BBQ Smoking

Tuesday, July 27, 2010 @ 07:07 AM

People who know how to use a smoker will tell you that practice makes perfect. The key to smoking the best meat is to know just how prepare the wood, how much wood should be added to the smoker once started and what kinds of wood go best with what kinds of meat. You want the wood to burn slowly at a nice even temperature so soaking is a must. You may like different wood than your local expert so take advise with a grain of salt and then experiment a bit.

The wood needs to be soaked and then heated thoroughly before you add the meat. You want it smoking, not burning. You also need to watch the temperature while you are smoking the food.  It takes practice to know when to adjust the dampers and the flues to keep the temperature at the right level. This is important to achieve great smoked food! So as always, you need to be around. Don’t leave your smoker unattended. Flare ups can ruin your day. And no smoke, just means no smokey flavor and uncooked food.

The smoking process takes time. The idea is to create a smokey flavor to the food.  You want to place the food in the grill or smoker with the heat temperature between 180 and 200 degrees F. If you are using a gas grill, you will need to set up  the food with indirect grilling. Smoking food with gas is also harder to achieve unless the unit has a smoker compartment. There are many things out there to help out if you don’t have the smoker box, but real wood & charcoal smokers produce a more intense smokey flavor. If using wood or charcoal, you must tend to the heat & smoke continually during the smoking process. Again, don’t just leave & go to the store. Don’t leave the bbq smoker unattended. The food will not cook itself. It will ruin itself, but if you want it done right, pay attention.

Use a meat thermometer to make sure smoked foods are done but not overcooked.

Smoked foods can look different than other grilled or oven-prepared foods. They can be pink or red when done depending on the type of wood that is used.  For example, smoking with apple wood will make chicken look a slightly red.  Experiment with different woods and meats until you find the right combination for your taste.

Use tongs and gloves when adding charcoal, turning meats, refilling the water pan, or adjusting the vents.  You don’t want to burn yourself and you don’t want to stab a hole in your meat so that all the juice leaks out either.

Start with a small amount of wood to see how you like the flavor. Add more next time for a more intense smoky taste.  Too much wood smoke over the long smoking period can make food taste bitter. As I said, experiment. Try some fruit wood, then try hardwoods. Make smoked fish, chicken, pork, beef. Smoke some fruit & vegetables. Use your imagination. Get out there & cook up a storm.

Did you like this? Share it:

2 Responses to “BBQ Smoking”

  1. wigelnyatt says:

    Rich added: According to most BBQ’ers I read, wood doesnt absorb very much water and hence soaking the wood is an unnecessary step. I have tried both ways and there is no noticeable difference in the way the wood burns and smokes. I have also found that 225 degrees is the best when it comes to smoking. 1 more thing I have learned. After the first hour the meat seems to seal itself and not absorb any more smokey flavor. After that it is just cooking and it is best to leave it undisturbed as to not let the heat escape. opening and closing a BBQ is the worst thing for the meat.

  2. wigelnyatt says:

    Roger added: All it does is steam it seems. I don’t think you want steam you want smoke Rich you are correct…. real smokers don’t use chips anyway. Throw some small split logs in the side car . Replace when they are burnt to ashes . Don’t overload because the temp will go over 225.. You don’t want a big fire .

Leave a Reply