Smoking meat has evolved over hundreds of years from away to cure meats for storage too, as we know it today, a tastier way of cooking. Smoking meat adds flavor, naturally tenderizes, and can even take some of the cheaper, less desirable cuts of meats and turn them into your filet mignon rivals. All it takes is a little patience.
When cooking over fire, smoke will naturally penetrate and bind with the meat. The longer the meat is exposed to the smoke, the more flavor it will have. This becomes more apparent with a “smoke ring.”
Smoke comes from the burning of wood, and we all know how many types of wood there are. A few typical kinds of wood that may come to mind when talking about smoking might be Hickory, Maple, Cherry, Oak, etc. Different types of wood produce different flavors, which may come in handy when cooking different types of meat.
Smoke needs to be moving throughout the smoking process; otherwise, stagnant smoke will build up and leave bitter creosote on your food. Properly maintaining and cleaning your grill will help facilitate good air flow to prevent this.
The long process of smoking me breaks down all the fats, collagens, and connective tissues that make tougher cuts of meat more sweet, tender, and juicy. These connective tissues breakdown into basic sugars adding moisture and sweetness to the barbeque. Cooking these meats in your typical fashion would result in a tough, dry, and tasteless jerky. Typical meats known for this are pork shoulders, brisket, and ribs.