Wednesday, November 15, 2017

What to Look for When Buying an Electric Smoker


Let’s face it, there a lot of different smokers out there.  We find charcoal, wood, gas, pellet, but that which we are interested are the electric smokers.  Electric smokers do have advantages for which the other ones do not.  Here you will read about what to look for when buying an electric smoker, including what to avoid.

Why Go Electric?

Wood is the oldest type of smoker.  These are the ones that your grandfather used way back in the day.  They were often very heavy and well-built for their purpose.  They may have been built out of scrap pieces of metal or brick.  And granddad would not have moved it because it weighed so much or it was built in-place.  One of the reasons they were so heavy is that they had to be able to withstand the heat, which could be intense.  A drawback of wooden smokers was that they tended to have fairly uneven heat, especially if they were made of various bits of sheet metal, or when there were gaps in the metal.  Wood does not burn exactly the same every time, even if it is of the same type of wood.  They could be tricky to use.  It was as much art as it was science.  Although, there are plenty of people still using them today, often with modern enhancements, there are many alternatives.
However, there are many more reasons to buy an electric smoker.

The reasons to go with electric are that they usually come with wheels, they come with insulated metal, have humidity and temperature control, and they tend to be much lighter weight.

The Wheels

The wheels are an obvious feature that comes standard on many modern smokers.  However, the shape of the unit will factor into ease of movement.  For example, an offset pit will be awkward to move around.  You will also want large wheels, for ease of rolling over rough surfaces.

Insulation

The insulation of the metal panels is important for keeping the heat even inside.  The last thing we want is for some slab of meat to be undercooked, while others are overcooked.

Humidity Control

Also known as “heat evaporation facilities”, the humidity inside the smoker is controlled by a gauge on the side of it.  This determines how quickly and well the product inside dries.  It is central to the quality of the smoked meat.

Temperature Control

In the old days the heat level was exclusively controlled by a damper that would be opened or closed.  Now, the heat can be set to an exact degree, so you may cook a turkey at a very high temperature, and then drop it to 100°F for smoking some cheese. 


The nature of smoking has reached almost a level of perfection.  Today’s smokers, especially the electric ones, are so advanced that you can basically set it and forget it.  Walk away for a few hours and it will be exactly the same when you get back.  So head over to the Electric Smoker Center and buy one!
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