Smoking ham and bacon, or any other type of meat, is not a necessary process, but one done to add additional flavoring to the meat. Many people prefer a smoked taste, and smoked meats can be bought at the grocery in the form of raw meat, cooked meat or sandwich meat. Smoking a meat on your own allows you to add as much or as little smoke flavoring as you wish, and which type.
Things You'll Need
- Smoking barrel
- Slab of bacon or thick sliced bacon
- Ham, whole or sliced
- Wood chips (apple, hickory, pecan, red oak)
- Lighter or matches
- Pot holder
- Aluminum foil
- Pineapple juice or water
- Bucket of water
- Grill spatula
- Grill tongs
- Thermometer for use with meats
Gather your materials. Purchase the meat of your choice. Precooked meat is the best choice; it's easier to find and easier to smoke at home. Decide on which type of wood you wish to smoke with: Apple, hickory, pecan and red oak are the types normally used for smoking meat. You may wish to experiment with other types. Make sure to buy the wood in chips.
Soak most of the wood chips in the bucket of water for no less than an hour. Wet wood produces tons more smoke than dry wood. While the chips are soaking, start a fire in the smoking barrel with a little bit of charcoal. Add dry wood chips on top of the charcoal embers, and allow the dry wood chips to burn down to embers.
Place the meat on the top rack of the barrel smoker. Slice holes throughout the meat if it is not already sliced into thin pieces. Put the soaked wood chips on the fire at this time.
Allow the meat to sit on the smoker for about 4 hours. During this time you will need to monitor the internal temperature of the meat; you want the temperature to remain in the range of 150 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. You will need to stay in the vicinity of the smoker to prevent fire from spreading and also to add more wet wood chips as necessary.
Flip the meat at least once throughout the smoking process to add flavor to the meat, and to prevent one side from attempting to cook. You will need to keep the meat wet by basting it with water or pineapple juice once every 45 minutes. Using pineapple juice adds its own flavor to the meat. Flip the meat at least once throughout the smoking process to add flavor to the meat, and to prevent one side from attempting to cook. You will need to keep the meat wet by basting it with water or pineapple juice once every 45 minutes.
Tips & Warnings
- When you are finished smoking your meat, place it in the fridge or freezer if you do not intend to cook it right away. Don't leave the vicinity of the smoker until you extinguish the embers and the wood chips cease to produce smoke.
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