When it comes to preparing food, there are a large number of options available for people to try. More often than not, many people tend to cook indoors, using their stoves for cooking, roasting, and even baking all sorts of meat and vegetables into various dishes. In much of the same ways, there are many different ways some people can cook outdoors, too, though often needing propane tanks, charcoal briquettes, or chunks of wood.
Smokers are one of the most well-known methods of outdoor cooking. Although it’s called a smoker due to the method used to cook the food placed into it, the appliance is just as versatile as the grills and outdoor ovens also available on the market. Much like how many barbecue experts and enthusiasts frequently use their grills for cooking more than just cuts of meat, smokers can be used to make any dish more excellent. Naturally, though, a good smoked brisket or steak is always a classic.
If this article has convinced you to look into smokers and to get one for yourself, you can visit Dickson Barbeque Centre to get one for your home. You can also visit the Centre online if you want to get any rubs, sauces, or any other barbecue accessories you might need.
What is a Barbecue smoker?
For those new to the barbeque community, smokers are outdoor kitchen appliances that are used to create smoky environments to infuse whatever’s placed in them with smoke. This is primarily done by using lower temperatures than most other cooking methods, focusing more on generating a steady supply of smoke than actual flames like a typical barbecue grill would.
Smokers typically provide methods of cooking raw meats and vegetables since all that’s needed is a proper amount of heat. However, smokers usually require a longer time and in some cases, might even require the food to be brined before being smoked. Though the process is much longer than simply using a barbecue grill, many food lovers prefer to use their smokers thanks to the variety of different flavours the smoke can give the food.
The different kinds of smokers
A lesser known fact to people new to the barbeque community is that there two different types of smokers; wet and dry. The main difference between the two types is that wet smoking – also called water smoking – uses a pan of water to retain the food’s moisture during the process. Dry smoking, on the other hand, uses low heat wood fires to cook the food through the smoke. This, however, means that the food is less flavourful than wet smoking methods.
From the choice between wet and dry smokers, you can then find different kinds of smokers depending on the materials used to make the appliance and what fuel the smoker uses. Typically, many smokers are either most commonly wet smokers or pellet smokers, though other kinds can be found as well.
As the name suggests, pellet smokers use little wood pellets as a fuel source. In order to work well, the pellets are fed into a hopper which, when the smoker’s turned on, moves the pellets to a firepot where the pellets are burned. This creates smoke, which in turn, cooks the food.
Focusing more on the material used to make up the smoker, ceramic smokers are usually vertically shaped and often tend to be dome or egg shaped. Some of the most common and well known brands for ceramic smokers are Kamado Joe and Big Green Egg, both of which focus on egg shapes to prioritise the heat retention of both brands,
Charcoal smokers, much like pellet smokers, use charcoal chunks or briquettes to generate smoke and cook food. These types of smokers tend to look similar to many charcoal grills, with a few added vents and chimneys to ensure that any excess smoke can leave the appliance. Though charcoal smokers can be both laid out both vertically and horizontally, both kinds tend to look like drums, safes and eggs.
Propane smokers are possibly one of the best choices for people that are new to smoking. Much like a propane grill, these smokers use the flames in combination with a handful or so of wood chips to create smoke. This, in turn, allows smoking to be much faster due to the main fact that you don’t need to wait a long amount of time for the heat to reach a certain level and the right kind of smoke to be made.
How smokers work
As mentioned earlier, smokers use a lower heat to generate smoke that’s used to cook the food. Depending on the kind of smoker, your choice of fuel is either funnelled to where the flames are used to burn them for smoke or the fuel is simply lit where it was placed. More often than not, some sort of wood is needed to properly generate the type of smoke you need for proper smoking, regardless of whether you own a propane smoker or not.
Then – much like barbecue grills – once the fuel source runs out and you’re finished with smoking, the ash remaining from the wood is cleaned out for the next session. That ash can be disposed of or can be scattered through your garden as a source of nutrients and fertilizer.
While smokers are more complex than most normal barbecue grills, they can often be just as useful. Much like how a barbecue grill can grill anything, many smokers can similarly add smoke to and cook more than just meat and vegetables. Many people across the Internet have put all sorts of foods into their smokers, and many have become some of the best dishes.
Whether it’s smoked cheese and olives or even smoked cocktails and ice cream, the different kinds of woods and their flavours can be used for any and all dishes. As long as your smoker can burn wood pellets, you can smoke whatever you want!