What do you get when you cross a venison backstrap and a hickory tree? We aren’t too sure either. But we are sure that using hickory wood chips to properly smoke a backstrap is delicious, so we’ve compiled a short list of five tips to help you get the most out of smoking your cuisine.
You can smoke almost anything, from sausage sticks to steak.
1. Try using something other than water in your smoker’s pan. For instance, if you’re smoking wild boar, you may want to give pineapple juice a shot. Or try beer – many people enjoy the flavor of beer on just about any meat. You can use pretty much any liquid you want to add an extra bit of subtle flavor to your food.
2. This one seems somewhat obvious, but it’s hugely important and often overlooked. Leave the lid on or door closed as much as possible when smoking. Every time the door opens, considerable amounts of smoke, and thus flavor, are lost.
3. While opening the door is bad, having some sort of ventilation is good. You don’t want stagnant smoke. Make sure the vents on your smoker are open – that way, fresh smoke is infusing your food with flavor.
4. Meat absorbs smoke the best when it is raw because smoke is water soluble. Be careful not to overthaw your meat if you’re doing a speed defrost. It’s important that the outside portion remains raw and moist so it can absorb whatever delicious smoke flavor you choose to add.
5. Be patient. Smoking raw meat takes a while. With most meats, you need to stick by the “low and slow” standby, meaning cook slowly with low heat.