Back to Basics: How to Smoke Meat in a Smoker

How to smoke meat

It occurred to me that we’ve been talking a lot about smoking meat recently and hadn’t, to this point, discussed, you know, how to smoke meat. An auspicious start to this bbq adventure if there ever were one. Once we realized this error in judgement, we sought to rectify it as soon as we possibly could.

That said, we, like you presumably, are hobbyists at best and drunken weekend warriors at worst. Some may say describe that as being two sides of the same coin but we clearly see a demarcation in these descriptions. 

All of this is to say that instead of taking our advice on how to best smoke meat, we thought we should look to the professionals and those who do this sort of things more seriously for something resembling helpful advice. A little research showed us that there are many great books pout there that put things perfectly into layman’s terms. We found these books to be not only easy to read, but readily applicable to the type of smoking we were trying to succeed at.

We chose the three books we’re going to talk about in a minute here for a few reasons. The first, and primary reason, is that we wanted something that offered practical and easily applicable advice for the beginner smokers and hobbyists out there. Secondly, we wanted something that was easy to digest and understand. Finally, we wanted the books to be fun reads and hopefully offer something in the world of bbq that you may not have heard or thought of before.

Each one of these books has a slightly different approach, but that’s what makes them interesting. You can buy one of them or all of them and still get something unique and different out of each.

Two of these books are from celebrated pitmasters who, if you’re even slightly aware of the goings on in the bbq world, you would have surely heard about. What’s unique about these two pitmasters is that they both have a very different approach to how they smoke and bbq their meat, which will in turn allow you to decide which approach to use. 

how to smoke meat

We’ve read through all three of these books and found that there was great practical knowledge and fun ways to utilize them at home. We liked the fact that the ideas eventually led to us being better at using our smokers and getting the best results we possibly could have out of what we tried.

 Not only that, but there are great recipes to try in each book. These are the types of books that apply techniques that the hobbyist wouldn’t think to ever try, and are using ingredients and recipes that may seem foreign until you sink your teeth into them.

What we’re driving at here is that if you care about improving your skills, are looking for new and interesting ways to bbq, or maybe want to try a few fun reads that relate to your new-found hobby, these three books are a great starting point. If you happen to pair some of the products we’ve recommend and products you’ve recently purchased with the wisdom bestowed upon you by these books, then you’ll find yourself in a new bbq nirvana.

With all of that said, please take a look at our three favourite books that teach you how to bbq and smoke. There’s obviously a whole world out there and these are merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to smoking. But if you’re looking for some fun and practical reads about the world of bbq’ing and smoking, look no further than these three books on how to smoke meat in a smoker.

Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto

Books for meat smoking

This first books comes to you courtesy of Franklin Barbecue, the world renowned bbq joint based in Austin, Texas. If you haven’t seen or heard of Franklin than you may have been living under a culinary rock for the past few years. As one of the country’s most lauded and popular bbq joints, Franklin has all but perfected meat.

All of that aside, what we really came to appreciate about this particular book is that there is a lot of practical knowledge and application that tends to screw towards the more culinary inclined. There’s also great information regarding some of the recipes used at Franklin as well as how to create your own smoker, should you be looking at this as an extension of your hobby.

If you’re looking for tips from one of America’s most celebrated and renowned pitmasters, look no further than this book as a great jumping off point to your journey.

Smoking Meat: The Essential Guide to Real Barbecue

Books for smoking meat

The second book we chose to include here is a much more straightforward and practical look at bbq’ing and smoking. As opposed to the other two books we’re including here, this is much less about the journey of smoking and a much more elementary look at the science of bbq. This book covers everything from brining and injecting to smoking and which is the best wood to use for which meat.

This book is extremely practical for anyone looking to up their game and take their bbq skills to the next level. We really came to appreciate the straightforward approach and how we were able to utilize these tips and tricks in our own recipes. This book should be acquired by anyone who even has a passing interest in bbq.

Smokin' with Myron Mixon: Recipes Made Simple, from the Winningest Man in Barbecue

meat smoking books

Lastly, we thought we would include this book by the bbq legend Myron Mixon. Myron is a good ol’ boy who, as the title states, has won more than anyone else in the history of bbq. This ended up being a very fun read from a no-bones kind of guy who is extremely passionate about what he does.

Aside from the great and funny anecdotes Myron relays throughout the book, this has a lot of great advice and he shares many of his best recipes. Myron’s approach to bbq is to always keep it simple, which is great advice for beginners and hobbyists. Aside from this, you’ll find bits on types of wood to use as well as tips on cooking times and temperatures. A fun and practical read for any fan of bbq out there. 


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