There are many ways to cook outdoors. And if you ask anyone that loves to prepare their meals this way, you will find many differing opinions as to what is the best way to perform this task. There are probably two main ways to cook outside and that is with the barbecue grill or with a smoker.
Many will explain that using the barbecue grill is the best way. This way of cooking is a great way to prepare a meal in a relatively short time and is normally the first method that is learned by many. Anyone that uses this method will have different opinions as to which is better the wood grill, the propane grill or the charcoal grill.
Those in the other camp will rave about how smoker cooking is the best route. This is a longer method but delivers a very delicious, moist flavorful meal. And, again, those that support this method will be divided as to the best smoker be it gas, wood, or electric.
Both methods have their pros and cons but the one that I prefer is smoker cooking.
What Is A Smoker?
Most cookers do not provide the heat directly to the meat. They are constructed so that the fire is normally in an offset fire chamber. This is so that the heat and smoke will move around and thru the meat indirectly. The food will never come in direct contact with the flame and as such will not get burned. Also, because the meat is not directly over the flame, any juices or oils that may drop will not cause the flame to flare up.
Probably the biggest difference between barbecue cooking and smoker cooking is that the wood is used to generate a flavorful smoke and not just the heat. There are many types of wood that can be used in a smoker. The different types will provide a very different flavor.
One of the most popular wood to use is that of the hickory tree. This creates a heavy, smoky flavor. The smoke created by wood from fruit trees like apple and pecan will generate a lighter, sweeter flavor. Another wood that is used in the southwest is that of the mesquite tree.
If You Are An Impatient Person, Do Not Use A Smoker
If you want a meal that will be ready in a short period of time, smoker cooking is not for you. It is a process that takes more time than it would using the barbecue grill. This is due to the fact that the meat is not placed directly over the heat source. Obviously, the length of time will vary with the type of meat and the temperature in the smoker.
When you are smoking a piece of meat that weighs about 4 pounds this should take more than two hours. On the other hand, cooking the same piece of meat on a barbecue grill may take less than an hour.
What Can You Smoke?
The only limitation as to what you can cook on a smoker is your imagination. Any meat that you can cook on a kitchen stove or a barbecue grill, you can cook on a smoker. You will find many recipes for cooking all kinds of different meats. Some of the more popular dishes include pork ribs, fish, chicken, turkey, and the famous beef brisket.
Along with the different flavors you will get from the different woods, you can change the taste by the use of the meal by the way you season the dish. Another way to enhance the flavor is to place fruit juices in a bowl over the heat source. I have used pineapple and apple juices with some garlic in a bowl to create a very different taste.
When it comes to cooking outdoors, there are a few ways that you can go. But, when you talk to most cooks, they normally have one way to approach this taks. The way that I prefer is the use of a smoker.
About the Author: Dave Owen is the webmaster for Bbq Heaven. For more information as to how to cook outdoors visit BBQ Heaven
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