It’s nice to visualize yourself in a perfect place accompanied by a perfect someone and having the perfect smoked food. However, things won’t be perfect if you struggled to operate the electric smoker properly. So, let me help you to achieve the perfect smoked food by first sharing with you how to use an electric smoker. Different electric smokers have a different method with their small variances between them. However, there are a few general rules of thumb that every cook should follow should he or she attempt to properly use a smoker.
Choose your smoker!
Pick whatever electric smoker you think best suits your needs and desires. I highly suggest picking from the list on the homepage where I’ve picked and created a comparison chart of the top 10 electric smokers available in the market today. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s guide or manual before you ever use it. After all, they made it. They should know best.
Pick your poison.
Not really poison. Decide what kind of meat you’d like to deliciously smoke. There are many types and cuts of meat that taste fabulous after being smoked, so take your pick. Give it a good seasoning rub or a marinade. You can use sugars, salts, herbs, or anything your heart desires, as long as you like it on your food. For the best flavors, it’s good to let the meat sit overnight (in an airtight container) so that the meat soaks up those tasty seasonings. If you’ve chosen to go with a specific recipe, follow their instructions.
Woodchips are an important part of using an electric smoker. They give the flavor and heat to the smoke. A few pieces of flavored wood can infuse the meat with amazing flavors. So, don’t forget this step. There isn’t much advice on what flavor to choose — this is really up to preference. Choose a flavour of woodchips you think you’d like. If you don’t like it, try another one next time. These woodchips go in the firebox, which is located at the bottom of the smoker. Some models have two fireboxes.
Fill ‘er up.
Let’s not forget about the water, here. If your electric smoker comes with a water trough, that’s a nudge from the manufacturer saying, “Hey, fill me up.” When the water is heated by the smoker, it turns into steam, which keeps the meat moist (unless you want jerky). If your smoker doesn’t come with a water trough, that doesn’t mean you can’t put some water in. Fashion a makeshift trough out of aluminium foil or some other inflammable material and fill it with just a little bit of water; about half an inch to a full inch will do the job.
Light your fire!
Let’s see if you’ve got everything you need:
Prepared meat — check
Water in trough — check
Woodchips in firebox — check
Game face — check
Looks like you’re sufficiently prepared. Now is the moment of truth. Place the meat in the smoker, making sure they’re spread out enough on the grilling rack(s). Close the door/cover tightly, ensuring there are no gaps. Set the desired temperature… and you’re finished! Just walk away, go lounge, go watch the game, have a few drinks. Some cooks prefer waiting until the smoker has reached the desired temperature, but there is a miniscule difference in results. If your smoker has a thermostat, you needn’t worry about maintaining the temperature. If not, return every 30 minutes or so to check the temperature (i.e. add woodchips or vent out smoke).
Chow down, fellas.
After a number of hours (that you have obviously been diligently keeping track of), come back to your smoker and check the temperature of the meat. If it’s not quite there, leave it for a little while longer. If it’s cooked, hurrah! You’ve got yourself a meal. What are you waiting for? Feast!