How To Smoke At Home

GQ (Australia) - - TASTE & TRAVEL -

An­thony Puharich was bit­ten by the smoke a few years back. “It’s an amaz­ing way of open­ing up a new chap­ter of flavour and tex­tures,” says Puharich, who started smok­ing meat at his Vic’s Meats out­post at the Syd­ney Fish Mar­ket. “You just can’t get that ad­di­tional layer of flavour through any other method than that low and slow ap­proach. It’s over a long pe­riod of time and you can use in­ex­pen­sive cuts. Smok­ing can take those cuts that no other cook­ing method can do.” As for how to achieve such melt-in-the-mouth de­li­cious­ness at home, Puharich says to learn the ba­sics with a gas bar­be­cue. “Es­pe­cially as most peo­ple’s bar­be­cues have a hood. First, get a lit­tle metal stain­less steel smok­ing box. Then, grab a bag of wood chips – fruit woods like ap­ple wood and cherry add fra­grance and flavour, while na­tive Aus­tralian iron bark burns for a long time and de­liv­ers con­sis­tent heat and smoke. Soak them in wa­ter for 45 min­utes, drain, then throw into the box. Next, ig­nite one or two of the bar­be­cue el­e­ments to get to a tem­per­a­ture to 250F /120°C and place the box over them. Where there is in­di­rect heat, that is, the other side of the bar­bie, is where you then place your meat. Think of this as that first in­hale – it’ll take time to mas­ter, though once there, Puharich sug­gests a next step in­volv­ing the pur­chase of a We­ber, or sim­i­lar ket­tle bar­be­cue. Tim­ings wise, it varies de­pend­ing on the pro­tein, so re­search is key. “Pork butts and brisket gen­er­ally take up to 12 hours to get that wob­bly, de­sired tex­ture, and you should smoke chick­ens in the same heat un­til the in­ter­nal tem­per­a­ture of the thigh is 74-77°C.” Once you’re up and run­ning, and if the de­sire to smoke lingers (it will), then con­tem­plate an ac­tual smoker – start­ing at $800. “I’ve been bit­ten by the bug, and once you give it a shot, most blokes will too. It’s amaz­ing and takes cuts of meat to a new level. I rarely bar­be­cue any other way.”


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