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Author Topic: Question on smoking meats  (Read 461 times)

Rita

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Question on smoking meats
« on: December 23, 2017, 10:25:53 AM »
What are your thoughts on smoking meats?   And, if you do smoke meats on the outdoor gas grill, how do you like to do it? 

bill

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Re: Question on smoking meats
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2017, 09:21:30 AM »
I don't smoke my meats, but I'm not averse to
eating smoked meats.  It seems, however, that
"smoked" meats often are just infused with a
sugar/smoke flavor.  That ain't good.  And I'm
not concerned about the nitrate/nitrite issue. 
Chris Kresser did a good post about that.
https://chriskresser.com/the-nitrate-and-nitrite-myth-another-reason-not-to-fear-bacon/

I can't figger out the formatting thing.

Rita

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Re: Question on smoking meats
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2017, 03:29:45 PM »
Thanks Bill.

I'm thinking about wood chips.   I've watched some videos where they put wood chips in aluminum foil pouches.   I know aluminum can get into food when the food is acidic.   Wood chips would be the only thing touching the aluminum though, and it would be on a different side of the grill than the food.   But then I start wondering if heating it would be putting carcinogens in the smoke and thus in the food.

Barbara from New Jersey

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Re: Question on smoking meats
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2017, 07:34:29 AM »
Rita,


This technique is ages old and used all over the world in nearly every culture.  Meats, fish and even cheeses are smoked, with the premium brands using actual wood smoke to cook/cure the item in a slow manner.  The recipes and methods are a carefully guarded secret, handed down by families.  The kind of wood used makes a big difference, as does whether or not the item is cold or hot smoked.  Cold means just enough fire/heat to produce smoke and hot smoked means heat is used with the smoke to actually cook the item.  Even spices are "smoked" like smokey paprika which is widely used to give a smoke-like essense to your food. 

I wouldn't be all that concerned about naturally smoking your food.  It is the skill of the "smoker" to make sure that the smoke circulates and that the food never gets too close to the coals or chips, drying it out or burning it.  In the 1600's, New Jersey was settled by Dutch immigrants and had a vibrant Native American population.  Here in northern NJ, smoke houses were present on every farm with the Indians showing great skill and the Dutch provided the beehive brick/stone smokehouse design.  Since nothing was wasted, the chips from even cutting firewood were used to prooduce the fragrant smoke.  Between the salt and the smoke, food was preserved for the winter. 

Foods were wrapped in cleaned animal skins, parchment paper, oiled cloth and the like to keep them clean from ashes and from drying out.  Today people use aluminum foil.  I've used parchment paper if I can find it large enough or just wrap the item (usually meat) in parchment then aluminum foil to keep the moisture in and drips contained.  Fish is smoked on trays or frames.  There used to be smoked fish festivals along the Hudson River before GE and other businesses polluted it and the fish died.  It was usually a fatty fish called shad which was abundant and therefore inexpensive, although many other fishes were smoked....trout, kippers, herrings, sardines, etc.   Believe it or not, oysters, clams and scallops used to be plentiful and the area was world famous for their quality. 

Having said all that, today's smokers and equipment makes it easy.  I always found that catching the drips and keeping moisture present made the best smoked product.  Experience or skill is no longer necessary as long as you can read the instructions and have time to make sure there are enough chips to produce smoke and liquids for moisture.  It is the chemical smoked products that are unhealthy, not the naturally hot or cold smoked items.  At least, that is what I believe. 

Hope this helps.  There are various commentaries and photos of Shad Festivals along the Hudson and other rivers if you are interested in this topic.  Google it for more info.

Rita

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Re: Question on smoking meats
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2018, 10:11:23 AM »
Wow!  Thanks Barbara!  You are such a wealth of information!

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Re: Question on smoking meats
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2018, 10:11:23 AM »

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