17 Smoked BBQ Recipes That Would Make Any Pitmaster Proud

There's no denying that barbecuing is an art form.

El Sancho Barbecue Sauce
Photo: Photo: Greg Dupree

There's no denying that barbecuing is an art form. For many, smoked types of meat are a crucial part of the craft. While we'll always love a supper spent at the BBQ joint around the corner, you don't have to run to your favorite restaurant to enjoy pitmaster-quality smoked meats. These smoker recipes highlight how easy it is to enjoy the smokey flavors right from your own home. 

From our Smoked Pork Butt Sandwiches to our Dry-Rubbed Smoked Chicken Wings, you'll be ready for any backyard BBQ. No matter what meat you decide to make, these ideas will have you checking your marinades and filling your drip pans. Just remember to include plenty of your favorite BBQ sides. Your family and friends will love these smoked wonders from the very first bite.

01 of 17

Smoked Brisket Sandwich With Texas BBQ Sauce

Brisket Sandwiches with Texas BBQ Sauce
Photography and Styling: Karen Rankin

It may take some time, but this Texas-inspired smoked brisket sandwich is worth every second. Specific tips, like a pan of water in the smoker and flipping the brisket, will help you perfect this technique. Pair your smoky brisket with white Texas bread, BBQ sauce, and dill pickle chips for a true Southern delicacy.

02 of 17

Dry-Rubbed Smoked Chicken Wings

Dry-Rubbed Smoked Chicken Wings
Jennifer Causey

These wings, seasoned with a homemade rub and cooked low-and-slow, are fall-off-the-bone tender. The orange-hued rub gets its flavoring from paprika and salt, pairing perfectly with poultry. This rub works just as well as a finishing seasoning for scrambled eggs.

03 of 17

Memphis Dry-Rubbed Baby Back Ribs

Memphis Dry-Rubbed Baby Back Ribs
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Prop Styling: MindI Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Torie Cox

With their famous Memphis flavor, these smoked ribs are surprisingly easy to make in the comfort of your own home. A Memphis-style dry rub forms a delicious crust around the meat, making them savory and tender. A vinegar wash and an extra sprinkling of dry rub near the end of the cooking process are all it takes for an additional layer of flavor.

04 of 17

Smoked Pork Butt Sandwich

Smoked Pork Butt Sandwich
Southern Living

You don't need to be a pitmaster to create a party-worthy pork butt sandwich. The secret is in the rub, packed with seasonings such as smoked paprika, dry mustard, ground cumin, and fresh ginger. When it's ready, shred the pork with two forks and assemble your sandwich.

05 of 17

Best Smoked Brisket

Smoked Beef Brisket
Iain Bagwell

No smoker? No problem. Whether you plan to serve your smoked brisket on sliders, as a topping, or simply on its own, you can achieve that wood-smoked flavor using your grill with a lid and a pan of water.

06 of 17

Myron Mixon's Whole Smoked Chicken

Myron Mixon Whole Smoked Chicken
Southern Living

"The King of Barbecue," Myron Mixon, reminds us that a full-flavored brine is a critical component in the smoking process in his whole smoked chicken recipe. If you enjoy a spicy kick, combine apple juice and hot sauce to spritz on the chicken every 30 minutes. This smoked chicken pairs perfectly with a vinegar-based BBQ sauce.

07 of 17

Smoked Turkey Recipe with Herb Rub

Herb-Rubbed Smoked Turkey
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Add some hickory chips to your holiday shopping list. They'll give your Thanksgiving bird a classic, smokey flavor. This herb brine combines your favorite holiday seasonings—thyme, rosemary, and sage—and balances the sweetness from the light brown sugar. After applying the brine to the turkey, remember to rub softened butter underneath the bird's skin for juicy, full-flavored meat.

08 of 17

Smoked Corned Beef Brisket

Smoked Corned Beef Brisket
Photographer Victor Protasio, Food Stylist Rishon Hanners, Prop Stylist Heather Chadduck

Unlike other smoked meats, this brisket does not have a smoke ring. It will be a beautiful red color when you take it off the grill. Using a few pantry staples, you can create a flavorful beef brisket.

09 of 17

Championship Pork Butt

Championship Pork Butt
Photo by Beth Dreiling Hontzas / Styling by Lisa Powell Bailey / Food Styling by Pam Lolley

The perfect combo of rich smoke and gentle heat gives Championship Pork Butt a deep mahogany exterior (or "bark") while the interior stays moist and juicy. A drip pan filled halfway with a mix of half water and fruit juice adds even more flavor.

10 of 17

Smoked Chicken with Fresh Herb Marinade

Smoked Chicken with Fresh Herb Marinade
Hector Sanchez

If using a gas grill, opt for this method instead of the process described in Step 2 of the recipe directions: Soak wood chips in water for 30 minutes. Light one side of the grill, heating to 400°F to 500°F (high heat). Leave the other side unlit. Drain wood chips. Place soaked and drained chips in the center of a 12-inch square piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil and wrap tightly to form a packet. Pierce several holes in the top of the packet—place them directly on the lit side of the grill. Follow the remaining directions according to the recipe.

11 of 17

Smoked Turkey Breast

Smoked Turkey Breast
Jody Horton

Your brine does the heavy lifting on this holiday-worthy smoked bird. With a handful of autumnal ingredients, this smoked turkey recipe takes 20 minutes of hands-on time. After smoking, let your turkey sit for at least 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

12 of 17

Spatchcocked Smoked Turkey

Spatchcock Smoked Turkey
Photographer: Antonis Achilleos, Prop Stylist: Kay Clarke Food Stylist: Rishon Hanners

By splitting the bird, this recipe makes it easier to cook white and dark meat evenly. Spatchcocking the turkey, or butterflying, helps get a crispy skin without the bird becoming too dry. This recipe uses a standard charcoal grill, so no fancy smoker is required.

13 of 17

Cajun Smoked Turkey Recipe

Cajun Smoked Turkey
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Add some Cajun flavoring to your smoked turkey with a dry brine. Dry bringing your turkey and leaving it uncovered, in the refrigerator, overnight allows the brine to soak into the meat. You can also use this brine on the interior and cavity of the bird.

14 of 17

Collard Greens with Smoked Ham Hocks and Pickled Collard Green Stems

Collard Greens with Smoked Ham Hocks and Pickled Collard Green Stems
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Claire Spollen; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Smoked ham hock pairs perfectly with collard greens. This recipe uses collard stems as a pickled topping for even more flavor. Bacon, black pepper, and red pepper flakes flavor this entire dish.

15 of 17

Smoked Beef Ribs with Texas BBQ Sauce

Chipotle and Lime Mayo
Photo: Randy Mayor; Stylist: Cindy Barr

These smoked beef ribs start with an easy, no-frills rub. Creating this rub only takes four ingredients: chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, and thyme. Try this ketchup-based "red sauce," made from primarily pantry staples, as a finishing sauce.

16 of 17

John Somerall's Sweet Tea-Brined Smoked Turkey

John’s Sweet Tea-Brined Smoked Turkey
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Margaret Monroe Dickey; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Create an aromatic wet brine from black tea, citrus, herbs, and sorghum, which infuses the entire bird with flavor. This rub will pack a hint of sweetness from the brown sugar and a touch of heat from the chili powder, cayenne, and paprika. Finally, a mopping sauce made from ketchup, sorghum, and apple cider vinegar doubles as a barbeque sauce.

17 of 17

Smoked Duck with a Brown-Sugar-and-Soy Glaze

Smoked Duck with a Brown-Sugar-and-Soy Glaze
Lena_Zajchikova/Getty Images

The long brine bath infuses the duck with flavor and keeps the duck moist and tender throughout the smoking process. A combination of brown sugar, peppercorns, bay leaves, oranges, and soy sauce is a glaze that will not disappoint. This flavor profile will break the mold in a good way.

Complete the meal with a classic Southern side dish that everyone will love.

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