What is a Charcoal Smoker
Smoking is a delicious cooking method much the same as boiling and roasting. A well-smoked food can literally melt in your mouth enveloping you in its rich water-mouthing flavor. Yet, a lot of people restrain from cooking over the fire since it's quite a messy and time-taking process. Well, now you don't need to. If you love eating smoked food, you need to get a modern charcoal smoker. Smokers have enclosed design and can smoke any food you put in there by smoldering wood chips. Today charcoal smokers are used to smoke not only meat but also fish, vegetables, bacon, sausages and even cheese. On purchasing a charcoal smoker, you'll be able to enrich your everyday menu with savory treats and become a real master of the food smoking art!
Serve your immaculate grilled and barbecued meats with premium-quality Steak Knives to get finely cut slices. While Countertop Dishwashers will easily cope with piles of dishes left after your magnificent backyard or patio parties.
What Features to Compare
When choosing a smoker, the first thing to consider is a Heat source to maintain the temperature for wood chips smoldering. Today you can find gas, electric, and charcoal smokers models. In a gas unit, no fire is needed, it is enough to light the burner while in the electric models the necessary temperature is maintained by heating elements. An advantage of electric and gas models is the ease of use since you can precisely adjust the flame intensity or set a heating element temperature. Meanwhile, a gas pipeline (gas cylinder) or electric socket access is a must. Below, we will review charcoal smokers distinguished by a truly simple design. You will only need to put some charcoal or pellets into the charcoal compartment and make a fire. Yet, due to a big amount of smoke generated during the cooking process, charcoal models are suitable only for an outdoor use. However, we are sure that this model will be duly appreciated by all hardcore grillers and backyard BBQ chefs.
Speaking of smokers Setup, there are vertical and horizontal models. Vertical smokers are space-saving and ensure better air circulation for quicker cooking while horizontal models are easier to put the food in.
Another essential aspect is a Number of grates or trays determining a Total cooking surface. The larger the cooking surface is the more food you can smoke on it at a time. Modern models feature a cooking area from 400 to 1500 square inches.
Next, pay a close attention to a smoker Design. It should feature a spacious charcoal compartment to avoid adding charcoal while smoking. Besides, a charcoal chamber must have an easy access for quick lighting up. In a smoker with a water bowl for wet smoking, your foods will be much juicier while your cooker durability and heat resistance depend on a body material. Thanks to an enameled coating, your smoker will look stylish and attractive at your backyard, patio or terrace.
One more choice criterion for up-to-date models is Performance and Usability. Carrying handles on the body ensure portability while adjustable vents with a built-in thermometer allow for setting an optimal smoking temperature. An instruction manual with useful tips and recipes will provide a number of culinary ideas and help you become a skilled smoking professional within almost no time. Smoker Dimensions is also a significant feature. It might seem that the bigger the unit is the more difficult it is to handle. At the same time, large models boast a high capacity. The same is true for the Weight. A heavy smoker is usually made of a first-class durable metal resistant to high temperatures, though it will take you more efforts to move it when needed.
Eyeball Rolling Smoked Foods
Forget about store-bought pre-smoked foods and enjoy an authentic smokehouse flavor at home with an incredible charcoal smoker from Weber. The smoker features a vertical design and thanks to its compact dimensions (41"(H) x 19"(W) x 21"(L), it will not take much space in your backyard or outdoor kitchen. Though space-saving, this model comes with two rather wide cooking grates made of premium-quality stainless steel creating an impressive total cooking surface of 481 sq.inches. Such capacity is enough to cook both a basic burger and an extensive meal for a family dinner or some festive event with many guests. Owing to a porcelain-enameled steel design, this smoker will serve you for years keeping an attractive almost brand-new look. It is also worth mentioning 3 sturdy legs contributing to overall unit stability and a special insert between the legs to prevent heat transfer from the smoker to the floor. Weber smoker boasts not only a thought-out design but also functional versatility. Along with a built-in thermometer and vent holes for efficient slow cooking, the unit comes with an instruction manual where you can find recommendations on smoking, interesting recipes as well as useful tips on quick and easy clean-up. A special cover included in the set will securely protect your smoker from poor weather conditions when not in use. We can state with confidence that this top-notch smoker will not only drive your guests mad with unbelievably delicious smoked treats but also fascinate you with an enjoyable cooking process!
Several Tips to Become a Smoking Professional
Follow these simple recommendations and all your friends and family members will pay compliments to your culinary skills and unmatched smoked foods.
- Don’t open the smoker lid too often. Many beginners open the lid every few minutes to watch the food and better control the cooking process. But in this case, you are losing the most valuable resources: heat and smoke. It is recommended to open the lid 1-2 times during the smoking session to check the food readiness.
- Never pre-cook food. It happens that users boil food before smoking to expedite the cooking process. Remember that pre-cooked food will not absorb enough smoke flavors and tastes.
- Try to avoid black smoke. Smoking is always accompanied by smoke but if the smoke is dense and black it means the lack of ventilation or that your food is too close to the fire. It can result in a dry or scorched food with a bad taste.
- Though smokers usually come with a built-in thermometer, it indicates only the temperature on the smoker top. Hence, professional chefs often purchase additional thermometers to control the temperature near the food. Thus, you will know the temperature inside the smoker without opening the lid.
More Products to Consider
Weber Apple Wood Chunks will give your meals a truly appetizing flavor. Apple wood is one of the most widespread woods for smokers owing to less dense smoke and a nice fruit flavor. It is a perfect fit for pork and poultry. A 5-pound package is enough for a long time.
Turning on The Art of Great Cooking with Cuisinart
Do you want to enjoy a naturally smoked food you’ve cooked yourself without any flavor intensifiers and liquid smokes? Then you definitely need this superb smoker allowing you to create dry or wet smoked savory meals in the comfort of your home. Owing to a very simple design, all you need for set-up is a screwdriver (not included) and several minutes. Once the smoker is installed, you need to light it up and add water to the bowl. Doing this way all food after being smoked will come up moist and juicy. Meanwhile, melted fat and marinade will drip into the bowl preventing temperature reduction in the cooking chamber. If you want to add some flavored wood chips or charcoal, you don’t have to open the lid since there is a special vertical door with a cool touch handle. Two large grates will make a total cooking area of 510 sq.inches. Keeping in mind the fact that smoked foods have a longer shelf life and are better to preserve, you can smoke all your favorite delicacies and store them away in the fridge. With two air vents on the top and in the bottom, it is easier than ever to control and adjust the amount of heat and smoke for the optimal cooking. The last but not the least, thanks to a light weight of 25 pounds and two carrying handles, you can easily move the smoker and put it anywhere outdoors for your convenience. A handy portable design makes this model a perfect fit for backyard BBQ parties, a great addition to an outdoor grill kitchen as well as a nice idea for a small BBQ bar, café or a family grocery. Master the art of cooking with an ingenious smoker from Cuisinart!
Historical Origin of Food Smoking
There are several versions of how people discovered food smoking that is currently one of the best-ever cooking methods. Our predecessors were known to smoke meet when they lived in caves and went hunting to procure food for themselves and their families. Below we would like to share the most popular stories standing behind the food smoking origin.
Version 1: The caves and first huts of the early men lacked ventilation. However, people still made the fire in order to warm themselves and their dwellings got very smoky. Hence, the meat that was stored in smoky areas had a nice flavor. And it was appropriate for eating for a longer time too.
Version 2: This version is incredibly simple yet possible. When cavemen did the fire, they used to keep the meat close to it to let it dry and this way, prolong its shelf life. So that's how it happened when the meat was left too close to it and took in flavorous smoke.
More Products to Consider
To avoid the risk of burns while smoking you will need heat-resistant gloves. And we can offer a great Grill Heat Aid model withstanding temperatures up to 932F. A cotton lining will give a feel of comfort to your hands while red stripes ensure a secure grip. The gloves are available in 3 sizes and several different colors to your liking.
You will be surprised and impressed at the unrivaled capacity of this unmatched Dyna-Glo smoker. It features 6 chrome-plated steel grates that can accommodate 25 pounds of food per grate. The grates are height-adjustable for an efficient and optimal use of all internal space allowing for simultaneous smoking food of different sizes and consistency. Besides, the unit has an extraordinary distinctive design with an offset charcoal box ensuring the delicate smoking and accurate temperature control. Such indirect heat is ideal for slow smoking and infusing smoke flavor that prevents the food on lower grates from cooking too fast. A pull-out charcoal grate is convenient for easy charcoal and wood chips loading while a replaceable high-capacity ashtray will collect all the ashes for a hassle-free cleaning. At the front, there is a built-in thermometer with a special “smoke zone” that will indicate an ideal cooking temperature inside the cooking chamber to get a perfect smoky flavor. In this model, Dyna-Glo implemented a superior ventilation system including a fully functional smoke stack on the top and a side damper that work together to improve the airflow and evenly transfer the heat and smoke. Both a cooking compartment and a charcoal chamber are made of heavy gauge powder-coated steel resistant to high temperatures and ensuring a long service life. With this capacious and durable smoker, you can get an unforgettable smokehouse flavor of your steaks, briskets, ribs, sausages, chicken, cheese and veggies. Cook up enough food for the whole army of guests and delight them with awesome smoky bites no matter whether they are meat eaters or vegetarians!
Types of Food Smoking
There are several types of food smoking techniques distinguished by peculiar features and offering certain advantages.
Cold smoking. Cold smoking is usually done at temperatures from 68 to 86 °F. A cooking process takes about 2-3 days and requires foods to be preliminary soaked in a marinade. The main benefit of such processing is that foods are gradually losing moisture and getting an appetizing crust. The only thing to remember is that cold smoking does not make food ready for use and further cooking (baking, grilling, steaming, sautéing) is required.
Hot Smoking. The foods are exposed to smoke and heat within the range of 126 to 176 °F. Hot smoked foods are safe to eat. However, most often people re-heat it or increase the cooking temperature at a final stage of smoking. Hot smoking results in a moist meat or fish with a gentle texture and mouth-watering smoky flavor. The only tiny con is rather a long cooking time – from 12 to 15 hours (depending on meat type and chunk sizes). But the result is certainly worth waiting!
Smoke roasting. This is one of the most widely spread techniques since it combines smoking and cooking. The food is smoked at temperatures from 220 to 250 °F within 2-3 hours consuming minimum coal (gas, electricity). Smoke roasted or baked food is ready to eat, it is hot, tasty and juicy. Just mind controlling the cooking process to avoid over roasted and dried meals. And do not worry, you will only need some practice to become a real pro!
More Products to Consider
Do you want to see your guests raving about your lip-smacking smoked foods? Then it is definitely worth buying Wood BBQ Smoking Chips that will add a well-known delicate flavor of Jack Daniel's Whisky. A package contains 180 cubic inches of wood chips made from Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey white oak aging barrels. A distinctive flavor for American classics aficionados.
Ingenious 3-in-1 Smoker
At first sight, Napoleon Apollo Smoker looks like a construction set: different combinations of sections have a specific intended use. The unit consists of 4 major elements: a lower bowl with a charcoal basket, two middle sections with access doors and a lid with a steel rack and five metal hooks. All the sections are held together by locking latches offering you one of the three options for using this all-in-one unit.
1.Grill. You can use a base with a charcoal basket and a lid for grilling hamburgers, sausages, steaks or veggies. Thus, you will get a portable stand-alone charcoal grill ideal for a picnic, camping, a day on the beach or simply for a backyard party.
2. Compact smoker. Set a base with a charcoal basket and put one middle section with or without a water pan to get a compact yet functional smoker with one cooking grate offering a cooking surface of 315 sq.inches. It requires less charcoal and is perfect for a small meal for a couple or a common family.
3. Full-sized smoker. In case you are planning an outdoor party or a backyard get-together and waiting for a lot of smoked food fans to come, use both tiers of your Apollo smoker to maximize your smoking space and cook large batches at a time. 2 cooking grates of 628 sq.inches will easily accommodate the whole chicken, pork shoulder, brisket or fish. Besides, 5 additional hooks on the lid will allow you to hang ribs, sausages, and other long food items for smoking.
For your ultimate convenience, each middle section is equipped with foldable handles making transportation and handling a breeze. And special probe eyelets in each smoker section are designed for maximum accurate temperature control with a probe thermometer since a built-in thermometer will show only the temperature in the top section of the smoker. Bring your outdoor cooking to the next level and experiment with flavors by adding wine, juice, vinegar or herbs to the water pan or different wood chips to the chamber. Be creative and tailor your cooking skills by experiencing grilling and wet or dry smoking with Apollo Charcoal Grill and Water Smoker!
Mouth-watering Facts About BBQ
- Barbecue has become a White House tradition since the 36th USA President Lyndon Baines Johnson hosted the first barbecue. Texas-style barbecued ribs were the main dish served at that reception.
- The most popular holidays for BBQ in the USA are the Independence Day (71 percent of Americans), Memorial Day (57 percent of people) and Labor Day (55 percent of citizens).
- The rating of the most popular foods for a grill is also rather interesting. The first place is taken by burgers that are present in the grill menu of 85 percent of Americans. The second place belongs to steaks (80 percent) while the third and fourth places are shared by hot dogs and chicken preferred by 79 and 73 percent of Americans accordingly.
- May 16th and July 4th are official dates for celebrating National BBQ Day.
- And what about the most popular tools used for barbecuing meat? The majority of people use long-handheld tongs (77 percent), forks (64 percent), long handheld spatulas (59 percent) and grill-cleaning brushes (63 percent) for marinating, cooking and serving foods. A handy Barbecue Set from Mr.Bar-B-Q including 18 items and a convenient case contain all the above-mentioned items.
More Products to Consider
The food should be not only appropriately cooked but also appropriately served and look appetizing. Hence, pulling and shredding meat is a kind of the art. Bear Paws Shredder Claws with ergonomic handles and sharp prongs are designed for pulling pork, shredding poultry and even tossing salads. Shredder material is heat-resistant up to 475F.
A Food Smoking Expert Out of Everyone
Dyna-Glo DGX180BDC-D smoker offers quality, performance, and versatility. Since smoke always goes up, a vertical design of this model is ideal for maximum smoke capture and efficient natural smoking. The smoker features four height-adjustable stainless steel grates offering a total cooking area of 784 square inches. It is an excellent characteristic for this rather compact model. A charcoal chamber at the bottom includes an extendable charcoal basket for easy loading and lighting and a high-capacity ashtray for hours of maintenance-free cooking. One more option that can’t remain unnoticed is a separate chip box. Now you can place your favorite wood chips apart from the charcoals for longer smoldering and an unmatched smoking effect. Additionally, the instruction manual contains a lot of useful tips including a list of the most popular wood chips with a description of their advantages. For example, a Citrus wood is a perfect match for pork and chicken because this wood produces a delicate fruit flavor while a red meat, ribs,and fish will get an amazing aftertaste thanks to oak chips producing a dense and thick smoke. Besides, the instruction manual will offer ideal cooking temperatures and time for different doneness degrees of the meat, from medium-rare to well-done. With Dyna-Glo DGX180BDC-D, you will become a smoking virtuoso even if you have never done it before. You will quickly and easily master the art of smoking to delight your family members and friends with delicious homemade smoked foods!
Toothsome Beef Ribs
Most often, we use pork ribs for smoking and grilling. Beef ribs are typically larger than pork ribs rack. Besides, pork is considered tender and quicker to cook as compared to beef. Yet, smoked beef ribs are a true delicacy and a recipe below will teach you how to smoke beef ribs so that they turn out delicious every time.
Take 2-3 lbs of beef ribs and place them in a large glass or plastic dish to accommodate them in a single layer. Make a marinade mixing 2-8 lbs of tomato sauce, ¼ cup of red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons of mustard, 1 tablespoon of horseradish sauce, 1 tablespoon of minced onions, ½ teaspoon of garlic powder and ¼ teaspoon of pepper. Add the salt to your taste. Spread the marinade over the meat, cover the dish with a plastic wrap and let the meat soak within 4 hours. That’s it! Then you can place the ribs on a smoking grate, pour the remaining marinade over the ribs and smoke within 3.5-4 hours making everyone going crazy about an appetizing smoky flavor. When cooked, enjoy the tastiest smoked beef ribs that will melt in your mouth!
More Products to Consider
Are you tired of seeking for smoked foods recipes on the Internet? Do you want to become a real expert and impress your guests with unbelievably delicious treats? A Real BBQ: The Ultimate Step-By-Step Smoker Cookbook will help. The author Will Budiaman is a graduate of International Culinary Center and a recipe editor for the Blue Apron. He is acknowledged by world-known chefs and has a huge experience in cooking. The book includes recipes for beginners, intermediate and advanced cooks. It is available in paperback versions and in electronic version for Kindle app.
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