When you read articles or blog posts about how to smoke meat, you inevitably come across one of those old school cooks saying that aluminum foil is the only way to go when smoking meat. But what if you don’t have any aluminum foil on hand? Well, there are a lot of alternatives out there for smoking meat without using aluminum foil.
In this article, we will discuss some options that you can use instead of aluminum in order to avoid using it in the first place. Many people think that cooking with an aluminum-based substance is healthier than cooking with non-aluminum counterparts. However, most of us forget that cooking with an artificial metal doesn’t necessarily mean it is healthy or safe to ingest.
What is the Difference Between Cooking With Aluminum and Non-Aluminum?
Aluminum is a synthetic metal that is not found in nature. It is not found in any foods, plants, or animals. Aluminum is not naturally occurring in our bodies and has been linked to brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Parkinson’s-like diseases. The reason why aluminum is used in a lot of pans and utensils is because it is non-reactive which means that it does not react with foods or ingredients.
On the other hand, many non-aluminum alternatives are natural and bioavailable. For example, iron is present in abundance in our bodies. But, iron is not suitable for cooking. Iron turns into rust when exposed to excess heat which is why we do not consume iron-rich foods.
How to Avoid Using Aluminum When Smoking Meat
– Buy stainless steel bowls or pans for smoking. Aluminum bowls or pans will not only cause the food to taste bad, but they are also unsafe to use for smoking.
– Use paper towels to wipe the surface of the aluminum bowls or pans instead of using paper towels to clean the surface because paper towels contain starch which reacts with aluminum.
– When storing meat in aluminum bowls or pans, use freezer bags instead of aluminum bowls.
– When storing meat in freezer, leave aluminum bowls at room temperature and not in the freezer where they will pick up more aluminum, and put them back in the freezer when you are ready to use them again.
Baking Soda as an Alternative for Smokers
Baking soda is a great alternative to aluminum when using it as a smoker. Why? Baking soda is a natural substance that is present in abundance in our bodies and is also safe to ingest. Baking soda has a low alkaline content which makes it great for smoking meat. You can also use baking soda to make homemade pickles or relish as it is also a preservative.
Moreover, when you use baking soda as a smoker, it does not produce the same metallic taste that aluminum does. You do not have to worry about different metallic flavors coming from aluminum or other toxic metals when using baking soda as a smoker. Baking soda can be used in the same way as aluminum foil when smoking. However, baking soda is also safe to use when making homemade sausage, jerky, or other types of meat snacks.
Wood Chips as an Alternative for Smokers
There are many who have turned to using wood chips as smokers. There are a lot of advantages of using wood chips as smokers. Wood chips are not only cheaper, but they produce less emissions as well than propane and gas smokers. Moreover, wood chips are a renewable resource and do not deplete the atmosphere of oxygen like propane and gas smokers.
Moreover, wood chips last longer than propane and gas smokers, and they are easy to clean up. Having said all of this, one thing that you need to keep in mind when using wood chips as smokers is that they will only smoke foods for about 1 hour. They are not suitable for long-term smoking, and they are also not for grilling foods as well.
Wood chips can be used in the same way as aluminum foil when smoking. Advantages of using wood chips as smokers are that they don’t produce harmful metals, and there is no need to refill them. Wood chips are also a sustainable alternative for smokers. They produce less emissions, and they are also a renewable resource. Moreover, wood chips last longer than propane and gas smokers.
Liquid Smoke as an Alternative for Smokers
One of the most interesting alternatives when it comes to smoking meat without aluminum is to use liquid smoke as a smoker. Liquid smoke is a great substitute for using propane as a smoker. Unlike propane and gas smokers, liquid smoke is a sustainable, renewable, and environmental-friendly alternative.
Moreover, liquid smoke has been used as a flavoring agent in many dishes for decades, and it has no adverse health effects on the people who consume it. Liquid smoke is a great substitute for using propane as a smoker. It produces less emissions, and it is also a renewable resource.
Moreover, liquid smoke does not contain any harmful metals, and there is no need to refill it. One thing that you need to keep in mind when using liquid smoke as a smoker is that it can only be used for smoking foods that can withstand high temperatures like jerky, sausages, hams, and other types of meat snacks.
When it comes to smoking meat, it is always recommended to use stainless steel bowls or pans. Aluminum bowls or pans are not only unsafe to use for smoking, but they are also unsafe to consume the food in. Furthermore, when using aluminum for smoking meat, make sure to clean the surface with paper towels to prevent the aluminum from contaminating the surface.
Furthermore, you should use freezer bags to store the smoked meat in the freezer so that it does not pick up aluminum from the surface. Furthermore, when using a normal frying pan for smoking meat, you will notice that the food tastes metallic. This is because the aluminum in the pan reacts with the food flavoring it.
This is why it is recommended to use stainless steel bowls or pans for smoking meat. Moreover, wood chips can also be used as smokers. However, wood chips are only suitable for smoking foods that can withstand high temperatures like jerky, sausages, hams, and other types of meat snacks.