Hello friends and welcome to the April issue of the Smoking Meat newsletter. I actually had it planned to send this out last week but due to some unforeseen circumstances, you are getting it a mere week later;-)

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I have had great reviews in the past when I featured questions and answers so in keeping with my promise to do that occasionally, here you go.. again!



Q: I used my grill for the first time and ended up throwing $100 worth of meat away. It was bitter. Help.

A: Bitter meat usually indicates improper airflow leading to creosote. It can also indicate using all wood in too small of a grill/smoker.

I am assuming airflow was the problem and the way to fix that is to make sure you have ample air coming into the firebox area and plenty of opening for the smoke to escape.

This allows the smoke to kiss the meat as it passes over and out of the smoker.. if the smoke lingers too long it will make the meat bitter.

You should be able to see the light wisps of smoke moving pretty quickly out of the smoker.

I recommend charcoal for heat in small to medium smokers and just adding about 5 or 6 2×2 chunks of wood at a time for the smoke. You can also place a handful of chips in a tin can and set it on top of the coals for some good smoking action.

Chunks or small sticks will work best.

Keep the smoke flowing for about half of the cook time and after that just let it finish using heat from charcoal.


Q: If you smoke a 5 lb chicken how long does it take?

A: Should take around 4 hours if you maintain 230-250 degrees. Be sure to attain 160-165 degrees in the thickest part of the thigh and/or breast. If you want the skin to be crispy, you can crank the heat on up to about 325 which will reduce you time in the smoker and the skin will be crispy instead of rubbery.

I don't eat a lot of chicken skin so I prefer more time in the smoke but for some, crispy skin is a must.


Q: Jeff, I would like to try some beef ribs. Can you advise on how to smoke them?

A: I love beef ribs and the flavor is absolutely amazing. I like to cut them up before smoking and place them in a disposable aluminum pan. Here lately I have been using a cooling rack or other device inside of the pan to hold the meat up above the juices that will collect in the bottom.

Coat the outside of the ribs with a good dose of my rib rub and put them in the smoker at about 250�F for 4 to 6 hours depending on how you like them. I normally leave them on for about 6 hours and watch for the meat to pull back a good 3/4 inch from the bone end.

Pecan is my favorite wood for beef ribs but I also enjoy oak and mesquite with them sometimes. Keep the smoke light and moving during the smoking process.

If you like sauce you can glaze them a little about 10 minutes before they get done. I prefer to serve the sauce on the side and enjoy the awesome flavor that the dry rub infuses into the meat.

The really nice thing about beef ribs is the price.. it is common to find them on sale for as little as $0.99/lb.


Q: Hi Jeff,

What an awesome article on smoking brisket!!! I'm definitely going to try it one of the colder nights 'cause it smells so good against the crisp air.

Question for you, when the meat hits the plateau temperature you mentioned it may stay at that temp for several hours. At what point do you worry about your fire not being hot enough? Is it because you're regulating the heat in the smoker and can see that it's still high enough?

Thanks for your advice!!!

A: Glad the website is being helpful to you.. I like to see new folks getting excited about smoking meat!

About your question on brisket… I test the thermometer on my smoker in boiling water or just compare it with another thermometer that I know works correctly.

As long as I am confident that my smoker is perking along at the correct temperature, I know that my brisket will eventually hit the target.

Just to give you a disclaimer.. every piece of meat is different and while most briskets will plateau like I mentioned in the website article, I have had briskets which did not plateau but just continued to climb throughout the time in the smoker until it reached its target temperature.

You have to be prepared for what normally happens but do not be surprised if occasionally you get one that breaks all the rules.

Get a good digital meat thermometer that can be left in the meat while it cooks so you can monitor the internal temperature of the meat and then just let the temperature of the meat tell you when it is done.

That's going to wrap it up for questions.. hope this is helpful to some of you.




We have setup a Premier membership option at the forum which allows you to show your sincere support for the SMF.

Not only do you get some extra nice features and your name is green showing everyone your "top of the line" support, this helps me initiate faster upgrades when they are required and pay for much needed maintenance when things break down as they sometimes do.

At 15 bucks a year this is a steal and when everyone participates it guarantees that the forum will be tops in performance and service.

Many of you have written and told me how much the forum means to you.. this is your chance to say that another way.

For the many of you who have already put your proverbial "money where your mouth is"..

Thank you!!

Check it out HERE




My recipes are something that you absolutely need if you are serious about smoking meat.

I get testimonies each and every day from happy customers and rather than tout the goodness of my rub and sauce recipe this month, I will let a few other people tell you what they think..


Hello Jeff! I'm a newsletter subscriber and recently purchased the rib rub and sauce recipes. Wow. The rub is quite good, but the sauce is incredible! I've been trying to make my own for some time, and could never get it quite right. Out of frustration, I ordered your recipe, and it's incredible! My family LOVES it!


I bought your rub/sauce recipe a few months ago and I have to tell you that the rub recipe is one of the best I have ever tasted. We have used it on ribs, pulled pork, brisket and chicken drummies(talk about a great snack!). The rub ROCKS!! Thanks for all your insight and help via the web site.


Jeff, I initially purchased your recipes just to support your efforts. Luckily for me, they are wonderful. Both the dry rub recipe and the barbecue sauce recipe are wonderful. Everybody loves them.


To order the recipes go to https://www.smoking-meat.com/order

You should receive a download link in your email just as soon as you order.. if you do not receive it within an hour let me know and I will send it out manually.

Please note: all orders are handled by Paypal even if you are not a Paypal member.

Don't like to use your card online? I understand completely.

You can order the recipes by check or M/O by using the following address:

Smoking-Meat.com Recipe Offer
401 South Boston Ave
Suite 500-10
Tulsa OK 74103

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