Home-Based Grilling & Smoking Tips
Is it truly summer without the fresh scents of grilled and smoked food emitting from the grill? While typically a summer mainstay, grilling and smoking can provide delicious foods year-round. All that’s required is a bit of experience and preparation to whip up something magnificent. It’s important to know that smoking and grilling are two separate barbecuing methods. While similar, each of them prepares meats in a unique fashion. This post and accompanying infographic will differentiate between the two methods and include some strategies to become a grill master at home.
The first method that will be detailed down is grilling. When you grill foods, you’re cooking them with indirect or direct heat, producing a charred surface that traps the natural flavors and juices of foods. This is typically done atop charcoal or bass grills, but in some instances infrared grills may be used. Grilling readies meats much quicker than smoking does. Direct grilling in particular is very quick. This is the method traditionally used to prepare chicken breast, pork chops and even steaks. Indirect grilling, on the other hand, is a much lower heat and thus slower cook method. This is how most pork shoulders, briskets and ribs will be prepared.
Let’s follow up by detailing the art of smoking. Smoking is a slow cook process that sources heat from the burning of wood. Which means the wood you decide to use will add a unique flavoring to the meat. Apple wood and cherry wood will elicit their own specialized flavors. The smoking allows collagen in the meat to be broken down which tenderizes it. Smoking meats requires a specialized grill or meat smoker, which retain temperatures between 68° and 176° Fahrenheit to perfectly prepare these meats.
Grilling and smoking food will inevitably come with some challenges. However, with a few grill master hacks, it will come much more naturally. For example, cleaning your grill with aluminum foil. Seems crazy, until you try it yourself. Take some aluminum foil and form it into a ball. Take this ball in between some tongs and rub away at your cooking grates after a grill session. Tada! Out of aluminum foil? No worries! Use an onion instead! The acidity has an easy time breaking down residual grease and grime.
Cleaning tips are great, but what about some grilling tips? For increased flavors and texture, consider layering meat with a mist of equal parts water and apple cider vinegar. This will aid in maintaining moisture in your meats while simultaneously drawing out more smoky flavors to the surface. Smoked food is accentuated even more with the help of certain aromatics. When cooking with coal, add some herbs into the mix to enhance the flavors even further.
For more information on how to improve your barbecuing execution at home, be sure to review the infographic coupled alongside this post. Courtesy of Barbecue At Home.