Smoking my dinner is the latest in slow 'n low cooking for me.
My brother, the actual bonafide chef in the family, got me addicted to smoking meat. While I've long been an enthusiast of sous-vide cooking, Brother Ben swears by his offset smoker. After visiting with his family for a bit, and eating a lot of barbeque, I was sold.
Smoking uses the same principles as sous-vide and also imparts a smokey flavor to your food. Thick, tangy and overpowering smoke, or just very delicate -- the choice is yours, sort of. Rather than immersing your food in a temperature monitored water bath, ala sous vide, smoking surrounds the food in warm smoke. You can find temperate controlled systems to make it a lot easier but that removes the fun of playing with fire for hours and hours.
Sous vide is easy, however, you plug in a circulator, put your meat in a plastic bag and away you go. Can smoking meat be as easy? After eating a few delicious meals of smoked salmon, turkey, pork and beef at my brother's, I wanted to spend my long days hanging around a campsite, living la vida Vanagon, smoking meat.
Offset, upright, pellet, gas, electric? What kind of smoker was the right one for me? My brother and I started watching lots of YouTube videos and it looked like a 'bullet smoker' also known as a 'water smoker' was the right way to go, for me. Bullet smokers have a fire right at the bottom, a water bath in the middle and a smoke/cooking chamber up top. Read the rest