Everything improves from being smoked–it’s a scientific fact. Smoking adds, well, smokiness to foods, but did you know that it does more than that? It tenderizes meat or fish, making it melt in your mouth, and it adds an incredible umami dimension to vegetables or even fruits. (If you haven’t tried a smoked tomato, you haven’t lived.) Of course, when it comes to meat, some work better in a smoker than others.
There are no surprises when it comes to the No. 1 meat for smoking because it’s everyone’s barbecue favorite: pork ribs. They contain loads of fat and collagen, which keeps them moist and tender during the smoking process. You can even up the flavor by adding your favorite dry rub before smoking. Settle in for a nice 6 hour smoke with red oak, hickory, or mesquite.
While fatty ribs work well in a smoker, super-lean turkey does as well. Try smoking a whole turkey this Thanksgiving and your guests will be beyond impressed. You’ll need to brine it first (at one hour per pound of bird) followed by smoking for 30 min per pound of meat until it reaches an internal temperature of 165F. Sure, it’s more effort than just sticking a bird in the oven, but that’s the whole point of smoking. Patience gets delicious results.