Smoked Cooked Meats are the nutritional gold standard for red meat. Eating them has many health benefits, including lower cholesterol levels and an increase in lean muscle mass compared to other forms of red meat. These benefits make them a great choice for your next meal, but you should know that not all smoked, cooked meats are created equal. Some meats may contain more fat than others, so they aren’t as healthy as other varieties.
Things To Know About Smoked Cooked Meats
1. The Smoked Cooked Meats
Keep in mind that smoking meat is a simple process. The meat is placed in a large metal smoker, sealed with a fire extinguisher, and then cooked for an extended period (24-48 hours, depending on the size of the smoker). While this can certainly make for some great-tasting smoked meats, it also has some dangers. One of these dangers is the range of smoke particles in the meat. Smaller particles, meters small and released in smaller doses, can lead to long-term health problems. Larger particles, however, are released in larger doses and do not appear to cause this problem.
2. The Smoke
When you smoke meat, you are smoking the smoke itself. The smoke is the flavor that the meat imparts upon your dish – it is integral to the taste of your dish once it has been cooked. The Smoked Cooked Meats are most tender when the meats are cooked at a low heat and slowly exposed to the smoke for a long period. Smoking meat at high temperatures and low intervals will leave your food tasting “different” and expose you to more smoke particles.
3. The Temperature
Meat comprises muscle cells filled with fat, water, connective tissue, and blood, mostly liquid. As a result, a thick cut of meat (think corned beef or brisket) will expand during cooking to become more like a paste. That is what gives smoked cooked meats their tenderness, but it also makes them not as healthy as other cuts of meat. The fat will break down, and the proteins, in turn, will begin to solidify into hard lumps. When this happens, the meat loses its succulent texture and tastes dry instead of moist.
4. The Shortenings
Most smoked cooked meats contain various shortenings, which may or may not be harmful. These shortenings are primarily used to keep the meat moist and help regulate the smoke, so you will often see them on the ingredient list. Most people remove these ingredients from their meats because they can give your dish an artificial flavor, but if not for these additives, you would not get your tenderness back.
Eating smoked cooked meats has many health benefits, so you must know what you are getting into before making these delicious dishes. Knowing about the smoke particles released from smoking meat can help educate you to make a decision for yourself. If it bothers you to know about the smoke particles, don’t eat them.