How to Use a Smoker BBQ in the UK: Tips and Tricks for Beginners

how to use a smoker bbq uk

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If you’re looking to buy your first BBQ smoker, then you’re in for a treat. Smoking meat is a perfect way to add taste and moisture to your food, and it’s not as challenging as you think.

This guide will teach you how to use a smoker BBQ in the UK and provide some tips for beginners. We’ll also share an easy recipe that will help you get started.

What Is a BBQ Smoker, and Do You Need One?

A BBQ smoker is a device that gently cooks meat using wood smoke. The meat absorbs the smoke from the wood chips, adding flavour and moisture, resulting in tender, juicy, smoked goodness.

Do you need a smoker? Only if you plan on making meat smoking a regular thing in your life. If you want to try it out once or twice, you can use a covered grill or even an oven to smoke meat.

However, if you’re serious about smoking meat, a smoker is the way to go. A smoker heats at a consistent temperature, which is essential for this cooking style. They also have a larger cooking area, which is ideal for smoking or grilling large batches of food.

There are different types of smokers on the market, and they are as follows:

  • charcoal smoker
  • gas smoker
  • pellet smoker
  • offset smoker
  • kettle grill
  • Kamado grill
  • electric smokers

The type of BBQ smoker you choose will depend on your needs, budget, and the amount of space you have available.

If you’re starting, we recommend choosing a basic smoker that is easy to use.

How to Use a Smoker BBQ in the UK: Easy Guide for Beginners

So, how do you use a smoker to give your barbecue a smokey taste? It’s pretty simple. Here are the basic steps:

Step 1: Position Your BBQ Smoker

Look for a level area in your yard to place the barbecue smoker. It should be positioned away from trees and other structures, as they can block the heat source.

Step 2: Fill the Barbecue Smoker with Charcoal

Start by filling the charcoal chamber about halfway full with unlit charcoal. Then, light a few of the coals. Let the lit coals until they are all red hot.

Step 3: Add Wood Chips

Add a handful of wood chips to the lit charcoal. The type of wood chip will determine the smoky flavour of the meat. Hickory, apple, and cherry are all excellent choices.

Step 4: Place the Meat on the Rack

Place the meat on the metal rack, making sure to avoid stacking the meat in the smoking chamber. If you are barbecuing a large piece of meat, like a brisket or pork shoulder, it may be necessary to place it in the centre of the smoker.

Step 5: Close the Cooking Chamber Lid and Set the Temperature

Close the lid and set the BBQ smoker’s temperature to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. If you use a charcoal smoker, the temperature will slowly increase as the coals die down.

Step 6: Smoke the Meat

Place the meat in the smoker and leave it to cook for at least six hours. The longer you smoke the meat, the better it will taste.

Step 7: Check the Temperature and Remove the Meat

As soon as the meat has reached an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, it is safe to eat. Remove your meat from the smoking chamber and allow it to rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

How to Maintain the Temperature in Your BBQ Smoker

Keeping the temperature consistent is key to smoking meat successfully. If the temperature goes too high or too low, it can ruin the meat. Here are a few tips for keeping it stable:

  • Use a Thermometer. A smoker thermometer will help you keep track of the temperature inside the smoker.
  • Keep the vents open. Make sure to keep the vents open so that air can flow in and out of the smoker.
  • Add wood chips. Adding wood chips will help maintain the temperature and add flavour to the meat. You can also use wood chunks, but chips are easier to use.

Meat Smoking Tips for Beginners

An important thing you need to know about the smoking process is that it takes time. It’s not something you can do in a hurry. Generally, the longer the cooking time, the better your food will taste. That being said, here are tips to help you out.

  • Use a wet rub: A wet rub will help keep the meat moist to stay juicy once cooked.
  • Use a marinade. A marinade also helps to add flavour and moisture to the meat.
  • Choose the right wood chips. The flavour of the smoke depends on the type of wood chip that you use. Apple, cherry, and hickory are all popular choices for smoking meat.

Start with a simple recipe. Start with something simple, like chicken or ribs.

  • Use a meat thermometer. A meat thermometer is the best way to ensure that your meat is cooked correctly. Monitor the heat level of the smoker and adjust the vents as needed.
  • It’s important to keep the smoker at a consistent temperature, so be sure to check the two temperature probes.
  • Make sure your smoker is preheated correctly before adding the meat. If the temperature is too low, it will take longer to cook the meat, and it may not be cooked through.
  • Only open the lid when it is vital. Opening the lid will let out heat and smoke, which will slow down the cooking process.
  • Remove the meat from the smoker grilling chamber when cooked through, and has a perfectly soft texture. The meat will continue cooking, so be sure to remove it when it reaches the desired temperature.
  • Let the meat rest for several minutes before slicing and serving. This ensures that the juices don’t run out when you cut into the meat.

Easy Smoked Brisket Recipe for Beginners

Once you have your smoker up and running, it’s time to start cooking. Here’s an easy smoked brisket recipe that will get you started.


  • One brisket, trimmed of fat.
  • Two tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Combine the olive oil, BBQ sauce, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
  • Coat the brisket with the BBQ sauce mixture.
  • Smoke the brisket for six to several hours more or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Remove the brisket from the smoker and give it time to rest before carving and serving.

Frequently Asked Questions About BBQ Smokers

What Is the Difference Between a BBQ and a Smoker?

The main difference is that smoking primarily uses flavorful smoke when cooking meat, while barbecuing uses direct heat from consuming charcoal or cooking wood.

Why Does My Smoker Produce Too Much Smoke?

If your smoker is producing too much smoke, it may be because the vents are closed too tightly or the wood chips are wet. Be sure to keep the vents open and use dry wood chips when smoking meat.

How Do You Use a Smoker Box on a BBQ?

Adding a smoker box to your BBQ is a great way to add smoky flavour to your food. Place the smoker box on the grill and light it up to produce smoke. The smoke from the wood chips will flow through the vents and onto the food.

My Smoker Grill Isn’t Producing Enough Smoke. What Can I Do?

If your smoker grill isn’t producing enough smoke, you may need to add more wood chips. Submerge the wood chips in water for at least 30 minutes before using them in the smoker. You can also try using a different wood chip for more flavour.

How Do I Know When My Meat Is Done?


An efficient way to determine if the meat is cooked is to use a meat thermometer. The recommended internal temperature for most meats is 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

However, there are alternative ways to tell if your meat is done. For example, you can look at the colour of the meat. Rare beef will be red in the centre, while well-done beef will be brown all over.

Another way to tell if your meat is cooked through is to slice into it and check if the juices run clear. If so, then it is cooked well enough to eat. However, if the juices are pink or red, the meat needs more cooking time.

My Meat Is Getting Too Brown, What Can I Do?

If your meat is getting too brown, you may need to reduce the temperature of your smoker or cook.

Is a Gas Smoker Any Good?

A gas smoker is a good option for people who don’t want to deal with the hassle of using charcoal or wood. Gas smokers are easy to use and produce consistent results. However, they don’t have the same smoky flavour as charcoal or wood smokers.

It’s Time to Enjoy Perfectly Smoked Meats!

Now that you’ve got the basics on how to use a smoker BBQ in the UK, it’s time to wow your friends and family with perfectly smoked meats. Be sure to experiment with different types of meat, wood chips, and BBQ sauces to create your unique flavours.

Please share our guide with your friends and family if you found our guide helpful. And don’t forget to leave a comment below and let us know how your smoked meats turned out!

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