Americans make meat for many meals. The average American consumes 274 pounds of meat every year.
One reason is the versatility of meat. You can throw it on a grill, or you can try smoking meat. Smoked meats have rich flavors and firm textures, yet it can be hard to know where to start meat smoking.
How can you smoke pork, chicken, and beef? What kinds of seafood work best for smoking? What are ways you can make sausage and exotic birds?
Answer these questions and you can explore a vibrant culinary tradition. Here are ten smoked meat recipes.
1. Smoked Ham
Buy a boneless ham cut from the leg of a pig. Cut it in half, then brine it with a mixture of salt and brown sugar. It takes one day to brine two pounds of ham.
Put pecan wood chips into your smoker. Melt some butter with honey, brown sugar, and mustard.
Smoke your ham at 250 degrees for two hours. Then turn the heat up to 325 degrees and cook for another hour or so. During the last hour of cooking, spread the glaze over all surfaces of the ham.
2. Korean Chicken Wings
Add water into a large pan and mix in some sugar and salt. Bring the water up to boil, then add some lemon and garlic.
Cool the water down to room temperature, then put in the chicken wings. Keep them submerged in the refrigerator overnight.
Heat up a smoker to 375 degrees. Remove your wings, pat them down, and brush them with olive oil.
Cook for an hour, then combine gochujang paste with soy sauce and honey. Spread the sauce over the wings when they are done.
3. Beer Can Chicken
Open a can of beer and pierce holes in it. Rinse a whole chicken with cold water and blot it dry.
Sprinkle some barbeque rub into the body of the chicken and drizzle oil over top. Place the chicken over the can, lowering it so the can goes into the cavity.
Smoke your chicken at 180 degrees Fahrenheit. It will take roughly 90 minutes to cook it through. When it is ready, remove it and allow it to rest for ten minutes.
4. Beef Jerky
Find a round steak and trim its excess fat. Cut it into one-quarter-inch pieces.
Select or cook your own marinade. Let the beef soak in it overnight.
Turn your Bradley electric smoker to 165 degrees. Place your beef inside, then smoke for three hours. When it is done, let it cool on a flat rack.
5. Prime Rib
Cut the excess fat off of a prime rib roast. Put on an even layer of salt and twist the roast into a tube. Let it sit in the refrigerator overnight.
Turn your smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Make a dry rub of crushed peppercorns, salt, and brown sugar.
Put the dry rub over all parts of your roast and let it sit for ten minutes. Then put the roast in your smoker and cook for four hours. You may need to refill your wood chips, so have some ready.
Find an evenly thick brisket that has had its fat trimmed. Mix salt and pepper in a bowl and season your meat. Then let it sit for one hour.
Turn your smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit and stock it with soaked wood chips. Put the brisket inside and cook for 12 hours.
Check your wood chips every hour. If they seem dry, add new soaked ones. You should also rotate your brisket every three hours.
7. King Crab Legs
Heat your smoker to 225 degrees and stock it with oak wood chips. Mix butter with lemon juice and minced garlic and heat until melted. You should then mix salt with peppercorn and pour the melted garlic over top.
Add your crab legs to the smoker. Cook them for 30 minutes, basting with your butter mixture every ten minutes. You can then grill your legs for two minutes if you want a little crunch to them.
Take a pork shoulder and cut it into small cubes. Process them through a meat grinder and then rest the meat in the refrigerator.
Combine paprika, kosher salt, and chili powder together. Add in some cold water and corn syrup and mix until you create a paste. Put the paste in the refrigerator for one hour.
Mix the paste into the pork, then stuff the meat into hog casings. Let the sausages rest in the fridge overnight.
Set your smoker to 140 degrees. Put the sausages in for two hours.
Then bring your smoker to 170 degrees and smoke them for another hour. Remove them and let them dry for an hour.
Make a brine with water, salt, and sugar. Place a whole pheasant inside and let it brine in the refrigerator overnight.
Set your smoker to 200 degrees. Make a dry rub and coat your poultry in it. Add wood chips to your smoker and smoke your pheasant for three hours.
10. Bacon Explosion
Take strips of bacon and weave them together. Sprinkle a dry rub over the strips, then put Italian sausage over top. Pour on some additional dry rub onto your sausage.
Roll the bacon over the sausage and hold the ends together with toothpicks. Sprinkle some additional rub, then turn your smoker to 225 degrees.
Put in your meat and cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. It may take three hours to get to this point.
For the last 30 minutes of cooking, baste your meat with sauce. Pick any sauce from your favorite BBQ recipes.
The Ten Best Smoked Meat Recipes
You can perform any number of smoked meat recipes. Smoked ham, chicken, and beef jerky are traditional ones. Make sure to brine your pork and beef so salt integrates well into them.
For a more unconventional option, you can smoke prime rib. If you like seafood, you can dry crab legs with a butter baste.
If you are feeling very experimental, you can sample smoked pheasant. You can also indulge with a Bacon Explosion, combining thick bacon strips with succulent Italian sausage.
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