13 steps to smoking first prize award winning meat
1. Select your meat for smoking. Pick pieces that are about the same size, so that all the meat will finish about the same time.
2. Flavor selection – Choose the chip of choice. We have found hickory to be one of our favorites. Put the smoking chips in water to soak at least two hours before using. Wedge a large piece of wood on top to hold the remaining chips down in the water. Soaking allows the wood to swell with water and produce the smoke that will flavor the meat.
3. Get ready for fire – Prime your charcoal chimney by crumpling newspaper and placing in the bottom of the chimney. Set it in the firebox. Fill the chimney with charcoal. Light the paper through the vents in the bottom and let stand for 20 to 30 minutes.
4. First spicing – Spice the side of the meat that will be lying on the rack.
5. Second spicing – Spice the fat side of the meat. The fat should be on top. During the smoking process, the fat will keep the meat moist.
6. Chimney sweep – Put on a glove or oven mitt before taking hold of the hot chimney handle, empty the contents of the charcoal chimney onto a few soaked chips. Keep the coals concentrated to maintain the heat that was generated in the chimney.
7. On top of ol’ Smokey – add a few chips to the top of the charcoal pile. This will help generate smoke.
8. Now you’re cookin’ – close the lid to the smoke chamber and the fire chamber.
9. Now adjust the fresh air intake on the side of the fire chamber to regulate the heat. Adjust the smoke vent on top of the smoker to regulate the amount of smoke that fills the smoke/cook chamber.
10. Shuffling the deck – The smoke chamber has hot and cool spots. To make sure all the meat cooks evenly, rotate the pieces of meat from side to side.
11. Fueling the Fire – Smoking takes up to 4 hours to bring all the meat up to temperature. Add charcoal about every 30 minutes. Chips may burn faster, so a watchful eye never hurts.
12. When the meat has a beautiful rich dark brown color, remove from the smoker.
13. The slice of life – The meat needs to rest (set without being cut) for 15 minutes. This will allow the meat fibers to stabilize to the point where they can hold their juices. So now the slice you select is not only delectable with the flavors of your favorite smoke, the slice is luxurious with a burst of flavor inundating your tongue.
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