Learning how to cook with a smoker can bring a whole other dimension to your culinary repoirtoire. Almost anything can be prepared in the smoker: meats, vegetables, fruits, cheese, nuts. The list is endless! Once you try salmon fresh from the smoker, treat your family to bbq smoked ribs, or successfully make your very own smoked beef jerky, you’ll never want to cook another way again! And contrary to popular belief, smoking isn’t just a summer activity. You can use your backyard smoker all year round.
How To Cook With A Smoker
Different ingredients will need different care in the smoker, but here are some basic guidlines to use when smoking meat:
- For best results, marinate the meat overnight. You can use either a dry or wet rub.
- Determine what kind of wood smoke you want. Different woods create different flavors, so you may have to experiment a little to understand what you like and what you don’t like. Some popular woods for smoking meat are hickory, maple, mesquite, oak, and pecan. Once you’ve lit the charcoal in your smoker and allowed the fire to burn down, add your wood. Adjust the vents in the smoker to keep the temperature somewhere around 225 to 250 degrees.
- Add your meat. Remember to keep the temperature steady and around 225 to 250 degrees.
- Cooking times will vary depending on the size of your smoker and the size of the cut of meat. You can generally expect about 1 to 1.5 hours for every pound of meat. Turn the meat every 2 to 3 hours, but try not to open the smoker too many times while your meat is cooking. Repeated openings will increase the meat smoking times.
Once you learn how to cook with a smoker, you can expand your smoked food to smoked cheese, nuts, and fruits. It’s amazing just how delicious adding smoke can be!
- “Tips and Techniques for Using a Backyard Smoker”, Armadillo Peppers