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Home The Best Summer Meals to Cook in a Smoker
Home The Best Summer Meals to Cook in a Smoker

The Best Summer Meals to Cook in a Smoker

what to cook in a smoker

Summer is the perfect time to spend warm evenings outdoors, cooking your food to perfection. Smoking adds a uniquely delicious flavour to your meat, making it both crisp and tender on the inside. Smoking food creates the Maillard reaction, which occurs when the heat breaks down the sugars and amino acids, giving it a mouth-watering flavour. Cooked in a smoker, even an average quality cut of meat can turn into a succulent meal.

Smoking, barbecuing, and grilling are three different common cooking methods: grilling is fast cooking over a high temperature, barbecuing is slower and lower, and smoking is the art of cooking using smoke. Apart from tasting delicious, smoking food has many other benefits. Of course, the best way to do it is with a smoker.

A smoker is the perfect outdoor appliance for turning meal times into social events and bonding sessions with family and friends. Home Fires has a range of wood or charcoal-fuelled smokers to give your meals that unmistakable, hard-to-beat smoky flavour. But if you’ve never owned one, you may wonder what to cook in a smoker. 

Luckily there are plenty of smoker recipes out there to get you started. Some dishes are just perfect for smoking, and we’ve compiled a short list below. With a bit of practice under your belt, you’ll soon be ready to put together your own summer smoker recipes.

What is a Smoker?

A smoker is an appliance for cooking food with smoke in a controlled and safe way. It can be powered by wood, charcoal, natural gas, propane, electricity etc. However, a smoker, by definition, has to produce smoke.

Like their fuel sources, smokers come in various sizes and shapes. Offset smokers have the firebox placed to the side of the cooking chamber, while Kamado smokers come in egg-shaped ceramic vessels and are conveniently easy to transport.   

Some smokers, like the Hark Hickory Pit Smoker, can be fuelled by either wood, charcoal, or a combination. The long cooking chamber in this kind of model gives you space to conveniently spread out your summer smoker recipes.

Meat isn’t your only option when deciding what to cook in a smoker. Mixed vegetables, corn on the cob, sweet potato, eggplant and even some desserts, like fruit pies and puddings, can all take on delectable new flavours after a spin in the smoker.

what to cook in a smoker

Benefits of a Smoker

Apart from the taste, there are many advantages to owning a smoker.

It’s easy to use

You’ll be able to get the hang of it and enjoy the benefits in no time at all.

It’s social

It’s the perfect way to cook for a large group of people, e.g. at a family get-together in the backyard. That distinctive aroma will whet your guest’s appetites and smell like summer and nostalgia.

It’s healthy

During the smoking process, excess fat drips off, making for a leaner cut. Smoked food also contains nutrients like iron and (in the case of smoked fish) omega-3 fatty acids.

It’s a natural preservative

The process of smoking dries out the meat and removes moisture, which protects it from bacteria and gives it a longer shelf life.

It’s easy to eat

If you prefer meat that isn’t too tough to chew, a smoker is a great option. It gives the meat a tender texture that falls right off the bone.

what to cook in a smoker

Summer Smoker Recipes

Wondering what to cook in a smoker? Need some smoker recipes? Here are some suggestions to get you started.

Whole ham

There are three main steps to smoking a whole ham. If the hunk of ham is raw, you’ll need to cure it (place it in brine for seven days). If it’s pre-cooked or it has already been cured, you can skip straight to the next step: applying the glaze. Honey, mustard and brown sugar are popular ingredients for glazing. A suggested pre-heating setting for the smoker is around 110°C.

Beef cheek

Beef cheeks offer the taste of high-grade Australian beef cooked in the most tender and juicy of ways. To prepare beef cheeks, remove any silver skin or membrane pieces. Apply a barbecue-style beef rub, either store-bought or your own recipe. Cooking times can vary, but one recommendation is setting the smoker to a cooking temperature of 135°C.

If you’re stuck on what to cook in a smoker, beef is an excellent place to start. The next two summer smoker recipes both make use of it.

Beef short ribs

Beef short ribs are one of the easiest and most straightforward smoker recipes, and you can make them taste delicious with just a little bit of salt, sauce or beef rub. How you cook your beef ribs is up to you, but there are some detailed beef rib recipes to get them tasting sensational.

Pulled beef

Pulled beef involves cooking the beef until it’s so tender it falls apart when you use a fork to test it. The toughest cuts of pulled beef often end up being the most tender ones. A chuck roast is a particularly tasty dish that involves pulled beef and is often best prepared in a smoker.

Pulled pork

A perennial favourite, pulled pork is part of many recipes, but it’s also a treat on its own. While the process of getting pulled pork ready can be long, the end result, when done right, is the taste of pork at its very best.

Baby back ribs

One of the most delicious meals out there for pork lovers is tender, juicy pork ribs coated in barbecue sauce. There are many ways you can serve baby back ribs and many sides you can pair them with, but follow a few simple recipes, and you’ll have a genuine crowd-pleaser for events of all kinds.

Buy Your Next Smoker at Home Fires

Once you start to embrace its benefits, you’ll never run out of ideas for what to cook in a smoker.

For a smoker that’s perfect for you and your family, contact Home Fires. We have a vast range of smokers and accessories designed to make your next meal a real crowd-pleaser. 

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