Smoking is a cooking style in which the flavours of the food are enhanced by using varieties of wood chips to add smoke whilst cooking. Barbeque smoking does not preserve food but adds a delicious smokey flavour whilst tenderising the food. Just follow these directions for perfect results every time.
Prepare The Smoker
There are many varieties of wood used in smoking. Mesquite wood provides a spicy taste, hickory a sweet flavour, whilst fruit based timbers like applewood, tea tree, cherry and peach tend to tenderise meats because of their acidity. Many of these timbers are available prepacked in either chips or chunks.
- Wood chips must be pre-soaked in cold water so that they will smoulder slowly, rather than burn. Wood chips can be soaked overnight or for at least 1 hour before use.
- Additional flavours can be achieved by soaking a variety of herbs and spices in the water with the wood chips. Alternatively you may add a little brandy or whisky to your soaking chips.
- Although you can place large smoker chips directly on the fuel, a cast iron smoker box will prevent flare ups and ash from escaping during the smoking process and help ensure a consistent level of smouldering. A smoker box can be used with any type of covered barbeque regardless of size or type of fuel burned.
Make sure you have everything you need:
- Hooded barbeque
- Pre-soaked smoking chips/chunks
- Smoker box if desired
- Covered cooking requirements: enamel drip pan, roast holder, meat thermometer
- Food can be smoked directly, or may be seasoned with garlic, ginger, herbs and spices.
Preparation Of The Barbeque
- Preheat the barbeque until ‘hot' registers on the heat indicator.
- If using a gas barbeque, position the smoker box over one of the burners whilst preheating. When smoke appears from within the box, turn the burners down to low. If using a charcoal barbeque, place the smoker box directly under the food. Indirect heat will be enough to cause the chips to smoulder. Alternatively large chunks of wood can be placed on top of the coals just before food is added.
- An enamel drip pan may be used under the meat if needed to collect juices.
Time To Cook
Smoking requires moderate to slow cooking on a low heat.
- Position food in the pre-heated covered barbeque.
- Turn burners below meat off and cook indirectly until meat thermometer registers cooked temperature (do not leave the meat thermometer in the roast during cooking). Full directions on indirect or covered cooking can be found in “Baking and Roasting”
- If hood is opened during cooking re-dampen wood chips with a little water to prolong the smoke.
How About Water Smoking?
- Follow the steps above, but before preheating the barbeque, place an enamel drip pan ½ filled with water directly below the roast position (a small amount of wine or beer may be added to the water).
- Place the drip pan below the grill and if necessary clear the rocks to allow the pan to fit. If using a charcoal barbeque, move the coals aside and place the pan directly on the charcoal grid.
- Preheat barbeque to the desired temperature. The burner or burners under the water dish are to be turned off. The drip pan contents will then steam the meat and attract the smoke from the smoker box. The water will keep the meat moist and add flavour.
- This method of cooking lengthens cooking time but the results are fantastic.
- Top-up the water in the enamel drip pan as required.