If you’re watching your diet or simply want to enjoy a delicious dinner with your friends or family members, you can always count on smoked meat to save the day. Smoked meat is usually up to 70% healthier than deep-fried meat as it contains fewer fats and more proteins. So, if you plan on switching to a healthier diet or trying out new recipes, here are some of our top recommendations.

Pork

Pork remains one of the most popular types of meats in the United States and is also considered the most satiable food of all. Depending on the culture, each part of the pork can be used for a different dish, including the skin or the fat.

Pork butts come from the upper side of the shoulder and usually weigh 5-10 pounds. They are not amongst the favorite choices of Americans, so often enough you’ll find them on discounts. Nevertheless, the meat can become tender and juicy if prepared correctly.

If you happen to come across boned pork butts, you can tell when they are cooked by simply touching the bone. If it slides out easily, your meal is ready.

We recommend smoking the meat for around 10 hours at 205 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don’t own a smoker, you can also get help from high-quality gas charcoal smoker combo grills.

They are easily set up in your backyard and are perfect for barbecues and garden parties. They often feature a large cooking surface that allows you to grill, fry, and even smoke various ingredients at the same time.

 

Pork ribs

Highly appreciated and popular, ribs represent one of the signature dishes of Americans. Ribs can be cooked in dozens of ways and seasoned with mouth-watering sauces or served with fries, grilled veggies or fresh salads.

There are two types of pork ribs, both of them being delicious but quite difficult to cook. The baby backs are usually smaller and full of meat, coming from the loin section of the pig. The spares are larger and full of flavor, and, since they come from the belly area, they also contain more fat.

It takes up to 6 hours to slow cook the ribs until the meat easily gets off. We suggest smoking it using maple, apple or cherry wood to add a sweetish flavor to your dish. Use the smoker at around 220 degrees Fahrenheit, but you can adjust the temperature according to your preference.

 

Pork chops

Pork chops are easy to prepare and can be ready in less than two hours! That gives you enough time to cook the rest of the food and throw a delicious dinner party for your friends and family.

Although pork chops are usually baked or fried, smoking them is a healthier alternative that doesn’t include the use of added fats or cooking oils. Pork meat is fat by definition, so smoking it is the best option if you’re looking after your diet.

You need to bring the chops to an internal temperature of 145 degrees, which you can check using a high-precision meat thermometer. It takes about one and a half hours for them to be ready to eat.

Pork sausages

Various types of sausages can get a fresh layer of smoke that will add extra flavor. From bratwursts to chorizos, kielbasa, hot dogs, and Italian sausages, they are worth the trouble if you’re a meat lover. The internal temperature should get to around 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Most recipes don’t recommend cold smoking sausages at temperatures lower than 200 degrees and for less than 30 minutes. We like that sausages don’t take more than 60-70 minutes to be smoked, so they’ll be ready to eat in no time.

 

Beef

Beef is an all-time favorite for Americans and, frankly, we couldn’t think of a more delicious type of meat than beef ribs slow cooked and with the perfect barbecue sauce. Beef is more pretentious than other types of meats and requires up to 10-12 hours to be properly smoked.

Beef ribs take anywhere from 5 to 10 hours of smoking, and you can choose to season them only with salt and fresh ground pepper. We suggest smoking them using oak, pecan, and cherry wood. The internal temperature should reach 205 degrees Fahrenheit.

Steak is another delicious part of the beef that can be smoked and served alone or with potato-based side dishes.

 

Poultry

Chicken is easy and versatile to cook. Its low-cholesterol white meat is preferred by those who are keeping an eye on their diets and want to lose a few pounds. Smoked or baked, chicken meat is an excellent source of proteins and is not rich in fats. You can choose to smoke anything from chicken breast to quarters or wings.

The only bad part of smoking chicken meat is that the skin will turn gooey and inedible, which is a shame, especially for those who enjoy eating it crispy.

Specialists suggest smoking the chicken for about 15 hours before serving it. You can use apple and maple wood for extra flavors. Also, the internal temperature of the product when smoking should be of about 180 degrees.

 

Turkey breast

This meat is rich in proteins and low in fats, hence it won’t take too much time to smoke either. In just two hours you’ll be able to cut the meat easily using a sharp kitchen knife.

If you’re looking to enhance the taste and the flavor of the meat, you can place a piece of butter under the skin. Similar to chicken, although the skin of the turkey breast will look appealing, it would be best to leave it aside. The meat should have an internal temperature of around 160 degrees and shouldn’t stay more than 2 hours in the smoker.

 

 

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