There’s nothing quite like the smell of barbecue on the wind.

With summer well on the way and plenty of opportunities around the corner for long nights and good food, it’s time to figure out the state of your barbecue pits. Are they in working condition or could you use a replacement just in time for camping season? A good standing smoker needs to be more than just competent. It needs to hold up to customization, meat smoking and transportation in fine form. For those looking into custom smokers this year, or could just use some maintenance tips, the list below is for you.

How can you make this year the tastiest one yet?

Barbecuing In America

What’s one of the great American pasttimes? Aside from baseball and camping, barbecuing is an incredibly popular way of enjoying the outdoors and mingling with loved ones. The U.S. Census Bureau found nearly 80 million Americans reporting grilling back in 2016 alone, for reasons ranging from personal celebrations to enjoying yearly festivities. The Fourth Of July remains one of the most popular grilling days in the United States, with a staggering 85% of people planning outdoor cooking events for that holiday on a regular basis.

The Most Popular Styles Of Barbecue

Whether you prefer a standing smoker or custom charcoal grills installed in your backyard, barbecue is a great addition to just about any event. The four main styles of barbecue are Memphis, Texas, Carolina and Kansas City, all enjoyed for their own flourishes and finishes. Some prefer their barbecue to be slathered in as much sauce as possible, while others prefer a light glaze alongside crispy edges. According to the Guinness World Records, the longest barbecue marathon was held back in 2014 and ran for a whopping 80 hours.

Smoking Your Meat The Right Way

Safety is important when creating tasty food for the whole family. Meat should be cooked in close accordance with temperature standards to prevent the spread of harmful, even deadly, bacteria. Both ground beef and pork should be cooked until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Flipping your meat routinely will ensure your food is cooked through properly and, of course, make sure to check your temperature with a thermometer in multiple spots to stay on the safe side.

Delicious Barbecue Ideas For Any Event

Thinking of shaking things up with a new recipe? There are a lot of fun ways to get the most out of your standing smoker, whether you’re grilling the newest catch after a fishing excursion or trying out a recommended recipe. Kebabs are particularly popular, able to be stacked with all sorts of goodness and a lot cleaner than digging into sloppy ribs (though those have a time and place, too). When smoking meat make sure to apply your sauce during the last 15 to 30 minutes. This will prevent excess browning and keep your meat moist, not dry.

Choosing The Right Standing Smoker

Can you taste summer already? Here’s what you should do to get the most out of your standing smoker. The Hearth, Patio And Barbecue Association (or HBPA) reported over 60% of grillers cooking outdoor year-round, for all sorts of celebrations, and this constant activity can eventually wear on your meat smoker. Turning on all your burners to their highest setting for around 15 minutes can burn away excess residue on a gas grill, keeping you from having to scrub and scrub your equipment for hours. The best smoked meat should also be accompanied by the right type of charcoal, which can be seasoned, to boot.

Ready for summer? Your barbecue will no doubt be one warm memory after another this 2018.