If you're tired of the usual barbecue fare, try using a smoker for a unique taste. This is a great way to add some variety, and impress your guests. Meats cooked in a smoker are flavorful and moist. A meat smoker slow-roasts the meat in a moist, smoky environment. Smokers may look complicated at first, but it's very easy to make a delicious meal using a smoker.
Choose a smoker. There are many smokers available at different budgets and sizes. If you are just starting to get into smoking, you may want to choose a simpler version, as there will be less variables to control.
Siting the smoker correctly. Your smoker should be used outdoors, on a hard, flat surface. It should not be used near buildings or roof overhangs, or indoors.
Prepare to cook. Fill the charcoal pan with briquettes. One way to increase the flavor of the meat is by adding flavored wood chips to the charcoal pan. Popular choices include apple, mesquite, oak, or hickory. You can even leave out the briquettes entirely, but it may be more difficult to maintain a constant temperature. Add water to the water pan. Another way to add flavor is by adding spices, seasonings, or marinades to the water pan. The water will help keep the air inside the smoker moisturized so your meat does not turn out too dry.
Choose the meat. You can smoke all kinds of meat, including beef, chicken, turkey, or pork. Ribs taste especially delicious when smoked. Even a poor cut can be made delicious in a smoker, because the smoke tenderizes the meat. Once you've chosen the meat, season it with a dry rub. Don't use a liquid or sauce, because these will burn inside the smoker.
Smoke the meat. Light the charcoal and wood chips. Place your meat on the smoker grill. The smoker should come with a built-in temperature meter; ideally it should be around 225 to 250 degrees. Watch the temperature, and add more coals or wood as needed to maintain it. Also don't forget to rotate the meat and refill the water pan. Be patient when smoking meat. A smoker will take longer to cook the meat than a grill, at least around 4 to 5 hours. Use a meat thermometer to ensure that your meat is fully cooked. If you wish to add liquid or marinade to the meat, do so in the last half hour it's in the smoker.
Enjoy! Once your smoked meat is done, enjoy! Don't be surprised if the whole neighborhood can smell your delicious smoked meat and comes running. You'll have an unforgettable feast when you use a smoker to cook your meat.
The main keys to success using a smoker are low heat and very slow cooking. When done correctly, the meat will have a wonderfully smoky barbecue flavor.