SMOKING WITH BARBECUE IS NOT DIFFICULT PROVIDE THAT SIMPLE RULES ARE FOLLOW: AT THAT POINT, THE GASTRONOMIC FRONTIERS OF WHICH YOU IGNORE THE EXISTENCE WILL SPREAD FOR YOU
When you decide to take the wonderful path that leads to the smoking of foods, you must embrace a new concept and that is smoking, in this universe, represents a real ingredient. How can salt, pepper or extra virgin olive oil be. Having embraced this perspective, we can begin our journey made up of ten simple rules that we list here.
1 – NO HURRY (OR ALMOST)
Smoking does not tolerate haste. To give that aromatic note to your food you need slow and low temperature cooking. Forget the “peasant flare” typical of buca salsicce. Chicken and pork, and some cuts of beef (such as Brisket), require a low & slow approach.
However, it is also possible to perfume foods that need a few minutes of cooking such as steaks and shrimps with aromatic wood. In these cases the aromatic note will be less accentuated.
Weber Smokey Mountain smoker
2 – CHECK THE TEMPERATURE OF THE BARBECUE
During the smoking process, the internal temperature must oscillate between 90 and 110 degrees. This is the range that allows meats to cook slowly without drying out because in the event of temperature changes, the food could dry out and eventually turn out to be straw and inedible. For cooking that takes over 60 minutes, remember to use an aluminum pan filled with water in order to maintain constant heat and humidity.
Tray that becomes useless if you use a water smoker. The ventilation valves of the barbecue with the lid help to maintain, raise or lower the temperature. Good ventilation ensures quality smoke and the right temperature. The best barbecues for smoking are equip with an easy-to-read thermometer.
3 – DON’T EXAGGERATE WITH SMOKING
A concept that must always be applied when smoking. Did we or did we not say that smoking is in effect an ingredient? Newbies often overdo it by throwing constant handfuls of flavored chips until the end of cooking. Generally the smoking time should be less than half the cooking time. Then the smoke must not come out as a jet of steam but rise in regular spirals.
4 – WATCH THE COLOR OF THE SMOKE
If the smoke is perfectly white, intervene because it will cover the flesh with the toxic fumes emitted by the burning wood. If the appliance is not ventilated sufficiently, or if the wood is too damp, a blackish smoke will deposit the soot on the food. The right color of smoke is a soft gray. Never use resinous wood or freshly cut hardwood because it produces acrid smoke.
5 – DO NOT ALWAYS OPEN THE BARBECUE !!
Every time the lid is opened you will lose smoke and lower the temperature. Avoid lifting the lid if it is not strictly necessary such as filling the water pan, putting the smoked wood shavings, and keeping the embers.
6 – THE IMPORTANCE OF THE CRUST
When you prepare barbecued food with the original US smoking technique, the meat must be covered with a dark black crust. This is due to the heat of the embers, the intervention of the smoke and the natural caramelization process. Black crust is important, it doesn’t mean burnt food or bad cooking. Quite the contrary.
7 – BALANCE AND RIGHT MIX
Meat (or fish or vegetables) is the main ingredient. Then comes the smoke. Then all the rest. Therefore, avoid excessive marinades, overly savory and dense sauces or excessive seasonings. In this you have to find the right balance. Make sure that the smoky note is not distorted.
8 – READ THIS BOOK
If you are intrigued by the art of smoking and you want to learn more to raise the bar you must necessarily read the book ” The art of smoking at the barbecue ” one hundred and sixty illustrated pages where you will find practical and very useful advice.
9 – EQUIP WITH A FOOD THERMOMETER
Your pulled pork or brisket will be ready when they reach the right temperature. To monitor it, you need to purchase a probe thermometer that allows you to always have the temperature under control. It is another fundamental element. Without it, you risk messing everything up and sending a whole day’s work to hell.
10 – PUT PASSION IN EVERY GESTURE
In our opinion, the most important rule : without passion, skip everything and risk just cooking. Instead, while smoking is create, art begins. We work magic and bring to the table the best antidote to depression and sadness. The barbecue is happiness, lightheartedness, lightness. In order for everything to happen in the right way you need to put passion into it. And a lot of it too.