How to Smoke Meat in the Oven

If you don't have a setup for smoking meat, a smoker and barbecue grill, you might feel you can't have homemade smoked ribs or roast. However, you can do small-scale meat smoking in your oven with just a few supplies. The important things to remember are to maintain a low cooking temperature and wrap the meat to retain moisture. Cook your ribs or roast long enough to break down the collagen, which makes the meat succulent. Cook the meat for 1 1/2 to 2 hours per pound, or until the internal temperature of the meat is 180 degrees Fahrenheit, measured with an instant-read thermometer.

Young woman reaching into an oven in the kitchen. (Image: hjalmeida/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Choose two racks of ribs or a 5- to 8-pound pork or beef roast. Completely thaw the meat in the refrigerator. Put the dry rub on the meat, covering the entire surface. Let it marinate uncovered in the refrigerator for an hour.

Step 2

Put a single layer of wood chips, such as hickory, cherry or oak, in the roasting pan. Pour water over them and soak them for an hour. Drain the water, leaving a film of water on the bottom of the roasting pan.

Step 3

Put a rack in or on the roasting pan that will elevate the meat an inch or two above the chips.

Step 4

Put an oven rack in the bottom third of the oven. Remove the upper rack to allow room for the foil tent. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 5

Put the meat on the rack. Make a tent of aluminum foil that completely seals the roasting pan on all sides and has room in the top for the smoke to circulate. The more tightly the foil is sealed, the more the wood flavor will penetrate the meat.

Step 6

Bake ribs or chicken for about three hours. Bake a beef or pork roast for about eight hours, depending on the size. Keep the oven temperature at 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 7

Test the temperature of the meat near the end of the cooking time. The meat is done if it is fork-tender and has reached 180 degrees Fahrenheit in the thickest part measured with an instant-read thermometer.

Step 8

Remove the foil. Brush the meat with barbecue sauce. Broil for a few minutes to caramelize the barbecue sauce.

Things You'll Need

  • Dry rub

  • Roasting pan

  • Small wood chips for smoking

  • Water

  • Rack

  • Meat

  • Foil tent

  • Instant-read thermometer

  • Barbecue sauce

  • Brush

Tip

Use your favorite commercial barbecue dry rub, or blend your favorite herbs and spices with a mix of sugar and salt.

Warning

Try not to remove the foil tent until near the end of the cooking time. It's difficult to replace, unless you use more foil to create a new tent. If you leave it off too soon, the meat will be dry.

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