The Reason You Need To Rest Meat Even When Cooked In The Smoker

If you're pretty much a carnivore like us you may be familiar with the idea of letting your meat rest after cooking it and before cutting into it. This is an important step in many recipes that are all about the perfect cut of ribeye or that juicy brisket you've been wanting to make. While this may seem like a waste of time, a silly task that recipes tell you to do but isn't necessary, it's pretty much a must when cooking meat. Even if you're too hungry to give it the time to settle on your counter, we very much recommend giving it the resting time it needs, even when it's cooked in the smoker.

It's important to know how to smoke any type of meat and the science behind it. While it is one of the older ways meat has been cooked, knowing what temperature it needs to be cooked at and when to release it from the smoking chamber can be tricky. The key to smoking is using a fatty piece of meat and cooking it in low indirect heat (via MasterClass). Smoking is supposed to give a lot of extra flavor to the meat which is why it's important to let your smoked meat rest before serving it.

Smoked meat loses its awesome flavor if not rested

It's important to let your meat rest after smoking it so you don't lose any of the flavor or texture you worked so hard to get. Letting the meat rest — rather than cutting right into it and releasing the juices — allows the juices to completely soak into the meat. The longer you let the meat rest, the fewer juices are lost in the cooking process. According to ThermoBlog, the scientific reasoning behind this important cooking step is that the meat's protein fibers are released during cooking and then put back together, becoming firm. "As the protein molecules become firm they expel the moisture that was previously held in their cell walls. While resting, the protein fibers are able to relax and reabsorb some of the moisture that was lost." This is why letting smoked meat rest is so important. Smoking meat adds a lot more extra flavor to the meat than a typical grilled piece of meat would get. 

When it comes to resting time, you want to let your meat rest for at least half the time it's cooked for. Since smoked meat is usually bigger cuts of meat like brisket and pork butt, you want to give the meat up to 45 minutes of rest time because of the long duration it took to smoke the meat (via Martha Stewart). You put all the hard work into smoking your perfect meat, don't let it go to waste by cutting into it too early.