I love my smoker and have made some really good meals, but am still a virgin compared with real experts.
My question is about timing and re-heating.
I like throwing lunch time events, so it’s challenging to smoke things for serving earlier in the day, given that many things take 6, 8, 10 + hours to cook low and slow. Either I’ve got to stay up way late and start the cooking the night before, or get up really, making me a tired host. Dinner is no prob, as I can put things on at 10 am and they start getting ready at 6 pm or so. Serving lunchtime meals is the challenge.
In a perfect world, the meat would come off the grill and served when ready and hot. But for early meals, what about smoking something the day before, with the intent to serve it the next day?
Would you be fine with cooking ribs, brisket or turkey to the right temp, then putting it in the fridge and reheating the next day? Would you then put it back on the smoker to return to a decent temp? Or would you bring it back to heat a bit more quickly (like on a direct grill)? I'm not suggesting to stop the cooking process before it's complete, taking a long break, then starting it up again. Rather, what can be cooked to completion the day before, put in the fridge, and then brought back to a warm temp?
I actually prefer some things that have cooled off and served much later. Cold smoked turkey is fantastic. That said, guests love the fact that you’ve taken the time to cook something for many hours, so it’s nice to present them something as if it’s right off the smoker. It’s a mystery to most.
I'm guessing the "day before" concept is fine with some types of food/meat, but not with others. Your thoughts?