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Smoking Meat. Everything you need to know

If you’re looking to take your meat game to the next level then smoking meat is the way to go. Whether you’ve just purchased a state-of-the-art smoker or are working with an older grill, this guide will be useful for you.

What meat should I use for smoking?

The quality of the cut you use is incredibly important. Lean cuts of beef — those with little marbling and external fat, are better suited to slow cooking methods, such as smoking.

Cuts such as pork shoulder, beef briskets, beef cheeks and rib work excellently. The connective tissues and fats of these cuts break down during the cooking process. Moisture is released when they break down which will keep the meat delicious and tender.

We always recommend you visit your local butchers. Any quality butchers will be able to assist you with deciding which cuts are fit for smoking. Alternatively, you can check out our Home Delivery Service, where premium, butcher-grade cuts of meat are delivered to your door.

What equipment do I need for smoking meat?

You don’t need to purchase any fancy smoking equipment to have a good time and be left with a delicious, tender piece of meat. A basic grill along with a pile of wood chips will work perfectly.

Smoking Meat

How to use a grill for smoking meat

There are two essential rules to smoking meat. First, never have your meat directly over the heat source or flame. Second, patience is key! You need to let it cook for hours on end to end up with the best results. The taste is definitely worth the wait.

The technique you need to follow depends on if you’re working with a charcoal grill or a gas grill.

How to smoke meat using a charcoal grill

Charcoal grills are relatively simple to prep for smoking meat. Here’s how…

  1. Pile charcoals on one side of the grill
  2. Place your drip pan on the other side
  3. Ignite coals
  4. Place a layer of woodchips onto the coals
  5. Pour a layer of water onto your drip pan. This aids with the smoking process. Here is where you can experiment with different liquids, beer and apple juice are known for working extremely well for smoking.
  6. Place your meat on the grill, above the drip pan
  7. Finally, close the lid of the grill but allow for ventilation.

How to smoke meat with a gas grill

Preparing a gas grill for smoking requires a slightly different process than for charcoal. Here’s how…

  1. Place wood chips on one side of the grill
  2. Due to the grill’s design, you cannot place wood chips over your coals. This means that for the best results you will have to purchase a smoker box. Alternatively, you can set the meat on a pan which will be inserted directly over the flames.
  3. Preheat all equipment at high heat for around 20 minutes
  4. Turn off burners that are not under your wood chips
  5. Place meat on the side opposite to wood chips
  6. Finally, close the lid of the grill but allow for ventilation.
Smoking Meat

What wood chips should I use for smoking meat?

The answer to this question depends entirely on what meat you’re cooking. Sweeter and lighter woods pair well with chicken and seafood, whereas stronger smelling woods like mesquite and hickory go best with pork and beef.

There’s also a decision that needs to be made about the size of the wood chip. A smaller wood chip or pellet burns much quicker than chips. They are designed to burn in a controlled way, perfect for adding that hint of smokiness rather than cooking for hours.

Chunks are the next step up. These are perfect for a day of smoking rather than a few hours. If you’re looking for a quick smoke (a few hours or so) then chips are the best bet. We recommend that you soak both chunks and chips in water for 30mins.

How do I know when my meat is cooked through on a smoker?

Speaking generally, if you’ve been cooking for two hours or more then it should be cooked through.

However, we highly recommend you purchase a meat thermometer to be on the safe side. Anything between 95 and 105°c is the sweet spot.

smoking meat

Get in touch

As we previously mentioned, any high-quality butcher will be knowledgeable in smoking meat. Feel free to get in touch to have any questions answered. Contact us here.

To get your hands on cuts of meat perfect for smoking then feel free to check out our Home Delivery Service.

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