Gone are the days when traditional grills were a staple for all homes and BBQ restaurants. Nowadays, most barbecue lovers are drifting towards what many would call the appliance of the decade. Electric smokers, as they are widely called, are the ideal element for professional kitchens. They are compact, efficient, and the best substitute for a grill.
If you have seen this cooking appliance, probably on the TV, at a friend’s place, or while searching for an ideal replacement for your faulty grill, you may want to know how they work. If that’s the case, you should count yourself lucky as you are in the right place.
What is an electric smoker?
An electric smoker is a cooking appliance that cooks food with the aid of hot electric rods (its heating source). Unlike the typical traditional grill, this device does not emit smoke, and it requires nothing but electricity to operate. Electric smokers are available in a wide array of designs, offering many options to choose from. In addition, each model of this device comes with different features, like control buttons, smoking racks, temperature options, etc.
Using an electric smoker-steps
- 1. What type of smoker should you go for?
You need to make up your mind about the type of smoker you need and what works best for you. For example, if you reside in colder environments, you may want to consider going for the vertical electric smoker. Mind you; they can as well be used in warmer conditions. So, while searching for the ideal cooking smoker to buy, make sure you choose one that suits you and your environment.
- Go through the instruction manual.
Each type of smoker comes with different features, pros, and cons. They also come with different instructions. Thus, after selecting the Electric Smoker of your choice, you’ll have to go through the manual to understand how it works. Most manufacturers usually attach a manual to each product. However, if you don’t have one, you can find them on the manufacturer’s website.
- Season your electric smoker to get it ready.
After reading and digesting the user manual of the smoker, the next step to take is to prepare the device. Since it is quite new, there is a possibility that it’ll contain dust, solvents, and other unwanted substances. Use cooking oil to coat the walls and racks of the appliance before using it. Having gotten rid of the dust, solvent, and all, turn on the device and leave it to run for almost 2 hours. Afterward, turn it off and let it cool.
- Preparing your meat
Preparing your meat is the easiest and most important part. If done well, the result should be well-smoked meat. However, if the reverse is the case, you’ll be left with badly smoked meat. The preparation method is usually different for all meat. However, regardless of the meat you’ll be smoking, always ensure that you marinate it. This is one step that is common for all types of meat.
- Seasoning your meat
You can season your meat by either using a dry rub or a smoked brisket rub, whichever you prefer. As you already know, seasoning involves applying the necessary ingredients to give your meat the ideal flavor. There is no established rule on how to season your meat. You are allowed to season it according to your taste.
- 6. Allow the meat to settle
After preparing and seasoning the meat, give it some time to settle, probably for a night. Doing so will make the meat soak up the ingredients and flavors, which are essential to the overall taste of the meat.
- Add water to the smoker before switching it on
Before turning on the smoker, it is crucial that you add water to it. A lot of electric smokers come with water receptacles for this purpose. However, if yours lacks one, ensure you add water before switching it on.
- Make sure you use the right wood chips
Using the best wood chips for your electric smoker will ensure that your meat tastes great! You can easily purchase these chips at grocery stores, including hardware. If you wouldn’t want to stress yourself, you can also order it from an online retail store. While going through the perfect wood chips for your smoker, ensure you consider their compatibility with the model you own. Each type of wood chips works best for different kinds of electric smokers. So, ensure you go for the one that is compatible with yours. You can try cedar, plum, alder, or hickory as they are perfect for electric smokers.
- Keeping an eye on the smoker’s temperature
Don’t just start smoking your meat after switching on the electric smoker and tuning it to your desired temperature. Ensure you wait a little while for it to reach the temperature before smoking. Doing so will ensure that the meat cooks appropriately.
- Kickoff the smoking process
Begin the smoking process as soon as the electric device reaches the desired temperature. Place the meat on the rack in the smoker. Keep in mind that the smoking process can take up to 3-8 hours, so learn to exercise patience.
Finally, with the help of a simple meat thermometer, you can monitor the internal temperature of the meat. These are all the necessary information you need to know before operating your first electric smoker. With this information, you should be able to smoke your favorite meat at any time.
Electric smokers are becoming increasingly popular, both in professional kitchens and traditional homes. Maybe with time, these efficient cooking tools should push traditional grills to extinction. That said, it’s best you consider adding one of these cooking tools to your cooking appliances so you’re not behind on the trend. While you consider owning one, it makes sense that you also think about learning how to operate it. I hope this article provides the best and clear-cut insights into its usage.