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Electric Smoker Maintenance Tips Every Owner Must Know

One of the most pleasing and amazing product for all those smoked food lovers is an Electric Smoker. If your tongue can't just miss the flavors of smoked food, then this is a must to own appliance for you. You can't go out to the restaurants daily for enjoying smoked food. Instead, you can have an electric smoker that will be meeting all your smoked food needs.

The electric smoker is a mechanical device. Therefore, it requires proper maintenance such that it can work smoothly for years. Also, it is a one-time investment, and you really can't let it go for many reasons. And we can strongly say that food smokers can last up to a decade if kept with proper care. So that's pretty clear, maintaining your smoker will improve the durability of the unit.

Apart from durability, a well maintained smoker will also provide you delicious food every time, as it would be perfectly smoked. So if you've a smoker or you're looking to buy a latest electric smoker but have no idea about its maintenance, then this is a must read article for you.

Here are the few electric smoker maintenance tips:-

Clean Your Electric Smoker Properly

One thing which is in favor of these smokers is they are very easy to clean. Users will not face any complications or problems while cleaning the unit. And if you've to maintain the unit for a longer time, then regular cleaning is mandatory.

One of the most common issue with an electric smoker is the dribbling down of grease to the cooking grates. All the excess grease and oil deposit over the grates, which becomes difficult to clean. And if you dare to skip the cleaning task, you'll have to struggle with the heating unit of the device. But if you regularly clean your smoker after every use, then the cooking grates will be prevented forever.

In order to clean the greasy grates, place it in your kitchen oven where grease will be melted at the temperature of 900 degrees Fahrenheit. This is one of the best methods to get shiny new grate after every use. Moreover, you can even use some water and detergent to make it look even better.

Look at the Seasoning of the Smoker

We want to make it clear that performing seasoning is not a very complicated task, but you must have a little knowledge to perform it properly. However, most of the smoker brands provide a reading manual with the unit, where you can find every detail about the smoker.

If you're not provided with any manual, firstly apply oil in the interior of the smoker. You can use any kind of oil, but we recommend you to use good-flavored oil as it will affect your meal. Once you've oiled the interiors, turn on the heating unit of the device. This would take the temperature to the 275° F mark and will disperse out oil around the surface.

This oil layer will fight against the water and air, and in turn, would prevent the unit from getting rust. Some of the new smokers don't require seasoning. But you can just heat it around 275 degrees Fahrenheit to produce smoke that can be used as a substitute for seasoning.

Prevent your Smoker from Rusting

The next thing you've to do is to prevent the smoker from getting rust. No matter how much you care about the unit, any iron object is always prone to rust

Moreover, it uses high temperature and water sometimes, that catches more rust. And if you do not take some strict precautions, then the unit may have some serious damages. Apart from damages, this could even cause some technical problems. 

However, you can get the solution to this problem if you identify it in the early period. All you've to do is to take sandpaper and a metal brush to perform cleaning. Now, rub the rust with the wire brush and scrub it down with the help of sandpaper. Just make sure that you scrub the rust from corners and unreachable areas. As the rust often expands in those areas, where you don't expect it.

After scrubbing the rust, remove all the residue and debris. To be more secure, apply some heat resistant paint to create a protective layer over it.

Check the Ventilation System of your Electric Smoker

Another important thing you've to do is to check whether the ventilation system is working properly or not. It is always recommended to have a clean ventilation system as this would prevent your smoker from getting clogged. 

Moreover, we would also suggest you clean all the ashes, dust, and other debris from your smoker after every use. If you don't do such, then ashes and debris would absorb the water and would affect the working of your electric unit.

Clean the Thermostat and Meat Probe of Smoker

​​​​The final step you should do is to clean your thermostats and other hardware (like meat probe) with a damp cloth. Usually, two thermostats can be found on the rear inside end of the smoker. The cleaning of this part becomes important as both the thermostats play an important role in maintaining the temperature of the smoker.

Also, users are recommended to clean the meat probe carefully. Make sure you don't immerse them in running water. However, you can use a damp cloth dipped in soapy water to clean the surface of thermostats. Also, use dry cloth while cleaning electronic hardware rather than using water.

Before performing the cleaning process, always check that the socket is not plugged-in with the electric connection. If you don't do so, the device could lead to a short circuit or fire. So be careful while doing the cleaning process.

Conclusion

The most important fact for maintaining your electric smoker is to be consistent. If you're consistent with the cleaning process of your smoker, then your unit will last for long. On the other hand, if you're not consistent, then it's all upon your smoker. So make sure to follow the mentioned steps after every use and get the best out of your electric smoker.

Last updated on March 6th, 2019 at 10:25 am

A Smoker vs a Grill – Which one should you buy?

​​​​A Grill or a food smoker is an excellent addition to your lawn for summer. And if you think that both of them are the same, then you're wrong. Grilling and smoking are entirely different techniques, and the flavors produced by the smoker vs grill differ as well.

If you're in a mood to use a grill for smoking the food, then we would like to correct you here. A smoked meat enthusiast can easily identify your trick as there would be lack of smoked flavors, and you'll not feel good about it. So it's better to understand the fact that, smokers and grills, both are a separate unit having different features and advantages. 

Both grills and smokers are said to perform basic functions, but their offerings and benefits are very different from each other. In this article, we aim to make you aware of all the differences between a grill and smoker and help you select the right one. So if you're confused with their working and features, and are planning to buy one of them, make sure to go through the article.

Difference Between Smokers and Grills

Smoker vs grill

#Heating/Cooking Temperature:-

The most important factor which makes cooking possible with smokers and grills is the temperature. Both smokers and grills use a different cooking temperature to cook food. On one side, a grill uses direct heat to prepare the meal, whereas, a smoker uses indirect heat to cook food.

Because of direct heating, the temperature of the grill reaches as high as 400 degrees or even more. No matter which type of grill (gas or charcoal) you're using, the cooking temperature will be very high.

On the other hand, the cooking temperature of smokers ranges from 160°F - 300°F. This doesn't mean that you'll be not able to perform cooking with toys temperature, as meat, vegetables, cheese and most of the meats requires a lower temperature to get smoked.

#Design And Construction:-

You might find some smokers and grills to have a similar appearance, but we would like to tell you that both of them are completely different from interiors.

Grills are designed in such a manner that the cooking grates receive direct heat, whereas, smokers are designed in a way where it uses indirect heat to cook food.

So whether you're using charcoal, or gas grill, the heat will be directly striking directly to the grates. And that's the only reason why grills take a lesser amount of time to prepare your meal.

On the other side, food smoker uses indirect heat where heat is vented to the cooking chamber from the fire chamber. Hence, it takes more cooking time when compared with grills.

#Nutrition Prevention:-

If you're using a food smoker, then you're in a great position to preserve your foods, if prepared properly. You cannot achieve a food preservation method while grilling your food. When there were no refrigerators in the market, people were supposed to preserve their food by smoking or salting them. 

However, the preservation of meat is done through hard smoking, where you get a final product similar to jerky. To preserve meat, a large amount of salt is used, and the meat is smoked until it lost all of its moisture.

Salt not only remove moisture from the meat but also resist the development of bacteria. So to preserve your food, we would recommend you smoker here.

Types Of Food Smokers available in the market

Electric Smokers

Electric Smokers

Electric smokers are one of the easiest to use smokers, which also eliminates the use of propane gas or charcoal. This also means that you'll never run out of fuel while working with electric smokers. But most of the smoked meat enthusiast says that electric smokers don't provide you as many smoked flavors as a charcoal smoker does.

However, if you prefer convenience for yourself, then a best electric smoker will be a perfect pick for you. One thing to note here is, you've to provide a continuous and steady supply of electricity to the smoker. So you cannot take the unit on a road trip.

Charcoal Smokers

Charcoal smokers

Wherever there's fire, there's smoke. And this is what over which a charcoal smoker is based on. Charcoal smokers are those type of smokers which uses charcoal as a fuel. This charcoal produces smoke which cooks the meat.

It is obvious to say that charcoal smokers provide the best authentic flavors to the meat. So if the taste does matter for you, then you shouldn't look for the alternates of charcoal smokers.

However, some buyers don't like to have these smokers because of less convenience. Starting a charcoal smoker requires some efforts and some users may not like it.

Propane Smokers

Propane smokers

Electric smokers are convenient to use whereas charcoal smokers provide best flavors, but you've to go through learning tutorial to become a master. However, gas smokers also allow you to cook delicious smoked food with good flavors.

Moreover, this is quite affordable than electric smokers and are easier to use when compared with charcoal smokers.

These smokers get heat up quickly and easily, and even maintains consistent cooking temperature for a long time. It also requires less attention which means you don't have to worry about burning of the food.

Types Of Grills available in the market

Gas Grills

Gas grills

Gas grills are one of the most popular grills available in the market. This route of grills can be operated on both, bottled propane and natural gas as well. However, most of the gas grills run over propane gas, but they can easily convert into natural gas. 

Some of the people ask for the differences between propane and natural gas grills, and there's a little difference between these two. Natural gas grills offer more convenience and are less expensive than propane tanks.

We would recommend these type of grills for those who are impatient and wants quick fire up of the grill. So if you're one of them, you should not miss this.

Charcoal Grills

charcoal grills

Charcoal grills are not said to be much convenient as cooking with this type of grill is quite time-consuming. Charcoal grills use charcoal as the fuel. You've to throw some efforts to begin it.

No doubt, charcoal grills are more expensive than gas grills, but many people who are genuine meat lovers prefer charcoal grills because of authentic flavors. The flavor of the food gets more enhanced if made using natural wood. 

This type of grill is recommended for those people who can't just miss the smoky, grilled flavor. So overall, grilling with charcoal grills is a pure art which will be missing with a modern gas grill.

Electric grills

Electric Grills

Similar to electric smokers, electric grill also offers more convenience when compared with charcoal or gas grills. The cooking in this device is performed with the help of heated grill plates, without any involvement of fire.

This type of grill is best suited for those people who can't deal with the fire regulations using gas or charcoal grills. The only thing that is against this type of grill is the taste. The taste and flavors are good, but they just can't be compared with the flavors offered by traditional grills.

Smoker vs Grill - Which is better for you?

Choosing the right one between a smoker vs a grill is tough; there are some important things you should consider. Some of them are listed below which may help you decide the right one.

#For What Purpose Do You Want Smoker or Grill?

You've to think about what type of food you love to cook. Is that meat, burgers, or just vegetables? If you're looking to cook a whole chicken or a lamb leg, then it is recommended to go with smokers.

This would bring out the best flavors of the meat along with smoky taste. As we mentioned, smokers use indirect heat to cook food which will add extra flavors in it. Just make sure that there's enough moisture remaining in the meat to avoid dryness.

Whereas, if you're planning to cook smaller pieces of meat, then grill will be ideal for you. Direct heat would be providing a steady and high temperature that is recommended.

#Do You Have Enough Storage Space?

The place where you are planning to set up your smoker or grill matters a lot. There are a huge number of grills and smokers available in the market having different sizes. It is your budget which will make you choose from.

However, if you've storage issues at your place, then there are even compact sized smokers available. Looking at grills, you can find compact grills which are small in size that you can take it along with you.

So before making a final call, we would recommend you to check the weight and dimensions of your respective grill or smoker.

#For How Many People You Want To Cook For?

This is another important factor which you should look at while choosing between smoker and grill. So if you want a smoker or grill to cook for your entire family, guests and close friends, then you must go with a model having a larger capacity. Both grills and smokers come in different cooking space.

If you're looking to handle catering for many people, then smokers are highly recommended, as more food can fit into it. Whereas, if you want to host small family get together, then grill would be a perfect pick for that.

However, if you've more demand then make sure that the cooking grates of the grill can handle the job easily.

Conclusion

Honestly saying, whether you choose a smoker or a grill, it will be based on your personal preferences. Grilling food is quite straightforward and easy art to prepare food, whereas smoking provides you some more offerings and choices.

Moreover, grills have a higher cooking temperature and prepare food at a faster rate. And that's the reason why they are recommended for barbecues. On the other hand, smoking food takes time, but the taste it offers is better than that of grills. I hope this helps you choose between a grill and a smoker.

Last updated on March 6th, 2019 at 10:24 am