Smoking Times and Temperature Chart for Any Meat: From Beef to Fish

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Are you looking for a definitive guide to BBQ smoking Trusted Source Smoked meat - Wikipedia Smoked meat is the result of a method of preparing red meat, white meat, and seafood which originated in the Paleolithic Era. Smoking adds flavor, improves the appearance of meat through the Maillard reaction, and when combined with curing it preserves the meat en.wikipedia.org meat times and smoking meat temperature? If so, you have come to the right place. Smoking BBQ is one of the trickiest ways of cooking your meats and vegetables. Without the right knowledge and patience, you will likely have a hard time doing it rightly. There are many things involved in smoking food correctly, and one of the things that you must know is when your food is completely smoked and safe to eat.

How will you know when the smoked meat is ready? Well, there are several things that you can watch out for. Some of these include clear running juices and a caramelized outer crust. In this post, we reveal all of these. We will provide a table of different types of meats and it will include the recommended temperature, cook times, and so on. We also will give you tips on getting the best out of all the meats that you smoke.

What is BBQ Smoking?

Well, before we delve into the several types of meat and their recommended smoking times, we should know what BBQ smoking is. Well, this is different from grilling. Instead, smoking is the process of preparing your food by exposing it to smoke from a smoker or pit. It involves using wood chips to give the food a smoky taste and unique flavor.

Importance of Smoking Time

Knowing the correct temperature and smoking time is important if you want your food to be done correctly. It is also important if you are after a smoky flavor.

To get the correct smoking time, the two main things that you need are a meat thermometer and a timer.

In the next sections, we will see the guidelines required for smoking different types of meats. We will detail the required temperatures, the time, and the internal temperatures.

Without further ado, let’s see the chart of different meats.

Beef Smoking

Smoking Times and Temperature Chart for Any Meat: From Beef to FishBeef is one of the more popular meats that you find on the BBQ. It has a near-constant smoking temperature; however, there are different lengths of time required for thorough cooking. It is somewhat different from chicken in that the different sections of beef need different internal temperatures to be correctly cooked.

Type Smoking Temp (F) Smoking Time Finished Temp (F)
Beef Back Ribs 225 to 250 3 to 4 hours 185 to 190
Short Ribs 225 to 250 6 to 8 hours 190 to 200
Pulled Brisket 225 to 250 70 to 90 minutes per pound 198 to 203
Sliced Brisket 225 to 250 70 to 90 minutes per pound 190 to 195
Tenderloin 225 to 250 2 to 3 hours 130 to 140
Chuck Roast 225 to 250 12 to 20 hours 190 to 200
Prime Rib 225 to 250 2 to 3 hours 130 to 140
Tri-Tip 225 to 250 2 to 3 hours 130 to 140

Tips

Now that you have seen the correct smoking times and temperatures for different parts of beef, we will give you some tips that can help you do the cooking correctly.

Back Ribs

When smoking back ribs, you should cut the ribs apart before you begin cooking. The benefit of that is that you will get even smoking all around.

Briskets

Briskets are the favorite part of the meat for many people. When smoking briskets, there are some things to keep in mind.

  • Since briskets come in different thicknesses, you need different temperatures to cook them correctly. The thicker the brisket, the longer time it needs to be smoked.
  • Correctly smoking briskets can take up to 20 hours.
  • After the time has passed, you can test whether the brisket is ready by passing a skewer through the meat. If it is resistant, then the meat isn’t ready. However, if the skewer passes clean through with little or no resistance, then it is ready to be eaten.

Short Ribs

One tip to know whether the short ribs are done is by checking the tenderness. If they are pretty tender, then they are ready to be eaten.

Chuck Roast

As with the briskets, the smoking time of the chuck roast depends on how thick it is. A thick chunk roast will need a longer smoke time than your thin chuck roast.

Chicken

Smoking Times and Temperature Chart for Any Meat: From Beef to FishPoultry, encompassing chicken, turkey, and other birds are also popular meat for BBQ. The chart below shows the ideal temperature and cook times for different parts of the meat.

Type Smoking Temp (F) Smoking Time Finished Temp(F)
Legs 275 to 350 1.5 hours 170
Wings 275 to 350 1.25 hours 170
Breasts 275 to 350 2 hours 165
Thighs 275 to 350 1.5 hours 170
Quarters 275 to 350 1 to 2 hours 170
Whole Poultry 275 to 350 2 to 3 hours 170

As is evident from the chart above, smoking poultry is pretty easy as the temperature for different parts is the same. The only different thing is the finished internal temperature.

Tips

If you are looking to smoke chicken, here are some handy tips that can help you with doing so correctly.

  • Before you add the chicken to the grill, you should pat it dry. The benefit is that it will increase the ability of the chicken to absorb the smoke. It also enhances the taste of the chicken when you are done cooking.
  • You should keep in mind that the chicken will continue cooking for some time even after you have removed it from the grill. If this is not accounted for, you might overcook your chicken. Therefore, it is recommended that you remove the chicken when it reaches around 160 degrees.
  • Due to the size and shape, chicken breasts are some of the hardest parts to cook or smoke. To ensure that the smoking occurs evenly, we advise that you use a tenderizer to flatten the parts of the breasts. This will give the meat an even thickness, which in turn will make the smoking more even.
  • Another thing that you might consider doing is to ‘butterfly’ the chicken. This involves cutting the meat along the spine, while you remove the spine and breastbone. The benefit of this is that it lets you spread out the chicken on the grill with no issues at all.

Fish and Seafood

Smoking Times and Temperature Chart for Any Meat: From Beef to FishThese are other types of meat and require different smoking. Most people that use fish and seafood for BBQ prefer to use fattier fish as these are easier to smoke and generally considered more enjoyable. There are so many types of fish and seafood, but we will list the most common options.

Type Smoking Temp (F) Smoking Time Finished Temp(F)
Whole Salmon 200 1 to 2 hours 145
Salmon Filet 220 1 hour 145
Whole Trout 225 1 hour 145
Mackerel 175 to 200 3 hours 145
Whitefish 175 to 200 3 hours 145
Tuna 175 to 200 3 hours 145
Tilapia Filet 220 1 hour 145
Oyster 225 1 hour 165
Shrimp 225 30 minutes 165

Tips

  • Although there are different types of fish available, it is generally recommended that you try out fattier fish. There are many advantages to this. For one, it doesn’t dry out quickly. Also, fattier fish will absorb smoke better than fish that isn’t very fatty.
  • When smoking or seafood, use sweet, mild woods because these will not overwhelm the flavor and natural taste of the fish
  • For salmon, you can cook it at a low temperature. However, before you start cooking, it is great to marinate in the brine for some hours. After marinating, dry the fish for about four hours.
  • Wait for about an hour before you open the grill lid.
  • As with salmon, it is beneficial to marinate other types of fish. For example, we have loved the taste of marinated trout.
  • If you are smoking ousters, you must remove the shells of the oyster. After removing the shell, you should thoroughly rinse the insides of the oyster.
  • For shrimps, it often forms a C shape after it has been properly smoked. So that can give an idea of whether the seafood is ready to be eaten.

Lamb

Smoking Times and Temperature Chart for Any Meat: From Beef to FishTruth is that not everyone likes lamb as a BBQ option. It is not a regular meat that is smoked. However, when done right, you might want nothing else but this type of meat.

Type Smoking Temp (F) Smoking Time Finished Temp (F)
Leg 225 to 250 4 to 8 hours 140 to 150
Shoulder 225 to 250 5 to 5.5 hours 170
Shank 225 to 250 4 to 5 hours 190

Tips

Since lamb is a rather delicate type of meat, you have to prepare it carefully. Here are some of the things that you should keep in mind when smoking lamb.

  • The best types of woods for lamb are woods that are sweet and will enhance the flavor. Examples of the woods to use include oak, apple, and hickory.
  • If you are smoking the leg, you can get the best taste by marinating it in brine for around 10 hours, or at least five hours.
  • The shoulders are excellent pieces and are a great way to start. If you are just learning how to smoke lamb meat, we recommend that you get deboned lamb shoulder. It will make it easier to cut and smoke the meat.
  • Before you smoke and cook, remove the excess fat. If not removed, it will prevent the meat from cooking evenly.

Pork

Smoking Times and Temperature Chart for Any Meat: From Beef to FishWhen you think of smoking meat, pork is one of the first types of meat that comes to mind. There are different parts and each of them has its best smoking temperature and time. Let’s see from the chart below

Type Smoking Temp (F) Smoking Time Finished Temp (F)
Back Ribs 225 to 250 5 hours 180
Spare Ribs 225 to 250 5 to 7 hours 180 to 185
Pork Belly 225 to 250 6 to 8 hours 195 to 200
Sausage 225 to 250 1 to 3 hours 165
Tenderloin 225 to 250 3 hours` 160
Butt and Shoulders 225 to 250 1.5 hours 200 to 205
Hocks 200 to 225 2 hours 150
Chops 225 to 250 1.5 hours 145
Whole Pig 225 to 250 16 to 18 205

Tips

There are so many parts in pork, which means that without the right guidance, you might not get the smoking and cooking right. Here are some of the best tips that will help you in cooking it correctly.

  • If you are preparing back ribs, you need to keep in mind that these might have more meat. With more meat comes longer times for cooking. To know whether it is done, the meat should feel tender. The meat should also tend to pull away from the bones.
  • Spare ribs are quite similar to back ribs, and it is ready when tender.
  • The shoulder usually has a large concentration of fat. Therefore, it might be hard for the meat to cook evenly. To get past this, simply trim away any of the excess fat on the shoulder.
  • If the butt has reached about 165 degrees, remove it from the grill and wrap in aluminum before returning it to the grill. Then continue cooking.
  • For sausages, one tip is to heat the pit or smoker for up to an hour or more before you add the sausages. Once added add some wood to increase the heat and the smoke.
  • Create holes in the sausage to reduce the heat in the sausages and allow it to keep its shape.

Turkey

Smoking Times and Temperature Chart for Any Meat: From Beef to FishTurkey is another type of meat and is especially served for Thanksgiving. It adds a unique taste and is beloved by many people. Here is a heating chart for this meat.

Type Smoking Temp Smoking Time Finished Temp
Legs 275 to 350 3 hours 170
Wings 275 to 350 2.5 hours 170
Breasts 275 to 350 4 hours 165
Whole Turkey 275 to 350 4 to 5 hours 165 for the breast and 185 for the thighs

Tips

Turkey is a relatively delicate type of meat, so some tips can help you to get the best from it.

  • One tip is to butterfly the turkey. This involves removing the spine and other bones to make the turkey lie flat on the grill. It also allows the meat to absorb plenty of smoke to offer an even cooking
  • Before you apply a dry rub, we recommend that your rub the outside with oil. Doing this will make most of the flavor come out. If you don’t want to do this, you could also marinate the turkey for up to 8 hours before cooking.
  • Keep an eye on the heat level, adding charcoal or pellets whenever you sense that it is losing heat.

Game Meat

Smoking Times and Temperature Chart for Any Meat: From Beef to FishGame meat is a whole different ball game. There are different meats in this category, ranging from elk to quail, and duck to venison. The chart below shows you what to expect in terms of smoking temperature and times.

Type Smoking Temp (F) Smoking Time Finished Temp (F)
Quail 225 1 hour 165
Pheasant 225 1 hour 165
Game Hens 240 2 hours 165
Whole Duck 225 to 250 4 hours 165
Venison 225 to 275 4 hours 165
Bison 225 1 hour 150
Wild Boar 250 to 300 4 hours 165
Elk 225 1 hour 150

Tips

Here are some things that can help you with smoking game meat correctly

  • When cooking, ensure that you baste the meat every half hour. This will help to prevent the drying of the meat
  • If the meat pulls off the bone easily, then it is ready to be eaten.

Factors that Affect How Food Is Smoked

The charts that we have provided above show some of the best temperatures and times required to smoke different types of meats. However, there are other factors that you might wish to consider when smoking food. We will consider these in this section.

Thickness

The thickness of your meat will determine the length of cooking and the temperature. A general rule of thumb is that a larger portion will require higher temperatures or longer period of cooking and smoking.

Boned or Boneless

Another thing that might affect the smoking times and temperatures is whether the meat has been de-boned or not. If it has been de-boned, then it will take a shorter time to cook than boned meat.

Fat Level

The level of concentration of fat in your meat will affect the length of time required for cooking. With a higher level of fat, you will need a longer period of smoking.

Type of Equipment

Smoking Times and Temperature Chart for Any Meat: From Beef to FishThe BBQ pit or the smoker that you use for cooking or smoking will determine the length and temperature of cooking. As this equipment comes with different features, you will find that they have different temperature limits. For instance, gas grills have a different temperature capability than charcoal grills. Choosing an electric smoker like the Masterbuilt MB20070210, according to many users, will ensure that you get the best from your meat.

The Burner

Similar to the type of pit and smoker that you use is the type of burner. The burner will be affected by the fuel source. If you use wood or charcoal, you should expect slightly different outcomes. When you use wood, for example, you can determine the type of smoky flavor that the food will have.

Weather

The temperature that you cook with will also be affected by the weather conditions. It is especially important if you are cooking outdoors. The equipment used will work differently based on the weather condition.

How to Measure Temperature

Smoking Times and Temperature Chart for Any Meat: From Beef to FishWell, there are meat thermometers used to measure both the external and internal temperatures of the meat you are cooking.

Thankfully, there are several models of meat thermometers on the market. Some are designed to help you monitor the temperature of your food even when you are not there. It comes with different probes that can be stuck into different parts of the meat to know the accurate temperature.

Reviews indicate that the TP20 from ThermoPro is one of the best meat thermometers that you can buy right now.

Safety Tips

Certain tips can help you to safely cook your meat. Here are some useful tips:

  • Thaw your meat completely before you add it to your smoker
  • For your health safety, always marinate in the refrigerator and not from used marinade from raw meat.
  • Cook the meat to the minimum safety recommendations
  • Throw out any smoked meat that has spent more than four days.
  • While smoke rings might be appealing, they are not good for you and should be avoided as much as possible.

Hot Smoking vs Cold Smoking

There are two types of smoking – hot smoking and cold smoking.

Hot smoking is the process of cooking the meat while flavoring the meat with smoke. On the other hand, cold smoking is the process of smoking for a long time at low temperatures.

Final Thoughts

While the smoking method can seem hard, you can make a success of it by having the right equipment and information. In this post, we have considered the best smoking meat times and smoking meat temperature for some of the most popular options. We hope that this helps you to get the best out of your smoking process.

References

1.
Smoked meat - Wikipedia
Smoked meat is the result of a method of preparing red meat, white meat, and seafood which originated in the Paleolithic Era. Smoking adds flavor, improves the appearance of meat through the Maillard reaction, and when combined with curing it preserves the meat
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