Welcome to the August edition of the Smoking Meat newsletter.. it has been so hot here that the armadillos are packing up and moving north. I have to admit that with the 105+ degree temperatures over the last month, I have not felt like doing a whole lot of smoking. I still do some but it is one of those things where I run outside to check the meat and then run back in as quickly as possible. It is just not as fun when you feel like your body is cooking right along with the meat.
Personally, I would rather smoke meat when the snow is flying rather than being out there in this extreme heat.
Anyway.. enough complaining.
By the Way..
If you have not taken advantage of my rib rub and barbecue sauce recipes then I think you should take care of that right now.. no procrastinating. I have received so many wonderful emails about it recently and I will share one of those below.. people are buying the recipes and discovering that it is just as I have promised and more! My recipes are hands down the best rib rub and barbecue sauce on the market and you can own the recipes today for a measly little $18.95.
I have had so many questions concerning how much smoke is needed and how much wood chips or chunks to use and I thought I would address these basics in this newsletter.
There are certain fundamentals that need to be learned in order to produce great smoked meat and this is one of them.
First you must understand the physics behind what is good smoke and what is bad smoke.. bad smoke is produced when there is inadequate airflow and the smoke is allowed to sit still in the smoker instead of flowing through the smoker.
This is the importance of having an intake and a damper on the smoker. Some smokers like the smaller bullet type smokers do not have adequate airflow when you buy them from the store and this is what all of the various modifications serve to correct.
Most smokers that work well will have a way for the fire to pull air into the smoker and then a place for the smoke to exit freely.
When smoke is allowed to just sit in the smoker and the airflow is not adequate for keeping things moving, creosote will begin to form on the meat.
Creosote is a chemical which is bitter tasting and will even make the tongue feel a bit numb.
I have folks email me all of the time about bitter tasting meat.. I can usually pinpoint the problem as lack of adequate airflow in, around and out of the smoker.
As far as smoke and how much wood to use.. this is a matter of how big your smoker is. Ideally, you are looking for a thin plume of smoke to be coming from the smoker. Sometimes it will be almost so faint that you can barely see it but that will usually be about right for that smoky flavor.
It also depends on what type of wood you are using since some woods produce mild flavors while others produce rather strong flavors.
Alder is probably one of the mildest woods I know and it works so well with fish.. a strong flavored wood would be mesquite or perhaps hickory for ribs, brisket and most other large cuts of meat.
I like to apply smoke for about 1/3 to 1/2 of the cook time for a nice smoke ring and great flavor.. I do know that some folks apply smoke throughout the entire smoking process on pork butt, ribs, etc. but I do not recommend that while you are learning.
I recommend keeping a log of each smoke and write down things like weather, type of meat, type of wood used, intake and damper settings, etc. and this will allow you to make changes the next time if you feel that changes would be an improvement.
For instance, you may decide that the meat is not smoky enough so perhaps the next time you would apply smoke a little longer and maybe even close the damper from 3/4 to 1/2 way to allow the smoke a little more exposure onto the meat.
I have a page on the website that addresses various types of woods and tells what the flavor is like and even recommends the type of meat that it is best for. These are good recommendations but be sure to think outside of the box and experiment a little to find your own favorites.
The last thing I want to point out is that the age of the wood also matters.
You should never use green wood in your smoker.. this is wood that is freshly cut and has not been allowed to season in the dry for at least 6 months.
Wood that is 6 months on up to a couple of years old is ok but once wood starts getting older than about 2 years it begins to deteriorate, has usually lost a lot of its flavor and will catch fire way too easy to make good smoking wood.
Questions and Answers
Every day I receive tons of email from all of you and while I try to answer as many as possible, there are just not enough hours in my day to answer all of them. If you have an urgent question that needs to be answered and I do not respond in a timely fashion just realize that I am probably soaking my fingers to relieve the soreness from all of the typing.
A great alternative is to ask the question at SmokingMeatForums.com where I have the utmost faith in the members to give you high quality and thorough answers.
If you are truly serious about barbecue and cooking outdoors for family and friends then you need my rub and sauce recipes. It is the two tools that you absolutely need in your barbecue toolbox and the are the second most important investment next to your smoker in my opinion and lots of folks agree.
Jake from Ontario wrote..
It is not possible to put into words the extraordinary taste of the ribs prepared with your rib rub. Wow. I had them in the smoker with mesquite for about 5 1/2 hours at about 220F. The ribs were visually gorgeous and the taste – mmmm – unbelievable! No leftovers. The BBQ sauce was a huge hit too – easy, easy, easy to make and just the right amount of 'heat'! Everyone loved it, the first batch did not last through the first meal!
Thank you Jake for those words of wisdom! Those recipes are a result of my passion for barbecue and smoked meat and I am only too happy to hear that they were a huge success at your house.
If you would like to experience these recipes for yourself (and you should) simply click the link below to read more testimonies or click here to go ahead and order.
Note: This is an immediate download which means just as soon as you order you should receive a download link within minutes.
Note: Please email me right away if you do not receive an email within just a few minutes of ordering so I can jump into action and find out what is going on.
I have an outside company that handles this for me and I have to keep them on their toes.. my goal is 100% satisfaction and I won't be satisfied until you are. I promise.
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Have a Wonderful Day and Keep Smoking (meat that is)!!!
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