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. First, place the meat in a large dish and pour the marinade of your choice, make sure all the meat is coated with marinade. Then, 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!