Spring and summer are coming, and we are in for those backyard barbeques and picnics with unlimited grilling.
Surely, those old school smoker recipes are out and about to spruce up the seasons. But spring, summer or all seasons, year-round, we know that we dig smoker recipes because we won’t get enough of those perfectly seasoned, charcoal smell and juicy flavors in meats, fish and more.
In this post, you will find 50 of the best smoker recipes that you can try with family and friends. You will also find some useful FAQs which will guide you in sourcing the best smoker recipes to cook.
Table of Contents
50 best smoker recipes
In this section, we will give you a rundown of some of the best smoker recipes that you can try. For easier reading and recall, we have divided them into sections.
Smoked rotisserie chicken is not just flavorful but also serves everyone to the bones. You can have the leftovers added to spreads and for taco wraps after. Preheat the smoker at 250F.
Prep the whole chicken by dry rubbing it with BBQ rub, salt, and pepper. Stuff it with herbs and spices of choice and leave it in the smoker for at least 2.5hrs or when the temp downs to 165-150F.
Chicken breasts are more popular for smoking but this one does not disappoint too. Rub the chicken lollipops with the combination of all-purpose BBQ rub and Montreal seasoning.
Let it sit with the rub on it for 30mins before smoking. Preheat the smoker at 225F and grill for an hour or two. The chicken lollipops can be taken out at 175F. Glaze it with honey and apple mixture before serving.
It always starts with the rub: salt, oregano, onion and garlic powder, chili powder, smoked paprika and brown sugar. Next, dress the whole chicken and then dry it off with paper towels after.
Butterfly the chicken and then marinade it with the same rub in the first step. After that, cover the chicken in foil and preheat the smoker to 225F on applewood coal. Smoke it for 5hrs and take it out when the temp goes to 165F.
This favorite finger food becomes better when it is smoked. Choose any dry rub of your choice, brush with butter or olive oil and then prepare the smoker. As lean as chicken meats are you will still need a drip pan in there.
Heat the smoker at 220F and cook the chicken wings for 45mins to an hour (enclosed in a foil). Take it out as soon as it reaches 165F.
This one is a dressed and butterflied chicken rubbed with two seasonings only: seasoned salt and heaps of garlic and herb seasoning. For the wood, use the combination of hickory and cherry wood for more flavor. Heat the smoker at 275F and cook the chicken for 2hrs. When the temp reaches 165F, you may take out your spatchcock chicken.
This one does not start off in a dry rub. First, you must sear the Cornish hens for 3mins each side and then sear it again for 10-15mins in indirect heat. After that, dry rub it with five spices (cinnamon, fennel seeds, star anise, pepper, and cloves).
Add some garlic, ginger, and cayenne for some kick. Refrigerate for 2hrs. After that, rinse and baste it with soy sauce, garlic, brown sugar, and ginger. Cook it at 225F for 1.5-3hrs.
The first step to this recipe is to dry rub the chicken thighs with smoked paprika, brown sugar, crushed red pepper flakes, onion and garlic powder, salt and pepper. After that, cover the coated chicken and refrigerate for 30mins.
Prepare the smoker at 180F on applewood coal. Place inside the smoker, close it and cook for 20mins. While it is inside the smoker, prepare the whiskey peach glaze.
Put the apricot jam, peaches, whiskey, molasses, ketchup, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, hoisin sauce and garlic in a saucepan. Stir until it thickens on low fire. Take off the chicken thighs at 160F and glaze generously.
To prepare this, preheat the smoker to 225F for spit roasting. While waiting, prepare the ground beef and season it with garlic, eggs, red onions, milk, breadcrumbs, and a generous amount of Jack Daniels.
Spread half of the mixture on the grill basket. Layer it with pepper jack cheese. Put in the remaining ground beef and smoke for 4hrs until the temperature downs to 165F. Let it cool for a few minutes before slicing.
This appetizer is a soiree favorite. All you have to do is wrap the sausages with bacon strips, wash it with olive sail and drizzle with salt and pepper to taste.
Enclose them with foil wraps and smoke the twist in at least 3hrs. Serve with honey mustard or dip of choice.
10. Char sui
This traditional Chinese cuisine is an easy favorite. For this, you will have to visit the Asian store for some red tofu and Korean red pepper flakes.
Rub the pork shoulder with pepper flakes, cooking molasses, salt and pepper. After this, cut the pork in fine, small chunks.
Smoke it at 325F for an hour. Add the sweet glaze every five minutes in the last 30mins for a richer taste.
11. Smoked pork butt
It is more of an extended pork shoulder but if you want to have the best pulled pork, you must choose pork butt. First, give the meat slab a good dry rub of BBQ seasoning, pepper, cayenne, and then coat it with mustard. Refrigerate for 24hrs.
After that, preheat the smoker at 225F. Add hickory wood and glaze it with brown sugar and apple juice mixture every hour. This will take 2hrs to cook. When the temp downs to 200F, you can take it out from the smoker.
12. BBQ Smoked Ham
To make things easier, buy a spiral, pre-cooked spiral sliced ham along with some pineapple rings.
Start off by dry rubbing it with BBQ seasoning, salt, pepper, and a coat of mustard. After that, pin the pineapple rings around the slab and drizzle some brown sugar on top of it.
Throw in the slab on the smoker at a temp of 250F and on applewood coal. To keep the moisture, you can spray an apple juice and water mixture every 30mins. It can be ready after 2hrs but for the best taste, let it sit there for 5hrs in total.
For this you will need to buy a pre-cooked, spiral ham. For the baste, reduce a mixture of honey, brown sugar, and pureed fresh cranberries along with compound butter in a saucepan.
Preheat the smoker to 225F and cook it for 3hrs. Expect a flavor explosion and honey gold slab at 145F.
For this one, buy a pre-cooked cherry smoked ham from the supermarket. All you need now is the perfect rub.
Go with kosher salt, pepper, some paprika for a kick and coat it with the mixture of bourbon and mustard. Because it is pre-cooked, you can directly put it in the smoker. Cook for 4hrs and glaze with bourbon-mustard every 30mins.
The first thing to do in cooking this one is to preheat the smoker to 225F with the combination of maple, pecan, and apple wood.
Next, prepare the pork chops by rubbing it with kosher salt, pepper, thyme, pineapple juice and honey.
Cook it in the smoker for 1.5hrs and take it off when it reaches 145F. Serve with BBQ sauce or apple sauce.
For this, you must first strip off the tenderloin with excess fat before seasoning. Heat the smoker at 225F and start preparing the pork for seasoning. For this one, go for the sweet rub and add a whiskey peach BBQ sauce.
Smoke it for 2hrs until it reaches 135F. Open the lid and glaze it again with whiskey peach sauce. Cook for 2hrs again until it reaches 145F. Let it sit for 20mins before slicing.
17. Beef brisket
This one is an old school recipe that has gone a lot of recipe modifications per family and per tradition.
You start with your choice of rub, although the traditional recipe includes salt, pepper, basil, oregano, cayenne, and rosemary and then soak it in beer for 2hrs.
After soaking it, smoke it at 400F for four hours, preferably in hickory wood. Add beer after and smoke it again for the next four hours.
18. Smoked prime rib
The king of all steaks as they say, you would love the smokey taste of this smoked prime rib.
Of course, start it off with dry rub (Montreal seasoning is recommended), salt and a double dose of black pepper for more kick. Do this 2hrs before putting it on the smoker.
The smoker should be at 240F with oakwood chips for coal. Cook it in the smoker for 4hrs. Medium rare is at 135F and well-done steak is at 125F. Cool for 30mins before slicing. Serve with mashed potatoes and gravy.
This southern classic has always been a favorite along with its traditional side dish of carrots, potatoes, cornbread, and buttermilk.
Start everything with the rub (Kosher or Himalayan salt, black pepper, and garlic herb compound butter. Refrigerate for 4-8hrs and then prepare the smoker at 225F.
Rinse the chucks and then dry it off. Baste it with butter on all sides and drizzle it with the same dry rub after. Cook it for 2hrs until the temp goes down to 160F.
20. Smoked burgers
First, buy the best ground beef that you could get from the market. Next is flattening the ground meat in at least 4-6inches. Drizzle with salt, pepper, and herb powders.
After this, heat the smoker at 250F. Use maple wood or applewood for more flavor. Cook it for 1.5hrs and take it off the smoker when it reaches 150F.
This one is like smoking a beef brisket. The first thing to do is to heat the smoker at 270F using oak pellets or hickory. To get the burnt ends, season the beef chunks with salt, garlic powder, and pepper. After that, smoke the beef for 5hrs until it reaches 165F.
Take it out and wrap it in foil and then adjust the heat at 195F. Cook it again for an hour. Take it out again to be cooked for 2 more hours in the pan by the grill. Glaze with BBQ sauce and serve.
This recipe is as sophisticated as its namesake New York. For the rub, start off with the solid mixture of paprika, black pepper, kosher salt, red pepper flakes, garlic and onion powder and coriander seeds.
Heat the smoker at 225F and use oakwood pellets for coal. Smoke for 5hrs and take it off once it reaches 130F. Let it sit for 20mins before slicing.
This is a notch up to traditional brisket recipes. First, coat the brisket with a combination of ingredients (onion, zinfandel, minced garlic, minced chilies, chili powder, triple sec, black pepper, salt, water, orange zest).
Cover and refrigerate for 4hrs. After this, pat dry the brisket and reserve the marinade for later.
Heat the smoker at 220F and cook for 7hrs. Wait until it reaches 185F. Wrap the brisket in foil and let it seat for half an hour. While waiting, place the leftover marinade in a saucepan and let it simmer until it thickens. Slice the brisket and serve with the sangria sauce.
First, check the brisket and remove any muscle membrane still attached to it. Soak the meat slab in water for 2hrs to remove extra salt.
Next, rub it with the combination of peppercorns, onion and garlic powder, coriander seeds and thyme. Plastic wrap the brisket after and refrigerate overnight.
When it is done, set the smoker to 275F. Place the brisket directly on the smoker’s grill with the fat side up. Smoke the brisket uncovered at 1.5hrs per pound. Take off from the smoker when it reaches 185F. Let sit for 15mins before slicing.
25. Smoked elk roast
This lean red meat can be bought in the supermarket. The rub should include mustard, coriander, pepper, garlic powder, salt, red pepper flakes, dill, paprika, compound butter, and rosemary.
If you intend to use a charcoal smoker, use applewood or hickory. Heat the smoker to 225F and baste the elk meat with the mentioned ingredients. Cook for 4hrs and take it off the smoker at 130F.
This amazing dish starts off with brining. You make the brine by combining salt syrup, sugar, bourbon, water, and peppercorn. Refrigerate the turkey in the brine for 8-12hrs. Remove it from the brine, dry it and refrigerate it again for two hours.
After that, set the smoker at 350F, adding chipped woods in the burner. Prepare the turkey for smoking by rubbing it with sugar, paprika, cumin and onion.
Brush butter all over it. Mix water and bourbon and place in the smoker’s pan. Smoke it for 3.5hrs and brush it again with melted butter before serving.
This one is a traditional dish for Greeks during Easter. It is rubbed salt, pepper, garlic, rosemary, and lemon.
Brush it with olive oil and spit roast it on a smoker at 250F for at least 3hrs. You will get the best rotisserie lamb you have tasted after.
28. Smoked salmon
Choose the salmon fillet with skin on and dry it with paper towels. Season it with salt and pepper and refrigerate for 24-48hrs.
After this, thread the salmon cuts in skewers and blow dry them for about 12hrs. Set the smoker by adding hickory or apple wood chips. Smoke it for 5-6hrs. Add wood chips every 2hrs to improve doneness.
29. Smoked scallops
You can always go for surf and turf but smoking the scallops give an interesting taste to that dish.
The first thing to do is set the smoker. Next, you must rinse and dry the scallops and then season it with salt.
Place the scallops on a foil packet and position it indirectly on the grill. The other side of the smoker should be filled with hickory wood.
Cook the scallops in indirect heat for 15mins. Transfer the foil in direct heat and have the scallops seared for 1.5mins in each side. After this, drizzle them with melted butter and lemon and you are good to go.
This one only needs four ingredients: precise cut lobster tails, garlic, melted butter/olive oil and a drizzle of lemon.
All you need to do next is heat the smoker at 200F and cook the lobster tails enclosed in foil packets for 30-45mins. When the temperature goes down to 130F, you may take it off.
This salmon dish is one of the most satisfying ones there is. The dry rub is made of salt, pepper, dill, brown sugar and then brine it for an hour in the fridge.
After that, dry the salmon and rub it again with the same dry rub you used. Brush with olive oil and seal it all in a foil packet. Heat the smoker at 225F and cook it for an hour. Take it out at 165F and drizzle with lemon zest and garnish with cilantro.
This is a very simple dish to prepare. First, brine the fish in salt and water mixture and refrigerate it for 4hrs. For the rub, you will need salt, hot sauce, black pepper, and traditional Cajun seasoning. When everything is set, prep the smoker at 200F.
Baste the catfish fillet with Cajun seasoning, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Add applewood to the smoker and cook it for 2.5hrs. Take it out of the smoker at 140F and leave it for 15mins before serving.
This one is a delicacy for those who fish and for good reasons. Set the smoker on 200F and prepare the walleye fillet while waiting for it to warm up.
Season the walleye fillet with salt, pepper, lemon pepper and Cajun seasoning. Cook the fillet for 1.5hrs and take off at 130F. Leave it for 20mins and serve with mayonnaise and lemon dip or any dip of choice.
An hour before smoking, rub the Ahi tuna with lemon pepper, garlic, salt, and pepper along with a mixture of olive oil and lemon juice.
Baste it on both sides of the tuna. Prepare the smoker at 200F. Put in the seasoned tuna and add lemons on the smoker with it. Smoke each side for 30mins each before getting it out of the smoker.
35. Smoked trout
The trick to the best smoked trout is keeping the skin on while being smoked. First, make slits across the trout’s skin and marinate it with garlic, salt, pepper, soy sauce, lemon juice and cayenne.
Marinate the trout for 2-4hrs before smoking. After that, set the smoker to 200F and place the lemon on top of the trout. Cook for 2hrs and take off at 150F.
While preparing the shrimps, start up the smoker at 180-200F. Cook the bacon until crisp and brown. Prepare the tray with shrimps and season with cayenne, pepper, salt, and paprika.
Make a mixture of cream cheese and crab meat to be put on top of the shrimps before smoking them. Wrap each shrimp with bacon by sticking it through using a toothpick. Smoke for exactly 35mins.
It is prepared the same way as the previous one. Set the smoker at 225F and then season the shrimps with cayenne, garlic, pepper, parsley, and salt.
Put the shrimps on a skewer and drizzle with olive oil before putting them on the smoker. Cook for 30mins or until the shrimps become opaque-colored.
We all love mackerels because it is flavorful and a budget fish pick. For this one, the mackerel is seasoned with parsley, salt, pepper, and lemon zest and then teemed with eggs and horseradish cream sauce.
It is smoked for 30-45mins and then served with salad and choice of dip.
Vegetables and Fruits
For this recipe, you first need to steam the artichokes in 500g of water. Position the artichokes in the steamer with the stem facing downwards.
Close it with a tight lid and leave it there for 20-25mins. When they start becoming soft and tender, take them out and transfer them to the smoker.
Wrap them on a foil, place the lemon juice, garlic and pepper along with it and set the smoker to 200 F. Smoke it for an hour and serve it with melted butter as dip.
Another easy smoke veggie recipe is this one. All you must do is wrap the asparagus with bacon strips, baste them with olive oil, sprinkle them with salt and pepper and then wrap everything in foil packets.
Set the smoker to 225F for at least 2hours and you are all set to go.
Brussels sprouts are not for everybody but when smoked, you might start liking it a bit more. First, you need to clean the sprouts and make sure that you take off all the brown parts.
Drain well and put them in aluminum packets. Coat them with olive oil or butter, minced garlic, salt and pepper.
Bacon bits are optional but if you want some grit, put some. Adding balsamic vinegar before smoking them also improves the taste. Set the smoker to 250F and let it sit there for 45minutes.
It works the same way as smoked cabbage and brussels sprouts. But before smoking it, you must disperse the flowers from the core. Put the flowers on a foil packet and drizzle it with olive oil, salt, oregano, pepper, and some basil.
Smoke it at 200F for 2hrs. You must stir it once every hour. Gradually add water and chopped wood. It is best served with vinaigrette.
Smoking cherry tomatoes and using it later for savory platters and pasta add grit and chewiness to the dish. Because of their natural sweetness, cherry tomatoes only need to be rubbed with olive oil before smoking them.
Set the smoker to 225F and gradually add water and wood to create a steam. Put in the cherry tomatoes (foiled) in the smoker and leave them there 1 ½ hrs. Add another round of water and wood and smoke them again for 45mins.
This is a mainstay during summer cookouts, filled with a lot of nutrients at a very cheap price. All you need to do is remove the husks and soak the cob in 5 liters of water for 2hrs.
Set the smoker at 225F to generate steam. Smoke the corn cobs on the grill for 2hrs. Rotate each side every 30mins and gradually add water and wood on the smoker. Brush with salt, pepper, and butter before serving.
45. Smoked cabbage
The best thing to smoke are the smaller cabbage heads. Before setting it on the smoker, you must get rid of the first two leaf layers and then rinse it thoroughly.
Use a vertical water smoker and preset it to 250F. Pour in a liquid mixture of 50% water and 50% apple juice. Add charcoal bits in the tray.
Take it out from the water smoker and rub it with salt, vinegar, pepper and EVOO in foil packets. Start the smoker and add more chipped wood. Smoke it for one and a half hours. Close the foil packets and smoke it again for 30 minutes.
This appetizer is one for the books. All you must do is smoke the grapes for 10-20mins in a 120F smoker.
You can smoke them directly from the grates or in a foil or in a metal tray. After that, serve it with a dip of goat cheese fondue and you are all set.
Think about it as fruit kabobs and like the Turkish dish, imagine it being smoked. For this, you can have your choice of fruit mix.
It is also entirely your choice to glaze it with honey. Heat the smoker into 200F and smoke the fruit skewers for 25mins. Serve with choice of dip.
Unexpected smoked recipes
Who would have thought that you could cook this one on a smoker? So basically, you do exactly as you would cook mac and cheese.
Prep the macaroni, cut the jalapeno, grate your cheese of choice. After prepping, put the mac and cheese in an aluminum tray.
Preheat the smoker at 225F and spit roast the mac and cheese for 2hrs. After that, you are all set.
49. Smoked salsa
If you want to go extra for your Mexican nights, smoke that salsa dip like a pro. First, you must gather all the needed veggies: tomatoes, jalapeno, red and green bell pepper, garlic, lime, onion, corn cobs, and cilantro.
Throw them all into the smoker added with a dash of salt and pepper. Spit roast the veggies for 1-2hrs in 225F depending on how much smokiness you want to get from it.
After this, deseed those that need deseeding and blend them all together for the finished salsa. Top with cilantro.
Yes, you can also smoke deviled eggs. First, bring the eggs to a soft to medium boil. After that, set the smoker to 225F and add cherry wood on the coal.
Smoke the eggs for an hour and prepare it with the bacon toppings, cheese, cilantro and some sauce.
Smoked recipes – FAQs
Is cooking on a smoker healthy?
Yes, if done in a regulated and sparing manner. We all know how addictive cooking on a smoker would be. As we have said, we all love the charred flavor of smoker recipes.
At the positive end, smoking helps in healthy protein supply as it breaks down the meat’s collagen, making it more tender and protein enriched.
On the other hand, smoked recipes at frequent consumption are still considered as potential triggers for cardiovascular diseases and cancer (since charred food are said to be sources of carcinogens).
What is the healthiest way to smoke meat?
According to the Barbecue Bible, there are two healthy ways to smoke meat. The first one is direct grilling lean meats. These ‘meats’ include chicken breasts, fish steaks, scallops, pork tenderloin, and venison, among others. Slow cooking them reduces their fat and cholesterol level dramatically.
The second way is through spit roast. You can spit roast lean meat and dense vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, squash, onions, and potatoes.
By spit roasting them, you maintain their natural juiciness without their fat dripping into the smoke, contaminating the food with carcinogens. Rubbing them with herbs and spices is also a great way to make the smoked food healthier.
What is the hardest meat to smoke?
It is always beef, particularly recipes which include the shanks, brisket, shoulders, and the neck area.
Tenderloin takes up to three hours while beef brisket, in total, takes about twenty hours to cook. Chuckies or pulled beef takes at least ten hours and more to cook on a smoker.
What are the best things to cook in a smoker?
To give a comprehensive view of the best things to cook in a smoker and as to why there is so much rave over it, here is a list of the meats, seafood, veggies, and other food than you can cook with a smoker.
|Turkey||Tuna||Brussels sprouts||Mac and cheese|
Smoker recipes are some of the best things we have ever made as humans, truth be told. The cooking method of smoking is one of the earliest cooking techniques to emerge and evolve, historically speaking.
It is understandable why we are engrossed in it and these 50 smoker recipes that we featured here are manifestations of how we all love smoking.
For all the home cooks out there, there are a lot of ways to spice up your smoked recipes. You also must consider healthier ways to smoke food. Beyond the charred sides are health risks so be mindful of how you prepare and cook your smoked food.