Meat Smoking 101 : A Beginners Guide to Smokin’ it Up!
Low ‘N’ Slow barbecuing has taken the world by storm. Meat smoking enthusiasts are testing out the different meats, flavours, wood and smokers that can be used to create an endless onslaught of delicious food. We can see what all the fuss is about! Smoking meat significantly improves the taste, softens the meat and adds immense flavour! Want to hop on the meat smoking train? Here’s where to start. Here’s our Meat Smoking 101: A Beginners Guide to Smokin’ it Up!
What’s the difference between a BBQ and a smoker?
Great question! Unlike BBQs, where food is placed directly over a hot flame or coals, smokers use ‘low and slow’ heat combined with the moisture and smoke to cook the meat. Sure, this takes longer, but the results are so delicious you’ll wonder why you haven’t been doing it the whole time. Speaking of time, it takes between two to three hours depending on the cut of meat. The average consistent temperature should be between 100 – 120 degrees Celsius.
What’s cold smoking?
Cold smoking is a technique used by people or businesses looking to preserve the life of the meat. They cook it for an extended amount of time at 30 degrees Celsius. Meat needs to be carefully cured before cold smoking. The food actually remains raw and moist as opposed to hot smoking which smokes the meat to cooked perfection. Cold smoking is a technique that should only be done by professionals.
Hot smoking on the other hand doesn’t require curing and cooks the meat, ready to serve!
There are three type of smokers on the market – gas, charcoal and electric.
Charcoal smokers we reckon are the best. It’s how the South Africans do it! READ: South African Style BBQ. Charcoal smoke gives a way better smoky flavour that gas or electric. Read this article to learn about controlling temperatures of your charcoal smoker.
Electric smokers are super easy to use. Simply set the temperature and grab a seat for two hours.
Gas smokers are also pretty easy to use. They run off LP gas and just need to be set to a temperature and monitored to make sure it doesn’t run out of gas.
This classic smoker design is probably one of the most popular in the market. Food is placed in a long horizontal cylinder with a fire box with coals, wood and fire alongside it. The smoke from the firebox filtrates into the horizontal compartment to slowly cook the meat.
Ceramic smokers offer a bit more versatility. You can grill and smoke food in a ceramic smoker efficiency. They’re also low on fuel.
Check out this 5 minute clip from the Australasian Barbecue Alliance – a Low ‘N’ Slow BBQ Smokers Guide.
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