With spring in full swing, there’s no time like the present to start preparing to cook up a storm outside. Meat smoking has been around since the dawn of mankind, whether for survival or just because it tastes good! Smoking your meat is a great way to add extra flavor and bump up your culinary skills. Whether you’re looking to blow away your neighbors at the next cookout or you just want to learn more about BBQs, you’ve come to the right place! Here’s the ultimate guide with the best tips and tricks to follow to help you smoke meat like a pro!
It’s all in the smoker
The first thing you’ll need to know if you want to get into smoking meats is that it’s all in the smoker! If you want to take your meats to the next level, investing in top-quality barbecue smokers should be at the top of your list. With the right smoker, you can have full control over how you smoke or BBQ your meats. You can have fun with different techniques and effects without worrying about your equipment dying on you or ruining your meat. A good quality grill or smoker can make or break your experience. Although they are a bit of an investment, both beginners and pros can gain from having a good smoker.
To become a better grill master and meat smoker, you’re going to have to get better at temperature control. The temperature you smoke your meat can drastically change the texture, moisture, and smoke time for your meat. Depending on how tender you want your meat to be, your meat needs to be smoked to an internal temperature of between 145 to even 180 degrees Fahrenheit. For most meat smoking, keeping things in the 200 to 220 degrees Fahrenheit range is ideal. Keep in mind that if you’re a beginner, having a good grill will help you control the smoke and temperature easier!
Choosing what to smoke
Before you fire up your state-of-the-art smoker, you must ensure you have the right cut for the job! When it comes to the type of meat you choose to smoke or grill, it’s really a matter of taste. The smoking technique or time will usually depend on your meat cut. The most popular meat cuts to smoke are ribs, brisket, and pork shoulder, but you can go with whatever fits your taste or budget. You can smoke any meat to perfection, from chicken to fish, to pork, it’s the cut of meat that will make or break your BBQ. Don’t be afraid to experiment with things like cheese or nuts!
While the smoker or grill you use to smoke your meat is important, there are other ways to boost your smoking skills. Everyone knows that when meat absorbs smoke, it alters its flavor profile, but did you know it also alters its texture? If you’ve had any good BBQ recently, you may have noticed a characteristic hard, chewy, flavorful bark on the outside of the meat. This “bark” is the result of good smoking combined with the right spice rub. If you want to perfect your meat’s bark, you’re going to have to get better at smoking your meat and mixing your spices. A good spice rub, the right technique, and good smoke control are the ticket!
Choosing the wood
Most barbecue or grill owners will know that smoking with coal is a perfectly viable way to smoke your meat. More experienced smokers, on the other hand, will know to tell you that most of the fun and flavor comes from the type of wood you use! From apple to mulberry to pecan, there are plenty of fun and zany woods to try for your smoker. While there are some general guidelines to follow when it comes to choosing wood depending on what you’re smoking, feel free to experiment! If you want to add an extra layer of flavor to your smoked meats, feel free to experiment with different woods!
So there you have it! With this guide in mind, you’re ready to start smoking up a storm with your meat like a pro! For starters, consider investing in the right smoker for the job if you want to get the job done right. Learn to manage the temperature of your grill and to maintain the right Fahrenheit for the right effect. Take care when choosing the meat or food you want to smoke, and mold your smoking technique to fit it. To get that delicious and crispy bark on your meat, focus on your smoking skill and your dry rub. Last but not least, don’t forget to take in the type of wood you’ll use into the mix!