Cooking Thermometers – How to Use a Meat Thermometer
Honey ham ribs is an American cuisine that can be cooked by smoking, grilling, or oven. However, the method of hot-smoking though slow is regarded as the best as it brings out the natural smoke flavor seasoned with herbs or spices of your choice. We are going to dig deeper into it in the recipe part. Since our focus is honey ham ribs, let us see how a meat thermometer can be used when smoking meat.
Achieving the right temperatures while cooking by just guessing, can be unpredictable hence compromising the flavor of your food or even risking the health of your loved ones. A digital food thermometer should therefore be considered a necessary tool in the kitchen as it will help in cooking beef steak, chicken breasts, pork chops, fish fillets, or any of your preferred cuisines to the right temperatures every time.
The ideal temperature for smoking meat depends entirely on the kind of meat being smoked. The following are ways in which temperature varies depending on the method of smoking and examples of smoked meat at different temperatures:
- Cold smoking ranges between 135 to 150℉ (57 to 66℃) and a good example that perfectly suits this method is fish.
- Low-heat smoking ranges between 150 to 175℉ (66 to 79℃) and a perfect example is smoking. It is used more for dehydrating than actual smoking.
- Higher heat smoking ranges between 175 to 275℉ (79 to 135℃) and a good example is brisket and ham.
- Ideal smoking temperature ranges between 200 to 225℉ (93 to 107℃) and this allows smoke flavoring and breaking down of tissues to enhance meat tenderness.
It is important to note that, smoking is a slow process that demands a lot of patience. Opening the smoker when the meat is not yet done may allow smoke to escape thus prolonging the process.
Best Meat Thermometer When Smoking Meat
With a multi-probe remote thermometer like the ChefsTemp Quad XPro, you can track up to three cooks simultaneously without switching operations. Once you have set the right temperatures, you can monitor from a distance as it has an alarm that rings when the right temperature is attained. Having these temperature tips we can now cook perfect Honey Ham Ribs comfortably as follows:
Honey Ham Ribs Ingredients
- 8 pounds baby back pork ribs
- 1 cup honey
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 1 cup pink curing salt
- 1 cup coarse salt (sea or kosher)
- 2 tablespoons ground white pepper
- 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground paprika
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
How to Season Ribs?
Step 1: Mix all the spices in a large bowl containing hot water and whisk until they are all dissolved to make brine. Add cold water and let them cool to room temperature.
Step 2: Turn the ribs over on their back to remove the membrane (a thin white covering on the bones). You can use a knife for easy tearing of the membrane.
Step 3: Place the ribs in a bowl large enough to hold them. Pour the brine over them and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Refrigerate them for 24-48hrs to brine and cure evenly. This process gives them an unmistakable color and a honey-ham flavor.
Step 4: Remove the ribs from the bowl and blot dry them using paper towels and then put them on a wire rack to dry.
Step 5: Set up your smoker and preheat in a range of 225 to 250°F (107 to 121°C). Use a smoker thermometer to track the temperature on the grill grate. Add your preferred wood or the one recommended by the smoker manufacturer. Remember, the type of wood you use determines the flavor of your smoke which is an ingredient of the final flavor of your ham. Ensure you have enough wood to smoke for 5 hours and above.
Step 6: Place the ribs on the grate of the smoker, bone side down. Close the lid for 5-8 hours adding wood on the smoker as needed. Use the best instant-read thermometer to monitor the temperature. Use the remote to track the temperature instead of opening and closing the smoker from time to time as this will release smoke hence lowering the temperature. Ensure the meat is above the temperature danger zone which ranges between 41 to 135℉ (5 to 57℃). The alarm on the smoker thermometer will ring when the temperature is at optimum.
Step 7: After the meat is done, lay out aluminum foil and squeeze out some honey on the foil. Place the honey ham ribs on the foil and wrap tightly then place them side down on the open smoker to steam for 1hr. Remove them from the smoker and unwrap the foil. Perfectly done ribs tend to be tender enough to pull apart using fingers and the meat will have shrunk back from the ends of the bones by about ½ inch.
Step 8: Slice the honey ham ribs and serve as desired.
Initially, smoking meat was best known for preservation but there are other multiple benefits associated with meat smoking. They include:
- Adds a distinctive flavor to the meat as a result of wood and smoke combined giving the meat a natural sweat and rich taste while still retaining the taste of other spices.
- Smoked food is high in nutrients and low in fat as the process does not require additional fats and drips out excess fats leaving a healthier final product.
- Smoked meat has a rich aroma and an irresistible brown look that makes it to be even more attractive.
Using a meat thermometer is the best way of getting the most amazing, wonderfully smoked, and perfectly done food for your entire household. It minimizes health risks caused by undercooked food as they may be contaminated with harmful bacteria causing illnesses.
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