Propane smokers provide many advantages to the low maintenance cook. Much of the guesswork can be taken out of the smoking process through the use of automatic temperature thermometers and timer settings. Propane smokers are typically easy and quick to set up and simple to use. Though serious smoker enthusiasts often prefer the more complex methods associated with a wood smoker, the propane option is a manageable alternative for cooks. Propane smokers can be used with any type of meat. Simply prepare your cut of choice with a brine, rub or marinade and stick it in the smoker for a savoury meal.
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Things you need
- Propane tank
- Wood chips
- Water, juice or wine
- Internal meat thermometer
Connect the propane tank to the meat smoker. It's best to start with a full tank so you don't risk running out of propane halfway through.
Fill the smoker's smoke box with your desired wood chips. Hickory and mesquite are the most common, but you can also experiment with more complex flavours by using woods such as apple, oak, cherry, plum, maple, pecan and alder.
Fill the water pan with liquid. Water is the simplest choice, but you can also add juice or wine to the liquid for additional flavour.
Set the vents on your smoker so they are partly closed. Make sure they are not completely closed, as this will keep any smoke from escaping.
Turn the smoker on and start the flame. Let the smoker heat up to your desired temperature. The smoking temperature and time will vary with the type of meat you're cooking and the exact recipe you're using.
Place your meat in the smoker while it is heating up. Close and latch the door once the meat is situated in the smoker.
Check on the smoker about every 90 minutes and replace the wood chips as needed. When the previous chips have been reduced to ash, empty out the smoke box and refill it with fresh chips.
Remove and serve the meat when it has smoked for the desired amount of time or the internal temperature for the meat is at a safe level -- whichever comes last. you need an internal temperature of 62.8 degrees C (145 degrees F) for steaks and roasts, 73.9 degrees C (165 degrees F) for poultry, 62.8 degrees C (145 degrees F) for fish and 71.1 degrees C (160 degrees F) for pork.
Tips and warnings
- If you're using a new smoker, season it before smoking meat for the first time. You can do this by spraying vegetable oil on the inside and smoking at a low temperature of about 107 degrees C (225 degrees F) for 2 hours.
- Keep a spare propane tank on hand so you can quickly switch tanks if the first tank runs out of propane while smoking.
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