For billions of people, it’s meat that completes their meals. And one of the most flavorful ways to cook is by smoking meat. This is a BBQ tradition, and smoked meat can be brisket, bacon or pork butt.
Meat that would normally be tough can become beautifully tender, and you can experiment with different woods and cooking techniques, to achieve your preferred flavor. As with most cooking, it needs to be researched well if you want to enjoy the best results. Smoking meat can be an art, but this article will help you cook something that tastes and smells delicious.
Research Grills And Smokers
Whether a grill uses charcoal or gas, it can be used to successfully smoke meat. If you’re not too precious about the taste and don’t plan to eat it very often, this may be enough for you.
Should you be wild about the flavor of smoked meat or love entertaining, you may decide to upgrade and buy a smoker. If you go online you can discover the benefits of using a stick burner smoker, including having a consistent temperature and ‘clean’ fire. You can also find out whether smokers are good for beginners, and learn about peoples’ common mistakes.
Treat Pre-Cooked And Raw Meat Differently
If you’re in a hurry for the meal or want everyone to eat at the same time, pre-cooked meat can be an option. You won’t need to worry whether the grill or smoker is up to temperature and you’ll be eating before you know it. If the meat has already been smoked, however, it could create an unpleasant flavor overload if you repeat the process.
Your meat will always soak up the smokiest flavors if you cook it raw. Having said that, many of the flavor elements within the smoke are water and fat-soluble so you should start smoking it as early as possible to get the best results.
Hold Back The Speed And Temperature
Keep it going slow and low, and use a decent thermometer to check it. You need to keep it between 200 and 250 degrees at all times. You won’t want the meat exterior burned through overheating and neither will you want the inside to get cold. The best thing to achieve is an indirect heat that comes from bisquette (wood) smoke, so your meat will end up nice and tender.
The charcoal and wood will need replacing every two hours, so don’t put the meat on and forget about it. If you are using a gas grill your wood will ultimately burn out and need replacing. Over the course of time, you could experiment with different bisquette (smoky) flavors when cooking vegetables, shrimp or steak.
Keep The Smoke Under Control
If things get out of hand your meat will dry up and potentially taste bitter. For this reason, only half of the cooking time should involve smoking. It needs to be in moderate quantities too, rather than resembling a house fire! Some digital smokers help you set how long you want the smoke to be applied, as well as letting your choose the exact temperature.
Ventilation is your friend when it comes to smoking meat. You’ll only need a small opening to enable the smoke-flow process. Keep any vents half-open to keep the smoke clean. Once it’s spread around the meat it will dispel naturally, rather than lingering and impairing the meat flavor.
Try Marinating And Applying Sauces
If you marinate the meat beforehand you will be able to take things up a level. Whether it’s a sauce, rub or marinade you can experiment with the tastes and different combinations. Whether it’s brine or marinade, chicken and poultry will need it applied for a full day before you cook. Pork and beef is a little different and you can apply it dry or wet.
When creating your barbecue, it’s possible to get great results by applying sauce whilst the meat is being smoked. Having said that, do it at the beginning and not during the final 10/20 minutes.
Whilst it may be tempting to keep checking how it’s doing, this can be counterproductive: you’ll be making the temperature inconsistent and the smoke will keep disappearing. Why not try smoking vegetables or cheese for some variety too? Whilst everybody’s tastes may vary you can end up cooking meat that your family and guests will all appreciate. All your hard work will pay off, and you’ll be keen to do it again.