The Five Meat Smoking Commandments
Ted Reader is an award-winning chef and food entertainer, who’s parlayed his passion for food into a culinary tour de force that includes more than a dozen cookbooks, shelves of food products, live culinary performances, TV and radio cooking shows and appearances as well as culinary demonstrations, a catering company and teaching.
Known for his pyrotechnic charm and fearless culinary spirit, it’s no surprise that GQ magazine labeled him the “crazy Canuck barbecue kingpin.” The dude just loves to cook!
Ted’s quest for creating “real food for real people” has seen this high-profile culinary barbecue guru demonstrate his flair for grilling in all venues from swanky ball rooms to the Pacific Ocean to a downtown Toronto parking lot. Today, he owns more than 100 barbecues, grills and smokers in all shapes and sizes and never goes anywhere without one in the back of his truck.
Meat smoking is becoming very popular in local restaurants this season, and Chef Ted Reader has come up with these five easy tips from his new book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Smoking Foods, to help you get rolling the first time you fire up your smoker, and every time to follow.
1. Be prepared: As we have always been taught, proper and thorough preparation is very important, especially to be successful in meat smoking. Assuming you already have a smoker, the first step would be the food preparation. Your final result out of the smoker will only be as good as the ingredients you put into it, and it is important to always buy good-quality ingredients – or the best you can afford. Before bringing your food out to the smoker, a fire will need to be created to prepare the smoke. You’ll need to prepare your smoker ahead of time, keeping in mind how long your meat will take to smoke, and what fuel sources you will need during the process.
2. Be patient: Timing is crucial, that’s all there is to it. Waiting for foods to smoke, and tending the fire to maintain a consistent temperature can be tedious, but are important to successful smoking. If you have the perseverance to wait it out, you’ll discover the art of creating truly delicious foods.
3. No peeking: Do you remember baking cookies, and being yelled at by your mother to stop opening the oven? It’s easier said than done, but meat smoking follows the same guidelines. A seemingly-harmless 30 second peek could add approximately 20 minutes to your smoking time. The less you peek, the sooner you eat!
4. Practice makes perfect: “Every time you smoke, it’s a chance to improve on what you did last time and create new flavours that will make you and your guests deliciously happy” exclaims Ted Reader, in his new book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Smoking Foods. Perhaps try challenging yourself by timing how long it takes for charcoal to reach its perfect white-hot temperature. Keeping track of what you have done will only help make you a better smoker, so try keeping notes and set goals to improve each time you cook.
5. Have fun! It takes the right combination of ingredients, time and patience to infuse wonderfully smoky flavours. A job well done is only measured by how tasty the food is and how much fun you had while preparing your meal. “The sweet smell of smoke, tending the fire, and smoking food to delicious perfection—that’s what it’s all about!” says Ted.
Loaded with over 60 mouthwatering recipes, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Smoking Foods has everything you need to know for preparing tender meats, sensational side dishes, and other delicious foods to become a master smoker.
Enjoy and start smoking !