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Unveiling the smoky secrets of India: A guide to meat smoking


Unveiling the smoky secrets of India: A guide to meat smoking

India, the land of vibrant spices and aromatic curries, might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of smoky, slow-cooked meats. But nestled in the verdant hills of the Northeast, a unique tradition of smoking meats thrives. Here, we’ll delve into this lesser-known culinary art, explore the techniques, and show you how to incorporate this exotic flavor profile into your own kitchen – with a touch of BraaiCraft magic, of course.

A Smoke-Kissed Legacy

Unlike the well-known methods of tandoor or clay oven cooking, smoking meats in the Northeast serve a dual purpose: preservation and flavour enhancement. This technique passed down through generations, ensures a readily available protein source in the region’s cooler climate. Traditionally, meats like pork and beef are cured with a blend of spices, and then hung over smoldering wood fires in open hearths. The smoke, infused with the essence of local woods like oak and bamboo, slowly infuses the meat, imbuing it with a deep, rich smokiness that’s unlike anything you’ve experienced before.


The Allure of Smoke

Smoking meats is an art, a slow dance between fire, wood, and time. Unlike grilling, where the focus is on searing the exterior, smoking involves maintaining a low and steady temperature (ideally between 70°C and 90°C, or 158°F and 194°F) for several hours. This allows the smoke to gently penetrate the meat, tenderize it, and impart its complex flavours. The type of wood used also plays a crucial role. Fruitwoods like apple or cherry impart a sweet smokiness, while stronger woods like hickory or mesquite lend a more robust, earthy character.


Bringing the Smoke Home: A BraaiCraft Adventure

Now, you might be wondering, how can you recreate this age-old Indian tradition in your own backyard? Here’s where BraaiCraft steps in. While traditional methods involve open hearths, for a more controlled and convenient experience, consider our top-of-the-line smokers.

  • Bunker: This versatile smoker allows you to hot or cold smoke, making it perfect for experimenting with Indian-inspired recipes. Utilize reverse flow offset mode for the perfect smoke ring and introduce different woods to create your own unique smoke blends.
  • Vuurmuur: This compact smoker is ideal for urban balconies or smaller spaces. It delivers incredible results without sacrificing flavor or convenience.


Smoking Your Way to Nirvana

Ready to embark on your smoky Indian culinary adventure? Here’s a basic recipe to get you started:


Smoked Pork Recipe with Naga Chilli Spice Rub


  • 1 kg boneless pork shoulder
  • 2 tbsp Naga chilli powder (adjust according to your spice preference)
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • Salt to taste
  • Wood chips of your choice (applewood or a blend recommended for pork)


  1. Combine the dry spices, ginger-garlic paste, and salt to create a rub. Apply generously to the pork, ensuring it’s well coated.
  2. Preheat your BraaiCraft smoker to 90°C (194°F).
  3. Soak the wood chips in water for 30 minutes. Drain and add them to the smoker’s chip feeder.
  4. Place the pork on the smoker rack and smoke for 6-8 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 74°C (165°F). Baste the pork occasionally with its own drippings or a mixture of water and honey.
  5. Once cooked, remove the pork and let it rest for 20 minutes before slicing.


The smoky, succulent result will leave you wanting more. Explore different spice combinations, experiment with wood varieties, and discover the hidden world of Indian-style smoked meats. With BraaiCraft by your side, you’ll be a smoke master in no time!

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