Smoking meats is really not an easy thing to do let alone expecting a substantially positive outcome on a first time basis, especially from someone who is just starting out in learning how to smoke meats. How to use an electric smoker? The main goal of smoking is to preserve meat to extend its usability by drawing out as much moisture as possible while “disinfecting” the meat through the use of compounds produced by wood smoke that kills off harmful bacteria that causes meat to spoil. For beginners, it is best to start out with using an electric smoker for convenience in regards of being able to control variables such as temperature and cooking time. Compared to using traditional charcoal or propane fired smokers that need a lot of skill to produce a fairly decent smoked meat product, it is better to check for electric smoker deals as they are considered as the best and convenient way to learn the fine art of smoking meats.
There are a lot of affordable electric smokers under $200. out there that can adequately dish out a decent gourmet meat recipe, more particularly smoked meats. Some may have features such as being able to add water in a drip pan that can control the amount of moisture being consumed in the cooking chamber as not to make your smoked meats dry and it also controls the cooking temperature of your meats as well. The most that you want to get is a smoker that can be able to function as a water smoker and a roaster which are priced more or less between $50 to $200 dollars or depending upon how much you are willing to spend for it. You may also want to consider a versatile electric smoker that can operate under any type of weather or season since most smokers only perform optimally during warmer seasons. For all other reasons, it is advised to get an electric smoker that can control and maintain a steady and consistent core temperature.
Prior to starting to use your electric smoker, you must first read every spec of detail that is related to the operation of your electric smoker to familiarize yourself with it and try to get the most of what it can do in regards to smoking meats. Along with this, you should also know the limitation of your smoker as not to void your warranty in regards to its proper use in order to give you the most on its specified use. Before you start to use your brand new smoker, you must first “exorcise” it from that “factory smell” that is usually present when you take it out from the box. “Curing” your electric smoker prior to using it for the very first time removes the odors caused by the paint and other chemicals such as solvents in the materials that need to be rid before you even attempt putting in your very first meat to smoke. The best way of doing this is to apply a thin coat of cooking oil with a kitchen brush on all internal parts and turn your electric smoker on and set it to medium to cook off that after factory smell. After an hour or so, you can turn your smoker off and open the panel doors to cool off the cooking chamber.
There are a lot of methods of preparing meat prior to cooking them and depending on what you have in mind, whether that be smoking, roasting or barbecuing, each cooking method has it’s unique way of preparing the meat to produce the result that you want. For those who are just starting out for the first time, meat preparation could basically start with a dry rub with a combination of salt, sugar and different aromatic herbs. Usually, meat is marinated with a combination of barbecue sauce in combination with a little bit of cider or vinegar and soaked overnight to ensure that the flavorings are completely absorbed into the meat, giving it a tangy taste. Also, brining could also improve the flavor and aroma of meats which is usually done by soaking the meat in a combination of salt brine with a dash of citrus fruits such as lemon or orange along with garlic, onions, pepper corns and herbs as well.
Always remember to preheat your smoker and add water in the drip pan to control the humidity and retain the meats juiciness. Water in the drip pan induces the flavors of the meat as the essence of the smoked meat is mixed in with the water that is being distributed equally within the cooking chamber. Depending on how you want your meats to smell and taste, using wood flavored chips is very important if you want to get as close as to replicate those savory smoked gourmet meats that you see so much on television. Some commonly used flavored wood chips are hickory, maple, plum, cedar, cherry and alder and it is very important for you to know that not only does these different types of wood chips give a variety of different aroma and flavor to your meats, but they also give you a different cooking color as well. Using a measuring cup that comes with your every purchase of these flavored wood chips, 4 cups of wood chips is equivalent to 3 to 5 hours worth of cooking time and depending on what you are cooking, replenishing the wood chips every hour should be sufficient enough to put some flavor and aroma into your meats.
Keeping the core temperature of your electric smoker consistent is very important if you are expecting to achieve in getting the result that you want in regards to the meat that you are smoking. Most electric smokers have a built in temperature gauge to keep you constantly reminded of its current cooking temperature. As you may already realize by now that smoking is one method of cooking meats that can not be hurried even if you wanted to as you need a constant temperature with an equal amount of cooking time to enable you to reach a desired level of cooking perfection and that is what gourmet cooking is all about. Patience is also very important and the more you wait, the more savory your meats will be in regards to being able to taste the fruits of your endeavor. Pre-heating your smoker to about 225 degrees Fahrenheit or about 107.22 degrees Celsius is the ideal cooking temperature that will make your meats a tasteful savory treat. Prematurely putting your meats inside your cooker would be as good as just to fry it on a pan since you will just end up with having a mediocre cooked meat.
Constant practice is the key ingredient to achieving the skills in making some of the most mouth watering smoked meats, although it would take time to understand and use everything that you will learn in regards to making smoked meats, it will be an endeavor that has a lot of fulfilling promise on your part. Always start with the basic as you progress on to more complicated methods that you will eventually apply in regards to smoking, roasting and barbecuing meats and who knows, one day you may even find yourself owning your very own restaurant that people will come for because of the way that you cook your meat, I mean, who knows, right?