Bbq Smoker Do's And Don'ts - Part 1

Published: 07th April 2010
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Don't get in a hurry

Do not get yourself into a hurry when smoking meat. Good BBQ, and all good food for that matter, takes time and patience. You simply can't rush into it. Allow around 1 to 1 1/2 hours per pound for most meats. If you are using a wood-burning smoker, factor in the addition of more fuel every thirty minutes or so.

Keep the lid shut!

One of the most common, and possibly worst mistakes that new users make when using a smoker, is opening the lid too often during cooking. This lets out the heat and the smoker will be below temperature. You should only raise the lid when absolutely necessary to mop or reposition the meat.

Keep it simple

There is a great temptation to cook expensive cuts of meat on a brand new smoker, such as racks of ribs, game or brisket. When starting out, choose an inexpensive cut of meat such as pork or whole chicken. The path to cooking top quality Q takes time, so start off easy, use cheap cuts, and learn from your mistakes.

If you have time to yourself, buy yourself a few whole chickens and cook one at a time, while monitoring the temperatures you are using, the control of the vents, noting the smell of the smoke, and so on. You will easily be able to guage the differences between the birds you have cooked, and this knowledge will prove invaluable as you branch out into smoking other meats.

Lighter fluids ruin good meat

Do not use lighter fluids to start off charcoal fuel. While it is time saving, lighter fluid is responsible for unpleasant odors in your smoked meat. It is strongly recommended that charcoal users should use a chimney starter for charcoal. Imagine the smoke permeating the meat and adding plenty of great flavor, and then consider the fumes from lighter fluid doing the same thing. Using lighter fluid makes no sense at all if great flavor is what you want.

Keep a close eye on wood burners

When using a wood burning smoker, avoid closing the inlets and exhausts to control the flame when the fire is big. Open the exhaust all the way and control the intake of air with the inlet control. Take care when closing the inlet as the fire can smolder and give you some unpleasant tasting smoke. Always keep the fire down and the dampers wide open. Note: If the smoke smells bad, then so will your meat!

If you enjoy BBQ, then you might like to find out how to cook like the Pro's by reading Big Bob Gibsons BBQ Book at Barbecue Party, a leading BBQ resource that includes daily news updates, competition schedules, smoker recipes, product and restaurant reviews and much more.

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