One Friday afternoon a friend asked me what I was planning on doing over the weekend. I replied, “sitting on the back porch and smoking something.” When he looked at me with a funny smile and a raised eyebrow, I realized what I had said.
But you all knew what I meant, right? Yep, smoking something. It’s not grilling, it’s smoking, infusing the food with a wonderfully smoky flavor with a low heat. It’s pretty easy, the smoke does all the work. Now, some of you may pooh-pooh me because I use a gas smoker, but hey, it’s easy, and I’m all about easy. I thought I’d give you a crash course in smoking and finish it off with a lovely vinegar sauce. First of all, I highly recommend : Smoke & Spice: Cooking with Smoke, the Real Way to Barbecueby Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison. It’s what I use all the time.
These instructions are for a gas water smoker.
First you may want to do some sort of dry rub. Usually you put this on the day before and let it marinate over night.
Wood chips, which have been soaked for at least 30 minutes go into a bowl. (These were apricot from a tree someone cut down).
Another bowl is lined with aluminum foil (for easy clean up) and filled with water. The water is what helps keep whatever your smoking moist.
This is what it looks like inside. At the bottom is the gas flame, with the wood chips on top of that, then the water, and then the food. You will notice that I have 2 empty shelves. Do not let this happen to you. If I had been thinking, I would have had some other foods ready to smoke, like some salmon or mushrooms, or something, anything!
All closed up and ready to begin.
Don’t you wish you could smell it? And that’s it. With a water smoker you don’t baste or mop because you don’t want to be letting the heat out. You do have to open the bottom door to check on the wood chips and replace if necessary or add more water, but other than that, the smoker does all the work for you.
Mine, all mine.
Now, once you take your gorgeous hunk of meat out of the smoker, what are you going to put on it. I am not a big barbeque sauce fan. I prefer my meat naked. (Yeah, I’m probably going to get some interesting searches with that line). I like the flavor of the meat and smoke to shine, not the sauce. But I had always been curious about a vinegar sauce, so I tried the Vaunted Vinegar Sauce from the cookbook. It was perfect! As a matter of fact, I now keep a bottle in my fridge and use it on all kinds of things, from salads to sandwiches!
Vaunted Vinegar Sauce
2 cups apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar or packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne or hot red pepper flakes
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, stir to dissolve sugar. You can serve this at room temperature or chilled. Keeps indefinitely.
Makes about 2 cups.
This will be my entry for Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum!