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Beginner’s Guide to Smoking Meat

posted by Chris Valentine

If you are someone who loves BBQs and cooking outdoors, then having the perfect smoker and knowing the cooking methods to smoke meat, can make the meal a whole lot better. Most beginners don’t know where to start when it comes to preparing a delicious meal with a smoker, so here are some tips on how to do just that.

What type of smoker you could get?

The great thing about smoking meat is that there is no right or wrong answer, you have an abundance of smokers that you can choose from depending on your needs and budget. This meat smoking pro at ElectricSmokerGuy.com believes that you could get an electric smoker for a hassle-free experience and not deal with fire, also, it’s one of the easiest smokers to maintain because it doesn’t make a mess compared to hardwood, pellets, or charcoal smokers. Or maybe you’re the type of person that prefers kettle smokers and ceramic smokers, they are quite useful because the food is smoked perfectly every time, and you only need a small handful of charcoal to prepare a 15 to 16- hour cookout. Virtually any smoker is great for you, but you just need to learn how to control the heat if it’s not an electric one.

The type of wood you’re using

Surprisingly, each type of wood used in smokers can impart a different flavor on different types of meat. You can experiment and be creative with different kinds to see how your food tastes afterwards. But it can be handy to know that the hardwood you use has to be adequately seasoned, typically it should be at least 6 months old from the time it’s cut because it will impart a better flavor to the meat. For example, Applewood gives a nice flavor that is perfect for chicken and fish, or Hickory wood is great for beef and pork and gives a very strong flavor or Pecan wood that gives out a mild taste and it allows you to cook your meat for longer periods. So, start testing them all out and see which flavor works best for you.

The temperature you’d go for

So many people wonder what temperature is best when smoking meat, but there is no definitive answer because it all depends on your time frame and which type of meat you’re cooking.  Typically, the best temperature for a smoker BBQ should be low to slow cook your meat to perfection. However, most meats would need 225 to 250 degrees. If you’re cooking chicken you might need to go a little hotter than that to get an amazing flavour with that crispy texture and so it’s not rubbery.  Nice ribs would need you to go very low on heat and slow cook to get great results. Also, you should consider how many hours you’re planning to cook for; you could cook for 225 degrees for 12 to 14 hours, or you could cook for 350 degrees but for 5 to 6 hours. Both results are fantastic and scrumptious. These are all different techniques and ways to cook, so you just have to determine which way suits you best.

The seasoning

Most people would just use salt on their food, but that’s just not enough to get the full potential of a perfect smoker-cooked meal. There should be various kinds of rub herbs and spices to use, powdered or dry kinds work nicely with your food, just sprinkle it all over to enhance the flavor and gives it a nice kick. But you shouldn’t mix spice rubs with salt, you should sprinkle both separately during different times while it’s still cooking ; which is a good technique that’s called dry brining. Salt should be applied in advance so it can melt on the wet surface of the meat and seep through to the inside.

Some bonus tips

You should use an instant-read thermometer to see the accurate temperature of the food you’re cooking, you should also invest in a pair of thermal gloves to protect yourself from random burns. And if you’re cooking ribs, remove the thin membranes on the bone side of the rib to avoid never-ending and rubbery chewing.

 

You can start inviting people over, now that you’ve mastered everything you needed to know about smoking meat, whether it’s chicken, beef, pork, or mutton. Having the right smoker with the best fuel source can mean a lot to your meals, making people love every bite of your delicious food. Cooking is an art that needs to be fully understood and should be done with love to get the best taste possible.

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