Smoking meat is a great way to add a new savory flavour to your favorite meat dishes. Here we will go through how to smoke meat. Meats and fish are the most common smoked foods, which brings up the focused discussion of the steps you need to take to properly learn how to smoke meat. Here we will discuss how anyone can learn the process of how to cook your meat!
Gather Necessary Equipment and Ingredients
Selecting a Smoker
Before you start learning how to smoke meat, you are going to first need to select a smoker, this can be difficult for beginners. The types of smokers you can choose from are:
Wood smokers give the meats the most savory and rich taste, while charcoal is easier to use it doesn’t quite match the wood taste. Gas smokers are easy to use but do not produce a very good taste and electric smokers are the best if you need to step away from the smoker for a period of time as it will smoke the meat without manual operation.
A pretty obvious step in smoking meat, grab some meat of your liking and season it up while you are waiting for your smoker to get started. You can choose from any meat and choose a variety of seasoning and flavoring to compliment the smoking.
Consider These Things Before Smoking
1. Setting up a Smoker
a. Selecting the type of Wood
There are a variety of woods you can use to smoke your meat. Each wood has its own distinct smokey flavor and most often has a typical meat associated with the smokey taste. Hickory is oftentimes used with red meat because of its rich savory flavour. While maple, adler, and apple woods have much sweeter smokes, they are used with poultry.
b. Dry Smoking vs. Wet Method
The inside temperature of the smoker can be controlled while the meat is being cooked when using the water method. While this method is not the only way to smoke, you can get great results in a wood or charcoal smoker as well, placing a water pan within the smoker. It is very important for larger meat-cuts, but you can skip using water in smaller cuts. Before you purchase your smoker, make sure to read its instructions to see if works with water, and if so how that can be accomplished.
c. Soak the Small Ones, Leave the Rest
If you are using a small charcoal grill where wood is not the primary heat source that is totally ok! All you have to do is add a couple of wood chips into the heat source, however it is a good idea to soak the smaller wood chips to prevent them from burning toon fast and too hot.
d. Ready the Smoker
A typical wood or charcoal smoker requires that you manually set fire to the coals or wood chips and wait for those to lose their flame and become hot embers. However, each smoker will be different so make sure you pay attention to the details of your smoker. A gas or electric smoker will have its own instructions for readying and operation so make sure you see those instructions.
2. Getting the Meat Ready
a. You will first need to choose the meat you wish to smoke. This, as mentioned before, will determine the optimal smoking technique and fuel to use for your smoking.
b. Next, you will need to marinate/season/dry rub the meat to give the meat as much flavour as possible. This step will absolutely help add another level of flavor and ensure that the meat is perfectly flavored and juicy!
c. Lastly, you are going to have to bring the meat to room temperature. This is an essential step you have to take before the smoking process begins. It helps to cook the meat thoroughly and bring the meat to the right internal temperature.
Steps of Smoking Meat
Step 1: Placing the meat in the smoker and calculating the cooking time
Never put the meat directly over the heat source because this will cause uneven cooking of the meat and lead to lots of unpleasantries. To be safe and ensure that the meat cooks thoroughly set aside 6-8 hours for your meat to smoke. Smoking meat is a long process and you want to be sure you have enough time otherwise it will not turn out the way you hoped. This time can vary so make sure to investigate smoking times for different meats, as smoking a brisket takes up to 22 hours.
Step2: Basting and Covering
Basting is important if you plan on keeping the meat moist throughout the duration of the smoking process. The basting depends on the recipe that you are following. Covering may be required, and this again should coincide with the recipe you have chosen. It is a good rule of thumb to adhere to the same recipe especially as a meat smoking beginner!
Step 3: Removing the meat and checking for smoke ring
It is very important that you monitor the temperature, and when meat reaches at the appropriate level, remove the meat. This temperature is different for each type of meat. For instance poultry, should be removed at 165 degrees, while steaks, chops and roasts should be removed at 145 degrees. Throughout the smoking process you will notice a pink ring forms under its outer crust. If you see this pink ring when you cut the meat, then you will know that it has been smoked right!
Tips on how to smoke meat
- Remember to read instructions and operation manual of your smoker
- Remember to adhere to the recipe you have chosen and as you develop your skills as a meat smoker you can start to experiment.
- Remember to plan ahead and give yourself enough time to smoke your meat thoroughly, because smoking your meat is a long process.
It is very important that you cook through your meat because uncooked meat can have plenty of adverse digestive effects. Also remember to monitor the process as you will have a pretty hot smoker going for several hours. It is also worth noting that while smoked meat tastes great it does come with unfavorable consequences, these being the artifacts of the embers that become a part of the meat. Eat smoked meat in moderation and you will be great!
Well that about covers all there is to smoking meat for beginners. We hope you have learned how to smoke your meat with this manual. As you develop your grilling and smoking skills you will be happy you started! Now you are all set and ready to go!