You probably just purchased your electric smoker, or you are planning to get one soon. Well, if you want your smoked food to taste like nothing you have ever tasted before, you are in the right place. In this article, I give you tips to use your electric smoker. Get ready to make your smoked delicacies any time all the time effortlessly. Whether you are a beginner or you have some experience with an electric smoker, read onto the last sentence.
Pre-season your smoker before first use
This may seem like a useless tip, but trust me, it is essential. There are some good reasons that you may want to pre-season your smoker before the first use.
First things first, pre-seasoning ensures that you eliminate the toxic residues from the manufacturing process. You don’t want to use the smoker with any harmful residue inside.
Pre-seasoning is also essential for that amazing smoking flavor and the performance of the smoker.
The layer of smoke coats the inside of the smoker. It also leaves your smoked food with the amazing smoke flavor that you want.
So how do you pre-season your electric smoker? Set your appliance to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Let it heat at this temperature for 3 hours. For the last 45 minutes, put a half cup of wood chips on the tray. When this time elapses, switch your smoker off and allow it to cool down.
Smoke chicken on higher temperatures
Chicken is one of the foods that is popularly smoked. The recommended cooking temperatures of chicken are different from beef and other types of meat. You do not cook chicken on low and slow heat. If you want your chicken to be well smoked, and with a fantastic flavor, then have it smoked at 275°F. You should smoke it for 1 ½ hour to 2 hours.
High temperatures will not only make your chicken a well-flavored delicacy but also make sure it is well cooked.
So how will you know if your chicken has been properly and fully smoked? The best way is to check the internal temperatures of the meat. The meat should have inner temperatures of 165°F.
Some electric smokers have a maximum temperature of 275°F. Sometimes, this is not sufficient, especially if you need your poultry delicacy to have crispy skin. In this case, you can crisp up the poultry skin in your oven.
Learn to control your vent position
Finding the right vent position can be tricky while using a charcoal smoker. However, the case is not the same as an electric smoker.
The most basic, yet important tip is that you should leave the vent fully open whenever you are applying smoke to your meat. You don’t want to have it closed up and risk increasing creosote buildup on your meat.
Creosote is a smoke compound that adds flavor to smoked meat. You, however, need it in small quantities. It becomes nasty when it accumulates on your meat in large amounts.
The only time you should have your vent closed is when you want to increase the internal temperatures. Other than this, your vent should never be closed entirely.
Controlling airflow in the grill determines how hot the internal temperatures become. A closed vent means no air gets to flow into the smoker. A partially closed vent means that a controlled amount of air gets to flow into the smoker. An open vent implies that a lot of air flows into the smoker.
- Learn how to control the temperatures
Other than the vents, you should also learn to control the temperature swings. Before we dive right into controlling the temperatures, you should know that other external factors affect the smoker’s internal temperature. The temperature outside, especially how windy it is affects the internal temperatures.
If you set your smoker at a specific temperature, the temperature will rise until it hits the set degree. The heating element will then stop. However, the temperatures will continue to rise slightly above the set temperature. For instance, if you set your temperature at 250°F, the smoker will heat up to around 265°F.
So if you want your smoker to heat up to let’s say 220°F, it would be best to set it at 210 or 215°F.
You have to watch the internal temperatures rise. Once it hits your desired temperature, reset it to your desired level, and not the lower temperature you had set. This reduces the swinging and lagging effect.
Ensuring your food gets your desired flavor
Before you start smoking your meat, place an aluminum plate under the grill shelves. The aluminum plate or tray should be filled with water and herbs of your choice. The herbs should be selected carefully as they will dominate your meat’s flavor.
Some smokers come with their aluminum tray for flavoring and moisturizing. If your smoker does not come with one, go ahead and improvise. Just ensure that the plate you use is deep enough to accommodate water.
For that smoky flavor, locate the wood chip loader on your smoker. Load it with wood chips accompanied by your desired taste. After loading your smoker and wood chip loader, close it up and wait for the most heavenly smoked meat you have ever had.
A lot of people complain that electric smokers are not able to give smoky flavors as charcoal smokers do. Well, electric smokers work equally well. You just need to learn some tricks, and you are good to go. Use the above-discussed tips for tender and amazingly flavored smoked meat.