Nothing beats the use of wood chips when it comes to smoking food. This is because wood chips impart an exquisite flavor that only wood-fueled and charcoal-fueled smokers can provide. Moreover, there are different types of wood chip options that you need to know, and each type provides different flavors. Thus, when it comes to how to use an offset smoker with wood chips and charcoal, you need to slowly learn the basics of offset smoker using wood chips and charcoal.
Preparing the Meat
There are different types of steaks for smoking and each possesses specifically distinct taste. Your preference will surely take precedence when it comes to choosing steak. But more importantly, you should ensure that the meat you’re going to cook has already thawed before you cook it.
The inside of the steak will be raw while the external parts will be burnt if you don’t thaw it. Thus, you need to defrost it before cooking. One good way to thaw frozen steak, for example, is via the use of microwave if you don’t have enough time. When thawed, you can apply the seasoning to the steak.
Preparing the Offset Smoker for Cooking
Once the meat has been prepared, you can, then, prepare your best offset smoker for cooking. If your smoker is new, you first need to season the smoker. But how do you season your new smoker? Well, you can do this by wiping down the whole smoker with soapy water. Then, rinse it with clear water to wash away dust, shavings, or grease. Afterward, let it dry out.
Once dried out, you can spritz the cooking chamber’s inside with vegetable oil. Then, open the smoker’s vents and light a fire inside the firebox. Let the fire burn for around 30 minutes. Allow the fire to die out. Afterward, let the smoker cool. Once you’re done with seasoning the smoker, you can now prepare it for cooking. Here are the steps on how to use the offset smoker using chip woods.
- Before starting a fire, you can dump wood chips into a bucket. Then, cover them with wine or beer. Let the chips soak for at least one hour before cooking time.
- Then, around 30 minutes prior to smoking, you can start a charcoal fire in the firebox. Use an electric charcoal starter or a chimney starter to light the fire. Moreover, you can use briquettes for this purpose. You should heat the briquettes until they glow. This would take around 15 minutes.
- Once the briquettes are burning hot and ashy, you can dump them then onto the firebox. You can also add some soaked wood chips into the hot coals for additional flavor to the smoke.
- You should evenly spread the charcoals inside the firebox. Afterward, you should close the lid as well as the cooking chamber. Refrain from making the fire using wood only because you will find it hard to regulate the fire throughout the cooking process.
- Afterward, you should dump a handful or two of lump charcoal each hour, depending on the temperature of the cooking chamber. Bear in mind that the windier it is, the quicker will the charcoal burn.
- You should maintain the size of fire throughout the cooking process. Increase the temperature of the smoker chamber. You can do this by carefully monitoring the temperature of the cooking chamber. The most preferred smoking temperatures are from 225 °F to 275 °F. You should keep the cooking chambers and the firebox closed while preheating the smoker.
Cooking Food and Adjusting Heat
You can then arrange the food carefully on the grate. Position the food on the racks inside the cooking chamber. You can put cold food onto the smoker so that they could absorb more smoke. Then, close the lid of the cooking chamber. Add briquettes onto the firebox to regulate the fire. Then, scoot or push the ashy coals to the other side to make room for new briquettes. Check the firebox and the temperature every thirty minutes to make sure that the fire is burning. If the temperature drops, you should increase the heat by adding wood chips to the firebox. You can open the vent on the firebox’s side to fan the fire. However, if the temperature becomes too hot, you can open the chimney vent and the cooking chamber’s enclosure. Once you’ve achieved the right temperature, you can then close the vents. You can also open the lid of the cooking chamber a bit to make the temperature drop. Spray the food once in a while to keep them from drying. Knowing the basics of how to use an offset smoker with wood chips and charcoal will surely help come up with a perfectly smoked food.