Nothing cooks ribs, salmon, bacon or American favourite “Pulled Pork” quite like a smoker. They range from simple stand-alone charcoal, wood, gas or electric smokers to more traditional offset smokers to all in one Kamado style smokers and firing into the 21stcentury with the increasingly popular water or bullet-shaped smokers.Smokers cook indirectly burning hardwoods like hickory, oak or apple with the heat and smoke they create infusing the meats like ribs and beef brisket that are tastiest when cooked that way.
The “Kamado Joe” (above) is incredibly versatile. You can cook “low and slow” (a joint of beef brisket for instance) for anything between 4-16 hours with no need to top up on fuel, giving you that “melt in the mouth” texture to meats that we all love. Firing it up to higher temperatures creates a pizza oven to keep the kids happy. Oh, and you could BBQ or roast too!
Water or Bullet shaped smokers
Dried out meat is a thing of the past, now the increasingly popular water-smokers have made their entrance into the BBQ world. They are becoming more and more popular for that reason; capable of cooking large joints of meat and fish at low temperatures for long periods without losing any of their succulent taste. Friends cooked their Christmas turkey on one last year with amazing results!They usually have 3 compartments. At the bottom is the heat source, say charcoal or gas. Above that is the water pan, which stores and regulates the heat, deflecting the direct heat and providing a moist cooking environment to cook. Finally you have the smoking chamber above that where you cook your meats.
Offset smokers are a more traditional smoker; in human form they'd wear a velvet jacket and frequent gentlemen's clubs!The main cooking chamber is usually a long metal barrel with a door at one end and a smoke stack (a kind of chimney). Attached to one end is typically a firebox where you burn charcoal and cooking woods. Heat and smoke produced in there enters the cooking chamber through a small hole, barbecuing and flavouring the meats as they pass through before exiting through the stack at the top.
The Eco-smoker and smoke generator
Eco-friendly and Eco-nomical! The ingenious eco-smoker is made predominantly from cardboard and is ideal for smoking cheese, bacon or salmon.
Fill the smoke generator at the base with flavoured wood dust and put a flame to a tea-light in one corner. Once the dust heats and ignites it'll slowly filter around the maze producing smoke to flavour the foods on the upper trays and racks.
As the name suggests Eco-smokers are reusable and ultimately easily recyclable.
Electric smokers are very popular with the professionals in the catering industry because it's really easy to set them up to produce the same results over and over again.
To cold smoke simply load the generator with compressed, flavoured wood chip disks. Each disk lasts about 20 minutes and once you turn on the unit it will start to produce smoke.
To hot smoke you simply turn on the heating element to your required temperature and let the temperatures rise.There are manual and digital models available.