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How to Use A Charcoal Smoker

How to Use A Charcoal Smoker - HighEndGrillers
When it comes to your next smoking cookout, you might ask yourself... What do you want cook, How do you want to cook it, and what do you want it to taste like?

Charcoal Smoking is broken down into 7 parts.. You can make it complicated and get very technical or stick with a plan that is simple but also effective. To say the least there is many different methods, to smoking along with pros and cons. I'm here today to break it all down, to give you the best guidance and know how on your next cookout

A charcoal smoker is a device that smokes and cooks food slowly over a lengthy period of time, with low indirect heat fueled by burning charcoal along with nice touch of flavored wood chips to pick your flavor, which we will cover later in the article. 


A charcoal smoker works by heating your food at a consistent temperature for many hours on end. Eventually, the internal temperature of the meat will be the same as the temperature of the surrounding air within the cooker. You can only get that distinctive BBQ smoker flavor if the meat cooks very gradually, which makes the cooking process different than that of a standard barbecue grill, where flames lap at the meat and it sears within minutes.

How To Use

 A charcoal smoker operates on simple principles, but it can take some practice to get the cooking process right. The first time you try will be an experiment, but with a little luck, you can produce delicious tasting meat. Here's how to use a charcoal smoker:

  1. Prepare your fuelAll you need is the regular charcoal briquettes, nothing fancy, it all does the same thing..and there is no need to search for premium charcoal briquettes. Next you will want to pick your flavoring by adding some wood chips into the mix for a distinctive smokey flavor, and there is a wide range of flavoring to pick from, such as.. Hickory, mesquite, cherry, apple, and alder wood are all popular choices and so much more, which you can research further once you have found your knack. You will then want to prepare the wood chips by soaking them in water for 30 minutes prior to use.

  2. Fill your water pan with cold water. Approximately fill your water pan 3/4 full and that should do the trick. It helps control your temperature by starting with cold water. Starting with hot water can be redundant and defeats the purpose of the water pan, which operates as a temperature control technique.
  3. Light the coal using a charcoal chimney. If you don't have access to a charcoal chimney starter, you can emulate its effect by stacking your coals in a pyramid inside the smoker. Add a touch of lighter fluid, ignite the charcoal briquettes and let the coal burn until it's coated in a thin layer of white ash. If you're using a charcoal chimney,  this is also the point your charcoal is ready to be added to your smoker.
  4. Applying Your Selected Meat. You can place your meat directly onto the grill grates in your smoker or wrap it in tin foil or butchers paper, for a slower smoking technique which will help trap the moisture in to your meat, especially brisket. Some smokers only have a single grate, but others have an upper grate and a lower grate for cooking multiple meats at once. You can also prepare a rub out of salt and spices and rub it thoroughly into the meat before hand before putting it into your smoker, completely up to you, just one of many ways to add more flavor.
  5. Control the temperature. The intended barbecue smoking temperature for smoking meat is between 220 and 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Your smoker should come equipped with two simple vents, or you may also here the term "dampeners". These allow you to maintain this temperature. The lower vents allows air to inject into the smoker, this helps bring more oxygen into the smoking chamber, and it allows the coals to burn at a hotter temperature, so depending on what your temperature is at.. To lower temperature decrease the air injection rate by closing the vent. To increase the heat, open the vent to let the air flow in and crank up the temperature of your charcoal. Conversely, the top vents let air escape the smoker. If the temperature is getting too hot, you can open the upper vent and close the bottom vent. If the temperature is too low, you can close the upper vent and open the lower one. Most smokers are equipped with a built-in thermometer, so it's easy to keep track of things, or easily add your own high tech thermometer for more precise measurements.. you can have a look at our thermometer collection here..
  6. Add the wood chunks. Your now about a 1/4 of the way through your smoking process, next you will want to add the flavored wood chips you've selected. Place them in the firebox among the coals. If you've soaked them in water beforehand, they'll burn slowly, which is what you want, to gain that lingering long lasting flavor.
  7. Let your food cook long and slow. Charcoal smoking takes a long time. You dont want to leave any stones un-turned when it comes to preparing and executing barbecue smoking with a charcoal smoker. Your efforts and patience will show with your finished meal. Charcoal smoking is one of the original ways to do it, and some might say it still is the best and most effective way.
HighEndGrillers top Charcoal Smokers to pick from, to get you started!






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