Smoked MeatsMany of our regular customers want to go above and beyond just enjoying our delicious smoked meat dishes. They want to learn how to create amazing smoked meat main courses for their home backyard barbecues. With spring quickly approaching, we thought that it’d be a great idea to show you the basics of how to smoke meat.

This article is designed for an absolute beginner. We all have to start somewhere. Today, we’ll focus on using a bullet smoker, the most commonly marketed smoker.

It is best to use smaller and more affordable cuts of meat in your first few tries, as you can make mistakes. I recommend chicken, pork chops, and cheaper steaks before moving on to briskets, fish, and higher quality cuts of steak.

How to Use a Bullet Smoker

One of the most common questions that we’re asked at the Smoke House is, “How do I use my smoker?” This can be confusing to many beginners, so it’s best load your smoker in the following manner, from bottom to top:

Charcoal Pan – Fill the charcoal pan with your preferred type of charcoal. Leave the door slightly open so that air can flow to your fire.

Smoke Pouch – You’ll want to make a pouch of aluminum foil, filling it with soaked chips of your favorite type of smoking wood, and place it atop your charcoal once it is glowing orange.

Water Pan – This is used to regulate the temperature inside your smoker using steam.

Racks – Once the smoker has reached 225 degrees, you’ll want to put your meat on your racks, starting from the bottom up.

Dome Lid – Once the meats are on your racks, quickly place your dome lid on top of your smoker, to let the smoking begin.

It is important to only remove the lid if you absolutely have to (for mid-cook seasoning or an emergency). Your smoker will maintain the temperature really well, so long as you do not tamper with the lid much. Remember that more air will create more fire, which could lead to grilling instead of smoking.

Smoke your meats for as long as your recipe requires as a beginner. As you become more experienced, you can tinker with the times, the types of wood that you’re using, and techniques. After just a few tries, you’ll be able to show off your techniques to your friends and neighbors. With spring just around the corner, it’s a great time to begin honing your skills!

If you have any questions and are in the Monteagle, Tennessee area be sure to stop by and talk to Smokin’ Man Mike! He will be glad to answer any question you have and show you our large selection of sauces and rubs. You can learn more about us at and visit our online store at

Come and see us!