WHAT IS SMOKING?
Smoking is an age-old food preservation method, developed long before the invention of fridges or electrical appliances of any kind. As well as prolonging the shelf-life of meat, the smoke would drive away animals and insects. In recent years, smoking has gained popularity to become a coveted method of cooking, with a huge variety of seasonings, ingredients and appliances on offer.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
As well as preserving meat, smoking also flavours, cooks and browns it. Although meat and fish are probably the most commonly smoked foods, cheese, vegetables and even some beverages can benefit from this method. Hot smoking, as you’d do on a barbecue, cooks the food by exposing it to both heat and smoke in a controlled environment, generally between 52 to 80 °C.
CHOOSE YOUR CHIPPINGS
The type of wood chips you use in your smoker will have a huge effect on the flavour of your meat, so choose carefully! Suitable wood for smoking is generally hardwood or fruitwood, but you can experiment with wood from any trees that grow edible fruit.
TIMES AND TEMPERATURES
Arguably the most important factor in determining the outcome of your hard work, getting the time and temperature right is crucial. We’ve put together a handy chart to help you get only the best results.
|Type of Meat||Smoking Temp||Time to Complete||Finished Temp|
|Brisket (Sliced)||225||1.5 hours/pound||180|
|Brisket (Pulled)||225||1.5 hours/pound||195|
|Spare Ribs||225–240||6 hours||172|
|Baby Back Ribs||225–240||5 hours||168|
|Smoked Corn||225||1.5–2 hours||N/A|
|Smoked Potatoes||225||2–2.5 hours||N/A|
GETTING THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT
As well as smoking your meat on the barbecue, there are a range of indoor smokers available on the market, perfect for our unreliable British summers! We love this rustic kettle smoker from Nordic Ware. If you’re keen to give smoking a go, keep an eye on our social channels where we’ll be offering the chance to win one for yourself!