Did your first ever Smoking part turned out to be a disaster? Are you embarrassed for a round 2? Well, we all start from somewhere, none of us is a born expert. So do not be disheartened, smoking is a little more complicated than grilling and it’s always better to be careful while Smoking BBQ.
We have jot down a few things which you should certainly avoid when Smoking BBQ so that your BBQ party doesn’t turn out to be a disaster, scaring your guests away.
1) Choosing the Wrong meat
Don’t get over excited on your first smoking session and attempt to cook something as complicated as Ribs. Some of the most experienced smokers take a lot of time to perfect the art of BBQ Ribs.
Start with something easy and difficult to ruin such as a whole chicken or pork roast. These are cheap and hence make up for the best practice sessions. Once you have got a hang of this, you can move on to bigger meats.
2) Not prepping your meat
One of the most careless mistake which people often tend to make is putting the cold meat on the smoker without thawing it first. If you are a beginner, avoid putting cold meat on as it may result in condensation of creosote on the surface of the meat if you don’t have a clean burning fire.
If you try putting cold meat on the smoker without prior experience, you might end up getting a soot coating over your meat which I can guarantee you no one will even touch. So, go slow and warm your meat to room temperature before you start smoking it.
3) Using Wrong Wood for Smoke
Another frequent mistake which is made while smoking is using the Green wood. This is a big no-no, please do not use Green wood as unseasoned (green) wood doesn’t burn cleanly and ends up giving a bad flavour to your food. I’d suggest pellet smokers over anything else, you can find some good one’s here.
Use seasoned (aged) wood such as apple, oak, hickory, etc. while smoking your meat. Also, make sure to gather more information on which wood is better for smoking with which food item. Wood is the most crucial instrument in smoking and you don’t want to get that wrong, right?
4) Opening the Lid too often
Stop peeking inside after every two minutes, your food is not going to disappear anywhere (unless magic is at work here). If you keep opening your lid every so often, you will end up letting the heat escape and the temperature will go down in the smoker.
You don’t need to remove the lip so often, you can know everything you need to by paying attention to the thermometer which you have affixed in the smoker. Open the lid only when you need to mop and move the meat, too much peaking can ruin your meat. Nonetheless, a little peaking is fine as long as you know the differentiation between little and too often.
5) Not controlling the temperature
You can’t just put the meat on smoker, sit down and then expect the meat to get magically cooked. If that’s how it worked, we all would laze around our homes all day long. A good BBQ is most dependent on what kind of temperature it is exposed to, too much heat and you run the risk of drying the meat. Too less heat and you run the risk of undercooking the meat.
You might not get this right in the first go, but try to keep the temperature between 225-250 degree F. Adjust the vents periodically and add more fuel when needed. Make sure you don’t avoid maintaining a constant temperature for the BBQ.
6) Over adjusting your Smoking tools
We have mentioned previously to control the temperature but that doesn’t mean you should keep on disturbing the tools every minute. Avoid adjusting too many things at once. If the temperature is too high, don’t pull off the lid and make wild adjustments to the setup.
Change some setup and see its result, if it doesn’t work for you change it again. Experiment and see what changes help but like I said don’t over-do it. It might just turn your meat into a disaster rather than helping it.
7) Trusting the Hood Thermometer
Take a note to never believe your hood thermometer. Most smokers have a built-in thermometers which takes temperature of the air around the meat. Do not believe them, they don’t know what they are talking about.
Get an instant read thermometer which can be affixed with the meat inside the thermometer, this will give you a better idea of what the temperature is currently.
8) Too much smoke
Yes, there is a thing called too much smoke. You might think that smoking adds amazing flavour to meat, so why not use a lot of smoke? But no, this logic is all flawed. If your meat tastes more of smoke than of meat, there is something seriously wrong with it.
Make sure you don’t smoke your meat too much. Avoid putting too many chunks of wood or keeping the vent closed for too long. Remember, less is always more.
9) Glazing too early
So, now that you have set your meat perfectly on the smoker, you feel it’s time to put a little glaze on. After all if you put it early, it will absorb it more and give it an even more shinier look, right? Do not try this if you have no intention of eating a black burned meat in your tonight’s party.
Don’t glaze your meat until the last 15-30 minutes of smoking. Glaze contains sugar which turns to burn quickly and turning into black colour. So if you have no interest in black meat, don’t glaze early.
10)Not giving it time
Don’t hurry the cooking because you are impatient or hungry. Smoking takes time and so it should be respected and not hurried if you don’t want to eat uncooked or badly cooked meat.
Once it’s done, you will know as it won’t stick too much. But make sure that once it’s completely cooked, you let it cool for some time otherwise you might end up destroying it in your attempt to serve it.