Smoking for idiots.

Especially for Tim but applicable for any other idiot out there who’s got an interest in smoking meat.
I’ll be adding things as and when I’m smoking things.

What do you fancy smoking ?


What do I need for ribs.
Time is number 1. Allow 7 hours ‘ish’. Although we just done some that were 8 hours and they were lush.

A smoker, some wood chips, and a dual temperature probe, that’s about it as well as some ribs.

All in all :
Woodchips (Apple is great for ribs)
A rib rub (details below).
Apple Juice
BBQ sauce.


Some folks say you must soak your wood chips overnight or at least for a few hours to slow down the burning rate of the wood and create more smoke. I generally forget to do that so what I do is make a pouch of tin foil and put a handful or two of wood chips in there. With a couple of knife holes in the foil to allow the smoke to come out and we’re good to go; just make sure the edges are sealed tightly. Standby for some kwality video work.

For the ribs themselves, very little is needed. Do remember to remove the membrane that’s underneath before smoking.
Easiest way is with a sharp knife and a bit of kitchen cloth.

Juan sheet and it’s off.

Then it’s time for the rub. Ah yes, the rub which will add some sweet flavour to them. I had already made some previously which I didn’t use it all so stored it in a jar for future use.
I don’t really follow recipes that closely but the gist of what’s in this rub would be primarily based on what’s in the cupboard at the time.
Probably 1/2 cup of brown sugar.
Dash or two of smoked paprika
Dash of black pepper.
Dash of salt.
Dash of chilli powder.
Dash of cayenne.
Whatever takes your fancy but make sure there’s a lot of sugar in there.

Coat it liberally all over the ribs.

Never use a liquid or sauce initially as that’ll stop the smoke getting into the meat.

You’ll be ready to get smoking now which means one thing :
Fire !!!!
I use restaurant grade charcoal (available from Bookers) and I find it less smokey than other stuff.
I use a charcoal starter to get it underway, stack it up, couple of bits of crumpled newspaper underneath and it’s away.

You’ll also need to get a water tray for placement below the meat.
I line my metal baking trays with tinfoil as it makes it easier to clean afterwards. Although the sides of your metal trays will be blackened, so if you want to keep them clean, don’t use them in the smoker. Fill this with water (easier to do by placing the tray in the smoker then filling with a hose).

Once your coals are white it’s time to warm up the smoker.
Pop them in the coal section and keep both lids closed.

Get your thermometer ready, I use a couple of dual probe thermometers, you don’t really need a dual one for ribs since a single one will tell you the temperature of the smoker. Thats all you need to know as the duration of cooking will ensure they’re cooked. Place the smaller of the two into the smoking section next to where you’re going to place your meat.

Low and slow; that’s the aim of the game.
My favourite method is 3-2-1. It’s an ‘ish’ timeline for the cooking.
3 hours ish meat up on the smoker.
2-3 hours ish tightly wrapped in tinfoil with juice with meat face down.
1 hour ish unwrapped, meat up and basted with your BBQ sauce.

I’ll adjust the inlet airvents to their middle setting which on my smoker with the initial batch of charcoal has a temperature of about 100°C – perfect for the first couple of hours of smoking.

The meat goes on – meat side up for the initial smoking session then close the lid and put the wood chip pouch you’ve made on top of the coals. Close that lid too.

Meat going in.

Give it a minute or three and then the pouch will start to do it’s work, generating smoke.

Step away from the smoker. You’ve got three hours to kill. Just keep an eye on the temperature. Keep it at or about 100°C. If it drops to 80°C, you might need to either put more charcoal on or open the air vent slightly to allow more air into the fire. Don’t let it get too hot either.
After three hours you’ll need some tinfoil and some Apple juice.

You’re going make a little tray to pour in some apple juice and then tightly wrap the ribs in it. Make sure it’s as tight as a tight thing as you want to braise the ribs and not let any of the heat escape from the pouch you make.
You’ll note that I put the meat side into the juices and then put them back in the smoker meat side down. (the opposite way they were put in initially).

Adjust the air vent so that a little more air is going through as you want to get it up to about 110°c for the next couple of hours.

Whilst they’re in the pouch you can use this slot in the smoking process to extend your time if you wish. e.g. if you scheduled for 5pm to be ready (starting at 10am) and your other half decides we’re eating at 6 instead, let the temperature drop to 100°C and just extend the range in the pouch. It has been known for me to do a 3-3.5-1.

After a few hours braising it’s time to get them into the final stretch. This involves taking them out of the pouch and turning them back so the meat is up for the final hour whilst keeping the temp at or about 100°C.

During this phase, every 20 minutes or so; give them a coating with your favourite BBQ sauce. Last baste about 5 minutes before they come out.

At the end of it; we’ve been smoking for six or so hours, we’ve had a beer or two (or my case a couple of whiskies) and we’re ready to sample the delights of our endeavours.

Take out the goodies.

As you can see, no real need for a knife, they part easily.


Bear in mind that ribs on the smoker generally involves more work than normally smoking meat which takes the form of put it in, keep it low and slow and take it out at the end with perhaps a bit of preparation at the beginning, it’s not rocket science though.


Easy, tasty and quick. What more can you want ?
What you’ll need :

Apple wood chips.
Apple Juice.
Brown Sugar.
Dual Temperature probes.


You’ll need a Porkloin obviously, and it’s a two step process.
Marinade and then smoke. Doesn’t get much easier.

Prep time is approx 5 minutes with a couple of hours in the fridge.
Smoke/cooking time is approx 3 hours (ish), obviously the lower temperature you cook it the slower it’ll take.

I’d use apple chips for your smoke, in fact I’ve not found a meat that doesn’t like Apple chips yet.

You probably don’t need to get rid of any of the fat from the porkloin but you can trim off the excess (if it’s excessively thick) but keeping some on there is always good and helps the flavour.

For the marinade I use the following

  • Apple Juice.
  • Couple of table spoons of honey. (Warmed).
  • Some brown sugar (perhaps 1/4 cup).
  • Some thyme – fresh off the stalk if you can or out of a jar.

Mix all the marinade in a bowl so the sugar and honey dissolves and the thyme will float about on the top.

Then place your porkloin into a dish where it’ll get covered by the marinade.

Cover it in clingfilm and pop it into the fridge for an hour or two. You can do this over night if you want, but I’ve never found the need.

Get the smoker going and up to temp (100°C).

Make a small pouch for your wood chips; just a handful is all you need. Wrap them tightly in tinfoil and make a few small holes for the smoke to escape.

You’ll of course put in a moisture tray lined with tinfoil to make cleaning up easier. Instead of using water, pour in the marinade, reuse it as it’s too good to waste.

Put the meat on, stick in your temperature probes and leave it.
Put your wood chips in their pouch on top of the coals.
Now step away from the smoker.

The temperature should fairly steadily rise in the pork; especially if you keep the heat at or about the 100°C mark.
Here’s the heat trace from my latest cook. The green trace is the cooking temperature, whilst the purple trace is the internal meat temperature. You’ll see the oven temp was wandering up to 107°C and done as far as 88°C. I don’t really care about that; as long as the meat temp is gradual.

I let the cooking temperature dip a few times because I was otherwise engaged, but to bring it back up it’s as easy as opening the inlet airvents a little to allow more air in to increase the temperature; once it’s up to temp; shut them back down to where you have them.
If you get your airflow going right; your charcoal use will be minimal and you’ll easily get a few hours out of your initial batch.

You’re aiming to get the porkloin at 63°C, for that nice moist medium tenderness.

Once it’s at that temperature; take it out and let it rest (covered in foil) for five minutes. Then slice it and scoff it.

Definitely serve with roast potatoes and include green stuff if you’re that way inclined.