When it comes to being Aussie, there aren’t many other prominent passions that beat a good old fashion barbecue.
And when it comes to impressing BBQ enthusiasts, the low n slow barbecue method takes the win. After all, a burst of deliciously flavoured smoked meat that has been cooked to perfection, where the meat literally just falls off the bone and melts in your mouth, is a barbecue dream. By simply giving your meats some extra smoky treatment time could enhance the flavours twice as delicious and even more tender and juicy than anticipated.
In this article, we’re going to help make that dream come true for you with our ultimate guide to low n slow cooked BBQ meats, as prepared by the experts.
The difference between a BBQ and a smoker
Smokers don’t involve putting your food directly onto the grill for a short time, which is what a traditional BBQ does. Instead, a smoker used a combination of low and slow heat together with smoke and moisture, to infuse the food with a smoky flavour throughout the cooking time.
The minimum time to smoke your BBQ meats should be 2 hours at around 100 to 120 degrees Celsius, to ensure the smoky flavour gets infused into the meat. Naturally, cooking times will vary depending on the size of the meat, the cut, as well as the recipe, which is why you’ll need to use a meat thermometer to do a thorough check on whether it’s cooked all the way through.
Hot smoking vs cold smoking
Hot smoking uses heat and smoke to cook the meats. This is a popular method for smoking ribs, brisket, chicken and lamb. The meat is served immediately once cooked, which means you won’t need curing as the meats are hot smoked.
Cold smoking is a technique of preserving meat to extend its shelf-life without any heat. Temperatures are typically below 30 degrees Celsius and given the complex nature of the process, cold smoking is recommended to be left to the professionals to maintain food safety standards.
Different smokers mean different things
There are 3 main types of smokers: Charcoal, Gas and Electric.
Charcoal smokers give off an unparalleled smoky flavour, but have a sharper learning curve. Gas smokers are easy to regulate temperature, however, you will need to make sure you stay on top of how much gas you have left so you don’t run out in the middle of a long smoke session. Electric smokers and simple and easy to operate with a straightforward plug in, set temp, and leave it to cook. As it is electric powered, you won’t get that authentic smoky flavour when compared to, say, charcoal.
The fourth hack is to buy a smoker box, some wood chips, and turn your BBQ into a smoker. Fill your smoker box with wood chips and place it directly onto a low heat grill.
Which wood chips should I use?
Different types of wood give off different flavours in your meat, and also depends on the type of meat you’re cooking too.
Here are some quick tips on how to pick the right wood chips for the perfect flavour for your meat.
- Poultry meats should be smoked using alder, apple, cherry, maple, mulberry, oak, peach, pear, or pecan wood chips for maximum flavour.
- Seafood should be smoked with alder, apple, cherry, mulberry, or oak.
- Lamb should be smoked with apple, cherry, or oak.
- Pork should be smoked with alder, cherry, hickory, mesquite, mulberry, oak, peach, pear, pecan, or walnut.
- Beef should be smoked with cherry, hickory, mesquite, oak, pecan, or walnut.
- Vegetables should be smoked with maple wood chips.
- Cheese should be smoked with hickory or mesquite wood chips.
Do note that there are some woods that are not suitable for smoking and could become hazardous and potentially poisonous. These include pine, fir, spruce, cedar, redwood, cypress, eucalyptus, elm, sassafras, sycamore and liquid amber.
Which charcoal should I use?
There are 3 main types of charcoal: BBQ briquette, which are made from a blend of charcoal and char, charcoal briquettes, which are made from compressing wood product charcoal, and lump charcoal which is the most premium charcoal in the market and is made directly from hardwood, which is natural and free from impurities.
To get the best flavour from smoking meats, you will want to use charcoal briquettes given how they burn at the right temperature for smoking over a long period of time. Lump charcoal typically burns too hot, which isn’t ideal for smoking. A chef’s tip is to add in some wood chips to enhance the distinctive smoky flavour to your meats.
Prep your grill
It’s important to have a clean grill to ensure that you obtain clean flavours that are 100% a result of your cooking techniques and efforts, and not some leftovers from an unclean grill.
Use an actual bbq mop to mop your meat, as these bad boys are designed to get into the crevices of the meat to ensure flavours sink in nicely.
For smokers, keep your wood chips in a cold water bath for 1 to 2 hours before putting it over the fire.
If you’re using a grill, you will need to prepare it for indirect heat. To do so, put the charcoal briquettes on one side of the grill and then place a foil drip pan half filled with water on the other end to maintain good moisture levels. Have at it when the temperature is right.
It’s time to find yourself a great recipe for low n slow smoking BBQ meats. Remember, low and slow really does mean low and slow, with cooking times ranking anywhere from 6 to 10 hours - the longer the better.
Getting an irresistibly high quality end result heavily depends on the process, which often involves regularly mopping your BBQ meats every 30 minutes to ensure moist, tenderness that will simply melt in your mouth.
Diligence and perseverance is the key to creating a spectacular end result that will have your mouth watering and salivating just by looking at it.
Don’t have time to go low n slow?
It’s always nice to cook up your own meat, but sometimes you simply just don’t have the time to do it - but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a quality low and slow smoked BBQ meats meal.
Head to the Rodeo Bar and Grill Steakhouse at the Isa Hotel in Mount Isa for a taste of premium low and slow smoked BBQ meats in their newly introduced meat platters.
Available for a limited time only, these meat platters are yours for the taking at only $41.90 for a decadent meal you won’t forget.
The Aussie Smoked Meat Platter (available for a limited time)
- Ginger and Myrtle Glazed Short Ribs
- Pork Sausages
- Dry Rubbed Baked Chicken Wings
- Crusted Mac and Cheese
- Rosemary Damper
- House Mustard and Dill Pickles
- Smoked Aioli
- Garlic Crusted Slow BBQ Brisket
The Irish Smoked Meat Platter (available from Tuesday 9 March)
- Stout Glazed Thousand Guinness Short Ribs
- Irish Pork Sausages
- Garlic Crusted Thousand Guinness Beef Brisket
- ‘Boxty’ Potatoes
- Irish Soda Bread
- House Mustard and Dill Pickles
- Smoked Aioli
- Spiced Chicken Wings
Don’t miss out on your chance to taste a piece of heaven as it melts in your mouth. Book a table at the Rodeo Bar and Grill by phoning the team on (07) 4749 8888.