Summertime is here and it’s the perfect opportunity to pull out the electric smoker and cook up some of your favorite wild meats. One of the best ways to preserve your successful hunt is to smoke the meat. It’s a slower way to cook your meats but something wonderful happens to them and the taste of your meats that make it worth waiting for.
You must do it right to get the most and best flavor from your wild meats. The following tips will help ensure you smoke and BBQ your wild meats properly and that you and your guests are more than satisfied with the outcome. It may take some time before you master the art of smoking meats but once you do you will come back to doing it this way time and time again.
Weigh the Meat
Your first step is to weigh the meat you’re about to smoke. The reason being is that you want to know how much seasoning and cure you’ll need. Make sure you perform this step after you trim away all the fat on your wild cut of meat. Any electric smoker recipes you use should have a seasoning recipe or guideline by the pound so you can get the most flavor out of your wild meats. One idea is to make homemade venison jerky on your electric smoker.
Try the Brine
It doesn’t matter if you’re planning to smoke a lean type of meat like pheasant, venison, or wild turkey, you should highly consider dipping the meat in a solid salt brine before you smoke it. Make sure you soak it for at least a couple of hours before putting it in the smoker. It’ll provide your lean meat cuts with more moisture and is a great way to enjoy your meat if you’re planning to eat it right away and not store it for very long.
Commit to Low & Slow
The key to smoking and BBQ wild meats on the smoker is to go low and slow. It’s similar to if you were putting a roast in the oven. Smoke for between two and five hours, or until it hits an internal temperature of no lower than 120F and no higher than 140F. While the higher the temperature, the shorter the smoke, keep in mind that it also means a shorter shelf life for your meats. Your meat will lose moisture and become saltier the longer it stays in the smoker. If you’re anxious to eat it then consider cooking it at a higher temperature. However, if you want to preserve or save it then go with low and slow.
Let it Sit & Rest
Another tip when you’re smoking and BBQ wild meats are to let the meat sit and rest. Put it in foil and let it firm up on the counter for roughly 20 minutes before you dive in. It’ll absorb any juices that were left on the inside, allow for more of the smoke flavor to seep in, and you’ll still have a hot piece of meat to enjoy.
Avoid Peeking & Letting Air in
You may be tempted to want to look at and check on your wild meats as they cook in your smoker. However, you should avoid looking at it and letting any air in every few seconds. Follow your recipe and sit back and let the smoker do its job. When you open your smoker you’re letting out heat and smoke that the meat needs for cooking properly. The result if you peek often will be less tasty and flavorful meat and a longer cook time. Stick to checking your meat at the end of the recommended cook time and then make adjustments as necessary.
If you’re planning to cook jerky then you want to make sure you do it right. It may be hard to tell if it’s ready when it’s in the smoker. Therefore, see if it bends without breaking while still feeling firm. If so, then it’s done and ready to eat. It needs more time if it’s squishy like raw meat and if it breaks then you should do the next batch at a lower temperature. Eat it right away if it breaks. It’ll still taste good but may not keep for as long.
Choosing Your Smoker
If you don’t have a smoker then you’ll need to put it on your wish list and start shopping around for the right one. Do your homework and research the best electric smokers available and begin to narrow down your search. They all work and function differently and you’ll want to use different recipes for the smoker you choose. For instance, a pellet smoker is a temperature-controlled smoker that consumes wood pellets made of dried-out sawdust, about an inch long and 1/4 inch wide. You should know that there are great Pellet grill recipes to try if this is the smoker you select in the end. There is also the offset smoker, upright drum, and vertical water smoker to choose from. It’s recommended you take the time to read the pros and cons of electric smokers to better determine if it’s the right tool for you and which one may be best suitable. Overall, electric smokers are easy to light, offer consistency with your wild meats, and require straightforward maintenance.
You now have a good idea about how to correctly smoke and BBQ your wild meats and ensure they taste juicy and flavorful. These tips will help ensure you pick the right smoker for the job and that you cook your wild meats to perfection. It’s an excellent way to spend your summer and an opportunity to impress your guests and family with the meats you serve. Have fun experimenting with different meats and recipes and remember you can always make adjustments each time you go to smoke a new type of meat. Smoking game is worth the wait and will provide you with a delicious meal that you won’t be able to get enough of.