Smoking food is a great way to gain flavor and yet still ensure that all the nutrients are retained. Smoking takes time and thus the food being smoked gains a unique flavor from the wood that is used for the smoking process. Smoked food is delicious and is eaten all around the world. For this reason you may have bought yourself a brand new smoker and are wondering how to use a smoker to cook. Electric smokers are the easiest to use. They use electricity to ignite the wood that is used to smoke the food. Thermostats or rheostats monitor their internal temperature making the ideal for cooking all types of food.
1. Preheat your smoker
Just like cooking with an oven, using an electric smoker will require that you preheat it first. Preheating will also give you ample time to prepare what you are going to be cooking. A great way to preheat your smoker is to put in the wood chips and fill a pan with water. Like the wood chips by connecting the smoker to a source of electricity. Meanwhile, if you are going to smoke vegetables, slice them into smaller pieces so that they cook faster. Remember to skewer smaller pieces so that they do not fall through the grate of the smoker. If you are making ribs, this is a great time to remove the membrane and add seasoning and spices to enhance the flavor of the meat.
2. Ensure safety
While in the kitchen, ensuring safety is paramount. Therefore, you should always place your smoker on a flat surface to prevent it from falling over when you place weight on it. It is also good practice to ensure that your smoker is away from any flammable materials because the heat it produces may cause explosions and other serious accidents that are better off avoided. For the safe use of your smoker, it is best to plug in the cord directly to the electric outlet without an extension.
3. Choose the best wood
One thing you should know before you begin cooking with your electric smoker is that the durability of your smoker depends highly on what type of wood you use. Some wood will damage your smoker and may even add bad taste and smell to your food. You really do not want to serve weird tasting food so always remember to read carefully the manufacturer’s manual on what types of wood is safe for use. You should also remember that there are several types of electric cookers and therefore, before you search on the internet you should know which one yours is to avoid misunderstanding the information given.
4. Cook your meat or vegetables
Meat will generally always take longer to cook. Vegetables will cook in under 6 hours; however, they may take longer if they are particularly big. Place all food items directly on the grill. If you are cooking both meat and vegetables, you will have to place the meat in the grill before the vegetables. Cooking the meat at 225 degrees Fahrenheit and let it cook for 3 hours.
5. Placing the vegetables
You can place the chunks of vegetables or skewers on the racks in the smokers. Always close the smoker while cooking. Let the vegetables cook for 3- 4 hours. Taste the vegetables to check whether they are cooked and continue cooking if they are not well done.
6. Wrap the meat in aluminum foil
After removing the ribs from the racks pour a little apple juice, beer or win on the meat and wrap it tightly with aluminum foil. The wine, beer or apple juice works well to enhance the steam and to tenderize the meat. Return the wrapped beef into the smoker and let them cook for 2 hours. If you have BBQ sauce, coat both sides and let it cook for an hour.
Mesquite and hickory are the most popular wood used in electric smoking of both beef and vegetables. Although they are not the only woods that can be used, they are said to give flavor and heat for a long time. However, experiment with other types of wood so you know which ones will work best for you. Remember to always let the smoker cool before putting it away.