You can cook many things with smoke, but it might sometimes be useless if you do not own a smoker. People would never deny the temptation of an anticipation of eating tender meat. Without the smoker, it might be difficult to achieve the tender success. It might be frustrating to achieve it, but you can actually try to create your own smoked barbecue.
But do not fret because you can try to achieve it with a charcoal grill as a typical charcoal grill can create a smoked barbecue that a smoker grill can create. If you’re a patient person then you can definitely keep an eye on the fire during the barbecue to achieve a perfectly smoked barbecue.
Difference between smoker and charcoal grill
The smoker and a charcoal grill are different because of how they treat fire. The smoker holds the fire in a different space and keeps the heat low enough but still cooks meat at temperatures around 225 F to 250 F/110 C to120 C.
The grill is designed to cook hotter and faster. The grill keeps the heat in an open space straight under the food. The charcoal grill can cook in a small amount of time and can warmly cook the food at the same time. If you merely keep the fire lower and to one side of the grill, you can produce low heat that could create a good-tasting barbecue.
How to use a smoker
Truth to be told, a smoker grill is much more complicated than using a kettle grill. You could actually taste the pleasurable smoky meat if you know how to do it right. Before you bring your smoker outside for a backyard party, you must practice in calibrating it and setting the right temperature.
First, you should set up two temperature probes. You should keep your grill stable at 225°F and make sure that you’re checking the temperature from time to time. The temperature inside smoker grills could be different from end to end. It is recommended that you must drill a small hole in the door at each end of the cooking chamber, so that you can insert the probes without raising the lid.Another option that you can do is to mount two of these 4-inch stems thermometers to gauge temperature by using the installation kit. It will still provide you the accurate indication of temperature.
Second is the lighting of charcoal in the chimney starter. If your meat is ready to be cooked, start firing your smoker grill. It takes around 10-15 minutes for lighting a full load of charcoal in a chimney starter. According to recommendations, wood should be used as a supplement to coals because it adds more flavor than using fuel.
Third is the opening of intake and chimney baffles then adding of lit coals. Manage the intake of oxygen through the grill’s vent by managing the temperature. Oxygen creates heat in this process. The intake baffle (near the firebox) and the chimney baffle (located at near the chimney) must be fully open for the fuel.
Fourth is ensuring temperature accuracy. Start adjusting the intake baffle to manage the heat because it is the one responsible for the flow of oxygen to the coals. But you should keep the chimney open at this time and close the intake baffle halfway while you’re slowly adjusting it until the temperature will stabilize at the range of 225-250°F on the hot side of the smoker.
The temperature will finally drop throughout the cooking process due to the coals fading out. Refill the fully lit coals at the chimney starter if necessary.
Fifth is adding wood chunks for flavor. It is recommended to simply leave the wood chunks smoldering and burning next to the fire, not directly in the hottest part. You will probably need a chunk or two for this.
Sixth is adding moisture to the smoke. You can do so by putting a metal rack over the coals in the firebox and adding a water pan on the grate. Another way is to spritz it with a bit of apple juice to help it absorb the smoke.
The last one is to be patient because cooking real barbecue means slow smoking of meat to achieve its tenderness and goodness.
Is cooking with a smoker healthy?
Barbecue season will come rolling to town again and these grills will be in high demand. There are many grills in the market for barbecue season, and you must choose the best one that will suit your preference. A new grill is called a wood-pellet-burning grill that could be used as an indirect cooking method that is said to reduce the development of carcinogenic chemicals.
It is best to cook with a smoker because it is reported to kill certain bacteria and stops the development of other bacteria. It also avoids fat turning into rancid. Other benefits include stopping mold from developing among fermented sausages, extending the edibility of the meals.
Is a charcoal grill toxic?
According to the Wall Street Journal, cooking with charcoal or gas grills are proven harmful because it allows the development of heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).
PAHS are carcinogenic substances that could develop when fat and juices from meat dripping onto a fire that will cause flames which coats the food.
HCAs are formed at high temperatures that could alter a person’s genetic material. According to the National Cancer Institute, this change may increase the risk of developing cancer.
Benefits of cooking with a smoker
Smokers use indirect heat to cook foods. Smoking can smoothen the toughest meats and could taste tender and juicy, a favorite of many people. Another flavor that could only be made with cooking a smoker is the smoky flavor from the gradual cooking process.
Another benefit of cooking with a smoker is that you could avoid cooking at home because it would be somehow challenging to bake roasts or casseroles in the oven especially during summer. It will also be adding to the electric cost because heating the oven will increase the energy bill. You could avoid paying an additional amount in your bill if you could cook outdoors.
You can now invite your friends and family over if you have smoking grill because you’ll be confident enough to throw a real barbecue party that could be less hassle and more fun. You can smoke or ask them to help you smoke a variety of meat. You wouldn’t need to tremendously spend a lot of time in managing a smoking grill to ensure it would produce good results, so you can party during that time.
Cooking with a smoker allows various benefits from creating good flavor, eating healthier, and of course, planning backyard parties that will be remembered for a long time.