Smoking may seem like an old cooking technique to use today, but it is a technique that is still in use nonetheless. Even the best chefs turn to smoking techniques to bring out the best flavors in meat. Many meat lovers now make their own smoked meat with the help of electronic smokers due to how accessible (and easy to use) they are.
One of the best meats to smoke is pork, particularly pork shoulder and loin. The latter makes great pork chops, which is what we are going to talk about in this article.
Choosing a Smoker
Before you start buying ingredients and preparing things, you need to make sure that you have the right smoker for the job. Pork cooks quickly, especially when you have thinner slices to smoke. The way to cook pork perfectly is by using a low temperature and opting for thick cuts.
As mentioned before, smokers have become more modern and easier to use. Electric smokers now come in different sizes and prices. You can even find electric smoker pork chops recipes, specifically written to take advantage of the features offered by modern electric smokers.
Choosing the right wood chips to use is also important. We all know that wood chips bring out different flavors. You can never go wrong with maple chips, but you can use ash or pecan to bring out that smoky flavor we all love so much.
Brining and Rubbing
When cooking pork chops, brining your meat is also a necessary step to complete. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait as long for thick cuts of pork to absorb the brine properly. Apple brining works really well with pork.
Once you have completed the brining process, you can then add rubbing to the meat. Barbecue rubs are the way to go for a more traditional flavor. There are also recipes from known chefs and experienced smokers on the internet, so you have more options to try.
One secret trick to try when smoking pork is adding a pan of beer or apple juice – yes, a pan – to the bottom of the smoker. The extra moisture will keep the meat juicy, while the flavors from these liquids add nice twists to your rub.
There is one thing you need to know about controlling the temperature of smokers, and that is to use airflow to achieve the best results. More air means higher temperature. When it comes to smoking pork to make your own pork chops, you want the opposite of that.
Pork tastes best when cooked slowly. Even at a low temperature, a thick slice of pork will still cook faster than beef. The low temperature allows your piece of pork to retain its nutrients and moisture. After a few hours, you will end up with a juicy result that tastes incredible and is tender to the core.
With these tips in mind – and a couple of secrets to try – you are ready to smoke your own pork. Pick up a good electronic smoker, get the ingredients ready, and dip your toes into the exciting art of smoking meat.