Smoking food is a very unique technique, which is used very often in contemporary cooking. To learn how to smoke meat is not difficult for anyone who has a little patience and perseverance. Let's learn this process with the help of a smoking machine and also without it.
Smoking is the process of slowly cooking food indirectly in the presence of fire. Smoking meat creates a flavor and tenderness which you will not find if you were grilling your meat. This process works best for tough and fatty meats such as pork, lamb shoulder, etc.
Smoking Meat With a Smoker
For this process, you will need a smoker, which will allow you to place the soaking wood chips on the hotplate or smoker box easily, without getting burnt.
To use a smoker, you will need to soak wood chips for at least 24 hours. This is the first step in smoking meat.
After the wood chips have soaked in water, you will need to place them in the smoking box.
You will have to set the appropriate temperature, depending on the type of meat you want to cook. Remember, different types of meat will have to reach different temperatures to be properly cooked.
You can use a thermometer to ascertain if the meat has reached the desired temperature. Make sure you place the thermometer in the thickest part of the meat.
To get the smoked flavor, place wood chips on the fire about every 30 minutes. When you place the wood chips on the hot plate, the chips will begin to smoke.
Normally a handful of wet chips last for approximately 30 minutes or more. However, the size of the chips is the most determining factor.
Smoking Meat in an Oven
A number of people avoid the smoking process because they find it too tedious. However, doing it in an oven is relatively easy.
The first step is to preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
Adjust the oven rack properly, so that it is one notch below the middle and a little closer towards the bottom of the oven.
At the bottom of the aluminum pan place soaked wood chips. Wood chips will ensure, there is an appropriate amount of smoke.
On the wood chips place a raised metal baking rack. Make sure there is space between the chips and bottom of the rack.
Place the meat on the top of the rack. It should be placed directly over the wood chips.
Place the aluminum pan in the oven and let the meat cook.
Smoking Meat without a Smoker
This is a method specially for people who like smoked meat, but do not have the place or the equipment to cook it.
At the bottom of a wok, large pan, or baking pan place two layers of aluminum foil.
On the aluminum foil, scatter about two tablespoons of cooking sawdust.
Place a wire rack about two inches above the sawdust. If the wire rack does not sit high enough, you may opt to raise it by placing wadded up aluminum foil under the legs of the wire.
At the center of the wire rack, place whatever you want to grill. With a lid or aluminum foil cover the wire rack, meat, and pan snuggly.
Put the pan on the stove and let it cook on high.
When you see smoke emitting from the pan, turn the heat down to medium or medium low.
Smoking Meat on a Gas Grill
Now let's see how to use gas grill to smoke meat.
Soak wood chips in water for a few hours.
Make a pouch with aluminum foil and wrap it around the soaked wood chips.
Make holes in the pouch through which smoke can escape.
Now place the pouch directly on one of the burners and under the grate.
Turn on the burner below the pouch, till you see smoke coming out of it. Then you can turn the burner to low, so that smoke keeps coming and your meat gets the right flavor.
The most important factor in knowing how to smoke meat is to slow cook the food. Since there are so many ways to make use of this process, you will not have to starve yourself of smoked meat. So go ahead, try out these methods and enjoy a delicious and scrumptious meal, all in the comfort of your house.