There are a selection of smoked meats and coleslaw on a wood cutting board. There are also pickles, peppers, and pickled onions.

Smoked Meat: Health Benefits and a Long History

Do you love good smoked meat? We do! Smoked meats, with their unique flavor and aroma, have been a culinary delight for centuries. Beyond their mouthwatering taste, these meats offer surprising health benefits, making them a worthy addition to your diet.

In this post, we'll explore fun facts about smoked meats and how they can positively contribute to your health.

Facts About Smoked Meats

Ancient Origins.

The practice of smoking meat dates back to ancient times. It was initially used as a method to preserve meat before the advent of refrigeration. Ancient civilizations around the world, including the Greeks, Chinese, and Native Americans, used smoke to extend the shelf life of meat and fish.

The Ring of Flavor

A coveted feature in properly smoked meats is the "smoke ring," a pink layer just beneath the surface of the meat. This is caused by the reaction of nitrogen dioxide in the smoke with the myoglobin in the meat, and it's often considered a sign of well-smoked barbecue.

Variety of Woods for Different Flavors

Different types of wood are used in the smoking process, each imparting a unique flavor to the meat. For instance, hickory gives a strong, bacon-like taste, while applewood offers a sweeter, milder flavor. Other popular woods include oak, mesquite, cherry, and pecan.

The Nutritional Upside of Smoked Meats

Protein Powerhouse

First and foremost, smoked meats are an excellent source of high-quality protein. Protein is crucial for muscle repair, bone health, and maintaining overall body function. Whether it's smoked chicken, beef, or fish, adding these to your diet ensures you're getting a significant amount of your daily protein needs.

Low in Carbohydrates

For those on a low-carb or ketogenic diet, smoked meats are an ideal option. With virtually zero carbohydrates, they fit perfectly into these dietary regimes, aiding in weight management and blood sugar control.

Rich in Vitamins and Minerals

Depending on the type of meat, smoking can retain essential nutrients. Smoked fish, for instance, is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, beneficial for heart health. Smoked meats also contain various vitamins and minerals, including iron, which is vital for blood health.

Mindful Eating: Balance and Moderation

While smoked meats are nutritious, it's important to consume them in moderation. Balance is key – enjoy smoked meats as a part of a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Flavor Explosion of Smoked Meats

The most apparent benefit of smoked meats in meals is the extraordinary flavor. Smoking imparts a depth of taste that is hard to replicate with other cooking methods.


Incorporating smoked meats into your diet can be both a health-conscious and flavorful decision. They provide essential nutrients, add incredible depth of flavor to meals, and offer versatility in the kitchen.

We're feeling pretty hungry for some meat after this post, how about you? Let us know in the comment your favorite type of smoked meat!

To try one of our new meals with smoked meat, order a meal today!

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