Serving a juicy and succulent steak is an art that barbeque lovers die to master. It is an art because it requires patience, skills, and experience to reach perfection. While the pitmasters keep their secrets close to their heart, we have managed to decode some for you. Here are some of the most tried and tested tricks to smoke steaks to perfection without drying them out.
We will be sharing the whole process of tenderizing the meat before and during smoking but please do so one step at a time. So, without further ado, let’s begin.
Choosing the right cut of meat
Believe it or not, it always starts with the meat. A piece of fresh raw meat has more potential to absorb moisture and preserve it during smoking. Here are 4 ways to identify the best meat for smoking juicy steaks.
Go for marbled meat: Marbled meat has more connective tissues that melt in the heat to secrete juice naturally. This helps to keep the steak moisturized during smoking.
Avoid leaner cuts: Leaner cuts of meat tend to lose moisture faster. They are suitable for grilling or faster methods of cooking. Food Smoking is a slow and steady process that might make lean meat dry.
Look for fatty tissues: Fats inside tissues dissolve with the heat to produce juice that tenderizes the steak during and after smoking.
Don’t slice it before smoking: It is better not to slice larger cuts of meat before smoking because small pieces may dry out faster compared to a large steak. If the steak has to be served sliced, it can be done right before serving.
Add moisture before smoking
This is an important step to get perfect succulent steaks. There are different ways to add moisture to the meat before it is put inside the smoker. Here are three proven ways to increase tenderness before smoking.
Dry/ wet brine: Brining not only adds moisture to the meat but also increases its cellular potential to retain moisture during cooking. Dry brine is usually a mix of salt that is smeared uniformly on the meat. As the meat is cooked, the fluid from it combines with the brine to help absorb a rich smoky flavor and preserve its tenderness.
A wet brine is a concentrated solution of salt and water in which the meat is soaked for hours. This helps the meat to absorb optimum moisture to replace the amount that will be lost during smoking.
Craving more useful brining tips? Read Our Articles On How Brining Meat Influences The Flavor and Directions On Brining And Curing Your Meat For Food Smoking!
Marinades: Oil or solution-based marinades help to enhance the flavor of the meat and also adds moisture to it. Soak the meat in marinade for hours to let it absorb the maximum amount of moisture before smoking.
Injecting liquids: Sometimes, brines or marinades are not able to penetrate deep inside the fatty meat. This is when fluid is injected inside the meat to add flavor and prevent it from drying out.
Add moisture during smoking
This might sound weird but the technique is trusted by pitmasters. Adding moisture to the meat during smoking leaves no chance for the steak to dry up. This is the ultimate hack that undoubtedly serves delectable juicy steaks. Here are 3 popular ways to do it.
Steaming: Sometimes a water pan is kept inside the smoker to steam the meat simultaneously to being smoked. It helps to replace the lost moisture instantly in the steak.
Spraying: Keeping a spray bottle of water or fruit juice handy during smoking can do wonders. Spraying the steak frequently prevents it from drying during smoking.
Brushing: The process is called mopping or basting. Here a brush is used to apply some oil, butter, or juice on top of the steak while it is smoking. This is suitable for larger cuts of meat.
Benefits of using a dedicated smoker
All of these tricks still may fall short of getting that tender juicy steak if the food smoker ruins the game. Constant attention to doneness, wood refilling, spraying, etc. are unnecessary chores that scare people from trying food smoking. However, a dedicated food smoker can do all that automatically. Only the instruction for cooking needs to be set and that’s it, the smoker can perform independently. Thankfully, we have the Bradley Pro P10 Smoker that stands out from other food smokers because of its advanced features. Check out the unique features of the Bradley Smoker.
Uninterrupted performance: With an automatic wood feeder, the Bradley Smoker can work constantly for up to 10 hours with periodic supervision!
Multiple functions: The Bradley Smoker is designed with dual heating elements to suit all types of smoking requirements like hot smoking, cold smoking, dehydrating, and using an oven.
Digital presetting: Cooking time and temperature can be preset on the digital console to avoid the hassle of frequently checking for doneness.
We hope these easy Bradley tips & tricks will encourage people to try food smoking at home without the fear of putting up with unnecessary chores. 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.