The warm weather and long nights are upon us, making it the start of grill season! There is nothing like spending time on the grill, cooking up your favorite meats or fish for the backyard barbeque but have you ever considered stepping up your grill game?
Smoking your food can be a fantastic way to bring out flavor profiles, adding new elements to classic dishes. While incorporating this technique into your summer cooking sessions may seem daunting, Forest 2 Home is here to help with some how to’s on food smoking.
Why do people smoke their food?
- Optimal Fuel Source: Wood burns at a controllable speed, and its combustion produces enough heat to cook food while boosting the flavor pallet.
- Flavor: While other fuel sources like gas and charcoal can efficiently cook food, they do not lend the same flavor that smoke does. Smoke gives dimension to food, and some consider it as important ingredient as garlic and salt!
Important Factors to Consider When Smoking
Food of Choice: While meat is the most popular option for food smoking, nothing is off limits! Smoke adds flavor to any kind of food, including chicken, steak and rack of ribs to corn, potatoes, cauliflower and more! The temperature and timing will vary for whatever you choose to cook but the general rules stay the same- don’t turn your food and remove the lid as little as possible!
Cherry: Cherry is the second fruitiest wood and offers a slightly sweet, fruity smoke that mixes well with all meats.
Oak: Oak is the most versatile of hardwoods for blending well with meats. It is mild, with little to no after taste and gives foods a beautiful color. Oak mixes well with red meat, pork, fish and big game, making it an optimal species for any and all wood smoked meals!
Maple: Maple has a mild, smoky and sweet flavor that especially enhances poultry and game birds. If you don’t enjoy cedar planked salmon, Maple is a great substitute! It works well with poultry, ham, cheese, turkey and vegetables with its subtle notes adding incredible flavor.
Keep it Cooking: Cooking times will vary depending on what you are choosing to smoke. Like in all forms of cooking, meats will need to reach a certain temperature to be safe for eating and as smoking food is a longer process, more time will be added. The longevity of cook time is a good excuse to spend the day outside and makes the food extra rewarding when finished!
It’s time to get cooking! What food are you going to be smoking this summer? Let us know and send your favorite wood smoking recipes and tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.