Home Recipe Roundup 28 Best Smoker Recipes for Beginners

28 Best Smoker Recipes for Beginners

Get ready for an incredible flavor-packed experience with these delicious smoker recipes!

Sweet, savory, and smoky – is there anything better?

Smoked BBQ Beef Brisket
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25+ Beginner Smoker Recipes

When I think of barbecue, I think of fall-apart meats cooked low and slow.

But if you’re new to the smoking world, you might be a little lost in the sea of Traeger grills and flavored pellets.

Luckily, I’ve got a ton of delicious smoker recipes for beginners right here.

I’m talking tender pork shoulder, juicy smoked chicken recipes, and even fruit!

Whether you’re a smoker newbie or a seasoned veteran, these recipes are a must-try.

1. Bacon Explosion

Crispy bacon crumbles stuffed inside a savory Italian sausage, wrapped in a weave of more bacon, and slathered with a spice-filled dry rub – how awesome is that?

The best part is you can totally customize your filling. Add jalapenos, cheese, or hot sauce if you like your barbecue with a kick.

After the smoker’s finished, slather on the best BBQ sauce you have and serve.

2. Smoked Pulled Pork Shoulder

Pulled pork never goes out of style, so if you’re planning a family BBQ weekend and you really want to impress, this is your ticket.

Check your pantry for brown sugar, smoked paprika, onions, garlic, pepper, and mustard because this is what makes your secret weapon: the BBQ rub.

Slather that baby onto your meat and let the smoker do the rest. Juicy, fall-off-the-bone pulled pork – that’s the price waiting for you at the end.

3. Smoked Mac and Cheese

Are you ready for some cheesy goodness?

Imagine a rich cheese sauce made of sweet and tangy cream cheese combined with al dente elbow macaroni.

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Sounds fantastic, right? But why end there?

Go ahead and add more cheese! I say, the gooey-er the mac and cheese, the better.

If you want extra crunch, add in some crispy bacon and top it with panko bread crumbs. 

4. Smoked Vegetables

Take whatever vegetables you have in your kitchen: squash, carrots, red onion, potatoes, bell peppers, yams, and anything else you can see.

Be sure they’re the same size, so they all cook at the same time.

Then, drizzle some balsamic vinegar on top of your veggies, put it in the smoker, and wait.

In just 45 minutes, you’ll have some of the best BBQ sides ever.

5. Smoked Corn on the Cob

Corn is a top candidate for smoking because it absorbs all the flavors without getting mushy.

Once the silk is off the corn, put it back in the husk and let the smoker do its thing for an hour or two, depending on how crunchy you like it.

Brush the corn with butter, cilantro, lime, and paprika, and you’ll have some of the best-tasting corn ever.

6. Smoked Beef Brisket

Smoked beef brisket is one of those recipes you need to try at least once in your life. Once you get it right, you’ll want it again and again.

All you’ll need for brisket is salt and pepper since the secret isn’t in the ingredients but in how you cook it.

That said, be sure to get the right kind of brisket. Check out my post “What is Brisket?” for info on point vs flat.

7. Smoked Pineapple

What do you get when you cook something with sugar at a high temperature?

That’s right – a beautifully caramelized dish that’ll make you say YUM in every bite. This smoked pineapple is proof.

Smoked pineapple is so versatile that you can add it to a salad, a sandwich, and more! You’re guaranteed to get a dish that leaves you craving for more.

8. Smoked Prime Rib

Let’s be honest, it’s not every day you get good prime rib, so if you have this in your kitchen, fire up your smoker and get ready to be blown away.

It doesn’t matter if you go for a dry rub or a butter and herb slather. Just be sure you coat the prime rib evenly. The smoker will infuse those flavors in like no other.

9. Smoked Sweet Potatoes

Smoked sweet potatoes is the side dish you never knew you needed.

Seasoning the sweet potatoes with salt and sticking them inside the smoker already makes it a good side dish, but let’s kick things up a notch.

Make them more delectable by adding a spoonful of maple cinnamon butter on top before you dig in.

It’s such a spectacular twist to traditional baked potatoes that you’ll want to stock up on sweet potatoes just so you can make this again and again. 

10. Coffee Rubbed Smoked Chicken

You have to try this coffee rub for your next chicken meal. It works like a charm all the time!

All you’ll need to make THE RUB are fresh coffee grounds, garlic and onion powder, cumin, black pepper, and for more kick, a little bit of cayenne pepper. 

Coat the whole chicken with this fantastic rub and let it sit in the smoker for 2-3 hours, and boom!

Just the smell of this chicken will make you drool, so you can just imagine the flavor.

11. Beer Can Chicken

The rub takes the flavors to a whole new level. Beer can chicken is a certified showstopper!

Overcooked chicken is notoriously dry, but you don’t have to worry about that.

The steam from the beer keeps it moist and juicy throughout the cooking process.

12. Smoked Turkey

Turkey meat is pretty bland, but if you dress it up with the right ingredients, it can become a family favorite.

You can try using soda, onion, apple, celery, and butter for your rub for phenomenal flavors.

But you can also come up with your own signature rub if you prefer.

Coat the inside of your turkey with your rub, and those flavors will all come together inside the turkey once you cook it in the smoker.

13. Smoked Tacos Al Pastor

Smoked tacos al pastor is essentially pulled pork smoked to perfection and assembled into tacos for that perfect bite.

To get those flavors inside the pork shoulder, just inject it with a marinade made of garlic, lime juice, adobo sauce, oregano, orange juice, chile, cumin, and sugar.

Be sure you inject everywhere for full flavor. It will also make the pork ridiculously tender, making it easy to shred after.

14. Smoked Cauliflower

If you aren’t a meat lover but are craving something smoky and savory, this is a solid recipe for you.

The key to getting cauliflower uber tasty is to boil it in well-seasoned broth, baste it with olive or coconut oil, and season with your favorite spice-filled rub.

Put it inside the smoker at 250 degrees Fahrenheit. In about an hour, you’ll be rewarded with flavorful, fork-tender cauliflower that even the kids can’t say no to.

15. Smoked Apples

Hollow out those apples and fill them with your choice of stuffing and cook it in the smoker for about an hour or so.

Top with vanilla ice cream or bourbon or balsamic vinegar, and you’ll have the perfect BBQ dessert!

16. Smoked Salmon

Smoked salmon takes you a solid 11 hours from prep to table, so brace yourself.

The secret to getting superb flavors inside the salmon is to let it sit in a brine made with kosher salt, maple syrup, and orange juice for at least 8 hours.

Trust the process, as it’ll be worth it.

Once the smoker does its magic, you’ll have the best-tasting salmon you’ve ever had in your life.

17. Chipotle Peppers

Chipotle peppers are basically smoked and dried red jalapenos mainly used to intensify a dish’s flavor.

Since they’re a flavor enhancer, you can use them in things like adobo sauce, tacos, glazed ham, beef meatballs, and chicken.

Smoke the peppers for 3 hours and let them dry for the next 10 hours for a proudly homemade pantry staple.

18. Smoked Chicken Wings

Game days are always better with food, and this next recipe will have your friends and family going wild!

The chicken wings have a sweet-spicy rub that turns delightful when cooked in the smoker. Once they’re done, slather on the BBQ glaze and serve.

Game day has never been this delicious.

19. Smoked Baked Beans

Cooking your own sides is a great addition to your kitchen resume. Learning to make smoked baked beans gives you 100 extra points.

Using a smoker gives an extra smoky flavor to your baked beans that you won’t get any other way.

It gives the beans the perfect amount of sweet, savory, and smoky flavors.

These beans are so good, your friends and family will beg you to bring this dish to potlucks on the regular.

20. Smoked Meatloaf

Meatloaf is a staple dish in most households, and if you haven’t tried smoking it, well, you definitely should.

It’s pretty much ground meat that’s baked into the shape of a loaf. I like mixing mine with whiskey for more moisture and cheese for extra flavor. 

Pro tip: To let your meatloaf ooze even more smoky goodness, bake it in the grill basket, and the flavors will really come together.

21. Homemade Smoked Chorizo

Making your own chorizo is one of the coolest things you’ll ever do in your life.

Chorizo is a Spanish pork sausage that can be made either by fermenting and curing or by cooking.

Whatever method you choose, the smoker is the key to getting that chorizo bursting with flavor.

22. The Pressed Hangover Waffle

If you’re craving ultimate smoker comfort food, this one’s for you.

Golden crusted waffles and smoky pulled pork are topped with rich chicken stock gravy. I mean, what more can you ask for?

This dish is amazing for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I’ll even gladly eat it at midnight!

23. Smoked French Fries

Smoking fries before frying them gives them a significantly better flavor. This technique is a definite must-try, you guys. Smoked fries are a game-changer.

Once smoked, you can either deep-fry or air-fry those bad boys. It’s totally up to you.

24. Smoked Onions

Smoking onions is probably the best way to get that intense caramelization that most people love.

Slow cooking draws out the natural sugar in the onions so that they brown nicely without being overcooked.

Caramelized onions are the best thing to add to burgers, pasta, pork chops, or steak. 

25. Smoked Tomatoes

Give your classic tomato sauce even bolder flavors. You know the key: the smoker!

Take slices of tomatoes and smoke them for about an hour. 

Be sure you smoke these babies with wood with a light flavor, such as alder.

Puree your smoked tomatoes, and you’ll have the perfect pasta sauce in a jiffy.

26. Smoked Cornbread

You’ve had cornbread sweet, you’ve had it savory. Have you ever tried one that’s smoky? If the answer to that is no, boy, you’re in for a treat!

Not only will your cornbread get an added punch of smoky flavor, but a crisper crust as well. It’s delicious beyond measure.

27. Smoked Rainbow Trout

Rainbow trout has a pretty rich flavor once it’s cooked, so imagine what the flavors will be like if you smoke it?

It’s very easy, too. Just brine, dry, and smoke it. It’s a simple 3-step process.

Tip: the important thing with trout, or any kind of fish, is to use wood that won’t overpower its natural flavors, so avoid hickory, oak, and mesquite.

28. Smoked Cake

Wait… using the smoker to bake a cake? I’m listening.

The secret to making a decadent cake using a smoker is to pick wood that gives off a light smoky flavor. The best wood for this can be alder, maple, pecan, or apple. 

These will give your cake just the right amount of oomph.

Finish that delightfully smokey cake with a creamy buttercream frosting and watch your family devour it in minutes!

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Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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