How Long Can Smoked Meat Last – Easy Methods

When creating your Offset smoker, if you choose to go with a charcoal grill, the most important thing is to get the fire going quickly and hot enough to get a good smoke. If you’re using a gas grill, make sure you have it set up properly.

The temperature control valve should be adjusted so that the cooking surface is around 200-250 degrees. The best way to get thin blue smoke is by starting your fire with some hardwood chips (Apple, Cherry, or Mesquite are good choices). Once these start burning, add in some lump charcoal as well.

ALSO CONSIDER: What Is An Offset SmokerHow To Use An Offset Smoker

How Do I Achieve This Thin Blue Smoke

As the fire burns down and gets hotter and hotter, you’ll notice that some of the wood chips will start popping and crackling… this is when you know that your fire is getting close to “blue smoke” status. When this happens, remove the chips and drop in another handful of wood chips… this will help maintain a constant temperature. The key to this is to not let the chips go out… keep adding more and more as the fire gets hotter and hotter.

When the fire is going great, take a look at your wood chips. If they are completely burnt, then you know that you need to add some more wood chips or charcoal. You might also see smoke coming off the top of your smoker… this is a good sign that you’ve reached your desired temperature range for smoking food.

How Do I Get Thick Smoke Offset Smoker

If you would like to get even thicker smoke, then you simply want to increase the amount of time that your smoker is on for, as well as increase the temperature range of it. The next time that you go out for BBQ, make sure that your fire has been burning hot and long enough to be able to produce thick blue smoke (around 2-3 hours). Once this happens, add in some chunks of hickory or applewood.

How To Get Clean Smoke In Offset Smoker

Here are a few steps mentioned to clean Offset Smoker.

  • Get your temperature up to around 220 degrees. This is the best temperature to be at if you want clean smoke. If you have a BBQ thermometer, then make sure that it stays in this range for the entire time that you are cooking.
  • Make sure that your wood chips are dry and well seasoned (this will help prevent any bad flavor from coming through). If possible, soak them in some water for about an hour before using them in your smoker. The wood chips should also be soaked in a small amount of water for about 20 minutes before lighting your fire… this will help to get things going a little bit faster and hotter, which will lead to cleaner smoke.
  • If possible, only use one type of wood (this will help prevent any bad flavors from coming through). Hickory is a great choice because it burns very hot.

Get Thin Blue Smoke – Offset Smoker

If your smoker has been on for about an hour or so and you are not getting thin blue smoke, then you simply want to increase the temperature of your smoker.

You can also increase the number of wood chips that you are using. If your smoker has been on for close to 2 hours and you are still not getting thin blue smoke, then you probably need to soak your wood chips again before lighting them.

What Is The Best Temperature For Smoking

The best temperature for smoking will vary depending on what type of meat you are cooking. The temperature range that is recommended for pork, brisket, ribs, and chicken is 220-240 degrees.

You can also go higher than this if you would like to (some people go as high as 275 degrees). It all depends on how you like your meat to taste. If you are using a charcoal smoker, then it might take closer to 2 hours before you reach the best temperature.

If you are using a wood smoker, then it might take closer to 4 hours before reaching the best temperature… this will also depend on what type of wood that you are using. Hickory burns hotter than applewood, but it also leaves behind a stronger flavor.

What Should I Do If My BBQ Thermometer Isn’t Working

If your BBQ thermometer isn’t working properly and has become stuck in one spot (for example, it is stuck at 210 degrees when you are cooking at 240 degrees), then you simply want to remove it and use your best judgment.

The thermometer should be placed away from the heat source and the door. This will help to prevent any bad flavors from coming through. If your BBQ thermometer starts to malfunction, then it might be time to buy a new one. 

Final Thoughts

Overall, smoking is a great way to cook meat. It allows you to get a delicious and tender piece of meat (you can also do this with vegetables too). The process might take longer than cooking using other methods, but it is definitely worth the wait. 


Q: Can I use a regular charcoal grill and a smoker at the same time?

A: Yes, you can. Just make sure that your charcoal is lit first. You can also use a charcoal chimney to help start the process. If you are using a wood smoker, then it might be best to wait until the wood has gotten hot before adding your meat.

Q: How should I season my smoker?

A: Seasoning your smoker is important if you want to get good results when smoking meat. This includes making sure that your door seals well and that there is no moisture (moisture will cause food to spoil).

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