My smoking recipes were written and tried using a Masterbuilt Electric Smoker, so there may be some deviations in the recipe for other types of smokers. But you can't lose if you follow the cooking temperature, meat core temperature and time rules.
I prefer smoked meats vice any other cooking method primarily because of the smoked taste and tenderness of the meat. There is a downside to all of this great flavor though; more fat remains in the meat with this style of cooking.
So, I have two very important rules to keep your meals healthy while cooking with a smoker:
1. Use meat that is low in fat, and
2. Don't cook the meat too long.
Depending on how you smoke your meat, your meat can be very juicy or very dry. This is why it is very important to maintain a safe smoking temperature and sticking to the appropriate cooking times. Also, adding a special mixture of liquids in the smoker will help.
Whenever I create my smoking recipes, I always put about a quarter inch of water in the drip pan to help add humidity to the smoker during cooking. This always seems to make the meat juicy and tender, no matter what kind of meat you are cooking. You can also add other ingredients to the drip pan to add extra flavor to the foods you are smoking such as vinegar, garlic, lemon juice, apple juice, beer and pretty much any spices you want to add to the water.
When using a smoker to cook your meats, always remember to pre-heat the smoker to at least 20 degrees over the cooking temperature in order to compensate for opening the door to put the racks and food in the smoker. Just be sure to readjust the cooking temperature back down to the desired setting once the meat is placed in the smoker. It will reach optimum cooking temperature quite quickly after the door is closed again.
For light smoked flavor in your foods, only add wood chips to the wood tray for a 3rd of the time. For instance, if you are cooking a meat for 3 hours, only put wood in the tray two times - once at the beginning after placing the meat in the smoker and once at the one hour point.
For medium smoked flavor, place your wood in the smoker for half of the total cooking time. For the same example above, you would place wood in the smoker at the beginning, at the end of the first hour, and once more at the halfway point.
For heavier, deeper smoke flavor, add wood at the beginning and every hour up until the meat is done cooking.
My rule of thumb is to add wood every hour. I also pre-soak the wood chips in water for about twenty to thirty minutes before use to keep them from catching fire in the smoker (which can still happen with an electric smoker).
The following are my top secret recipes for cooking meats on my electric smoker. If you don't have an the same type of smoker, don't worry. You will just have to work with the temperature and time a little to perfect it to your smoker.
Beer Can Chicken
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