These days there are truly a plethora of kitchen gadgets that are available on the market ranging from helpful and ingenious to strange and curious. There are also some really awesome, but less commonly used appliances that budding food enthusiasts may be interested in trying out, like the electric smoker. Smoking meats is a time honored tradition that people have been using to cook meat for hundreds of years to get that mouthwatering, tender, smoky flavor that most of us love. However, there are options available today that don’t require you to have a massive brick smokehouse installed in your backyard, yet still allow you to experience the truly wonderful delight of enjoying smoked meats for dinner. One such option is the electric smoker (there are both indoor and outdoor versions available). Electric smokers can be purchased at a budget friendly price and come in a variety of different sizes based on your personal cooking needs or experience. These handy appliances will continually monitor the temperature at which your meat is being smoked and adjust, as needed, to ensure a constant temperature is maintained throughout the cooking process.
The product options available to those looking to expand their culinary horizons are quite impressive, with sizes ranging from 527 to 730 square inches of cooking space and some even including options with remote control or wireless app connectivity. When shopping for an electric smoker, you should consider the type and volume of meats you will be cooking, in order to select a cooker that will work best for you. You should also read or watch a brief online tutorial that walks through the process of using an electric smoker safely prior to cooking your first meal. It’s also important to cure your new smoker for at least 2 hours before using it to remove any dust or chemical odors that may come up while cooking your first meal.
Once your smoker is ready for use there are a large variety of meats you can try out. Tough cuts of meat will typically work best in a smoker; meats like ribs, brisket, mature chicken, poultry, pork, and beef. There are also some more exotic meats that would work ideally in an electric smoker, like hog and boar meat, cornish hens, deer, goat meat and even carp.
Now that you’ve decided which meats you would like to try out in your new electric smoker, the next step is to determine how long and at what temperature you should cook those meats to ensure the tastiest outcome possible. You can easily find detailed cooking instructions by searching online, but you can check out some basic guidelines that are outlined below.
- Ribs: Best left intact while cooking. Keep the temperature under 225ºF (107.2ºC) and cook for about 1.5 hours per pound.
- Brisket: Best to brine brisket meat prior to cooking. Cook at low temperature for about 1.5 hours per pound.
- Turkey: Best to apply a rub to the meat prior to cooking. Cook at 225ºF (107.2C) for 30 minutes per pound
- Hog or Boar Meat: Never smoke hog or boar meat at temps higher than 200ºF (93.3ºC). Cook for at least 14 hours, but up to 36 hours.
- Cornish Hen: Smoke at 225ºF (107.2C) for about 45 minutes per pound.
- Goat: Brine meat prior to smoking. Smoke at 200ºF (93.3C)for 1 hour per pound.
- Carp: Smoke using mesquite wood for best flavor at 250ºF (107.2ºC) for the first 3 hours and then lower the temperature to 180ºF – 200ºF (82.2ºC – 93.3ºC) for 45 minutes per pound.
Just remember not to be intimidated by the process, it is actually much easier than it may seem. Your mouth will thank you and so will your dinner guests!