If you are new to grilling and BBQ, then using a smoker may seem like it would be really difficult. While it is true that it is harder than grilling a hot dog, it is something that anyone can get the hang up with just a little practice. There are really two major factors when it comes to smoking food, heat, and the smoke. We are going to talk about the heat first.

When it comes to heat you want to keep the temperature low for a long period of time. This does take work to do, and the process changes depending on the type of grill you are using. If you are using charcoal, then you will want to get the charcoal burning before you start. Once the flame is gone you should push all of the charcoal to one side of your grill. For BBQ you don’t want to use direct heat. Instead, indirect heat is used for BBQ. This will allow the meat to cook for a long time, which is exactly what you need for an amazing smoke flavor. Keep some charcoal close at hand, since you may need to add charcoal periodically if you are grilling over the course of the entire day.


Smoke can add an incredible taste to your meat. You can use many different types of wood, such as oak, mesquite, pecan, or the ever-popular apple. You aren’t limited to just these types of hardwoods, but these are some of the most popular. No matter what type of wood you select, you will need to soak it in a bowl of water. Wet wood will smoke and smolder for hours, whereas dry wood will burn up quickly, and not create as much smoke. You can also use pellet grills for smoking food, and while there are some options when it comes to gas, usually these aren’t going to be nearly as good. One of the best parts about smoking meat is that almost any type of charcoal grill will allow for smoking. However they are multiple products that aren’t built specifically for smoking. Usually, these are much taller than a normal grill and you build the fire in the bottom and the smoke will rise up and smoke the meat. The reason you want the indirect heat is because smoke takes a long period of time to totally permeate the meat. That is why time is important.


You will also need a good brush for putting sauce onto your meat. Getting a rib rack is also a good idea if you are going to BBQing ribs. This accessory keeps ribs up on their sides, vs on their side. We have some amazing smokers here at American Outdoor, and we can help you get the grill for exactly what you need!