Graduating To The Smoker

Graduating to the Smoker

Graduating To The Smoker

Youve mastered the grill, youve mastered searing perfection, your burgers and hotdogs are legendary and now its time to master something else: the smoker.  It is the next natural stepping stone on your journey and will certainly help you level up.  

Here’s the 411 on graduating from the grill to the smoker:

Prep the Meat

Prior to smoking the meat, youll need to add the flavoring to it.  A good, easy-to-throw-together rub. Starting with a wet rub (versus a dry rub) will help the spices and herbs stick to the meat a little better (more on that another day).  A bonding agent like mustard or olive oil is perfect options. Prepping the meat all depends on what youre smoking.  For example, many like to inject their brisket with flavor before smoking or adding a marinade or brine to your fish before smoking. You could also try using wood in your smoker to add more flavor.  This is a great place to be creative and try some new things. If youre not quite ready for creative control, dont sweat it. Check online for great tasting, backyard approved recipes.

Low ’n’ Slow

If youre looking to get perfectly tender, wonderfully juicy, full-of-smokey-flavor meat, then smoking is the way to go.  In order to achieve that perfect texture and taste, put it over low heat and cook it slowly. The perfect smoking temp lies somewhere between 200 and 250 degrees and (depending on the cut and size of your meat) can cook from an hour all the way to eight or more hours.  

Ditch the Grill

Sure, you can use your grill for smoking instead of an actual smoker.  You could also use a fork to eat your soup. It can get the job done, but theres a better, more effective way of achieving the tastiest results!  In order to really level up, you should invest in a good smoker. Smokers are made to cook meat slowly and keep the smoke by the meat to prevent sudden spikes in temp. 

Know and Respect the Difference

Smoking is much different than grilling.  Grilling is searing on a high-temperature surface for a short amount of time.  You grill for mere minutes, whereas smoking requires a lot more time. Smoking a whole hog can take up to 10 hours.  Grilling requires your undivided attention, smoking involves lots of prep time and attention, but then theres plenty of down time.  Smoking a rack of ribs will require mopping every 40-50 minutes.  Barbecuing is a lifestyle and an experience; relax, have a drink, visit with your pals, and enjoy the slow ride.  Theres plenty of down time, so use it wisely.

Now youre ready to give your smoker a try.  Follow these tips and youll see that smoking is easier than you think.  We know youll taste the difference and so will your dinner guests.  Good luck getting them to ever eat anywhere else! If you dont succeed your first, second or even third try, fear not!  Come on down to Blues Street BBQ for dinner!


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