13 Things You Should Never Do in a Restaurant

Dining out is meant to be a fun and pleasant experience. We show up, we sit down, we order, we eat, we pay, and we leave. But while that may sound like a rather straightforward experience, there are actually a host of unspoken rules that you really should be playing by.

13 Things You Should Never Do in a Restaurant (Slideshow)

A restaurant worker’s job is a lot more difficult than it appears. Hosts don’t just wait for a table to open up and then seat people there; they follow a complex system to make sure that reservations are honored, servers share the workload equally, and everything keeps moving. The servers aren’t your servants; they need to be doing a constant and seamless juggling job while standing for hours on end, all the while making sure that everyone gets what he or she orders, and all with a smiling face. The bussers’ and runners’ sole job isn’t to bring you ketchup; they need to make sure that the right food goes to the right person, water glasses are filled, and dirty plates are cleared.

There’s a lot that needs to happen in order to allow restaurant service to go smoothly, and while guests are obviously paying customers, there’s no excuse for them to act like jerks. It would seem like common sense to simply be nice, but for a lot of people, impatience and self-centeredness flips on the moment they enter a restaurant. There’s obviously an issue when it takes an hour to receive your food, and in certain situations it’s okay to bring problems you have to a manager. But don’t assume that the root of the problem is the server, and don’t take it out on him or her.

Some things that you should never do in a restaurant are fairly obvious, but others probably don’t come naturally to some people. So the next time you’re at a restaurant, put yourself in the staff’s shoes for a little while, and follow the Golden Rule: be nice to them, and they’ll not only be nice to you back, you’ll have made their day a little better. And don’t just tip, tip well!

Arrive Right Before the Kitchen Closes

If a restaurant closes at 11, that doesn’t mean that you can show up at 10:50 and expect the staff to be okay with it. The staff has most likely had a very long and hard day, and there’s a ton of cleanup to do before they can go home. Don’t make them stay late just so you can eat.

Sit Down Before the Table is Cleared

Yes, the table is technically available, but you’re not going to get service any quicker if you sit down before it’s cleared. You’ll just make the busser’s job more difficult, and have to look at a whole bunch of dirty dishes.

100 Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do (Part 2)

This is the second half of the 100 do’s and don’ts from last week’s post. Again, this list is for one particular restaurant, mine, which is under construction in Bridgehampton, N.Y., and will, with any luck, open this spring. I realize that every deli needs a wisecracking waiter, most pizza joints can handle heavy metal, and burgers always taste better when delivered by a server with tattoos and tongue piercing(s).

Not even a hundred suggestions can cover all the bases, so one is grateful for the many comments following the 50, including striking “you guys” from the restaurant lexicon and making sure the alcohol order is taken lickety-split. Thanks for all of the help.

51. If there is a service charge, alert your guests when you present the bill. It’s not a secret or a trick.

52. Know your menu inside and out. If you serve Balsam Farm candy-striped beets, know something about Balsam Farm and candy-striped beets.

53. Do not let guests double-order unintentionally remind the guest who orders ratatouille that zucchini comes with the entree.

54. If there is a prix fixe, let guests know about it. Do not force anyone to ask for the “special” menu.

55. Do not serve an amuse-bouche without detailing the ingredients. Allergies are a serious matter peanut oil can kill. (This would also be a good time to ask if anyone has any allergies.)

56. Do not ignore a table because it is not your table. Stop, look, listen, lend a hand. (Whether tips are pooled or not.)

57. Bring the pepper mill with the appetizer. Do not make people wait or beg for a condiment.

58. Do not bring judgment with the ketchup. Or mustard. Or hot sauce. Or whatever condiment is requested.

59. Do not leave place settings that are not being used.

60. Bring all the appetizers at the same time, or do not bring the appetizers. Same with entrees and desserts.

61. Do not stand behind someone who is ordering. Make eye contact. Thank him or her.

62. Do not fill the water glass every two minutes, or after each sip. You’ll make people nervous.

62(a). Do not let a glass sit empty for too long.

63. Never blame the chef or the busboy or the hostess or the weather for anything that goes wrong. Just make it right.

64. Specials, spoken and printed, should always have prices.

65. Always remove used silverware and replace it with new.

66. Do not return to the guest anything that falls on the floor — be it napkin, spoon, menu or soy sauce.

67. Never stack the plates on the table. They make a racket. Shhhhhh.

68. Do not reach across one guest to serve another.

69. If a guest is having trouble making a decision, help out. If someone wants to know your life story, keep it short. If someone wants to meet the chef, make an effort.

70. Never deliver a hot plate without warning the guest. And never ask a guest to pass along that hot plate.

71. Do not race around the dining room as if there is a fire in the kitchen or a medical emergency. (Unless there is a fire in the kitchen or a medical emergency.)

72. Do not serve salad on a freezing cold plate it usually advertises the fact that it has not been freshly prepared.

73. Do not bring soup without a spoon. Few things are more frustrating than a bowl of hot soup with no spoon.

74. Let the guests know the restaurant is out of something before the guests read the menu and order the missing dish.

75. Do not ask if someone is finished when others are still eating that course.

76. Do not ask if a guest is finished the very second the guest is finished. Let guests digest, savor, reflect.

78. Do not ask, 𠇊re you still working on that?” Dining is not work — until questions like this are asked.

79. When someone orders a drink “straight up,” determine if he wants it “neat” — right out of the bottle — or chilled. Up is up, but “straight up” is debatable.

80. Never insist that a guest settle up at the bar before sitting down transfer the tab.

81. Know what the bar has in stock before each meal.

82. If you drip or spill something, clean it up, replace it, offer to pay for whatever damage you may have caused. Refrain from touching the wet spots on the guest.

83. Ask if your guest wants his coffee with dessert or after. Same with an after-dinner drink.

84. Do not refill a coffee cup compulsively. Ask if the guest desires a refill.

84(a). Do not let an empty coffee cup sit too long before asking if a refill is desired.

85. Never bring a check until someone asks for it. Then give it to the person who asked for it.

86. If a few people signal for the check, find a neutral place on the table to leave it.

87. Do not stop your excellent service after the check is presented or paid.

88. Do not ask if a guest needs change. Just bring the change.

89. Never patronize a guest who has a complaint or suggestion listen, take it seriously, address it.

90. If someone is getting agitated or effusive on a cellphone, politely suggest he keep it down or move away from other guests.

91. If someone complains about the music, do something about it, without upsetting the ambiance. (The music is not for the staff — it’s for the customers.)

92. Never play a radio station with commercials or news or talking of any kind.

93. Do not play brass — no brassy Broadway songs, brass bands, marching bands, or big bands that feature brass, except a muted flugelhorn.

94. Do not play an entire CD of any artist. If someone doesn’t like Frightened Rabbit or Michael Bublé, you have just ruined a meal.

95. Never hover long enough to make people feel they are being watched or hurried, especially when they are figuring out the tip or signing for the check.

96. Do not say anything after a tip — be it good, bad, indifferent — except, “Thank you very much.”

97. If a guest goes gaga over a particular dish, get the recipe for him or her.

98. Do not wear too much makeup or jewelry. You know you have too much jewelry when it jingles and/or draws comments.

99. Do not show frustration. Your only mission is to serve. Be patient. It is not easy.

100. Guests, like servers, come in all packages. Show a “good table” your appreciation with a free glass of port, a plate of biscotti or something else management approves.

Bonus Track: As Bill Gates has said, “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” (Of course, Microsoft is one of the most litigious companies in history, so one can take Mr. Gates’s counsel with a grain of salt. Gray sea salt is a nice addition to any table.)

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WOW! I know I do not, and will not eat any where with that many rules! I return to many eateries because the staff is enterteining, sometimes better than the food…
Sorry you’re so ? I’m sure you’ll understand. Don’t take the pleasure out of dining out.

So if a guest is confused, we should help them (#69) but doesn’t that contradict #43 that says telling them my favorite dessert is irrelevant? Ugh.

Hooray – for both Parts 1 & 2! I actually cheered out loud while reading the first installment. …Now, perhaps someone would like to adapt these for customer service in other businesses — ALL other businesses.

Yep, being a waiter really bites.

I would never wait a table at your restaurant….after knowing all of the things I can not do at your restaurant I would be scared to do anything at all!

Also, you should have double checked your list to make sure that your � Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do” isn’t actually 98 things never to do (with 2 items listed twice).

Mr. Buschel,
If this is how your restaurant will be run, I will gladly make a trip out to Bridgehampton next year for a meal.

Never, ever make diners wait for the check. I𠆝 rather wait 30 minutes to be seated than 5 minutes extra to exit the restaurant.

On #85: I understand that some people don’t like being given the check without asking since it makes them feel rushed, but I hate spending ten anxious minutes trying to find my server and get his attention so I can get the check so I’m not late to where I’m going next. Having the check gives me the option to leave whenever I𠆝 like, whereas not having the check only gives me the option to maybe leave eventually. At least come back and ask if I𠆝 like anything else so I can ask for the check gracefully.

Never say “No problem”. Always say “Thank you”.

Please tell me how much money you pay your staff, Massa Bruce. You seem to think restaurant staff are personal servants, perhaps in a British country house in the 1920s. And how to you feel about unions? By the way, I have never worked in a restaurant – I’m a lawyer. I don’t expect someone being underpaid, as I’m sure your staff are, or even adequately paid, to comply with your endless list of rules.

May I suggest, as an addition to #98, wear no fragrance?

ANOHER RULE: Do not grab a customer by the wrist to prevent him from picking up somethhing from the table. This happened at a $125 per person price range restaurant. He’s no longer working there.

55. Do not serve an amuse-bouche without detailing the ingredients. Allergies are a serious matter peanut oil can kill. (This would also be a good time to ask if anyone has any allergies.)

I think I𠆝 probably kill my waiter if s/he did this. If I have allergies, I’ll let you know. I don’t want to hear all of the ingredients in every course.

67. Never stack the plates on the table. They make a racket. Shhhhhh.

Well what do you suggest they do? Come back for them one at a time? I suppose then you would complain about “hovering.”

76. Do not ask if a guest is finished the very second the guest is finished. Let guests digest, savor, reflect.

Some people don’t like dirty plats sitting in front of them for ten minutes after a meal.

91. If someone complains about the music, do something about it, without upsetting the ambiance. (The music is not for the staff — it’s for the customers.)

Maybe you’re the only overly demanding customer that has a problem with the music. Learn some social awareness. Same goes for your other suggestions about music.

97. If a guest goes gaga over a particular dish, get the recipe for him or her.

Are you kidding? Keeping recipes secret is how restaurants stay in business.

Congratulations. This list makes you sound even more obnoxious than the first. There’s just no pleasing some people.

Why is it that a pepper mill must be brought and administered?

For a few hundred bucks, why can a restaurant not just set one out at each table, so when you get your salad or appetizer, you don’t have to wait for the server to go fetch the pepper mill, grind it a couple of times, ask if you want more, grind it again, ask again, etc.?

Although he makes some good basic points, he restaurant business is not as rigid as Mr. Buschel makes it out to be since we deal with people, not robots. In addition, in reality, asking the Chef/kitchen for a recipe (#97) in the middle of a busy rush will not go over well. #99 guests can be very frustrating, how about you give the staff amount of consideration Mr. Buschel is dictating?

How about the service staff come up with a ‘Top 100′ (there are certainly much more) list of things guests should not do at a restaurant?

This one may be taking micromanaging to a whole new level.

Nice hints for servers, but SKIP THE PEPPER. What is it with Americans and pepper all over everytrhing? A dish comes out of a kitchen as the chef prepares it – leave salt and pepper in the kitchen, not on the table. Other condiments – okay if they want soya, bring it, but you all use too much salt and I never understood the pepper routine.

I’m glad I’m not a customer at one of your restaurants. Much of the enjoyment for me when I go to a restaurant is interacting with the wait staff. Your rules would entirely de-humanize them.

Always yield to the guest no matter what. I can’t how many times a harried server has almost knocked me over in a rush to serve another table. (read: move aside and let the guest pass you by)

When serving, always face the guest, never present your back when placing down a plate or glass.

Answer the phone with a smile. Those on the other end can hear the inflection of your voice.

Many of these are really the management’s area. Music is not the job of the waiter. Same with the bar tab. Some restaurants insist that the two areas are different. Most good service comes from a restaurant that has trained its servers and thought about what makes a great dining experience.

I was recently at a restaurant with a good reputation where I have eaten several times with a good experience. But this time the place was full of a large group and there was but one waiter. It took 2 hours for our meal. I noticed the owner in the background, not helping. And when my order came, the food was not what I thought I was getting. When I asked the waiter, he sent her over and she argued that I should have know by magic what was in the dish. I specifically said that I did not want a certain ingredient and clearly the waiter was not aware of how it was made so they left off half the order. And the owner in a later email, instead of apologizing or making it better, said I shouldn’t come back. Everything that was wrong with the meal was about not training the waiter. He didn’t have a clue about how the dish was made, or ask the kitchen, or once the mistake was made try and make it better. I won’t be going back and I will further make sure no one I know ever does either.

The allergies issue is very important but asking a table if anyone has any allergies could put someone uncomfortably on the spot. They might not want to reveal something personal to their dining companion, be it date, boss or business contact. Simply tell what dishes have peanuts, MSG, or other offenders with a breezy notation that those with allergies ought to look out for these particular dishes.

Oh my god, yes to 88! My # 1 pet peeve at a restaurant, for sure!

I have one to add — if people seem to enjoy the dessert, and polish the plate, take it as a compliment to the pastry chef.

Our waiter at Chez Henri in Cambridge once said, “Gobble, gobble…” when he picked up our shared dessert plate. It was pretty rude, and unfortunately, comes to mind when we’re choosing a restaurant for a night out.

Particularly, emphasize admonition #8 (no interrupting conversations) with #14 (asking how everything is so far) by combining them, and even better, by inviting the guest to let the server know if anything is not all right.

Especially #65: one should not have to request clean silverware with the salad (or main course)! Especially #90: cell phones are obnoxious. Also #91: unpleasant or too loud music. Also the thing about asking whether the diner “needs change.” It is a very obvious reminder to tip, which is obnoxious.

All these are good, but relics of a more gracious, polite, and tasteful age. Good luck.

Mistake: Buying thin-cut bacon.


Thin, flimsy bacon may be cheaper, but it simply doesn't cook as nicely as the thicker-cut slabs of bacon, says Chris Royster, the executive chef and partner at Flagstaff House Restaurant in Boulder, Colorado.

How to fix it: Always buy thick-cut bacon, Royster says. "That way, you'll get that crisp outside, and nice, chewy, meaty inside," he says.

8 Things You Should Never Order From Cracker Barrel

Cracker Barrel is known for its homestyle, country cooking &mdash which is not exactly known for being healthy. There are a handful of gems on the menu that won't break your diet, but you're more likely to run into dishes that are calorie-packed and sodium-heavy. Avoid these ones.

Every dessert at Cracker Barrel packs more than the maximum amount of sugar you should eat per day, but the apple bake is seriously scary. It comes covered with pecan streusel, vanilla ice cream, and apple sauce, which increases the sugar to 118 milligrams &mdash a whopping five times the average amount a woman should have in a day. The calorie count will make you shudder, too: 1,720.

Order anything but this seafood soup if you want something to warm you up. A bowl of it has 1,800 grams of sodium, 54 carbs, and 880 calories. It's served with not one but two packs of crackers too, which together have half as many carbs as just the soup.

This is one of the heartiest morning meals you can find at the restaurant &mdash and also one of the worst for you. Even the dish description starts with "Just loosen your belt&hellip". The platter comes with three eggs, fried apples, and a hashbrown casserole to start, plus a choice of meat and all the fixings: gravy, buttermilk biscuits, butter, and jam. If you play your cards right (or wrong, actually), you risk eating a total of 1,615 calories, 74 grams of fat, and 140 grams of carbs.

The base of this dish is a healthy bed of lettuce, but it's topped with fried chicken. That brings the calorie count to 790 and the number of carbs to 62 grams. (The grilled chicken option is a slightly better choice in both departments.) Pair it with the worst offender on the dressing list &mdash honey French &mdash and you'll add another 25 grams of sugar, 580 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of fat, and 350 calories to the whole thing.

At 900 calories and 67 grams of fat, the sandwich alone would be bad for you. But when you consider the fact that it comes with a side of your choosing (which could add up to another 470 calories) and a sampling of coleslaw, it's best to avoid this dish altogether.

The restaurant runs a dinner special every night of the week, and Sunday's is the worst in every way. Chefs fry two chicken breasts in a buttermilk batter, and alone those pack 1,350 calories and 3,200 milligrams of sodium (900 more than doctors recommend you top out at each day). The platter is served with two sides and a biscuit or muffin, which could add up to another 1,000 calories, depending on what you choose.

If Cracker Barrel's regular entries are as unhealthy as we've proven, you can imagine anything with the word "double" in it will be bad. The two patties topped with maple bacon will cost you 930 calories and 49 grams of carbs. Obviously, the fries, coleslaw, and corn muffins it comes with only makes things worse.

This morning meal is listed under Cracker Barrel's Wholesome Fixin's menu section, but nothing about it is all that wholesome. The low-fat vanilla yogurt is topped with so much fruit and granola, that it clocks in at 41 grams of sugar. You're better off skipping the parfait and ordering the sides it comes with &mdash a turkey sausage patty and two egg whites.

"One of my major goals is to fix the delivery pizza box," Grossman said. Why? Because when you bake a pizza pie and then slide it into a cardboard box, the pizza keeps cooking in the confines of the box, often to the detriment of the pie. "You&aposre essentially steaming the pizza in the box," he said. And that&aposs not optimal, particularly if you&aposre trying out a spot for the first time. The crispiness in the crust gets lost on the way to your house.

New York-style pizza is built for folding lengthwise in order to eat the whole slice without having to navigate an overly wide wedge. Folding is just fine, Grossman said, but he&aposs seen people fold it by bringing the tip of the slice up to the crust. "That just doesn&apost make sense," he said, in terms of getting the right ratio of sauce, cheese, and crust in a bite.

Pret-a-Manger Choc Bar

Pret-a-Manger, a sandwich shop chain with locations all over the world, started sharing fan-favorite recipes on Twitter with the hashtag "#PretRecipeBook." The first one? Pret's iconic choc bar. The steps are a bit tricky, but we promise that the payoff is worth it. (No wonder it's so good in stores!)

Get the recipe for Pret's Choc Bar.

And for more on how things are changing because of the virus, Here's What Dining Out at Restaurants Post-Lockdown Will Look Like.

14 Things You Should Never, Ever Say to Your Server

Whether fine-dining or a dinky diner, an insider gives us the clear do's and don'ts.

While we already knew that those who work in the food service industry have had experienced nightmare shifts, there are still so many faux pas that customers continue to commit at restaurants across the country. Here's everything your server won't tell you (but probably should) that you should never say or do during your visit.

1. "Thanks, sweetie/honey/baby/sugar."

Using any kind of pet name or nickname is highly inappropriate. We don't know each other. And we're definitely not your pet.

2. "You can still seat us, right?"

After dropping in 10 minutes before closing time, when the kitchen is virtually packed up and the half the line cooks have already gone home.

3. "Can I have a hot tea?"

It sounds simple but really it takes forever to pull together. Especially when there's a basket of brews to choose from, a mug and saucer to balance, and a piping hot mini kettle to juggle along with it. Worst yet is when you honey *and* lemon with it.

4. "I'll take. "

Don't demand your meal, ask nicely for it. "I'll take" and "Give me" implies entitlement. A simple "I would like. " or "Can I have. " instead. And don't ever forget to say "please" and "thank you." It sounds obvious, but you won't believe the number of times simple manners aren't expressed.

5. "What's your favorite thing on the menu?"

Believe me, you don't want our honest opinion. We're here so often, we're sick of everything on the menu. Plus, you and I are not the same person so we're going to like different things anyway.

6. *whistling*

Yeah, no. We're not your servants. Treat us like fellow human beings.

7. *snapping*

Again, not okay for any reason. If you need our attention, make eye contact or slightly raise your hand.

8. "Susie, tell her what you want."

Sorry, but we don't have all damn day to wait around while your 4-year-old mumbles, whispers, and gets distracted by her coloring page menu while trying to order her chocolate chip pancakes "like a big girl." Just tell us what she wants so we can get it right and be on our way.

9. "Can I have ______ and _______ instead?"

If you truly don't like American cheese and would rather have Swiss, we understand and we'll help you out. But as soon as you start making multiple changes, your order is bound to get screwy in the kitchen and you're not going to be happy when it arrives. Take the menu as is or go elsewhere.

10. "We're in a rush&mdashcan you get our order in first?"

I don't think you understand how restaurants work. If you don't have time to dine in, then you shouldn't be here. Get some Mickey D's and call it a day.

11. "This costs HOW MUCH?!"

Servers don't control the prices so don't make a big deal when we tell you the market price on the sea scallops or fresh-caught lobster. If you want to pinch pennies, hit the supermarket and prepare everything yourself.

12. "Take this cash and put the rest on the card."

This is only problematic when you forget what your total bill was (say $90) and we only get tipped on the portion that was charged to the credit or debit card (say $40). It feels like a cut to the heart honestly.

13. "We'd like to sit at this very specific table."

When you refuse to sit where the host chooses, you're creating issues for workflow. This means the server may be given two or more parties back-to-back, which can then cause a back-up of orders in the kitchen and a very hungry dining room. Please don't screw with the seating system.

14. "Can you split the check six ways?"

Not everyone carries cash these days, so we understand splitting the bill can sometimes be necessary. But going beyond three ways is excessive (and a total time suck for us). Venmo exists for a reason, people. Hell, you can even pay your friends back on Snapchat and Facebook now.

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Double Fudge Coca-Cola Cake

No, dessert typically isn't "healthy." But it shouldn't surprise you that this sugar-filled cake is on the list of what not to order at Cracker Barrel. It has 790 calories (think about that number on top of the rest of your meal), 33 grams of fat, and 96 grams of sugar. That's around 24 teaspoons of sugar in one menu item.

7. Planting All Seeds At the Same Depth

Another common mistake that rookie vegetable gardeners make is planting all of their seeds at the same depth. Normally, you can figure out how deep your seeds need to be planted by looking at the seeds themselves – the size of the seeds should give an indication of how deep they need to go. The smaller the seed, the more shallowly it should be sown.

Planting your seeds too shallow can cause them to dry out before they sprout. Plant too deep, and they might not get the sunlight, water, or nutrients they need to sprout. If you aren’t sure how deep to plant, just check the seed packet for guidelines.

Talk on your phone

Have you ever gone out with that friend who seems to be constantly texting or taking phone calls? If you find it frustrating just while having a casual conversation, imagine how frustrating it must be for someone who is trying to serve you fast food — the operative word here being "fast." According to etiquette expert Diane Gottsman, being on your cell phone in the drive-thru (it doesn't matter if you're talking or texting) will absolutely slow down the entire drive-thru process. If you need to call home to take orders, do that ahead of time. If you have some important messages to reply to or an unavoidable phone call to make, check that off the to-do list before getting into the line. And if your phone rings while you're waiting, call them back — it'll only be a minute or two. It's not just courteous, it's also safe driving.

Exceptional Smoker Recipes

1. Chicken Wings

I read something there that already has me thinking. The author of this recipe recommends you use pecan wood or hickory. What type of wood works best for what type of meat? I cannot wait to learn the little details to make our smoker recipes some of the best in the state!

I learned that chicken wings are not something traditionally cooked on a smoker but yet it sounds so tempting. I love eating outside the box and might convince my husband to make these with me so we can learn together. And eat together.

To see exactly how Leigh makes these, head over to her blog at Don’t Sweat the Recipe.

2. Brisket

I think this one is neat because you cook it using two different methods.

First, you cook it in the smoker for four hours and then you add beer to it, let it sit, and cook it in the oven for another four hours.

Interesting and, yet, very yummy I am sure. To see the recipe and all the details for yourself, check out Karen’s recipe over at Flunking Family.

3. Applewood Smoked Turkey

Being a few days away from Thanksgiving, you should have known that a smoked turkey would end up on here somewhere.

But the applewood smoked part makes it feel even more fall-y. Added to that, the gravy is a cider bourbon and I am definitely passing this one along for someone to try. Hopefully, it’s me.

Check out the recipe over at How Sweet Eats.

4. Meatloaf Smoker Recipes

Meatloaf was originally a thing we were not allowed to eat in my household because my husband had it so much as a kid. Then he found a spicy one made by the biker/gun maker Jesse James. Look it up. Good stuff.

I might make this one later this week and just not tell him. It’s got a ton of pepper jack cheese and some Jack Daniels in it. What could be better for a good appetite than that?

I’m coming back to Susie’s Hey Grill Hey site soon because she knows her stuff!

5. Smoked Pork Butt

I’ll be honest, the shoulder and the butt are my favorite parts to eat when making a smoked pig. I like to shred it and make pulled pork.

This recipe is fairly simple- using salt water to soak it in and Lowery’s Seasoning as part of the rub.

Sometimes it’s the simple ones that are the best. Be sure to check it out at Food for a Year.

6. Whole Chicken

I just love this picture. This is what smoking should look like to me. Not the stand-up per say because I am pretty sure ours will be a pull-behind but something that has a little bit of everything going on.

The full chicken is where my husband got his start in smoking. The author cooks their chicken for three to four hours at two hundred and fifty degrees.

7. Smoked Salmon

I think this is an interesting one. She doesn’t give an exact temperature for it to be but that might be the type of smoker she is using.

Another pre-warning, this recipe takes several days to make. She recommends a while to marinade and twenty-four hours to let it cool and dry off for the marinade.

I know that is not the thing in this day and age, so make a big batch and do like she recommends, then freeze it in a vacuum sealed bag and pull out when you need something good. It lasts for up to two months so be sure to put the date made on the top of the seal!

8. Pork Belly Burnt Ends

Pork belly is something I have never tried before. Shhh… don’t tell anyone. I feel like that is sad for me to say since I am a chef.

Anyways, are burnt ends a thing in the smoking world? I am so new to this stuff.

These look and sound delicious. If the non-pork belly person could be won over, I am sure I can be too. It wouldn’t take too much!

Mary and her husband came up with this recipe that I cannot wait to try! Two new things at once, yeah.

9. Back to the Brisket

I’m adding this recipe because it’s a beginner’s guide to smoking brisket. Plus, the advice is from Aaron Franklin.

If you don’t know who Aaron Franklin is he owns Franklin’s Barbecue in Austin. Google it. People line up for hours to eat at his place.

And now we have his tips. Enough said, except maybe a thank you to Smoked BBQ Source.

10. Beer Can Chicken

A recipe similar to this is what got my husband started with smoking. The beer can chicken idea really intrigued him and I loved watching him get passionate about a food the way that I do.

He cooked it for me for Mother’s Day. At the time, I was working in a restaurant. He and our girls came and sat with me at dinner and ate together. It was super sweet. I am lucky.

And so are you because you have this recipe from This Mama Cooks.

11. Deviled Eggs

I’m excited to be giving you something besides a meat to smoke. This chef must be the real deal- they smoked deviled eggs. How cool is that!

Even better, you can cook your ham and with thirty minutes left add these babies in and it will all come out at the same time. Now that’s what I call winning!

12. Macaroni and Cheese

I think I must have tried slow cooker macaroni and cheese before because I can taste it as I am writing about it!

This one is extra cheesy because it has several types of cheese including cream cheese, cheddar, and Parmesan.

It cooks for one hour at 225 degrees. Head over to Mr. Food Test Kitchen for the full recipe.

13. Smoked Stuffed Cornbread

They had me at pulled pork. Stuffed inside cornbread sounds even more delicious.

You could finish your pulled pork and keep the smoker going for another 30 minutes or so in order to assemble and let it cook, though you may have to bump the temperature up because the recipe calls for 375 degrees heat.

To read more, head over to Thrillist.

14. Jalapeno Mashed Potatoes

This is a recipe that says it is cooked in an electric smoker. That means no wood taste to it however, I am sure it could be adapted.

I chose the recipe because this would be right up the alley of a spice lover. Spiced and smoked go hand in hand as far as flavors go.

If you try it, let me know what kind of wood you use. For more information on the recipe check out Charbroil’s site.

15. Swineapple

This would be another recipe perfect for my husband. He has done chicken in pineapple boats for us before.

Leigh Ann of Houseologie wrote this recipe after her husband made it for Memorial Day.

In her words, Swineapple is, “a hollowed out Pineapple, stuffed with boneless pork loin then wrapped in bacon.”

17. Ham that Goes Beyond

I write ham that goes beyond because when most people think of ham they just think of honey or brown sugar glazed ham but this one uses pineapple, white wine, brown sugar, honey, and Dijon mustard. That’s a lot of stuff!

A lot of good stuff. Which means it will either be good or bad. I guess we’ll just have to see for ourselves. The recipe, created by Tom Jones, can be found over at the Grillin’ Fools.

18. Smoked Cheeses

Have you ever gotten smoked cheese from the deli? It’s so good and light. It brings out a different flavor I didn’t even know existed!

I love the idea of doing this. The author of this post, Lavern Gingerich, does a great job of explaining how to do it and then showing you how to properly store it for short or long-term use.

As a prepper, those kinds of posts always make me happy!

19. Smoked Vegetables

The really good news with these vegetables is they could be thrown on and only need a few minutes (about fifteen) before they are finished and ready to go.

Pick the vegetables of your choice, though ideas are offered on Cooking on the Side, put them on a skewer, and go to town with the grilling.

Good, good stuff and no need to be indoors on a nice afternoon!

20. Baked Beans Smoker Recipes

The idea of smoking baked beans is a bit of a no-brainer to me. It makes sense because baked beans go so well with smoked meats.

As a matter of fact, it has me wanting to hunt down another recipe for you. But first, head here to try this recipe for yourself. The gentleman shows you how to do it, step by step as is shown in the grilling recipe book down in the left-hand corner.

21. Smoked Sausages

Yes, this is the recipe I was looking for- smoked sausages. It looks delicious and I can almost smell them.

Sausages are a big hit around our house. We eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner- in jambalaya, by themselves, or whatever else we can find honestly.

Be sure to check out the black peppercorn‘s take on this must-have meat!

22. Hickory Smoked Green Beans

Yet another winner in our home, I have green beans in the fridge that I bought from the farmer’s market yesterday. We eat a lot of green beans at our house.

Making these would be simple enough. It takes about three hours on the smoker to get them to just the right consistency to dig in.

Head over to How to BBQ Right to see the recipe in full detail.

23. Meat Lover’s Breakfast

This meat lover’s breakfast really is what it says it is- a meat lover’s delight. It has bacon, sausage, eggs, tater tots, cheese, onions and a few other items.

It’s cooked for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. So if you didn’t have a smoker one day you could opt for the grill, or on that rare occasion that it’s just too cold to go outside, the oven is always an option as well.

This unique breakfast or breakfast-for-dinner recipe comes from Date Night Doin’s.

24. Cherry Cobbler Dessert

Another interesting one comes from The Cards We Drew and it includes… dessert. I wouldn’t recommend following her recipe exactly because I much prefer real butter, but otherwise, it looks delicious.

With the ice cream on top- it’s a hot summer’s night’s dream.

25. Apple Bourbon Crisp

This is a fall dessert that is actually made for the smoker, not the grill. I think smoking is one of those things that can be done year around, especially if you live down south.

Since apples are a fall food, smoker recipes such as this just go to prove that others feel the same way I do. So now is the time to chow down on this apple crisp recipe.


I hope you’ve enjoyed my insight on what foods I cannot wait to try with my students, perfect, and then cook for my family and friends. After all- that’s what cooking is all about- taking what works for you and fixing what doesn’t.

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