Summer is finally here, and what better way to unwind, relax and spend time with your close ones than by smoking some meat on your porch or backyard? Although smoking meat can be fun, it can also be a real nightmare if you’re new to this method of thermally processing the meat.
Slow cooking is one thing, but slow smoking is completely another. To avoid running your weekend, and your family’s and friend’s as well, here a list of things that you should never do when smoking meat outdoors. So if you never did this before, grab a pen and a piece of paper and start writing down the notes, as you’re about to learn all there is to avoid when smoking meat.
You’ll be glad that you’ve taken your time to learn all you can about the common mistakes for smoking meat. So without further ado, here a list of top things you don’t want to do while preparing your meat by slow smoking.
Table of Contents
Using the Wrong Burning Chips
Ever wondered why specific burning material for smokers goes with certain meat types? More importantly why they are recommended to provide the best taste of the meat that they’re smoking? It’s because the smoke that it generates goes well in combination with the flavor of the meat your smoking.
So don’t try to experiment and use different types of burners with every single type of meat that you smoke. Stick to basics, and then once you’re confident enough to break the well-founded rules, add a couple of twists and turns to the original recipe. If you aren’t too fond of experimenting with these things, you can check two basic models of smokers here and decide which one suits you better.
Using Lighter Fluid to Start the Flames
Using the lighter fluid to start the fire might be a good thing for a barbecue session, but unless you want to set your whole backyard on fire stay away from lighter fluid when using a smoker. The goal is to light the charcoal, or the wood chips, right? If you’re using a regular smoker, then you’ll be looking at a lot of charcoal in front of you, and no means to light it except spraying the whole can of lighter fluid on it and hoping for the best.
The easiest way to burn that charcoal is to use a paper towel soaked with some olive oil. Get some leftover olive oil and soak the paper towel with it, then place it on top of that bunch of charcoal pieces. The olive oil will keep the fire burning so that the towel generates enough heat to start burning the charcoal.
Using any Type of Meat
When you smoke meat, you don’t use just any type of meat, but premium slices. Don’t be cheap here, spend a couple of dimes extra and be prepared to taste the best meat you ever tried before. There are different cuts and parts of meat that we eat. So for example, if you’re smoking salmon make sure that it’s top quality.
Cold smoking salmon is a tradition that goes a long way back in human history, if you’re not convinced that you should invest time and effort into learning the right method, you can learn all there is about cold smoking here. Look for fillets without the black area on it. If you prefer ribs, then ask your local butcher to find you the finest piece of ribs that money can buy. Getting a quality piece of meat and going that extra mile of finding it will pay off. If you’re a real gourmand, you’ll go over the extra amount of money that you gave for the quality and juicy bits of meat.
Patience is a Virtue
The most common mistake when smoking meat is undercooking it, or in this case under-smoking it. When thermally processing any meat with this method, the only thing that you can’t afford to run out is patience. Yes, opening the hatch too early can affect the texture of the meat, and yes removing the meat from the smoker will make it uncooked.
So before you even start smoking meat, or think about smoking meat, ask yourself if you’re willing to endure the process. It may sound easy, but staying next to a smoker, adjusting the heat every five minutes while exercising patience as the smell of smoked meat goes through your nostrils, is never easy.
Smoking the Meat to Much
Now if you think that this means overcooking the meat, you’re wrong. In this process, you can’t burn the meat, but it does lose it’s structure as it continues to stay exposed to prolonged smoking. No, if someone told you that you’ve smoked the meat too much, they will usually mean that you’ve kept your meet exposed to too much smoke.
You need to regulate the heat and adjust the top of your smoker every fifteen minutes so that you always have the same amount of smoke coming out of it. This way you won’t smother the meat and dry it up, ending up like as beef jerky. So if you thought that smoking meet would be as easy as placing it in the smoker and waiting for a certain amount of time until it’s ready, you were wrong.
Opening an Extra Cold one With Your Friends
As the person smoking the meat, you’re responsible for the hungry people expecting from your to succeed at smoking and deliver the smoker meet at the end. This means that you should cut don’t on the number of alcoholic beverages you’ve entered in your system and the amount of alcohol in general that you allow in your bloodstream.
Being chef means being responsible so that other people can rely on your culinary skills to get the meat on the plate. So you can socialize, only without the alcohol. You can have a couple of beers, but don’t overdo it as you’ll all end up hungry and mad at each other, but mostly you.