Choosing The Best Smoker: A 15000 Words Buying Guide

How to smoke tuna in an electric smoker


If you have searched on our website, They now know more about smokers than about 75% of the population. Now you just have to learn what you smoke. It is not really magical. If done correctly, pretty much everything can be smoked, at least to some extent. However, there are some pieces of meat that respond particularly well to the smoking process. In this guide we will examine the qualities that make a particular meat cut a good candidate for smoking. Based on my more than 35 years as a professional cook, outdoor cook, hunter and fisherman, here are my favorite pieces of meat for the smoker.

Make the cut

To begin, we need to understand why a particular piece of meat has such a good chance of smoking. Is it the taste? Is it the texture? Is it the fat content? The answer is that it’s a bit of all three, and a few other factors. In addition, there are some cuts that can not be chosen so well, but can be smoked well with a small preparation before.
One of the best choices for smokers are meat products that are really not suitable for much else. Hard cuts such as beef breasts, ribs, mature chickens and poultry, mature beef and pork are really good for smokers because they are too hard for anything else.

The long, slow smoking process causes several things. First, it allows the collagen (connective tissue / cartilage), which is the main thing to harden the meat, to disintegrate and to be converted into various types of sugar. This gives the meat a sweetness and makes it extra tender.

Other meats such as fish, chicken and various wild animals can be smoked with additional preparation. Usually, game meat becomes leaner, harder and drier, so additional precautions need to be taken to ensure that they do not dry out or become hardy when smoking. Their best defense, on the other hand, is meat. Soaking meat of any kind in a saline solution improves both the taste and the moisture absorption. We will not go into detail here, but for more information read the section “Brining” on our website.

The best meat for the smoker

Based on my experience and my personal taste, these are my favorite dishes for the smoker:

1. Wild pigs, Javalena, Razorbacks and Russian wild boar

All four species are interchangeable with the smoker. As a keen hunter I am blessed to live in a place with good boar populations and Russian wild boars. In terms of cooking, they are a completely different animal than a domestic pig. Delicate, moist and juicy, smoked wild boar is the finest pork available in the world. If you’ve never had slow-smoked wild pork, you’ve missed one of nature’s finest foods. Nothing tastes like smoked boar. Although hickory is the usual smoked wood for pork, boar responds exceptionally well to mesquite and has an incredible aroma. It is darker than domestic pork and more like stag or young beef. The taste is sweet, with complex nuances that make your taste buds scream with pure ecstasy. The texture is mildly bland, delicate, very moist and not too greasy. The best parts for smoking are the ribs, spare ribs, the shoulder (Boston Butt), the picnic (lower legs), the loins, or for a really great taste sensation, and if you have a big enough smoker (or a little pig). the whole pig in one piece. Whole-swine smoked pork has a much more complex taste profile than single pieces. The back ham can be turned into ham as if you had never dreamed of it, and the chops, side meat and cheeks can all be turned into the best bacon you’ve ever had. The only thing you need to keep in mind is “Low and Slow”. I never smoke wild pork hotter than 93.3ºC (200ºF) and never under 14 hours, regardless of the size of the pig, and sometimes up to 36 hours.

2. pork ribs

One of the most popular meat products for the smoker. Ribs have a lot of fat and a lot of collagen, ideal for smoking. The only way to make the ribs edible is to cook them for several hours and then bake them. However, this is far from the taste of the smoked ribs. ribs are cheap, and most grocery stores carry them. The standard pork chops are hickory and apple wood. When they are smoked, they become moist, fall off the bone and have a sweet, complex taste that makes you wonder why else you are eating. The only bad thing about the ribs is that they have to be well prepared for the best result before smoking. You can not just take them out of the pack and throw them at the smoker (most meat products require a bit of preparation for the best results). First, you need to remove the sturdy membrane at the back of the rack. This can easily be deducted. There are those who say you can do this while smoking, but your ribs do not have the same taste or texture when you do so. They will be bad imitations of what they should be. The ribs actually consist of two sections, the actual ribs and the lower, connected by ribs ribs. Many meat packers separate them at the factory and sell them separately, but in some places the whole rib section may be intact. Many people prefer to separate them in upper and lower sections, This is easy to do, and depending on the size of your smoker, you may need to do this. However, your ribs are much tastier if you leave the sections intact. If you want, they can be rubbed or whatever you want to do with them, and then thrown at the smoker. Ribs have enough fat to not dry out when you use the water bowl / drip pan for wet smoking. But personally, I never throw anything into my smoker without brooding for at least 4 or 5 hours. Broth them for 45 minutes per pound. As with most pigs, “Low and Slow” is the rule. Do not go higher than 107,2ºC (225ºF). Smoke it for about 1 1/2 hours per pound. If you want to grill them, remove them from the smokehouse after smoking, season them with your favorite barbecue sauce and place them in an oven for about 10 minutes to allow them to crust outside. Never grill meat sauce while smoking as this will negatively influence the smoking process.


3. Beef breast

Another absolute smoker favorite and the official grilled meat for Texas style barbecue. Brisket is hard, tough and almost tasteless in its natural habitat. But with a smoker, wonderful things happen. All of the collagen melts and bathes every meat fiber in a wonderful, moist, aromatic gelatin. The fat melts and injects its flavor into the meat at the cellular level, and this tough, tough leather becomes a delicate, sweetish, wonderfully threadbare, complex piece of culinary heaven. Properly smoked, the brisket tastes like a mix of really good roast beef and really good steak and more tender than both. It’s my best bet for taco meat, right behind the goat. Brisket is easy to smoke, as long as you remember, low and slow. This is more important for breast meat than for any other meat, as it takes time to break down all the connective tissue. Other thawing requires very little preparation for Brisket. You can rub it in or salt it (highly recommended) and throw it in the smoker. It takes 1-1 / 2 hours per pound to smoke properly. For grilling in Texas, after smoking it, you can do so Just cut it thin, and drop in a tray of hot barbecue sauce, giving about 10 minutes to sip some of the sauce.

4. The whole of Turkey

Every Thanksgiving season I spend a week or more smoking turkeys for all my friends and neighbors. Smoked turkey is such a superior product that I honestly do not understand why anyone would prepare this noble bird in any other way. Prepared in other ways, a turkey is (in my opinion) just a roasted chicken. Smoked turkey has a pleasantly moist and firm texture and a creamy-sweet taste that takes on the flavor of your smoked wood, with complex overtones. The aroma alone is worth the effort. I prefer wild turkeys because they have more flavor, but domestic turkeys also have a certain smoker affinity. What works for turkey also works for chickens, pheasant, goose and duck, as long as you set the timing for the bird’s size. Turkeys and other birds need salt storage so they do not get dry, but it’s worth more than simply salting for 1 hour a pound. Then you can rinse it off, dry it off and do not apply rubor. Turkeys and other birds respond very well to bumps. Incense the turkey at 107.2 ° C for 30 minutes per pound. Be sure to store water in the drip tray. Let the turkey rest for 20-30 minutes before carving.

5. Cornish Hens (Rock Hens)

If you really want to impress someone, nothing is better than seeing a smoked chicken. Together with some expertly prepared potatoes or rice and vegetables on a plate. Smoked Cornish Hens have a much more delicate taste than a normal chicken or turkey. The next thing I can compare with them is Partridge. They can dry out easily, so bringing is a must. Salt for 1 hour per pound. Cornish Hens work very well with bumps, and I highly recommend them. One of the best I’ve ever used with Rock Hens is the Apple Smoked Rub by Chub Rub. In addition to the unforgettable taste of the birds creates a wonderful crust. The absolute best smoked wood for these little birds is Mesquite. Incense for 45 minutes at 107 ° C (225 ° F) per pound and prepare for the best poultry you have ever eaten.

6th deer

Normally dry and wild, deer in a smoker can be turned into an excellent meal. All parts of a deer can be smoked, but the shoulders and the flaps work best. The secret is to salt the deer meat overnight. The brine provides the much needed extra moisture, and the smoking process removes the wild aromas. Deer caters especially well for apple smoked wood, but oak also works well. All fruit woods such as cherries can remove the game taste well. Properly smoked deer taste like really good roast beef with a nice semi-stringy texture.

7. Goat

I am originally from the great state of Texas. When we grew up, we ate a lot of goat (we called it “Texas Porch Stag”). Goat has less fat than any other red meat, with the possible exception of Whitetail Deer. It is lower in cholesterol and calories than anything but fish. Although goat is not very popular in the US, goat meat is the most consumed meat in 75% of the world. When smoked, the goat has a wonderful smoke, a sweet taste and a light-bodied, firm texture. It’s the absolute best taco meat you’ve ever had. What I can most easily compare is really good deer meat. As long as you treat it like deer meat, it will go well in the smoker. Brining is a must, or you get along with shoe leather. Salt a goat for 1 hour per pound. Goats work very well with lemon pepper rubbing and mesquite smoked wood. Incense your goat for 1 hour per pound at 93.3 ° C. Make sure the water / drip tray is filled with water while smoking. Goat makes a great barbecue. Lamb can be cooked like goat, and the two are almost interchangeable when smoking.

8. carp

Carp is a much spoiled fish in the USA. I have no idea why. Carp meat is firm, medium-fat, medium-white and has a wonderfully sweet taste, which I can only describe as a floral overtone. It is not greasy or fishy at all. In my view, Carp tastes so good, or better than every other freshwater fish, with the possible exception of salmon, zander and crappie. They are tough fighters on a fishing rod, especially a fly rod, and are usually more than ready to bite in any season. There are millions of them and they are free to take with them. Not only are there usually no limits or seasons for them, many places would pay you if you had the money. They are considered a trash fish. Carp are a severely undervalued and undervalued resource in the US. Some of the bad feelings of carp may be because the preparation is a bit more difficult, but it’s worth more than all you have to do is fillet it like other fish, and then cut out the dark red meat strip along the sideline (it tastes good bad). Then locate the Y-shaped bones along the side. Simply cut the fillet over the Y bone and cut another fillet under the Y part of the bone. Repeat this for the other side and your done. You get from each fish 4 nice thick fillets. If you are really worried about a fishy taste, let the fillets soak for a few hours in salted water, milk or buttermilk before smoking. This removes many oils from the meat. The oils are where the “fish” taste comes from. Carp are out of the woods when smoked with mesquite wood. Incense them at 250ºF (107.2ºC) for 3 hours, then set the temperature to 82.2ºC (82.2ºC) for 45 minutes per pound. They can be served as soon as they are ready, or left to cool for 24 hours and served cold.


Thank you for reading, we hope you find this guide helpful. Visit our website, where you will always find the latest information, tips, tricks, recipes and other valuable information on all aspects of smoking.

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