You felt the rush – you grabbed your wallet, entered the credit card details and BAM – your life changed forever! Ok, well, maybe thats a bit of an exaggeration but most of us have bought things on impulse and then thought – what the hell am I going to do with an XYZ!?! And electric wood smokers are no exception!
Well, fear not, because if you are now the new proud owner of an electric wood smoker but dont know what to do next then here are some simple tips to help you get started.
Luckily, they are easy to use and while there are some basic considerations when learning the art of using an electric smoker most folks can pick up the basics quickly. Its also worth mentioning that no matter how much money you invested in your smoker, if you fail to use it correctly, chances are you won’t enjoy the full experience. You also want to care for your smoker and make sure it gives service for years to come so, without further ado here are my top 10 steps to effectively use an electric smoker.
This advice may come too late but choose your smoker wisely. Evaluate the different types of electric smokers (hint: you can read some great electric smoker reviews here :)) and decide which one is best for you. Vertical water smokers are great if you plan to use them outdoors during the summer months because. while they are affordable, they often have trouble in maintaining their internal temperature when it is cold outside. Electric cabinet smokers, on the other hand, are suitable for all types of weather because they come with a temperature gauge that enables you to control the temperature to your requirements.
Always read the instructions before using the best electric smoker. It might seem like common sense, but many people (ok guys!) skip this step. Each smoker is different, so you should get a good understating of how it works before diving in. Manufacturers usually provide comprehensive instructions – so read them!
Electric smokers need to be seasoned before use. This process is meant to make them suitable for cooking meat by removing odors or other leftovers from the manufacturing process such as dust. You should follow the instructions for seasoning but, again its quite straightforward. Usually, you just have to coat the internal surfaces and the racks with cooking oil and let the smoker operate for around two hours. Once this is done, you can open it and let it cool down. You’re ready to cook!
This should go without saying but if you want the best results buy the best quality meat you can afford and prepare it well. You can get lots of cooking tips in this section of the site.
Use a dry rub such as salt or sugar or an acidic marinade to season the meat before putting it in the electric smoker. You can use the herbs of your choice for flavoring the meat.
Allow the meat to sit in a marinade overnight in order for all the flavors to blend in.
Prepare the smoker for use by turning it on in advance of cooking. If it also has a water receptacle, make sure you add the right amount of water so that your food comes out moist and not under-cooked.
Buy some flavored wood chips. They are available at your local grocery or hardware store, but you can also buy them online if you want. For the best results I recommend you try cherry, maple, hickory, plum, alder, or cedar chips and add them in the designated container. Most electric smokers need around 4 cups of chips in order to operate for three to five hours.
Only put the meat in the smoker when this has reached the desired temperature. Make sure you do not place it before of it, because you will ruin it. The best electric smokers usually come with a temperature gauge which enables you to set to a specific temperature to get the best results depending on what you are cooking. Modern cookers even feature technology such as BlueTooth so you dont even need to be next to the cooker to monitor and adjust the temperature – how clever is that!.
Once the desired temperature is reached, simply pop in the meat and wait until it is cooked. This usually takes between 3 and 8 hours depending on the dish but always use a meat thermometer to avoid under or over cooked food.
So, there you go. 10 simple. actionable steps to get you up and running. I hope you found them useful now go on…get smokin’