Many people across the United States love cooking outdoors. In fact, statistics show that the 4th of July continues to be the most popular time for grilling with nearly 87% of those surveyed planning some type of cooking event on that day. That being said, it’s understandable that want to enjoy cooked meat without having to wait for the weather to cooperate. Considering that, many people utilize what are known as barbeque smokers. Cooking meat by smoking it might take a little longer than other methods but it produces an exceptionally fine final product. With that in mind, here are four smart tips to follow while using a smoker grill for the first time.
- Utilize Rubs and Marinades Before Smoking
Many of the best smoker recipes call for adding either rubs or marinades to meat before it begins cooking. Utilizing a marinade or rub before cooking helps these ingredients to soak into the meat. In addition, these flavors will be present after the meat is smoked and while it is being eaten.
- Avoid Constantly Opening the Smoker
It’s understandable to feel the need to check on the status of the meat you are cooking. However, it’s important to avoid constantly opening up the lid of your smoker. When barbeque smokers are opened, much of the heat escapes. Considering that, you’ll find that meat without an adequate amount of heat takes much longer than normal to fully cook. Much of the best smoked meat is often in a smoker for extremely long amounts of time. Considering that, it’s incredibly hard to overcook meat while it is being smoked.
- Know When to Apply Sauces to Avoid Burning
Many backyard chefs are ready to apply a great sauce to their meat before it is served. With that in mind, it’s wise to ensure that you know when to apply sauces to smoked meat. It is recommended that you apply any sauces you plan on using during the last 15 to 30 minutes that the meat remains in the smoker. This amount of time allows the sauce to soak into the meat without you worrying about any browning or burning taking place.
- Check Temperature of Meat Thoroughly Before Serving
There are many ways to smoke meat. However, you always want to make sure that any meat you are serving achieves the proper temperature. Shockingly, data from the most recent FDA surveys found that 46% those surveyed never use a thermometer while cooking chicken. However, not checking the temperature of food before it is served could lead to you and your guests catching any number of food related illnesses. A meat thermometer is an inexpensive investment that will prevent you becoming sick from food that wasn’t cooked properly. As a rule of thumb, you will want to make sure that ground meat is cooked to 160 degrees Fahrenheit before serving. On the other hand, any poultry should be cooked to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
To summarize, there are several tips you’ll want to follow while using a barbeque smoker. Barbeque smokers work extremely well for cooking meat in a slow method that helps to provide a tender final product. Before placing meat into a smoker, it’s wise to marinade the food thoroughly. While cooking meat, you’ll want to try and avoid opening the smoker at frequent intervals. As your meat finishes smoking, apply any sauces within 15-30 minutes before taking the food out of the smoker. Lastly, ensure that you check to see that any and all meats are at the proper serving temperature before any eating begins.