How To Smoke Barbecue Meat In An Electric Smoker – 2023 Guide

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There seems to be a wiki-how on just about everything you need to do, but there is a distinct lack of information about smoking barbecue meat on the internet.

With summer just around the corner, it is essential that you consolidate your barbecue cooking methods and perfect a mean recipe before that all-important family gathering and the meet up with friends.

Barbecuing Vs Smoking

Let’s discuss the differences between barbecuing and smoking so that we can clearly see which meats are generally best for barbecuing and which yield better results when they are smoked.


  • Barbecuing means cooking foods slowly and on a low heat to allow the meat enough time to soften up and be nice and tender when serving it. Have you ever heard of people cooking food on the barbecue all day in order to get the best results? Well, that’s what barbecuing is all about. Since barbecuing takes a long time, it is ideal for those days when you know you will be at home all afternoon and don’t mind checking up on your barbecue grill every couple of hours to tend to your meat.
  • The low heat on a barbecue allows the meat to cook at a steady pace (like in a slow cooker) usually between 200 and 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Barbecuing is ideal for tough pieces that require a lot of tenderizing in order for them to turn into the delicate fall off the bone meals that we all love. You should try barbecuing ribs, whole chickens, whole turkeys, pork shoulder, brisket, and similar tough cuts of meat.


  • Smoking is cooking food with the smoke of burnt wood chips which makes it easier for you to get that authentic campfire, cooking on a log fire taste into your food without having to over condiment it or use a meat rub.
  • Smoking, like grilling, means cooking foods slowly and on a low heat (usually between 175 degrees Fahrenheit up to 225 degrees Fahrenheit). The low cooking temperatures on the smoker ensure that your meat does not sear, crisp or cook too quickly so that smoke can pass through it, giving it that awesome flavor that you just cannot beat. You can find a list of recommended smokers here.
  • As previously mentioned, smoking takes time. You could be smoking for 16 hours or longer depending on your cuts of food making smoking a cooking method that is best to practice when you know you will be having a lazy day at home and don’t mind tending to your smoker every couple of hours.
  • Poultry is ideal to be smoked, as well as pork shoulder, beef brisket, and large cuts of lamb. This slow cooking method is ideal for breaking down tough meats into cuts that will literally disintegrate in your mouth.

Smoking Barbecue Meat – Is It Recommended?

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So now we are hitting the million-dollar question. As smoking and barbecuing are two completely different cooking styles, is it possible to smoke barbecue meat? To answer this question, we are going to consider some of the most important aspects when it comes to both smoking and barbecuing meat.

Tongue-Tantalizing Taste

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Barbecuing your food will help you to infuse some awesome smoky flavors into your meat without using a lot of condiments. Is it possible to replicate that great taste on an electric smoker?

When cooking in an electric smoker, it is important to remember that all of the great taste will come from your wood chips. So why not choose flavored wood chips that will enhance your meat and help it absorb some of those original smoky undernotes that come from cooking on a barbecue.

Tick Tock Timing And Temperature

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It is essential when barbecuing for you to maintain a constant temperature so that your food will not start to cook too quickly and burn. Some old fashioned barbecues are difficult to maintain at a constant temperature. That is why cooking your barbecue on an electric smoker is dead easy as you will be able to set the temperature and let the smoker regulate it itself. Some models will even allow you to set your smoking time and will shut off automatically when finished.

Soft And Scrumptious

Would you like your meat more tender? Keep the water bowl in your electric smoker topped up while your meat cooks so that your food doesn’t dry out.


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So, it is possible to cook barbecue meat on an electric grill! Barbecue food just require a long cooking time – something an electric smoker has been made for, slow and steady smoking at low temperatures. And thanks to the help of flavored wood chips, it is now possible for you to infuse a spectacular smoky flavor into your meat with an electric smoker.

Happy smoking your barbecue meat!