David Neinstein

The BBQ Boss Shares His Top Tips on How to Smoke Meat Like a Pro

David Neinstein — chef and co-owner of Barque Smokehouse in Toronto and Burlington, Ont., and Barque Butcher Bar in Toronto — gives advice on backyard smoking and shares his secret recipe for Barque’s Barbecue Sauce.


Many home cooks are intimidated by smoking. Any confidence-boosting advice?

“When done properly, smoking is no different than baking. Like an oven, a smoker uses indirect heat, but at lower temperatures, so it’s even harder to mess up.”

Which smoker is a good starting point for beginners?

“I like Traeger smokers for cooks of any level. They’re automated, use a thermostat and are fairly simple to clean and maintain. They’re more of an investment but well worth it.”

What should you cook to break in a new smoker?

“A great starting point is a whole butterflied chicken. A 3 lb (1.36 kg)  bird will cook beautifully in roughly 1 hour and 15 minutes at 300°F (150°C). This is considered “hot and fast” in the barbecue world!