You don’t need to buy an expensive smoker to enjoy a perfectly cooked meal enhanced with a flavour of smoke. Your charcoal or kettle barbecue can be turned into a smoker. All you need are a bag of charcoal, wood chips (NOT chunks or sawdust) from a non-sap laden tree variety and a good piece of meat.
1. Prepare your Meat
It’s always best to make your meat ready few hours or even a day before cooking in a smoker. Place the meat in a large dish and pour the marinade of your choice, make sure all the meat is coated with marinade. Cover with a lid or cling film and leave it in the refrigerator for 2-6 hours or better, overnight.
2.Prepare Wood Chips
Soak the wood chips in water for at least 2 hours or better, overnight; the more soaked the chips, the more smoke they produce.
3. Start the Barbecue
Place the disposable aluminium container or any other heat resistant container next to your charcoals and fill it halfway with water.
There are two reasons for this: the water will keep the meat moist and tender, and it will control the temperature around the meat.Light the charcoal.
When you’ve reached a low heat of about 120 C (can be checked by using a barbecue thermometer), place 1 cup of drained wood chips on the charcoals. Position the meat onto the grate directly above the water container, away from the charcoals.
Cover the grill making sure all the vents are closed. Smoke for the amount of time indicated in your recipe.
4. Keep an eye on the Temperature
You need to check the temperature every 30 minutes. If the temperature begins to rise higher than 100 degrees, open the lid and let the charcoals burn off a bit and top it up with some more drained chips. If the temperature drops, open the vents and add more charcoal and wood chips.
5. Turn the Meat
Every 30 to 90 min, turn the meat. If your recipe contains a barbecue sauce, apply it in the final 30 minutes of cooking.
6. Ready to Serve
Your meal will be ready to serve when the meat on the bone will start pulling away, and when trying to turn the meat, it will fall off the bone.
Transfer the meat to a platter, add some more sauce and let it rest for 15 minutes. Now serve with your favourite sides and enjoy!
1. Coat the chicken pieces with olive oil and season with salt
2. Grill the chicken over hot coals for 5 min on each side to create a nice golden skin. Remove the chicken from the grill onto a platter and put a cover on.
3. Put some soaked and drained oak wood chips on the coals. Place a water container next to the coals.
4. When the temperature of the grill drops to about 120 – 150 C, place the chicken pieces on the grill directly above the water container. Cover the grill and cook for about 30 minutes.
5. Turn the chicken over, check the temperature of the grill, adjust it if needed. Cover the grill and cook for another 30 minutes.
6. Turn the chicken again and baste it with barbecue sauce. Cook for another 25-30 minutes.
7. Check if the chicken is done by inserting a tip of the knife into the thickest part of the chicken piece, if the juices run clear the chicken is cooked.8. Baste the chicken with the sauce and serve.
Smoky Salmon On The Grill
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Approximately 2 pounds of salmon fillet or however much will fit onto the rack below
2. Ensure you remove all pin bones from the salmon
3. Placing the brown sugar, salt and pepper into a small bowl and mix thoroughly. Place approximately 1/3 of the mixture in the bottom of a baking pan, sit the salmon on top and then cover with the remaining mixture.
4. Cover and chill for a minimum of 4 hours, preferably overnight. The mixture will pull out moisture from the fish and infuse it with flavour, helping to create the distinctive extremely firm, slightly sweet flavour of a traditionally smoked salmon.
5. Place the selected wood chips in a large bowl and cover them with water, letting them soak for at least 30 minutes before draining.
6. Prepare your grill for indirect heat. For gas grills: Heat ½ of the desired quantity of burners you have and set a foil-wrapped pan with about an inch of water in it under the cooking grate, on the turned-off burner. For charcoal grills: Light a fire, when the coals are ready, push them to one side and set a foil-wrapped pan with approximately an inch of water in it on the other side of a coal grate. Put them into a small smoker box that comes with some grills, or simply put the soaked chips over the hot coals.
7. Rinse the salmon from its mixture by patting in dry, set it skin-side-down onto the cool side of the grill, on the cooking grate that is over the pan of water below. Cover and then cook until the salmon is fully smoked and flaky, this should take around 30 minutes.
8. Serve and enjoy your fish!
Grill Smoked Trout On The Kettle Barbecue
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
2 trout (filleted)
1 fist-sized wood chunk or 1 cup of wood chips (oak and hickory are favourites with trout)(Brine)
4 cups of water
2 tablespoons of table salt (4 tablespoons of sea salt)
1. Brine the trout and soak the wood: In a large bowl, stir the salt and brown sugar in with the water, wait for the salt and sugar to dissolve. (this may take about 5 minutes). Add the trout fillets and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (up to 4 hours). While the trout is brining, soak the smoking wood in water.
2. Set the grill up for indirect medium-low (120 – 150°C): Prepare the grill for cooking on direct medium-low heat.
3. Make a foil tray for the trout: While the grill is pre-heating, take the trout out of the brine and pat it dry using paper towels. Double fold a piece of heavy-duty baking foil to use as a tray, a little wider than you will need for all four pieces of trout and lay the fillets onto the foil skin side down.
4. Grill smoke the trout: Drain the smoking wood and add it directly to the coals. Carefully slide the tray of trout onto the grill grate, as far away from the lit coals as possible. Close the lid (if using a kettle grill, rotate the lid until the vent is directly over the trout to pull the smoke over the fish). Cook with the lid closed until the fish is thoroughly cooked and browned from the smoke, 40 to 45 minutes.
5. Serve: Serve immediately or chill the smoked trout first. To chill, move the foil tray of trout to a sheet pan, let cool at room temperature for 15 minutes then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days. To serve, scrape the trout fillet away from the skin with a spatula – the skin will stick to the foil.
Preparation and cooking instructions 1. Prepare the barbecue for cooking on indirect heat. Once the barbecue’s temperature reached steady 120 C, it’s time to put wood chips on the charcoals.
2. If you are using linked sausages, separate them and place them 1 inch apart from each other on the rack. This way the smoky flavour will cover their whole surface. Don’t puncture your sausages as they’ll lose all the juices.
3. Cover the barbecue with the lid and smoke the sausages for 3 – 4 hours depending on the thickness of the sausages.
4. You can check the internal temperature of the sausage with the meat thermometer 1 hour before the end of cooking.
5. If the meat thermometer reads 75 C, your sausages are ready.
6. Serve them hot or chill them in the fridge for 3 – 4 days.
Rack of ribs will take from 2 hours to 4 hours 30 minutes at 115 C.
A boneless beef or pork joint can take as long as 6 hours at 115 C.
Vegetables – 90 minutes to 2 hours at 95 – 105 C
Seafood – 35 to 45 minutes at 100 – 105 C
If you are using barbecue sauce wait to brush it on until the final 30-45 minutes of cooking. You do not want it to burn, and because most barbecue sauces have a lot of sugar in them, they will burn easily. When barbecuing fish, do not sauce until the last 15 minutes. You will be able to spot that the meat is ready with some visual cues. Meat on bones will begin to pull away.
When you turn or rotate meat it will begin to fall off the bone. The flakes on fish will separate easily. The interior of a beef or pork will be somewhere around 70 C – this is the only meat that should be barbecued or smoked with a meat thermometer. What happens if your heat was just too high and things are looking charred? Well, hopefully you did not let it go this far because you’d been checking every hour to 90 minutes.
But if it looks like you have too much char and the meat is not yet done, have no fear: Finish the meat in a 120 C oven. You will still have enough smoky taste to impress your guests. Once your meat is done, remove it to a platter, add more sauce and let it rest for 10-15 minutes. Let a big meat joint rest for 20-25 minutes. Add even more sauce right at service and enjoy! You’ll know you cooked real barbecue if everyone has sauce under their fingernails…