Why does smoked meat upset my stomach

Last Updated on: 23rd April 2023, 01:52 am

Smoking is a low and slow process that can take hours or even days to complete.

It requires the pitmasters to be careful throughout the process to prevent it from contamination.

Your stomach can get upset by consuming smoked meat for several reasons.

The most common of them are discussed below.

First of all, smoking is done at low temperatures and takes hours to complete the process, which provides favourable conditions for the growth of most bacterial species.

When these bacterial species are engulfed, they can result in stomach infections.

In addition to the bacterial growth, flies are also a major reason for the contamination of smoked meat.

Flies, as we all know, are attracted to barbecue odors, and if your meat is not stored properly, flies can lay eggs on it.

The consumption of such meat can also lead to stomach upset.

Furthermore, the wood type used in the production of the smoke is also a major determinant of the quality of meat.

If the decaying or bad quality wood chips are used to produce smoke for the cooking of meat, then it can also result in a stomach upset.

In addition to the above, the most hazardous risk of smoked meat is that it can contain carcinogenic chemicals.

The smoke can contain polycyclic hydrocarbons which can be carcinogenic and can cause stomach cancer upon metabolism within the body.

And last but not least, unevenly smoked meat can also lead to stomach upset.

It’s the most obvious reason for stomach upset, yet it’s the most common reason for health issues because most beginners don’t want to throw away the meat cooked after hours of hard work.

Being a passionate BBQ lover, it is the most common problem that I face myself because a tiny flaw in anything can affect the quality of the smoked meat.

But its occurrence can be minimized by following the better smoking guidelines.

In this article, we are going to provide all the essential information related to the effect of smoked meat on human health.

Tips to minimize health risks from smoked meat

Now that we have discussed the most common causes of stomach upset as a result of smoked meat consumption, it is an extra bonus for you to avoid health issues in the future.

You should try to follow them along with other smoking tips to minimize your health risk.

  • The first tip that can be used to avoid bacterial growth is that the meat should be smoked at higher temperatures.
    You should prefer hot smoking over cold smoking to avoid bacterial growth.
    If you insist on cold smoking, then you should at least cook your meat at a higher temperature once before eating.
  • After that, another tip that can save you from health issues is that you should use the appropriate type of wood chunks after proper research.
    Using bad quality and decaying wood can affect the flavor of the meat, which can result in vomiting.
  • In addition to the above, you should consider taking care of hygiene around the cooking area to minimize the chance of fly eggs.
    Although fly eggs can be killed by the immune system, they can still cause health issues.
  • Another tip would be to use less salt in the preparation of meat. It is especially useful for patients with hypertension and diabetes.
    Using a higher quantity of salt for marinade and other stuff can result in an increase in blood pressure.
  • Another way to minimize the issues is to maintain the temperature constant throughout the smoking process.
    Temperature fluctuations can lead to unevenly cooked meat, which can also result in health issues.
  • And the last but not the least tip would be to reduce the intake of smoked meat.
    Although it may seem quite challenging, you should not compromise on your health if you are constantly facing health issues due to the consumption of smoked meat.

Can you get sick from smoking meat?

Yes, you can definitely become sick if you consume smoked meat contaminated with bacteria or other hazardous materials.

Bacteria are a common cause of health issues caused by smoked meat.

But smoking byproducts like polycyclic hydrocarbons can also cause disease.

Botulism is a dangerous disease caused by bacteria and can become fatal if not treated at the primary stage.

In addition, several carcinogenic chemicals are also present in smoked meat, which can lead to stomach cancer.

What is the healthiest way to smoke meat?

Smoking is a fine art that involves various techniques to smoke the meat indirectly.

But the best method of all types of smoking in terms of health is hot smoking because it prevents bacterial growth inside the smoked meat.

The bacteria usually grows at a temperature below 100F° and it’s often known as the “red zone” in barbecue terms.

But hot smoking is done at 225-250 F, which minimizes the risk of bacterial growth and cooks meat quicker than cold smoking.

Although the meat cooked by cold smoking can be stored for a longer time than that cooked by hot smoking,

Can Smoked Meat Also Cause Cancer?

It might be quite upsetting for you if you are a barbecue lover just like me, but it’s true that smoked meat can cause cancer.

It contains several carcinogenic chemicals that can cause stomach cancer upon metabolism in the stomach.

These chemicals include polycyclic hydrocarbons and heterocyclic hydrocarbons, which are present within the smoke.

They can also be present in a gas smoker due to the burning of propane.

So it’s better to eat smoked meat occasionally.

How often should I eat smoked meat?

Although it’s true that smoked meat is beneficial for health due to being nutrient rich and other factors good for human health, But just like any other thing, excess consumption of smoked meat is also harmful.

You should consider limiting yourself to no more than two times per week if you are really fond of smoking, but if you can keep yourself away, it is preferable to eat smoked meat only once a week to avoid any harmful side effects.

The consumption of smoked meat should be decreased regardless of whether you are hitting the gym daily or not.

A small flaw in the cooking process, ranging from temperature control to the type of wood used, can result in health risks.

What temp kills bacteria in a smoker?

Bacteria typically grow at lower temperatures during cold smoking, but most of their species are normally killed at 65 °F.

However, you should consider heating your smoker to 140 °F to ensure that any resistant bacteria are killed.


Consumption of smoked meat can result in stomach upset due to bacteria and other factors, but you should consider following the tips to make sure to avoid such situations.

If you want to know more about smoking meat, then you can consider visiting (page link) for in-depth information.

Jakob miller