42 Best Smoker Recipes To Try: Beef, Pork, Lamb, Chicken + More

best smoker recipes

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Don’t limit yourself to the same old barbecue staples. The possibilities are endless when it comes to what you can cook on your smoker. 

We’ve compiled a list of our best smoker recipes for the novice through to the experienced pitmaster.

We’ve got some great twists on barbecue classics, plus some delicious sides and even some smoky cocktails.

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The best smoker recipes for beginners and pitmasters alike

1. Smoked Pulled Pork

Brought your first smoker and are not sure where to start? Our Smoked Pulled Pork is a great smoker recipe to get your pitmaster journey underway.  

smoked pulled pork butt

Pork butt is a forgiving cut and not too expensive, this makes it an ideal choice for your initiation to grilling.  

We’ve also included our recipes for an easy homemade pork rub and BBQ sauce, which will guarantee maximum flavor.

Recipe: Smoking Your First Pork Butt: Easy Pulled Pork

2. Texas Style Smoked Beef Short Ribs

There’s nothing short when it comes to these big meaty smoked beef ribs.  

smoked beef ribs stacked on a wood cutting board

They may take a little longer to cook than your average pork rib but are well worth the effort.

Cooked Texas style, we’re keeping it simple with a basic rub. This lets the beef be the star of the show, but ensures a thick, crusty bark.

These ribs also made our list of our best pellet grill recipes, but you can cook them on any smoker.

Try these great sides with your ribs, Creamy Coleslaw and Smoked Baked Beans.

Recipe: BBQ Beef Short Ribs

3. Smoked Pork Ribs: Using The 3-2-1 Method

The 3-2-1 method takes the guesswork out of smoking ribs, making it one of the best smoker recipes for novice Pitmasters, but that’s not to say you shouldn’t use it if you’re experienced either.

3-2-1 ribs on pellet smoker

The 3-2-1 method results in low and slow, fall off the bone meat which is then brushed with our homemade BBQ sauce.

This is also a great way to cook a pile of ribs for a gathering, the hard work is done before your guests arrive.

Recipe: Smoked Pork Ribs: 3-2-1 Method

4. Hot and Fast BBQ Brisket

BBQ Brisket, one of the best and probably the most popular meats to smoke. Is it the ultimate BBQ challenge tho?

hot and fast style brisket

Follow our recipe, tips, and tricks for cooking your brisket hot and fast, and you’ll achieve a super moist brisket in record time.

Should you have leftovers give these Texas Twinkies a try.

Recipe: Hot and Fast BBQ Brisket

5. BBQ Brisket Burnt Ends

brisket burnt ends

These burnt ends are made from the point-end of a brisket. The point is smoked whole while the bark develops before being sliced into cubes and smoked in a sauce bath until tender.

If you don’t want to buy a whole brisket you can also make chuck steak burnt ends.

BBQ Brisket Burnt Ends Recipe

6. Smoked Lamb Shoulder

A lot of people are not familiar with cooking lamb, especially on the smoker.

Smoked lamb shoulder on weber smokey mountain

Being slighter fattier meat with a gamey flavor it is an ideal cut to smoke and also a good choice for a newbie pitmaster.

One of the great things about lamb is that it lends itself to many different flavors: Moroccan, Portuguese, Asian or check out our Smoked Lamb Shoulder with a Mediterranean spin.

Recipe: Smoked Lamb Shoulder

7. Smoked Pork Belly Burnt Ends

If you love bacon, you’re going to love these Smoked Pork Belly Burnt Ends.

pork belly burnt ends

Crunchy bark on the outside, moist on the inside. They may even become your new favorite over brisket burnt ends.

These glorious chunks of caramelized meat candy are great served as finger food or piled into slider buns with a squeeze of BBQ sauce.

Recipe: Smoked Pork Belly Burnt Ends

8. BBQ Spatchcock Chicken

To spatchcock or not to spatchcock? If you feel intimidated by doing this follow our simple instructions and you’ll be a pro in no time.

spatchcock chicken on a smoker

Spatchcocking is a great BBQ option, you get more surface which means more rub, and cook time is a lot faster.

Our chicken is cooked at a high temperature to avoid the rubbery skin and given a nice coating of BBQ sauce to finish.

Recipe: Smoked Spatchcock Chicken with Smokey BBQ Sauce

9. Smoke Prime Rib

smoked prime rib

This holiday classic is usually done in the oven, but there’s no reason you can’t cook prime rib in the smoker.

Because this is a large cut, you want to use the reverse sear method where you smoke low and slow while the temperature slowly rises, before finishing with a hot sear for the ultimate crust.

Recipe: Smoked Prime Rib

10. Smoked Tri-Tip

smoked tri tip on charcoal grill

I love smoking tri-tip because you can be eating just over an hour after you start. Just like the prime rib recipe above, I like to smoke tri tip to get some smoke flavor, before finishing with a quick sear.

Use a simple SPG seasoning, or give our beef rub a try for a bit more flavor depth.

Recipe: Smoked Tri-Tip

11. Double Smoked Ham with Maple Mustard Glaze

A leg of ham makes a great centerpiece when celebrating a holiday or cooking for a crowd.

double smoked ham

We’ll show you how to prepare your ham from scoring the traditional diamond pattern, smoking low and slow to retain juiciness, and then finish off with our sweet maple and mustard glaze.

Recipe: Double Smoked Ham with Maple and Honey Mustard Glaze

Related: Twice Smoked Spiral Ham With Pineapple Maple Glaze

12. Smoked Buffalo Chicken Wings with Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce

We’re not reinventing a classic here, but helping you to perfect it.

smoked buffalo wings on a white plate

We let you in on our trick that guarantees ultra crispy skin on your chicken wings. Just add some tangy hot sauce and soothing blue cheese sauce, perfection!

Recipe: Smoked Buffalo Wings

13. Easy Smoked Chicken Breast

It’s pretty easy to overcook a chicken breast and end up with a very dry piece of inedible meat.

Smoked Chicken Breast on a wooden board

We’re about the tender, succulent chicken breast every time.

We like to give it a brine bath, a little rub, a glaze, and a low and slow cook which results in the best chicken breasts you’ll ever taste.

Recipe: Easy Smoked Chicken Breast

14. Smoked Chicken Thighs

smoked chicken thighs

A simple yet delicious smoker recipe. While this one cooks nice and fast compared to a lot of the other recipes, for best results you will want to marinate the chicken overnight or for atleast 4 hours.

This recipe also includes a tasty chicken rub that you’ll want to make again and again.

Recipe: Smoked Chicken Thighs

15. Smoked Turkey

Spatchcocking and smoking are definitely the best methods for cooking your Thanksgiving Turkey.

smoked spatchcocked turkey on a wooden board

It not only speeds up cook time but maximizes skin area, which means more herb encrusted skin.

With the veggies sitting underneath your turkey catching all the juices, you’ll get the most flavorful gravy, and if you still like your stuffing check out our Crisp and Tender Smoked Sausage Stuffing.

Recipe: Smoked Turkey

16. Smoked Turkey Breast Texas Style

If cooking a big bird is not your thing for Thanksgiving, a smoked turkey breast might just be for you.

texas smoked turkey breast on wood chopping board

We use an easy Texas-style rub to add flavor and give you some great tips to make sure your turkey breast is moist every time.

Recipe: Smoked Turkey Breast

17. Smoked Picanha

smoked picanha

Relatively inexpensive, this cut of beef can be sliced and cooked as steaks, but I prefer keeping it whole and smoking before finishing with a quick sear for a perfect crust.

Recipe: Smoked Picanha

18. Smoked Meatloaf

A classic dish loved by families.

smoked meatloaf on a wooden board

Our version is cooked on a pellet grill and slathered with a sweet BBQ sauce. Plus our tips to keep your meatloaf moist and tender whilst maximizing the smoky flavor.

Serve with our Herby Roasted Potato Salad or Brazilian Cilantro Garlic Bread and a side of greens.

Recipe: Smoked Meatloaf with Homemade BBQ Glaze

19. Smoked Pulled Beef

Not as popular as pulled pork, beef is really versatile once smoked, we’re talking tacos, wraps, pies, and pasta. 

Pulled Beef in a metal tray

We’re using a whole piece of Flat Iron Steak for smoked beef, seasoning with our coffee rub, which, like in a chocolate cake, you don’t taste the coffee it just enhances the flavor.

Recipe: Smoked Pulled Beef with Coffee Rib

20. Smoked Beef Jerky

Possibly the one low and slow BBQ recipe where you do want your protein to turn out dry.

smoked beef jerky

We take you through choosing your protein, how to slice it so it doesn’t get tough, a couple of different methods for smoking and a marinade to create the classic beef jerky flavor.

No more Jack Links!

Recipe: How to Make Smoked Beef Jerky

21. Smoked Bacon

Bacon does make it better! And smoking your bacon at home may just change your life.

homemade bacon on smoker

The choices are yours: nitrate-free, ethically raised, you choose the flavor and the smoke level, and best of all thick or thin slices.

It’s a labor of love but well worth it.

Recipe: How to Smoke Your Own Bacon at Home

22. Smoked Chicken Maryland

Chicken cooked directly over lump charcoal, the fat renders onto the hot coals and turns into sweet smoke, here my friends, is charcoal chicken.

smoked chicken maryland

Add to this, a tasty rub and a sweet BBQ glaze creating a tender and juicy Smoked Chicken Maryland.

Recipe: Smoked Chicken Maryland

23. Easy BBQ Pulled Pork

We’re keeping this version of BBQ Pulled Pork simple but that doesn’t mean you’re losing any flavor.

pouring sauce over bbq pulled pork

Shred this pork to eat with some classic BBQ sides or use it in Leftover BBQ Pulled Pork Smoked Tacos or Smoked Pulled Pork Nachos.

Recipe: Easy BBQ Pulled Pork

24. Smoked Beef Cheeks (Barbacoa) Tacos

Beef cheeks lend themselves perfectly to low and slow bbq style cooking.

smoked beef cheeks barbacoa taco

These well muscled morsels turn into silky soft, pieces of smoked beef goodness and are a perfect base for tacos, try them with our homemade fresh and zesty salsa.

Recipe: Smoked Beef Cheeks (Barbacoa) Tacos

25. Grilled Lamb Backstrap

Heading down the Mediterranean path with this beautiful cut of lamb.

stuffed lamb backstraps on a wooden board

Using our simple technique of stuffing the lamb backstrap with a mixture of feta and spinach and cooking over high heat, cuts out any fear of drying out this leaner cut.

This is also a fabulous dinner party recipe. You can prep to the point of cooking earlier in the day and pop it on the grill when your guests arrive. Or even better, cook it prior and serve at room temperature.  

Recipe: Grilled Lamb Backstrack Stuffed with Spinach and Feta

26. Smoked Duck Breasts

Duck breasts and a layer of smoke go hand in hand. Add our cherry orange sauce and you have a match made in heaven.

smoked duck breast on a wooden board

Using a method very similar to a reverse sear, we cook the duck breast with a higher than usual indirect heat smoke, followed by a quick sear over high heat to render some fat and crisp up the skin.

Recipe: Smoked Duck Breast with Cherry and Orange Sauce

27. Smoked and Fried Buttermilk Chicken Thighs

What can be better than fried chicken? Smoked Fried Chicken of course.

Smoked and Fried Buttermilk Chicken Thighs

Chicken thighs are perfectly suited to smoking and then frying as they are slightly fattier than breast so won’t dry out easily.

We do a double dunk and dredge to ensure the crispiest results.

Serve them simply with a drizzle of honey or this Blue Cheese Sauce, or throw them into burger buns with some Southern Style Coleslaw.

Recipe: Smoked and Fried Buttermilk Chicken Thighs

28. Hot Smoked Salmon

Such a healthy food, we should eat more of it. And once you’ve tried this method we bet it will become a regular on your menu. 

hot smoked salmon

We’ve given it a wet brine overnight and then smoked it at a hot temperature. This gives it, its flakey texture as opposed to the silky texture of cold smoked salmon.

Keep it simple and serve with boiled new potatoes, sour cream, and a sprinkling of dill.

Recipe: Hot Smoked Salmon

29. Texas Twinkies

A Texas Twinkie is a Jalapeño Popper on crack and yes they can be highly addictive.

texas swinkies on a plate with dipping sauce

Smoky, spicy, sweet, cheesy goodness wrapped in bacon, need we say more. Well actually like to double up on brisket and bacon by adding it to the cream cheese mixture as well.

These are great served with Blue Cheese Sauce and Wedges on the side, and don’t forget the ice cold beer, essential!

Recipe: Texas Twinkies

30. Smoked Pork Tenderloin

Pork tenderloin is a boneless, lean, and tender cut that runs alongside the backbone.

sliced pork tenderloin

We show you a fast, easy method to smoke it, ensuring it stays moist and tasty by wrapping it in salty prosciutto and brushing it with a sweet maple glaze.

It goes well with these sides Apple and Beet Slaw and Herby Roasted Potato Salad.

Recipe: Smoked Pork Tenderloin

31. Smoked Beef Shank

Beef shank is probably not the usual cut most people would consider using for pulled beef.

smoked beef shank hanging

We like it though, it has a bigger surface area which means more delicious bark, and the meat stays very moist and tender perfect for tacos, nachos or sliders.

Recipe: Tender Smoked Beef Shank

32. Smoked Venison Meatball Stroganoff

A slight tweak on your typical stroganoff but just as good.

smoked venison meatball stroganoff

We smoke the meatballs for 30 minutes after cooking on the stovetop which intensifies the earthy flavor of venison.  

You can follow our recipe and cook your mushrooms on the stovetop or if you want to add more smoky flavor to your stroganoff, try cooking them this way – Smoky Garlic Butter Mushrooms

Recipe: Smoked Venison Meatball Stroganoff with Baby Bella Mushrooms

33. Smoked Pastrami

Making pastrami isn’t difficult but there are a lot of steps involved.  

Smoked pastrami sliced on a chopping board

Once you’ve tasted this juicy, smoky homemade version tho, you won’t want to buy from the store again.

And after you’ve eaten your fill of Reuben sandwiches you’re bound to still have leftovers so give these Pastrami and Cheese Croquettes a go, you won’t be disappointed.

Recipe: How to Make Pastrami – Step by Step Guide

34. Homemade BBQ Sauce

The perfect condiment. BBQ Sauce. What does this not go with?

homemade bbq sauce

Our version has the perfect balance between sweet and spicy and is simple to make.

After 12 hours of cooking your BBQ to perfection, you’ll get much more satisfaction watching your friends drown it in your homemade bbq sauce.

Recipe: Homemade BBQ Sauce

35. Smoked Chicken Wings with Garlic Parmesan Sauce

These chicken wings make the perfect appetizer.

cooked garlic, butter, parmesan wings on a plate

With their crispy skin and mouth-watering garlic, parmesan sauce you’ll want to double this recipe so you’re not fighting over them.

Many chicken smoker recipes will call for low temps between 225-250°F. Ignore them.

Smoked chicken should be cooked above 300°F to get nice crispy skin.

Recipe: Smoked Chicken Wings with Garlic Parmesan Sauce

36. Smoked Baked Beans with Bacon

There are some big flavors in this saucy side dish.

smoked baked beans in cast iron pan

Beans are one of the best and more common side dishes to serve with BBQ.

We’ll walk you through how to make smoked beans and offer a range of options so you can customize them with flavors that you love.

If you have leftover BBQ try making our BBQ Sundaes.

Recipe: Smoked Baked Beans

37. Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers

The perfect snack or side, simple to make but they pack a punch.

bowl of smoked jalapeños poppers on table with dipping sauce

Our Jalapeños are stuffed with cheese, then stuffed with more cheese, wrapped in bacon, and grilled over high heat.

Have a cold beer handy!

Recipe: Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers

38. Smoked Mac and Cheese

One pan smoked mac and cheese, what could be easier? One of the best things about owning a smoker is using it to cook recipes that would normally call for the oven.

Smoked mac and cheese

We’ve done away with boiling macaroni and slaving over bechamel, it’s all put into one big tray and into the smoker.

We’ve also added a couple of rather indulgent twists to this dish. Let’s say, you shouldn’t eat this every day, but hey, everything in moderation.

Recipe: Easy Smoked Mac and Cheese

39. Smoked Deviled Eggs

She’s an old-fashioned dish that’s having a renaissance.

Smoked Deviled Eggs

We’re giving these eggs our own twist by cooking them on the smoker, then peeling them and returning them to the smoker so the whites get infused with more smoke flavor, then we stuff them with a sweet, spicy filling. 

TIP! Make sure your BBQ is on a flat surface.

Recipe: Smoked Deviled Eggs

40. Smoked Cocktails

Beer is hard to go past with BBQ, but a cocktail does have its place.

smoked cocktails

We have five cocktails that are either smoked or have a grilled element to them.

Once you’ve mastered a couple of techniques; smoked ice, smoky honey, smoked salt, and how to smoke liquids with a smoking gun you’ll be able to experiment with the cocktails you love.

Recipe: Smoked Cocktail Recipes

41. Smoked Turkey Legs: Better Than Disney

You just can’t beat walking around with a giant piece of smoked meat in your hand like a caveman.

cooked, basted turkey leg being held upright by a hand

Smoking your own turkey legs at home is super easy. You don’t even have to inject them with brine like most Disney Copycat recipes do. Using classic BBQ flavors in the rub and sauce will give you the ultimate turkey legs.

Recipe: Smoked Turkey Legs

42. Smoked Shotgun Shells

smoked shotgun shells stacked on a wood cutting board

Manicotti pasta tubes stuffed with a simple mix of ground beef and cheese, then wrapped in bacon, and brushed with bbq sauce.

This simple but tasty barbecue snack has blown up on our social media with over 6 million views to date!

Recipe: Smoked Shotgun Shells.

Now go fire up your smoker

If you’ve made it all the way through the list of our favorite recipes to cook on the smoker it’s time to stop drooling and go fire up your smoker.

best smoker recipes

42 Best Smoker Recipes To Try

These are the best smoker recipes for the novice through to the experienced pitmaster to try.
5 from 9 votes
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Author: Joe Clements
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