Food smoking has been around for generations. It is a traditional way of preserving and cooking food. In ancient times, when people cook and smoke food in an open fire, the process was very time-consuming.
Today, you can smoke food by using electric food smokers to make the process much easier. There are two basic methods of smoking:
a) Smoking food at low temperature, for a longer period and
b) Smoking food at a high temperature, for a shorter period.
The low and slow method is the secret to perfect food smoking. Another great trick is the FTC (Foil, Towel, Cooler) method. This is used once your smoked meat reaches the target temperature when you take it out of the smoker.
We will show you how to use the FTC method, but first, it’s important to cover the basic process of food smoking that happens before the FTC method.
What is Food Smoking?
Simply put, food smoking is a process of cooking, flavoring, and browning food by exposing it to the right amount of smoke and heat.
How Does Smoking Help Preserve Your Food?
When you smoke meat, you extract the moisture from it, which helps prevent bacterial growth which makes the meat go bad.
To start, you’ll need a Bradley smoker, which comes with clean smoke technology, to ensure the best smoke flavor. In addition, we recommend you using Bradley Bisquettes for the best results.
We specially designed the Bradley Bisquettes to give you the right amount of smoke and heat without the foul taste that normal wood chips give when they turn to ash.
You can smoke your food to create a number of different flavors. Each flavor is special in its own way. If you looking for recommendations on what flavor will best pair with your food, Bradley smoker has the most suitable meat recommendations on every Bradley bisquette flavor. Check out our bisquette flavor profiles here.
The types of food that people smoke most are:
- Fruits and vegetables
Now that you know how to smoke and preserve the food, it’s time to learn how to use the FTC method––once your meat has reached the desired internal temperature.
What is FTC?
FTC stands for Foil, Towel, and Cooler. This is a three-step process in which we maintain the heat of the smoked meat by wrapping it in aluminum foil. This trick helps to minimize the loss of moisture and will give you the juiciest meat ever!
The key thing you need to remember is to cover the meat with aluminum foil completely. If any part of your meat remains uncovered, it will lose moisture through that area.
The FTC method is great for keeping Pork Butts warm, even after hours out of the smoker.
How Can You Perform the FTC Method?
- First thing first: check the internal temperature of the meat.
- When the internal temperature is close to the desired temperature, take the meat out of the smoker.
- Allow the meat to settle down for a good three to five minutes before wrapping it in aluminum foil.
- Once the meat sets at room temperature, wrap it in a few layers of aluminum foil and then a towel. You have now successfully achieved the FT out of the FTC method.
- The last and final step is to place the packaged meat inside a pre-warmed cooler and presto you have completed the FTC method.
Bradley Smoker Tips and Tricks
Tip# 1: If you do not have a cooler, use a warm oven (that is off). This is FTO, but does the same thing.
Sometimes, the food remains so hot that you have to let it rest for a bit longer after taking it out of the cooler and before presenting it to your hungry guests!
Tip # 2: If you need to perform the FTC method in a cold-weather, we advise you to add a few gallons of hot water on the surface of the cooler. Let the water stay on the surface of the cooler for 30 minutes so that the cooler’s temperature rises. After 30 to 40 minutes, drain the water and dry the cooler. This method is to ensure that your cooler remains warm before performing FTC and throughout the process.
The food smoking basics we covered here are the foundation of delicious smoked food. The FTC method is a great way to keep smoked meat warm until mealtime without overcooking it. These Bradley smoker tips and tricks will ensure you get amazing smoked food every time!
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. Our articles cover a wide variety of important topics on how to get the most out of your Bradley smoker, tricks for smoking almost any cut of meat, and much more!