How to use a propane smoker for Best result?
Smoking of Meat has been traditionally been to preserve the meat.The process involved a seperate building known as the smoke house where the meat was cured in salt and hung for days to dry in the smoke for preservation.
Until late the smoking of meat was done on charcoal with wood which gave it a nice flavor.Smoking is a slow process that may take a full day .The minimum smoking time is the 75 min so be prepared to give a significant time to the process.A propane smoker is a device that use propane gas as the heat source instead of charcoal.
What is a Propane Smoker?
A propane smoker uses propane gas instead of the charcoal to heat the smoker.The air heats up and rises to slowly cook the meat.They also use wood pellets to produce the smoke which gives a flavor to the meat.
How does a Propane smoker operate?
The Burners in the smoker are lighted to produce the heat, after a preheated temperature is achieved the wood pellets and the water water pan are added .the meat is arranged on the racks or grilling plates . The temperature is set and the smoker is then left to smoke the meat.A Meat probe thermometer lets you know the meat temperature to ensure that the correct temperature is maintained.
Propane smoker: Components
1.Grill racks:Grill racks are made up of stainless steel with chrome coated or porcelain enameled so that the meat doesn’t stick to the grills.There may be a separate hook to hang the bigger pieces of the meat.
2.Gas burner:The gas burner is the bottom of the smoker that will provide the necessary heat for smoking.
3.Wood chip tray:the wood chip tray surrounding the burner comes with several flavors such as hickory maple etc.
4.Water pan:this helps in maintaining the temperature and produces steam to ensure that the meat does not dry out and retain its moisture.
5.Dampers and air vents:lower dampers are opened to get more oxygen to increase the temperature whereas the top air vents lets out heat to decrease the temperature.
6. Temperature gauge: a temperature gauge monitors the temperature inside the smoker so that it remains consistent.
7. Thermostat: This is essential device that regulates the internal temperature of the Smoker.The Digital control are the most innovative additions which enable you to regulate the smoking process remotely
7 -Point Guide to use the Propane Smoker:
Here are some important guidelines to use a propane smoker, this will take you through a whole process of smoking in the propane smoker for effective results
1. Connecting: Start by connecting your propane smoker to the propane tank and make sure that it is sealed tightly to avoid any leakage.Press on the ignition button for starting the burner.Set the temperature and close the door.Open the dampers and the vents to preheat the smoker.
2.Marinating and preparing the pieces: Marinate the meat pieces in the marinade of your choice,usually salt and pepper are rubbed over the meat along with a dash of lemon.The marinade can be chosen as per your choice.
3.Wood chips and Water pan: Add water to the pan along with herbs to add flavor to the meat.As the steam from water rises it will add flavor to the meat. Load the wood chips of your favorite flavor. The variety of flavors for the wood chips are available as Hickory,applewood,cherry barbecue orange or peach.
4.Open the Air vents:The next step in the process is to open the air vents.this is necessary to let the bad smoke out so that the meat doesn’t taste burnt but instead retains the flavors of wood smoke.
5. Layer the grill: After the pre heat layer the grills with the marinated pieces of meat and vegetables with spaces and shut the door for the process to start.
6.Keep a check on the smoking meat: If you are a beginner it is wise to keep a check on the meat while smoking.if you have a meat thermometer in the meat keep taking the temperature of the meat periodically to make sure it remains at the desired temperature for the best results.
7.Allow to rest : After you take out the meat from the smoker allow it rest for 15 to 20 minutes for the best results as it would still be cooking inside.
Tips to take care while smoking with propane smoker:
1. Keep a regular check on the water in the pan along with the herbs if you have put any.
2. Keep a check on the wood chips for adding more to the wood pile to ensure the smoke for cooking.
3. Keep an eye on the fuel tank as you would not like to run out of gas in the middle of smoking.Most of the smokers come with fuel gauge to know the exact amount of gas left.
4. Keep wearing an oven mitt or gloves before you touch anything inside the smoker as everything would be hot.
5. Keep the door of the smoker closed.Do not open it unnecessary as when you open the door the temp inside will drop.
6. Keep measuring the temperature from the meat probes regularly to keep a consistent cooking temperature.
Tips for Operating the Propane Smoker:
- Always start with meat pieces that are easy to smoke which are a whole chicken or a pork shoulder or a roast.
- Always smoke meat at exact temperature.
- Always vary the different wood flavors for best results.
- Always give yourself plenty of space to cook.
- Always Keep your smoker clean
Cleaning the Smoker:
It is necessary to take care to clean your smoker after every use. This ensures that the smoker doesnot have flavors of the previously cooked meals.it also avoiids build up the grease which can flare up and even caouse fire.the basic hygiene is required before keeping another batch on the grates.