Meat smoking is a highly valued cooking technique you should master to hold the perfect barbecue parties. Unlike conventionally prepared meat, smoked meat has a distinct rich flavor that makes it more delicious, tender, and good for your health as it contains less fat.
If you plan to smoke multiple types and sizes of meat, it is recommended to invest in a pellet grill. There are different options in the smokers for beginner’s category, and they are affordable. Like other cooking techniques, you need to prep well and follow specific steps to end up with perfectly smoked chunks of meat that your guests will enjoy eating.
Here are expert tips on how to smoke different types and sizes of meat like a professional.
Start by Cleaning the Pellet Grill
Hygiene is of paramount importance when smoking meat. Start by cleaning the pellet to get rid of debris from the previous barbecue party. Make sure that the grill racks and cooking surfaces are wholly pristine and primed. Otherwise, the waste will ruin the meat’s flavor and predispose you to food poisoning.
Place the Meat in Different Platters
Chunks of chicken wings should not be put in the same platter as the trout. Purchase several platters and place the different meat in its platter. Separating them will cushion you from countless safety and food hygiene issues associated with uncooked beef, such as contaminations. On the same point, you should not share utensils. Each type of meat should be smoked using its own utensils.
Plan How you Will Place the Meats on the grill
To become a professional meat smoker, you need to plan ahead of time to add/place the grill’s different meats. Experts recommend creating a chart to guide you through the process. When creating the chart, consider the amount of time that each meat requires to get smoked evenly. Make sure that you stick to the plan to avoid charring some of the pieces.
For example, a T-bone will take longer than other tender pieces of meat. So, make sure that you start early to ensure that it gets cooked properly. Otherwise, if you rush the process, you will end up serving uncooked meat to your guests.
The Meats Shouldn’t Come in Contact
This is another hygiene step that will eliminate the risk of contamination and unnecessary mix of flavors. When placing the meats on the grill, make sure that the pieces don’t overlap. There should be a space of one or two inches between each meat type to ensure that the raw juices don’t mix. It’s also important to note that squishing the meat together limits air and smoke circulation, resulting in undercooked spots.
Utensils Should Always be Clean
The secret to smoking different types of meat properly is maintaining high hygiene standards. All the utensils you use should always be clean. The meat thermometer should be rinsed with warm water and soap after every use to prevent the transfer of the raw meat juices from one piece to another. The same case applies to all other tools used, such as the tongs and spatula.
Who wants to be served a shrimp that tastes like smoked ribs? You get the point. If you are unsure of which grill to use, here is a comprehensive and updated review of the best smokers for beginners to guide you through the shopping process.
Don’t Mix Up the Marinades
Basting meat as it cooks using marinade will add a unique flavor to it and make it more delicious. Be careful when basting to avoid ruining the whole cook. One marinade should not be used on two different types of meat. It is wise to have different marinades and always have a sanitized baster at hand throughout the process.
Monitor the Temperatures Inside the Smoker
As mentioned earlier, some types of meat, such as T-bone, take longer to cook. Therefore, the smoker’s temperature needs to be optimal to save on time, especially if you are running late. The more types of meat you grill together, the longer it will take for all of them to cook well. The cold meat saps will reduce the temperature inside the grill.
You may also notice that some parts of the grill will be hotter than others. Ensure that all sections of the grill are evenly heated by controlling the grill’s ventilation. You will also need to check the progress multiple times to ensure that the temperature inside is optimal.
Continuously Check the Internal Meat Temperature
Understand that the best barbecue is achieved by maintaining the right internal meat temperature than focusing solely on the cooking time for each type of meat. Focusing too much on the cooking time indicated in your recipe book will result in dry and overcooked or undercooked meat.
Purchase quality digital meat thermometers and use them to check the internal temperature of each chunk of meat independently. If you are smoking three types of meat, have three meat thermometers. Otherwise, you will have to clean it every time you are checking the next one.
Consider Purchasing a Two-Zone Grill
There are beginner two-zone grill varieties in the market that you can use to smoke different meats simultaneously. One of the highlights of having this kind of grill is that it will give you more control over the process. You won’t have to move the meats around the grill unnecessarily. Remember what we talked about mixing raw meat juices?
Smoking different types and sizes of meat together require special preparation and smoking skills. Rome wasn’t built in one day though, apply the above tips and practice to master this craft. Expert smokers can also guide you through the process and give you other secrets, so don’t shy away from reaching out and inviting them over.
As you progress, you can try smoking different types of meat such as pork/beef or chicken/fish to gain the required skills and expertise. More importantly, make sure that you invest in the right smoker and learn how to use all the features such as ventilation to control the circulation of oxygen in the grill.
This article is written by the pitmasters over at GrillGuru. Check their site out and don’t forget to check out the rest of what the Bradley Food Smoking Blog has to offer! Happy Smoking.