Smoking used to be a crude method of food preservation. Throughout generations, this technique has been perfected thanks to advanced culinary procedures. Now, people can savor smoked meat on any occasion. And, anyone who is interested in becoming a backyard smoker can master the skill with a bit of experimentation and trial and error.
As summer is fast approaching, smoking and grilling meats will be a common activity for most people. Those stuck at home can try to perfect the art and churn out perfectly smoked meat every time. Of course, you’ll need the basics, and the tools of the trade as recommended by My BBQ Smoker. Most importantly, you’ll need to understand the intricacies of smoking meat and how to simplify the process based on your needs and skill level.
Choosing the right type of smoker
One of the most challenging aspects to navigate is deciding what type of smoker to get. The type usually depends on the heat source, and each will have unique pros and cons.
- Wood smoker. Most purists say that a traditional wood smoker yields the best flavor. But, the issue here is that it’s more demanding and harder to manage. It will need constant attention if you want to keep the temperature within a consistent range. That’s why this type of smoker is best for someone with more experience.
- Electric smoker. This type of smoker features an electric heating rod and built-in temperature control. This type is best for beginners who haven’t got time to learn the intricate skill of using a conventional wood-fired smoker. However, this type is typically the most expensive.
- Charcoal smoker. Similar to a wood smoker, a charcoal smoker doesn’t feature modern conveniences such as temperature control. You’ll need to manually fire up the charcoal and monitor the temperature for the best results. This type is also best for experienced meat smokers and those that want to try a more advanced way of smoking meat.
Two popular smoker brands are Pit Boss and Traeger and you can find here an informative comparison guide on Pit Boss vs Traeger. Apart from these options, there are also propane smokers that work similarly to an electric smoker. A pellet smoker, on the other hand, is a more modern version of a wood smoker.
Meat cuts best for smoking
Smoking is a slow process, which means you can choose a tougher cut of meat. Meat cuts with plenty of fat and connective tissue benefit most from slow-cooking and render the best flavor. Beef brisket is a popular cut for smoking, along with pork shoulder, and ribs. If you want to try smoking steak, look for thicker and bigger pieces. Also, your butcher shop may have a few recommendations that are often under the radar such as chuck-eye.
Is brining your meat important?
One mistake that beginners in smoking meat should avoid is being impatient. If you increase the heat, the meat could dry out and become tough. What experts suggest you do if you want to keep the meat succulent is to brine it first before smoking. Brining allows the protein to absorb and retain moisture much longer. Also, keep the temperature low and steady as it’s the best way to melt collagen and lend a more gelatinous texture to the finished product.