Are you looking for ideas for the best smoked foods to try this year? Great, then you’re going to love this informative and helpful article.
Smoking food has been a popular cooking method for centuries, and it continues to be a favourite way to cook among food enthusiasts today. Smoked foods offer a unique flavour and texture that simply cannot be replicated by any other cooking method.
Whether you prefer meat, fish, vegetables, or if cheese is more your thing, smoking your food will enhance the flavour and aroma like nothing else.
It’s time to explore the top 10 best smoked foods to cook and enjoy this year. From classic favourites to new and exciting options you may not have considered, these smoked foods ideas and recipes could become a cookout checklist for you.
- Top 10 Best Smoked Foods to Delight Your Tastebuds in 2023
- 1 Best Smoked Salmon
- 2 Classic Texas Style Smoked Brisket
- 3 Smoked Oysters
- 4 Smoked Cheese
- 5 Smoked Venison
- 6 Devilled Eggs in the Smoker Recipe
- 7 BBQ Smoked Pork Ribs
- 8 Smoked Sausage Recipes & Ideas
- 9 Smoked Pork Butt for Pulled Pork
- 10 Smoked Pizza
- FAQ’s About Best Smoked Foods
- What Meat is Best to Smoke in 4 hours?
- What Can I Smoke in 6 Hours?
- Non Meat Smoker Recipes
Top 10 Best Smoked Foods to Delight Your Tastebuds in 2023
1 Best Smoked Salmon
When it comes to smoked salmon, the type of salmon you choose can make a big difference to the final product. Some of the best types of salmon for smoking would include Coho (or King Salmon), Chinook, and Sockeye because they are all particularly rich in oils which help with flavour and keeping the salmon moist throughout the smoking process.
Overall though it’s hard to go wrong with salmon if it has been responsibly sourced.
In terms of woods for smoking salmon alder is often a favourite, but other mild smoke flavours such beech, apple, cherry and oak work well too. It’s best to avoid any overpowering smoke tastes such as hickory or mesquite as fish is more delicate than red meat or poultry.
As for serving ideas, smoked salmon is a versatile ingredient that can be used in many different ways. It’s delicious on its own, served with crackers or bread, or as part of a salad or pasta dish. It can also be used as a topping for bagels and cream cheese or as a garnish for deviled eggs.
For a great smoked salmon recipe with compound butter, try below:
2 Classic Texas Style Smoked Brisket
Smoked brisket is a classic barbecue dish that requires a bit of patience and skill to get just right.
When it comes to choosing the best cut of brisket to smoke, the most popular choice is the “packer” cut, which includes both the point and flat muscles. This cut has a good balance of fat and meat, which makes for a juicy and flavorful finished product.
To smoke the brisket, you’ll need a smoker and a good BBQ rub or marinade. The smoking process can take anywhere from 8 to 12 hours, depending on the size of the brisket and the temperature you’re smoking it at (which us usually 225-250F or 107-121C).
It’s important to maintain a consistent temperature throughout the smoke (easily done if you a wood pellet smoker or electric smoker) and to wrap the brisket in foil or butcher paper partway through the cooking process to keep it moist.
Smoked brisket is delicious on its own, sliced thin and served with barbecue sauce. It’s also great in sandwiches or tacos, or served with classic sides like coleslaw, mashed potatoes, fries or baked beans.
Check out this easy but great recipe at the link below.
3 Smoked Oysters
Although it’s probably not most people’s first thought when it comes to smoked foods, but oysters are delicious, easy and a quick smoker recipe.
When it comes to choosing the best oysters to smoke, it’s important to select ones that are plump and juicy with a firm texture. You’ll need to make sure you only use oysters which have the shell closed. Any that are open are dead and not safe to eat.
The smoking process for oysters involves shucking the oysters and placing them on a rack in a smoker for about 20-30 minutes at a low temperature until they are just cooked through.
Smoked oysters make for a delicious appetiser served with breads. They can also be added to salads or pasta dishes.
For a simple fuss free recipe try the link below.
4 Smoked Cheese
Smoking cheese is a great way to add a new dimension of taste to this universally loved dairy product. While any type of cheese can be smoked, some of the best types to use include cheddar, gouda, and mozzarella. These cheeses have a flavour profile that can stand up to the smoky flavor without being overwhelmed by it.
The smoking process for cheese is much quicker than it is for meat, typically taking only an hour or two. It’s also quite different in that you need to use a cold smoker which keeps the temperature low to avoid melting the cheese.
Once the cheese has been smoked, it can be sliced or shredded and used in a variety of ways. Smoked cheese is great on a cheese board, served with crackers or fruit. It can also be used as a topping for burgers or pizza, or melted into a creamy dip.
For detailed instructions on how to smoke cheese, try below:
5 Smoked Venison
If you’ve never had smoked venison roast before, you simply have to try it.
Venison is a delicious, lean and healthy meat to smoke. It’s also quick and easy because it only takes around 2 hours at 225F or 107C.
When it comes to choosing the best cut of venison to smoke, the backstrap or loin is a popular choice because it’s lean and tender and takes on smoke well.
Before smoking, the venison can be marinated or seasoned with a dry rub to add even more flavour. Popular choices of wood pairings for venison would include oak or hickory which have a medium intensity smoke profile, but venison also takes on sweetness well so fruit woods such as apple or cherry are great too.
In terms of serving ideas it’s helpful to think of what you would do with other red meats such as beef. Mashed potatoes, roast potatoes, roasted vegetables and gravy are all good here. A really fantastic and classic pairing with venison would be a red wine and dark chocolate sauce.
For a helpful venison smoker recipe try below:
6 Devilled Eggs in the Smoker Recipe
Although devilled eggs are a well known and delicious side dish, not a lot of people think of smoking eggs to add that extra element of flavour.
Smoked devilled eggs are a delicious and unique take on the classic devilled egg recipe. To make the best smoked devilled eggs, it’s important to start with high quality eggs. Ideally, you want to use large, fresh eggs that have a thick shell to help protect them during the smoking process. Free range eggs are always the best option.
There are 2 different ways to smoke eggs – in the shell or hardboiled first with the shell peeled off. It’s easier to get smoke flavour into the eggs if the shell is removed, but smoking them in the shell makes it less likely that your eggs will dry up and become rubbery.
It’s really up to you and it’s probably worth trying both approaches to see which one you prefer.
First set up your smoker to 225°F or 107C. Place the eggs (shelled or peeled) in the smoker and smoke them for 1-2 hours. If you opt for peeling them first you will see that they take on a light brown colour from the smoking process.
Once the eggs are smoked, it’s time to turn them into devilled eggs. Cut the eggs in half and remove the yolks. Mix the yolks with mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, and smoked paprika. Spoon the mixture back into the egg whites and garnish with freshly chopped chives.
Smoked devilled eggs are a great appetiser or snack for any occasion. They can be served on their own, or as part of a larger spread. Pair them with other smoked meats, cheeses, and crackers for a delicious charcuterie board. They also go well with pickled vegetables or a nice fresh green salad.
7 BBQ Smoked Pork Ribs
Smoked pork ribs are a classic and delicious dish enjoyed by BBQ enthusiasts and meat-lovers everywhere.
The best cuts of pork ribs for smoking are the spare ribs and baby back ribs. Spare ribs are bigger and fattier and take longer to cook, while babyback ribs are leaner and have less meat on them.
There are a few different smoking methods for ribs such as the 321 ribs method or the 221 method. The numbers simply refer to how many hours the ribs are in the smoker unwrapped, then wrapped (in foil or butcher’s paper) and finally brushed with sauce.
To serve, smoked pork ribs can be enjoyed on their own as an appetiser or side dish, or with a variety of sides such as coleslaw, cornbread, fries, mash potatoes or baked beans. They are also perfect for backyard BBQs or as a main dish for family gatherings.
For a great smoked pork ribs recipe try below.
8 Smoked Sausage Recipes & Ideas
When it comes to smoking sausage, you have so many great options.
Some of the best types of sausage to smoke include nduja, boerewors, kielbasa, andouille, bratwurst, and chorizo, but there are plenty of alternatives. It’s often a good idea to smoke a variety of sausages at the same time, if you have a lot of mouths to feed.
Preheat the smoker to 225°F or 107C and add your choice of wood chips. Place the sausage on the smoker grates and cook for 2-3 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F.
Once your sausage is smoked, there are various ways to serve it. You can slice and plate it up with mashed potatoes, fries with baked beans, rice, pasta or as part of a Jambalaya. No matter how you serve it, smoked sausage is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
Try below for some great recipes and ideas for smoking sausage.
We also have an Instagram video on barbecuing stuffed sausage that might interest you.
9 Smoked Pork Butt for Pulled Pork
You couldn’t possibly talk about smoked foods and not include pork butt (or pork shoulder). Smoked pork butt is a staple in southern cuisine as well as being a favourite among BBQ lovers worldwide.
Pork butt comes from the animal’s shoulder and it has a rich flavour and enough fat to stay moist during the long smoking process.
The pork butt is smoked for several hours at 225F or 107C until it reaches a final internal temperature of 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit. It is also wrapped in foil during the second stage of the smoke to reduce cooking times and keep it moist.
This results in a tender, juicy, and tasty piece of meat that can be shredded easily with a fork.
To serve, smoked pork butt is often served on a bun with BBQ sauce and coleslaw, but it can also be used in tacos, burritos, or as a topping on nachos. It’s the perfect dish for any backyard gathering, family dinner, or holiday celebration.
Have a look at this great recipe for smoked pork butt here:
10 Smoked Pizza
A lot of people never think of making pizza in the smoker, but it is a really effective and straightforward way to add to your pizza’s flavour profile.
It’s alsoone of the quickest and easiest things to smoke.
Get a great recipe for smoked pizza here:
FAQ’s About Best Smoked Foods
What Meat is Best to Smoke in 4 hours?
Meats that can be smoked at 225F or 107C within 4 hours would include:
- Whole Chicken
- Chicken wings, thighs or breast
- Certain cuts of steak e.g. Tomahawk steak, ribeye steaks, porterhouse or T bone (to be served medium rare)
- Venison loin (again medium rare)
- Any type of sausage
- Pork chops
- Lamb chops
- Lamb leg (to medium doneness)
- Whole Salmon
- Any kind of seafood (fish or shellfish)
What Can I Smoke in 6 Hours?
If you have 6 hours to devote to smoking then these smoked foods could be good options:
- Whole Turkey
- Pork Ribs
- Whole Chicken
- Whole Salmon
- Lamb Leg or Shoulder (to medium doneness)
- Any kind of seafood
- Any kind of vegetables (e.g. smoked baked potatoes)
- Cheese (although it needs to be cold smoked not hot smoked)
- Any steaks
- Any sausages
Most meats can be smoked within 6 hours with the exception of a large piece of meat such as pork butt (8-10 hours) or brisket (12-14 hours).
Non Meat Smoker Recipes
You can basically smoke any type of food not just meat. Here are a few ideas for non meat smoker recipes.
- Nuts e.g. walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts etc
- Cabbage Head
- Cauliflower Head
- Jackfruit for Vegan Pulled Pork
- Garlic bulbs
- Cheese e.g. gouda, mozzarella, cheddar (has to be cold smoked)
- Salt or pepper (for a smoky seasoning)
- Butter (for a smoky flavor in recipes)
- Beans (for added smoky flavor in chilli or other dishes)
- Any type of fruit or vegetable