When you’re barbecuing food, you’re not just using the heat to cook your food. The smoke matters a lot too. Smoking BBQ tenderizes and adds flavor to the meat.
Sometimes even the worst cuts of meat will taste yummy because of how you smoke it. Just heed our tips on how to smoke BBQ properly, and you’re going to be fine.
Of course, it’s not just about putting a piece of meat on the grill.
It’s a bit more than that. It takes time and bit of patience, but you’ll get there with the help of our tips:
- Pick the right smoker. While your budget and your available space are relevant factors, you should pick a smoker that suits the amount of meat you tend to smoke.
- Go with hardwoods. Smoker fuels can be wood pellets, charcoal, electricity, or propane. But you should probably go with hardwoods for that yummy smoky taste. The best ones are apple, oak, and hickory. For best results, go with freshly cut hardwood if that’s possible.
- Make sure you wet the wood before using it. You can wet it for about an hour so the wood will last for many hours. However, if you’re using wood chips then you need to soak them and then place them in an aluminum foil pouch with several holes in the pouch.
- Pick the meats you like. If you’re not sure, go with popular options like pork shoulder (for pulled pork), brisket, and ribs. You can also try fish, poultry, prime rib, lamb shoulder, or leg of lamb.
- The temperature for smoking meat should be within 200 to 220 degrees F. you should check the internal temperature of your meat so you know you haven’t under-cooked your meat. The internal temperature for poultry should be around 165 degrees F, while other meats ought to be 145 degrees.
- This means you need 2 types of thermometer for BBQ. There’s the thermometer for the smoker temperature, while a cheap meat thermometer can tell you about the internal temperature of your meat.
- It’s all about keeping the temperature low, which results in slow cooking. This gives enough time to tenderize the meat naturally, while the meat also has enough time to absorb the smoky flavor.
- The placement of the meat in the smoker matters as well. The meat has to be surrounded by the smoke at all times. However, the smoke also has to circulate and move, or else the buildup of creosote will turn the meat bitter.
- Keep the water pan full as well. The smoker should be steaming to maintain the moisture. If your smoker is quite large, it’s likely that you’ll refill the water pan at least once while you’re smoking BBQ. You can also add marinade or sauce to the meat to help keep the meat moist.
- The cooking time for the meat depends on the kind of meat you have, the thickness of the meat, and your smoker temperature. This may seem overly complicated, but normally you just need about 6 to 8 hours. Brisket is the main exception, as it may take 22 hours.
Try to download the recipes for the kind of meat you have. That should give you more specific guidelines. Our tips will help, though the main point of our guide is to illustrate that it’s not as complicated as you might think.