19 Deliciously Smoky Recipes Worth Mastering

Serve up some real-deal barbecue (cooked low and slow with plenty of smoke) at your next cookout.

June 17, 2022

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Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

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Photo By: Christopher Testani

Photo By: Christopher Testani

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Christopher Testani

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Unbeatable Flavor

There’s no denying that smoke is one of the flavors that goes hand in hand with sunny days. Whether you’re cooking burgers on a charcoal grill, firing up your pellet grill for ribs or adding a smoker box and some wood chips to your grill for extra flavorful steaks and chops, one bite of smoke-infused goodness and it'll feel like summer. There are so many delicious foods that can be enhanced with a little bit of smoke (veggie, fruits and cheeses, included) so it can be difficult to know where to start sometimes. These recipes will help. They’ll have you cooking up everything from meaty mains to savory sides in no time, starting with a classic: smoked brisket. A whole smoked brisket is a labor of love and a serious topic of discussion for any seasoned or burgeoning pitmaster. There are many opinions on what temperature to smoke at, how to season the meat and whether to wrap your brisket mid-cook (we say, yes, to help it retain heat). This recipe designed for a pellet grill is a foolproof way to introduce anyone to the joys of smoking your own meat.

Get the Recipe: Whole Smoked Brisket and Burnt Ends

Pellet-Grill Smoked Ribs

The pellet grill might be the best thing to happen to barbecue since fire was invented! With no need to constantly tend a fire or monitor smoke and heat, it makes smoking much easier. We tested out baby-back ribs, spareribs and St Louis-style ribs. Overall, we preferred the St. Louis style, although you can substitute spareribs. For the sauce, we went with a balanced blend of vinegar and sweetness that really lets the smoky flavor of the meat shine.

Get the Recipe: Pellet-Grill Smoked Ribs

Hickory-Smoked Porterhouse Steaks

The sugar in the rub will not add sweetness to the steaks. Instead, as it melts, the stickiness helps the smoke from the wood chips adhere to and permeate into the meat. The amount of wood chips listed here creates a lightly smoked flavor that complements the meat. For a deeper smoke, add a second handful of soaked wood chips halfway through the first cooking stage.

Get the Recipe: Hickory-Smoked Porterhouse Steaks

Smoked Hummus

Katie smokes her garlic and chickpeas on the grill before adding them to her homemade hummus. The result? An irresistibly smoky, savory dip you’ll make all summer long.

Get the Recipe: Smoked Hummus

Smoked Meatloaf

Slow and steady wins the race for this smoky meatloaf. We use barbecue-flavored corn chips as the binder — and to reel in some extra smokiness.

Get the Recipe: Smoked Meatloaf

Oklahoma Joe's Smoked Brisket Flat

This 5- to 8-pound flat-cut brisket is rubbed down with spices and then smoked for 5 to 7 hours over hickory or oak for maximum, true barbecue flavor.

Get the Recipe: Oklahoma Joe's Smoked Brisket Flat

Smoked Chicken Wings

Chef Michael Symon’s wings are a must when you’re cooking outdoors. Fans rave that this 5-star recipe is “hands down…AMAZING” and call the spiced-and-smoky wings a “home run”.

Get the Recipe: Smoked Chicken Wings

Smoked Baby Back Ribs

Smoked baby back ribs are a summertime classic and they’re easy to make on your grill — you just need a smoker box and mesquite wood chips. We like to toss a piece of apple in with the wood chips; it adds just a touch of sweetness for ribs with perfectly balanced flavor.

Get the Recipe: Smoked Baby Back Ribs

Smoked Tomatoes

Who ever said that smoking was just for meat? We apply the same technique to summer tomatoes but you could easily sub in corn, bell peppers or even Shiitake mushrooms. Whatever you choose, it will be a welcome addition to any cookout or backyard get-together.

Get the Recipe: Smoked Tomatoes

Applewood-Smoked Spatchcocked Chicken

This is a great choice if you want to try smoking (you can use a gas or charcoal grill). You’ll need to brine the bird overnight and plan on three hours for grilling and resting, so be sure to plan ahead.

Get the Recipe: Applewood-Smoked Spatchcocked Chicken

Smoked Ribs with Carolina-Style BBQ Sauce

When faced with a throwdown against an acclaimed North Carolina pitmaster, Bobby put up these meaty St. Louis-style pork ribs with a tangy cider vinegar-based sauce.

Get the Recipe: Smoked Ribs with Carolina-Style BBQ Sauce

Pellet Grill Smoked Pork Shoulder al Pastor

We love an authentic spit-fired al pastor recipe but sometimes you want the payoff without all the work. Using our favorite pellet grill, we created this easy take that's just as flavorful and possibly even more juicy from the low and slow cooking time. If you like your pastor extra crispy, crank up the grill at the end and throw some of the slices on before cutting them into strips.

Get the Recipe: Pellet Grill Smoked Pork Shoulder al Pastor

Smoked Brie

Brie is just one of the many cheeses that work well for this grilling technique. Firm cheeses like halloumi and feta are great options too so feel free to use whatever suits your taste.

Get the Recipe: Smoked Brie

Pat's Smoked Pork Chops

The Neelys use charcoal and applewood chips to add depth and smokiness to their grilled pork chops. Top the cooked chops with Gina's Buttermilk BBQ Sauce for a tangy finish that's out of this world.

Get the Recipe: Pat's Smoked Pork Chops

Smoked, Spice Rubbed, Texas-Style Brisket on Texas Toast

For the ultimate tender, moist barbecue brisket, Bobby makes sure not to trim away the fat to begin with; he coats the meat in spices and then smokes it at a low temperature over indirect heat for hours.

Get the Recipe: Smoked, Spice Rubbed, Texas-Style Brisket on Texas Toast

Smoked Ginger Chicken with Cardamom, Cloves and Cinnamon

Bobby trades wood chips for spices (whole cloves, cardamom pods and cinnamon sticks) to create a flavorful Indian-inspired smoked chicken.

Get the Recipe: Smoked Ginger Chicken with Cardamom, Cloves and Cinnamon

Smoked Salmon

Smoking isn't just for ribs. Follow Alton's lead to make fantastic smoked salmon at home.

Get the Recipe: Smoked Salmon

Hot Smoked Swordfish with White Clam-Garlic-Parsley Sauce

Swordfish is mildly sweet, but its dense, steak-like texture holds up nicely on the grill. Bobby uses maplewood chips to achieve a bold, smoky flavor, which works nicely with the garlic and lemon zest in the white clam sauce.

Get the Recipe: Hot Smoked Swordfish with White Clam-Garlic-Parsley Sauce

Spice Rubbed Smoked Ribs with Maple-Horseradish Baste

When these ribs are almost done smoking, Bobby bastes them with a simple, homemade glaze for a nice sweet-and-spicy layer of flavor.

Get the Recipe: Spice Rubbed Smoked Ribs with Maple-Horseradish Baste

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