How To Smoke Meat Like A Pro
You can cook things however you want to, but smoking meat is a game-changer.
20:20 01 August 2022
Smoking meat can change things for you. You can cook things however you want to, but smoking meat is a game changer, but you want to know how to smoke meat like a pro to really make the most out of your meals.
Smoking meat is exactly as it sounds. You start up a heat source and use the smoke to cook the meat and give it a wonderful amorous flavor.
Many people confuse smoking meats with grilling, and while a smoker and a grill can look similar to the untrained eye, they are far from the same.
So, how do you smoke meat like a pro?
Well, here’s how…
Why To Smoke Meat
If you do not usually like to take many extra steps when you are cooking, you may not see the point in doing this kind of cooking.
However, smoking meat is a great way to cook. It provides new tastes and aromas that you are likely to get in any other cooking style. But, even better, it will provide you with a new way of cooking that allows you to experiment.
At the end of the day, if you enjoy tasteful meats, and you like to taste-test grilled meats from your friends or family, it is worth trying.
Unless your taste buds malfunction, or you hate flavor, you will likely understand why this is so sought after by people.
You can invest time and effort into how to experiment with different woods, flavors, and techniques.
Smoking meats has been one of the oldest types of cooking. It was technically one of the first types of cooking, neanderthals would have used it technically.
There are over 100 compounds and phenols in smoke. Some are liquids, or solids. Solids can be like ash, some liquids are like a vapor, some gasses can be carbon dioxide.
The amount of smoke that is produced, will depend on what type of wood is being burned, and how much moisture is hidden inside the wood, and the amount of oxygen available for the fire to feed off of.
The smell and flavor of the meat that we associate with smokers, will come from guaiacol and syringol, the more these are absorbed then the more smokey the meat will taste to you.
Controlling how much of these are in the smoker is usually quite difficult for most people, so instead we control how much smoke we can create inside the smoker. You can limit the amount of air and oxygen that can get to the fire, or use a wood that is more wet.
It is also thanks to the bark that you can smoke meat like a pro. The bark is not the bark on wood, it is actually a bark on the meat.
As the meat absorbs the smoke, it creates a bark, which is a dark, chewy, tangy and spicy crust that occurs on the outside of the meat while you are smoking it.
It is seen as one of the tastiest parts and when smoking is done professionally, it is probably the most heavily judged part of the meat. It happens when the smoke reacts with the meat, spice rub, and moisture, in something called a Maillard Reaction.
Of course, let’s not forget that the process of smoking meat is what makes it softer and more tender too.
Now, aside from understanding how the smoke affects the meat, we know that the most important part is the wood you use.
You can get the best smoker on the planet, and be a pro at understanding how the rest of it works, but if you do not understand how the wood works and wood to meat pairings you are losing out and could end up with shoddy tasting meat.
Here are the wood types and the meats that they match with;
- Alder Wood: Chicken, Seafood, Pork.
- Apple Wood: Chicken, Seafood, Beef.
- Cherry Wood: Chicken, Seafood, Pork, Beef.
- Hickory Wood: Pork, Beef.
- Maple Wood: Chicken.
- Mesquite Wood: Pork, Beef.
- Mulberry Wood: Chicken, Seafood, Pork.
- Oak Wood: Chicken, Seafood, Pork, Beef.
- Peach Wood: Chicken, Pork.
- Pear Wood: Chicken, Pork.
- Pecan Wood: Chicken, Pork, Beef.
- Walnut Wood: Pork, Beef.
Every type of wood there is will provide a different flavor to your meat. Whether you use a direct or an indirect smoker.
So, if you use walnut wood on beef, it will give a different taste to oak wood. However, if you use a more moist wood on chicken, it will give a more enhanced flavor than a drier wood.