Have you learned of barbecues, grills, or smokers etc and in wonder as to how you can get the best food results from a smoker.
Well, you need not worry further as we share with you these easy to follow guidelines to teach you how to use a smoker for the tastiest and most excellent done foods that you can imagine.
Go deep with us in this article to be a pro at your barbecue.
1. Make your smoker choice from the lot by powering kind.
By the lot we mean the four main kinds of smokers available on the market currently. Smokers are powered by four main forms, either by charcoal, by propane, by electricity or by offsetting.
Either options are solely dependent on the users choice of fueling and flavoring expectations.
In our article on the best smokers on the market, we share some outstanding kinds that can aid with your purchase if you are yet to get one.
Further, our different articles on how to use each of the various kinds of smokers teach you amazing tricks and techniques for getting the best out of your cook in relation to the kind of grill that you use.
2. Prepare your food first before anything else.
Before starting up and preheating your food, the first thing you want to consider is getting your meat, veggies etc all prepped up first.
By this we mean, cleaning up your food, taking away unnecessary fats and marinating your food with fresh spices.
Usually marination takes at least 30 minutes to be effective, so you want to ensure that you are giving the food enough time to absorb as much flavors as desired.
3. Preheat your smoker in readiness for the food
Once the food is spiced and tucked in the refrigerator to be marinated, you should power up your smoker and get it preheated before the food is introduced.
Start up your smoker and get it heated up to a temperature range of 250 oF to 350 oF.
Do bare in mind that before the food is introduced into the smoker, the temperature will have to be dropped to between 225 oF to 250 oF. This ensures that the food is cooked in a fairly heated environment.
Preheating the smoker allows for two main things: it disinfects the smoker of any germs, and creates a warm environment to get the food to start cooking once it is placed in it.
4. Start the smoky flavor creation process.
Without any further introduction, adding smoky flavors to your barbecue when cooking is a key aspect to grilling great food.
For this reason, almost all smokers make provision for flavored wood chips to be added to the cooking process.
Select your preferred flavored wood chip, soak it for at least 30 minutes in preparation to be used.
After 30 minutes, drain the water off the wood chips and fill the wood chip loader built in your smoker with the wood chips. Fill the loader with as much wood chips that it can take per time.
5. Create moisture for your cook.
Moisture is also a key aspect for getting the best food results on your food, and so this should be the next step before introducing the food.
Some smokers come with a water pan usually located at the bottom of the smoker beneath the grill grates. The essence of this pan is to be filled with water, spices and herbs which will be evaporated upwards to the food during the cooking process, creating moisture during the cook.
If you do not have a water pan already located in the smoker, you can always use an aluminum pan to serve this need.
Fill up the pan with water and some choice herbs, and place it beneath the grill grates positioned to be directly under the food.
6. Close the lid of the smoker to continue preheating.
Once, the wood chips and water pan are positioned well, do not introduce the food just yet.
Remember that the goal is to get the smoker to be in good heat before the food comes in. So, close the door of the smoker and secure it with its latching lock if it has one to lock as much heat in.
Leave the smoker to keep preheating up to your required temperature gauge. You can use the attached readable thermometer situated on the smoker to help you determine the right temperature.
7. Time for the food
Once the smoker has preheated to your desired temperature, it is now a good time to get your food cooking.
By this time your food will have marinated well, and will be in good shape to be introduced to some heat.
Open the door of the smoker and with the help of a ladle, place the meat on the grill grates directly over the water pan.
Position the food in a manner that allows it to have the best heat access as you will desire.
8. Baste your food to prevent it from drying out.
Before closing the smoker, baste your food with some liquid spices. This can be a blend of ginger, peppers, onions or any ideal spice blend of your choice.
Use a clean basting brush to apply the spice on the food, meat especially, in moderate quantities.
This is to ensure the food does not dry out during the cook as an addition to the moisture being created in the smoker from the water pan. Basting also adds some flavoring to the food as it cooks. ‘
Thereafter, close the lid of the smoker bearing in mind that you will not be opening the smoker for about the next hour or two. Reduce the heat to between 225 oF and 250 oF and start cooking.
9. Add some more wood chips
Halfway into the cooking process, you may want to refill the wood chip loader with some wood chips as the earlier load may have burned out.
This is to ensure that the smoky flavors that is being given to the food is still in full force for super flavored foods.
You may soak the wood chips in water ahead of time or use unsoaked wood chips instead. The results are of no much difference.
10. Keep your eye on the thermometer
The thermometer is the only unit during the cook that will let you know of the food’s state of doneness. So, you want to ensure that your thermometer is of accurate read.
Constantly, check the heat levels of the food with the thermometer and if you happen to have too much heat or smoke circulating in the smoker, use the caveats situated at the top and/ or sides of the smoker to let out smoke and heat.
Make the thermometer your counterpart when smoking and you will be sure to get the best doneness on your foods.
11. Add some finishing sauce to the food as preferred
About this time, the food should be about 15 to 10 minutes up to doneness. This is a good time to apply some finishing sauce to the food to enhance the taste.
You may use hot sauces or to go easy, use a common BBQ sauce, and you will be amazed at the flavors and taste that will be derived.
This process, however, is not a compulsory step and can be skipped if you are not big on much flavoring or the recipe does not allow for this step to applied. If this is the case move to the next step.
12. The food is ready
Once the timer is done, carefully remove the food onto a serving platter using a heat proof ladle.
Let the food sit for 5 to 10 minutes before you actually start serving. This allows it to cook further making the spices settle in nicely for a great bite. It also allows the food cool well to avoid mouth burns.
Share your food with family and friends, and be on the standby to be applauded for a great cook.