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Dry Aged Beef aus dem Smoker



In addition to dry aged beef from the aging cabinet , smoked beef , i.e. beef with smoky flavors, is the new “it steak”. There are different methods to achieve the perfect smoke character. From smoke salt , which adds flavor to the seasoning, to your own smoker grill in the garden. But how does dry aged beef get along with the smoky taste? We tested it and researched the most important information and background information about the smoker.



Bacon from the smoker or smoked bacon – is there really a difference?


Yes, and that lies in the temperature . There are two types of smoking: cold smoking and hot smoking. When cold smoking , which is particularly traditional in Europe, the temperature of the smoke is around 20° to 26° C. The food is left to hang in the smoke for several weeks. The food is only smoked but not cooked. When hot smoking , for example in a smoker, the temperature rises to 60 to 100° C. The smoked bacon is cooked after 20 to 120 minutes. Smoked bacon, on the other hand, is raw material. Of course, this also affects the taste. The high temperatures change the tissue structure, the meat becomes tender, the fat liquefies and gives the meat from the smoker its full aroma.



From the slums to the gourmet kitchen

The barbecue smoker developed in the 19th century from a method that originated in the American “slave” and poor neighborhoods. The meat was cooked for several hours at a low temperature in a hole in the ground heated with embers. This form of preparation with its spicy smoky flavors made even low-quality meat tasty. Especially in the southern states, the good weather encouraged outdoor cooking all year round. Here the refinement of the cooking technology progressed steadily. With ingenuity and skill, the first smokers were built from upturned steel bathtubs, barrels and other cheap leftover or waste materials. The meat continued to cook in or over the embers for a longer period of time, just under a pan instead of in the ground. Particularly efficient smoke grill operators opened small snack bars from which the meat was ordered “to go”, so to speak. With the BBQ wave in the 1950s and 1960s, smoked grills also spilled over into the white suburbs. The appearance of modern smokers is still reminiscent of their origins. Because most smokers are still as round as a steel barrel .



One technology – many possibilities


What does a good smoker need? Opinions about BBQ differ on this. While American households still often rely on home-made brands , two models in particular have become established in professional kitchens and in Europe:


The classic barrel smoker consists of round, thick-walled steel tubes with a large horizontal cooking chamber and a small chamber slightly lower down. In this chamber the fire is made with wood. In the cooking area you will usually find several grids or grill racks for placing the food to be grilled. There is a small chimney outside from which the smoke escapes. Grease and other liquids are usually drained through a drain into a bucket. During the cooking process, the temperature and fire must be monitored.


The easy pellet smoker is actually a special form of the barrel smoker. It is fired with specially made wood pellets. Instead of the small firebox, there is a pellet box with electricity-powered ignition. Since the temperature and combustion are monitored and controlled electronically, the meat literally cooks itself. The pellets are made from different types of wood.



The right type of wood – a science in itself


Of course , not every wood is suitable for the smoker . Damp woods such as conifers are rather unsuitable. The type of wood not only changes the temperature and burning time, it also affects the taste. Oak, maple and birch are popular , but also spicy nut and mild fruit woods.



Which meat is suitable for the smoker?


While today it is mainly beef and pork that end up in the smoker, in the south of the USA chicken and turkey were also traditionally cooked in smoke. Near the coast, special types of fish with firmer flesh are also used, such as trout, salmon or - typical for the region on the Mississippi River - sturgeon and catfish. By the way, vegetarians can refine their grilled vegetables with smoked flavors. Smoked eggplant is a potential favorite dish from Turkish cuisine - also as a side dish for steak fans!



Dry aged beef in the smoker?


A well-aged dry aged beef doesn't actually need much. A time in the smoker doesn't hurt if you like the smoke aroma. On the contrary, dry aged beef is particularly suitable . The fibrous structure allows the smoke to penetrate more quickly. The meat, which is particularly tender due to dry aging , becomes even softer thanks to the gentle cooking method and essentially falls apart. Beef trends such as pulled pork also work best in this combination .


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