How to Use an Electric Smoker
How to Use an Electric Smoker: Tips for Beginners
It is important that you know how to use an electric smoker in order to get the best from the product and to be confident that the output will turn out as expected. For many people, the aroma and flavor of smoked meat is something that reminds them of bonding with family and friends. Having smoked meats is something that many homeowners want, but not all can afford to do so, either because of the price or the lack of knowledge on how such can be operated. Well, I have good news for you! The succeeding paragraphs will provide you with some practical tips on operating an electric smoker.
Quick Guide on How to Use an Electric Smoker
- Know the Different Parts
One of the most important things that you should do is to be mindful of the different parts that are found in the electric smoking machine. Some of the most common parts that are included are body, grills, water pan, lava rock pan, heating element, lids, bracket, handle, and base. If you are familiar with the parts, it will be easier for you to complete the assembly and to ensure that smoking will be a snap all the time.
- Have the Electric Smoker Cured or Seasoned
All brand new electric smokers will need to be cured or smoked before the first use. To do this, it is recommended that you carefully read the instructions from the manufacturer to avoid missing any important procedure. More often than not, you will need to coat the racks with the use of cooking oil. After this, you need to operate the unit for a couple of hours, which will help in the removal of solvents and other residues from the process of manufacturing. Periodically cleaning with the use of water and baking soda is also recommended to maintain the best quality of the product.
- Season the Meat
Before the meat is even placed inside the smoker, make sure to add flavor, which will depend on the result that is anticipated. Marinades, dry rubs, and exotic spices, among others, should be used in order to get the flavor that will match your personal preference. It is good if you can leave the marinade overnight so that the flavor will seep through the meat.
For people who would like to have a woody flavor, it is recommended to use wood chips that can be added to the electric smoker. About 4 cups of wood chips will be needed if you expect that the smoking will last for up to five hours.
- Set the Timer
For people with busy lifestyle, it is impossible to be near the electric smoker all the time, which make sit important to have the timer set in the right duration. As a rule of thumb, before the smoker is plugged on the socket, make sure that the meat is already fully prepared. See to it that the time is set right to ensure consistency of the results and to avoid over or under-cooking.
- Set the Temperature
Aside from time, temperature is another thing that has significant impact on the results of smoking. See to it as well that the meat has been thawed before it is placed inside. If you want to achieve a cold smoke, the temperature should be set at 80 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit for 4 hours to 4 days. On the other hand, for hot smoke, the temperature should be set at 160 to 190 degrees Fahrenheit.
There are many kinds of meat thermometers that are available in the marketplace. Make sure to choose one with well-though design and that can deliver accurate temperature readings to be assured of consistent smoked output.
- Be Mindful of Safety
This reduces the risks of accidents in other unfortunate circumstances, make sure that safety is prioritized. The electric smoker should be used in an open area and away from electric stoves and gas. It should not be also operated in an area that is windy. As much as possible, do not use an extension cord. Do not let children operate the unit in absence of adult supervision.
- Allow the Meat to Rest
This is the last step in the process. Once the smoking is done, have the meat removed from the smoker and place it in a clean container or plate. Once the meat is removed, unplug the smoker and follow the steps provided by the manufacturer when it comes to cleaning the unit.
Different Recipes, Different Methods
While meats are commonly smoked, there are others that can be considered, such as in the case of vegetables. This will depend on what the user wants. In this case, it is important to keep in mind that the methods and procedures for smoking may vary significantly depending on what it is that you place inside the smoker.
It will be good to have a recipe book with you all the time, especially in consideration of the fact that you are just a beginner. The recipe book will provide a step-by-step guide, often in instructions that are very comprehensive to avoid missing any step. See to it that you carefully follow what is being stated in the recipe book, the same way that you will follow the procedures noted in the instruction manual from the manufacturer of the electric smoker.
The things that have been mentioned above are general discussions on how one can effectively use an electric smoker. However, I recommend that you do not forget to consult with the manual that is provided as each manufacturer may have their different specifications and instructions on how their products can be used. At the end of the day, safety should be prioritized, and this can be done by avoiding doing things based on what you believe is right rather than following the precautions noted by the manufacturer.