When it comes to hosting a cookout, you want to present the best foods possible. It is common to think that smoking and grilling are essentially the same, but there are distinct differences. Learning more about smoking foods and how it will make a big difference for your next cookout will help you to see why you need to add a BBQ smoker to your cooking arsenal.
What Types of Foods Can You Put into a Smoker?
You can smoke a wide variety of foods. Proteins are the foods that people smoke most often, and this includes fish, meat and chicken. For short periods of time, you can smoke vegetables too to give them a smoky flavor.
You have two options for smoking. If you are preparing foods that are already cooked, you can use the cold smoking method. This takes less time and is mostly used to provide foods with a smoky flavor. If you are cooking uncooked items, especially big pieces of meat, hot smoking is the best choice. It ensures strong flavor and it gives your meats more moisture.
When you are smoking foods, the flavor payoff is intense. Smoking is slower than grilling, allowing the flavors to really mature as the foods are smoking. Once your foods are done, they have a smoky and authentic BBQ flavor.
In many cases, you can use things like pellets and charcoal that have added flavor. This allows you to further intensify the flavor of the foods that you smoke. The pellets and charcoal come in a variety of flavors so that you can choose the end result of the foods that you are preparing.
The smoking process is slow, allowing the juices of the meats to essentially lock in. This ensures that the finished product is falling off of the bone. The moisture of the meats remains in place so that you are not dealing with meat that is rubbery or difficult to chew.
This happens because you use lower temperatures that you get with grills and ovens. The extended cooking time prevents the meat from getting tough, especially on the outside so that it is tender all throughout the cut.
A Healthier Cooking Process
Lower fat and more nutrients are one of the biggest reasons that people choose to use a quality smoker for meats and other proteins. For example, when you smoke fish, this helps to preserve the omega-3 fatty acids. When you smoke meats, the iron content is higher compared to meats prepared using other cooking methods.
Because of this, you can enjoy a more balanced diet when you incorporate smoked foods. If you smoke vegetables, these too maintain a denser nutrient profile.
Smoking foods also allows for a lower fat content, allowing you to eat a low-fat diet easier. When you are smoking proteins, the fat drips out as the foods are smoking. The meats do not sit in the fat like when you are grilling them. This results in healthier meats.
You Can Preserve Foods
You can smoke meats and other proteins to help them to hold longer. When you smoke foods, they have a longer shelf life. You can put them into your refrigerator and reheat them when you are ready to eat. This is a good option if you are hosting a big cookout because it allows you to prepare the proteins in advance so that you can save time.
How to Choose a Great BBQ Smoker
Now that you know why having a BBQ smoker is a good idea, having a few tips about how to pick one will ensure that you make the right choice. The first step is to start reading some reviews on websites like Smokeysteakranch. This allows you to evaluate a variety of smokers so that you can compare them and learn more about their features.
Another big decision will be the fuel type. There are numerous choices, including:
• Electric: They produce less flavor but are the most convenient
• Charcoal: These types are generally inexpensive and provide an authentic flavor
• Pellets: These give a high level of smoke and heat
• Propane: This type is easier and faster to heat compared to other smoker types
Consider the size of the proteins that you will be smoking. The large smokers can prepare enough food for up to 20 people. Think about the size of your cookouts to pick the right size.
Versatility is another thing you want to consider. Some smokers also have a grilling element so that you can smoke some foods while you are grilling others. This allows you to prepare full meals while saving time.
All you have to do now is pick up a BBQ smoker and start using it. You can smoke a variety of proteins and vegetables to take your cookouts to the next level.