For the most tender, flavorful meats through and through, BBQ smoking is the way to go. Having a celebration, family meal, backyard party, or Game Day gathering? Then you’ll be preparing large cuts of meat, like whole chicken, turkey, pork (butt or shoulder), and brisket.
For truly great taste – and to impress your guests with your barbecue skills – you’ll want to allow time for the juices and spices to penetrate deep into the meat. Unlike grilling, which applies higher heat directly onto the meat, barbecuing relies on an indirect heat source and many hours to let the spices and aroma immerse and blend with the meat’s many layers.
To bring the best out of your meat, smoking produces meat that melts in your mouth and sings with flavor, tang, spice, and gusto. Share that rich experience at your next gathering with these top tips to get your started:
- Always use high-quality meats (never frozen).
- Marinate meat the day before and refrigerate. Before starting the cook, let marinated meat sit out for 1 hour before putting on grill.
- Baste smoked meat every hour during smoking process. For a helpful example of preparing a terrific basting liquid, read our blog about Apple-wood smoked BBQ beef short ribs.
- Be patient. Low and Slow is always the creed when cooking Real BBQ.
- When you take large pieces of meat off the grill (Pork Butts, Pork Shoulders or Beef Brisket), let the meat rest from 20-30 minutes before cutting into it.
Over time, as you barbecue more, you’ll find yourself getting into more varieties of spice, wood, possibly even creating a backyard “pit” for the truly “low” and slow cooking. You’ll begin to seek from your meat the ideal flavors, bark, ring, and chew (does that inspire you to dive in deeper?).
Barbecue smoking is a journey, not for the faint of heart. It takes patience and a desire to eek the best flavors out of your food. Wherever your culinary curiosity leads, we welcome the barbecue aficionado in you!
By Daly Thompson, Executive Pitmaster. Decades ago, Daly hung up his starched apron as executive chef at four- and five-star restaurants and returned to his boyhood love of barbeque. Founder of four restaurants, including The Pig in Los Angeles and Boo and Henry’s in Phoenix, Arizona, Daly is a master BBQ educator and enthusiast, bringing authentic, Memphis-style BBQ to the world.