Ultimate Meat Smoking Cheat Sheet
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Below is our Ultimate Meat Smoking Cheat Sheet!
It has information from many Best Smokers Info articles all condensed into one easy to read cheat sheet perfect to refer to when you’re firing up your smoker.
In addition to this we’ve included a FREE printer friendly copy perfect for you to print out and keep with you when you’re smoking some meat.
STEP 1: CHOOSE MEAT
|Beef||Classic BBQ meat, lots of fatty cuts which smoke great – Brisket, Ribs||Trim excess fat and apply rub and seasoning|
|Pork||Lots of great cuts – Ribs and Shoulder are BBQ classics & fairly easy||Inject, rub and leave to rest – Skin and trim your ribs|
|Poultry||Lots of good options with chicken or turkey -Whole Bird, Wings, Legs||Brine full birds – Rub and season|
|Lamb||Lamb Shoulder and Leg are fatty enough to work great in a smoker||Season, rub, leave to rest|
|Venison||Quite gamey and potentially tricky – Venison roast works well||Brine/inject, rub and season|
|Seafood||Quick and easy options – Salmon and shrimp smoke great||Debone fish, dry brine, rub and season|
Note: It’s generally good practice to let any meats get to room temperature before putting in the smoker – This gives a more even cook.
STEP 2: CHOOSE FUEL
|Your standard charcoal – cheap, even chunks that burn very consistently for long periods of time and are easy to light.
Downsides include – Struggle to reach really high temperatures and chemi- cals used in the creation which can lead to lots of ash.
|Burns hot and clean, giving good smoke and produces small amounts of ash.
– Does not include any chemicals.
Downsides include – More expensive than briquettes, burns quicker and comes in random sized chunks so may require more tending to.
R = Highly Recommend, W = Works Well
|Alder||Mild||Subtle, sweet smokey flavor||w||w||R||R|
|Almond||Medium||Sweet nutty flavor that works with all meats||w||w||w||w||w||w||w||w|
|Apple||Mild||Light, sweet and fruity||w||R||R||R||R||R||R||w|
|Apricot||Mild||Like Hickory but milder, sweet hint of fruit||w||R||R||w||w||w||w||w|
|Cherry||Mild||Very versatile, sweet and fruity||R||R||R||R||R||w||R||w|
|Chestnut||Mild||Sweet nutty flavor||w||w||w||w||w||w||w||w|
|Hickory||Strong||Strong smoke flavor with a hint of bacon||R||R||R||w||R||w||w||R|
|Jack Daniel’s||Strong||Made from Jack Daniel’s barrels, strong & unique||R||R||R||w||w|
|Lemon||Mild||Light, tangy flavor||w||w||w||w||w||w||w|
|Lilac||Mild||Subtle floral hint, good for cheese||R||R||w||R|
|Maple||Mild||Subtle, sweet flavor that good with lighter meat||w||R||R||w||w||R||R||R|
|Mesquite||Strong||Very strong Earthy smoke flavor||R||R||R||w||w||w|
|Mulberry||Mild||Light, sweet and fruity||w||R||R||w||w||w||w||w|
|Oak||Medium||Classic smoke flavor||R||R||R||R||R||R||w|
|Orange||Medium||Light, tangy and fruity||w||R||R||w||w||w||w|
|Peach||Medium||Sweet, fruity tang||w||R||R||w||R||w||w|
|Pear||Mild||Earthy, fruity flavor||w||R||R||w||R||w||w|
|Pecan||Medium||Fairly rich smoky flavor, balanced by sweetness||R||R||R||w||w||w||w||w|
|Plum||Mild||Mild and Sweet||w||R||R||w||w||R||w||w|
|Walnut||Strong||Can be bitter, works well with other woods||R||R||w||w||w|
Note: Do not use_Cedar, Cypress, Elm, Eucalyptus, Fir, Liquid Amber, Pine, Redwood, Sassafras, Spruce or Sycamore to smoke meat.
STEP 3: SMOKING – TIMES & TEMPS
|Cut of Meat||Smoking Time||Smoker Temp.||Final Internal Temp.|
|BEEF||USDA Minimum: 145°F 63°C|
|Brisket||12-20 hours||225-250°F (107-121°C)||190-200°F (88-93°C)|
|Chuck Roast||12-18 hours||225-250°F (107-121°C)||190-200°F (88-93°C)|
|Rump Roast||30 mins/lb||225-250°F (107-121°C)||135°F (medium) (57°C)|
|Back Ribs||4-5 hours||225-250°F (107-121°C)||190°F (88°C)|
|Prime Ribs||4-5 hours||225°F (107°C)||135°F (medium) (57°C)|
|Short Ribs||6-8 hours||225-250°F (107-121°C)||190°F (88°C)|
|Spare Ribs||5-6 hours||225-250°F (107-121°C)||190°F (88°C)|
|Tri Tip||3-4 hours||225-250°F (107-121°C)||135°F (medium) (57°C)|
|Tenderloin||3-4 hours||225-250°F (107-121°C)||135°F (medium) (57°C)|
|PORK||USDA Minimum: 145°F (63°C)|
|Pork Shoulder||12-14 hours||225 (107°C)||190°F (88°C)|
|Baby Back Ribs||5 hours||225-250°F (107-121°C)||180°F (82°C)|
|Spare Ribs||6 hours||225-250°F (107-121°C)||180°F (82°C)|
|Loin||3-5 hours||225-250°F (107-121°C)||145°F (63°C)|
|Tenderloin||2 hours||225-250°F (107-121°C)||145°F (63°C)|
|Ham (with bone)||1.5 hours/lb||225-250°F (107-121°C)||160°F (71°C)|
|Belly Bacon||6 hours||100°F (43°C)||140°F (60°C)|
|Sausage||1-2 hours||225-250°F (107-121°C)||165°F (74°C)|
|POULTRY||USDA Minimum: 165°F (74°C)|
|Whole Chicken||2-3 hours||275-300°F (135-149°C)||170°F (77°C)|
|Chicken Leqs||1-2 hours||275-300°F (135-149°C)||170°F (77°C)|
|Chicken Thighs||1-2 hours||275-300°F (135-149°C)||170°F (77°C)|
|Chicken Winqs||1-2 hours||275-300°F (135-149°C)||170°F (77°C)|
|Whole Turkey||4-5 hours||275-300°F (135-149°C)||170°F (77°C)|
|Turkey Leqs||3-4 hours||275-300°F (135-149°C)||175-180°F (79-82°C)|
|LAMB||USDA Minimum: 145°F (63°C)|
|Lamb Shank||4-5 hours||225-250°F (107-121°C)||160°F (71°C)|
|Lamb Leq||4-8 hours||225-250°F (107-121°C)||160°F (71°C)|
|Lamb Rack||1-2 hours||225-250°F (107-121°C)||145°F (63°C)|
|Lamb Shoulder||5-6 hours||225-250°F (107-121°C)||160°F (71°C)|
|VENISON||USDA Minimum: 160°F (71°C)|
|Venison Roast||1.5 hours/lb||225-250°F (107-121°C)||160°F (71°C)|
|Venison Tenderloin||1.5 hours/lb||225-250°F (107-121°C)||160°F (71°C)|
|Venison Steak||30-60 mins||225-275°F (107-135°C)||145°F (medium) (63°C)|
|SEAFOOD||USDA Minimum: 145°F (63°C)|
|Whole Salmon||Take it off when it starts to flake||200-225°F (93-107°C)||145-150°F (63-66°C)|
|Salmon Filet||1 hour||220°F (104°C)||145°F (63°C)|
|Lobster Tails||45 mins||225°F (107°C)||145°F (60°C)|
|Crab||45 mins||225°F (107°C)||145°F (60°C)|
|Shrimp||20-30 mins||225°F (107°C)||N/A|
|Corn on the Cob||1.5-2 hours||225°F (107°C)||N/A|
|Whole Potato||2-2.5 hours||225°F (107°C)||N/A|
|Whole Sweet Potato||2-2.5 hours||225°F (107°C)||N/A|
|Tomatoes||1 hour||225-250°F (107-121°C)||N/A|
Note: For well-done add 10°F and for rare take off 10°F the final internal temp.
Be aware of carry over heating – this is where your food, especially the bigger cuts of meat, will continue to cook after taken off the heat.
All fi ures are approbate – Use as guidlinesonly.
Instead of paying for an incomplete magnetic guide like this, you can get all the information and more for FREE using our Cheat Sheet.
We’ve taken all the information from our Best Meats to Smoke guide, our Guide to Charcoal, our Ultimate Guide to Smoking with Wood and our Smoking Times and Temperatures charts. Everything you need to know about smoking meat and going through the process is available to you here.
If you’re looking for more information on any of these then click through to the pages for in depth guides and lots more information on each one.
If you sign up to our mailing list you’ll not only receive the copy of the cheat sheet shown above but we’ve also included a copy of it without the background that is perfect for printing out and keeping with you when you’re smoking. All you have to do is follow the links in the email you’ll receive after you’ve signed up and it’ll take you straight to the online PDF version of whichever version you clicked on. After that you can save it to your computer or to your tablet or smart phone and have it on your wherever you go. From this screen you can also print it directly from the link or print it after you’ve downloaded it.