Cooking food low and slow is having an impact on the traditional Aussie barbie.
“More and more Aussies are keen to enjoy the delicious smoky taste that you can only get when cooking with charcoal, wood, barbecue pellets or smoking chips,” said Mr Graham Brake, general manager of outdoor leisure and BBQ company, Fornetto.
The key, he said, is to smoke food at low temperatures for a long period of time to keep food moist while imparting a smoky flavour. “Current popular dishes such as smoked pulled pork and slow cooked briskets have also contributed towards the ‘low and slow’ outdoor cooking trend,” he said.
Mr Brake shared five tips when shopping for a speciality smoker:
- There are several different types of outdoor smokers: charcoal, electric, gas or pellet smokers. Charcoal is the most popular option because of the smoky taste.
- Look for quality units made from high quality materials.
- Whether you are cooking for a small family or feeding up to 30 people, check what compartments and capacity the smoker holds. A flexible smoker will allow for convenient and smarter cooking methods.
- How often you plan to use your smoker will determine the type and amount of fuel source. If you are new to the smoking game and decide to use charcoal, opt for a higher grade natural or lump charcoal to ensure a sustained heat that also imparts a lovely earthy flavour to your food. If you do not see yourself working with charcoal, try the pellet smokers for the authentic smokey flavour, with minimal fuss.
- Check if the smoker features indicators around air vents so you can easily see where the vent is set, which will help control the temperature.
Mark Kleiner from Char-Griller has also seen more local enthusiasts becoming keen to develop their barbecue skills by embracing charcoal cooking and the different flavour profiles this can create.
“It’s great to see so much interest in barbecuing, particularly beyond the traditional sausage fare, with more effort going into preparation and how we treat quality ingredients.”
For those looking to create the perfect melt-in-the-mouth barbecue at home, the Aussie Pit Boys shared some top tips for the art of ‘low and slow’.
- Cook with meat such as pork or lamb shoulder or lamb shanks which are forgiving if not quite cooked to perfection.
- Start off with a simple mixture of 49 per cent salt, 49 per cent pepper and two per cent garlic powder.
- Invest in good, quality charcoal to make it easier to maintain a constant cooking temperature for an extended period of time.
- Use a barbecue that can maintain heat for long periods of time such as the Char-Griller Kamado which is made from heavy ceramic material so it retains heat for longer.
- Cook to temperature rather than time. The meat will be cooked when it reaches the correct internal temperature for the cut.