A smoker is used to cook food over heat created by burning wood, rather than burning coals. This method of cooking provides great results and food full of flavour from the variety of woods that can be used. Smokers are relatively simple to use, and you only require the basic, relevant know how to operate one successfully.
You will need
- Wood of your choice
- Meat or food to be smoked
- Lighter fluid if using lighter or matches
- Matches, lighter, chimney lighter or electrical lighter
- Ensure smoker is on a flat surface away from foot traffic, enclosures and roof overhangs as you will need to leave it unsupervised.
- Fill the charcoal pan with briquettes and douse them with lighter fluid. Allow the fluid to soak in for a few minutes before lighting.
- Add flavouring wood chips of your choice to the firebox. If you prefer, you may use wood chips only but be prepared to put more effort into maintaining the temperature of the wood.
- Add water to the water pan; this helps to maintain the cooking temperature and keeps the air in the smoker moisturised. You may add spices, seasonings or marinades to the water pan for extra flavour.
- Light the charcoal and, or wood chips. Watch the temperature of the smoker’s thermometer; a steady, constant temperature of 225 to 250 degrees Celsius is ideal for smoking.
- Place on the smoker grill.
- Monitor the temperature of the smoker. You may need to add more coals or wood to maintain it during the cooking process.
- Keep the water pan full as well; ensure to rotate the meat often and use a meat thermometer.
- Use dry rubs only when seasoning meat, as liquids or sauces will burn during the slow cooking time. Liquids can be added during the last half hour of cooking.
- Line the water pan with foil for easier clean up as drippings will fall into this area.