Pieces of meat on a cutting baord with some spices next to it.

Using an Outdoor Cooker for Curing or Smoking: Preserving Meat for Longer

Prosciutto, pepperoni, bacon, Parma ham - these are some of the most popular staples found in most homes and are a quick, convenient and tasty snack that can be enjoyed any time, anywhere. In addition to being convenient, savory meats that are smoked or cured either indoors or on an outdoor cooker also tend to last longer - and this also makes it a practical food source for folks who can't frequent the grocery store on a regular basis. While methods such as cold smoking and brining extend the longevity of certain meat products, these processes can be complex and requires following Food Safety and Inspection Safety standards to avoid food poisoning. So, for home cooking purposes, the preservation of meat has taken on a new meaning - which is rather the preservation of its flavor as opposed to the extension of its shelf life.
Not forgetting the past: An age-old tradition
Although we don't require it as much today with modern forms of refrigeration, the concept of preserving meat is something that dates way back to when cave dwellers used smoking methods to extend the shelf life of their proteins. Similarly, the process of curing meat with salt is just as ancient, dating back to 200 BC, when it became a widespread practice during the time of the Roman Empire. And the process continues on today - with a more complex, scientific approach of course!
To cure or not to cure
If it's flavor that you're after, and you want to explore a safer alternative to wet curing that can be done at home, dry brining is the way to go. In fact, dry brining is proving to be bang on trend these days to maximize the flavor and cooking of meat. Dry brining is simple and involves using a simple rub of mainly salt (plus a few other spices) on a protein and letting science work its magic. The end result? A tastier and more tender morsel that relies on a natural process to tenderize and destabilize the inherent toughness within the meat, itself.
The perfect partnership
Dry brining and smoking are the perfect partnership. Actually, these two go so closely together that some would argue that one is simply incomplete without the other. Just think of a tenderized piece of meat – times two! However, smoking does what dry brining can't, which is to impart a wonderfully smoky flavor into the meat. And while smoking may sound difficult for the novice griller just starting out, it doesn't have to be. So, don't fret, with the right outdoor cooker and accessories on hand, you too can master this mystifying technique.
The best way (and only) way to smoke meat
Low and slow is the way to go if you're looking for fall-off-the-bone meat. And by slow, we mean sit back, kick your feet up and enjoy a cold beverage kind of slow. Also, cooking low and slow on an outdoor cooker usually involves smoking your meat at high temperatures of up to 250 °F. Take the good old brisket, for example. And seeing as flavor is the name of the game, smoking using different flavored wood or charcoal only seems fitting.
Best wood chips for smoking meat
Wood chips are ideal for infusing another level of flavor into the meat. Popular wood chips that can be used on an outdoor cooker include:
  • Hickory
  • Oak
  • Maple
  • Pecan
  • Cherry
  • Apple
Creating flavor and memories that last
Admittedly, extending the shelf life of meat does tend to get a little complicated. However, creating occasions and memories that last a lifetime is quite the opposite. With the KUDU grill, you'll be able to impart flavor into meals that'll long be remembered. So, contact us today to see how the KUDU grill can make your outdoor cooking occasion an unforgettable experience.