It’s a hot summer’s day. Your frosty beer is sweating in your hand. The day is getting warmer by the minute. The sun is sapping your energy and arousing your appetite. A whiff of sweet, mouth-watering smoke rides the breeze. Bliss.
Before you get to feast, however, there is, of course, the preparation. First, you need to choose the right meat and the best wood chips for the cook. Only then can you get your smoke on.
Read on for tips to help elevate your smoking game from rookie to MVP.
Slow and Steady Wins The Race
Think of it as the tortoise and the hare. It’s a marathon, and at the end of the run, there’s glorious food and not some silly medal. You need equal amounts of patience and focus. Start nice and early. Make sure the kids are occupied. Get snacks sorted for your mates. And, it won’t hurt to have a winning playlist ready.
The Trick is the Wood Chips
When it comes to choosing the wood chips for your smoke, it’s not a case of any old wood chips will do. You need to consider the flavour and texture you're looking for. Don’t worry, you won’t have to venture into the woods with an axe yourself. You can buy purpose made wood chips ready for the grill or smoker. Favourite woods include hickory, oak, apple and pecan. If it’s South African flavour you’re looking for, kameeldoring and rooikrans (acacia) are local favourites.
Remember, you should only use wood chips intended for smoking or good ol’ charcoal in your grill and smoker. Otherwise, you run the risk of damaging your Megamaster. Burning wood logs or chunks gives off far more intense heat than wood chips or coal ever could.
Fire Up the Coals
COALSMITH SERIES CHARLIE & BRAVO GRILL AND SMOKER
1. Make your fire on the adjustable charcoal grid in the chamber for direct or indirect cooking. Use indirect cooking for long slow cooks giving you that melt off the bone succulence.
2. Make a fire opposite the chimney to get the smoke to flow through the chamber.
3. Place ingredients alongside the fire rather than directly above.
4. Using the chimney bale and hood to regulate air flow and heat. The heat and smoke cook and flavour your ingredients.
COALSMITH SERIES ALPHA GRILL & SMOKER
The cooking options and combinations are endless with the Alpha Grill & Smoker. Direct Cooking:
Braai as you know it.
1. Braai like you normally would over a charcoal fire in the main chamber for indirect or direct cooking.
2. Close the lid for a more even cook. You can also add wood chips for a hint of smokiness.
Smoke for real. Charred, delicious food is on the way.
1. Build a fire in the offset smoker with your ingredients in the main chamber.
2. Add wood chips for flavourful smoke.
3. Regulate the flow of smoke and temperature with your chimney baffle by creating a vacuum to ensure consistent flow of smoke.
DIRECT HEAT & SMOKE-ROASTING COMBO:
Become the ultimate craftsman by combining a braai with the craft of smoking for delicious smoky flavour in half the time.
1. Build a fire in the main chamber on the heavy-duty charcoal grid and in your offset smoker.
2. Use wood chips for that smoky flavour.
3. Control the temperature with the chimney bale and hood until the optimum temperature is reached.
A steady supply of smoke is essential. Imagine you’re feeding a smoke engine. The best solution is to have a separate fire continually making hot coals. You can rope in a bored cousin with nothing to do to man the secondary fire.
No matter how enticing the aromas coming out of your Coalsmith are, keep the lid closed to retain heat for an even cook. The smoke is the flavour, and you don't want it escaping unnecessarily. Temperature plays a significant role in keeping your smoke consistent while it flavours the meat.
The type of ingredients you choose will determine the temperature and cooking time. Meat with a lot of fat requires a longer cook but stays moist and succulent. For that to the bone smokiness and bark-like exterior keep the temperature low and cook slow. But, if you’re in a rush, quicker options include chicken and fish which smoke at higher temperatures.
Other Megamaster tools you'll need: