Don't Make This Classic Mistake With Your Smoker

Whether you're beating the scorching July heat with a plate of smoked barbecue chicken and a glass of lemonade or bringing a tray full of smoked fall-off-the-bone ribs to the next family picnic, it's clear that the smoker joins the backyard grill in providing delicious tender meats for just about any summer event.

Much like the grill, using the smoker requires a bit of knowledge in order to truly get the best results from it. You could just fill it with wood pellets, pop a chicken or a turkey in there, and smoke it for a few hours for a pretty tasty bird but as you experiment more, the process becomes more complex. There are specific ways to smoke any type of meat. What kind of wood would go best? Is smoking these ribs longer produce more tender meat or will they dry them out? The more you use your smoker, the more skilled you become with it.

Of course, there are still some mistakes you may make when using a smoker. Totally Smokin' notes that some of the most common mistakes made include being impatient and taking the meat out too early or opening the smoker too much to check on the meat. Smoked BBQ Source warns that you can even over-smoke your meat, which leads to an overpowering smoke flavor. There's even one simple mistake that includes how much sauce you're putting on your meat.

You're adding too much sauce

If you're one of those folks who are really into BBQ sauce, you probably have your hands on some pretty top-shelf stuff. You want to pour big globs of the sauce all over everything you can, and that includes your smoked meats. While that sauce may be delicious, you may not have known you're ruining the taste of your smoked chicken or pork with it.

According to Allrecipes, all that sauce can cover the taste of your food. Consider it like getting a really good cut of steak at a restaurant and, instead of enjoying the steak as it was meant to be eaten, you soak the whole thing in A1 sauce or ketchup. When you smoke your meat, you want to really taste the flavors the wood imbibed into it and not just the overwhelming taste of BBQ sauce.

Of course, this doesn't mean you should eat your smoked ribs or chicken "dry" and avoid BBQ sauce like the plague. You just need to know when you should add it. Smoker Cooking suggests lathering the meat during the final 15 minutes of smoking, though this can be done earlier or later depending on the temperature at which you're smoking.  By being careful with your sauce and finding that perfect balance of sweet and savory, you can get the most out of your meat no matter what kind it is.