Smoking meat is a beloved low and slow cooking method used to create some favorite BBQ staples like Brisket and Ribs. With bold flavors and tender, melt-in-your-mouth beef, what’s not to love?
While the majority of flavor comes from the beef and smoke, you can ramp up the flavor even more with a spice rub.
The best cuts for smoking are generally the tougher, larger cuts of beef because a longer, more gentle cook time and temperature melts the fat and tenderizes the beef.
When you cut into your beef, there may be a pink ring just under the outer crust (or bark). This ring is called the smoke ring that forms during the smoking process. The smoke ring is good however it is not an indicator of good flavor or juiciness.
It can also be helpful to have what is called a “mop sauce.” A mop is a thick liquid sauce, typically apple cider vinegar or tomato juice based, that is sprayed or mopped onto the beef during cooking. This will help keep the beef moist during the smoking process.
Hickory – Provides a sweet, savory and hearty flavor to the beef. One of the more popular woods due to its strong flavor.
Mesquite - Will give a very smoky flavor and is great for cooking smaller cuts during a shorter period of time.
Oak - One of the more common woods used for smoking. Has a subtle flavor that is great for cooking larger cuts as it won’t be too overpowering.
Apple - Will provide a sweeter taste and mild fruitiness. Great for mixing in with another wood type or by itself.
Pecan – Provides a rich, sweet, nutty flavor to the beef. Great as a mix in since it can tend to be sweeter.
Cherry – Offers a hint of fruitiness to the beef and is great used by itself or mixed with another wood.
Maple – Will give the meat a sweet, light and mild smokiness flavor. Great for mixing with other wood or by itself.
If you are just starting out and not ready to purchase a smoker, you can smoke in your charcoal or gas grill. The results may not impart as strong a flavor as a traditional smoker, but they are still great options for smoking novices.