Best Temperatures For Smoking

Everyone has their own preference for smoking temperatures with opinions to go with them. For me, here are the temperatures that I like to use for the most common meats.

Brisket

225 Degrees. At this temperature, the average 12 pound brisket will cook thoroughly in about 10 to 12 hours. Two hours is a large variance but every piece of meat is different. That fat content in particular plays a large role in deciding how long it will take to cook.

Pork Shoulder

225 Degrees. This makes the average 8 pound pork shoulder or pork but done in about 18 hours. That is a very long smoke but I use an electric so it does not leave me up all night tending the fire. If you use a stick burner, you might consider kicking the temperature up to 250 to 275 degrees to speed up the cook.

Whole Chicken

250 Degrees. This will cook an average 4 to 5 pound bird in about 4 hours. When it is done smoking, you can then throw it on a hot grill to crisp up the skin if you like. 250 degrees cooks the meat nicely but it will leave the skin soft.

Pork Ribs

225 Degrees. I like the 3-2-1 method where you cook your ribs for 3 hours in the smoker, open. You then foil them with a little juice or water and cook them an additional 2 hours in the smoker. Finally, you uncover the ribs and cook them for an additional hour to finish them off.

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