With the New Year in full swing, so many of us are desperately hanging on to those resolutions we made; healthy eating and more exercise. You know the drill.
To help you out, we have put together this handy guide on how to cook using a food smoker, along with a couple of recipes and some of the benefits of smoking your food to help get you prepared for those summer barbecues.
So, if you’re lacking the inspiration to get in shape or just fancy cooking up something a little bit healthier then look no further!
How To Smoke Cook
The most common appliance for home smoking is a charcoal water smoker. The great thing about these appliances is that they are portable and can maintain their heat between 150°C -200°C for a number of days. It is also fueled by nothing but charcoal and wood chips so it would be perfect for a picnic or a back-garden barbecue with friends and family.
Once the coals have been ignited add some soaked, resin free wood chips and herbs like Rosemary, Oregano or Tarragon for an extra smoky and aromatic flavour.
When the coals and chips begin to smoulder and smoke add your meat, fish or game to the top shelf and check regularly.
For larger cuts of meat, it is recommended that you adhere to a general rule of 45 minutes to one hour per pound.
Always ensure that your meat is piping hot throughout before serving.
Smoke Cooking – The Benefits
So, what are the benefits of smoke cooking?
First and foremost, it offers a sublime and unique smoky flavour, which is complimented by an array of herbs, spices and garnishes. The additional preservation time provided by the smoking process means that the meat will keep for longer than alternative cooking methods so any leftovers should keep you fed for the whole weekend!
For those who are trying to stick to their diets, smoke cooking is a far healthier option than frying food and can be done in the garden when you have to make the most of the good weather.
Rubs And Marinades
When it comes to extra flavour, smoke cooking really rubs it in. Marinade any meat you have the day before cooking and store in a cool refrigerator overnight.
Get creative with some of these rubs and marinades below to find the perfect flavour.
Ground Red Pepper
Hot Pepper Sauce
Intrigued? Why not try some of these tasty smoking recipes this summer? We promise you won’t be disappointed.
Smoked BBQ Ribs
First, prepare the rub for your barbeque ribs.
You will need:
1 cup paprika
½ cup sugar
½ cup salt
¼ cup ground black pepper
3 tablespoons of cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons of cumin
2 tablespoons of thyme
2 tablespoons of dry mustard
Mix the rub well and coat your ribs. Leave to set for 2 hours.
Add hickory wood chips to the smoker and achieve a heat of around 140°C, then leave the ribs to smoke for 2 hours and check regularly. Be careful not to let the temperature rise too high as this and prolonged cooking can cause the meat to dry out.
Remove the ribs from the smoker, drizzle over some apple juice or your favourite ale and wrap tightly in tin foil. Place the ribs back in the smoker at the same temperature for another 2 hours.
Once the time is up, remove the ribs from the foil and coat with barbecue sauce.
Place them back in the smoker for one final hour before serving.
Rinse a whole chicken and place in a bowl of salt water overnight.
The next day, remove the chicken and dry it off. Once dry; season with salt and black pepper.
Light the charcoal and allow your smoker to reach an optimum temperature (around 150°C), place the chicken in the smoker and leave for around 3 ½ hours until the thickest part of the breast is piping hot and is no longer pink.
Throughout the smoking process, it is recommended that you add a small handful of wooden chips every hour or so and regularly adjust the vents to keep the coals smouldering.
Leave the chicken to cool for 20 minutes before serving, and enjoy.
We hope you have enjoyed reading about smoke cooking, if you have any tips, recipes or recommendations then please head over to our Twitter page and share them with us.
This post was written by Garden Gift Shop, home of the perfect gifts for all gardens.