When it comes to cooking meat, there’s no better way to do it than smoking it. Smoking protein with a smoker grill can offer better quality of cooked met in terms of more tender, juicier, and more flavorful taste.
While a smoker grill is basically similar from conventional charcoal grill, there’s a crucial difference between both of them. Unlike grilling, smoking is cooking with indirect heat and that what makes it more challenging. Mastering the art of smoking meat is a great cooking skill and it is started with learning how to use a smoker grill.
These are the step by step guidelines to use a smoker grill:
Set up the Smoker Grill
- The basic vertical smoker has three chambers; firebox chamber at the bottom, water pan chamber in the middle, and smoking chamber at the top. Be sure that all chambers are clean and ready to use.
- In a separated chimney cylinder, add a load full of charcoal and light it. Let the coals burned for at least 15 minutes.
- Inside the firebox chamber, arrange a pile of unlit charcoals only on one side.
- After burning for 15 minutes, transfer the burning charcoals to the firebox chamber. Pour the burning charcoals on top of pile of unlit charcoals.
- Add wood chippings that have been soaked in water for at least 30 minutes above the burning charcoals inside the firebox. The soaked wood chippings will help producing more smokes and depends on the type of wood, it also helps adding specific aroma and flavor.
Get ready to smoke
- Preheat the smoker to 2200C or desired temperature. Close the lid and monitor the temperature from the built-in thermometer on the top of the lid.
- Control the temperature by opening-closing the upper or lower vent. Open the lower vent and close the upper vent when you need to raise the temperature. If needed add more burning charcoal in the firebox. When you need to reduce temperature, open the upper vent to release the heat and close the lower vent to minimize oxygen supply to the firebox.
Smoking the meat
- Once inside the cooking chamber reaches desired temperature, place marinated meat on the smoking chamber on the side opposite of burning charcoals position inside the firebox chamber. The position is important ensuring the meat is cooked with indirect heat.
- Close the lid and be sure not to open it too often. Anytime the lid opened, heat and moisture will be released from the smoking chamber and it would be bad for the smoking process.
- Fill water pan to ¾ full with cold water. Place the pan inside the water pan chamber. The water pan will help adding moisture to the meat during the smoking process. You can also add a little bit of thymes or other herbs to add flavor.
- Control the smoking chamber temperature and keep it on desired temperature. Adjust it when temperature is too high or too low.
- Once you think the smoking time is already enough, open the lid and check the center temperature of the meat. If the ideal temperature reached, move the position of the meat to the other side of the smoking chamber. It will place the meat on top of the burning fire helping the sear and create crust on the meat surface. The crust will lock the moisture inside the meat to keep it juicy and to give better color.
- After cooked perfectly, remove the meat from the smoking chamber.
- Remove the water pan and close both of the vents to put out the fire. Let the smoker cools off and once cooled off, remove the leftover coals and ashes from the firebox, and clean all chambers.
And that’s how to use a smoker grill.