5 Beginner Tips for Smoking Meat with Your Electric Smoker

smoking meat

Assuming you’ve pre-seasoned your electric smoker already, you may be getting ready to break in your fabulous new smoker with a mouthwatering smoked dish. But have you ever used an electric smoker, or smoked meat? Well, you’ve come to the right page!

Whether it’s your trial run for smoked back ribs or you’re trying a smoked recipe for the first time, using an electric smoker can seem like an intimidating experience at first. If you check out these reviews, you’ll find the top picks available right now.

The best electric smokers are very user-friendly and straightforward. Best of all, they give your meat that smoky, wood-stove flavor you just can’t create in a conventional kitchen oven. Admittedly, the process of smoking meat is long, but entirely worth the effort.

So if you’re patient, these tips will guide you through to amazing results you’ll be proud of.

5 Tips For Smoking Meat In An Electric Smoker

Season and prep your meat in advance.

Don’t wait until your electric smoker is at optimum temperature before seasoning and preparing your meat or vegetables. Whenever possible, season and marinate meat overnight to saturate more thoroughly through to the bone. This will save you time and enrich the flavor while providing additional moisture to keep your meat tender during the long, slow smoking process.

Chop vegetables beforehand as well, and store them individually. Smoked mushrooms, corn, or grilled asparagus, for instance, should be prepared in separate containers that can be readily transferred to the electric smoker.

Preheat the electric smoker before placing the meat inside the cooking chamber.

With your meat already seasoned, plug in your electric smoker. Set the desired temperature, then load the water tray and wood chip tray to capacity.

Tip: Remove meat from the refrigerator 15mn – 20 mn before placing on the grill or in your electric smoker. Ideally, 4 cups of wood chips should burn for 5 hours, which is enough time to smoke most meat dishes – if you’ve adequately prepped beforehand.

Cook in a walled, well shaded area to maintain even temperatures more consistently.

A walled area with plenty of shade provides the safest environment for smoking meat in the outdoors.

Direct sunlight, rain, and wind can have a direct impact on even the sturdiest electric smoker. In addition to warping the metal on grates and exteriors, excessive heat or moisture can cause malfunctions with the electrical components such as the controller and LED display on more advanced electric smokers with SMART features.

Gusty winds can affect the heat consistency as well. Air seeping into the cooking chamber through the ventilation in your electric smoker can increase the level of oxygen, resulting in wild temperature variances.

smoking time and temperature chart

Try different types of wood chips to enhance the natural flavors of your favorite smoked dishes.

Alder, apple, mesquite, cherry, peach, pecan – these are just a few of the different types of wood chips you can use to enhance the flavor of your smoked meat. Carefully blended, the right wood chips can really add an extra touch of savory bark goodness to all your smoked meat.

Use a grease catcher tray to reduce flare-ups while smoking meat in your electric smoker.

A grease catcher tray is a removable metal tray that sits directly below the cooking grates and above the open flame in your electric smoker.

Many models feature slide-out grease catchers. Smoking meat without the grease catcher can cause fat to drip directly into the open flame or onto the heating element, resulting in flare ups and excessive smoke.