May 7, 2021 12:00 PM CDT
Written by Emily C / April 25, 2021
Smoking meat has been around since humans discovered how to create fire, and there is a reason that this method of cooking meat has been around since then. Smoking meat is also used in almost every culture around the world and there are so many benefits of doing so.
Back in the earlier times, humans would smoke their meat as a way to keep their food safe from bugs, which they later realized smoking also dried out moisture from their meat which made it easier to preserve the food that they cooked. Once dried, it made most forms of bacteria inhabitable; which is why you can store jerky in your pantry instead of your refrigerator.
In the United States, smoking is usually considered the main way to cook barbeque, while in the Carribean and in several Latin American countries, meats are smoked in circular covered pits. This method of cooking is known as barbacoa.
Here are some reasons that smoking meat is considered one of the best ways to cook them:
- When smoking, you have the ability to cook not only meat, but vegetables as well which can add flavor elements that could otherwise be missing from the meat.
- According to studies, smoking and cooking food slower and at lower temperatures is a great way to add flavor to your less tender cuts of meat. Lean meats tend to have a lower caloric value and have less fat than thicker cuts. Cooking meats like fish, game meat, turkey, and chicken can be a great way to add lean protein into your diet!
- Like I mentioned before, the less moisture in the meat, the less likely that bacteria will survive on it. When you smoke your meat, the lack of moisture creates an acidic coating that is a very harsh environment for bacteria to survive and multiply. This tends to make the meat last a lot longer than it would if you grilled it with a standard grill.
- Smoking uses hardwood as fuel which can enhance the flavors in the meats that you are cooking which not only makes the meat taste better but it also creates a delicious aroma while you cook.
- Smoking has a unique flavor that cannot be duplicated with other cooking methods. When you are smoking the meat, the process breaks down collagen in the meat which makes it much more tender. The smoking process also melts fat, which, combined with the meat being tender, results in a truly delicious experience.
- It’s fun! We as a species have been smoking food for centuries. By nature, the smell of meat cooking and the smell of fire are two smells that we, as humans love. Not only that, but we also love bringing our loved ones together for a delicious meal. So why not combine all three?