Chicken Coop Chatter©
Virtually any meat can be smoked, using your preferred wood chips. Plain sausage patties or links, hamburger patties, poultry, meat jerky, red meats, pork, and fish all are enhanced by smoking. I marinate meat overnight, but at least 4 hours, piercing the meat so the brine penetrates the interior of the meat. Seasoning is optional, and according to your own tastes. I place the meat in disposable roasting pans, slash or pierce the meat to allow smoke flavor to enter the interior, and smoke at a low temperature, 250-300.
Check the meat for core temperature according to your meat thermometer to make sure it has cooked through. An example is poultry; it must be 165 degrees interior temperature to be thoroughly cooked. Remove from the smoker when done, and cover with aluminum foil to set at least 15 minutes, to make it easier to cut and so the seasoning and smoke flavors blend. Serve with your favorite side dishes.
I use left over smoked meat to add to salads, soups and stews, and the sliced smoked meat is great on sandwiches with your favorite spreads. if you would like, you can also dehydrate the smoked meats.
Chicken Coop Chatter© Brine:
There are probably as many brine recipes as there are people that smoke meat. It's a matter of preference as which recipe you use or whether you develop your own. My recipe is simple and works for most meat, but is especially good on Ham, Pork and Poultry.
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Sea Salt
1/2 Cup Sweet and Savory Sauce or Teriyaki Sauce
Enough water to cover the meat (about 3 or 4 cups depending on the amount of meat or size roast.
Mix the brown sugar, sea salt and Sauce together in a container large enough to hold the meat. Reserve 1/2 cup of the mixture for basting. Prepare the meat and dredge in the brine mixture. Add enough water to cover. About 3 or 4 cups. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator overnight preferably, but at least 4 hours if you're on a time schedule. Discard the marinating liquid unless you have more meat to marinate immediately. Do not use for basting the meat except at the very beginning of smoking time. The reserved mixture is used to baste throughout the smoking time. I smoke the meat at about 300-350 until proper core temperature is reached, about 3-4 hours depending on the thickness of the meat. I never rush the smoking time, the rule of thumb is low heat-slow cooking. When core temperature is reached, remove from the smoker and cover with foil about 10-15 minutes, which allows the flavors to blend and meat easier to cut.
My method of smoking:
I am not fond of heavily smoked foods, so I typically use fruit wood, but choice of wood chips is entirely up to preferences. There are large chips and small chips to choose from. I prefer the small chips, but either work fine. I soak the wood chips at least an hour in hot water. Preheat the smoker, to reach the optimum temperature for the item you are smoking. Place the item you are smoking into the smoker on the lowest shelf to start. Place the soaked wood chips in the chip pan. When the chips have turned to ash, I do not add additional chips, however if you want stronger flavor you can add more chips as necessary, or not soak the wood and just use it dry. About half way through the smoking process, move the meat or other smoking project to the middle or top shelf if you have an option. I always use a meat thermometer and continue to smoke the meat until the inner core temperature reading has reached proper temperature. An example, poultry should be 165 degrees in the fleshiest part of the meat. Read the instructions with your meat thermometer for proper inner core temperatures for items you are smoking.
Smoking is a learning experience, and you will find that you either like a milder smoke flavor or a stronger flavor, you will find certain meats lend best to smoking while others may not be to your liking. Follow the manufacturer instructions that came with your smoker for best results when you are learning to use the smoker. Each one may be a little different and thermometers may not all be accurate. Times may vary so until you know about the proper length of time with your smoker, check about every 1/2 hour to 45 minutes to make sure the temperature has not fluctuated and baste as necessary. I baste right up to the last half hour then cover with foil to hold heat in the meat and keep it from drying out.
Enjoy the experience and once you have tried smoking according to instructions, feel free to experiment. Always have an accurate meat thermometer or meat probe if smoking hams and roasts and whole poultry, to make sure they are done to proper temperature.
Refer to the link for smoking non-traditional foods:
Refer to the link for preserving meats other than smoking:
For smokers and meat thermometers, refer to the links below.
Chicken Coop Chatter© All Rights Reserved 2011-2017