How To Smoke Meat
The fact that a SHTF event could very easily happen in the blink of an eye is all too real. Whilst you may have some basic survival skills and be able to forage for food or trap what meat you can, this won’t be much good if you don’t know how to cook it.
As a prepper, your goal is to be prepared and have the ability to keep yourself and possibly others alive throughout the aftermath of events that may cause destruction to the population or civil unrest.
As a prepper, your job is to stay alive. One thing that could quickly change that however, is eating raw meat, which could result in E-coli, salmonella, campylobacter and listeria infections.
If you manage to find yourself some meat, be it from hunting game, trapping native animals, or raising animals for meat, the quickest way to get rid of any harmful bacteria is by cooking it and better yet, you might as well use a delicious cooking method if you’re going to cook up some grub.
So why not learn how to smoke meat to make it last longer?
Alternatively, you can smoke meat directly over a fire or buy an electric smoking machine if you’re bugging in and need to preserve meat without a fridge.
Firstly, you will need to learn how to prepare both your meat, and your grill. There are two key parts to learning how to smoke meat, the preparation required for smoking meat and then learning how to actually smoke meat.
Buckle Up and Prep Your Station
It Will Take Some Time – Smoking meat isn’t something you can do quickly, but chances are you won’t have too many other daily tasks to do in the event that you need to put your survival skills to the test. So be patient, and try to find some joy in learning how to smoke meat the correct way.
Choose Your Meat – Now, your choice in meat may be limited so use whatever meat you can find, smoke your meat, then eat your meat. If you have any animals you can cook, then great. Things like ribs are great to smoke, but any meat can be smoked from seal to squirrel.
Now You’ll Need Some Wood – You will need to gather some wood, preferably woods like oak or hickory if you can find them. Chunks of wood tend to work much better for smoking meat however specially bought smoking chips work the best and impart a wonderful flavour.
It is worth noting that you should try your best to avoid smoking meat with pine wood or other woods which produce sap. Not only are sap woods toxic, but they will also ruin your food that you’ve cooked which would be a great dent in morale.
Use Coals to Control The Temperature – You will want to use lump charcoal or briquettes. Avoid using things like charcoal doused in lighter fluid or lighter fluid on its own, this is a great way to ruin your smoked meat and end up with an out of control fire – keep things as natural as possible.
The use of hot coals helps to keep the grill at a consistent temperature, you can add more to increase the temperature or remove some coals to reduce the temperature of your grill. It is always helpful to have a few hot coals set to the side which you can add to your grill if needs be.
Rub Your Meat – You will want to rub your meat with things like salt and pepper if you can get your hands on them. Other herbs and spices will work too; you can experiment with different things to find the best rub for smoking meat. The more you use, the tastier your smoked meat will be.
Smoking Meat for The First Time – Now, chances are that you won’t have access to a smoker in the apocalypse, but the chances of finding a grill are pretty high. A charcoal grill will be a great way to smoke meat for the first time.
Ideally, you’ll want to add hot coals to the bottom tray until the temperature reaches around 250 degrees. If you can’t measure the temperature, it should be hot enough that you can hold your hand over it only for around 2 seconds.
If you can hold it for much longer, add more coals, if it is much hotter, add some wood on top.
Meat’s Back on The Menu – Now you’ve got your grill burning at a consistent temperature, you can put the grate over the coals, slap your meat on top and pull the lid down so that the meat is covered inside the grill.
You will want to put the damper placed over where the meat is, which will allow for optimal oxygen flow to keep your coals burning and will allow the heat to pass up through your meat, thus as the term goes, smoking it.
Now You Wait – This is probably the easiest step, but you should to wait a while and refrain from touching the meat on the grill. There is no need to flip the meat as the heat will pass up through it and cook it evenly. You may need to occasionally add some more coals in.
Wait A Little Longer – Ideally, you should wait around 3-5 hours depending on what meat you’re cooking. Some meats will cook much quicker than others. Check to see if your meat is cooked, if its bouncy then it needs more time.
If your meat starts to split and tear when lifted and is too tender, then it is overcooked. You don’t want to char it. Your meat should be just a little limp for the perfect smoked meat.
Enjoy Your Smoked Meat – Once your meat is done, feel free to add whatever sauces you can get your hands on, as well as other things like potatoes or salads to help beef out your dish. You can boost the morale of your group, family or yourself with some delicious smoked meat.
The Best Way to Smoke Meat as A Prepper
Ultimately, the best way to smoke meat as a prepper will be using whatever you can get your hands on, whether this be a grill, a smoker or a home-made bootleg grill. Smoking meat is a slow process but very rewarding and is a great way to cook meat.
Not to mention it is a great pastime. Use whatever meat and other vegetables you can get your hands on.