What To Look For In A Smoker

When you’re buying a smoker the first thing you need to know is that a smoker is most defiantly not a grill. The process is totally different. The low and slow cooking is what sets it a part from the two approaches. The best smokers are able to maintain a median temperature between 180 and 250 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the optimum temp for most foods that are smoked. This is a process that insists upon patients and good design but beyond it’s slow process, many people don’t know what to look for in a smoker. Here are some basics that any novice to food smoking should know when shopping around.

• Built-in versus Exterior Thermometers:
Most build-in thermometers for smokers are much less effective than exterior, or individual thermometers. This is because the built-in model just takes the temperature inside the smoker. Doing this can often result in poor results and often cause you to overcook your food. Using a high-quality thermometer is best so you can know the internal degree of all of your food inside the smoker so you can cook your food for the optimum time.

• You Might Not Need To Buy a Smoker:
Smokers are expensive but some argue that it adds an entirely different dynamic to cooking but you might not need to buy a new item. Some experts say that by merely placing wood chips on top of the hot coals in your charcoal grill will give you the same results. You can also buy a smoker box for your gas grill. Using this indirect cooking method will allow you to work with what you already have and give your food that wood-filled taste and aroma without the added cost of a smoker.

• Fuel Costs:
Factor in all of the costs when doing this. The cost of chips or pellets can significantly add to the cost of preparing and smoking food. Some fuels cost more than others. Sometimes just buying wood chips or pellets to your current grill can end up being far more cost-effective.

• Realizing the Cost In Time:
When you’re smoking food it’s important to be patient because the process is quite time consuming. For example, smoking a 5-pound chicken can take up nearly four hours. This all depends on the internal temperature and how tender you want the chicken to be. The longer it takes, the more tender your result will be. Consider this before buying one because smoking your food is for those who take pleasure in the process rather than the end result.

• Account For the Safety Conditions:
Smokers are a bit of a fire risk so it’s best not to place your smoker on a wooden deck. If you are, place it on a heatproof surface. Some recommend putting it over a metal tray filled with sand in order to catch any drips or falling debris. You should also get a smoker with a drip pan. This is to also help with the later cleanup as well as any fire hazards that may result from hot liquids interacting with flammable surfaces.

Smoking food isn’t easy but it’s quite rewarding so before you make any purchases, consider these factors. The Internet is also a very helpful tool in this research process. You can find tips and tricks to use your smoker more effectively and also get the less expensive options. Do the research before you buy because you’re likely to save yourself a lot of time and money that would otherwise be devoted to trial-and-error.

2 thoughts on “What To Look For In A Smoker

  1. Ricky Retardo

    Informative article, but I have to disagree with at least one opinion stated in the article. You stated, “smoking your food is for those who take pleasure in the process rather than the end result.” Everyone I kow, without exception, who enjoys cooking and eating smoked meats, laments in the finished product! That is why they engage in the process; for the end result…tastiness AND tenderness.

  2. Gas Grills On Sale

    I agree, there are not many people that doesn’t enjoy that smoky flavor. I recently ate smoked eel, and believe me there would be no other way I would want to eat them. The one question I have is that there are many of us that like the flavor but just can’t afford some fancy smoker. Is there a simple one either available for little money or even plans for building our own that we can use on are gas grills. I have a portable gas grill that I love to take fishing, if there some simple box or whatever, I could smoke em as I catch em. It wouldn’t have to be very big in fact small and portable would be a big concern.

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