barbecue grill out smells are in the air. Makes you wonder if life can get any better. One of my favorite things to do is fire my grill up and make smoked meat.
If smoking meat isn't one of your favorite things to do, I bet after this article it will be. At least you should try it if you haven't ever done it. Most people of course have tasted or eaten smoked meats, but have you made your own? In this article I will give you some tips to smoke your favorite meat on your barbecue grill.
You can also purchase many different types of smokers that are just for that purpose as well. However in this article we will just be using your basic back yard charcoal barbecue grill.
My mouth is already watering just writing this article for you. Getting hungry for it. There are as many different types of meat as there are ways to grill and smoke them. Most meats fall into about 5 categories that are:
- Wild Game - such as Venison
- And Fish
All of these can be made very delicious by smoking them. One of the things to remember when smoking is to make sure you get the proper heat. You want to make sure the meat is not only smoked to flavor but that its well cooked for consumption. This is as simple as using a meat thermometer purchased at your local department store or grocery.
Make Sure Your Temperature is Right
A temperature of 145°F to 180°F is sufficient to make sure your meat is well cooked. And depending on the type of meat, smoking times can be longer then others. Smoking times also have to do with the strength of the smoke flavor that your after.
Types of Wood
Let's have a look at the many types of wood that can be used to flavor your meat with. You can use just about any type wood to smoke with. But try to remember not to use building material wood. These wood's are usually treated with chemicals that are hazardous to the human body. Not to mention they will ruin your meat.
Where I live at there is an abundance of Maple tree wood and Oak tree wood, as well as Cherry wood. Smoking your meats on your grill is as simple as finding a dry limb of wood and placing it next to the charcoals, not on them. You want the wood just to simmer and make a strong smoke.
Then cover your grill with a lid and leave just enough room for air to get in to keep the coals burning. A slight breeze is really good for this. The idea is to keep the abundance of smoke in the grill as long as possible. The types of wood that make great smoked flavors are:
- Red Oak
To name a few. Some of them hardwood and some softwoods. Other fuels besides wood can also be employed, sometimes with the addition of flavoring ingredients. Chinese tea-smoking for example, uses a mixture of uncooked rice, sugar, and tea, heated at the base of a wok. Some North American ham and bacon makers smoke their products over burning corncobs.
Also there are many different types of charcoal you can use that already have the wood mixed in with it. Here again it depends on the strength of the flavor of smoke that your trying top accomplish.
Try It You'll Like It
If you've never done any smoking on your own, I'll give you an example of how to do it so you can try it and see if you enjoy it. Presuming you have a basic barbecue grill that is fairly large, and you're going to let's say, grill and smoke a whole 2lb chicken for example. Here are the steps to make sure you maximize your flavor:
- Make sure your grill is clean before starting
- Place a pile of charcoal just a little larger in diameter than your chicken to either side of the grill
- Use lighter fluid to start the charcoal and let burn until there's no more flame
- With the charcoal up to temperature now, place your favorite wood next to the charcoal
- Do not put the wood directly on the coals
- Wait until you see the wood begin to simmer
- When the wood is simmering place your chicken to the other side from where the coals are
- On the grate, but close to the heat
- Cover the grill, leaving enough room for air to get inside somewhat to keep the temp up
- Periodically check the chicken and wood to make sure the wood isn't burning to fast
- If it is move it away from the coals just a bit or add more wood
- The idea is to keep as much smoke in as possible and keep the temp up as mentioned above
- Rotate your chicken periodically also
Until you get experience with doing it, use a meat thermometer to make sure your temperature is up in ranges mentioned earlier in the article. After about 2 hours your ready to enjoy the best chicken you've ever had! As time goes on and you become more familiar with what works for you don't forget to experiment with other types of wood.
Pretty soon you'll find a particular type wood that pleases you most for smoking. There are many places on the internet where you can purchase different types of smoking wood. My personal favorite is Pecan wood. I can't get enough of smoked meat with it.
I hope this article has been of benefit to you. Happy smoking.
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