Smoked meats are tender and have a delicious flavor that can’t be beaten.
If you have a charcoal grill you can achieve this flavor at home without purchasing an expensive smoker.
Turn your charcoal grill into a smoker in a few easy steps.
When preparing your grill it's important to remember the basic difference between smokers and grills. Smokers cook meat at low temperatures over long periods of time while grills are designed to cook meats over a direct fire at high temperatures. When smoking, your grill should only warm up to approximately 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
Preparing the grill
Remove the cooking grate from your grill. On one side of your grill place an aluminum drip pan. To add some moisture to your smoker fill the pan approximately halfway with liquid. Use this opportunity to get creative, you can use typical liquids such as water or apple juice or you can experiment with your own tastes. On the opposite side of the grill, pile up your coals.
Light your fire
Get your coals nice and hot, when they are white you are ready to add the wood.
You don’t need much wood to get a good flavor but choosing the right wood is important. Wood chunks work best, but if you have to use chips make sure they have been soak for at least an hour. The best types of wood to use are hickory, oak, apple, and cherry wood. Avoid sap woods such as pine and overpowering woods such as mesquite.
Place a chunk of wood or a hand full of chips on top of your hot coals and replace the cooking grate.
Now, you're ready to cook.
- Place the meat over the drip pan, away from the fire, and cover your grill making sure the vents are over your meat, not your coals.
- Check your vents; they should be set about a quarter of the way open.
- Now, you wait. Since you are using a grill you will need to occasionally add more coal or wood, but it's important to keep the lid closed as much as possible. There is no need to flip the meat, just let the smoke do its job.
Remember smoking meat takes time, therefore, be patient with the process.