Smoking Meat Questions
How long do I add smoke?
Obviously this refers to a charcoal, electric or gas smoker where you have to add wood chips, chunks, etc. in order to create smoke. I usually recommend adding smoke for at least half of the estimated cook time. There is nothing wrong with adding smoke for the entire time to replicate the 100% wood smoker experience but make sure the smoke is nice and thin.
Do I have to use the water pan in my smoker?
I recommend you always use the water pan unless you are drying meat/making jerky.
The water pan serves three main purposes:
- It adds humidity to the air inside the smoker thereby reducing the natural drying effect of heated air.
- It creates a barrier between the fire and the meat to support the indirect method of cooking required for smoking meat
- The steam created by the water helps to maintain a more stable, low and slow temperature that is perfect for smoking meat.
Most smaller backyard smokers will come with a water pan and I highly recommend that you use it.
I just bought a new charcoal smoker. How much charcoal and how much wood should I use?
This type of thing is sometimes confusing for those new to this art but just remember that in small to medium charcoal smokers, the charcoal is strictly for creating the heat. The wood chunks, wood chips or a packet of wood chips are placed on top of the coals for smoke.
Use a charcoal chimney and place 2-4 lbs of lump charcoal (depending on smoker size and how well it holds heat) into the firebox or charcoal pan.
Place 4-6 wood chunks, a packet of wood chips or a stick of wood on top of the coals to create smoke.
Do I need to soak the wood chips/chunks?
Many folks soak the wood chips and chunks and if you do that and get great results, then by all means, don't let me hinder great results. I personally do NOT soak my wood chips, chunks, pellets, or any wood that I use and see no reason to do so.
Can I place ribs vertically in a rack to conserve space?
Absolutely and there is no negative results from cooking them this way.
We are doing hamburgers and hotdogs this Monday, can I smoke them?
Yes and they are delicious this way. There is no better way to do large quantities of burgers and dogs in my opinion.
Burger and hotdogs can both be smoked cooked from start to finish in about an hour at 240°F.
Please note: if the burgers are extra thick, they will take longer.
We ordered the recipes for your rub and sauce, but did not receive it. Why?
My automated system sends an email to you just as soon as you purchase the recipes. This email contains a blue download link so that you can download the recipes to your computer or device.
Sometimes the download email is caught by a spam filter in your email system. Be sure to check your spam or junk folder to see if they are there.
If you can't find them, click here to have the download email re-sent and, of course, if you need my help with this, be sure to let me know.
My question is not addressed here. What is the best way to get an answer?
Great question! I do try to answer a lot of the questions that come in but as I’ve mentioned earlier, I can't always get to all of them so that’s where the forum comes in handy.
If you have a pressing question even if it’s on Memorial Day and you have the meat already on the smoker, the SmokingMeatForums.com is the place to get a really fast answer.
With more than 110,000 members and a staff of more than 30, we are the number one place to go for your outdoor cooking questions.
If you are not a member, go ahead and sign up now for free so you’ll be ready for anything.