Smoking is one great way to tenderize and introduce sumptuous flavors to your meat. Smoking requires at least 4 to 12 hours of exposure to the mild heat and strong smoke to achieve that desired flavor and consistency for your meat. Here are ways on how to use your barbecue smoker.




  • Assemble Your Smoker. The first thing to do is to assemble your smoker. Your smoker has an instructional manual when you have bought it. If you have lost it, you may search the internet for a copy of the manual or call the manufacturer to send you one. The essential parts of the smoker is the firebox and the air vents. If these components are incorrectly installed it may result in unwanted fires or badly cooked meat.


  • Curing. Start a fire in the firebox to start curing. Curing allows you to do a clean up of your smoker before use and rust prevention. Start your smoker and get the temperature to max. Remember to do this with the vents open. Run it for three hours or as specified in the manual. If you are using charcoal, add heated charcoal, burn it to ash, and dump it when it’s cool.


  • Choose Your Wood Chips. Wood chips add flavor to your meat. You can buy wood chips in your local hardware, farms or lumber mill. The best example of wood chips to use is cherry, alder, apple, oak, and hickory. Better consult your recipe on what meat and flavor you are going to the grill so you can find the right wood chips to use.




  • Fuel the Smoker. Turn on the smoker. It can be either dumping charcoal into it, switching on your propane gas tank, or simply plugging the wire.


  • Put in the Wood Chips. Place the wood chips in a foil packet. Poke at least 6 holes in the top of the packet and place it close to the heat as it will produce the smoke. Make sure you have a supply nearby so you can easily restock when needed.


  • Start the Fire. Open the air vents wide and start the fire. Keep at it for at least 30 minutes. Your fire should at least be at 400 degrees Fahrenheit at the start. After 30 minutes, nearly close the air vents to start to cool down the fire and discourage any flames to grow. Depending upon the meat you are cooking, you need to optimize the temperature inside the smoker for best results. Put in the meat inside via racks. Follow the recipe, especially the time indicated for the meat.




A barbecue smoker is easy to operate and can give tender and flavorful food when done right. Ample preparation time is required and cooking time must be supervised if you want to have that juicy, smokey, flavorful meat.