If you’re willing to brave the cold weather for a romantic or family-style picnic, a charcuterie platter makes the perfect cold weather spread. Warm up this winter with smoked meats! You can smoke your own meats at home with your oven or with the smoker on top of a multi-purpose grill. Smoking meat creates a rustic, outdoorsy flavor profile that celebrates the outdoors.
To smoke your own pork or beef in the oven:
Purchase some hickory or mesquite wood chips
Submerge the chips in water for a few hours
Drain the chips (save a little bit of the water)
Preheat oven to 250 degrees
Adjust the oven rack so it is closest to the bottom
Place chips and a thin layer of the soaking water in a metal pan on the shelf
Place a metal baking rack over the chips
Place your meat on the baking rack
Make a tent out of aluminum foil to seal the roasting pan on all sides (leave room at the top for smoke to circulate)
Let the meat slow-cook for 3-6 hours (depending on amount and type)
The chips will absorb water, so periodically replace layer of water in pan
Check the internal temperature of the meat periodically
Let cool, then slice and enjoy!
Smoked meats (especially ham) will taste great with a hard or semi-hard, rich cheese like smoked Gouda, gorgonzola or camembert. Pack a nice, crusty bread in your picnic basket. Soft breads will harden in the cold, but choices such ciabatta or a baguette will work perfectly.