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.

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

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.

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 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.


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.


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.


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

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.