When asked, most die hard fans of charcoal smokers can have some candid opinions as to why they don’t prefer electric smokers. But while most of the replies will be highly subjective, owning an electric smoker is a great addition to your kitchen arsenal. You don’t need a science degree to use one and in addition to this, the fact that you’ll never have to light charcoal or deal with the nuances that come with temperature control and regulation, makes an electric smoker a worthwhile investment. But with any investment comes great responsibility. It’s important to take care of your electric smoker to boost its longevity. Below are six tips to get the most out of your electric smoker.
6 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Electric Smoker
1. Choose the Right Electric Smoker
If you are the type of person that relishes on smoked meals, then you need a modern and high-quality smoker! But considering the many brands, sizes, and types out there, your quest to owning a quality smoker can be a bit of a daunting task. So before you even start scouting for one, it’s important to learn more about electric smokers, their benefits, and the various options available on the market. This will provide you with the basic starter information you need when it comes to selecting the best brands. Below are killer tips on how to choose an electric smoker, they include:
- Consider the cost
- Choose modern features such as automatic wood chip feeders
- Consider the size and handling capacity
- Brand popularity
Electric smokers are environmentally friendly and in addition to this, user-friendly and cost-effective. But how well you maintain one can make a huge difference in its overall efficiency and durability.
2. Choosing the Right Wood Chips for Your Electric Smoker
Having the right electric smoker is not enough to season your meals. There’s more to smoking than meets the eye. To get the most out of your electric smoker, you’ll need good quality wood chips to get things going and to have the best aromas coming out of your smoker. There are different varieties of wood chips, ranging from oak, apple, alder, pecan, to hickory wood chips. One thing to note is that the type of meals you intend to smoke will dictate the type of wood chips to use in your smoker. For instance, red meats require stronger wood chips such as walnut wood chips and oak wood that are strongly flavored. On the other hand, light meats, cheeses, and vegetables will do just fine with fruit-scented mild wood chips.
3. Preheating the Electric Smoker
It’s very important that before placing food in the smoker, to ensure that you have the desired temperature set and allowed the heat to rise to the desired level. The best thing is that most, if not all electric smokers come with an inbuilt thermometer to help in temperature and heat regulation. For the best results, always ensure that the smoke is bluish in color and not white as most would assume. In addition to this, before placing your meat in the smoking chamber, it’s important to ensure that your wood chips have started to ash. While on the same note, avoid using wet wood chips as they tend to produce a cloud of white smoke.
4. Regular Cleaning and Maintenance
To get the most out of your electric smoker, it’s crucial that you take proper care of it. Electric smokers are mechanical units and require regular maintenance to boost their efficiency and ensure that they are working properly. This will also help to improve the electric smoker’s longevity. Now, when it comes to cleaning, it’s important to make it a habit of cleaning the smoker after use. This will help to prevent the accumulation of grime, dust, and debris. Maintaining hygiene is a crucial part of healthy living, especially when it comes to areas of food preparation. To prevent your smoker’s temperature probe from damage, wipe it with a damp cloth. To maintain the natural taste of your food, avoid using caustic cleaner when cleaning inside the smoker.
5. Using an aluminum foil on the grill racks
Anything that will help to save additional time cleaning the electric grill should be utilized. This pointer is more a housekeeping tip and it will help to prevent the accumulation of grime on the grill racks. In addition to this, it will also help to produce evenly smoked meals and the best barbecue results.
6. Patience! Patience! Patience!
When smoking some of your favorite foods, it’s important to wait for the whole smoking process to take its course. While some meals can take as little as 30 minutes to smoke, some recipes can take longer than expected. If you are a beginner, it’s important to experiment with easy to prepare recipes that take less time to smoke.
Finally, always ensure to practice safety precautions. Electric smokers are powered by electricity and when mishandled or neglected can cause electric shock. But with the above tips in mind, you’ll be sure to get the most out of your electric smoker and enjoy some of the finest flavors while at it.