As someone who lives in an apartment in Austin, it is frustrating that charcoal smokers aren’t allowed near the buildings. This regulation in the fire code is absolutely necessary for obvious reasons, but a guy can still crave home-smoked food, right? Enter the electric smoker.
I’ve heard of these products in the past, but they sounded more like gimmicks than legitimate cooking tools. Recently, a few of my friends who I trust with barbecue informed me that electric smokers are worth the price tags (ranging from about $80 to over $1,500). I decided to take the plunge and recently tried my new smoker for the first time. Honestly, it was so easy to use that I can compare it to a slow cooker.
Once you load some water-soaked wood chips into a tray inside the smoker, set the thermostat to the temperature you want it to stay at inside and the electricity will get you there. Place your meat inside once you reach the desired temperature, close the door, and relax. The only time you need to attend to the smoker is when smoke stops coming out of the chimney, indicating that you need to load more soaked wood chips inside.
Of course, you will always want to be with the smoker while it is on, make sure you are outside or in a well ventilated area, and check with your community manager to make sure where you want to cook isn’t a problem. I know that summer is coming to a close, but why not go out with a bang? Thanks to the simplicity of the electric smoker, barbecue isn’t just for breakfast anymore.