Best Meat To Smoke – A Complete Guide
Many people are puzzled about the best meat to smoke when they first decide that they want to smoke meat. While there are countless options including chicken, turkey, deer and beef, one of the easiest to smoke is a pork roast. Let's take a look at Best Meat To Smoke - A Complete Guide.
You will find pork roast labeled various things at the butcher shop depending on where you live. It will either be labeled pork roast, Boston butt or pork shoulder butt. Do not worry as it is all the same cut of meat. You will need a half-pound per person.
It is important, however, to choose the right pork roast. The meat will turn out more tender when it has enough marbling in it. Marbling is the white lines that run through the meat, and they give the pork roast its flavoring. Over the last 30 years, producers have bred pigs so that they have less fat to make consumers happy, and that has resulted in less marbling in the meat often leading to less flavor.
What You Need to Follow This Tutorial
1. Dry rub - You can choose several different types of dry rubs for your pork roast, but it is essential to remember the four "s"s. Sugar is essential for adding a crust to the outside of the meat, adding flavor and browning. Savory is essential for providing additional flavor to the meat. Glutamates, green herb and garlic are often used to provide this. The third s is spices that also help to add flavor to the meat. The final s is spicy with pepper, ginger, horseradish, and mustard powder often being used.
My favorite dry rub for pork combines two cups brown sugar, 1/2 cup dry mustard, two tablespoons black pepper and one tablespoon each of 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and salt. I like this mixture because it seems to have the right mixture of the four "s"s.
2. Bowl - You need a large bowl to keep the pork roast in for at least eight hours. Choose one that is nonreactive.
3. Plastic wrap - You will want to cover the pork roast while it is in the refrigerator.
4. Smoker - I am a traditionalist, so I like to smoke over a wood fire. Others prefer an electric smoker because they are often the easiest to operate, gas smokers because they run off propane like propane grills or charcoal smokers because of the taste it gives to meat.
5. Wood - If you are like me, then you will need some wood chips. I prefer apple because of the subtle sweet flavor, but you can use alder, cherry, grapevine, hickory, mulberry, peach or pecan. The wood that you choose will change the taste of your pork with fruit woods giving more sweetness to the pork while hardwoods give more of a woodsy flavor.
7. Pastry brush - Use a pastry brush to coat the meat with barbecue sauce.
8. Barbeque sauce - You will need your favorite barbecue sauce.
9. Aluminum foil - Using aluminum foil helps the meat reabsorb its juices during resting.10. Sharp knife - You will need a sharp knife to cut the meat.
I recommend that you smoke a pork roast that is between eight and 10 pounds. This will give enough meat for 16 to 20 sliced pork roast plates or 32 to 40 pulled-pork sandwiches.
Make Dry Rub
Combine ingredients to your dry rub in a small bowl. I prefer my own rub, but you can use any that you want as long as it follows the four "s"s. Use one hand to apply the rub and another one to do the rubbing so that you do not contaminate the rub. That way, if you do not use it all, then you can save the leftovers in an airtight container.
After you are sure that you have the rub on all surfaces of the pork roast, then wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator. You will need to let it sit at least eight hours and preferably 24. Some people actually skip the plastic wrap as it may pull some of the rub off the meat when you remove it before smoking the meat.
Remove Meat from Refrigerator
You should remove the meat from the refrigerator about an hour before you want to smoke it. Let the meat come to room temperature before inserting it into the smoker. You will discover that letting the meat sit out for an hour produces juicier meat. Since the middle of the meat will be closer to the finished temperature, so the meat will cook more evenly.
The next step is to prepare the smoker. If you are like me and using an electric smoker with wood on the bottom, then put the wood chips in the bottom of the smoker right under the heat source. Many electric smokers are already designed to let you put the wood chips in, otherwise, you will need to put them in a pan and insert them into the smoker.
Adjust the Heat
The next step is to adjust the heat to smoke your pork roast. It is essential that you follow the manufacturer's directions to smoke the meat at 235 degrees. On my electric smoker, I can simply set the temperature and forget it. Propane and charcoal smokers require a little more monitoring.
Insert the Meat
Once your smoker has reached 223 degrees consistently, then you need to put the meat directly on the grates. It will take approximately two hours per pound for the meat to cook. You do not want to disturb the meat during the cooking process because it will cause the meat's juices to run out, and the meat will taste dry.
Add Barbecue Sauce
About halfway through the cooking process, use a pastry brush to apply barbecue sauce to the meat. Coating it now will add flavor to the meat. It will also help the meat form a crust so that the meat's juices do not run. You will want to hurry when applying the sauce so that your smoker does not lose too much heat.
Finish Cooking the Pork Roast
You should finish cooking the pork roast until it reaches an internal temperature of 200 degrees. Use a meat thermometer stuck into the thickest part of the roast to measure the temperature. After all, you do not want to eat raw pork. Once the meat is done, take it out and put it on a platter. Try not to poke any holes in the meat when moving it.
Cover with Aluminum Foil
Make a pop-up tent shape of aluminum foil and cover the meat. Let the meat sit covered for at least 10 minutes. This lets the meat have time to reabsorb its juices resulting in a more flavorful and juicy cut of meat. Try not to move the meat during this process.
Apply Barbecue Sauce
After the meat has rested, then you can use the pastry brush to add more barbecue sauce if desired. Another option is to serve barbecue sauce alongside the meat when presented at the fundraiser. This option is my favorite because it allows people decide the amount of barbecue sauce that is right for them.
Take a close look at your pork roast. You will notice that all the muscle fiber is going in one direction. Use an extremely sharp knife to cut against the grain. Be sure to find the muscle fiber as the smoker grate marks will be the most prominent on the outside of the steak.
Serve and Enjoy
You can serve the smoked pork roast with a variety of sides. Think about coleslaw and potato salads for a traditional barbecue meal. Alternatively, you can shred the pork roast and mix it with more barbecue sauce. Then, serve it on buns for pulled pork sandwiches along with your favorite condiments like onions and pickles.
Sharing the best information about how to smoke a pork roast was important to me because I want you to enjoy your new smoker. Pork roast is a simple meat to smoke. Therefore, it is often a great place for a beginner to start before moving on to more complicated meats. Choosing a piece of pork with enough marbling, using a dry rub and smoking over wood will enhance the meat's flavor. Figure on smoking the pork roast for two hours per pound. I prefer an electric smoker because it is easy to set it up and forget it allowing the smoker to maintain the right internal temperature. While you may be tempted to take the pork roast out before it reaches 200 degrees, leave it in the smoker to avoid food safety issues.
I hope that you have enjoyed reading this article. If you have any additional tips, then feel free to share them. We also would really appreciate it if you would share this article.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does smoking do to meat?
Hot smoking will cook your meat while infusing it with a large amount of flavor. Since meats are smoked at a low temperature, they benefit from many hours of contact with the flavorful smoke. Smoking meat can also preserve it after it has been cured.
How long does it take to smoke meat?
The amount of time required to smoke meat largely depends on the smoking temperature and the type of meat you’re smoking. Most large meats (like brisket or pork butt) are smoked at 225 degrees F for 1 ½ hours per pound. A whole chicken or ribs can be smoked at higher temperatures of 250 degrees F and take anywhere from four to six hours.
What is the best meat to smoke?
The best meat for smoking is really up to your personal preference. You can smoke any number of meats on the smoker. Pork is a very popular smoking item, as is beef brisket. Many people smoke whole turkeys or smaller poultry items like chicken wings. You can also smoke wild game, like deer, elk, or wild turkey.
What is the best wood to smoke pork with?
Hickory, maple, and apple woods are very popular for smoking pork. Mixing multiple woods together is a great way to get the heat you’re looking for along with the right type of flavors.
What is the best barbecue sauce for smoked pork?
There are many different kinds of barbecue sauce, and all of them are great with pork! You might be most familiar with Kansas City-style barbecue sauce, but vinegar-forward Carolina barbecue sauces perfectly complement smoked pork, as do sweet-and-tangy Texas barbecue. Alabama white barbecue sauce has become popular over the last few years if you would like to give that a try.