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Smoker Grill Tips

By Editorial Staff

Contributed by Info Guru Paul Seaburn

Man has been smoking meat outdoors for as long as there has been fire and women who wouldn’t let them smoke in the cave.

It was once used to preserve meat but today we smoke meat in smoker grills because it just plain tastes great. It doesn’t matter if your smoker is charcoal, propane, natural gas or electric – these smoker grill tips will help you through the process and get you ready for a delicious feast.

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10. Make Friends With A Good Butcher


Butchers know their meat, and their biggest beef is that more people don’t smoke chicken fish, turkey, sausage and pork too. A good butcher can tell you how thick of a cut you need and how long you should smoke it.

9. Match The Wood To The Meat

Match The Wood To The Meat

Mesquite, maple and hickory are popular woods whose smoke complements most meats, but some aromatic woods are best with one type of meat, like apple and pork or lilac and seafood. Check the bag, ask a butcher or experiment.

8. Hold Your Breath

Hold Your Breath

Breathing all of that smoke isn’t one of the things your doctor would approve of. Move the smoker away from the house or areas where people are congregated. If you need to wear a air-filtering mask, add a mustache so it’s not so obvious.

7. Have Plenty Of Fuel On Hand

Have Plenty Of Fuel On Hand

Smoking is a process that requires many hours, so you don’t want to be caught in hour two of a beef brisket and run out of propane. Make sure ahead of time to have plenty of charcoal or check the fuel indicator to ensure you have a full tank of propane – it doesn’t hurt to have a spare. If using a natural gas or electric smoker, be sure your utility bills are paid.

6. Be Patient With Coal

 Be Patient With Coal

If you’re using charcoal for the fire, it can take up to 45 minutes for the fire to burn down to the proper temperature. Always start with a fresh bag of charcoal.

5. Choose Sides

Choose Sides

The secret of smoking meat is indirect heat – that means heat source and smoker box on one side of the grill and meat on the other. If you get flames from grease splatter, move the meat away or to a higher rack and extinguish the flames quickly with a water squirt bottle.

4. Veni, Vidi, Venti Smoki

 Veni, Vidi, Venti Smoki

That’s Latin for “I came to the smoker, I saw no smoke, I opened the vents.” Keep the vents wide open on the side of the grill opposite the coals or flames. This will keep the smoke flowing smoothly over and around the meat. If the fire gets too hot, partly close the vent on top.

3. Fat Is Your Friend

Fat Is Your Friend

Leave all the fat on the meat – it adds much to the flavor and much of it will eventually drip out as the meat is cooked.

2. Keep A Lid On It

Keep A Lid On It

Every time you open the grill lid, smoke and heat leak out. Keep the lid closed unless you absolutely need to tend to the fire, smoker box or water pan.

1. Make The Smoke Light And The Meat Dark

Make The Smoke Light And The Meat Dark

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Light or white smoke means the wood is burning properly. Black smoke means there’s not enough ventilation or the meat is burning. You don’t want your meat burnt but you definitely want some dark and crispy sections on the outside and ends. That caramelized meat is called bark and it’s the reward you get for doing a good job as chief smoker.


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