Nothing can beat the feeling of eating a rack of ribs that are falling off the bone. The meat is so tender that it melts in your mouth. That’s the level of deliciousness that cooking with a smoker can give you.
Using a traditional grill to get the perfect grill marks is all well and good, but if your food is dry, what was the point? So, now we bet you’re wondering how to use a smoker grill. We’re glad you asked.
Check out this guide to learn how to navigate your way around the different types of smokers and figure out how to get perfect results each and every time.
Choose Your Weapon
Before you can become a smoker grill master, you’ve got to pick one out. The most popular types of smokers are charcoal, gas, and electric.
Charcoal smokers cook food over a long period of time using (wait for it) charcoal. It’s not the same as your standard charcoal grill. It takes longer and produces a bolder flavor.
Since everyone and their mom is familiar with charcoal, it’ll be easy for you to find a good smoker. The biggest problem with charcoal smokers is that you have to babysit them.
The temperature isn’t as consistent as it is with the other types on this list, so if you’re not careful, you’ll mess up your food. The other thing is that it takes a long time to heat up.
Gas smokers use gas to cook meat to perfection. Sort of self-explanatory. They’re not as hard to use as a charcoal smoker.
The temperature stays consistent, so you can set it up and forget about it. It also heats up a lot faster. You can find propane gas pretty much anywhere, but you’re going to need a lot of it.
You may burn through two bottles every time you cook. If your gas tank is running low, you’ll then have to start babysitting your meal. You’ll have to check it every half hour or so to make sure it’s still working.
If you’re looking for the ultimate laid-back experience, electric smokers are going to be your best bet. Since they don’t use a fuel source like charcoal or gas, you can leave your food and forget about it for a few hours.
All you have to do is tell it what temperature to cook the meat on and go about your day. Many of them come with Bluetooth connectivity, so you’ll be able to adjust the temperature using a smartphone app.
You may have to refill the water bowl every now and again, but that’s about it. The ease of use makes this the best smoker for beginners.
We will say that the other smokers we’ve mentioned create a better flavor because they actually allow the woodchips to combust. It works like a dream for soft foods like fish and cheese.
It doesn’t work as well for chicken or beef. You’ll be hard-pressed to get that crispy top layer that you’re looking for using an electric smoker.
Cure the Smoker
Whatever type of smoker that you use, you’ll have to cure it. What we mean is that you’ll need to run it for a few hours before you place your meat inside.
Light the firebox (if your smoker has one) and let the internal temperature reach 400 degrees. Once it’s gotten to this mark, adjust the temperature so it falls closer to the 200-degree mark. This process will remove any contaminants and get a nice smoke going.
Place the Fuel
Place your fuel source into the smoker. This is your gas, charcoal, or electricity. Next, you’ll add the wood chips. There are several different kinds you can choose from.
The kind you choose will alter the taste of your meat. Make sure that you get chemical-free chips and charcoal. It’s better for your health and the meat will taste better for it.
You should also spring for the pre-soaked wood chips if you’re going to use them.
Prepare and Add Your Meat
Pick out a dry rub or marinade to put on your meat. You can buy a good one in a store or find a recipe online that you can prepare. Either way, you need to have your rub ready the day before because it needs to sit on the meat overnight.
This will give the meat some time to absorb all the flavors before you smoke it. Once the meat is done marinating, you can throw your wood chips into the smoker, light the fire, set the temperature, and place the food.
The Art of Temperature Control
The average temperature to smoke your meat falls between 180-250 degrees. This may change depending on what type of meat you’re cooking.
For example, you won’t smoke something as delicate as fish on the same temperature settings as beef. Be careful when dealing with electric and gas smokers. They get a little hotter than charcoal ones.
Smokers have vents that you can open to let the heat escape when things start to get too hot. Take advantage of this and keep an eye on the built-in thermometer that comes complete with most smokers.
How to Use a Smoker Grill 101
If you’re looking for delicious meat that falls right off the bone, you need to learn how to use a smoker grill. Not only will your food turn out amazing, but they’re easy to use.
So, what are you waiting for? Choose from the various types of smokers on the market and get cooking today.
Are you looking for even more meal prep advice? Check out our blog daily for the latest tips and recipes.