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For many, BBQ doesn’t come with a season: it is a year-round obsession. Whether you fall into that category or not, the following list of the top 10 best Smoker Recipes will help get you ready for BBQing in no time.

How To Prepare For Smoker Recipes

meat to be used on one of the best smoker recipes

Image from Pixabay

As opposed to simply grilling, smoking food often requires a bit of preparation beforehand. Many smoker recipes call for low and slow cooking times and can also include curing or brining up to 24 hours before the meat meets the smoke. Always read the smoker recipes carefully to make sure you do not miss one of these important steps.

The wood chips used in many smokers or in smoking methods used a traditional grill need to be soaked before they are added to the smoker. Wet wood chips are less prone to burning and provide more smoke. Make sure you follow your smoker’s instructions regarding soaking the wood. For smoking on a traditional charcoal or gas grill, soak your wood for at least an hour before you smoke.

Equipment You’ll Need

grill beef

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The only required equipment for most of these smoker recipes are a smoker and wood to provide the smoke. If you do not have a smoker, you can still make most of the following smoker recipes on a charcoal or gas grill.

Your grill might come with an optional smoker attachment that you can add wood chips to, but you can make your own by wrapping wood chips in heavy duty aluminum foil. Make sure to poke several holes in the aluminum foil to allow the smoke to escape. Wood chips for many of the most common smoking woods can be purchased at most stores that sell grilling supplies.

One optional tool for smoker recipes is particularly useful: a digital probe thermometer. Instant-read thermometers have become an indispensable cooking tool in the last several years. For smoking recipes, the best type of thermometer is a probe thermometer that can be kept in the food while it cooks. This will allow you to better monitor the temp and prevent overcooking.

Top 10 Best Smoker Recipes

Smoked Ribs

smoked ribs

Image from Amazon

Smokey BBQ ribs are one of the first smoker recipes most people want to try so it is no wonder that it is the first of our top 10 Best smoker recipes.

What You Will Need:

  • 2 Racks of Ribs
  • .5 Cup BBQ Rub of Your Choice
  • .75 Cup BBQ Sauce, Divided
  • .25 Cup Orange Juice


  • Prepare ribs by removing membrane and applying the rub, coating the ribs as evenly as possible.
  • Place ribs in the refrigerator coated with the rub for at least three hours or overnight if you can.
  • Preheat smoker to 225 and add wood chips. Apple is traditional for ribs.
  • Smoke ribs for three hours.
  • In a small bowl mix .25 cup of BBQ sauce with the orange juice, whisking to combine.
  • Remove rib racks and place on sheets of aluminum foil that are large enough to wrap the rack of ribs.
  • Pour orange juice and BBQ sauce mixture over the ribs, wrapping them with the foil.
  • Return the racks of ribs to the smoker and continue to smoke for an additional two hours.
  • Remove ribs from smoker again and unwrap.
  • Coat ribs with the other .5 cup of BBQ sauce and cook for an additional hour in the smoker.

Smoked Chicken Thighs

smoked chicken

Image from Amazon

Another favorite smoker recipe, smoked chicken adds a burst of smoky flavor to a common and ordinary meat. As with the ribs, apple wood is the traditional wood of choice for smoked chicken but you are free to try others.

What You Will Need:

  • 1 Cup Olive Oil
  • 6 Bone-In Skin-On Chicken Thighs
  • 2 Tablespoons Cayenne
  • 2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Paprika
  • 2 Tablespoons Black Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Dried Thyme
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder


  • In a small bowl, combine the spices and herbs to create a rub.
  • Dry the chicken thighs and then coat with olive oil.
  • Dust the chicken thighs with the spice rub.
  • Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees
  • Add the wood chips and place the chicken in the smoker.
  • Let smoke for two hours before rotating
  • Cook an additional one to two hours until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

Smoked Mac And Cheese

smoked mc and cheese

Image from Pixabay

Barbecue is not just about meat. Sometimes you need side dishes among your smoker recipes and smoked mac and cheese will likely become a favorite.

What You Will Need:

  • Cooking Spray
  • .25 Cup Butter
  • .25 Cup Flour
  • 3 Cups Milk
  • 16 oz. Pasta (shells, elbow macaroni or any other small pasta)
  • 8 oz Cream Cheese
  • 24 oz Cheddar or Jack Cheese (other cheeses can also work)
  • An 8x8 Aluminum Tray


  • Cook and drain pasta following the package directions.
  • Shred the cheese and cube the cream cheese
  • Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. When it has melted add the flour and whisk together, allowing it to cook for two minutes.
  • As it turns brown and bubbly, add the milk, whisking to combine and cook for an additional five minutes as it thickens
  • Add the cubed cream cheese and lower the burner to low.
  • Add the shredded cheese and stir until it has melted and combined with the sauce.
  • Add the cooked pasta and stir again.
  • Spray the aluminum tray with cooking spray, coating it and pour the mac and cheese into the tray.
  • Preheat Smoker to 225 and add the wood chips of your choice.
  • Smoke for at least two hours.

Smoked Prime Rib

smoked prime rib

Image from Pixabay

The prime rib is often considered the king of meat cuts so the smoked prime rib is a regal addition to the list of top smoker recipes. Oak chips work wonders with red meats though other woods will do.

What You Will Need:

  • One 5 to 6 Pound Prime Rib
  • 2 Tablespoons Black Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Paprika
  • 2 Tablespoons Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon  Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon Dill


  • In a small bowl, combine all the spices and herbs, storing until well mixed.
  • Dry the prime rib, then evenly coat with the spice rub
  • Preheat your smoker to 225 and add your wood chips.
  • Smoke the prime rib until it reaches the internal temperature you desire. For medium rare, between 130 and 135 degrees, it will cook for about four hours.
  • Let meat rest for at least thirty minutes until carving.

Smoked Beef Brisket

smoked beef brisket

Image by JeffreyW from Flickr

Second only to ribs, the brisket is one of the most coveted BBQ favorites, easily earning a spot among the top 10 smoker recipes.

What You Will Need:

  • .5 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1 10 to 14 Pound Beef Brisket
  • .5 Cup Brown Sugar
  • .25 Cup Paprika
  • .25 Cup Salt
  • .25 Cup Chili Powder


  • Trim the brisket of excess fat and coat with the olive oil.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and spices then use them to coat the brisket.
  • Let sit overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Preheat smoker to 250 degrees and add the wood chips.
  • Smoke brisket until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
  • Remove brisket and tightly wrap it in butcher paper.
  • Continue to smoke brisket at 250 until it reaches an internal temperature of 195 degrees.
  • Let brisket stand for at least an hour.
  • Slice against the grain when carving.

Smoked Salmon

smoked salmon

Image from Amazon

Smoking salmon or other fish requires a much lower temperature than most other smoker recipes. This can make preparing this recipe difficult or impossible on some smokers that cannot maintain such a low temperature.

What You Will Need:

  • 2 Salmon Sides Or Large Salmon Filets
  • 1 Cup Salt
  • .5 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • .5 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Black Pepper


  • Prepare the salmon by removing any pin bones.
  • In a small bowl, mix the sugar, salt and pepper
  • Rub the mixture over the salmon sides or filets and refrigerate them overnight to 24 hours.
  • Wash the rub off with cold water and pat the salmon dry.
  • Allow to stand at room temperature until the surface is dry, about an hour or two.
  • Preheat your smoker to 160 degrees.
  • Smoke salmon until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees.

Smoked Cheddar Cheese

smoked cheese

Image from Amazon

Like the smoked salmon recipe, this smoker recipe requires a very low temperature, below 100 degrees, or else the cheese will melt. Cheddar is the standard for smoked cheese but any semi-hard or hard cheese can be smoked.

What You Will Need:

  • 2 8 Ounce Chunks of Cheddar Cheese


  • Preheat your smoker to 95 degrees and add your wood chips.
  • Place the cheese directly on the grills and smoke at 95 degrees for up to four hours.
  • Remove from smoker and enjoy. Smoked cheese can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks

Smoked Turkey Legs

smoked turkey leg

​Image Source: Pixabay

Smoking turkey can add some fantastic flavor but smoking the entire bird can be difficult. This smoker recipe, using turkey legs, creates a wonderfully smoky turkey in an easier to manage size. This recipe uses a curing salt, Prague powder #1. This is easily found online.

What You Will Need

  • 2 Turkey Legs
  • 1 Cup Distilled Water
  • 3 Tablespoons Dark Brown Sugar
  • 3 Teaspoons Salt
  • .5 teaspoon Prague Powder #1


  • In a gallon freezer bag combine the water, salt, sugar and Prague powder #1 until the solids have dissolved.
  • Add the turkey legs and store in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
  • Remove the turkey legs from the cure and rice them with cold water.
  • Pat the surface of the turkey legs with paper towels to dry them
  • Set smoker to 325 and smoke turkey legs until they reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees.
  • Serve immediately

Smoked Vegetables

smoked vegetables

​Image Source: Pixabay

Smoker recipes are not limited to meats and cheeses. Vegetables can benefit from the punch of smoky flavor. The use of a grill basket or an aluminum grill pan can be helpful to keep smaller pieces of vegetables from falling through the grate.

What You Will Need:

  • 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Small Onion, Peeled And Quartered
  • 2 Bell Peppers (Any Color), Seeded And Sliced
  • 1 Summer Squash, Sliced Into Rounds
  • 1 Eggplant, Sliced Into Rounds
  • 1 Zucchini, Sliced Into Rounds
  • 6 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • .5 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper


  • In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients, tossing to mix thoroughly
  • Preheat smoker to 350 degrees and add wood chips
  • Smoke Vegetables for forty-five minutes, until they are cooked throughout and caramelized.

Smoked Armadillo Eggs

The name for this smoker recipe might be a bit confusing as there are no eggs, armadillo or otherwise, in this recipe. Instead, they are jalapeño poppers covered in sausage and will be a big hit at your next BBQ.

What You Will Need:

  • 1 Pound of Sausage, spicy Italian works wonderfully
  • 5 Jalapeños
  • .5 Cup Cream Cheese
  • .5 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese


  • In a small bowl mix the cream cheese with the shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Core the jalapeños and remove their seeds.
  • Stuff the jalapeños with the cheese mixture.
  • Separate the sausage into five equal amounts.
  • Wrap each stuffed jalapeños with the sausage.
  • Preheat the smoker to 250 degrees and add the wood chips.
  • Smoke the Armadillo Eggs until they reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees, about two hours.


We hope our list of the top 10 best smoker recipes have left your mouth watering. Time to fire up the smoker and try one of them out today.

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