You might be cooking your family dinner. And you chose to go for smoking meat.
But when you took out of the smoker, the meat looks pretty awful. It’s half-burnt and has creosote build-up on the upper layer. You can just tell that it will taste bitter.
The situation seems to be awful. And you’ve spent a lot of time in it.
So now you’re wondering how to remove smoke flavor from meat?
For that, you can stir fry the meat for 5-10 minutes. Or you can add spices like bay leaf/star anise. Or just simply blend spices and add to the meat. Then re-cook it. Also, you can stew the meat. Or slow cook it in the pressure cooker for 30 minutes. Even you can add onion or carrot to tone down the smoky flavor. If the meat is too smoky, then cut off the burnt parts. And cook the rest with spices of your choice.
Now you know that you have a lot of options. And it’s common to get confused. So let us guide you through it.
How To Know If The Meat Is Too Smoky?
Before removing the smoky flavor, you’ll need to check if it’s actually too smoky. Because we don’t want you to waste time and effort. Let’s see if the meat is actually smokier than it should be.
By The Outlook
The first thing, in this case, is that you can simply identify by looking at the meat. It will look kind of burnt. The outer layer would probably be blackish. If the creosote is visible, then consider it too smoky.
Because the color of perfectly smoked meat is brownish. To some extent, it can be dark brown but not black.
By The Taste
If you’re still not sure by the look, go for taste. Cut a small piece from the meat and taste it. If it tastes bitter, be sure that it’s over smoked. Also, there will be a tingling and over-spicy effect on your throat.
In this case, just know that it’s not the perfectly smoked meat anymore. It has definitely become too smoky.
What Made The Meat Too Smoky?- 4 Factors!
Now you know that it’s too smoky. The next thing to find out is what made it too smoky. So that you can apply the perfect solution. And from next time you can recheck these factors. So let’s find out what caused you this trouble.
The first factor that could have gone wrong is heat. So, you’ve smoked the meat over high heat. And that’s what made the meat too smoky.
As you know that nothing of too much is good. So, it can be too much smoked paprika on your food. Or too much heat to your meat, but none is good. The high heat will ensure extra smokiness and burn the meat.
The ideal heat will be 225-250 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’ve put the meat over a higher temperature, that turned your meat too smoky.
When it comes to smoking meat, time can be really crucial. If you’ve put the meat on for more than 6-8 hours, that’s the reason.
In some cases, the meat can be smoked for up to 12 hours. But more than that is simply prohibited for any sort of meat.
So you know the ideal time. And you’ve put the meat on smoke for an extra time. As a result, the meat will turn black. See if you’ve worried about why my smoked meat turned black, then we’ve already answered that.
You need to marinate the meat to prepare it for the whole smoking process. It’s important to add some softening agent. As the smoking process takes a long time. And the meat cooks for at least 6 hours.
There’s a high chance that the meat will turn out hard. In some cases when it’s over smoked, the meat tends to be more stiff and rubbery.
And burning some parts will make it even harder to chew.
So while marinating you can add pineapple/tomato juice or powdered bromelain. These will help to tenderize the meat.
If you have skipped these, then this can be a reason behind the too smoky flavor.
How To Remove Smoke Flavor From Meat? 3 Methods!
Coming to the main point, how can you remove the smoky flavor from the meat. Before that, you need to determine whether it’s smoked lightly, medium smoked, or too smoked. And depending on that, you have to choose the right method.
For Lightly Smoked Meat
If the meat is lightly smoked, you don’t need to worry much. Because the fixing will require fewer efforts. So let’s how that can be done.
If the meat is too smoky, to alter the flavor you have to stir fry the meat. Firstly, drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan. Let the oil heat, then add the meat. Now on low heat, let the meat cook for 5-10 minutes.
This way the smokiness will lose reduce due to stir-frying. And you’ll end up with not so smoky meat.
Bay Leaf/Star Anise
If you’ve studied spices, you know how flavorful bay leaf and star anise can be. The ingredients can be in full form or powdered. They will change the whole aroma of a dish changes in no time.
All you need to do is temper bay leaf or star anise in a pan. Then add that infused oil to your meat. And the meat will absorb flavors. At the same time, you’ll get rid of over smokiness.
Another thing you can try to get rid of the smoky flavor from meat is a unique spice blend. So brace yourself, because we will be revealing our secret spice blend. For that, you’ll need-
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 green cardamoms
- 1 black cardamom
- 3-5 black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cumin seed
- ½ teaspoon coriander seed
- 3 cloves
Now roast all these ingredients under low heat. And make a fine powder by grinding them all together. At this moment put all the ingredients in one bowl.
Heat some oil in a pan. When the oil is almost at boiling point take it from the stove. Now pour the hot oil on the spice blend. Then wait for 15 minutes.
The oil is infused by now. You can strain the spices and marinate the meat only with the oil. Or you can use the spices as well. Then fry the meat over low heat. And you’ll never know that the meat was too smoky.
For Medium Smoked Meat
What if you’ve smoked the meat to a medium level? Then the procedure won’t be that simple. But hey, it’s still not impossible to fix the meat. So let’s see what you can do.
Let the smoked meat stew for an hour over low to medium-low heat. You can add veg or beef stock for stewing the meat. You can even cut the meat into small bite-size pieces. So that the broth soaks up some smoky flavor. And adds some of the stew flavors.
As a result, the smoky flavor will be reduced.
You can also cook the meat slowly in a pressure cooker. Take spices of your choice and fill the pressure cooker with water. Add the meat and wait for 30 minutes.
This slow cooking will ensure that the meat gets rid of the smoky flavor.
Both onion and carrot are known to be great flavor absorbents. You can take two yellow onions and 3 carrots. Now cut the onions in half. And cut the carrots to 5cm pieces.
Now take a pan and fill it with water. Then add the onion and carrots. Now let them simmer for an hour. Then add the smoked meat to it. And cover it. Put the heat to medium-low. Let it simmer for an hour.
Then take out only the meat. Now cut it to your preferred size and enjoy.
For Highly Smoked Meat
If the meat is highly smoked. Which can be said to over smoked. One way to tell is that you’ll see creosote over the smoked meat. If you see some, know that the meat is highly smoked.
And getting rid of it now is nearly impossible. But not if you follow the steps to fix the highly smoked meat.
Bring The Meat Out
The first step is pretty simple, as it’s just to take the meat out from the smoker. And as we mentioned before, check for creosote over it. If you find some, then know that it’s over smoked.
Press A Fork Inside
Double-check if it’s actually over smoked or not, by inserting a fork inside the meat. Do not press it too hard. Just simply, try to pinch the meat by pushing it with the fork.
If the fork gets easily inside then consider it perfectly cooked. But if it’s over smoked then chances are high that the meat will be over chewy. And it will be really hard to insert the fork inside.
Cut Off The Upper Layer
Now the only way to save the meat from going to waste is to cut off the burnt parts. While cutting off the creosote, try to cut the meat 1 cm deep. So along with the creosote, the intense smoked flavor also goes away.
So cut off the upper smoky layer. And keep the less smoked meat as it is.
Season With Spices
You need to cut down the burned and messed up part. Now you’re left with the good meat. This meat is mediumly smoked. So you can just apply any of the mentioned methods for medium smoked meat.
Or you can just marinate the meat with teriyaki sauce and let it sit for 20 minutes.
After 20-30 minutes, you can slightly sautee the meat on a pan. Sautee it for 5-6 minutes, as you won’t want to make the meat even chewier.
So keep that in mind while sauteeing the smoked meat.
And you’ll end up with perfectly cooked meat, but without the smoky flavor.
A simple trick to get the smell out of the over smoked or burnt food is to instantly dip it in water. Let it soak for 15 minutes and take it out. The flavor will be reduced by 35%.
After cutting off the meat, you can add spices of your choice to marinate the meat. Like, cumin powder, chili powder, etc. Or you can add BBQ or peri-peri sauce to the meat. Then marinate and cook for a while.
We highly discourage using smoked paprika in fixing smoked meat. As the paprika is already smoked it can add even more smokiness and bitterness to it. But you can use sweet paprika instead.
We have put all our knowledge on how to remove smoke flavor from meat in this article. Hope you’ll be able to put this knowledge to work.
As you’ve been with us the whole time, we would like to share one tip with you.
You can boil the meat in a pressure cooker with chickpeas as well. Chickpeas also absorb smokiness from the meat.
Let us know how you fixed your smoked meat by commenting.
Thank you & happy cooking!