What with all our beef, I got it into my head that I ought to try smoking some of it. So I messaged the people — all men — in the little corner of my universe who were most likely to mess around with large hunks of meat. They all had smokers and they all said I could borrow them, sweet guys.
I decided it’d be easiest to borrow from the two guys who lived closest to us, so I messaged the third guy to let him know that I’d found two smokers closer to home and that I’d not be needing his smoker after all. He messaged me right back. “Hmm…but are they good smokers though? I can tell you that my smoker is fantastic.”
Well, alrighty then!
So on Saturday, my husband went to pick up the smoker and now the made-to-order monstrosity sits in the shed.
For the past two days, I have been obsessively watching youtube videos, reading recipes, and taking notes. Which kind of wood chip for which type of meat? Best dry rubs! Solutions for injecting the meat! (I need to get a meat injector. Wait, will one of my daughter’s hypodermic syringes work?) Glazes! (Do I even need to glaze?) Meat temps and when (if) to wrap and how long to rest, and so on and so on.
We have the smoker for a couple weeks, so I want to make the most of it. My plan is to smoke a brisket one day this week — it feels extravagant to run the enormous smoker with just one piece of meat in it, but I need to start somewhere, right? — and then, if all goes as planned, this weekend we’ll load up the smoker with stew meat and short ribs and roasts and another brisket or two. (Also, it occurred to me that we still have some piggy stashed in the freezer — smoking might be the perfect solution to large cuts of pork that bake up unbearably dry!) Afterward, I’ll have a whole bunch of ready-to-eat meat to stash in the freezer for future stews and curries and sandwiches. (Don’t worry, Mom. After this week, we’ll limit our carcinogenic intake. Moderation, moderation…)
I AM SO EXCITED.
Mildly terrified, too. This foreign world of smoked protein is intimidating!
Now tell me this: Have any of you ever tried smoking meat? What are your cautionary tales-of-woe, must-make recipes, and crucial how-to tips? I’m all ears!
PS. Oh, cheese! I COULD SMOKE A CHEESE. And flour! To add to pizza dough! And onions and peppers and, and, and..! FORGET MODERATION.