How long Does it Take to Smoke Meat

SMOKING TIMES AND RECOMENDED TEMPERATURE

Smoking is the modern method of preserving food especially meat. Nowadays, it is closely related to barbecue. Smoking surprises our taste buds by enhancing the taste of the food, tenderizing lean means and turn every meat into a wonderful meal. For you to be able to smoke, you will need a smoker and some food to be smoked.

The basic skill that you have to learn in smoking is temperature control. There are two reasons why we need to achieve a constant temperature: to allow time for the smoke to sink in the meat and to tenderize the meat naturally. Of course, this process takes time since this is a slow cooking process. It requires huge amount of patience and dedication - but how long does it take to smoke a meat?

The following list is details the type of meat, temperature and the estimated smoking time estimates.

WHAT OF KIND OF MEAT TO BE SMOKED

Brisket

This is one of the nine primal cuts and it is taken out from the breast or the lower chest of a beef. In barbecue, it is cooked in low temperature and usually needs a long time. Usually, brisket is cooked at a smoker temperature of 225 degrees and needs at least an hour and a half per pound of cooking time. For 8-10 pounds of brisket, you can estimate the brisket to be ready about 13-15 hours. The finished meat temperature should be around 190-200°F depending on the type of brisket.

Chuck Steak

This is one of the nine primal cuts and it is taken out from the breast or the lower chest of a beef. In barbecue, it is cooked in low temperature and usually needs a long time. Usually, brisket is cooked at a smoker temperature of 225 degrees and needs at least an hour and a half per pound of cooking time. For 8-10 pounds of brisket, you can estimate the brisket to be ready about 13-15 hours. The finished meat temperature should be around 190-200°F depending on the type of brisket.

Back Ribs

This cut is also called loin ribs or baby back ribs. This is cut from the rib part where it meets with the spine after removing the loin. It has an average of 10-13 curved ribs that are about 3-6 inches long. They are popular because it is more tender and leaner. Because it is always in-demand, prices and considerably higher, The ideal smoker temperature is 225-240°F. Most cooks used the 2-2-1 method in smoking their steaks which means: 2 hours of smoking, 2 hours smoking in foil, and an hour smoking with the foil removed. Total cooking time can be estimated around 4-6 hours. For the finished meat, meat temperature should be around 5 hours or until it is tender enough. The finished meat temperature of pork back ribs should be around 180°F.

Short ribs

This cut consists of a short portion of the rib bone overlain by meat and taken usually from the brisket or rib areas of the beef. In smoking short ribs, smoker temperature must be raised around 225°F and should be smoked around 5-8 hours until the meat temperature reaches 190-200°F.

Country Style Ribs

This variety of ribs contains the most meat and sold either by slabs of individual servings. It is smoked under smoker temperature of 225-240°F with the estimated cooking time of 2-4 hours or until the meat is tender and reaches the meat temperature of 175-180°F.

Meatloaf

Unlike other types, this is actually ground meat seasoned with other ingredients and shaped into a loaf thus the name. This is usually made from ground beef but other types of meat like pork, venison, poultry and even seafoods can be used. Meatloaf can be smoked under  smoker temperature of 275°F for an hour and a half hours. When the meat reaches 165°F, smoke it more for one and a half hour. Total smoking time is 3 hours or more.

Burger

The patty of a burger is also referred to ground beef. This is a usual feature in fast-food chains and restaurants and varies in form and composition. Smoker temperature must reach 225°F before putting the burgers in direct heat. Smoking time is one hour or more until the meat reaches 160°F.

Steak

It is a cut of meat sliced perpendicularly to the muscle fibers. They come in a lot of varieties. Beef steaks are cooked around smoker temperature of 210-220°F for 45-60 minutes. But if we are talking about the rule of thumb, an hour of smoking is needed for every 1.5 pound of steak but this may not be the case. Finished meat temperature varies depending on how you want your steak. Medium rare beef steaks should have the meat temperature of 125°F for rare, 135-145°F for medium rare.

Pork Butt

This is cut from the pork shoulder with the bone. Also can be reffered to as the "Boston Cut." Smoker temperature must reach 225-240°F and smoking it for 12-14 hours or until the meat reaches 205°F.

Spare Ribs

Another variety of rib cuts cut from the lower portion of a pig. It is cooked under smoker temperature of 225-240°F using 3-2-1 method: 3 hours in smoker, 2 hours of smoking with sauce, and another hour of smoking unwrapped with sauce but with occasional brushing. Total cooking time could sum up to 5-6 hours or until the meat reaches 180-185°F or until it is tender enough to be served.

Loin

This part is cut from a section below the rib cage above the round. The tenderloin is the most tender cut among other types of loin cuts. Pork loins and tenderloins are cooked under smoker temperature of 225-240°F, however they usually vary in smoking time. Loins need 3-5 hours under the smoker while tenderloins needed at least 2 hours. Loins and tenderloins should reach 145°F of meat temperature however some cooks recommend reaching 137-149°F as the ideal meat temperature.

Whole Poultry

Poultry consists of chicken, pheasant, turkey, and Cornish hens. Each type of foul has different recommended smoker temperatures and varies in the length of smoking time. Chickens need to be smoked at a smoker temperature of 250-275°F for 4-5 hours or until the meat reaches 165°F. A turkey needs to be cooked under a smoker temperature of 240°F for 5-7 hours or until the meat reaches 165°F. This is recommended for turkeys weighing about 12 pounds or less. Pheasant needed a smoking temperature of 225°F. Since it is smaller compared to other whole poultry, it would only take at least an hour of smoking for it to cook. Meat temperature must reach 165°F. Cornish hens needed to be cooked at a smoker temperature of 240°F for at least two hours until the meat reaches 165°F.

Poultry legs/thighs

Chicken needed a smoker temperature of 250-275°F while turkey needed a less amount of temperature around 240°F. Chicken is smoked for 2 hours while turkey need a little more time at about 3-4 hours. Chicken should be ready if temperature reaches 165°F while turkey must reach 175-180°F.

Fillets

This cut refers to the meat cut lengthwise on one side parallel to the backbone of a fish. Salmon and Tilapia fillets are cooked under the smoking temperature of 220°F for one hour. For cool cooked salmon, chefs recommend smoking it under smoking temperature of 160°F and the recommended a meat temperature of 130-135°F. Tilapias's recommended finished temperature should be about the 130-135°F.

Lobsters, oysters and scallops

All of these seafoods must be cooked under smoking temperature of 225°F. Lobsters and Scallops can be smoked for 45 minutes to one hour and the finished temperature should be around 140-145°F. Oysters must be removed from its shell before smoking it. You'll know when they are ready if the edges have already curled up.

NOTE:

The smoking temperature and smoking times indicated above are just rough estimates. Smoking time and temperature can be affected by a number of factors. Temperature is the perfect determiner in knowing how long it takes to smoke meat.

Always brine your foul before smoking them.

Meat is ready if it reaches their recommended temperature and the meat is tender. Always test the meat for tenderness.

Use a probe thermometer to check your temperature.