Why smoke meat? Why wait 8hrs when the oven takes 4hr? Why is the meat pink? Wood chips or chunks?
All fairly reasonable questions…..but there is nothing better than mastering the perfect fire and controlling it to do your bidding to break down a fatty brisket, pork shoulder or turkey leg.
You don’t need to spend wedge on an all singing and dancing smoker, you might not even like to taste all that much so don’t rush to hand over all your hard earned reddies until your completely ready to commit.
Personally, I love nothing more than heading out into the garden early doors on a sunny Saturday, a few adult beverages in tow to begin the smoking process.
Its honestly not that hard and to simplify it for beginners, the hot stuff goes on one side and the meat goes opposite.
I started by smoking on my Weber 47” Kettle which is a decent little starter outer and if you’re going to go on my advice head down to Riverside garden centre.
Here’s the link to the exact model I have: Weber 47″ BBQ
The staff in there are top notch and know their stuff, plus it really is like Disneyland for BBQ enthusiasts. Most BBQs already have a number of vents located at the top and the bottom and this one is no different.
The more air you let in the hotter the fire…Fuck you science!
So you’re ready to start smoking?
The secret to smoking for beginners – Start by placing the unlit charcoal onto one side of the BBQ. I used an old baking tray once to keep the charcoal from falling under the meat during the cook. Not a bad start if again your unready to commit to spending out on all the equipment.
Then you want to light a hand full of charcoal, if your using a chimney starter fill it a quarter of the way- that will do for low and slow.
You will need to keep a watchful eye your first few attempts, having a smallish BBQ means you may have to refuel at some point etc but hey that means more adult beverages and less house work.
Top Tip – I am not a fan of wood chips that you buy in bags, I’ve used them countless times but they bring nothing to the party. They vaporise in seconds and don’t produce smoke enough time to penetrate the meat. No need to waste your madula. I prefer Chunks of wood, Oak, Apple, pear all seem to be readily available in the UK. Hickory, maple and mesquite difficult to find unless you buy pre-packaged which I don’t object too, just depends on how much you want to spend.
Knowledge drop – the smoke will on penetrate the meat for the first few hours of the cook, it’s the myoglobin in the protein that gives you red badge of honour around the meat when you slice it.
Check out that pink ring… that is the smoke penetration and trust me it tastes gooooood.
So my smoke probationers that’s my week 1, day 1 advice for beginners and there’s plenty more where that came from. If you have anything you wanna know about getting started, particularly on a budget, just hit me up in the comments section below.