This workshop takes the audience through the fundamentals of smoking meat. Butcher and charcuterie expert Jake Levin begins by giving a basic introduction that situates the process in its historical roots as a way of preserving meat. Emphasizing the humble nature of the work, Levin explores the idea that, with some basic equipment and knowledge, anyone can produce high-quality smoked meats at home. He shares a brief history of smoked foods throughout the world. Learn how smoking meat involves the interplay of three basic elements: the meat itself, the temperature, and the wood. In terms of the meat, Levin describes what cuts are best suited for smoking and why. He also talks about the importance of various kinds of salt, as well as sugars and other spices for flavoring (as well as helping with preservation). Find out about the differences between hot smoking and cold smoking. Discover some of the most common fuels or sources of smoke (such as oak and fruitwood), as well as some of the less familiar (such as hay, tea, and even dung). Levin introduces various smoking techniques, including smoking on a grill, pit roasting, stove-top smoking, barbecuing, and using a smokehouse. Next, he covers the basic tools and pieces of equipment needed to produce smoked meats at home, from the most rudimentary to the fairly involved and high end. Hear about some of the smokers you can buy and various kinds you can make in your own backyard (including grill pits, barrel smokers, offset smokers, and the design for Levin's tri-purpose smokehouse).
Maryland, Saturday 3:30-4:30 p.m., Real Food Stage
Pennsylvania, Workshop time to be determined
Kansas, Workshop time to be determined