Top 10 BBQ Smoker Recipes Out There | From ribs to veggies

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  December 31, 2019

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The world of culinary is quite sophisticated; to make the most scrumptious food requires an exceptional level of thinking and execution.

However, some types of food just scream simplicity is the best form of sophistication.

This is where BBQ smokers come in- this area of cooking covers a wide range of recipes- all of which are very simple- yet, highly nutritious and, of course, delicious.


I have always been biased towards smoker BBQs, whenever criticizing other kinds of food.

As BBQ Season approaches, Smoker season touches base with it. Smokers are an extraordinary method to induce intense flavors in your sustenance (not only meat).

Get your most loved meats, cheeses, and even veggies and prepare to begin to look all starry eyed at your Smoker.

These recipes are anything but difficult to get ready and the aroma of the sustenance smoking will have you and your visitors’ mouths watering.

Now, if you’re more of a vegan or vegetarian, you might want to check out our post on vegetable smoker recipes instead.

If you have always wanted to try out the BBQ smoker recipes but found the recipes on the internet a bit complex, then you have arrived at the right place.

We know that for BBQ lovers, there is no particular season to enjoy the foods.

With that said, we have put together 10 of the best BBQ smoker recipes for you to try. They are really easy to prepare and serves as a great experience for the taste buds.

Let’s get started.

10 best BBQ smoker recipes

Smoked Salmon

Not all fishes are the best fit for smoker recipes. Salmon, however, is an excellent smoking fish and takes less time than smoking meats.

For this recipe, you will need larger pieces of salmon. Most importantly, you will need a smoker that can maintain a lower temperature because fishes need a much lower temperature to smoke.

Note: if you can’t find salmon due to some reason, other alternatives include – sturgeon, mackerel, trout, shad, and bluefish.

Ingredients: what will you need?

Large salmon filets or two salmon sides

Ground black pepper – 1 tablespoon

Half cup sugar

Half cup dark brown sugar

Salt – 1 cup

Directions: How to make

First, start with preparing the fish by removing the pin bones (if any) and cleaning it under running water. Pat the salmon dry

Take a small bowl, mix salt, ground black pepper, sugar, and brown sugar thoroughly rub the prepared mixture all over the salmon filets or sides. Ensure that the mixture is evenly coated all over the fish so that the flesh absorbs the flavor

Refrigerate the salmon filets for 24 hours to marinate

Take out the fish from the refrigerator, put it under cold running water and rub off the marinade. Pat the salmon dry

Allow the fish to sit for some time until it reaches the room temperature – say at least 2 hours

In the meantime, preheat your smoker to 160° F

Smoke the fish in the smoker until the internal temperature reaches 150° F

Serve hot!

Salmon on a cedar board has been extremely popular throughout the previous couple of years; however have you attempted it as a smoky, salty dish?

Serve over a plate of mixed greens, on a baguette or all on its own. Smoked Salmon has dependably been a group pleaser!

While top-notch cuts of smoked salmon are effectively accessible from stores and fishmongers, you can make an extremely comparative cured assortment at home.

It’s not as hard as it sounds and you don’t have to claim a smoke shack in the external Hebrides to get a legitimate version for yourself.

You’ll require the freshest salmon filet you can purchase, at that point the strategy is to cure (so entirely it’s not smoked) more than two days in a saline solution.

Try not to be frightened of the reality you don’t cook the fish over warmth – the saltwater implants the crude fragile living creature and makes it palatable.

Smoked Chicken thighs

The key to preparing great smoked chicken thighs is the rub. It is an easy recipe and the most delicious one that you can enjoy with your friends and family.

Ingredients: what will you need?

Skin-on bone-in chicken things – 6

Garlic powder – 1 tablespoon

Salt – 1 tablespoon

Dried thyme – 1 tablespoon

Black pepper – 2 tablespoon

Paprika – 2 tablespoons

Chili powder – 2 tablespoons

Cayenne – 2 tablespoons

Olive oil – 1 cup

Directions: How to make

Take a small bowl and mix all the herbs and spices to create a perfect rub

Wash and pat the chicken thighs dry

Coat the chicken thighs with olive oil and let it sit aside for 15-20 minutes

Take the herb-spice rub and dust it all over the chicken thighs and let the pieces sit aside for a while (30 minutes) so that the flesh absorbs the aroma of the spice-herb mixture

In the meantime, preheat the smoker to 225° FNow, place the chicken thighs in the smoker and let the pieces smoke for at least two hours before you flip sides

Smoke for an additional 1-1.5 hours until the internal temperature reaches 165° F

Voila! Serve it with a glass of wine

A more advantageous and spicier choice, these chicken thighs won’t disappoint. Skip turning on your broiler and rather start up the Smoker!

The other great thing about cooking only the thighs is they tend to cook quicker than smoking an entire feathered bird, yet still give sufficient meat on the bone versus littler cuts like chicken wings.

Thighs are a mainstream slice to smoke because of their fattier substance than white meat and their generally low time to smoke.

Normally thighs can be smoked in 3 hours or less contrasted with 4 for a bosom and 5 for an entire fledgling.

Smoked Turkey legs

Making smoked turkey legs at home is easier than you think. If you want to enjoy the savory smoke flavor of the spices and herbs combined with the juicy meat, consider the recipe.

Ingredients: what will you need?

Turkey legs – 2

Prague powder #1 – half teaspoon

Salt – 3 tablespoons

Dark brown sugar – 3 tablespoons

Distilled water – 1 cup

Dried thyme and basil – 1 cup

Any high heat oil – 1 cup

Pepper – 3 tablespoons

Worcestershire sauce – 1/5 tablespoons

Directions: How to make

Take a freezer bag and combine water, salt, Prague powder #1, and dark brown sugar thoroughly

Into the mixture, add the turkey legs, close the freezer bag and shake well to ensure the mixture is all over the pieces

Refrigerate the bag for 24 hours

Now, to prepare the rub mix, take a small bowl and mix pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and salt

Take another bowl and mix any high heat oil with dried thyme and basil leaves

Remove the turkey legs from the refrigerator and rinse the pieces under cold water and pat them dry Preheat the smoker to 325° F

In the meantime, coat the turkey legs with the oil mixture

Then rub the pieces with the spice mixture

Smoke the turkey legs and stop when the internal temperature reaches 160° F

Serve immediately

Regardless of whether you have a Smoker or a BBQ, these Turkey legs will top you off with scrumptious smoked meat!

A few hours previously anticipating grilling, slacken the skin on the turkey legs by running your fingers under it quite far without tearing the skin.

Set up the smoker for grilling, conveying the temperature to 200 to 220 degrees F.

Grab the turkey legs from the fridge and let them sit at room temperature for around 30 minutes.

Smoked Cheese

Smoked cheddar cheese is the perfect snack time recipe that can be used as a flavor booster for soups or pasta, sandwich, and more. You can easily replicate this gourmet product at home.

Ingredients: what will you need?

Chunks of cheddar cheese – two blocks (8-ounce)

Directions: How to make

Preheat your smoker to 95° F. Ensure that the temperate remains under 100°F else the cheese will melt

For creating cold smoke, place the chunks of cheese on the grate of the smoker. Put some lit charcoal briquettes into the smoker firebox and place a flat wood chunk on top of the briquettes to generate smoke. Ensure that there is little airflow and keep the smoke going for as long as you want

Place the cheese blocks directly on the grate and smoke at 95° F for up to 4 hours

Remove the cheese blocks from the smoker and enjoy them with any dish you want

You can store the smoked cheese for up to two weeks in the refrigerator

Match with an assortment of meats, wafers and natural products for home-cooked cheddar that will go down in the books as outstanding amongst other cheddar encounters you and your friends have ever had.

Smoked vegetables

Vegetables are a great option for those who want to enjoy the punch of smoky flavor that doesn’t include meat. You can use any vegetables you want to smoke. It can be a single vegetable smoke or a combination of different vegetables. Ingredients: what will you need?

Minced garlic cloves – 6

Zucchini sliced into rounds – 1

Fresh corn, silk strands removed and cut into pieces – 1 ear

Summer squash sliced into rounds – 1

Sliced mushrooms – 1 cup

Bell peppers, sliced and seeded – 2

Onion, peeled and quartered – 1

Olive oil – 2 tablespoons

Balsamic vinegar – 2 tablespoons

Ground black pepper – half teaspoon

Salt – 1 teaspoon

Directions: How to make

Take a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix thoroughly

Put the mixture aside for at least half-an-hour to let the juices and aroma mix and immerse into the veggie

Preheat the smoker to 350° F and add some wood chips

Smoke the vegetables for around 45 minutes until they are caramelized

Smoke a variety of corn and different veggies that look bright and yummy as any dish you serve.

With olive oil seasoning and a bit of spices (according to taste), these veggies can really redefine the norms of veggies not being tasty.

Smoked Beef short ribs

Smoked short beef ribs are considered the ultimate comfort food for many of us. They are tender and melts in our mouth with an aromatic smoke flavor.

Ingredients: what will you need?

Beef short ribs – 6 pieces

Olive oil – 4 tablespoons

BBQ sauce of your preference or beef rub – 4 tablespoons

Beef broth – 1 cup OR apple cider vinegar and apple juice mixture – 1 cup (for spritzing)

Directions: How to make

Put some cherry woods into the smoker and preheat it to 225° FPrepare the short beef ribs by removing the skin and fat

Rinse them under running water and pat dry the pieces

Next, coat the beef ribs with olive oil and let it sit aside for 15 minutes

Now, rub the BBQ sauce or the beef rub all over the ribs and let it sit aside for at least half-an-hour to marinade

Then, smoke the beef ribs in the smoker for three hours until the surface turns into a nice crust

After three hours, stat spraying beef ribs with beef broth or the apple mixture. When the beef starts to smoke, spray within every 30 minutes. Continue smoking and spritzing until the internal temperature reaches 210° F

Remove the short beef ribs from the smoker and cover them with foil paper for 30 minutes

Remove the rib racks before serving

This little yet powerful Smoker recipe will be a hit with any group, particularly when they are loaded with the entire heavenly flavor from the Smoker!

Combine with some vegetables and a homemade potato plate of mixed greens to have a great summer dish.

Smoked Meatloaf

Smoked meatloaf is a delicious version of your traditional meatloaf recipe. It is made with a plethora of ingredients and is sure to flood your mouth with its taste and aroma.

Ingredients: what will you need?

Ground beef – 1 pound

Ground pork – 1 pound

Ground turkey – 1 pound

Panko bread crumbs – 1 cup

Grated red onion – 1

Garlic cloves – 2

Beaten eggs – 2-3

Dried oregano – 1 tablespoon

Kosher salt – 1 teaspoon

Black pepper – 1 teaspoon

Roasted bell peppers, chopped – 2

Good quality BBQ sauce – 1 ½ cup

Jack Daniels whiskey – 1/4 cup (optional)Directions: How to make

Take a large bowl, and mix and combine all the ingredients thoroughly. Don’t overwork the ingredients or your meatloaf with be chewy and tough. However, only use half a cup of BBQ sauce and reserve the other 1 cup for later use

Take a loaf pan, fill it with the meatloaf mixture, and let it sit aside until you prepare the smoker

To prepare the smoker, put chips of oak wood and preheat it to 225° F

Place the meatloaf pan directly on the smoker grate and smoke for 3-4 hours

Smoke until the internal temperature reaches 165° F. In the meantime, coat it with BBQ sauce (like some of these top choices) every 30 minutes

Remove the smoked meatloaf from the smoker, allow it to cool down, and then remove it from the pan

Cut the meatloaf into slices and serve immediately

Be that as it may, you have greater plans – you’re going to prep your Meatloaf in the Smoker.

Believe it or not, refresh that Meatloaf season with rich, smoky flavors that will go down in ages to come, as the best meatloaf formula in your family.

You can bet that even some of the top pitmasters didn’t think of this delicious meal.

Pork Smoked Mac and Cheese

If you are a mac and cheese lover, then you will definitely love the idea of having pork smoked mac and cheese. You will seriously not believe your senses when you taste this.

Ingredients: what will you need?

Jack or cheddar cheese – 24 ounce

Cream cheese – 8 ounce

Pasta or noodles – 16 ounce

Milk – 3 cups

Smoked pulled pork (like this recipe) – 1 pound

Flour – 1/4 cup

Butter – 1/4 cup

Cooking spray

Aluminum tray Directions: How to make

Cook and drain your noodles or pasta as per the instructions given on the packaging

Cube the cream cheese and shred the cheddar cheese

Take a saucepan and melt the butter over medium heat. Now add flour into the melted butter and whisk together. Cook for two minutes

Next, add milk into the saucepan and whisk the mixture properly. Cook it for another five minutes until the mixture turns bubbly, brown, and thick

Lower the heat and add cream cheese into the saucepan

Now add cheddar cheese and stir properly until it completely mixes with the sauce

Add cooked noodles or pasta into the pan and mix again

Turn off the heat and add smoked pulled pork into the mixture

Take an aluminum tray and spray it with cooking spray

Pour the sauce into the tray and let it sit aside for a couple of minutes

Add wood chips and preheat the smoker to 225° F

Place the aluminum tray into the smoker and smoke for two hours

Your pork smoked mac and cheese is ready

Two of your most loved nourishments joined into one salty and filling feast. This formula on Smoking Meat will change the way you view and cook your macaroni until the end of time!

Possibly save this one for extraordinary occasions!

Smoked Ribs

This recipe is different from your short beef ribs recipe. It includes different ingredients and tastes impeccable. This is one of the best ways to enjoy smoker recipes.

Ingredients: what will you need?

Beef rib (prime) – 1

Black pepper – 2 tablespoons

Dill – 1 tablespoon

Crushed red pepper flakes – 1 tablespoon

Cumin – 1 tablespoon

Onion powder – 1 tablespoon

Garlic powder – 1 tablespoon

Salt – 2 tablespoons

Paprika – 2 tablespoons Oakwood chips

Directions: How to make

Take a small bowl and combine all the spices and herbs until mixed well

Clean the beef rib and remove any excess skin or fat

Pat dry the beef rib and coat it with the spice mix

Let it sit aside for 25-30 minutes so that the meat can absorb the flavors

Add oak wood chips to the smoker and preheat it to 225° F

Put the beef rib on the smoker grate and smoke it for medium-rare – between 135° F and 140° F

Smoke it for around four hours and let it rest for 20-30 minutes before carving

This is different from the small beef ribs mentioned earlier on the list. Need we say more?

Cover with your most loved BBQ sauce and appreciate this delightful summer feast with loved ones who will finish their plate in seconds.

Smoked Armadillo Eggs

Most people confuse with the name of this smoker recipe. While the name suggests smoked armadillo eggs, there are no armadillo eggs used. Instead, jalapeno poppers covered in sausage are used. Yes, that’s right! Let’s find out how it’s made.

Ingredients: what will you need?

Jalapenos – 5

Spicy sausage of any choice – 1 pound

Cream cheese – half cup

Shredded cheddar cheese – half cup

Directions: How to make

Take a small bowl and mix shredded cheddar cheese with cream cheese

Cut the jalapenos from the middle and remove the seeds

Stuff the seeded jalapenos with the cheese mixture

Now, cover the stuffed jalapenos with the sausage

Add wood chips into the smoker and preheat it to 250° F

Smoke the wrapped jalapenos (armadillo eggs) for about two hours until their internal temperature reaches 160° F

An overwhelming substantial outside with a rich center that has a kick of zest!

Regardless of whether they are filled in as an hors d’oeuvre or a course, your visitors will be wonderfully astounded at this other option to a burger or sausage.


These are the 10 best BBQ smoker recipes you can try at home. They are easy to prepare since all the ingredients can be easily found in your local grocery store or farmer’s market.

Try them out with your friends and family.

These recipes are futile without the proper implementation- so don’t blame the recipe as it takes time to cook the perfect smoked BBQ platter.

See some of the best smoked food and make yourself determined to make the perfect meal for you and your family.

Also, check out our post about the essential bbq supplies that’ll make your life easier.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Lakeside Smokers is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with BBQ Smoking (& Japanese food!) at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.