One of the best ways to have a barbecue or prepare meat in your backyard is by using a propane smoker. These machines are known for their safety and reliability when it comes to cooking and is also easy to use.
Propane smokers are known for their steady and consistent build-up of fire, and they also cook faster than traditional smokers. Like the electric ones, these are easy to maneuver. If you are a beginner and find going through the entire instruction manual a bit daunting, then stay with us as we walk you through the nine easy steps of using a propane smoker.
Prep Up The Smoker
If your smoker is brand new, then the first thing you need to do is run the manufacturers oil through it for an hour and let it air out once, before prepping it up for cooking. For this part, you do not need to add wood. Also, check the highest temperature your propane smoker can run at.
The recommended heat for cooking meat with a propane smoker ranges from 230 to 250 degrees. The best smokers will allow you to keep this heat for a long time. You can click here to check out some of the best propane smokers of 2020.
And if the smoker is a second-hand one, then be sure to clean it properly first. Remember, old food grime is not going to make your food better. Instead, the congealed carbon created from those food grimes will drip down onto your meat. Consuming these foods can be harmful to your health.
Now that we have all that settled, here are nine steps you should follow.
Step 1. Wrap Up The Smoker
You have to use an aluminum foil paper to cover the smoker adequately. This allows the smoker to stay clean and also keeps it insulated.
You can buy foil papers from your local stores and use them to wrap up the smoker. Simply cut off small pieces in the paper so that the handles can come out, and the paper adequately covers the entire smoker. You can feel a substantial change in the temperature of your smoker once you have done this.
Step 2. Hook The Tanker To Your Smoker
Correctly attach the tank to your smoker and make sure it stays stable. Gently turn on the valve of your tank. Open the door by turning the handle counter-clockwise.
After that, steadily light up your burner as per instructions. If you see that the burner is not igniting immediately, then turn it off and cut the supply to the gas. Wait for a few minutes to let all the air out and later try it. Check by releasing the gas knob again and then lighting it up.
Step 3. Add Wood Chips & Pieces
You can either use dry chips or soaked wood chips. Suppose you do want to use soaked ones. Then soak them in water for about 30 minutes before using them. You can use oak, mesquite, apple or hickory wood for added flavor.
Now put the wooden chips, pieces, or sawdust in the compartment, but make sure not to overfill it. Put the pan or compartment back in place above the burner, so the temperature can rise and give you the desired level of heat you need.
Step 4. Wrap Up The Watering Pan
Take a big piece of aluminum foil paper and wrap up the watering pan the same way you wrapped up the smoker. You can also add some herbs here for added flavor.
Step 5. Maintain The Steady Temperature
Once it has ignited, maintain the steady temperature of the heat, which is about 230-250 degrees. You will have to give it about ten to fifteen minutes to preheat the smoker.
As it preheats, you will have to adjust the chimney of the smoker and maintain airflow through the vents. To allow proper circulation of air keeps the flue or vent open halfway. This ensures circulation and also allows the bad smoke trapped inside to get out.
Step 6. Let Your Food Rest A While
Once you have done everything to get the smoker ready, take the food out from the refrigerator if you haven’t done so already.
If you are just taking it out of the fridge now, you will have to leave it outside for about another 20-30 minutes. After that, put the meat on top of the grill of your smoker.
Depending on the type of meat, you can either put it on the grill or let it hang by a hook.
Step 7. Let The Smoker Take Its Time
Meat takes a little time to prepare, so you will have to be patient. After lighting up the burner and placing the meat in the grill, you will have to keep the door shut at least for one or two hours.
And it is best not to open the door of the smoker during this time, or the smoke will come out and ruin the flavor of the food.
After two hours you can open the door and check your food once. This time reduce the heat and put more wood chips in the wood compartment and some water in the aluminum covered pan. This will add extra flavor to the meat.
Step 8. Turn It Off Once Done
To finally check your food, use a meat thermometer. This will tell you if your food has been cooked as per your desired tenderness. After you are done with the cooking, the first turn of the entire smoker. Use the knobs to make sure everything has been turned off and then take out the meat.
Step 9. Take Good Care Of It
Like every other equipment, your propane smoker also needs to be cleaned to ensure the flavor of the food. Clean the exterior and interior but do not use any type of chemicals for the interior, and do not try to remove the residues inside the interior. But instead, take out the food grimes stuck in the grills.
Do not soak the smoker in water and use lukewarm water to clean the exterior. Take out the water pan and wood compartment to clear out the ashes. Do this once in a while, and your smoker will last a long time.
Cooking outdoors with your smoker is a great experience. And as you can see, it is very easy to prep up and uses. So, follow the steps mentioned here and enjoy a delicious feast!