Now your ready to SMOKE!
Charcoal? Fresh Coals? Wood?
Over the years, I have tried them all.
And they all go back to just how much effort you are willing to put into your fire. Numer on for me is using fresh coals. This is accomplished by igniting seasoned (suitably dry) wood, letting the fire burn off to a coal stage and THEN using them to cook about. This is allot of work, but produces a flavor of your chosen wood that can’t be beat. Grill/Smoking over seasoned wood is OK, but take allot of work , too. This is also cumbersome as getting fresh timber into the grill to keep a good fire may require removal of the cooking grate. Charcoal is the simplest heating method which you can mix some seasoned wood with when implementing longer cooking times, if you wish. Use a good brand that is made with natural hard wood as it will not go up in smoke too quick requiring constant refilling. Don’t ever use that match light out of the bag junk.
Setup is Importante’!
Think your smoking through. Visualize what you will be doing from ignition to plating your meal.
It is a truly sad scene to have coals looking great, your entree ready for the grate, and you remember that did not pick up the hickory chunks yesterday or your sausage you were going today is still in the freezer. My ebook has a sample checklist you may copy to use the first couple of years to flatten the learning curve,
Mind Your Fire.
Long smoking periods will require coal stirring, adding wet wood chips, coal addition and plenty of beer.
If you smoke like I do you will want to get full value from your heat source also. So while the Apple Seasoned Pork Roast is on the top shelf, put some Dolphin on the bottom shelf. But don’t forget to take it out after 4 or so hours!
Watch Cooking Times
Dead animals are pretty hard to mess up for the most part with a few exceptions.
Leaner cuts of pork, like tenderloin will require less time due to minimal fat content. This is a great Grill/Smoke entree, for example. Larger cuts of beef, like a Drunkin Standing Rib Roast, I prefer to remove when the internal temperature reaches 140F. And fish needs to be quite firm, but not dry as hell. So, keep an eye on what you are heating as times will vary and you also may want to wrap certain selections 3/4 of the way through cooking.
Smoke and Grill?
cuts you may want to smoke, but finish off on the grill. Pork or beef ribs are the first item that comes to mind. Smoke ‘em, wrap’em and finish’em over direct flames to caramelize a sweet sauce. I like to cut my ribs apart at this stage to get all sides good and messy and toasted.