Electric smokers are the norm nowadays. Gone are the days when you had to smoke and choke on smoke and wait for hours for your grill to be ready. Gone are the days when you had to be alert and check on your meat and other delicacies every five minutes to ensure that the temperature is just right and your food isn’t burning.
Electric smokers have changed the game for those who appreciate smoked and flavor-rich meals. If you are reading this, chances are that you have realized their value or are curious about them for some reason. There are various electric smokers out there today, and determining the right one for you can be a daunting task due to the various available brands and the features they each offer. Well, don’t despair; regardless of the brand, there are key things that provided you keep in mind, you will not get it wrong. Look for the following when selecting an electric smoker and you’ll remember this article for as long as you enjoy your smoked and flavor-rich meals.
Time and Temperature Control
As far as temperature control is concerned, you are likely to find electric smokers that either use rheostats or thermostats to control the temperature. Thermostats are more accurate compared to rheostats and most high-quality electric smokers will use them. For the best results, you will want to go for devices that use thermostats rather than rheostats.
Also, consider ventilation. The presence of openings in the device enables the regulation of heat and smoke. You don’t want too much heat or too much smoke. Devices with good ventilation will automatically control these two elements without your intervention. If there is no ventilation, chances are that you won’t necessarily be getting a smoked meal but something cooked using a different method. And I doubt the flavor will be what you expected.
You are likely to come across electric smokers that have two kinds of heat flow; up-down or down-up. Up-down just means that the heat flows from the top of the smoker to the bottom; a downward direction. Down-up implies the heat flows upward. For super-fast meals, go for an electric smoker that has the up-down flow. However, if flavor and juiciness are really important to you, then you want to go for the devices with the upward heat flow; they may not cook food as fast as the former, but you’ll get really juicy and flavor-rich meals.
There are electric smokers of various sizes where you can prepare various foods such as meat, vegetables, cheese, etc. People who invest in the really small sizes sometimes end up regretting it because they end up preparing less food than their company needed. And the ones who invest in the big ones either end up finding it unnecessarily large or they prepare more food than what their company could handle. So it’s either waste or someone will have to share.
This calls for common sense. Before investing in an electric smoker, consider the kind of company you’ll be feeding and make your decision based on that. As a personal rule, I’ll always go for something that can feed a slightly bigger company than the one I have. It’s better to have leftovers than someone going without enjoying your smoked delicacies.
When it comes to design, it is not necessarily aesthetics but functionality. Always go for functionality because that is what matters the most. It is pointless investing in a device that looks cool but prepares awful meals.
Consider the food tray design; the foiling above the grills and the traditional grill design. Grill trays are the best; they not only prepare food that looks good but also produces the tastiest meals. Furthermore, pay attention to the material the trays have been made of. Stainless steel is the best or anything that has the same characteristics; easy to maintain and durable.
This is not algebra and you don’t have to be a genius to figure this out. Just look for something with all the above features and fits your budget, and that’s your electric smoker.
That’s it. If you haven’t yet enjoyed food made from an electric smoker, you don’t know what you are missing. And if you have, these are the basics of what you need to know to in invest one. Consider the above brief points and you’ll remember this article after you’ve prepared your first meal with an electric smoker.