Smoke cooking is an ancient and very popular form of cooking. It is also a very common method used for the preservation of as well as enhancing the flavor and tenderization of meat proteins. A controlled temperature is required for the cooking of meat when you are using the smoking method. Smoking is a slow process because the heat slowly penetrates in the meat fibers and turns the raw proteins into edible tender and juicy entree. An average a temperature of 200⁰F - 250⁰F must be maintained in order to achieve the smoke cooking. In case of heavy cut of meat, the cooking time can be increased to an hour or more. As considering which kind of meat is best to smoking, people will give different answers according to personal preference. You can try the meat below to find out your favorite.
Best Meats to Smoke —Rib
The five main cuts of the ribs are baby back, county style, spare, beef back and short ribs. These cuts are available on beef as well as pork. The baby back ribs are taken from the spine side of the pig’s rib cage and spare ribs are taken from the belly side of the pork. If the smoking process is new to you, then you should go to beef back as they are large, thick, fatty and less expensive. You can also go for short ribs and country style, but they are not that popular as compared to beef back. You can get more BBQ rib recipes here.
Best Meats to Smoke—Brisket
It is considered as the king of meats when it comes to smoking. This cut is taken from the chest of cow. This meat is quite easy to smoke, and this is why it is more frequently used in barbeque parties/events or smoking competition. It is mostly prepared in two ways: most of the people prefer to do it with a rub, while some make a sauce in order to make a crisp layer over the meat. As smoking is always done on slow heat, this meat is also smoked over slow heat because the juiciness, richness and buttery texture are maintained over slow heat only. Smoke it, slice it and then serve it with or without barbeque sauce and some sauté vegetables or mashed potato. Want to know brisket recipes? Click it.
Best Meats to Smoke—Sausages
The five main cuts of the ribs are baby back, county style, spare, beef back and short ribs. These cuts are available on beef as well as pork. The baby back ribs are taken from the spine side of the pig’s rib cage and spare ribs are taken from the belly side of the pork. If the smoking process is new to you, then you should go to beef back as they are large, thick, fatty and less expensive. You can also go for short ribs and country style, but they are not that popular as compared to beef back.
Best Meats to Smoke—Bacon
It is taken from pigs so that it is classified as heavy meat, but the porcine species ask for various smoking technique. It is naturally delicious in taste. The main region from where it is taken is the belly region of the pork. One of the most relevant advantages associated with bacon smoking is that you can cook in as many ways as you want to. The utilization of bacon can be done in two ways primarily which are cold smoke and hot smoke. Cold smoke method is more preferable because the juiciness and the moisture are maintained in cold smoke. If you are a diabetic patient, you can avoid the addition of sugar in the sauce and just keep it a simple and plain sauce. If you don’t prefer nitrates, cook them to the point when they are pink, then leave them rest and enjoy nitrate free bacon.
Best Meats to Smoke—Turkey
Turkey is usually served in the festive events such as Thanks Giving feast. It takes several hours to cook and when it comes out, it becomes dry and sometimes chewy in texture if proper caution is not maintained while cooking. But if you decide to prepare brine and then smoke it on hot smoke, the turkey will keep its flavor, texture, juiciness and deliciousness.
Best Meats to Smoke—Boston Butt
This type is originally derived from Bostonians who used to cut the front shoulder of the pig and keep it in a barrel which is called as butt. This type of meat needs a lot of time because it is harder and tougher in texture than traditional cuts. The preparation of good brine will increase the deliciousness of the flavor of the meat. After complete smoking, the pulling period of the meat starts, which is essential and characteristic sign of Boston butt. The meat is pulled again and again and served in a sandwich.
- Always seek guidance and help from the butcher at meat shopping about the cooking time, preparation tips and other relevant techniques that can make your entrée wonderful. They are the experts and can definitely prove to be a great help.
- Choice of wood makes a huge difference in preparing your smoked meat. Some great choices are apple, maple, alder, hickory, oak, cherry and pecan.
- Do not shave off all the fat as melted fat adds flavor and moisture to the meat.
- Patience is the biggest factor needed while smoking, and keep your cooking temperature low.
- Always use the unused coal, as old coal may require additional time to light up properly.
- Make sure to prepare in a little excess to avoid shortage of meat.
- Stay at least 5-10 minutes before serving the turkey, brisket or chicken. For beef, lamb and pork, make sure to serve right away.
- Do not flip frequently as it will lose its shine and color. Turn only when one side is crispy.
- Avoid over smoking the meat as it will evaporate all the flavors and moistness from the meat and give it a dry texture.