There’s indeed something special about the aroma and smell of smoky street food. Just like some people will tell you that Party Jollof rice tastes better. Your grandparents must have told you about how they ate by the fire. Aside from the stories told by our grandparents, it’s extremely hard to smell smoky street food and not feel the urge to eat from it, be it barbecue or smoked bananas and corn.
Did you know that you can make that smoky flavored street food at home? Let’s say it’s summer, and you promised to make smoked barbecue ribs for a family gathering, don’t worry. You can definitely make this at home. You know how kids love to gather around in the yard devouring that barbecue rib. But hang on, you don’t have a smoker at home. If you have the money, we recommend you buy a stainless steel electric smoker for yourself. Smokers that are stainless steel look appealing to most people who have used them simply because the way they are designed to make them attractive. They are usually designed for ease of use and portability. Smoking is never easy. You will need a lot of charcoal, as well as a lot of firewood, but with stainless steel electric smokers, you don’t need to worry about all that.
The truth is, if you can afford it, by all means, buy an electric smoker for yourself, but if you can’t — all you need is a little creativity. In the course of this article, we have outlined a few ways to prepare such meals without breaking a bank. Without a smoker or grill, you can get the same fantastic flavor and smell of that smoky street food you enjoy under the sun with a bottle of beer right in your humble kitchen by creating what is called a stovetop smoker. Some might be thinking it’s not worth the stress. Actually, it is not as stressful as you think, and at some point in your lifetime, you will need this. The stovetop smoker can be made in a few minutes, believe it or not. And all that is required is a big size pot, a steamer insert, and a few aluminum foils. This stove smoker is just one of the ways to make smoky street foods at home. You can also use an oven.
For starters, there are basically three ways to create that smoky street food at home:
- Charcoal grill
- Conventional oven
- Stovetop smoker
For the purpose of this article, we will focus on the electrical or conventional oven method of making smoky street food at home:
Firstly, soak wood chips in water for a few hours. Once the wood chips are well soaked, the next step is to drain water off them through a colander. A colander is a utensil used to strain foods like wood chips, meat, and vegetables. Don’t completely throw away the chip water, reserve them in a container.
Now that your wood chips are set, preheat the electric oven to about 250 degrees Fahrenheit. For safety, make sure you adjust the rack in the oven so that it is closer to the bottom. Preferably with an aluminum pan, place the wood chips at the base of the pan, ensuring a little of the water is visible at the base alongside the wood chips.
Gently place raised aluminum backing the oven rack over the chips. Ensure there is space between the wood chips and the base of the rack to allow the smoke to freely flow. Place the meat directly over the chips. Once you put the meat on the aluminum rack, as a foil to make a nice tent that seals the pan on all sides of the rack, and create space at the top for the smoke to flow. The tighter the aluminum foil, the more the flavor of the wood will penetrate into the meat. You are on your way to creating a masterpiece.
Now, place the pan in your oven and allow the meat to cook properly. Allow the meat to cook slowly for about 3-6 hours, depending on the type of meat you are working with. While you smoke, the water may disappear, drying out the wood chips as well as your meat. At this point, simply pour in some of the chip water you reserved earlier. The aim of doing this is to rewet the wood chips and making sure there is water at the bottom.
As you near completion time, observe the temperature of your smoked meat to determine readiness to pull out. Once ready, pull out the meat, slice to your liking, and devour all that smoky goodness of the meat. Aside from preparing with an oven, you can also use a grill to prepare this at home and still have that smoky street feel. Just place the wood chips on an aluminum foil, then place another foil on top and twist around into the shape of a bag. Poke a few holes for smoke to escape. If you’re making use of a charcoal grill, ensure to place the coals on one side and the meat on the other.
So if you and your family are craving for smoky flavored street food, but don’t have enough time to go out, no need to worry as you can definitely make yours at your own home. You just need to know the steps on how to make it as smoky flavored as possible. You can also read our guide on how to use a smoker.