When people think about beef smoking, they often think of chicken or turkey, not realizing that beef, if smoked properly, can actually be incredibly delicious.
If you don’t heed any other advice in this article, remember to go “slow and low” when beef smoking.
What we mean by that is that you want to cook beef for a long time on a low temperature. Yes, that can be a bit frustrating, especially if you’re hungry and ready to eat right then, but it will be worth it in the end.
A lot of the time, people make the mistake of thinking that they should enjoy smoked meat in the exact same way they enjoy meat cooked in the oven or on the stove.
However, smoked beef has a distinctly different, more complex taste than beef cooked in other ways. Thus, you don’t want to ruin this taste by drowning smoked beef in sauces or marinades.
Always try the beef on its own first. It may be perfect just like it is. If you still want some sauce or other seasoning, tread lightly so as not to overpower that delicious smoky taste you worked so hard for.
A lot of people will immediately trim all of the fat off of any beef they cook. However, don’t make this mistake. While fat might not be the healthiest thing in the world, it’s one of the most delicious.
A little fat on a cut of beef can go a long way toward locking in flavor and helping to develop a “bark,” which is a fancy term for a nice, flavorful crust on a piece of smoked meat.
You can trim some of the fat, but at least leave a little bit for the flavor benefits, even if you cut it off before you dig in.
If you like stronger flavors, you may want to try using hickory as your wood of choice. Hickory definitely provides very rich and intense smoky taste.
However, it’s also easy for hickory to be a bit over the top, so don’t smoke your meat TOO long or use too much wood if you opt for hickory.
Also, you may want to sample some hickory smoked products before you give this tip a try, just in case you find that hickory isn’t to your liking.
Beef is very naturally flavorful, especially when you’re choosing to smoke it. As such, you don’t really need a lot of fancy seasonings, as mentioned earlier.
With that said, however, you don’t want to forego the most basic of seasonings- salt and pepper. You can actually apply these quite liberally before you place your meat in the smoker. Not only does salt help in the cooking process, but these two simple flavors can really help with bringing out the natural taste of the meat, rather than masking it the way many other seasonings do.
Even if you follow all of this advice and get the best smoker money can buy, you should know that nothing can fix tough, sinewy, or overly thin cuts of beef. If you choose low quality meat, no amount of smoking can make up for it.
As such, be willing to spend a little more on your beef. Don’t buy the cheapest cut because you will pay for it in terms of taste and texture. Look for meat with some fat content but not too much and, when possible, that was made specifically for smoking.
As you can tell from these tips, smoking beef isn’t all that hard. It just takes a little practice. However, you’re off to a great start by knowing all of this information. It’s okay to veer off a bit here and there and to try new things and experiment too. No matter what, with all the knowledge you now have, you’re sure to make and enjoy some delicious beef.
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