Top 10 Tips for Perfect Smoked Meat
- Michael Weaver
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1. It is always best to apply your Dry or Wet Rub the night before you start smoking. For more flavor, it is also best to let your meat marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
2. If your smoker features one or more racks, remember the meat on the lower racks in the smoker will cook quicker than the meat on the higher racks, so place larger cuts of meat on the lower racks.
3. Rotating the meat will help make sure that all parts of the meat are cooked evenly. Ideally, rotating the meat about halfway through a four-hour cooking process. When cooking for longer periods, never rotate more than 3 times. If using a smaller smoker, you will probably have to add more charcoal/wood and you may want to turn the meat at this time.
4. Remember to minimize the times you open the smoker door. Each time you open the door, heat escapes and extends the cooking duration.
5. Apply a mop to keep the meat moist during the cooking process. A mop is typically a sauce or liquid that is thinner than a BBQ Sauce) applied to the meat during the smoking process. It can be as simple as some apple juice mixed with water. The mop helps to keep the meat moist, and cut the amount of heat escaping when you open the Smoker, apply the mop when rotating the meat and/or adding charcoal/wood to the Smoker.
6. Smoking temperatures are much less than a grill, it is recommended that you should still wear gloves when handling anything inside the smoker.
7. Consider where you place the smoker especially for longer use periods. As a result, place the smoker in a low traffic area. Always be aware of the winds direction.
8. Don’t use charcoal with lighter fluid pre-soaked in the briquettes, such as Match Light. The lighter fluid taste will be transferred to the meat.
9. If using a water pan, always use hot water in your smoker water pan. Cold water will lower the temperature and results in extending the cooking time.
10. Apply your barbecue sauce in the last 30 to 45 minutes.