Spring is here, and it is time to break out the BBQ, and related equipment. In order to make the most of your BBQ experience learning to use “smoke” is important. The methods are many, but the result is BBQ at it’s best. There will be included in these articles, a photo guide that will show the basics of getting that “smoke ring” that is the signature of great BBQ.
Smoking Chicken, Roasts, Steaks, Fish and Seafood require the same technique for each. There is only the lenght of time, and the temperature, that you will need to vary for the result you are looking for. The temperature is kept low, so the smoke has time to absorb into the meat. You will find that 240 degrees F. is about the high end for even large roasts or a Turkey.
Although any hardwood can be used to create smoke, around here, we use mainly fruit wood. In Texas Mesquite is king, there is plenty to be had, and often you only need to pick it up and load it in the truck. Do not use softwoods, such as pine, they produce an oily smoke, and will ruin a BBQ dinner.
Smoking does not require special equipment. If you have a medium size, or larger BBQ grill with a tight fitting lid, you are ready to smoke. The only other thing you need is time. We smoked 15 Pork Butts in a trailer mounted smoker for 24 hrs. in Texarkana. The temperature was maintained at 190-220 degrees throughout, and when we were done, it took 25 people about 1/2 hr. to consume it all. We were Boss Hogg that day. Don’t worry about the time it takes, you will have plenty of company. There is something about the smoking process that seems to fascinate people that have never tried smoking a meal.
It has started to rain, and a wet BBQ is tough to maintain, so when the sun comes out again, the cooking will begin.