A Beginner’s Guide to Smoking Meat at Home
Get to know the entire process of making the best-smoked meat at home and be a pro smoker in your first attempt.
There is something very special about smoked or grilled meat. It is something we all love and wait for all year long, maybe because it links us to our ancestors. In primitive times, the only way to cook meat was to grill it on an open fire. They used to light up a fire, gather up, and eat together. Today, when we have much easier and quicker ways of cooking, we are still drawn towards smoking and barbecuing.
Smoking meat and eating it is a lot more than having food. It still brings a lot of joy and fulfillment. This is the reason most of us love to BBQ even though we can cook it in many easier ways. Smoking or barbequing is not actually the easiest thing to do. However, after reading this article, even beginners can perfectly smoke or grill meat. To make it even easier, we have divided it into two sections. One of them is to prep, and the other section includes the smoking process. Continue reading to know more.
Unlike most otter cooking techniques, smoking requires some additional preparation. These are a must if you want the best results. Skipping these steps might result in something that is not worthy of so much hard work.
Prepare the smoker
You will need a smoker if you are planning to smoke something. You need to use a good quality smoker if you are looking for the best results. Of course, there are many options available if you are looking for one. Some people even use a simple drum smoker. However, if you don’t already have one, it’s best to get a good quality smoker. It will last for a really long time and will give you perfect results every time. If you don’t already have one, it will be best if you get a smoker, griller combo. The machine will do the job of two machines and will save you a lot of space and money. You can know more about the best smoker grill combo online.
Get The Right Wood
Getting the right smoker is not enough. You need to get the right wood to get the best results from your smoker. You can’t just get any wood and call it a day. There are various kinds of woods available. You need to choose the wood depending on the meat you are planning to grill. Even after you decide the kind of wood you want to use, you still have to choose between chips and chunks. We know that’s a lot of decision making for a beginner. However, it won’t be that tough if you understand the basics.
Among different kinds of woods, hickory, oak, and cherry wood would be great if you are smoking pork or any other red meat. They work especially well for ribs. These woods have a distinct strong flavor that enhances the flavors of red meat. And if you want to smoke fish or poultry, you should use Applewood. Applewood has an amazing fruity and sweet smell that compliments fish or poultry very well. No matter what you are smoking, try to stay away from mesquite. It is undoubtedly the most pungent-smelling wood, and it might overpower the meat.
Prep your meat
This is essential. Many of us take the meat out of our fridge and put it straight on to the smoker. This is not what we should do. We should always make sure that the meat is at room temperature. This will make sure the meat cooks evenly, and the juices are well distributed. If you put frozen meat on the smoker, it will take a lot longer to cook. It might also result in a very dry and flavorless steak.
Prepare A Rub
This is a step most people skip. But you can’t afford to skip it if you are planning to make the best steak at home. You need to massage the meat with the rub. It will make the meat a lot more flavorful. Moreover, when you massage the meat with it, it helps the meat to be even more tender. So using a rub will result in a steak that is packed with flavor and melts in your mouth.
After you get done with all the prep, you are finally ready to fire it up.
After you put the meat on the smoker, there’s not much that you need to worry about.
Just when you think you are ready to put the meat on the smoker, you discover you are not. The smoker needs to be heated well before you put on the meat. By well heated, we mean very hot. When you put the meat on the griller, the temperature drops by a few degrees so it is wise to heat it higher than you actually need. A good quality smoker proves to be useful because they generally display the temperature.
Heat it to about 250 degrees, and then put the meat on. After you add in the meat, it should drop gradually to 220 degrees. If your smoker doesn’t indicate temperature, you can always use a handheld laser heat gun to be accurate.
Smoking meat generally takes a lot of time. However, that doesn’t mean you can open the lid and check it every now and then. Opening the lid often will allow the smoke to come out, and eventually, the meat will take longer to cook. So be careful with opening the door. You can tell it is cooked when the meat gets a bit separated from the bones. And if you press on the meat, it doesn’t bounce back; it rather splits pretty easily. After the meat is cooked, don’t be tempted to dig into it immediately. Glaze the meat with some BBQ or any sauce of your liking and cook it for some extra minutes. This little step really elevates the finished product. So be sure to glaze it.
To Sum Up
Follow the entire process mentioned above, and you will surely be deemed as a pro smoker in your first attempt.