Pros and Cons of Smoking Meat

There are a lot of ways how to cook meat. You can grill or roast it in the oven. Perhaps you already have heard of smoking meat. The procedure of smoking meat involves, cooking, browning, or conserving food by exposing it to smoke from smoldering or burning material, most often wood. Smoking meat has been a popular way of cooking since it provides distinct flavor from the smoking process that can’t be done in the oven or on the grill.

It is believed that smoking meat started during the primitive times. It is the same time when cavemen discovered fire. Cavemen would hang the meat they got from hunting to dry in their shelter and then unintentionally discovered that smoke would give extra flavor to the meat and it helped preserve the meat.

There are different types of smoking which are Cold smoking, Hot smoking, and Smoke roasting.

Cold smoking is a method of curing meat. The process involves smoking the meat with a temperature lower than 90°F. Smoking typically takes hours to days. Here is a short clip of cold smoking a pork tenderloin.

Hot smoking is a method has the same process with cold smoking however higher temperature is utilized to cure the meat. Meats are fully cooked with this type of process, creating a moist and savory taste.  

Lastly, smoke roasting is a different type of smoking since it involves a combination of smoking and roasting. The process includes with a barbecue pit, smoke roaster, or masonry oven that is wood fired. Temperature should be above 180 degrees Fahrenheit during this process.

Now I have shared with you the brief history and summary of smoking let’s get on with our main topic!

Benefits of Smoking Meat

Flavor

Flavor is the number one reason why people chose to smoke meat. Smoking meat provides a unique flavor or taste that can’t be done in other cooking methods such as baking or grilling, Smoking meat breaks down collagen, making it much more tender.

Enhanced Smell

Aside from flavor, we all want our food to smell good. Smoking meat also enhances its smell since hardwoods are used. Common hardwoods used are Mesquite, Pecan, Apple, Alder, Cherry, Oak, Hickory, and Maple.  The hardwoods used as fuel assists in adding flavor to the meat by improving aroma of the smoke. When smoking is done acidic coating is created around the meat which makes the meat tastier. Smoking also gives a distinct texture and appearance.

Packed With Protein

Meat is popular for being a good source of protein for those People focused on gaining weight or building muscle, though there are some research that says smoking can be hazardous to your health when done in ways that allow toxic carcinogens into the food. However, one study shows that the number of carcinogens in smoked meat depends on the smoking method used. One example would be like hickory has fewer carcinogens as contrary to others like beech.

Through fewer carcinogenic smoking alternatives, you will be able to eat better prepared smoked meat, which can give you a great source of protein and energy. This is particularly advantageous for people who are trying to get in shape and build muscle.

Meat Preservation

The other benefit of smoking meat is it extends the shelf life of the meat. Smoked meat last longer because it kills the bacteria inside it and on the surface. However, it is still best to refrigerate or freeze smoked meat.

Food Safety

It makes bacteria difficult to live and multiply because of the acidic coating of the meat. It prevents bacteria to survive the harsh environment caused by the acidic coating. It avoids bacteria from entering the meat.

Disadvantages of Smoking meat

Tricky Process

Smoked meat is undoubtedly delicious. However, the process of smoking meat is difficult. This method of cooking may be costly since you would need appropriate cooking equipment for it. Aside from that smoking meat requires constant attention as you would need to make sure that the temperature sis just right. You don’t want your meat to get burnt, overcooked or undercooked.

It Can Be Unhealthy

Smoking meat can be unhealthy. Continuous consumption of smoked meat can be linked to multiple cases of cancer in different parts of the world. There is research that says that smoked foods may contain carcinogens. The process of smoking contaminates food with PAHs (Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons). Some experts say that when smoked meat are consumed it increases the risk of having gastrointestinal cancer. Smoking meat also loses some of its nutrients, specifically vitamin C and thiamin. Preserved foods lead to greater nutrient loss than eaten sooner.