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Smokers for outdoor cooking picking the best smoker

Smokers for Outdoor Cooking – Picking the Best Smoker

The smoker is used to add flavor to meats and other foods by exposing them to the smoke from burning or smoldering materials, mostly wood. Though meats are most commonly smoked, other foods like cheese and vegetables, may be smoked as well. Smoking may or may not be a key part of the barbecue process, but some people swear that the grilling experience is incomplete without smoking.

Meat smokers for outdoor cooking or grilling come in so many varieties that it is quite daunting for most beginners to decide on the right one. Charcoal is a popular fuel for these smokers. Traditional American barbecue is generally cooked on one or the either of these charcoal smokers: offset charcoal smokers or Upright Drum Smokers.

The chief distinguishing feature of the offset charcoal smoker is that the cooking chamber is usually cylindrical in shape, with another smaller cylinder attached to one end for the firebox. To smoke the food, a small fire is lit in the firebox. The smoke and the heat are drawn into the compartment where the food is kept through a connecting pipe. The heat and the smoke pass through the food, tenderizing it, before passing out through an exhaust vent. In cooking the food, the smoke also provides a unique flavor to it.

The other kind of smoker, the Upright Drum Smoker, as the name suggests, has an upright steel drum that is used for cooking. The contraption can be arranged in a variety of ways, but generally a basket holding charcoal is held at the bottom of the drum to provide the smoke and the heat. Some charcoal smokers use a bowl of water in the smoker to keep the meat moist.

The propane smoker is also being increasingly used to smoke meats. As the term indicates, the heat in this smoker is generated by a gas burner. The gas flames, in turn, heat a steel or iron box that contains the wood or charcoal that provides the smoke. The technology heats the wood, but provides it with only enough oxygen to smoke, rather than to burn. The smoke passes through the vents smoking the foods placed in the containers.

Electric smokers are the popular choice for people who need a shorter start up time for smoking. Those electric smokers that come in upright models provide a relatively larger large interior cooking space.

The most traditional method of smoking meats is the smoke box method. This essentially uses a fire box and a food box. The terms are self-explanatory in themselves, and the fire box produces the heat and the smoke to cook the food stuff in the food box.

Finally, there is also a variety of cold smokers that do not use heat to cook food at all. These are suitable for items such as smoked bacon, thick smoked cheese, cold salmon and trout. The only disadvantage of using this kind of smoker is that it takes a much longer time than the hot smoker.

Bogged down by the options? Consider your own tastes and conveniences when you shop for your smoker, and you won’t go wrong!

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