23 Quick Smoker Recipes for Busy Pitmasters

Quick smoker recipes are essential to have if you run a busy household yet still want to utilize your smoker every chance you get. If you’re looking for quick smoker recipes, you’ve come to the right place. 

Quick Smoker Recipes
Quick Smoker Recipes

We’ve put together a list of the 23 quickest smoker recipes so you can fire up the smoker on even the busiest of days!

Our Favorite Quick Smoker Recipes

There’s no doubt that smoking meat is delicious, though it can be a cumbersome task at times. Most smoker recipes call for what we BBQ’ers call the “low and slow” method. That is, cooking meats at low temperatures for a very long time to fully saturate the meat in smoky goodness.

However, rest assured, there are some great smoked meat options that can be made in just a few short hours, or even under an hour! That’s right, forget about the 14-hour smoked brisket, we’ve got 23 quick smoker recipes that can be done on the fly!

Quick smoker recipes are great to have for those last-minute dinner plans, or days that are so busy they just slip away from you. The recipes we’ve put together can be started at 5:00 pm and on the table by 7:00, guaranteed!

Also, just because these meats smoke quickly doesn’t mean they will lack flavor! Oh no, our list includes some of the best meats to smoke with unbelievable flavor. Interestingly, they are just as good as meats that require low and slow smoking!

By now, you must be intrigued to know all the details of these quick meat options. So, without further ado, let’s dig into this guide and explore them.

Quick Smoker Recipes Chart

Meat Smoker Temp Cook Time Finish Temp
Hot Dogs 225 – 250°F 30 – 60 min 160°F
Hamburgers 225 – 250°F 30 – 60 min 160°F
Sausage 225 – 250°F 30 – 60 min 160°F
Steak 225 – 250°F 30 – 60 min 125 – 145°F
Beef Tenderloin 225 – 250°F 2 ½ – 3 hrs 130 – 140°F
Tri-tip 225 – 250°F 2 – 3 hrs 130 – 140°F
Pork Chop 225 – 250°F 1 – 2 hrs 165°F
Pork sausage 225 – 250°F 1 – 2 hrs 165°F
Pork Tenderloin 225 – 250°F 2 ½ – 3 hrs 160°F
Lamb rack 200 – 225°F 1 ¼ hrs 135 – 140°F
Chicken Wings 275 – 300°F 1 ¼ hrs 170°F
Chicken Thighs 275 – 300°F 1 ¼ hrs 170°F
Chicken Breast 275 – 300°F 1-2 hours 170°F
Chicken Quarters 275 – 300°F 1-2 hrs 170°F
Quail / Pheasant 225°F 1 hr 165°F
Shrimp 225°F 20-30 min N/A
Scallops 225°F 45-60 min 145°F
Oysters 225°F 30-40 min N/A
Lobster Tails 225°F 45 min 140°F
Whole Salmon 200°F when it flakes 145°F
Whole Trout 225°F 1 hr 145°F
Salmon Filet 220°F 1 hr 145°F
Tilapia Filet 220°F 1 hr 145°F

The 23 Best Quick Smoker Recipes

Let’s take a closer look into these top quick smoker recipes, shall we?

Be sure to pay attention to the recommended finished internal temperatures, as they will change with different types of meat.

PS. You can use any smoker for these recipes. We prefer to use a Pellet Grill because of its “set-and-forget” nature, but feel free to use Charcoal Smokers, Offset Smokers, and Electric Smokers! Whatever you’re comfortable with will do the trick.


Smoked Hot Dog Recipe

Smoked Hot Dogs are an American staple at any BBQ or Summer gathering and you’re missing out if you’re not preparing them in your smoker.

  • Smoker Temp: 225 – 250°F
  • Smoking Time: 30 – 60 mins
  • Finished Temp: 160°F

Smoked hot dogs are always a hit at any gathering, and because of their short smoking time, they’re easy to throw on the grill in a pinch! To elevate your smoked hot dogs, try adding a sweet and spicy apricot sauce.

In a small bowl, combine apricot jam, sweet chili sauce, and lemon juice. The sauce should be thick enough that it can be spooned onto the top of your hot dogs for a burst of sweet, spicy flavor.


Smoked Hamburgers Recipe

Smoked Hamburgers are juicy, flavourful, easy to cook, and best of all, can be done in the smoker and served in about an hour! A delicious smoky flavor will elevate your burgers to the next level, leaving your guests impressed and totally satisfied.

  • Smoker Temp: 225 – 250°F
  • Smoking Time: 30 – 60 mins
  • Finished Temp: 160°F

Smoked burgers are one of those great smoker recipes for beginners because they take minimal prep and are pretty hard to mess up. We recommend seasoning your ground beef patties with salt, pepper, and garlic powder and using a burger press to get perfectly shaped patties every time.

Looking to up your burger game? Try adding fun burger toppings like smoked pineapple, onion rings, or even smoked mac and cheese!


Smoked Beef Sausage Recipe

Smoked Beef Sausage is a great way to add some delicious smoke flavor to your next meal. Ready in under an hour and able to pair with an unlimited amount of dishes, what more could you ask for?

  • Smoker Temp: 225 – 250°F
  • Smoking Time: 30 – 60 mins
  • Finished Temp: 160°

Smoked Beef Sausage can be the star of your meal or a delicious side that will elevate any meal from breakfast to dinner. If you want to try something new, try pairing your smoked sausage with a smoked baked beans dish made with brown sugar and bacon.


Smoked Steak Recipe

Smoked Steak is an easy and pain-free way of elevating your favorite steak night recipe. By cooking your steak in the smoker, you’re allowing it to absorb all the flavors from your chosen wood ships to create a mouthwatering smoky flavor.

  • Smoker Temp: 225 – 250°F
  • Smoking Time: 30 – 60 mins
  • Finished Temp: 135°F for Medium

To take it up a notch, try the Reverse Sear Method. Reverse searing includes smoking your steak in the smoker and then quickly searing it in a very hot cast iron pan with butter. This creates a golden ‘crust’ that has an incredible buttery crunch when you bite into the succulent meat. Pair with a side of smoked sweet potatoes and salad to create a well-rounded and complete meal.


Smoked Beef Tenderloin Recipe

Smoked Beef Tenderloin is surprisingly easy to make, only requires a few simple ingredients, and is sure to impress your guests.

  • Smoker Temp: 225 – 250°F
  • Smoker Time: 2 ½ – 3 hours
  • Finished Temp: 130 – 140°F

When cooked right, smoked beef tenderloin is rich and tender with a delicious hint of smoke flavor. Being a tender cut of meat, beef tenderloin becomes a smoky delight in a short time, making it one of the easiest and most delicious smoker recipes.


Smoked Tri-Tip Recipe

Smoked Tri-Tip has an incredibly delicious taste and juicy texture that is sure to be a new family favorite. Serve alongside some of our mouthwatering sides for an appetizing dinner you’ll be drooling over.

  • Smoker Temp: 225 – 250°F
  • Smoker Time: 2 – 3 hours
  • Finished Temp: 130 – 140°F

Tri-Tip gets its name from the triangular shape of the cut. Often described as a slightly cheaper brisket, this cut of meat provides a tasty alternative you can pair with a huge variety of sides.

To get the most out of your smoked tri-tip, take it out of the smoker a little early and sear it on a hot cast iron pan. This reverse sear method creates a crispy layer on the outside while locking in all the juices on the inside.


Smoked Pork Chops Recipe

Smoked Pork Chops, whether you choose bone-in or boneless, are a great and easy-to-make smoked dish. Pork is very flavorful meat and pairing it with a good smoky taste brings it to the next level.

  • Smoker Temp: 225 – 250°F
  • Smoker Time: 1 – 2 hours
  • Finished Temp: 165°F

Since pork chops are so flavorful on their own, they don’t require a whole lot of prep. Simply season with your favorite dry rub and throw them in the smoker for 1-2 hours. Once they’ve reached an internal temperature of 165°F, take them out and serve them with your favorite barbecue sauce.


Smoked Pork Sausage Recipe

Smoked Pork Sausage is a natural crowd-pleaser, and also quite impressive if you choose to make them from scratch!

  • Smoker Temp: 225 – 250°F
  • Smoker Time: 1 – 2 hours
  • Finished Temp: 165°F

To make smoked pork sausage from scratch, all you need is a sausage grinder, hog casings to stuff with ground meat, and whatever seasonings and vegetables you choose to add! Our recipe calls for a variety of bell peppers, jalapenos, brown sugar, and seasonings.


Smoked Pork Tenderloin Recipe

Smoked Pork Tenderloin is juicy, rich, and sure to make your dinner parties quite memorable! It doesn’t take much to smoke this cut of meat to perfection, making it one of the best smoker recipes that we have!

  • Smoker Temp: 225 – 250°F
  • Smoker Time: 2 ½ – 3 hours
  • Finished Temp: 160°F

Pork Tenderloin is lean meat and smoking it is pretty hassle-free. Pork loin is versatile and delicious, and it can even be made into pulled pork! Though pulled pork is most often made with pork shoulder or pork butt, you can also make a good smoked pulled pork with pork tenderloin!


Smoked Lamb Rack Recipe

Smoked Lamb Rack is incredibly succulent meat, perfect for a Sunday dinner with the family. Using a smoker to cook your rack of lamb will add a powerful smokey flavor that you can’t achieve with other cooking methods, and the texture will literally melt in your mouth.

  • Smoker Temp: 200 – 225°F
  • Smoker Time: 1 ¼ hour
  • Finished Temp: 135 – 140°F

Lamb is served best when smothered in buttery herbs and smoked low and slow. This results in an incredibly succulent texture and delicious flavor that will rival a restaurant-quality roast dinner. Pair with mashed potatoes, sour cream, and smoked corn for a burst of incredible flavor.


Smoked Chicken Wings Recipe

Smoked Chicken Wings are the perfect finger food for your next party. Crispy skin on the outside and tender on the inside, they are packed with flavor and sure to please any crowd. And, best of all, they’re easy to make!

  • Smoker Temp: 275 – 300°F
  • Smoker Time: 1 ¼ hour
  • Finished Temp: 170°F

Smoked chicken wings are great for game day, family BBQ night, or just about any other occasion! Play around with different wing rubs or sauces, or keep it simple with salt, pepper, and a squirt of lemon or lime juice. Either way, they’ll be a hit!


Smoked Chicken Thighs Recipe

Smoked Chicken Thighs should be your go-to if you’re looking for a new, inexpensive, and easy-to-make chicken meal.

  • Smoker Temp: 275 – 300°F
  • Smoker Time: 1 ¼ hour
  • Finished Temp: 170°F

Chicken thigh meat is much more tender and juicy than chicken breasts. When smoked, chicken thighs provide the most watering and savory flavor that your taste buds will ever experience! Plus, they’re comparatively less expensive than most other types of meat, perfect for a budget-friendly dinner.


Smoked Chicken Breasts Recipe

Smoked Chicken Breast is a great way to elevate a classic (and sometimes boring) chicken breast. By smoking your chicken breasts, you add an extra layer of flavor to your healthy food, making it truly delicious.

  • Smoker Temp: 275 – 300°F
  • Smoker Time: 1-2 hours
  • Finished Temp: 170°F

Chicken breast is typically preferred over smoked turkey breast because it’s juicier and more tender than turkey meat. To make the best-smoked chicken breasts, season them with your favorite seasonings and remove them from the smoker at 170°F! There’s nothing worse than over-cooked chicken so keep an eye on your meat with a good quality meat thermometer!


Smoked Chicken Quarters Recipe

Smoked Chicken Quarters are whole chicken legs, including the thigh and drumstick. Chicken quarters are an inexpensive cut of meat and can be quite delicious when cooked properly.

  • Smoker Temp: 275 – 300°F
  • Smoker Time: 1-2 hours
  • Finished Temp: 170°F

Chicken leg quarters are a perfect combination of crispy, tender, and juicy chicken. To ensure the best texture in your final product, ensure your smoker maintains a temperature of at least 275 – 300°F.


Smoked Quail / Pheasant Recipe

Smoked Quail is a unique and impressive dish to cook, full of delicious and sweet flavor that pairs perfectly with a good smoke flavor.

  • Smoker Temp: 225°F
  • Smoker Time: 1 hour
  • Finished Temp: 165°F

Smoked quail can be difficult to find in an average grocery store, but once you get your hands on it, you’ll never look back. This small bird is a show-stopper in any BBQ meal and is sure to impress your guests no matter the occasion.


Smoked Shrimp Recipe

Smoked Shrimp is one of the best appetizers you can make before a BBQ party. They’re one of the quickest dishes you can make in the smoker, taking only 20 minutes, and they are the perfect finger food.

  • Smoker Temp: 225°F
  • Smoker Time: 20-30 min
  • Finished Temp: N/A

These shrimp are minimally seasoned to allow for the smoke flavor to be the star of the show, but additional spice can be added if desired. Because of the short smoking duration, feel free to use a stronger-flavored wood, such as hickory or mesquite. Serve over cheesy grits, rice, on top of a salad, or as an appetizer with remoulade sauce.


Smoked Scallops Recipe

Smoked Scallops are an amazing way to transform average sea scallops. Full of protein and a perfect appetizer, smoking scallops adds a deep and delicious smoke flavor to this seafood.

  • Smoker Temp: 225°F
  • Smoker Time: 45-60 min
  • Finished Temp: 145°F

To take smoked scallops to the next level, try wrapping them in bacon! This appetizer is sure to be a crowd-pleaser at any get-together.

If bacon isn’t your thing, try serving your smoked scallops in a white wine and garlic sauce made with butter, olive oil, garlic, and white wine. Simmer all ingredients and serve with a squirt of lemon juice!


Smoked Oysters Recipe

Smoked Oysters are a great way to add a spin to this seafood that is typically served raw.

  • Smoker Temp: 225°F
  • Smoker Time: 30-40 min
  • Finished Temp: N/A

Smoked oysters can be served on their own or with your favorite hot sauce and a lemon wedge.


Smoked Lobster Tails Recipe

Smoked Lobster Tails are one of the easiest and most impressive seafood dishes you can make at home. Not only are they stunning to look at, but they’re also packed with flavor.

  • Smoker Temp: 225°F
  • Smoker Time: 45 min
  • Finished Temp: 140°F

Smoked lobster tails can be served with a variety of sides like grilled vegetables or mashed potatoes. They can also be served over pasta, rice, or smoked steak for a true surf and turf meal. No matter how you serve it, smoked lobster tails are sure to impress your guests.


Smoked Whole Salmon Recipe

Smoked Whole Salmon is a great dish to prepare if you can get your hands on a whole salmon!

  • Smoker Temp: 200°F
  • Smoker Time: when it starts to flake
  • Finished Temp: 145°F

Smoked salmon is best served with dill, shallots, and lemon.


Smoked Whole Trout Recipe

Smoked Whole Trout is a great way to cook trout at home.

  • Smoker Temp: 225°F
  • Smoker Time: 1 hour
  • Finished Temp: 145°F

In just under an hour, you can have the most delicious, smoky-flavored fish you’ve ever had.


Smoked Salmon Filet Recipe

Smoked Salmon Filet is a fan favorite, and one of our favorite quick smoker recipes! If your guests like smoked fish, there is no better meal to serve than smoked salmon!

  • Smoker Temp: 220°F
  • Smoker Time: 1 hour
  • Finished Temp: 145°F

If you love salmon as much as we do, try this Cedar Plank Salmon next time you fire up the smoker! While serving this smoky delight, squeeze some lemon juice on the fish to add the much-needed tangy flavor. You can also garnish this dish with some lemon zest, as most professionals do.


Smoked Tilapia Filet Recipe

Smoked Tilapia has an amazing texture and the best flavor, and is one of the most healthy types of smoked fish to eat!

  • Smoker Temp: 220°F
  • Smoker Time: 1 hour
  • Finished Temp: 145°F

Tilapia is a very easy-to-cook fish, and it is like a blank canvas on which you can experiment with different seasonings and flavorings of your choice. Smoked tilapia is a very popular fish that can be served either as a main dish or it can be served as a side dish with some amazing dips and salads.


Tips For Preparing Quick Smoker Recipes

There are a few factors that influence how quickly your meat will be smoked. The meat’s thickness, the smoker’s type, and the desired level of smokiness all influence how long it will take to smoke.

Here are a few tips to ensure that your quick smoker recipes turn out perfect every time.

Brine The Chicken

Regardless of what part of the chicken you decide to cook, brining is an important step that can make or break your meal. Brining helps the bird retain all its juices and become tender and moist within a short period.

Sear Your Tri-Tip Steak

Tri-tip is a lean beef cut that doesn’t take long to smoke. That said, smoking alone won’t give your Tri-tip steak a nice crispy crust. To get that, we recommend searing the meat in a cast iron pan before serving the steak.

Rescue Overcooked Pork Ribs

Baby back ribs can be cooked quickly, but they’re also pretty easy to mess up. If you’ve accidentally overcooked your ribs, resulting in dry and tough meat, there is a solution!

In this case, you can coat your ribs with a 1:1 ratio mix of apple cider vinegar and BBQ sauce, wrap them in foil, and place them in the oven for about an hour. This coating with add moisture back into your ribs, saving you from an overcooked disaster!


Final Takeaway

Just because you don’t have enough time doesn’t mean you can’t prepare a nice BBQ meal for your friends and family. As discussed in this guide, there are several meat options that do not take an obscene amount of time to smoke. Moreover, they taste just as delicious and juicy as slow-smoking meats.

So, make sure to try all of these and fill your food table with beautiful, tender, and aromatic delights!