As the weather starts to get warmer and sunnier, there is nothing better than spending some time outside with your loved ones and gathering over a grill to cook some meat that you will then devour while engaging in conversation and having a good laugh. When it comes to preparing smoked meat, there are numerous factors that contribute to that juicy, delicious, and savory taste. The type of meat you use and the marination process itself are vital, but the thing that plays the biggest part in cooking smoked meat to perfection is the meat smoker itself. Here is everything you need to know about meat smokers and how to smoke meat like a professional for mouthwatering results every time.
Types of Smokers
The first thing you should know about meat smokers is that there are numerous types of them out there. Choosing the right type of smoker for your needs depends on a number of factors including your personal experience in smoking meat, your budget, and the space you have as meat smokers come in different sizes. Before you invest in any meat smoker, you will need to do some research and look at your needs and priorities to be able to make a wise and worthwhile investment. Here are some of the most popular types of smokers out there to help you choose which type may be the most suitable for your specific needs.
We live in an age where clean energy is the only way to go to preserve our planet. So, if you are planning on buying a meat smoker for your home and are keen on leading a green lifestyle, electric smokers may be the best option for you. As you can see when you visit this url, electric smokers work by heating up rods that, in turn, heat up the wood that smokes the meat. It is considered the easiest type of smoker to use in terms of controlling the heat levels and limiting the emission of smoke. Electric smokers also deliver perfect results every time since you will be able to control the cooking time and heat automatically, so you won’t have to worry about leaving the meat on the grill for too long.
Similar to electric smokers, propane meat smokers also heat up metal rods that ignite the wood for smoking meat. However, the main difference between them is that propane smokers use propane gas to heat up the rods rather than electricity. Propane smokers are incredibly easy to use and loved by many professional meat smokers because of the great results they offer. Another attractive thing about propane smokers is that they are budget-friendly as these smokers are not that expensive compared to other types. Moreover, propane gas is easy to find and cheap when it comes to regular usage.
Wood and Pellet Smokers
Those who love to barbecue from time to time often find themselves attracted to wood or pellet smokers for the aromatic results. And when it comes to pure flavors and sensational meat aromas, wood smokers are certainly the way to go as they make the meat incredibly tender and oozing with flavors. However, wood and pellet smokers require a lot of attention because you cannot leave the smokers alone while smoking the meat. You will need to keep an eye on the meat at all times to ensure it gets to the right temperatures and that it does not get over or under smoked.
Meat smokers are sturdy gadgets that can take a lot of pressure and help you get great results as long as you take care of them. It is essential that you do regular maintenance work on your smoker to ensure that it is running smoothly every time before and after you use it. Maintenance starts by cleaning the smoker every after use and making sure that any lodging fatty layers are scraped off carefully. It can be a good idea to get a professional to look at your meat smoker from time to time to ensure that all the parts are running smoothly and eventually increase the appliance’s lifespan.
Smoking meat at home using a quality meat smoker can be a fun experience with rewarding results. In order to get perfectly tender and juicy meat every time, you will need to invest in a quality smoker that suits your needs. Make sure you do some research before you make a purchase to find a good deal and get the best appliance that will stay with you for many years to come.
Why Should You Smoke Your Meat?
Smoking your meat is a rather tricky process that can take hours and even the entire night. Some argue that cooking it over direct heat can be much easier. Still, smoked meat has an unmatched flavor, mouth feel, and texture that cannot be replicated by any other cooking method.
Cooking meat over an open flame absorbs the tangy, somewhat comforting, and thick smoke flavor, creating a unique and all-natural smokey flavor. The reason why smoked meat tastes so good is all down to science. Smoke contains over 100 phenols and compounds, including solids like ash, gasses like dioxide and monoxide, and liquids like water vapors. Of these compounds, syringol and guaiacol are responsible for the smokey flavor. The more the meat absorbs these compounds, the smokier the meat tastes. You may not be able to increase these compounds, but methods such as limiting the amount of oxygen and using wetter wood can increase the smoke produced and hence, the smokey flavor.
Cooking meat over high heat is always tricky since it tends to dry out the meat very quickly as any moisture is blasted out, and you are left with dry and tough meat. When working with delicate meat, it is best to cook it over smoke as you have more control over the final product. Smoking can also keep the moisture from evaporating too quickly, leaving behind cooked meat that has the perfect combination of tenderness and juiciness.
When meat absorbs smoke, a bark is created on the outside. This is a dark, chewy, spicy, and tangy crust-like skin. The bark is considered one of the tastiest parts of meat and is important when judging smoked meat. It is formed when the smoke reacts with the meat, spice, and moisture. The bark also helps make the meat much softer and much more tender.
Is Smoking Meat Safe?
Smoking meat is a slow process, but like any other cooking method, it is entirely safe, provided it is done right. Pathogens are killed instantly at 165 degrees Fahrenheit and above. Hence, it is essential that the meat is cooked at temperatures above it. Most experts recommend keeping the temperature at 225 degrees the entire cook time. This will cook the meat through and ensure all bacteria are killed.