So when I got started smoking and had picked out my smoker I then had to determine what accessories I needed. As I am now several years into this, there are things I find of value that I was unaware of when I started. For those that are starting here is a list of the 5 best meat smoking accessories you will need to start you journey smoking food.
As I am a Weber Smokey Mountain user and the heading of this article would imply, this has a bend towards charcoal smokers but some items cross over.
#1 Chimney Starter
If you are going with charcoal, once you have made your decisions on the brand of charcoal, you will need a rapidfire chimney starter to get things going. Using a chimney makes a world of difference getting your charcoal started. This is a great tool to have and almost a must have. The Weber does the trick, it is what I use and would definitely buy again.
#2 Heat Resistant Gloves
Now you have your chimney, you will need some gloves. There are a few different ways to handle this and you may want a couple of gloves options. I have this first pair and use them pretty regularly. They are great to keep handy if you are reloading charcoal into an already going smoker or dumping the lit chimney into the smoker. The advantage of these is they are great with the heat and but also can be washed very easily after handling food.
Over time I moved towards this method when I handle the food. Another option for gloves is and you will the pros do this but also on the lot of social media pages, the black nitrile gloves over cotton gloves. You need to ensure you are getting food safe gloves but clean up is easy and especially for handling food, this is a great combo.
#3 Digital Meat Thermometer
When talking about smoker accessories a good thermometer is a must. There is a lot to unpack here when talking about reading temperature because everyone has an opinion. The best of the class is Thermoworks. They are expensive but you are getting a high quality product. They do not sell on Amazon, you are best served to go directly to their site. Another brand I have tried as well, is Inkbird. I did not have any luck with the app, I tried 3 times, over two phones and nothing could work correctly for me. Others though have said they love Inkbird. Bang for buck, its worth a shot. When I started out I bought and still use ThermoPro.
Its done well for me, I am not ready to sink all the money into Thermoworks especially when ThermoPro products have treated me well. If you visit here to check out the TP20. If you are looking for bluetooth meat thermometer vs a wireless meat thermometer do your research. You will also want something that can measure the ambient temp of your smoker. Sometimes the lid thermometers are not as accurate as you would think. The ThermoPro value its right up there with Inkbird, again I just did not have luck with the Inkbird app and have been very pleased with ThermoPro.
#4 Rib Rack or Rib Hanger
Ribs are a classic smoked food and doing them right and a lot of them requires, at minimum, a good rib rack or if you are really planning on doing a lot, a rib hanger.
You will always want to get one more ribs on and the best way to do that is to maximize your space. You may not need them all the time but you will use it often enough that you will not regret it.
#5 Slicing Knife
A good slicing knife is a must. When you are slicing that brisket or ribs, you want some nice clean cuts and not be presenting a hack job to your guests. There are plenty out there of high quality knives out there that will not break the bank. If you have money to spend up, there are the Dalstrong’s of the world but a solid knife, great for slicing briskets is the Victorinox 12″ slicing blade.
Items You Don’t Need
- I would not explore modifications until you have tried the smoker as is. This especially applies to the WSM. It works great as is, you can tweak but try it out first, see what you like and don’t like.
- Don’t go crazy on a grill brush, balled up tin foil does the job just as well.
- Electric charcoal starter, might be nice but not needed, some good fire starters for the chimney are all you need.
- You DO NOT need lighter fluid! Never use it! I never liked charcoal cooked meat and to this day I am convinced it was because the food tasted like lighter fluid.
Honorable Mention Accessories
- An instant read thermometer. I have a ThermoPro as well, and its great for those quick spot checks
- Pink butcher paper is another one. Wrapping a pork butt or brisket, this is better than foil.
- A basting brush or basting mop, never hurts to have. Several of our recipes call for basting. Here is an example of one.
- Bear claws are great for pulling pork or beef.
- As mentioned above, good fire starters for your chimney
Conclusion To The 5 Best Meat Smoking Accessories For Charcoal Smokers
So these are the basics that should get you started. Once you get in and going with you new hobby, there are mods and other items you may look for. I branched off to a Weber Kettle and that has me using a rotisserie and pizza oven now too. Everyone finds what works for them, the likes, dislikes. You will experiment with stuff, like I did with the Inkbird and then land back where I already was on the ThermoPro. Get started, enjoy learning and take it from there.
I hope this was article The 5 Best Meat Smoking Accessories For Charcoal Smokers was beneficial to you and helped you decide what items are needed as you start smoking!
Here are some great starter recipes if you are new to smoking!
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