30 Days of Grilling Day # 6: The Smoker

The Smoker.  Joe’s favorite spring through fall outdoor cooker.  We got it last year, and the first thought I had was “Could this thing take up any more space?” But as time has gone by, I have come to enjoy the smoker more and more.

Smokers come in two different styles.  The first(like ours) has a firebox separate from the grill chamber for the meat and is attached by and opening between the two chambers.  In the other type of smoker, the smoke is created in the same chamber as the meat.

In the grill with the separate chamber, the coals and wood are heated in one chamber to create the smoke.  The smoke then travels through an opening or tube to the other chamber, along with the heat created by the burning in the firebox.  The advantage to this type of smoker is when you add more coal or wood, you don’t release the heat that is in the chamber with your meat. 

The smoker grill with one chamber had coals that are place on the two sides of the grilling chamber.  Wood is placed on top of the coals and meat is placed in the center of the grilling surface, with no coals underneath.

A smoker uses indirect heat, which is referred to as barbequing, where direct heat cooking is what is called grilling.  When using indirect heat, your cooking time will greatly lengthen, since the heat is lower than it is when grilling.  It also gives the meat more time to absorb the smoky flavors from the burning woods.

Any woods your using for the smoker must be soaked first, so they creat smoke instead of burn and create flame.  You also want to try to maintain the temperature in your smoker so resist the urge to open and close the smoker, since this will lower the heat every time you do so.  It also allows the great wood flavors to escape as well.  Make sure you have plenty of wood on hand and always be ready to spend time with your smoker.  Most food take longer than you think since the temperature is lower, so make sure to factor in extra time.

Here is a chicken we did on the smoker.  It just has a basic rub on it, but the flavors are fantastic, and the flesh is tender and juicy!  There a a lot more smoker recipes to come, so let these pictures be a tease!

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