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Techniques of Grilling Meat- ‘Smoking’

We had made a small introduction on the smoking process in our article on the Basics of the Meat Cooking Techniques.

While the barbecue accelerates the cooking process, smoking method is great to add aroma . The smoking process generally takes 3 times as long as barbecue cooking, at low temperature degrees between 180-220 C. The low-temperature cooking slowly cooks the meat instead of burning and the aroma of the burning chips is added to the meat.

This process can be performed with the barbecues suitable for smoking process or by using the traditional smoking methods. Both applications are based on indirect cooking; a container full of water is added

within the barbecue to humidify the cooking area. The aroma providers or wood chips that can absorb water can be placed within the heat source to flame the fire. The cover is closed to ensure that the heat and smoke can envelop the food, penetrate and add the smoking flavor to the food. But we must remember that not all types of food are suitable for smoking. Veal, lamb, fatty fish, all chicken and game animals are suitable options for smoking.

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WHILE SMOKING

If you do not have the suitable traditional cooker for smoking, you can make your current coal or gas barbecue suitable for smoking process by using a cover.

Coal barbecue

  1. Keep the wood chips or other pieces used for ignition in water for at least an hour (if you are going to use an aromatic liquid, the wood chips should also be kept in that liquid for half an hour). The important point is, the water should be drained well before adding these wood chips into fire.
  2. Use long tongs and place a metal container that contains warm water (2-3 cm filled) between the coals or hot ashes.
  3. Add the wood chips (which were wetted and kept within aromatic liquid) to the ember.
  4. Place the foods on the barbecue and close the cover.
  5. Check the foods, water container and wood chips at the beginning of each hour.
  6. Do not add extra wood chips to the heat source during the last hour of smoking. Too many wood pieces will cause a bitter taste on the foods.

FOR GAS BARBECUE:

  1. Keep the wood chips or other pieces used for ignition in water for at least an hour (if you are going to use an aromatic liquid, the wood chips should also be kept in that liquid for half an hour). The water should be drained well before burning these wood chips.
  2. If the barbecue you are using for smoking has additional equipment for smoking, attach the equipment as described by the company and prepare for usage. If you do not have the equipment, place another aluminum container (open a hole at its bottom) directly above the heat source in addition to the aluminum container filled with water which is to be placed within the barbecue.
  3. Place the food exactly in the middle of the barbecue and close the cover.
  4. Check the foods, water container and wood chips at the beginning of each hour.

 

TIPS FOR THE SUCCESSFUL SMOKING

  • Keep the temperature under control by adding new barbecue coals (between 8 and 10 pieces) while cooking. Do not add quickly-flaming coals during the cooking process.
  • Always keep the water container filled. The water ensures heat stability and prevents the drying of the meat.
  • Do not check the cooking process by frequently opening the cover. The heat and smoke will disperse when you do it and the aroma and taste
  • acquisition will not be completed.
  • To add aroma to the food, place leaves or aroma herbs on the coals. (For example: rosemary, wine grape leaves, cinnamon rods or fruit peels). A tip: the foods and the leaves of the foods with high fat content generally provide stronger aromas. If the aromatic material you are going to use are the ones that quickly burn, keep them in water before exposing them to fire.
  • Begin the smoking process by igniting few wood pieces and add wood until you obtain the desired smoking smell.
  • The most important point to remember in this process is, do not add extra wood pieces after the first half of the smoking process.  Any wood piece added after that point will cause a bitter taste.
  • Wrapping the wet wood pieces in aluminum will cause them to endure heat longer and prevent them from burning immediately.

MATCHING WOOD AND FOOD VARIETIES FOR SMOKING PROCESS

WOOD TYPE PROPERTY HARMONY
Elm Soft, light taste Poultry and especially fish
Apple – Sour Cherry Soft and sweet Suckling veal and poultry
American walnut Dominant and smoked taste Brisket, rib and prey animals
Fresh broad bean Soft and sweet Most meta and vegetables
Oak Sharp but versatile Beef and poultry
Pecans Similar to the walnut but softer Poultry and fish
Sea weed Sharp and smoked taste Shellfish