For BBQ lovers, there is nothing quite like biting into a juicy, smoky and perfectly cooked piece of meat. In the most traditional sense, barbeque refers to cooking tough cuts of meat slowly over a low heat and with smoke. This process causes the tough tissues to breakdown, turning them into tender and delicious delights. Traditionally, the best barbeque is said to be cooked between 225 F and 275 F. The general rule of thumb is that for every pound of meat, you should cook it from anywhere from 45-75 minutes. This means that a 10 pound piece of meat would take around 10 hours to barbeque properly.
While there are many different ways to cook a piece of meat on a BBQ, many enthusiasts claim that the only way to create the most authentic BBQ flavor is to cook it long and slow in a smoker. The two biggest reasons are that smokers give you the most control over temperature and the amount of smoke that is infused into the meat.
One of the keys to success in barbequing is to maintain a consistent temperature. Smokers are designed to hold within 5-10 degrees of your desired temperature without any extra work from you. In fact, the trust in the power of smoker consistency allows even the most fretful pitmaster the opportunity to put in the meat and then walk away (or even go to bed). While you can try to smoke meat on a normal grill, the spikes and inconsistencies in temperature can affect the overall quality of your final product.
One of the truest tests of good barbeque is the size and definition of the smoke ring. The smoke ring is a pink ring that is created on the surface of the meat due to the mix between the moisture of the meat and the nitrogen dioxide that is emitted from the wood chips. Smokers allow the meat to absorb more of the meat, creating a more defined smoke ring – and a stronger flavor in the meat.
If you are wanting to get the best quality and flavor out of your barbeque, then a smoker is something that you definitely want to add to your cooking arsenal.