Where there’s smoke there’s mouthwatering food.
The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and that neighbour is bragging about how they make the best smoked meat with the help of their state-of-the-art smoker. You know that if you had the same equipment they have, you could knock their designer socks right off, but you don’t have a smoker.
Fear not, aspiring chef. You’re about to learn how to outdo your neighbour and get that perfect smoked meat that will make you a hit at the next neighbourhood gathering.
Choosing Your Meat
The first step to getting a drool-inducing dish is to choose a meat that works with your preferred method of cooking.
If your backyard is equipped with a charcoal grill, whole chickens, ribs, pork shoulder and brisket will taste ah-mazing.
If you have a regular gas grill, getting that perfect smoky flavour will be a bit more difficult, but with patience, care, and some wood, you can have flavourful chicken breasts, pork butt, fish, and thin-cut pork chops.
Using a Charcoal Grill
Charcoal grills are a backyard essential: they’re inexpensive and you can easily turn it into a smoker by following this technique.
To start, use half as much charcoal as you usually would. Add some smoked wood chips or unsoaked wood chunks into your coals and you have yourself a DIY smoker.
You might be asking, “why would I use half as much charcoal?” Good question. It’s a lot harder to get that perfect slow-smoking temperature if you use your regular amount.
Using a Gas Grill
Everyone has, or knows someone who has, a regular gas grill. They’re everywhere. So fire your grill up or borrow one from your friend and let’s get started.
First, it’s important to understand that smoking meat with a gas grill is going to be harder than using a charcoal grill. Don’t fret if you can’t get it perfect - the warmer weather means that you can be outside practicing more.
The best way to smoke your meat is to set up two zones on your grill: a hot zone and a cool zone. To accomplish this, have at least one burner turned on to provide heat while your meat cooks on the opposite side.
Once you get that set up, place an aluminum pan of water between the gas burner and your food. The pan helps to keep the temperature inside the grill stable by absorbing the heat without steaming your meat since it’s not hot enough to boil.
Smoking Meat Without a Grill
Getting that perfect smoky flavour without a grill is as easy as using three key ingredients: smoked paprika, smoked salt, and guava barbecue sauce (which isn’t a requirement, but it does have some smoked salt in it).
To start, add the salt and paprika to an already prepared dry rub and apply it to your meat. Sear your dish to lock in the juices and really emphasize that smoky flavour. The final step is to cook your meal low and slow to get that perfect taste.
This summer, don’t be jealous of that neighbour. With these easy steps, you can be that neighbour.
The key to perfectly smoked meat? Using the best possible meat.
Try Farm 2 Fork's AAA aged sirloin for the best smoking steak you'll ever taste.