The Benefits of an Electric Smoker
Smoking foods has been a great tradition for years. Not only are you infusing foods with flavor, but you are also enjoying the luxury of an outdoor activity that friends and family can enjoy as well. Using an electric smoker can also make the activity a whole lot easier than the the traditional charcoal technique.
Having an electric smoker not only is easier, but it is a great time manager as well. With an electric smoker you can set the timer for the type of food you are smoking and let the electric smoker do the rest of the work for you. In addition, it frees the cook up from constant monitoring the progress of the smoked foods, which leads to enjoying leisure time with friends and family.
Types and Tips When Using an Electric Smoker
There are so many different types and styles to choose from, an individual could get lost just trying to purchase an electric smoker. A few tips to keep in mind are:
- When will you use the smoker
- What type of climate will you be smoking in
- Vertical or Horizontal smoker?
Knowing when you will use the electric smoker is important. If you are using a vertical smoker during the late fall or winter months; it must be properly insulated. Proper insulation will ensure that you get the best service from your smoker and heat will not escape from you smoker. Horizontal electric smokers can be used during any type of temperature, so they are really popular because of its seasonal functionality. Horizontal electric smokers are typically stronger and can stand up through anything, but are clunky and sizable.
Techniques, Wood Chips, and Other Tidbits
Before actually using a new electric smoker, it must be cured or seasoned. To cure or season a new electric smoker can be done by multiple techniques. One technique may be found within the user manual, or there is a quick typical technique that is used universally. The quick way is just to simply coat or grease the cooking surface area; such as the racks and the inner most parts of the electric smoker with cooking oil.
Once you have coated the smoker turn it on and run it for 2 – 3 hours. By doing this you are removing any residues, dust or solvents used in making the electric smoker by burning them off. Once done, open the smoker and let stand to cool off. Now it is ready to use properly and can be enjoyed for the great flavors the electric smoker will provide.
Using Wood Chips – Getting that Great Flavor
Most nowadays electric smokers are equipped pans or an area under the heating mechanism for wood chips. But there are some electric smokers that do not have a wood chip area. Using wood chips helps to create a smoky flavor. Wood chips come in different flavored chips from hickory, maple and even Jack Daniels infused chips. Depending upon the flavor desired, there are many to chose from. For a good smoky flavor, four cups of the desired chips is typically used for five hours of smoking.
Techniques and Tidbits
Besides using wood chips, infused water is also a great way to smoke foods in an electric smoker. Using a water pan in an electric water smoker allows cooking with water flavored with orange peels, beer, or wine. Since water turns into steam, it will be a great way to not only infuse flavors, but tenderize your meats as well. Make sure temperatures are at maximum desired temp before adding your food to the smoker. It only takes three to eight hours for that great smoky flavor to infuse with meats.
Another great technique is the use of a tin can. If your electric smoker does not have an area for adding chips (this is not often the case nowadays), you can add your chips to a tin can and place it within the electric smoker. This technique is quicker and the steps may be repeated if desired. Make sure that the can is removed at least within an hour after sitting it in the electric smoker.
Preparing foods for smoking is a necessity. In order to receive great flavors, the intended foods must be prepared and enhanced as well. Some great foods for smoking including fish, beef, chicken and seafood. Seasoning your foods thoroughly will help to give it that extra boost. You can also marinade your foods overnight. Marinading will allow your meats to soak up all of the spices and juices you may have used. It will also help with the tenderizing of your meat. Remember do not reuse a marinade, it is not sanitary or a good idea, discard the remaining excess.
Having a smoker is great treat; there are so many different delicious dishes you can create with smoking foods. Not only can you smoke meats, but smoked vegetables are great also. Whatever decision that is made, to use the traditional style or new wave of smoking foods; will turn out great. Make sure to read instructions carefully, cure or season a new electric smoker, use wood chips are infused water, and enjoy.