One of the most convenient ways to cook food is to use an electric smoker. Compared to traditional smokers that make use of coals, electric smokers is as easy as pushing buttons when in use. Truly, electric smokers are designed for your ease. I mean, think about it, you don’t have to check or monitor your smoker all day while you are cooking. It saves you time and you can do other things while waiting for your food to be done and it certainly gives your smoked meats the best flavors. However, while the use of electric smokers has proven to be handy, a lot of people still have a hard time using them. In fact, there are a handful of people who have no idea how to use any kind of electric smoker with wood chips!
As you know there are different types of electric smokers. That is why it is important to know the kind of electric smoker you will be getting so you know the kind of wood chips to use.
Preparing Your Electric Smoker
In case this is the first time that you will be buying an electric smoker, you need to make sure that you cure it first. In many cases, there is a process on how to cure or season an electric smoker before using it for good. Most electric smokers come with a manual that will teach you how to cure your newly bought electric smoker. In case you don’t have that, all you need to do is to turn it on and run it for two hours. By doing this, the smoker will burn off remaining solvents, dust and other chemicals that came along with the new smoker. Once this is over, you can turn it off and let it cool before you can use it again.
If this is the first time you are using your electric smoker, you have to cure or Season it first. The manual that came with it should explain how to do this, and in most cases, the process will involve coating the surfaces on the inside and the racks of the smoker with cooking oil. Then turn on the machine and let it run for about two hours. When you do this, any solvents, dust and other residues will be burnt off. You can turn off your machine and then open it up so it can properly cool off.
Once you have your smoker, you can then prepare your food. Choose the kind of meat you would like to grill or smoke. Add your favorite marinade or sauce and let it absorb overnight until you are ready to cook it the following morning.
How to Use Any Kind Of Electric Smoker with Wood Chips
The first thing you need to understand when using an electric smoker is that there are plenty of wood chips to choose from. The kind of wood you use will also add flavor to your meat. When using wood chips, you must have at least 4-5 cups for about five hours of smoking. You can choose from a wide variety of wood like:
Once you have the wood chips of your choice, you have the option of using the water pan. This pan is filled with water which makes steam. The steam when heated can help in tenderizing the meat you are smoking. You can also add aromatic ingredients to your water so flavor is added to the meat. Beer, wine, oranges and others are among the many aromatics that you can put in the water when smoking.
It doesn’t really matter what kind of electric smoker you have; the important thing is that it allows you to use wood chips. Now that you have your meat and wood ready, all you need to do is get it started. There are plenty of smokers with control settings; these are much easier to use however if by chance you purchased a second hand smoker that doesn’t have any manual then you might have to do things manually.
If the smoker you have is not designed for wood chips don’t worry. You can still use it with the help of an empty tin can. Use this tin can to hold the wood chips you want to use; make sure to cut the tin can about three quarters of the way while leaving the rest still attached. You can then fill it with wood chips and bend back the lid so you can close the can partially. Leaving the can open with smoldering chips can easily burst into flames and when this happens, the temperature will rise up quickly. It can either burn your smoker into flames or burn the meat fast. Either way, you really don’t want to have accidents while cooking, right? Keeping the lid semi-closed can help in preventing this situation and learning how to use any kind of electric smoker with wood chips is a must before anything else.