BBQ Smoking Tips And Tricks -How To Get Started In Smoking

If you are new to smoking meat, it can be intimidating. There are many factors to consider when starting your journey as a pitmaster. I have included several key items to consider as you begin. I hope you enjoy my BBQ smoking tips and tricks and getting started on your journey to becoming the backyard pitmaster that will make your neighbors jealous!



Choose your smoker




There are many types of smokers to choose from when you are looking to purchase a new smoker. Different types include:



  • Propane/gas

  • Electric

  • Charcoal

  • Pellet

  • Kettle

  • Offset



So which one is best for a beginner? My advice would be to start off with an electric smoker to see hwo you like it. These are fairly inexpensive, retain a consistent temperature and you never have to worry about refueling! These are a great option as you start your journey into smoking meat.



If budget is not an option and you want to get right into it, a pellet smoker may be your next best bet. They are pricey but I have used one for many years and find them to be a great vehicle to smoke with. You can even use it as a grill as a large number of them have the capability to heat up to high temps.



Select your wood



Your next step is to choose the wood you want to smoke with. Good wood will add that great smoky flavor to your meat that you are looking for. Depending on the type of smoker you are using, your wood could be in chunk form, prepackaged wood chips or pellets. If you take my advice and go electric to start, you are more than likely looking at wood chips for your smoker. Below are some of the types of meat and some suggested wood types for each.



  • Poultry – Apple, Cherry, Maple, Peach, Pecan

  • Pork – Cherry, Hickory, Mesquite, Oak, Peach, Pecan

  • Beef – Cherry, Hickory, Mesquite, Pecan

  • Seafood – Apple, Cherry, Oak



There are many other varieties of wood that works as well. These are just general guidelines to get you started and you may experiment and find that one wood is preference over another. I prefer Cherry for Beef and Apple for Pork for instance. Hickory I find very versatile and use that for a variety of meats.



Tips on choosing your meat



Some meats are trickier than others. You will get frustrated on your journey into smoking as you smoke that rack of ribs or brisket and it does not turn out the way you had planned. I have had many a rack of ribs turn out tougher than I would like and I struggled for a long time to get brisket right. Be patient! It is a marathon, not a sprint and you will get there over time. Here are some suggestions for starting out:



  • Chuck roast – a good introduction to smoking beef. These are very flavorful and are not difficult to get right.


  • Whole chicken – Poultry can be tricky, specifically white meat. I have had good success from the start with whole chicken. The meat comes out juicy and flavorful everytime. I would suggest trying the beer can chicken method to start.


  • Sausage – Cook them low and slow and then turn them up at the end to get that crunchy texture.


  • Tri Tip – another good beef option to get started. It is pretty simple to get it right.


Once you have gotten the hang of your smoker, move on to the good stuff. My favorites to smoke are pork butt/shoulder, baby back ribs and a whole brisket.




Pick your rub



Rubs allow you to get a nice flavorful crust on your meat. Some folks prefer to just use a salt/pepper mix and that works fine in a lot of cases. There are so many commercial rubs out there that are fantastic and I typically will make some of my own rubs. My pork butt rub is fantastic and better than any commercail rub on pork (in my opinion). Here are some of the commercail rubs I use a on regular basis







There are so many great rubs out there and varying opinions on them. I continue to experiment with commercial rubs and making my own rubs. I will eventually post some reviews on rubs as well as some of the recipes I use to make my own.






I hope that some of these smoking tips and tricks will help you get started on your journey. It is a great community full of supportive people all trying to help each other produce the best BBQ out there. You will get frustrated from time to time but just keep at it and eventually you will have your family asking if you can smoke something for dinner on the weekend. It is a great feeling to have them enjoy your food!



Happy smoking!


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5 thoughts on “BBQ Smoking Tips And Tricks -How To Get Started In Smoking

  1. It is a good thing that you can get to make you meat in different ways, this makes it very interesting to try different mean by which you can get it done and smoking is a very interesting one I love, it makes it very tasty in a different way and it is easy to get by, this article will also be very helpful.

  2. For the true BBQ lover, there is nothing better than slow-smoked meat off the grill. Incredible smoky wood aromas mixed with tender meat is a match made in heaven. One of the most common errors novice smokers make is adding too much wood. This can cause the food to taste bitter. Just add a few chunks at a time. Also, having a temperature controller is a handy tool to help control airflow and temperature in charcoal smokers.

  3. I’m new to smoking meat and it is a good suggestion to try with an electric smoker first to have a consistent temperature and no worries about refueling. I think among the 4 rubs you recommend, I would prefer the Kosmos rub best. And the Traeger rub would be my second choice. I would really like to read more about your own recipes. Thanks for sharing this article.

    1. Thanks I plan on posting more recipes soon. I just tried a new Rub on a chuck roast today that was quite tasty. I’ll be posting that recipe soon. 

  4. I am a fan of BBQ food and I was happy to read your article as you offer us very interesting information and tips on smoking meat.
    The wood choices are interesting, thanks for a nice overview of which types of wood correspond to a certain type of meat.
    As for the crispy baked crust, it really depends on the rubs, there really is a lot to offer that you can buy, but it’s also great if you experiment and discover your own version.
    Friendly greeting,

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