Cooking Meat To Perfection In Vertical Smokers

in General Outdoor Advice

Smoked meats have a unique flavor that is hard to forget. Once you have eaten beef, pork, or poultry which has been smoked, you will probably not turn to your barbecue grill quite so often. The beauty of vertical smokers is that you can put your meat inside and then leave it to cook most of the day. Low temperatures and long cooking times result in meat that is more succulent than almost any you have ever eaten. Ribs fall off the bones, and whole turkeys come out cooked to perfection. In fact, if you prepare your Thanksgiving turkey in a smoker, your family will probably never again be satisfied with one which has been roasted in the oven. A hanging rack of ribs is very difficult to prepare in a horizontal smoker, but a vertical smoker offers a large interior environment which is perfect for hanging a rack or two of ribs.

Vertical smokers can be used year-round. Because the doors of the smoker are rarely opened during the cooking process, the food inside is not affected by cold outdoor temperatures. Your meat might require a bit longer than usual to become fully smoked when the temperatures are cold, but if you plan for this, your dinner time should not be affected. The reason food cooked in a smoker sometimes takes a bit longer during the winter is that the smoker itself is chilled by the cool temperatures. However, as the heat rises inside the cooking chamber and wood is added regularly, the smoker will self-regulate and perform as expected. Vertical smokers operate under a very simple principle.

The interior of a smoker generally holds two or three cooking racks where the food is placed. The food can be put directly on the racks, or it can be placed in a cooking pan. The bottom of the smoker is where the heat source resides. Above the heat source is a pan which holds liquid such as water or apple cider. As the interior of the smoker heats, the liquid also heats and turns to steam. The configuration of the shelves allows the steam to circulate all around the meat. This process slowly cooks the meat and keeps it from becoming dry. The choice of wood used in vertical smokers is also important to a successful cooking outcome. Many people love the taste of hickory or mesquite for beef, while maple and apple wood are very popular flavors for poultry and pork. The wood chips must be replenished in the smoker every few hours during the cooking process in order for the flavor of the wood to fully penetrate the meat.

Many people prefer vertical smokers over horizontal designs because they feel the vertical configuration is less expensive to operate. Since heat rises, the heat is used very efficiently and does not dissipate out the sides of the cooking device. Charcoal smokers have been around for decades, and they continue to be very popular. Charcoal is readily available, and it does not require special tanks for its storage. However, gas smokers are also very popular. Many people have propane tanks on their barbecue grills, and these same tanks can be used on their smokers. Electric vertical smokers have also become increasingly popular in recent years.

These smokers are especially nice because the interior temperatures can be very easily controlled. You will usually find a few different sizes of vertical smokers. They can be purchased almost anywhere that sells barbecue grills. The Internet is another excellent resource for finding smokers. Both the larger and the smaller sizes are perfect for a deck or patio. They can be put in the backyard or on the front porch. One thing is certain. When you prepare your meat in a smoker, your family members will make sure they are home in time for dinner.

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