Do you smell that? Smoked meat. Nothing else in the world comes close to that.
If you’re a fan of barbecue meats and sinking your teeth into some of the juiciest, most tender prime cuts, there’s nothing more victorious than smoking it right.
Truth be told the process is no easy feat. For a beginner, smoking meat to perfection can be as intimidating as going on a bungee jump.
Here are our smoking tips on how to go from beginner to a slow and low pro.
Picking the right smoker
It’s all in the smoker, and there are a few things to consider when picking your first one. You’ll have to think about how much blood, sweat and tears you plan on investing in your new craft to justify your expenses.
As an easy entry, go for a ceramic unit that is compact, maximising low and slow cooking. Often powered by charcoal, all you’ll have to do here is add in some chips or pellets to instil delicious smoky flavours into your meats.
Your other option is to go for a pellet smoker, which automates heat and airflow, making it ideal for beginners who don’t know about the mechanics as the automatic smoker will do most of that for you. So, if you’re looking to get results but don’t want to get into the science behind it, this is the unit for you.
The third option, an offset smoker, is for those who have big aspirations. Its costly and the cheaper units can go for a few hundred dollars. Smaller models will use wood chips instead of logs, meaning you’ll need to pay more attention to fire management.
Getting the right gear
Once you have chosen your smoker, it’s time to get the right gear. You’ll need to get yourself a temperature gauge to begin. Bluetooth thermometers help you measure both chamber and meat temperatures without having to get into the smoker.
Gloves are a necessity as you’ll need to protect yourself from the heat of the smoker when managing it. Temperatures will give you an indication of being in the right range, but you will still need a sense of touch and sight to find the sweet spot of perfectly cooked meat.
Grab yourself a diary as well to help track your smoking efforts and learn from your mistakes. Jotting down your trials and errors will help you understand your smoker that much better.
Maintain your smoker
It’s important to season the grill by sparking a fire and putting some fatty meat on the grill such as bacon. Let the flat get everywhere, and you can even layer a coat of oil inside for added protection.
Try and avoid cleaning down to the steel as you’ll want to maintain a thin coat of fat and smoke from when the grill was seasoned. If rust is sighted, use steel wool and elbow grease to get rid of it and then simply rub more oil to keep moisture away.
Choosing your meats
Pork is a good meat to start with when learning how to smoke as any undercooking won't necessarily make you sick, and it’s also a cheaper price point when progressing with trial and error. A good cut is a pork butt with bone. Once you’re a bit more confident with smoking, move onto ribs according to how uniform it is. The more uneven the ribs, such as Texas spare ribs, the more challenging you will find the process. Loin back ribs have the highest diversity in meat and fat density.
Once you know how to smoke ribs, go onto brisket which is a bilateral muscle that requires some moving around during smoking to ensure fattier points are cooked through. After briskets there’s beef ribs to explore smoking as well.
Choosing the right wood
Some woods go better with specific meats. For example, poultry cooks well with almost all types of wood except mesquite and walnut. Beef cooks well with cherry, hickory, mesquite, oak, pecan and walnut. Pork goes well with all types of wood. Seafood goes well with alder, apple, lilac, maple, mulberry, oak and plum.
Buying in bulk is also a great trick so long as you are able to keep it nice and dry as the longer you have it, the better it will season.
Whatever you choose, avoid liquid smoke at all costs, and do it the right way with chips, pellets, or logs.
Explore the best of smoked meats at the Rodeo Bar & Grill Steakhouse in Mount Isa
If you’re serious about smoked meats and have a passion for tasting the best, most mouthwatering smoked meats that will melt in your mouth, a feast at the Rodeo Bar & Grill Steakhouse in Mount Isa is a must.
With a scrumptious new menu featuring a wonderful selection of new smoked meats, a meal here will be nothing short of satisfying for anyone who loves a good smoke.
Introducing the Isa Sticky Pork Ribs which is a mixed native bush spice rub over 8 hour smoked pork riblets basted in a sticky Bundy Rum BBQ sauce. Say hello to the Beef Short Ribs with a bush spice crust that’s a 12 hour smoked beef ribs crusted in the chef’s special native pepperberry, sea salt rub served with house made Tonkatsu sauce.
There’s also smoked maple glazed chicken, a smoked BBQ meat platter, a kilo tri tip reverse seared signature steak, and a smoked roo tail for the adventurous.
Call (07) 4749 8888 and book now to avoid missing out on a meal at the Rodeo Bar & Grill Steakhouse at the Isa Hotel.
Banner image credit: The Shops at Willow Park