Smoking and grilling are the two most popular methods of barbequing food. Both these methods deliver great flavor to the food, but in the case of smoking, the flavor is more rich and intense. This is because a food smoker uses hot smoke to cook the food slowly while on a grill, the food is cooked on direct heat. Grilling is a faster process of cooking compared to smoking. Hence, the process of low and slow is more suitable for food smoking.
How to smoke low and slow
The sight of a sizzling steak can be really tempting, (and there is nothing wrong about smoking and searing!) but you have to be patient with the process to get the desired result. Low and slow is the key to perfect food smoking. Sometimes, it might seem complicated for beginners to ace the slow cooking method. This is where our guide to low and slow smoking can help. Check it out below.
Place a water pan: Placing a pan filled with hot water inside the smoking chamber can help regulate the temperature and preserve the tenderness of the food. As the water starts steaming during smoking, it adds moisture to the food.
Maintain low and steady heat: Keeping the heat at a minimum is important but maintaining it constantly throughout the cooking process is imperative. It helps to cook the food evenly from all sides without drying it out or over-charring the surface.
Perks of going low and slow
Smoking is the favorite method of pitmasters for a reason. In fact, there is not one but many reasons to choose the low and slow method of cooking. Here are some of the benefits of low and slow barbecuing.
Get the desired doneness: With the low and slow process, it is really hard for your food to be overdone. So, be assured that if you are following the right method, you will get perfectly cooked succulent preparations.
Enhanced flavor: As the fat in the connective tissues of a piece of meat melts slowly in the heat, it naturally secretes some juice. This juice then mixes with the rub to further flavor the food.
Intense smoky essence: When the meat is cooked slowly in low heat, it gets ample time to completely absorb the smoky flavor. As a result, the flavor intensifies in smoked meat.
Preserves tenderness: Cooking the meat slowly ensures that less moisture is lost during the smoking process. This helps the food retain some moisture to preserve its tenderness even after it reaches perfect doneness.
Increased shelf life: Slow cooking disrupts the protein bond in the muscle fiber making it unfavorable for microbial growth. This ensures the food stays fresh for a longer period and increases its shelf life.
Pitmaster tricks to ace food smoking
With all those tricks for low and slow on smoking, you might be intrigued to give it a try. But hold on, there is more to smoking. If you are a beginner at the art of barbequing, here are some tips that can help you master the art.
Use Brine/ Rub: A rub is a dry mix of spices that is rubbed on the meat to enhance its flavor. Brine is a concentrated solution of salt and water that is used to add moisture to the food to make it tender and succulent. Use either of these methods to enhance the flavor of smoked food. Check out our entire catalog of articles on brining and curing your meat here: What’s the Difference Between Pickling, Brining, Marinating, and Curing?; Curing and Smoking Meats for Home Food Preservation; Directions On Brining And Curing Your Meat For Food Smoking.
Purchase a quality food smoker: A quality food smoker can give you a delightful smoking experience. The Bradley smoker is the best example of this. The Bradley smoker comes with an auto bisquette feeder, dual heat elements, and a digital interface. A food smoker can function as a hot smoker, cold smoker, oven, and dehydrator. The digital console allows pre-setting the cooking time and temperature before you start smoking. So, the smoker automatically does all the extra chores like temperature control, wood feeding, etc. while you enjoy the party (with some supervision).
Add the right wood: Wood is an important factor in food smoking. It determines the quality of the smoke and the flavor of the food that you will cook. You have to ensure that toxic fumes from burnt-out ashes don’t spoil the food. Instead of frequently replacing the wood, you should use Bradley Bisquettes. These are flavored wood pucks that will produce pure, clean smoke and are extinguished at the perfect time so it is never burned down to ash.
Never hurry to serve: Don’t serve the steak immediately after smoking. Let it rest for a while. This will give some time for the meat to reabsorb all the juice secreted during smoking. It will make the meat more tender and succulent.
We hope these Bradley tips & tricks have helped you to discover your inner chef and persuade you to fire up that food smoker this season. For more great ideas on how to get the most of your Bradley Smoker, check out the awesome articles on our Bradley Smoker Food Smoking Blog for more tips & tricks.