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Barbecue Smoking - The Secret To Add That Flavour

Nov 28, 2007
Smoke is the ancient and time-honored way to add flavour to anything that is being cooked. In ancient times, smoke was used to preserve meat for long periods of time. It is an age-old process of cooking meats over a low smoke fire.

Smoking is one of the cooking processes of barbecue. Smoking a piece of meat will require temperatures ranging from 200 to 225 degrees F. Because of the temperature being so low, smoking would take long periods of time. For heavy cuts of meats like beef or pork the cooking time will be 45 minutes to one hour.

The true ingredient of smoking is the smoke. To smoke something, all that is needed is a container to hold the smoke, a source of the smoke, and something to smoke. A smoker can be anything from a hole in the ground to a $2000 smoker.

The wood for smoking meat must be selected carefully. Different woods leave different flavors. Generally, any wood that is hard and free of resin (or sap) is good for making smoke. Woods of fruit and nut trees are good for smoking and enhance the flavor of meats.

Smoke contains nitrates which start a chemical reaction in meats that enhances the flavor and breaks down connective tissues like collagen and tenderizes tougher cuts for easier eating. Collagen breaks down into sugars and gellatin gives the barbecue its natural sweet flavor.

The most popular items smoked are ribs, brisket and pork shoulder. But, this is not the limit. Anything can be smoked from nuts to cheese to steaks. However, the process of smoking is done mainly for cuts of meat that traditionally don't come out well in any other cooking method. A good example of this is brisket, which is very tough and is not very easy to eat if baked in an oven.

When cooking meat the meat should be placed inside the smoker so that it is surrounded by smoke. The meat should always be surrounded by a thick stream of smoke to enhance the flavor. The smoke should be moving, and always see that the meat gets the maximum exposure to smoke.

The main advantage of barbecue smoking is that it increases the shelf life of food, particularly meat. It evolves as the process of preserving as well as enhancing even the worst cuts of meat into a wonderful meal.

A good temperature control will make the meat tender and tasty. As already mentioned smoking meat is best done in temperatures that range from 200 to 220 degrees. Keeping the temperature low will give enough time for the smoke to sink in and naturally tenderize the meat. Slow cooking will give time for the natural fibers in the meat to break down and become tender.

The main difference between smokers and regular barbecues is the cooking time. Gas or charcoal barbecues cook food with high intensity heat, while a smoker barbeque cooks the food slowly. It may take several hours to cook a joint of meat with an electric barbecue smoker.

The last thing to remember is that smoking is an art rather than a science. Practice and patience are the secret. So until then keep em smokin.
About the Author
Ex Hotel General Manager and culinary expert, Peter Finch, hosts a site dedicated to one of his favorite forms of cookery - barbecue. If you are looking for information on barbecues? or advice on barbecue recipes or barbecue smoker , visit us now. BestBarbecues.co.uk is a goldmine for information on barbecues.
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