Consider buying smoke pellets from this website

Consider buying smoke pellets from this website

If you are new to pellet smokers, or if you are just looking for a quick and easy way to make an impressive meal, then you need to read this article. It is one of the most informative articles I have ever written.

Wood vs Pellets

When it comes to cooking in a wood smoker, there is a debate that rages on. Many people say that pellet smokers are not as good as wood smokers because they do not taste as good. However, I believe that wood and pellets both have their place. In fact, I like both methods of cooking better than gas grills which I think are overrated.

The reason why I prefer wood smoking is simple. First of all, the smoke from a wood fire is far more complex than the smoke produced by gas grills. The chemical composition of the smoke makes it much richer and full of flavor. Secondly, it takes longer to cook with wood. As a result, it produces a much larger amount of smoke and the food cooks much slower. This means that the meat has time to absorb the flavor of the smoke. Finally, I like the idea of using my own wood.

I use oak, hickory, cherry, apple and other woods when I barbecue. Of course, different types of wood produce different flavors so some woods are better suited for certain meats than others. On top of that, the type of wood will dictate how long it takes to burn down completely. So, when I am selecting wood for my smoker, I take into account the following factors:

Burning rate –

How quickly does the wood burn down? If I want to start cooking right away, I select hardwoods (oak, maple, etc.) that will burn fast. If I want to let the wood get nice and smoky before I put the meat in the pit, I go with softwood (cherry, poplar, etc.). Softwood burns at a slow pace and gives me plenty of time to tend to the meat.

Weight/size –

Is the size of the wood box small enough to fit in my back yard? If so, I usually opt for smaller pieces of wood. The heavier the piece of wood, the harder it is going to be to carry. This is important if I plan to travel with the cooker to various events. In addition, I don’t want to spend too much money on a large smoker if I am only going to use it for a couple of times a year.

Cost –

Do I want to spend $150-$300 on a large smoker made out of stainless steel? Or should I buy a cheaper model and save money for future upgrades?

So, which do I prefer? Well, I would have to say that I am partial to wood smokers. They are easier to maintain and clean than gas smokers and they provide a more authentic taste. But, if you can afford it, then a gas grill might be your best option!

The Basics Of Choosing A Wood

Here are some basic rules that apply to all types of wood smokers:

Choose wood that is dry and seasoned. Avoid wet wood because it will rot easily and won’t give off much smoke. Seasoned wood is also more expensive so if you can find cheap wood, great.

Buy wood with knots. Knots help to keep the wood together and prevent it from splitting apart. Also, the knots hold the wood together tighter and make for a stronger structure.

Avoid “hardwood” logs. Hardwood logs are actually softwoods that are cut down and dried artificially. They are often treated with chemicals to make them last longer. Unfortunately, these chemicals may leach into the food. I recommend buying fresh wood from your local lumberyard.

Avoid buying wood that smells bad. You should be able to smell the wood burning even after you light the fire. If the smoke smells musty or rotten, then the wood has probably been sitting around for too long and is old. Try to avoid buying anything that looks moldy.

Look for smooth bark. Smooth bark is easier to work with, holds together better and doesn’t split as easily. If you see any cracks in the bark, then the wood has been exposed to moisture and is likely to split.

Try to buy wood that is about 3-5 inches thick. Thicker pieces of wood will burn faster and create a bigger volume of smoke.

Use a chimney starter. Some smokers come with chimneys attached but many do not. You can improvise a chimney starter by filling a metal coffee can half full with water and placing it on the bottom rack of the smoker. Place a few sticks of wood inside the can and light it with a match. Once the flames catch, remove the can and place the wood on the coals below. Repeat until you have several glowing coals ready to go.

Don’t overcrowd the firebox. Overcrowding will cause the coals to spread out rather than stay close together. This will lead to uneven cooking.

Put the meat on the lowest rack. Meat cooks more slowly than poultry or fish so put it on the bottom rack. Remember that the meat will release steam during the cooking process so make sure to ventilate the smoker properly.

Keep the lid closed while cooking. Keeping the lid closed will allow the heat to circulate throughout the entire smoker. By keeping the lid closed, you’ll minimize the chances of flare ups. Flare ups are caused by hot coals igniting the grease and oil that drips down onto them. When this happens, the food becomes burnt beyond repair.

After you’ve assembled your smoker, you’re ready to prep the meat. As I mentioned earlier, the meat needs to be placed on the lowest rack. Then, fill up the smoker with smoke and turn it on low. After a minute or two, move the lid open slightly and add more wood to the firebox. Keep adding wood every 15 minutes or so until the pit is filled with glowing coals. At this point, you can turn the temperature up to medium high and begin cooking.

Cooking With Your Pellet Smoker

Now that you know how to assemble your pellet smoker, you are ready to start cooking. I hope you enjoy reading about pellet smoking as much as I enjoyed writing it. Check here for more information