It is not easy to home smoke and get a great product but it is so worthwhile when you do. This took me four attempts!
You can do it on a BBQ outside, or you can do it on your hob tops, and you do not need to fork out for a custom made smoker.
Using the hob tops means that you have more control on the heat, but you also get a smokey house.
This is my set up for a home-made smoker.
This one is a simple turkey dish, which you can buy from any supermarket. Wood chips underneath and then metal foil, finished with a rack (any size or shape as long as it fits).
I have experimented on a lot of different meats and these things always seem to hold true;
- If you marinate (or for fish use a brine instead) the meat stay moist and the smoke does not become overpowering.
- Fatty meats hold the smoke flavour better, so make a careful balance, not too fatty, not too lean.
- Home smoked meat is a lot stronger in flavour than those from the shops. So if you are unsure, use a lot less than you think, it is best to have a less smoked meat than something inedible bacause the flavour is too strong.
This recipe is for 2 breasts
Preparing the ducks meats.
Score the fat on the duck before you marinate.
1 large orange, juiced and zest
3 tbsp of balsamic
3 tbsp of red wine
1 tbsp of honey
2 crushed garlic cloves
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 tbsp of redcurrent jelly.
cover the duck in the marinade and marinate for as long as you want, 4 hours minimum up to 48 hours. the idea is to break down the fibres making it more tender.
Experiment with this as much as you want as long as you have plenty of sweetness.
When you are ready, pat the breast dry and then place skin side down in a cold pan. Turn the heat on to medium and render down the fat on the duck for about 4 minutes. Make sure you remove the rendered fat so the skin gets crispy. Turn over and sear the bottom for about a minute.
You can buy smoke bought wood chips,the best I have found are from Lakeland, and they are not expensive. I prefer using my own which was; 2 tbsp spoons of fresh wood chips from my apple tree, and 2 large sprigs of rosemary from the garden.
To use the smoker, set up like the picture above. Place on a direct heat on medium until steady plumes of smoke rise up. Put the meat on the rack and then cover the tray in foil ( be careful it will be hot), lower the heat to very low and smoke for 20 minutes. This will leave it moist but very slightly pink inside.
I served it on a simple salad of roquette and slices of oranges, with a sticky balsamic reduction.