Best Meats to Smoke for Beginners

Before even buying a wood pellet grill, the Brisket, Pork Shoulder, Baby Back Ribs were probably on your short list of meats you couldn’t wait to throw on the smoker and spend your Sunday watching your Pit Boss do its thing. If you’re a beginner, however, it’s probably best to learn how to crawl before you go off and walk into the holy grail of smoking meats. So, we’ve assembled our list of the best meats to smoke for beginners so you can get your smoking wings under you before flying on to bigger (and more expensive) cuts of meat.

Smoking Tips for Beginners

If you haven’t done so already, we highly recommend reading our blog: 7 Important Meat Smoking Tips for Beginners before getting your smoke on. It’s full of no-nonsense advice that will give you a good foundation to build upon.


Easy and Tasty Meats to Smoke for Beginners

Our criteria for choosing the best meats to smoke for beginners is simple. We considered:

  • Time for preparation and cooking
  • Taste and Flavor
  • Cost

Sausage and Brats

Sausage and brats are a fantastic way to get to know your Pit Boss Wood Pellet Grill and get introduced to cooking low and slow. Depending on the size and amount, smoking sausage or brats should take you about 3 hours at 225 - 250°F. Finish them off by turning up the heat and opening your Flame Broiler Plate and you have yourself a delicious crunchy textured casing with smoky flavor.

Check out this Bangers and Mash Recipe with Smoked Sausage

Pork Belly


Not sure what pork belly is? Well, its uncooked and uncured bacon. And who doesn’t love bacon? Pork belly is super simple to smoke. Just make sure the skin and fat are scored and seasoned properly with salt and oil. Use it in delicious recipes from Poor Man’s Burnt Ends to Ramen Noodles.

Check out our Pit Boss Pork Belly on the Grill Recipe

Tri Tip


Many prefer the taste of Smoked Tri Tip over a Smoked Brisket, but hardcore smokers still choose Brisket because Tri Tip just seems too easy. Depending on the size of the cut, Tri Tip can reach an internal temperature of 140°F in just 1 ½ to 2 hours at 225°F. For a rarer cook, it’s even less time.

Check out our Tender Smoked Tri Tip with Java Chophouse Seasoning Recipe


A whole 1 ½ pound salmon fillet only takes about an hour to smoke at 225°F. Season with sea salt, pepper, lemon slices, dill and you have yourself a smoked seafood dinner in an hour.

Check out this Lemon Smoked Salmon on a Cedar Plank Recipe

Whole Chicken

In our opinion, smoking is the best way to cook a whole chicken. From the smoky flavor to the tender and juicy white and dark meat, you won’t regret trying it out as your first smoke.

Check out this Smoked Whole Chicken Recipe

Welcome to Your New Obsession


Now that you’ve learned about which meats you could start with on the first low and slow cook, we recommend checking out our spices and rubs. With ingredients mixed by our culinary experts, our seasonings are sure to bump up your food’s flavor profile.

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