If you're looking to make the meat you cook taste better, there are plenty of techniques that can be applied to it in order to improve it. Marinating, brining, even just a pinch of salt can all help bring out the potential of meat. One method that's not practiced as much as it used to be is the use of meat smokers to add flavor from burning wood. Smoking is historically a method to aid in food preservation, since combined with the curing process, smoked meat is very resistant to spoiling.
If you are interested in learning to smoke meats, you will of course need to look at meat smokers. There are several different types of smokers to choose from, and each has benefits and drawbacks. The Basic Approach The most basic way to smoke meat is to use some wood chips at the bottom of your grill and to close the lid. This is the easiest of meat smokers to practice with, since most homes already have a grill to work with.
The amount of equipment that you need to accomplish this is small, merely a small metal box to hold the wood chips as well as the wood chips themselves. By using grills as meat smokers, you can practice smoking without much of an investment in complex equipment. However, because your meat will be close to the heat source, the effect will be closer to barbecuing than smoking, and cold smoking is impossible. The Do-It-Yourself Approach Some people want dedicated meat smokers, but aren't willing to shell out the money for one, or have a fondness for tinkering. There are different methods of creating meat smokers yourself, but one can be made using things as simple as a hot plate and a metal garbage can, among other items.
The benefit from making your own smoker is that you can make a fairly decent one for not a lot of money. Depending on the design, you can create a smoker that's appropriate for both hot and cold smoking; the only limit is the work you put into it. However, most commercially made meat smokers will have more sophisticated equipment and more precise controls. Purchasing A Smoker If you're sure that you're dedicated enough to smoking foods that you will make frequent use of a smoker, purchasing a meat smoker is the way to go.
Commercially made meat smokers have solid construction and controls that can control temperature, the smoking time, even the amount of smoke. Many will have designs that are appropriate for hot and cold smoking. The only real drawback to these meat smokers is that they cost more money than using your grill or making your own.
However, whichever method you choose to try using meat smokers, a little practice and patience will result in creating food that tastes great.
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