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The meats

Here we stand at the pivotal moment of selecting which meats to grace our smoker with. Let's delve into what I personally believe are prime candidates for beginners venturing into the world of smoking: pork spare ribs, Tri-tip beef, and boneless chicken thighs.





Pork spare ribs hold a cherished place at Cornerstone Barbecue Restaurant. Our method involves a 5-hour smoke followed by a wrap in butcher paper infused with apple cider vinegar. With a simple yet tantalizing rub comprising brown sugar, paprika, salt, pepper, and flakes, we achieve ribs that are succulent and tender. Opt for foil wrapping for an even more tender result, though our preference leans toward butcher paper. Our process unfolds at a steady 275 degrees: 5 hours of smoke followed by 1 hour of wrapping.



When it comes to beef Tri-tip, I lean towards choice grade or higher for that discernible tenderness. Even if opting for a lesser grade, it's still suitable for honing your skills in flavor profiling and mastering cook times. We embark on a 5-hour smoking journey, aiming for an internal temperature of 190 degrees, though the final doneness is entirely up to your preference.





For chicken thighs, we opt for boneless varieties for their convenience and improved cooking times, particularly ideal for crafting delectable chopped chicken sandwiches. Seasoned with our signature house rub, these thighs undergo a 4.5-hour smoking session, resulting in juicy, flavorful chicken that's sure to impress.





The allure of these meats lies in their forgiving nature. Whether adjusting cooking temperatures or inadvertently neglecting the fire, these cuts remain steadfast. Should time be of the essence, a hotter fire can halve the cooking duration without sacrificing flavor. Remember, this is merely my perspective; as you delve into the realm of smoking, you'll uncover your own favorite meats, paving the way for countless joyous cooking adventures.

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