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How to Use a Barbecue Smoker

Slow roasted meats that fall off the bone and melt in your mouth are the culinary images conjured up when your mind drifts to Texas and other parts of the Deep South. A barbecue smoker and the delicious treats it produces are just synonymous with that part of the country. Anyone who has tasted the succulent meat that was slowly smoked on such a device has difficulty returning to regular fare. The good news is that barbecue smokers are now readily available for home cooks and slow cooked meats can now be consumed everywhere, from South Dakota to Maine. 

The variety of food that can be slow roasted in a barbecue smoker is limited only to your imagination. Popular poultry choices include whole chicken, turkey or Cornish game hens. Many people have chicken several nights a week but a chicken slow cooked on a smoker has a taste like no other weekday stand-by. If you eat pork, try ribs, pork tenderloin or a pork butt, which tastes great shredded up and piled high into tortillas or sandwiches. Beef brisket, trout, salmon and even meatloaf can be smoked. One of the more unusual options is to smoke a corned beef brisket to make your own homemade pastrami.

A barbecue smoker can be fueled by charcoal, wood or electricity and works by placing select wood chips at the bottom of the unit to create smoke and flavor the slow cooked meat. Generally, the meat is cooked at temperatures ranging from 190 to 225 degrees for many hours, sometimes overnight. The resulting meat is exactly like you imagined, fall off the bone good. Many experts can argue the pros and cons of fuel sources and wood chip types but the truth is it does not really matter. As long as you cook the meat slowly and do not rush the process, you will have delicious results every time.

Barbecue smokers are best for the cook who has everything they want in an outdoor kitchen. In fact, it is the one item that once tried; no cook would want to be without. It is the ultimate fix-it- and-forget-it meal. The ease of use, the convenience and the variety of meats create a need to keep trying new recipes and, ultimately, to use a barbecue smoker on a weekly basis. Every busy family should have a barbecue smoker to enjoy slow cooked meats even a hectic, fast-paced life.