The Best Meats To Smoke For Beginners: [Step By Step Guide]

Although smoking meat is generally exciting, if you are a beginner, you want to be pickier when it comes to meats to smoke for the best results. Besides, some cuts are expensive and unforgiving. Therefore, you do not want to invest your money and time in such meat only to end with horrible results.

Fortunately, the list of the best meats to smoke for beginners is long, so you will always have options. The list includes a whole chicken, chicken wings, baby back ribs, spare ribs, beef brisket, Tomahawk steak, turkey, and beef ribs. These cuts are forgiving and pretty easy to smoke.

Although smoking meats for the first time can be intimidating, equipping yourself with the correct information and comprehending how to pick the best meats for beginners will give you the confidence you require for excellent grilling/smoking. Keep reading for more options for the best meats to smoke for beginners.

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Best Meats To Smoke For Beginners

The best meats to smoke for beginners are meats with high amounts of fats and collagen. Smoking these meats leads to the fats and collagen breaking down, rendering the meat tender, moist, and delicious. Additionally, the meats in these categories are forgiving because a slight mistake will not seriously impact the results.

1. The Whole Chicken

Smoking a whole chicken is a simple process that anyone can efficiently execute. It gives beginners an excellent way to get started and sharpen their smoking skills. Moreover, it is not easy to mess up a whole chicken when smoking it.

When smoking a whole chicken, you can choose to deploy your favorite seasoning or keep it simple with pepper and salt. To get the best results, smoke your whole bird at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 2-3 hours until it attains an internal temperature of 164 degrees Fahrenheit. Further, to ensure that the chicken retains a lot of moisture during the smoking process, brine the chicken prior to the smoking process.

2. Beef Brisket

Another meat that a beginner will comfortably smoke and achieve the best results is the beef brisket. To make delicious beef brisket, you should remember a few things. First, you need to smoke it low and slow. Secondly, season it well to elevate its flavor, and lastly, use a water pan.

Tomahawk Steak

The tomahawk steak is simply a ribeye steak. When it comes to flavor, it is impressive. Further, it is appealing to the eye, hence the reason you want to ensure that you prepare it well. It is also quite forgiving.

While there are many ways that you can cook your Tomahawk steak, most grilling enthusiasts believe that reverse sear is the best way to get the best results. Smoke the steak at 275 degrees Fahrenheit until it reaches your preferred level of doneness.

3. Whole Turkey

Another best meat to smoke for beginners is a whole turkey. One of the advantages of a whole turkey is that it cooks relatively fast. Thus, even if you have limited time, smoking a whole turkey is likely the best option. To elevate the taste of the turkey even further, incorporate chipotle and ancho chiles.

4. Prime Rib

Although the celebrated cut of beef is mostly roasted in an oven, you can also cook it low and slow on your smoker. The good thing about smoking your prime rib is that you will have a perfectly tender and delicious piece of meat.

To get the best results out of your prime rib, you need to ensure that once you finish smoking, you give it a nice crust by searing it on a hot grill. Let it rest for about 30 minutes before you can slice it.

5. Baby Back Ribs

One of the sound characteristics of the baby back ribs is that they are naturally tender. Therefore, you can do a little to make it tender and delicious. They are among the best meats to smoke for beginners as they are easy and delicious.

To make the ribs more delicious, remove the silverskin membrane. This is important because it makes it easy for the rub to permeate the meat for a heightened flavor.

Easy Meats To Smoke For Beginners

Beginners start with easy meats to smoke before they can elevate their smoking skills to the level where they can handle any meats. The following are some of the easy meats to smoke for beginners that can help you sharpen your smoking skills while at the same time entertaining your guests or even friends with a savory meal.

1. Beef Chuck

The beef chicks are not very popular, but their nature makes them easy meats to smoke for beginners. One of the qualities that makes these cuts excellent for beginners is the fatty nature that helps to keep them moist during the entire period of smoking. Also, beef chicks are tough, so they benefit greatly from low and slow cooking. However, you should cook them until they are fork-tender when smoking them.

2. Chuck Roast

The chuck roast is not a tender cut, which is why many people overlook it. However, the chuck roast is the best option if you are looking for a cut that will help you elevate your smoking skills. In addition to being one of the easiest cuts to smoke, the cut comes fully packed with incredible flavors. Nonetheless, you will need to ensure that you use your favorite rubs for the best results.

After lightly seasoning your roast chuck, smoke it at 250 Fahrenheit for 12-20 hours.

3. Smoked Chicken Breast

A chicken breast is also one of the easiest meats to smoke. Since a chicken’s skin easily dries up due to the limited amount of fat. The best way to avoid such challenges is to brine the chicken breast before putting it in a smoker and smoking it for about one hour at 170 degrees Fahrenheit.

4. Sausages

The sausages are also quick and easy to smoke. To make your work even easier, you can buy sausages that are already smoked so that all you need to do is add an extra smoky flavor.

Smoking your sausages to perfection requires setting your smoker at 230 degrees Fahrenheit and cooking the sausages until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Smoking Tips For Beginners

In addition to picking the right meats for smoking for beginners, you also need to equip yourself with a few tips to make the entire process more successful.

Low And Slow

Low and slow smoking is the best way to get the best results. Generally, great smoking requires a high level of patience. Hence, before you start the smoking process, ensure that you have enough time not to rush the process.

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Keep The Temperature Stable

Another secret to perfect smoking is keeping your temperatures stable. If you use fluctuating temperatures, you may not achieve the best results.

Choose The Right Wood

The quality of the wood that you choose will have a significant impact on the flavor of the meat. Consequently, it is vital to ensure that you pick the right wood. While most people prefer oak, the secret to picking the right wood is ensuring that the smoky flavor does not overpower the taste of the food.

Embrace Water Pans

Water pans are essential as they help maintain a constant temperature. One of the secrets to smoking great meals is maintaining a constant temperature, which many still need to accomplish.

Get The Proper Gear

Lastly, you should ensure that you have the right gear to accomplish the task. For instance, having a digital meat thermometer will help ensure that you keep an eye on the internal temperature of the meat. Also, gloves will protect you from minor burns.


Choosing the right meats and familiarizing yourself with some of the essential tips for smoking will ensure that you have an easy time preparing delicious meals. Whole chicken, chicken wings, baby back ribs, spare ribs, beef brisket, Tomahawk steak, turkey, and beef ribs are some of the easy and best meats to smoke for beginners.