Beginner’s guide to mastering delicious smoked foods

mastering delicious smoked foods

Bringing smoked food into your diet is fun and it can become a good part of what you eat. You end up consuming something that is more personal than the things you buy at the local shop. You can enjoy something as simple as smoked salmon, with lemon, juice, and bread and butter, without worrying about carcinogens. Infusing foods with smoke can result in absolutely delicious nuanced flavors. According to historical evidence, people can tolerate smoked food quite well. If we didn’t, do you really think that we would be around barbecues all day long? 

If you simply can’t get enough of smoked food, you should really start learning how to make your own. We’ve prepared a real masterclass for you. if you’d like to deepen your knowledge and skills in the preparation of smoked food, keep on reading. You’ll be ready to fill up your smoker in no time with delicious meat and so on. 

Understanding the difference between grilling, barbecuing, and smoking 

In popular culture, words like grilling, barbecuing, and smoking are used interchangeably. The reason for this is because all these activities involve cooking meat outside. However, they couldn’t be more different. If you can’t tell the difference between them, there is no better time than now to start learning. 

Grilling

Grilling is something that you’ve seen your mom or dad do when you were young. It implies cooking food quickly over heat. Grill marks appear from the grate or rack. This cooking method involves a significant amount of direct, radiant, heat. It’s the closest thing to cooking over an open fire. Grilling creates a crust that maintains the food tender and juicy. 

Barbecuing 

When you barbecue, you cook foods low and slow. More precisely, the food is slow-cooked over indirect heat. You can sit over the barbecue for hours at an end. in Asia, for example, barbecuing is commonly used to refer to slow roasting. You’re likely to find slices of meat marinated in soy sauce. Vegetables and seafood are also common. 

Smoking 

Heat levels and cooking time aren’t the only things that make smoking stand apart from the other cooking methods. Smoking implies placing the food in an environment that allows the smoke to penetrate through. Meat and fish are often smoked. This cooking method requires a great deal of patience, not to mention practice. 

Get started with an electric smoker 

If you’d like to smoke your food from now on, it’s a good idea to invest in an electric smoker. Without any doubt, it’s one of the easiest ways to smoke food. As you can imagine, an electric smoker is a device that is made for cooking meat at low temperatures, in a controlled environment. You can think of it as a piece of cooking equipment. Make sure to pick the right model from the very get-go so that you won’t regret your decision later. Of course, you could simply use your grill, but you won’t get the same results. Far from it. 

So, don’t even think about using a grill or making a smoker from scratch. You’re better off buying the best thing that money can buy. There are certain things to take into account when choosing the best electric smoker. This is what you need to watch out for: 

  • Type of fuel 

Long gone are the days when you had to use only wood and charcoal to make a smoker work. the appliances of today use very few wood pieces to create smoke. The task is mostly handled by the apparatus. You’ll need approximately 4 cups of wood chips for a couple of hours of smoking. When you’re in the market for an electric smoker, take into consideration the type of fuel that it uses. 

  • Size 

A large electric smoker is capable of feeding big groups of people. Generally speaking, it has a capacity of around 1500 square inches of cooking space. If you don’t have enough room in your backyard, you might want to go for a smaller device. A small electric smoker, for instance, can feed your entire family and the great thing is that it doesn’t take up too much space. If you take the time to read online reviews, you’ll discover that many shoppers have met with disappointment after buying electronics smokers that were too small or too large. So, be careful. 

  • Accessories 

The question now is: do you really need them? Well, accessories can come in handy when you’re trying to smoke like a pro. Accessories can make your life simpler. For instance, if you’ve got a preference for fish and vegetables, you’ll need a grid-mat. This neat little thing enables the smoke to pass through the food. A Grid-mat is a great accessory to have when you cook delicate foods. A meat thermometer probe is equally important. You can measure the temperature of the food while it cooks. 

Choose the right type of wood 

 You need wood to maintain a steady stream of smoke going. Oak is a great choice if you’re fond of beef and lamb. On the other hand, if you want to achieve a balanced sweetness when cooking beef or pork, its’ recommended to use pecan wood because it’s fruity and sweet. Maybe you’re planning to smoke chicken and fish. In this sense, you might want to use cherry wood, as it has a mild flavor which perfectly matches what you’re preparing. 

The electric smoker does all the hard work for you, so it’s normal to want to know if it makes sense to soak the wood chips beforehand. Yes, you can totally do that. If you wish to add a little bit more complexity to the flavor, soak the wood chips in beer, wine, or juice. The choice is up to you. What you need to know is that if you soak the wood chips before smoking the food, you’ll prolong their burning. 

What are the best meats to smoke, anyway? 

It goes without saying that not all types of meat are suitable for smoking. So, what would be an appropriate choice? Let’s find out, shall we? 

  • Pork butts – When you feel like eating delicious pork pullet, you know what to do. Choose the perfect pork butt and smoke it. The meat will tenderize and you can enjoy succulent pork. 
  • Beef brisket – If you want to get a taste of the beefy flavor, place the brisket in the smoker and wait until it reaches 160 degrees F. Last but not least, wrap the beef brisket into an aluminum foil. 

Who knows, you might just become a pro smoker.