Cooking Techniques, Smoking

Your barbecue grill can also be used as a smoker by using a smoke box and aromatic wood chips. There are two approaches to take, depending on what you are grilling. One is to mix equal parts dry and wet chips, soaked in water or wine for at least 20 minutes, together. This works best for chicken, ribs, roasts or anything that will be cooking for more than 20 minutes. The dry chips get things going right away, while the wet ones give you the legs to go the distance, adding more moisturized smoke during the longer cooking times. For grilling steaks, fish or anything that will be on the grill a relatively short amount of time, use dry chips only in the smoke box. This will maximize the smoke flavor acquired by the food during the short amount of time it is on the grill.

A pan of water placed on the grill during long periods of smoke cooking will not only help keep the food moist, but will help maintain lower cooking temperatures as well.

When smoking, low temperatures (between 90° and 120°C) and longer cooking times will result in more intense smoke flavor and also more tender meats. Always use a meat thermometer to ensure meat has cooked all the way through to the right temperature. Smoke flavor that is created by a selection of wood chips is usually a matter of personal preference. Some people will even create a blend of several flavors to satisfy their own preference.

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