Are you tired of going to BBQ joints and paying a hefty sum each month eating out? Learn how to make your own delicious barbecued and smoked meat at home.
Many of us would agree that no other type of cooking method gives you more delicious a feast of meat than barbecues. During spring, summer, and autumn, backyard barbecue parties are exciting to look forward to, especially for those who don’t know how to do it by ourselves.
Isn’t it sad to wait for a barbecue party or a restaurant trip to have your next scrumptious meaty delight? You can enjoy delicious barbecued or smoked meat right in the comfort of your home.
Don’t waste your money at restaurants and make your own version of finger-licking barbecue meat at home. This guide will help you figure out how to barbecue and smoke meat at home, all by yourself.
The Right Barbecue Grill And Smoker
To begin barbecuing and smoking, you need the right appliance for the job. The appliance will determine how well you can cook your meat, as the right cooking environment determines the texture and taste.
The most traditional grill for barbecuing meat is the charcoal grill. Meat barbecued on a charcoal grill will have that smokey and delicious charcoal aroma. However, it is more to control a charcoal grill’s flames, which increases the chance of getting charred or unevenly barbecued meat.
With gas grills, you get to control the temperature. It is also easier to operate as you can start barbecuing the moment you turn on the burners. With gas grills, you wouldn’t get a smokey aroma without some improvisation. Gas grills are perfect for those who barbecue frequently.
If you want an evenly cooked and aromatic barbecue, you need a pellet grill. The latest pellet grills are high-tech and convenient to use.
You will get some charcoal smokey flavor from a charcoal grill and the subtlest wood smoke aroma from the pellet grill. Even though any grill with a lid can smoke your meat, a dedicated smoker will give you the ultimate smoked meat.
If you don’t know which one to find for getting that perfect smoked flavor, try going for a gas/propane smoker. Similar to a gas grill, it is easy to use. You will be able to control the temperature, which will enable you to slow smoke your meat until the flavor seeps in thoroughly deep.
Whether you get a gas smoker or any other smoker, it can be a great addition to your backyard or outdoor kitchen.
Your ingredients can be divided into two categories, the meat and the seasoning. With the meat, if you can get your hands on premium quality meat, you will have a tastier barbecue. The flavor will heavily depend on the rub of the meat. Try to find good quality seasonings and herbs.
No matter what type or cut of meat you use, the way it is cooked matters. Chefs often say that you can get the most succulent meat by either cooking it for a short time or slow cooking it for a long time.
Hence, if you are barbecuing, it is important to keep an eye to ensure you don’t burn the meat in any way. If you are smoking the meat, slow-cooking it for a few hours will give you the best results.
Tips For Preparation
Keep The Fire Burning
When you are making barbecued meat, you have to make sure the temperature is steady. If the fire dies out or lowers during the process, your meat won’t cook desirably. This is not a problem with an electric grill or a pellet grill, as the temperature is controllable and remains steady.
However, on a charcoal grill, keeping the temperature steady can be a problem. You have to avoid flare-ups if you want to prevent charring. You also need to keep the coals burning. So, instead of adding fresh coal, keep some lit coal in a separate pit or whatever alternative you can find.
If you are barbecuing over a wood-fired grill, keep it continually burning and the temperature running steadily.
Rub or Marinade?
You can either apply a rub or marinade your meat. The rub is a dry seasoning blend of spices to add flavor to the meat. On the other hand, the marinade is a moist blend of seasoning with an acidic liquid base that seeps into the meat and tenderizes it.
The rub can be applied anytime before the barbecue starts, while the marination process takes a little more time to marinade.
However, if you want to sear the surface for smoking or to barbecue beautifully, you should skip the marinade. The marinade is often used for cooking meat in other methods – like roasting in an oven. It is better to stick to a rub, to get the perfect texture.
Sometimes, just a little pepper and salt is enough seasoning, and there’s no need to complicate things.
Whether it is wood chunks for a wood-fired grill or wood pellets for your pellet grill, wood pairing is a must. When the aromatic wood burns, it seeps into the fibers of the meat. You get the whiff of that smokey flavor with every bite.
With a wood-fired grill, you must ensure a constant wood supply. The fire needs to burn steadily for hours so that collagen can melt into gelatin. Keep that fire running smoothly for hours and keep refilling the wood, enabling the meat to cook slowly.
For red meat or tough meat, use strong-smelling wood like Hickory, Mesquite, Hickory, Red Cedar, Juniper, and Walnut. For white meat, try using fruity wood-like Apple, Cherry, Olive, and Maple.
When smoking your meat, choosing to smoke it over low heat for hours is the best way to go. Not only will the meat be more flavorful, but it will be incredibly tender. The longer you smoke the meat, the more intense the flavor will get.
During the smoking process, do not open the smoke chamber’s lid because it will let out all that flavorful smoke. Set the alarm for flipping the meat, but you often don’t even have to flip it with slow cooking.
Remember to refill the water pan of your smoker. Otherwise, your smoked meat will go dry and rubbery. If you can reserve any of the dripping from the meat, you can make a delicious gravy with it.
Making barbecued or smoked meat is nothing to be scared of. Following this guideline, you can make a succulent, grilled feast at home and save thousands of dollars a year by avoiding restaurants. The right medium, ingredients, some determination, and a lot of care can help you become an expert at grilling and smoking meat.