There are few things better in life than a delicious smoked meat with side dishes like corn-on-the-cob, coleslaw and baked beans. The smell of a flavorful smoked meat is enough to make your mouth water and made you want to host a barbecue. If you have been afraid to try meat smoking because you think it is too complicated, think again. By following a few easy steps, you can be on your way to being a master chef. The key things to learn about how to smoke meat are selecting the right smoker and meat and mastering the best techniques for preparing and cooking.

1. Choose Your Smoker

There are many different types of smokers, and the type you choose depends on your personal preference and skill level. Some of the options available include wood, pellet, charcoal, propane and electric smokers. Electric and pellet smokers tend to be the easiest to use, but they can also be the more expensive types. Wood and charcoal smokers require more attention and skill; unlike an electric smoker, you are more in charge of making sure that everything heats evenly. Propane smokers are pretty simple to use as well but do require you to have that specific fuel source.

2. Choose Your Meat

There are many types of meat that you can smoke. Common options include chicken, turkey, beef and pork. For your first time, you should choose a cut of meat that is simple to smoke. Beef tends to be one of the most popular choices. Most importantly, though, choose one that you enjoy the taste of. After all, you will then be able to enjoy the benefit of all your hard work.

3. Prepare Your Meat

Many people know that you have to marinate meats before grilling, but some are not as familiar with how to season meats prior to smoking. While the smoke that cooks the meat creates a flavor of its own, you do need to make sure that the meat is moist enough that it will not dry out during cooking. You should prepare your meat in a brine, a mixture of salty water and spices, for about 12 hours before smoking.

4. Cook Slow and Steady

Meat smoking is not a race, and one of the key parts of knowing how to smoke meat is knowing to cook it slowly. If you go too quickly, you can end up with a dry meat that has less of the signature smoky flavor. Be sure that you have time to commit to doing this process correctly.

While it may seem a little daunting at first, smoking your own meat does not have to be difficult. With a few simple tips, you can get on your way to becoming a smoke master in no time.