The meat smoker is a device that is used to cook raw meat or fish while infusing the food with flavor that comes from the smoke churned out over the course of the cooking. Back in the day, meat smokers were often built as a downsized structure in which fires would produce heat and smoke to cure meats dangling from hooks that were positioned over the area.
In the 20th century, meat smokers were made and sold to those who wanted a device that could be used for social gatherings at home. These days, you can buy an electric or a gas smoker with an appropriate size or make your own with the help of meat smoker plans.
Many think barbecue grills and meat smokers are one and the same; however, the two devices have their differences. A barbecue grill might make use of gas, charcoal, or electricity for cooking meat. However, a barbecue grill does not produce a lot of smoke that can permeate the meat to let the flavor of the scorching wood infuse the meat over the course of the grilling.
A meat smoker will not only grill or cook the meat, it will also produce the needed amount of smoke in order to fully infuse the meat and allow the flavor of the wood to penetrate the meat over the course of cooking.
There are attachments that can be added to a regular barbecue grill that will allow it to function the way a meat smoker would. The attachment can be taken away without fuss following the smoking process, then stored for use in the future.
Both electric and gas meat smokers make use of a medium apart from wood to light the fire and generate the heat that’s required to cook your meat. They also have a layer wherein fragrant wood can be positioned to produce sufficient smoke to flavor the food.
These convenient outdoor meat smokers have almost the same appearance as a covered grill and they are easy to clean and maintain. They can easily be stored as well.
Cooking meat in a meat smoker entails a few simple steps. The food is put on the rack in the device and the wood is arranged in it as well. As soon as the fire is lit and the device is generating enough heat and smoke, the device is then closed.
This lets the heat start cooking the meat, and the smoke to start flavoring the food. As the cooking process continues, the flavoring starts to soak into the food. This produces a smoky flavor throughout the meat, which offer a delicious, unique taste.
There are meat smoker plans available so you can create your own, found on the internet and various DIY sites.
The steps call for modifying a grill or using metal drums to produce a body made for a wood burning meat smoker. But if you do not want the fuss involved in making one, you can easily buy a commercially produced smoker. They can be bought in stores that sell kitchen equipment or you can order one online.
People make use of electric smokers for convenience. They are made for home cooks who are not into the fuss of having to supervise the device and worry about proper smoking temperatures. But if you want more control over your cooking, you can opt for the gas kind.
Another reason why people buy meat smokers is it provides a delicious, distinctively intense and woody taste to meats, fish, and other foods. This is the reason why we have liquid smoke seasoning, and at times smoky flavors are added to vegetables and sauces. The smoked food absorbs unique flavors due to the wood used during the cooking process.
If you want flavors imparted by cherry wood, apple wood or hickory, then the smoking method is recommended. However be careful about the woods you use for your cooking—mesquite imparts a flavor that can be too strong for some people, while pine is said to have a moderately toxic quality to it.
Smoked meats are also moister compared to grilled or barbecued meats, and they tend to be tenderer too due to the method. So if you like smoky flavors, a meat smoker is a worthy investment.