An important step in smoking protein of any kind is the meat preparation. It's never good practice to bring home a cut of meat from the butcher or supermarket and place it straight into the smoker without first inspecting and trimming. The exception of course is if your butcher has done the work for you, but in any case it's best to learn how and what to look for when trimming up different cuts of meat for the smoker. A large seam of fat, layer of tough silver-skin or a sheet of membrane left on a finished product can be the difference between a great meal and an average or even bad meal. Not only can membrane and silver-skin be tough and chewy it can also hinder smoke permeation and rub adhering to the meat surface. There is quite a large array of protein cuts that any one pit-master will encounter in their time and experience will be the best teacher when it comes to what is the best method to trim each cut. Indeed personal taste will also play a big part in your trimming style with any particular cut of protein. In some cases there is no distinct right or wrong way to do things, this is where experience and personal taste will guide you in the direction which best works for you. It's important before starting to get a plan in your head of what you wish to achieve with your trim and plan your cuts in advance. A good sharp boning knife and large chopping board are essential pieces of equipment as well as a cleaver and chefs knife can both be handy.
In the following articles we will run through the best techniques for trimming and preparing the most common meats used in Low n Slow cooking.
A sharp boning knife is essential