How to Smoke Meat: Everything You Need to Know
A lot of people consider smoking meat as an art form. In more ways than one, smoked meat is. Smoked meat takes a lot of preparation and attention, but the yields make it worthwhile. The taste of smoked meat is incomparable. Smoking meat started as a traditional way of preserving meat. Nowadays, it is used to craft tasty dishes of meat. Here is a guide on how to smoke meat.
Kinds of Smokers
There are different classifications of people who smoke. Electric smokers use electricity to heat a rod, which will make the wood smoke. This is efficient because you can easily adjust heat levels with a twist of a dial. On the downside, the equipment and electric consumption is costly. The smoked flavor is also minimal.
Propane smokers are similar to electric smokers with the exception of using propane. The gas-fueled eat will cause the wood to smoke.
Charcoal smokers are the most popular. They only use smoldering charcoal that they fan in order to create smoke. It is very cheap but it requires your full attention.
What meat should you smoke?
Smoking is a slow process of gently cooking a piece of meat. The general rule is to select a chunk of meat that has a lot of marbling. Your finished smoked meat will taste delicious while being moist and juicy.
If you’re a beginner, you can try a beef brisket, beef ribs, Wagyu beef, or pork shoulder. You can never go wrong with these.
What type of wood should you use?
There are different types of wood for different outcomes. Alder and applewood have a subtle sweet flavor. They work best with any white meat. Hickory has a strong and unique flavor that is best paired with red meat. Oak is best for big cuts of meat. It is perfect for meat that takes a long time to smoke. The oak’s flavor becomes more distinct the longer you smoke the meat.
You also have the option to mix and match different wood chunks, depending on what flavor you want to achieve.
What is brining?
Brining is an important step of smoking meat. It keeps the meat tender and most. You wouldn’t want to sink your teeth into tough meat, right? Basically, you should prepare a brine solution. It is just a mixture of water and salt. The salt interferes with the ions in the meat and makes it moister.
Soak your meat in brine solution for about ten to twelve hours. Your brine solution should be three tablespoons of salt for every cup of water. You can also become more creative with this. You can add spices and herbs. You can add sugar and molasses to tone down the saltiness of the brine solution.
The key for good meat is to cook at a low flame and to cook it slowly. The temperature should only range from 212 to 230 degrees.