One of the greatest joys of being at home, over the weekend is to sit back and enjoy, some lovely vegetables and a beautiful cut of meat which has been smoked. The traditional way of using fire and wood for smoking has a few challenges. There is always the balance be-tween a constant temperature and keeping the environment human safe. This has forced many people to look at other ways of enjoying this great method. As a result, there has been a change from traditional methods of smoking food to the use of electronic smoker.
Using Electric Smoker Saves Time
One of the advantages of electrical smokers is that they are excellent time savers. In fact, these devices save time in a number of ways.
As with all food, some preparation is required before the actual cooking takes place. The same goes for smoking. The rule of thumb, much less time spent getting your raw food ready for smoking on an electric device than utilizing the traditional fire or charcoal method.
When it comes to the amount of time spent smoking your favorite cut of meat or vegetables, using electric is the number one choice as a time saver.
Using the Smoker for the First Time
Getting the newly acquired electric smoker always comes with a great sense of expectation and excitement. It is important that in many cases, the smoker has never been started up before. With time there is a build up of dust and some residue that accumulates on the electric elements. It is important to remedy this situation prior to placing any food into the smoker.
It is utterly important to initiate the smoker for at least two hours prior to first-time use. The significance of this is that it burns all dust and accumulations on the elements. Thereafter turn off the smoker and allow it to cool. Once this is completed, it would be ready for first-time use.
The above not only applies to new smokers but also necessary for dormant smokers.
Give the Smoker Time to Stabilize
When thinking of electricity, one thought comes to mind, one of instant heat and power. People forget that any electrical element requires time to heat up. In the preparation of food, timing is crucial to the success of any dish. Having this mind, it is important to allow some time for the smoker to reach the required temperature. If this golden rule is not fol-lowed, there is the risk of presenting a sub-standard meal to family and friends.
Most modern electric smokers have some kind of LCD screen, which displays the tempera-ture — simplifying the process of knowing when to add the meat or cut off some vegetables into the smoker.
Everything is in the Temperature
When looking at instructions for preparing any type of dish using electric smoke, time, and temperature are always stipulated. Have a close look at this information as it influences which combinations of meat and vegetables can be prepared at the same time.
One of the significant advantages of electricity is that it allows the creation of a stable en-vironment, which is one way of assuring great food. As the person doing the smoking, study the recipes, set the device to the correct temperature, and place the appropriate combinations into the smoking chamber.
As the age-old debate of whether or not to use wood chips continue. Originating from the fact that wood is traditionally associated with smoking, using wood to provide the smoke and the heat. Some people swear that adding wood chips to the smoker enhances the flavor of the food.
When it comes to the decision of adding wood or not, it is entirely up to each individual, bearing in mind that the wood chips produces most of the smoke in the chamber. The de-sign of many electric smokers in the market place makes provision for the addition of wood chips.
When in doubt, it is safest to buy wood chips from a reputable source. There are various types and grade of wood. For optimum results, it is crucial to find the grade and size of chips, which is best suited to the specific electric smoker.
Dealing with Contamination
Chefs and people who love preparing food know that food residue, and tit-bits get left be-hind in the cooking utensils over time. This build up influences the taste of other food pre-pared in the same object, but more important are all of the health-related issues associat-ed with working with a dirty smoker. From a health perspective, it is absolutely essential to keep the chamber clean.
Some designs have a drip tray at the bottom of the smoking chamber. This must be cleaned regularly to remove all of the small bits of food and juices which accumulate over time.
There are some smokers who have removable metal racks. These should also be re-moved and cleaned regularly to remove any build up of debris.
This is the area where wood chips are inserted into the device. Over time the wooden chips degrade and leave ash and residue over time. It is essential to keep this area clean to ensure that the quality of smoking is maintained.
The Importance of Maintaining the Smoker
It is easy to fall into a rut of plugging in and turning on the electric smoker. The reality is that the easiest way to care for the expensive appliance is to have a regular maintenance plan in place. If there are doubts about how to set up such a schedule, the instruction manual is usually the first and best place to look.
Some of the benefits of having a regular maintenance program in place include:
There are many different models and styles of electric smokers to choose from. Irrespective of which one is chosen, the basic guidelines regarding the use of the appliance remains the same. Some of the rules or proposals covered here will increase the joy of owning an elec-tric smoker.