How to Use a Charcoal Smoker
The charcoal smoker cooking is slow and infuses wood based flavor of one’s choice. Behind the hood, a water tray boils over the charcoal and wood chips to give hot steam which tenderizes the meat as it gets smoked. The common and best flavor wood to use is the mesquite, maple, oak and hickory.
A great barbecue is all about the smoke. Whether the smoker uses charcoal or wood, without the right procedure in smoking, no good results will be achieved. Bad smell and nasty taste is the common characteristic of poorly grilled meat. However, this does not always have to be the end result. You can improve on your cooking and make a great barbecue by changing the way you do your grilling.
The initial stage of this process is to light up the charcoal smoker. Remove the top cover and the wire rack as well as the water tray: this can be done by pulling. Put the appropriate charcoal size and amount on the base; different smokers hold different charcoal size and capacity, from ten pounds to fifteen pounds.
The next step is to cover the charcoal with a lighter fluid. Ensure that the charcoal is completely wet with this fluid. Open the fire door and ignite the light charcoal fluid and allow the charcoal to generate a substantial heat; this could take approximately 20 minutes. As soon as a layer of ash starts to cover the charcoal, close the fire door.
The next step, which is vital to the outcome of your smoked meat, is the placement of the flavored wood chips. Use grilling tongs to place your flavor wood chips of your choice on top of the lit ash covered charcoal. Note that the thickness of the flavoring wood depends with the intensity of taste you are looking for. The more wood you add the stronger the smell and taste of the smoked meat.
Replace the water tray on top of the flavored wood. Using clean water, fill the tray three quarters and replace the grilling wire rack. The water gives off the steam that tenderizes the meat as the smoking continues. Make sure that the water is not toxic or with impurities that might ruin your barbecue.
The next step is to place your meat on the grilling wire rack. Make sure that the meat is free, not touching or lying over the other. Enough room between the meats allows even cooking and easy passage of the smoke between them.
Once you are sure the meat is perfectly lying on the wire, replace the lid. Do not be in haste. Allow the meat to smoke for the recommended time. The average smoking time lies between 45 minutes to one hour per pound of meat.
It is advisable to check on the meat every two hours. You can open the lid and turn the meat to allow moderate cooking on all sides. Do not forget to replace the lid. Once the cooking is done, open the lid and remove the meat. With the lid still open, open the fire door to allow the charcoal smoker to cool. Empty the charcoal and water tray. This will ensure the longer lasting of your smoker.