Over the past several years I’ve taken up a new hobby, totally unrelated to amateur radio, but closely related to ham. Smoking meat!
This topic is a bit RF related. Back in 2008 we had a new transmitter installed at work, and we had problems with it from day 1, so the manufacturer sent us a contract engineer to look into the problem. This guy went on and on about smoking ribs. I love ribs, and never really mastered grilling them on a charcoal grill. Anyway, he convinced me that I needed an actual smoker.
I started off with a cheap $50 electric smoker that was on clearance at Home Depot, and it worked well enough that I used it until a few months ago when Amazon had a special on a Masterbuilt Electric Smoker. I pulled out my credit card and two days later that bad boy was on my front step.
I mostly smoke Baby Back Ribs, which I generally buy at Sams Club, which is a couple dollars a pound cheaper, unless the local butcher has them on special. I use the 2-2-1 method. Two hours in the smoke, two hours wrapped in foil with a bit of apple juice and back on the heat, and then one hour unwrapped to firm them up a bit. I try to keep the temperature around 225F. Low and slow.
Always remove that shiny, tough membrane from the back of the ribs. Then rub them with your favorite BBQ rub. The recipe I use is a tightly held secret. They come out so good you don’t need BBQ sauce.
I’ve also smoked turkeys, and tried a few briskets. The briskets take a lot of patience, as you need to smoke them very slowly at low temperatures. I haven’t really mastered them yet.
My wood of choice when I’m smoking has been Apple. I’ve been told that Hickory and Mesquite and be a little too strong, but I will be experimenting with them and Pecan this summer. I’m also going to branch out and smoke some other meats, especially chicken. I have ten pounds of chicken hindquarters in my deep freeze that I bought on special over the winter, and I’m really looking forward to smoking them if this Iowa weather ever warms up enough that can sit outside and enjoy the process of smoking them. A nice warm day, lots of smoke, a book, and beer in the hand is what I’m looking forward to! And then plenty of friends to enjoy the results with!
Today I ran across a handy chart Wood Smoking Flavor Chart, so if you’re interested in smoking meat that will help you choose which wood to use.
Have fun, and enjoy a tasty meal!