FAQS About Smoking Meat

If you are new to using a smoker, the best place to start your learning curve is with the basics. Continue reading to review some frequently asked questions about smoking meats, including wood chip options, recommended temps, and more.

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For Great Smoked Meats and BBQ, Call

Which Foods Are Best To Smoke?

You have various options to choose from when it comes to selecting a food to smoke. AS for meat, the most popular cuts include ham, pork ribs, pork shoulder (Boston butt or picnic), and beef brisket. Aside from your typical cuts of meat, you can also smoke cheese, vegetables, seafood, shellfish, nuts, fruits, spices, hard boiled eggs, and more!

Which Cut of Meat is Best for Pulled Pork?

By far, the most popular cut of meat to use for smoking pulled pork is pork shoulder. This is for a few good reasons. Not only is it pretty affordable compared to other cuts, it is also readily available at most grocery stores, butcher shops, and artisanal meat shops. It is also very forgiving since it does not dry out as quickly as other types of meat.

What are the Benefits of Smoking Meat?

Smoking meat, compared to other traditional methods of cooking, provides a unique set of benefits. First, the best cuts of meat for smoking are also some of the cheapest; so you can feed a large crowd on a tight budget. Furthermore, a smoker delivers exceptional flavors and tenderizes even the toughest cuts of meat. In addition to tenderness, flavor, and cost-efficiency, smoking meat is also beneficial because it can prolong the quality of meat through preservation and curing.

Which Wood Chips Should I Use for Smoking Meat?

There are several wood chip options you can use with your smoker, all of which offer a range of smoke and flavor levels. The type you use will largely depend on the cut of meat you are cooking with. Once you are more familiar with smoking meats, you can go by personal preference. Common wood chip flavors for smoking include any fruit or nut variety, such as apple, pear, cherry, peach, and mulberry, as well as the classics, like maple, hickory, pecan, and oak. Avoid using Eastern cedar, cypress, elm, eucalyptus, liquid amber, pine, redwood, fir, spruce, and sycamore. These trees are high in resin and oils that cause a thick smoke when lit.

What Temperature Do I Smoke Meat? And For How Long?

The temperature and time you use for smoking your meats will depend on the size and type of meat, as well as, personal preference. Traditionally, smokers are meant to cook “low and slow”, so you can expect to smoke meats between 250 and 300 degrees Fahrenheit, for as long as 6 to 12 hours, give or take. For instance, if you are smoking a whole chicken, you would set your smoker at 250 degrees Fahrenheit and smoke it for 45 minutes per pound of meat.

What Tools Do I Need to Smoke Meat?

You cannot create smoked meat masterpieces with the proper tools and provisions. Aside from your meat and smoker, a basic meat smoking kit will contain a quality meat thermometer (preferably digital), water pans, wireless dual probe transmitters, flavor injectors, a charcoal chimney, and misting bottle.

Now You’re in the Mood for Some Delicious Smoked Meats?

Rackz BBQ Carmel, IN 317-688-7290

Rackz BBQ

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.

Recommended Tips for Marinating Cuts of Beef

Can’t decide what to make for dinner tonight? You can never go wrong with beef!

Beef is a delicious and highly versatile meat that is easy to prepare, even for the typical novice cook. However, it is a stronger, tougher meat, which means it could use some tenderizing. A great way to tenderize a cut of beef, and enhance its flavor at the same time, is to use a marinade.

As an added bonus to using beef marinades, there are endless combinations of spices, sauces, and other ingredients to use, so you can get as create as you like! Continue reading to learn some helpful information about beef marinades, including popular recipes and recommended marinating times.

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Beef Brisket Dinner 317-688-7290

A Strong Marinade and the Right Timing

The two most influential factors to tenderizing a tough cut of beef is a strong marinade and time. With these two factors in perfect balance, you can amaze your friends and family with a juicy and flavorful beef roast, brisket, steak, and more! If you are already working with a tender cut of beef, you can still benefit from using a marinade in terms of taste and nutrition.

The General Rules for Marinating Beef

The general rule of thumb is to use a quarter cup of marinade per each pound of beef. So if you are working with a 7 pound brisket, you would need to use 1 ¾ cup of marinade for the entire cut. You can use any container with an airtight seal to marinade your meats, however a 1 gallon zipped-locked plastic bag works wonders, and it is disposal so you have less clean up. Larger cuts of beef that cannot fit into a 1 gallon bag can be placed in a sealed container instead.

Do not use a metal container if your marinade contains an acid-based ingredient like vinegar, citrus juice, and tomatoes. This will make the meat taste very unpleasant since metal reacts with the acid. When storing and marinating your beef, be sure to turn the meat periodically so that the mixture contacts all sides, equally. Keep your marinating meal in the refrigerator between 32 and 37 degrees Fahrenheit.

Beef Marinade Recipes

The most effective marinades are those made from a universal base of liquid and acid. From there, you can add any herbs, spices, sauces, and other ingredients to build a flavor profile. You can combine them all together naturally, or you can blend them together in a food processor (or blender) to create a puree. Here are some tasty beef marinade combinations you can try:

BrisketWorcestershire sauce, garlic salt, onion salt, pepper, liquid smoke, ketchup, brown sugar, lemon juice, mustard, and hot pepper sauce.

Rump Roast – Soy sauce, vegetable oil, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic, and pepper.

Chuck Roast – Soy sauce, orange juice, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar.

Pot Roast – Soy sauce, red wine vinegar, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, mustard, fresh rosemary, and garlic.

Steak – Soy sauce, olive oil, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, basil, parsley, pepper, hot pepper sauce, and garlic.

Standard Marinating Times

The amount of time you marinate your cut of beef is important, but it is also dependent on the type of meat you are preparing. Use the guide below for some average marinating times for the most popular cuts of beef.

Brisket (Trimmed) 10 – 12 hours
Brisket (Untrimmed) 16 – 18 hours
Chuck Steak 4 – 6 hours
Chuck Roasts 8 – 10 hours
Flank Steak 4 – 6 hours
Rib Steak 30 minutes – 1 hour
Rib Roast 1 – 2 hours
Round Steak 4 – 6 hours
Sirloin Steak 2 – 4 hours
Tenderloin Roast 1 – 2 hours
Tri-Tip Roast 4 – 6 hours

Visit Rackz BBQ for Mouthwatering Beef Brisket and More!

BBQ Smoked Meats 317-688-7290

Rackz BBQ Brisket Dinner

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 4 Most Popular Woods for Smoking Meat

Although there are various kinds of wood chips you can use to smoke meat, there are some that take the lead in terms of dependability, consistency, and popularity. The most common woods for smoking meat may vary from region to region, but around here, the top 4 are maple, pecan, hickory, and oak wood chips.

Continue reading to learn more about these four wood chip varieties, and what they can offer your premium cuts.

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Smoked Meat Dinners 317-688-7290


Maple wood chips offer a mild and subtly sweet flavor profile. They are commonly used for smoking poultry and small game birds, such as turkey, chicken, duck, and quail. Many people choose maple for smoking other foods besides meats, like cheese and vegetables.


Of all fruit wood chips, pecan is the strongest. However, this strong wood is still a milder alternative to hickory and mesquite. Pecan wood chips pair best with poultry, but can provide added flavor and zest to all other meats too. Just be careful using it in excess, as it can turn overpowering and bitter.


Hickory wood chips are very popular in the Midwest meat smoking industry, partly because they offer a sweet smoky flavor with strong hints of bacon. But because the smoke is pungent, its flavors are quite strong. These chips are well-suited for most meats, but couples best with pork and ribs.


If you are looking for a lighter, milder flavor profile than maple and hickory, oak is the answer. Oak wood chips offer a medium-strong smoky flavor, and work great with virtually all meats. Although great alone, they can also be combined with cherry, hickory, or apple wood chips for added flavor.


It is strongly recommended to not use Eastern cedar, cypress, elm, eucalyptus, liquid amber, pine, redwood, fir, spruce, and sycamore. These trees are high in resin and oils that cause a thick smoke when lit.

Smoked Barbecue Meats Near You!

BBQ Restaurant Catering 317-688-7290

Carmel BBQ Restaurant 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.