There is nothing that compares to the flavor of meat that has been freshly smoked. However, it can be difficult to smoke your own meat if you don’t know where to start, even with a beginner-friendly vertical smoker. If you’re ready to jump into the world of smoking meat, there are a few important steps that you need to follow. Here are some tips for producing that delicious, smokey flavor every time.
What We'll Cover
Low, Steady Heat is Essential
The most important tip to remember when it comes to smoking meat is patience. It is not unusual for you to spend more than a day slowly smoking your meat to get that delicious flavor. Because of that, it is important to think about how long the various fuel sources are going to last. For example, hardwood charcoal is going to heat up quickly, but it won’t last long. On the other hand, charcoal briquettes tend to burn at a lower temperature, but they are going to last longer. For smoking, most people use a combination of the two in order to sustain the correct temperature.
Getting the Process Started
Using a standard kettle charcoal grill, place the charcoal into the grill. Then, wait until the charcoal has been covered in consistent, gray ash and is no longer giving off flames. Once this point is reached, push the charcoal to a single side of the grill. When smoking meat, the trick is to use an indirect heat source to cook the meat slowly and gradually.
There is Never Too Much Charcoal
When smoking meat, remember that you can never have too much charcoal. Make sure to keep a large supply on hand. Whether you are smoking pork ribs or turkey legs, it will be important to add fresh charcoal to the grill periodically. Keeping the heat consistent is one of the many keys to producing delicious, smoked food.
Where Does the Smoke Come From?
With the heat in place, many people are now going to ask where the smoke is going to come from. This is where you are able to get creative. There are lots of different types of wood for smoking such as oak, apple, pecan, and hickory. Regardless of the type of wood chosen, make sure to soak the wood in some water for about 60 minutes prior to adding it to the flames. Fresh wood will produce a billowing fire and disappear in a few minutes, but wet cook is going to smolder and smoke for hours on end. Some people elect to go with wood chips instead of wooden logs, which is fine. Some people even have reverse flow smokers or smoker grills that smoke and cook their food at the same time. This is where the flavor is going to come from.
When to Remove the Food from the Smoker
With everything in place, it is time to sit and wait. You may wonder how long you are going to smoke the meat, but it’s a matter of personal preference. Some people smoke their meat all day, and other people might even leave their meat in place for several days. Over time, you will figure out your preferences and fine-tune your skills with the grill. This is one of the many joys of producing delicious, smoked meat!