The History of Smoked Meat

If you are a meat lover, like many people, then you most likely enjoy trying new recipes. There are many ways to enjoy meat, from the grill to the oven. Perhaps, one of the most popular ways in which to dine is with smoked meat. Smoked meat has a distinct flavor from the smoking process that cannot be duplicated via the oven or grill. But where did it all begin? Who decided to try the smoking process for the very first time? Read on to see how this delicious cooking process first came about.

What is Smoked Meat?

Chads Smoker for Smoked Meat

This is the actual smoker used for cooking all of the flavorful smoked meat at Chad’s BBQ.

The method of smoking meat involves placing red meat or fish in a room or smoker and preserving it via dehydration techniques. In the past, smokers would consist of a room made of stone where meat would hang from the ceiling. A fire would be used to provide smoke in the room which would dry out the meat and preserve it for some time. Today, smoked meat is done with a smoker, which can be small or large in size. The smoking process cooks the meat slowly, helping to keep the meat tender and tasty.


It is believed that smoked meat can be traced back to the primitive cavemen. Caves or huts did not have a chimney so they would be very smoky once fire was discovered. It is believed that the early cavemen would hang meat to dry in their homes, and then accidentally discovered that the smoke would give the meat a different flavor. Plus, it also helped to preserve the meat better.

Later on, the process of smoking would be combined with pre-curing the meat with a salty brine or simply salt. This would help to preserve the meat even more and is a process that is still practiced today. In the past, the goal was to preserve the meat so it would last longer without spoiling. Today, there is no need for heavy salting as the meat can be smoked with a smoker and enjoyed in a matter of hours rather than days.

Three Main Types of Smoking

There are three main types of smoking when it comes to cooking meat. Cold smoking is a method in which the smokehouse temperatures are kept at 68 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature range will help the meat take on the smoke flavor and remain moist. This process requires the meat to be fully cured as the cold smoking process does not actually cook the food.

Hot smoking is a second method used that exposes the meat to both heat and smoke. Cured meats are used in the process and temperatures of 126 to 176 degrees Fahrenheit are used during cooking. Foods are fully cooked with this method, creating a moist and flavorful taste.

The last option is smoke roasting. With this method, smoking is combined with roasting or baking. This method is also known as pit roasting. This process can be completed with a smoke roaster, barbecue pit or masonry oven that is wood fired. Temperatures increase above 180 degrees Fahrenheit during this process.

If all of this smoking talk has made you crave some authentic, smoked meat, Chad’s BBQ has you covered. Stop in today and order our smoked burger, half chicken, pulled pork, or smoked turkey sandwich. You’ll see why we are a local favorite for smoked BBQ.