Guide to Smoking Food on Your BBQ
Open up a new world of barbecuing by smoking your food using wood chips and wood pellets.
A big advantage for the British is that the Americans have been perfecting the art of smoking for years, so there's plenty of advice and recipes available. You can achieve a successful result using a standard barbecue with a lid, which will give you an introduction into the wonderful taste of smoked food.
The concept of smoking is long and slow indirect cooking, to impart the flavour of the wood being used and to tenderize the chosen meat. So the challenges facing the regular barbecue griller is to keep the barbecue going for 4 to 6 hours at a lower temperature and to stop the meat drying out during cooking. Air inlet/outlet control on your barbecue is vital to the success of your smoking. The first challenge is to find a barbecue which is actually designed to barbecue.
Purchase The Correct BBQ
The first step when purchasing your barbecue is to make sure that when the lid is down the cooking chamber is controllable by adjustable air vents and check for exposed gaps in the chamber which will inhibit control of air flow during cooking.
Its a real shame that barbecue designers these days are obsessed with gadgets and gismos and eye catching designs and totally forget about simple barbecue science. Remember you want to purchase a barbecue, not a spaceship!
A relatively cheap barbecue can get you started. The small smoker barbecue above is well designed with a total air controlled chamber.You can also use it for grilling and roasting if you wish.
American Style Smoker
An off set fire box of the American smoker. This firebox contains the charcoal and woodchips while the cooking chamber on the top right of the picture is used for a selection of meats or fish. When the charcoal is ready for smoking (covered in white ash) the woodchips are added and the lid of the firebox and smoking chamber are closed and smoking process commences. Air is controlled via closable vents in the firebox and chamber. A temperature gauge is fitted to the smoker chamber so that the desired heat can be controlled and observed during smoking.
Wood Pellets and Wood Chips
Increasing array of flavours to choose from, most natural and some impregnated with herbs and spices. Soak for around an hour and then add to your charcoal. Wood pellets and wood chips can be used dry in a cast iron pot, which allows the pellets to smoke for longer.
Rubs, marinades and basting is an integral part of the smoking process and will increase your chances of obtaining excellent results.
Experiment and you will soon have a list of personal favourite ingredients.
BBQ Smoking Tips and Ideas
A smoked chicken using wood-pellets from charcoal filters used for filtering Jack Daniels Whiskey.
During smoking the air was filled with a definite aroma of wood soaked whisky, the chicken was pre rubbed with garlic, pepper and lemon grass seasoning. The result was a taste of medium flavoured smoked chicken on the outer with a delicate sweet smoky flavour towards the inner.
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