmel, IN 317-688-7290

Rackz BBQ
317-688-7290

If you are craving delicious barbecue and smoked meats, come to Rackz BBQ in Carmel for authentic flavors and great prices! We offer a wide selection of barbecue classics, house-made sides, and tasty desserts, all prepared using the freshest local ingredients. We also offer call ahead take out ordering and catering! Call 317-688-7290 to learn more about our current menu selections and specials, anytime.

3 Top Quality Electric Knives at a Reasonable Cost

If you are someone who enjoys roasting, baking, barbecuing, and smoking meats, a top quality electric knife could come in handy. There are thousands of options on the market for electric knives, all of which vary in blade size, quality, speed, cord length, and much more. In order to ensure you bring home the right match, it is helpful to consider your meat cutting needs before making any final purchasing decisions.

When choosing one to buy, the selection can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. For the average home cook, it is best to choose an electric knife that has a good balance of quality and cost. Fortunately, there are several make and model electric knives that fit this description. Continue reading to review some of our top picks for reasonably priced, top-quality electric knives.

Cuisine Smart CEK40 Electric Knife - For Sale on Amazon.com

Cuisine Smart CEK40 Electric Knife – For Sale on Amazon.com

Cuisine Smart® CEK-40 Electric Knife – $38

This knife comes with a load of features, making it the best “bang for your buck” for someone who just wants a simple, reliable electric carving knife for meat and bread. It is well-noted for its 3 year warranty, as well as, its one-touch safety lock feature and easy-to-release blades. Consumers have also noted that the device can get hot after extended use.

This Product Comes With:

Comfortable Handle
BPA Free Stainless Steel Blades
Wood Block Storage Tray
Bread Blade
Carving Blade
Wooded Butcher Block

Hamilton Beach® Electric Carving Knife – $24

Here is another electric carving knife that comes at a great value. With its durable stainless steel construction and space-saving storage case, you can’t argue the quality you get at this price point. The stainless steel blades are easy to remove and clean, and it is suitable for both meats and breads.

This Product Comes With:

Comfortable Handle
Stainless Steel Blades
Storage Case
Carving Fork

Black & Decker® EK 700 Slice Right Electric Knife – $23

Although close to the price point of the Hamilton Beach model, this Black & Decker electric knife is another great choice for simple, everyday meat and bread carving. It is designed with serrated blades and an ergonomic handle for increased comfort and performance, as well as, safety lock features and easy-release, dishwasher-safe blades.

This Product Comes With:

9” Offset Serrated Blades
Comfortable Handle

Are You Thinking Barbecue For Dinner?

Rackz BBQ Carmel, IN 317-688-7290

Rackz BBQ
317-688-7290

Visit Rackz BBQ in Carmel, Indiana for delicious smoked meat entrees, hand-crafted barbecue sauces, and homemade side items, like peach baked beans, macaroni and cheese, coleslaw, and more. From appetizers and sandwiches, to salads, entrees, and desserts, there is much to choose from on our comprehensive BBQ menu, so be sure to try them all! Contact us during regular business hours at 317-688-7290 to ask us about our menu prices, weekly specials, and more. We accept call-ahead and takeout orders too!

Food Safety Tips for Smoking Meats

Whether you are someone who regularly smoke meats at home, or someone who is ready to try it for the first time, it is important for you to have a full understanding of proper food preparation, safety, and storage. Continue reading to learn what you need to know about food safety and smoking meats.

For Great Smoked Meats and BBQ, Call 317-688-7290!

For Great Smoked Meats and BBQ, Call
317-688-7290!


To get great results from smoking meats, all you really need is low heat, water, flavored wood chips, a smoker grill, a lot of smoke, and of course, your meat of choice. But to get the best results, you also need food safety from start to finish. Below are some important tips that can help ensure you are serving great-tasting, healthy, and safe smoked meat courses to your friends and family.

Before Smoking Your Meat

Thawing and Defrosting:

If in a frozen state, your meat needs to be completely thawed before you can season or cook it in your smoker. There are three primary methods of thawing meat safely: refrigeration, cold water, and microwaving. The safest and most recommended method is to thaw your meat in the refrigerator. Simply keep the meat in its packaging and place it on a plate to thaw overnight. If you need a faster option, the next best method is to thaw frozen meat in cold water. Just place the meat in an enclosed waterproof plastic bag and submerge it in cold water, changing the water every half hour until the meat is entirely thawed.

The least recommended, but still somewhat effective, method is to use the microwave to defrost frozen meat. To thaw frozen meat in the microwave, you will need to understand your microwave’s defrost settings since make and models vary in operation and performance. Refer to the owners’ manual for instructions on how to defrost frozen meat in your particular make and model microwave. If you choose this method, it is important that you immediately cook the meat once it is thawed.

Marinating:

It is important to marinate your meat in controlled temperatures so that bacteria does not contaminate the food. It is safe to marinate meats in the refrigerator, so long as the temperatures do not exceed 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Furthermore, you never want to cross-contaminate marinades. If you want to season your meat with your leftover marinade while it’s cooking, you have to boil the liquid first to eliminate the bacteria that seeped out of the raw meat.

During the Smoking Process

Thermometers:

When smoking meats, you will need two separate thermometers to keep your operate safe. First, utilize your smoker’s built-in thermometer or temperature gauge to ensure the internal compartment remains between 225 and 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Second, use a food thermometer to test the internal temperature of your meat.

The safe internal temperature point depends on the type of meat you are smoking, so be sure to review a chart of recommended meat temperatures. For example, fresh beef, veal, lamb, and pork can be safely consumed at 145 degrees Fahrenheit, while poultry needs to be at least 160 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit before consuming.

After Smoking Your Meat

Resting and Storing:

After you have finished smoking your meat, you must let it rest for the certain amount of time. Rest time is important because the internal temperature remains constant or continues to rise, which destroys harmful germs. If you are not serving your smoked meats right away, you have to immediately chill them. Do this within 2 hours of smoking completion, or within 1 hour if it is a very hot day.

For large cuts of meat, you will benefit by sectioning them off, storing in shallow containers, and covering them with an airtight lid. Keep them refrigerated until they are ready to be reheated and enjoyed. For best results, you want to consume them within 4 days. Freeze them if you cannot consume them within this time period.

Visit Rackz BBQ for Top-Choice Smoked Meats, Ribs, and More!

Rackz BBQ Carmel, IN 317-688-7290

Rackz BBQ
317-688-7290

Rackz BBQ offers a wide selection of delicious smoked meats and southern comfort foods that are sure to please the entire family. Located conveniently in Carmel, you can stop by anytime for lunch or dinner. Enjoy our made-from-scratch menu filled with traditional barbecue classics, like ribs, brisket, chicken, mac-n-cheese, corn bread, and more! Call 317-688-7290 to ask us about our menu prices, weekly specials, or to make a call-ahead takeout order!

Various Wood Chip Options for Smoking Meat

When it comes to smoking meat, great results start with the type of wood you choose for your smoker. The hot temperatures and quick burning attributes produce a momentous burst of smoke that gives meat a distinct flavor unparalleled to meat cooked any other way.

BBQ Smoked Meats 317-688-7290

BBQ Smoked Meats 317-688-7290


There are several different wood chip options available on the market, all of which deliver unique and individual flavors that can be used alone, or combined to create new tastes. If you are preparing to smoke pork, beef, poultry, nuts, cheese, or fish, you might want to review which wood chip options will give you the type of flavor you are aiming for. Continue reading to learn which options you have to choose from, and how they differ in flavor profiles, composition, burning points, and more.

The Classics:

Hickory – Hickory wood chips are popular because they deliver strong, sweet, bacon-like flavors that are capable of pleasing any palate. Although many claim that hickory wood is too pungent, the aromas produce a strong flavor that is suitable for all cuts of meat.

Maple – In contrast to hickory, maple wood chips deliver a more subtle flavor that can be described as mildly sweet. It is a great “go-to” option for any type of poultry, including chicken, quail, turkey, and small birds. It is also a good choice for grilling cheese and vegetables.

Mesquite – If you are looking for a strong, unpretentious, earthy flavor, mesquite is the classic option to choose. It has one of the hottest burning points among all other wood chips, and works well with any type of red or dark meats, including beef, bison, lamb, and more.

Oak – As a classic wood chip option, using oak can is a full-proof choice because it can be used for any type of meat. It gives off a medium smoky flavor that is slightly lighter than hickory or mesquite. It is commonly blended with other woods, such as cherry, hickory, or apple, but works great by itself too.

Fruit Flavors:

Apple – If you are looking for a fruity flavor that isn’t too strong, apple is the way to go. It delivers subtle sweet apple flavors, and works well with most meats, especially ham. It is a suitable choice for some seafood as well.

Pear – If you smoking poultry and small birds and would like a unique flavor, choose pear wood. You can expect a light, sweet, and fruity flavor.

Cherry – Cherry wood is one of the most popular choices for smoking meats because it can be used for everything. It gives a mild, sweet fruity flavor, and works well with poultry, beef, pork, small game, and more.

Peach – Peach wood delivers a very similar result as pear and other fruit wood chips. It’s a great option for small birds, poultry, and pork.

Mulberry – Mulberry wood chips are a terrific match for pork, poultry, and fish. Because it is very similar to apple wood, it is commonly skipped over as an option. But it is an interesting flavor that is great for white meat and fresh water fish.

Grape Vine – Grape vine wood chips are great for those who want a strong fruit flavor in their product. Even when used sparingly, they will provide a robust, tart fruity flavor that works well with poultry, lamb, pork, and small game birds.

Olive – Olive wood produces results that are very similar to mesquite wood chips. It is slighter lighter in flavor, and works best with chicken.

Nut and Flower Varieties:

Pecan – Pecan is actually another classic. As a fruit nut variety wood chip, you can expect stout fruity flavors in any of your smoked meats. Compared to hickory and mesquite, its flavors are milder.

Walnut – Walnut wood is great for red meats and wilderness game. It delivers a strong and slightly bitter flavor, so it is often combined with other varieties to soften the flavor.

Alder – Alder is a very delicate wood variety that produces soft, mild sweetness in smoked meat. Although most commonly used for salmon, it is also a great option for other kinds of fish, as well as poultry and pork.

Rackz BBQ in Carmel

Rackz BBQ Carmel, IN 317-688-7290

Rackz BBQ
317-688-7290

If you are craving delicious barbecue smoked meats and homemade side dishes, come to Rackz BBQ in Carmel for authentic flavors and great prices! We offer a wide selection of barbecue classics, house-made sides, and tasty desserts, all prepared using the freshest local ingredients. We also offer call ahead take out ordering and catering! Call 317-688-7290 to learn more about our current menu selections and specials, anytime.

Recommended Tools for Smoking Meats

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!

For Great BBQ, Call 317-688-7290!

For Great BBQ, Call
317-688-7290!

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 Injector

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

Charcoal Chimney

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.

Try Our Delicious Smoked Meats and More!

Rackz BBQ Carmel, IN 317-688-7290

Rackz BBQ
317-688-7290

If you are craving delicious barbecue smoked meats and homemade side dishes, come to Rackz BBQ in Carmel for authentic flavors and great prices! We offer a wide selection of barbecue classics, house-made sides, and tasty desserts, all prepared using the freshest local ingredients. We also offer call ahead and take out ordering and catering! Call 317-688-7290 to learn more about our current menu selections and specials, anytime.

The 3 Steps to Choosing a Smoker

If you like to grill meat, a smoker is the perfect addition to your stockpile of appliances. But shopping for one will require some forethought and a little bit of smoker knowledge.

Smoked Meat Dinners Carmel, Indiana 317-688-7290

Smoked Meat Dinners Carmel, Indiana 317-688-7290


There are hundreds of smokers to choose from on the market, from stovetop and handheld smokers, to the colossal rigs used for commercial purposes. Such styles include offset barrel smokers (stick burners), gas smokers, electric smokers, pellet smokers, water smokers, cold smokers, kamado-style cookers, combo-ovens, and more, all of which vary in price, quality, features, and performance. In order to bring home the right smoking equipment, you must start by doing your research and narrowing down your options. Fortunately, you can do this with 3 simple steps.

Determine Your Capacity

The first factor to think about is volume. How much meat do you intend to smoke at one time? Are you using it for personal or commercial applications? Restaurants and large facilities will require a bigger smoker than someone who simply wants to smoke meats at home. In another example, a person who will be smoking meats for a family of four will need a larger personal smoker than someone who is cooking for one.

Consider Your Space

Since smokers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, you want to think about where it will go and how much space you have. Do you have room for a vertical smoker in your kitchen? The garage? Will it be stored on the patio or in a backyard shed? Designate an area before making any final decisions so that you have the room to conveniently store it away. Furthermore, it is important to learn the proper way to store a smoker. Freezing temperatures and heavy precipitation can interrupt performance and overall quality.

Set a Budget

It is very important to set a budget before shopping around for smokers. Not only will this help narrow down realistic options, it will provide a boundary for spending and help resist pressure to buy an upgraded version you do not need. Smokers range in price from as low as $50 for condo or apartment units, and as high as $10,000 or more for professional grade. It is recommended for beginners to start with a small vertical water smoker that costs between $100 and $300, but this is entirely up to the consumer.

Beginner Brands To Consider:

As a beginner smoker, there are several popular and highly-reviewed make and models that will serve you well. Here are a few to consider:

Weber 22-Inch Original Kettle Charcoal Grill – $149
Pit Barrel Cooker Package – $299
Camp Chef 24-Inch Smoke Vault – $250

In the Mood for Delicious Smoked Meats Right Now?

Rackz BBQ Carmel, IN 317-688-7290

Rackz BBQ
317-688-7290

Come to Rackz BBQ! We are conveniently in Carmel, you can stop by anytime for lunch or dinner. Enjoy our made-from-scratch menu filled with traditional barbecue classics, like ribs, brisket, chicken, mac-n-cheese, corn bread, and more! If you don’t have time to sit down at our restaurant, place a takeout order for a hot and fresh meal on the go! Contact us at 317-688-7290 to place a call ahead order, or to learn more about our menu selections, prices, and specials.