The best temperature for cooking on a smoker

Surprise your guests with delicious smoked meat! This is very easy, but you must follow it to the letter to obtain exquisite results. You can smoke anything, even vegetables, but what is the best temperature for efficient smoking?

What is smoking?

Smoking means giving a touch of smoke to your recipes. To provide it with that delicious smoky flavor and smell, it is necessary to use wood because if you use charcoal, the meat will taste a little burnt or scorched.

Wood will be your best ally in smoking. We are sure that once you try it, you will want to smoke everything until you master this simple technique. Of course, it is essential to use suitable wood.

You can use firewood, even wood, from the fireplace if you have a charcoal grill; you can also use the famous pellets, which are the most recommended for these cases. Pellets are a particular product for homemade smoked meats and are small pieces of wood incorporated into the grill. There are pellets of different types and flavors!

For beef or pork, use strong woods such as oak or walnut. If you are going to smoke poultry meats, it is best to choose softer and fruitier woods, such as apple or cherry. You will notice that the flavor is unique!

What to consider before smoking?

You must know what smoking process you will follow and, of course, what type of grill you have at home. If you have a smoker grill, it will be much easier: you can cook while you smoke the cut of meat.

If you have a gas or charcoal grill, you first need to cook the meat and start the smoking process towards the end of cooking.

On the other hand, we tell you that if you do not use pellets but firewood, you must moisten the piece of wood before placing it on the coals; in addition, you must prevent the wood from starting to burn (as if it were a fireplace); and the only thing you want is for the wood to give off smoke.

Finally, we tell you that an easy and quick option is to incorporate into your grill a smoker box. This device adapts to the grills (depending on the brand and model of the grill) and works with pellets. It will be much faster!

How long and at what temperature are meats smoked?

An important note: not all meats are the same. Just as each cut needs a specific cooking time at a particular temperature, the same applies to smoking. Remember that an amount such as beef brisket or entrails, being very thick, will need a longer time; an Iberian sirloin requires much less time.

If you are in a hurry, a good alternative is to cut the fillets in a more or less uniform and thinner thickness so that smoking will be more accessible! And if you use pellets for this feat, you won't consume as many kilos either, as the grill won't need to run for long periods.

Smoking in hot smoke

This is the oldest technique when it comes to smoking meats. It consists of cooking the food simultaneously as it is smoked. As a curious fact, we tell you that in Mexico, there is an area where a hole is dug in the ground, wood is added, and a typical dish from the south of the country is cooked, smoked, and eaten on the Day of the Dead. This dish is called pibipollo, and you will only find it in the southeast of Mexico and during the first days of November, a tradition that dates back to Mayan times!

To smoke and cook simultaneously, the food and the wood must be kept at a constant temperature: between 70 and 110ºC. There are exceptions because when you want to smoke ribs, the temperature can reach 120º C.

Smoked beef

Depending on the part of the animal you want to smoke, you will need more or less temperature and time. For example, to smoke three kilos of beef, you need a temperature of 105º C, which will take between 90 minutes and two hours. Hamburgers, for example, up to two centimeters thick, need to be at 135º C to cook and smoke and should also be on fire for between 90 minutes and two hours.

How much does the pork need to be smoked?

If you want to prepare a delicious smoked Iberian loin, approximately one kilo, the temperature should also be 105º C, and you need between an hour and a half and two hours for it to be ready. The rib is the one that takes the longest: it is ready between five and six hours! Of course, the results will be incredible. The temperature? Also, 105º C.

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