Our idea of the best BBQ doesn’t just involve some great meats but the classical smoker. Opinions are usually divided as to what type of smoker is better, and which one makes the meat taste better.
Some smokers come with all the bells and whistles, and it can be confusing what exactly you can do with them. We know that we can smoke meat with them, but what else can they do?
Could we also use it to grill our meat or vegetables?
These thoughts race through our mind, and we search and search to try and find the answers we want. So today, search no more!
We are here to tell you if you can grill on your smoker, and how to get the most out of your BBQ smoker for the tastiest type of meat.
Grill Or Smoker?
For most of us, the grill is the absolute centerpiece of your outdoor kitchen but you may be surprised to find that there are also a few other cooking appliances that could add a special touch to your BBQ experience.
Many assume that grills and smokers are the same thing. However, there are some major differences that you should be aware of.
Smoking and grilling smoking is very different from grilling. First of all, smoking requires low heat (around 200 Fahrenheit) with a much longer cooking time. Commonly, you should count in 90 minutes for smoking a large piece of meat.
In comparison, grilling is much faster and uses a very high temperature (over 400 Fahrenheit). This means it can get the job done quicker but you need to be careful not to burn the meat.
When you are smoking your meat should be much further away from the actual heat source.
But it’s not just how you barbecue your meat but what type of smoker you use. Some people love the simplicity of electric smokers or gas grills, while others swear by charcoal.
The type of smoker (as well as the fuel, such as charcoal, wood, or pellets) can significantly impact the taste of your meat.
How Do Smokers Work?
The name already suggests it. Smokers use actual smoke to cook your food.
You can use gas, wood, electric, or charcoal as fuel but electricity and gas are commonly considered to be much easier to use and they need a lot less adjustment during the cooking time.
Smokers use indirect heat. They have a water basin and a wood chip basin at the bottom. The wood chips are responsible for the individual smoky flavor, and the water keeps the internal temperature level.
How Do Grills Work?
Grills also can be fired by charcoal, gas, or electricity although many believe that charcoal and gas grills offer a much better flavor.
One of the biggest advantages of grilling is that you can use either the direct heat of the open flame or you can place it next to the flame for indirect heat.
The indirect heat means you can cook your food slowly. This is especially handy for thicker cuts of meat to ensure they don’t get burned.
In the last few years, you may also have seen another type of grilling called infrared. During the infrared grilling process, you only use infrared technology to cook your food.
This might sound very scientific but it gets the job done. We found that infrared grills can produce much higher cooking temperatures at a really quick speed.
Some infrared grills can get up to 700 Fahrenheit within 7 minutes. These grills don’t just allow you to cook your food in different ways but they also create a tasty result in a very short space of time.
Steps For Smoking The Perfect Meat
Prepare your meat a day before by applying a dry rub and leave it to marinate in the fridge overnight.
Then fire up your smoker, and make sure to add enough water (and any spices or herbs for more flavor) to the water pan.
Next, place your food inside the smoker and regularly check the smoker’s temperature. Ideally, you should keep a level temperature between 225 and 250 Fahrenheit.
You will likely need to add either charcoal or wood chips during the cooking time. This depends on the temperature but usually, you only need to add wood chips every 45 minutes to 2 hours.
Last up, 30 minutes before serving, you should apply your favorite sauce or wet marinade for the tastiest flavor.
Tips For Your Perfect BBQ In A Smoker
Sometimes getting your food cooked in the right way with a smoker can seem like an art in itself. That’s why here are some tips on how to create the perfect BBQ in a smoker.
Turning The Meat
It can be tempting to turn your food several times but it’s best to turn the meat only one or two times while cooking to ensure it’s well done on both sides.
Keep The Doors Closed
When it comes to grilling and smoking, the temperature is everything. As you don’t want to lose any heat escaping through the doors, it’s best to keep them closed.
This also makes your grill and smoker much more fuel-efficient because it can use all the heat to cook your food.
Monitor The Temperature
The right temperature is a must-have when you want to cook your BBQ food to perfection. Make sure you monitor the temperature of the smoker as well as the temperature of the food.
For meat, you can use a meat thermometer to check the temperature.
The Right Flavoring
Some might prefer the stronger flavor of different woods, while others like it more exotic by adding spices, seasoning, or marinades to the water pan.
Adding Rubs At The Right Time
If you want to give your meat extra flavor with a marinade or a rub, then it’s best to only use a dry rub while the meat is cooking.
For any liquid rubs or sauces, just add these during the last 30 minutes of the cooking process or they will burn.
At the end of the day, whether you decide on a smoker or a grill for your outdoor BBQ depends on what type of food you cook.
Luckily you don’t have to choose a smoker or a grill. You can always treat yourself to more flexibility and get both a grill and smoker.
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