Set aside a weekend and get ready for some smoking good times. Whether you want to make high-quality smoked meats and fish, or step outside the ordinary into other smoked items, your invaluable smoker is the tool to get the job done. Experiment to find what you like best from the many foods you can smoke.
Smoked Meat and Game
Make gourmet-style smoked meats for much less than you'd pay at the store. Chicken, turkey, pork and beef can be transformed into smoked lunch meats and sausages, while game meats, such as bear, boar and quail, offer countless flavorful options for pairing their strong gamey flavors with different brines and marinades. Mix together a sweet, spicy or savory liquid brine to soak meats overnight before smoking to lock in complex flavors. Use two thermometers -- one to keep temperature in the smoker and one to test meat -- and smoke beef, pork, veal, and lamb steaks, chops, and roasts to a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, ground pork, beef, lamb and veal to 160 F and all poultry to 165 F.
Fish and seafood's mild flavors pair well with sweet or savory brines and many different types of wood. Serve smoked fish as part of main course or enjoy it on crackers with cheese for a light lunch. Trout and salmon are classic picks for smoked fish, but any other type of oily fish can be successfully smoked in chunks or fillets. You can smoke small fish whole. Brine fish in a liquid salt solution or cure them in a salt rub before smoking to bring out the flavor, ensure the smoked fish maintains moisture when cooked and to help keep your smoked fish safe. Smoke all fish until the internal temperature of the largest piece of fish reaches 160 F.
Forget about spending top dollar for smoked nuts at the store when you can make them at home suited exactly to your tastes. Cashews, almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts and pecans all work well in a smoker. Use a simple mixture of butter and salt for salted smoked nuts or make combinations, such as jalapeno smoked nuts, sweet and spicy nuts or curried nuts. Smoked nuts will be ready to come off the smoker in less than 30 minutes.
Smoked cheese is another fast-smoking food. Because cheese smoking requires a small fire held at 90 F to allow for cold smoking, this is a good activity to try when it is cold outside. Smoke your favorite type of cheese -- no additional preparation needed -- for two to six hours. Cure cheese for at least one week in your refrigerator before eating to really boost the flavor penetration.
- Home Book of Smoke Cooking: Meats, Fish and Game; Jack Sleight, Raymond Hull
- The Smoked-Foods Cookbook: How to Flavor, Cure, and Prepare Savory Meats, Game, Fish, Nuts and Cheese; Lue Park, Ed Park
- Sugartown Smoked Specialties: Smoked Foods
- Virtual Weber Bullet: Nuts
- Yoder's Smoky Mountain Barbecue: How to Smoke Cheese on an Offset Barbecue Smoker
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: Smoking Meat and Poultry
- University of Wisconsin Extension: Smoking Your Catch: Do It Safely!
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