Smoking meat products and even vegetables gives you that distinct flavor that a lot of people enjoy. Electric smokers are great tools for smoking your food due to its ease of use. Contrary to charcoal and gas grills, they give you a more consistent and controlled temperature during the smoking process. So if you are fond of smoked flavors in your meats, get started with these 5 steps on how to use an electric smoker.
Step #1 –Get to know its different parts.
Just like operating any other electric equipment, read the manual and know the different parts and functions of your smoker. You would not want to start it up and familiarize yourself along the way. Knowing the parts and their functions before hand is important for you to have good results with your food, to prevent equipment failure, and to ensure your safety. Usual parts of the electric machine include the following: body, grills, door or lid, water pan and wood chips tray.
Step#2 – Prepare your meat.
Smoking fish and vegetables does not require much time and preparation. However, when it comes to beef, pork and other meat products marinating them overnight is recommended. This allows the meat to tenderize and seep in flavors. Do this by coating the meat with your favorite spices, seasonings or rubs. While your meat is sitting on the fridge, proceed to the next step.
Step #3 – Cure the smoker.
Curing is the process of eliminating odors and dirt of your new smoker and protecting it from rusting. First, wipe the inside of your smoker and the cooking racks with a clean cloth. Next, get paper towels and pour some cooking oil in them. Use these oiled paper towels to wipe the cooking racks and the interior part of the smoker. Be careful not to pour oil on parts where the heating comes in. Then place wood chips in the tray or container. Close the lid of your smoker and start heating it up to 250-275 degrees Fahrenheit for about 2-3 hours. Afterwards, turn it off and open the lid to cool.
Step #4 – Pre-heat your smoker before cooking.
First, bring your smoker to your desired temperature. Electric smokers can normally generate the maximum temperature of 225-275 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, fill the water pan with water and your wood chip tray or box with wood chips. Water keeps your food moist while the wood chips add flavor and produce a burst of smoke. Wait for about 5 minutes before you start loading your cooking racks with meat or fish.
Step #5 – Cooking time.
Once you have finished the above mentioned steps on how to use an electric smoker, then you are ready to place the meat, fish or veggies inside it. Smoking takes hours to complete depending on food you are cooking. Halfway through the process, baste your food with marinade, water, juices or oil to keep them from drying out. Add some more wood chips in the tray to replace the burnt ones. Also use meat thermometer to check if your food is already cooked. Lastly, do not forget to turn off and unplug your smoker.