If you’re new to smoking, it’s only a matter of time before you dry out a piece of meat. It happens to the best of us. We cover in great detail how to keep meat moist in another blog post, but here we’ll let you know some of the simple reasons your meat may be drying out so you won’t have to ask “Why is my smoked meat so dry?” anymore!
Whether it’s ribs, brisket, or pulled pork, there’s nothing quite like the flavor of smoked meat. But keeping your smoked meat moist and juicy can be a challenge. No one wants to eat dry, chewy smoked meat! Luckily, there are a few simple facts to remember and steps you can take to help ensure your smoked meat stays moist and delicious.
Don’t Use High Heat
It’s important to consider your smoker and its settings. The type of smoker you use and the temperature you set it at can have a major impact on the moisture content of your smoked meat. Generally speaking, a lower temperature will keep your smoked meat moist and a higher temperature will dry it out. If you’re using an electric smoker, you can adjust the temperature settings to get the desired results.
Hard Vs Soft Wood
If you use an offset, pay attention to your wood. Different types of wood can provide different levels of smokiness and moisture. Hardwoods such as oak and hickory will produce a lot of smoke and are great for adding flavor, but they can also dry out your meat. Softer woods such as cherry and apple will produce less smoke but will help keep your meat moist. Experiment with different types of wood to see which one works best for you.
Build An Artificial Environment
Don’t forget to use a water pan. Placing a water pan in your smoker will create steam and prevent the meat from drying out during your cook. If you’re using a charcoal smoker, you can place a foil pan with a couple of cups of water in the bottom of your smoker.
Time Is Your Friend, Too Much Time Is Not
Though slow and low is the goal, avoid overcooking. Overcooking your smoked meat can cause it to become dry and tough. To avoid this consult the recipe (or a recipe) for that particular cut and weight of meat, then use a meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of your meat. When it reaches the desired temperature, take it off the heat and let it rest for at least a few minutes. This will help the juices redistribute and keep your meat moist.
It’s Not An Instagram Moment
Finally, be sure to keep your smoker lid closed while it is smoking. This will help maintain more moisture and keep your cut from drying out.
By staying aware of these (BBQ) Pitfalls, you can keep your smoked meat moist and juicy. Enjoy!