Best Meat to Smoke – Tips for Choosing and Preparing Different Cuts

Meats to smoke
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Best Meat to Smoke – Tips for Choosing and Preparing Different Cuts

Best Meat to Smoke

Here are some of the cuts of meat most commonly used with electric smoker. 

Filet Mignon – Cut from the tenderloin, filet is a very tender cut, but lacks the beefy flavor of other cuts. Consider grilling this with a good rub or marinade.

Flank Steak – A beefy , full-flavored steak cut from the chest and side, this steak is thin and cooks quickly. To retain the juices in the meat, let it rest for a few minutes before carving against the grain.

Porterhouse and T-Bone – Cut extra thick, these give you the taste and texture of the strip and the tenderloin. To prevent them from overcooking, sear the steaks with the strip portion facing the hottest part of the fire and the tenderloin facing the cooler side.

Rib-Eye Steak – Cut from the rib, they are very tender, beefy and well-marbled with fat, which makes them great for grilling and smoking . They should be thick and seared over a medium-high heat. Move to a cooler spot on the grill to finish.

Sirloin, New York Strip and Prime Rib – Full-flavored premium cuts that have a natural flavor, which you may want to bring out with a little salt, pepper, and olive oil.

Brisket – The brisket consists of two different muscles. The top muscle, known as the “point,” is fibrous and difficult to cut. The flat is leaner and more even, which makes it easier to cut. It’s likely that you’ll find the second cut in your local supermarket, trimmed with a thin layer of fat on the top. If it’s untrimmed, trim the fat down to 1/4-inch thickness. To test your brisket for tenderness, hold the middle of the brisket in your hand. If the ends give, you’ve picked the right one. A rigid brisket is a sign that you’re in for a tough time.

Spare Ribs – Pick ribs that are between 2 and 4 pounds. Smaller ribs are likely to come from a younger animal and will cook faster because they’re more tender.

St. Louis Style Ribs – These specially trimmed ribs are lighter than spare ribs, topping out at about 2 pounds.

Baby Back Ribs – These flavorsome ribs are great if you’re grilling for the first time. Baby Backs are a little more expensive, but they’re the most tender and cook faster than spare ribs.

Pork Butts and Picnics – Similar cuts with different bones. There is not much difference between them, but they do offer a choice. You can remove the bone or cook them bone-in.

Best Fish to Smoke

Mahi-Mahi – Similar in texture to swordfish, but it’s a little oilier. Despite this, it dries out quickly on the grill, so you might want to brine it.

Red Snapper – Quick and easy to grill or fry. If you grill, handle carefully. Make sure the fish and the grill are well-oiled.

Salmon – A favorite for grilling because it doesn’t dry out. It’s rich in healthy, natural oils and fats, so you can pop it on the grill without oiling. Its flavor also complements stronger marinades.

Scallops – You’ll want to use fresh ocean scallops if you’re grilling or frying them. Take a close look at the scallops before you buy them. If they’re unnaturally white and are sitting in a milky liquid, they’re processed. Natural scallops are a pinkish tan or ivory. They have a firmer texture and a bigger surface area that holds the batter better.

Trout – Freshwater trout is great on the grill. The skin becomes thin and crispy and the flesh is flavorful without an overpowering fishiness.

Tuna – Does best using a simple marinade of herbs and oil. This prevents it from drying out and getting tough. If you like your tuna rare, buy 11/2-inch thick steaks. This will enable you to sear them without overcooking them.

Best Seefood to Smoke

Mussels – Versatile, quick and cheap. They steam beautifully and within minutes you can rustle up a satisfying gourmet dish.

Shrimp – Taste great any way you cook them. Though some prefer boiled shrimp, there’s a lot to
be said for steaming them. It retains the delicate flavor better.

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