For an easy and delicious way to cook meat, smoking is one of the best. Thankfully, gone were the days when smoking meat requires a lot of time and effort. Nowadays, with the use of an electric smoker, it will be quicker and easier when compared to using gas or charcoal smoker.
Some people, however, are intimidated over the idea of using an electric smoker. Truth is, the process is pretty much straightforward and almost similar across different brands and models. If you want to learn how to use an electric smoker, read on and learn from some of the insights that we will be sharing.
A Step-By-Step Guide on How to Use an Electric Smoker
There can be slight variations depending on the specific smoker that you are using. Generally, the following are the simple steps that you have to follow:
Season the Smoker
If the smoker is new, you have to season it before the initial use. The manufacturer will most probably provide specific instructions on how this can be done. Simply put, it is a process of turning on the smoker and using it the way you would normally do, but the difference is that it isn’t loaded with any food yet. This will help in eliminating dirt and odor.
Prepare and Season the Meat
Before you proceed to the actual smoking procedure, you have to get the meat ready. It should be seasoned and flavored depending on personal preferences. Try to stay away from strong flavors so that the smoked taste will be more apparent.
Now is the time for you to load the wood chips in the built-in tray. For every three to five hours of smoking, you will most probably need about four cups of wood chips.
Start your Smoker
Plug the smoker and turn on the power switch. Depending on the model that you have, you need to pre-heat the smoker to make it ready for the next steps. The preheating temperature should be around 200 to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. In the case of most smokers, this will last up to 45 minutes.
After the smoker has already been pre-heated, place water at the bottom chamber. For the optimal temperature, consider adding hot instead of cold water.
Add the Meat
Once pre-heated, you should put the meat on the rack. See to it that it is centered. Arrange them properly, making sure that they are not crowded on one side.
Now, you can close the door and start the smoker. Consult your recipe to see the exact duration that you will need to smoke the meat, as well as the recommended temperature range. Patience is a virtue, so you need to learn how to wait.
Monitor the Process
If more wood chips and water are needed, make sure to add them accordingly. Be in the know when it is already done. If you over-smoke the meat, it will have an overpowering and burnt flavor. If you under-smoke, on the other hand, it will have a weak flavor.
Allow the Meat to Rest
Once smoking is done, be sure to let the meat rest for 15 to 20 minutes before it is served. This will allow the flavors to fully-settle to make it taste better.
Tips and Tricks for Using an Electric Smoker
Before we end this post, allow us to give you some helpful tips to make the most out of the smoker that you are using:
- The choice of wood chips is important. Hardwood chips are best for smoking, such as pecan, apple, and mesquite. Softwood should be avoided because they usually result in foul flavors.
- Do not open or close the door during the process of smoking. This will allow the heat and smoke to escape.
- Check the internal temperature of the meat to be sure that it is already done. This will help eliminate guesswork on your end.
- See to it that the smoker is in a proper position for its safety and consistency.
- Clean the smoker right after every use, especially the cooking grates. Dirt will be harder to remove once it has hardened. To make the racks easier to clean, it will be good to wrap it in foil before you start smoking.
As discussed in this short post about how to use an electric smoker, the process is pretty much easy. You do not need to be an expert to do this. It is also not necessary that you are a trained chef to prepare a mouthwatering smoked treat!