Wining & Dining
Summer Grill Skillz
5/5/2017 2:06:18 PM


May is National Barbeque Month and nothing says summer quite like outdoor grilling. For eons humans have cooked and smoked food over an open flame on beautiful warm evenings. It’s a summertime tradition and maybe one of the oldest human customs in history. Slow smoking meat is the purest version of the ancient tradition we call barbeque, and while it can take years to master, it’s much easier to get started than you think. You don’t need a fancy smoker, and you don’t need to do any complicated DIY project. All you need is the grill you’ve already been using!

Smoking is all about indirect cooking. It takes place over the course of several hours, at low temperatures, using indirect heat and coal or wood configurations. There are a variety of different meats you can smoke, using a wide range of wood to do so. Do a little research and experiment with different types of meat and smoke.

Slow smoking works best on charcoal grills, but you can make equally appetizing and delicious meats on a gas grill too.

On a charcoal grill, try a technique known as ‘The Charcoal Snake’ for long slow cooking. Any charcoal grill will work for this technique, but a round grill works best.

  1. Lay a single row of unlit charcoal briquettes on the edge of your grill, then add two more layers on top of the original layer of briquettes to create your charcoal snake.
  2. Next, add wood chips along and around the sides and top of the snake. The wood chips will add that delicious smoky flavor to your meat. Different types of wood have different types of flavor so experiment with combining different flavors of smoke with various types of meat.
  3. Add a foil pan with hot, or lukewarm water in the center of the snake. Light five or six charcoal briquettes and pile them at the head of your charcoal snake.
  4. The coals will burn down the line of the snake for hours like a slow burning fuse. Once the coals are burning, add your meat and cook until the desired result is achieved.

On a gas grill the method is a little different. Some gas grills come equipped with a dedicated smoker box that sits on top of a special burner. Just soak wood chips in water overnight, then turn on the burner and add your damp wood chips to the smoker box. You can control how slowly the wood chips smoke by turning the knob of the burner higher or lower.

On a gas grill that’s not equipped with a dedicated smoker box, you will need to make your own. Soak wood chips in water overnight. Place your drained and damp wood chips in a foil pan and cover with aluminum foil. Poke holes in the foil to allow the smoke to escape your smoker box. Remove the grill grate and place the pan on the bars directly over an unlit burner in the back corner of your grill. Replace the grill grate, turn the grill on high, and close the lid. When you start to see smoke coming from your grill, add your meat. Adjust the temperature of the grill by controlling the output of your burners.

Posted by: John O'Donnell | Submit comment | Tell a friend

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