With all the time being spent at home in our phase of social distancing, the trend of home-cooking the food you’d usually order out, has really picked up. Almost everyone I know has at some point over the past couple of months, has posted photos of mouth-watering, and intricately crafted dishes on Instagram. I too have definitely dipped my toes into this trend.
I have attempted making a variety of dishes using fresh meat and produce but I’ve always wanted to push my boundaries a little further and explore unchartered territories. The other day I was ordering myself a smoked chicken sandwich and it made me wonder; how hard can smoking meat at home be? Is it practical? More importantly, can I (a person who doesn’t cook all that often) do it?
The short answer is yes! I’m sure most of us are aware that BBQ Smokers are readily available and make for a great way to smoke meats in your backyard. I however, live in an apartment complex and can only dream of owning such equipment. After spending a few hours in the internet, I found some great practical alternatives to smoking meat at home. Here are two I found to be most practical.
Wok Smoked Meats
This method, although a little labor intensive, is likely to produce the most delicious non-BBQ smoked meat you’ll ever taste. The concept is quite simple; you line a wok with a bunch of aluminum foil and place your smoking wood (preferably hickory) chips on the foil. You then place your meat above it on a wire rack and place the wok on a medium-high flame till the wood begins to smoke.
At this point, you simply wrap the tortuous thing up with more foil and make it airtight. Let it rest for a good 20 minutes before you even think of taking a peek. After a patient wait, unwrap the foil and place the meat in the oven and cook until tender. Don’t forget to baste at regular intervals with something like a BBQ sauce. An hour and a half or so later, you should be presented with some pretty lip-smacking smoked meat.
Smoked Whiskey and Liquid Smoke
For more of you out there like me, who like to take the easy route with cooking, this option works out amazing. The idea is that you take a quarter cup of your finest smoked whiskey, and splash in a couple of drops of liquid smoke. Liquid smoke is one of those things that is quite readily available so there’s a good chance your local vendor has it in stock.
Once you have your whiskey-smoke mix ready you just pour it over the meat you intend to cook and massage it in a little. Let it rest for a while before you repeat the exact same process with the oven as mentioned above with wok smoking. Once regularly basted and cooked to the right tenderness you will have before you a pretty convincing Non-smoked smoked meat. I bet that unless you’re someone who BBQs meats quite often, you’d hardly be able to tell the difference.
To wrap it up, I think home-cooking is the best and we should not limit ourselves due to lack of appliances. Small improvisations like the ones I mentioned here, can help elevate the way we cook our next meal. Bon Appétit!