When you first get your smoker, you probably can't wait to use it! Delicious smoked ribs, chicken, and pulled pork are just around the corner. But before you light the wood and put your meat on the grate, you might want to spend a little time reviewing these common mistakes made by those new to smoking. This way, you can avoid making these mistakes yourself.
Mistake: Hurrying things up
The end goal is to eat delicious food, and it only makes sense that you'd want to reach that end goal faster. But there's really no good way to speed up the smoking process. If you take the meat out before it's ready, it will be tough. Crank the heat to try and cook it faster, and it will be dry. Just follow the time and temperature recommendations for the item you're smoking, and exercise some patience. If you try to speed things up, your food won't be as good.
Mistake: Using the wrong wood
There are lots of different woods you can smoke with. Hickory, mesquite, applewood, cedar, and cherry are a few of the most common, but they're far from the only options. Each smoke has its own flavor. Make sure you research the flavor of the wood you're buying beforehand. You would not, for example, want to smoke cod over hickory. The flavor of the hickory is far too strong for the fish. Similarly, if you were to smoke pork over alder, the smoke flavor may not be intense enough. Wood chips for smokers usually come with detailed labels, so read the descriptions and recommendations to guide you before you buy.
Mistake: Not heating the smoker up enough
You never want to light the smoker and them immediately put your food on. Instead, make sure you give the smoker at least 20 minutes to heat up. This will ensure your food does not come into contact with the heavy smoke generated in the first few minutes. This smoke will make your food taste dirty and unpleasant. Giving the smoker time to heat up also helps you maintain an even temperature throughout so your food cooks evenly.
Smoking meats can take a little practice. Your first time may not be perfect, but if you avoid the common mistakes above, you should at least be able to create some tasty eats. Keep refining your techniques over time, and you'll be even better off. You can click here to learn more about smokers.