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Smoking 101

Smoking 101:

Page 1:

In The Beginning


Page 2:


Wood & Smoking

Page 3:
Cookin' Execution

Page 4:

Cookin’ Execution

You’ve picked your wood, your briquettes are hot and ashed; now what?

Begin by spreading that charcoal pyramid out in your smoker. Now you may toss your soaked chips or chunks on the hot briquettes, depending on your recipe and amount of smoke you want. If you like just minimal smoke flavor or are cooking a food that soaks up the smoke easily, you will want to wait until a little later. If you are using a vertical smoker, lay in your water pan to insulate your foodstuff from direct heat. Pour in the water and whatever you want to mix with it. If you are using a grill with your charcoal to the side, place the drip pan under the area your food will go.

Mmmm... Spray the cooking grates with a non-stick spray. This will assure that your food will not stick and make cleaning you grates for your next smoking session a breeze. Place the first grill (if you are using it) atop the water pan in the smoker and load it with the food that will happily accept the drippings from the foods that you will place on the top grill (for example, you want the pork to drip on the fish and not the fish to drip on the pork). Next, place the top grill in your smoker and fill it up, but always make sure not to crowd the food on the grating. This will allow the sweet smoke to get all around each and every piece and color it with a delicate amber hue.

Cover the smoker, insert your thermometer into the cooking chamber and be patient. Uncovering and peaking will increase cooking times and release some flavoring- so sit back and watch the smoker from your hammock with a cold one for a while.

What happens next is completely up to your recipe… it takes over from here. When to foil wrap, or not, internal temperature readings and resting times should always be contained in a good smoking recipe. Closing a cooking session will vary, so consult your recipes (or at least mine!).

With the next addition to this article, we will follow up with more advanced techniques and recipes to keep you backyard smokin’. Got questions? Feel free to post them in our forum, or stop by my site and contact me at any of the email links available.

On to the recipes»»


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