5 Common Mistakes with Smokers and How to Avoid Them


The smell of cooking meat drifting through the neighborhood can invoke memories of summertime barbeques. Americans consume around 150 million hot dogs each year during the 4th of July holiday. With Memorial Day and Labor Day also high meat-consuming holidays, that’s a lot to be grilled.

Gaining in popularity, the smoker has added even more depth to these holidays, and family cooking all year round. Switching out pellet flavors will boost your Thanksgiving turkey or holiday ham. 

Purchasing a smoker can be a big investment. Avoid five common mistakes with smokers by following along with this quick guide. 

1. Smokers Can Cook More Than Just Beef

While beef is the most common meat for smokers, pork, chicken, and seafood are considered a great addition to the smoking family.  

Depending on your wood choice, you can put almost anything in a smoker. Want to add rolls or a dessert to your meal? Instead of running back and forth between your meat and your indoor oven, pop your cake into your smoker and see how well it turns out. 

Before you buy smoked cheese, nuts, eggs, or fruit, experiment with smoking your own. 

2. Using the Wrong Pellets or Wood Choice

Pellet flavor can make a huge difference in the result, depending on what you are smoking. Some wood for smokers has a heavy flavor and will overpower milder products, such as seafood, leaving only a smokey taste. A gentle flavor will not have much of an effect on a robust meat product.

Hickory, Mesquite, Oak, and Pecan wood are considered stronger flavors. They pair well with beef and fattier cuts of pork and poultry. Maple, cherry, apple, and alder are milder and work with seafood, leaner cuts of meat, and vegetables. 

3. Not Completing Regular Smoker Maintenance

Season your smoker by using it first without cooking anything. This will burn off residue created during manufacturing and travel. Check your user manual to see if you also need to oil your smoker.

People new to smoking meat may wonder, “How do I clean my Masterbuilt Propane Smoker?” Like any wood, charcoal, or propane smoker, gently cleaning the ashes and food after each use is vital to maintaining the taste of your future meals and elongating the life of your smoker. 

4. Under or Over-Smoking Food

The process of cooking meat to perfection requires knowledge of when meat is done. Cooking to temperature is a good place to start, using a meat thermometer. 

Opening the lid constantly to check on your food is a good way to undercook your food, as it messes with the internal temperature. Crowding your meat is another way to affect a consistent cook because your food needs space to smoke evenly. 

Keep a steady stream of smoke and avoid a heavy cloud. This could lead to over-smoking if not controlled. 

5. Most Mistakes With Smokers Come From Not Reading The Manual 

The most important tool in learning how to use smokers is the user manual. Nowadays, these guides are also found online, many with helpful videos. 

Reading the instructions before attempting use is always recommended. Registering your new smoker will help with warranty issues as well. 

Smoke to Perfection!

Now that you know what mistakes with smokers to avoid, you can begin using your smoker for the enjoyment of family and friends. Experimenting with food and smoke flavor can create culinary delights that will keep tastebuds satisfied all year long. 

Was this article helpful? Be sure to check out more like it in our Food & Drink section.

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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1 year ago

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