Monday, July 25, 2011

My New Love

First, I'd like to admit that I am not what most would consider a "normal" woman. Yes, I certainly enjoy perfume and purses and shoes--especially as gifts--but I have never been disappointed with a gift that relates to the kitchen and/or cooking. One of my most memorable Christmases was the one where every gift from friends, family, and significant other was for the kitchen.  I was estatic. So, with that said, you can imagine my excitement when I bit the bullet and treated myself to a brand new toy for my birthday. It took me two years and lots of research... I bought an electric smoker. The plus to that is no running out of propane part way through and no worries about heat fluctuations and fire flare ups. The downside, you can't use it unprotected if it's raining.

Now, I have to give a few lessons learned from this purchase. One, buy lots of meat. Two, think ahead and use marinades or dry rubs (my preference is the dry rub). Three, make sure you are friends with your neighbors because your entire neighborhood will smell devine and they won't like you much if you're smoking meat every weekend and don't offer some!

So far, I've smoked several racks of ribs, a pork butt, a pork loin, a whole chicken, chicken legs, and a chuck roast. On the line up: salmon, beef jerky, and a lamb roast...maybe not at the same time.

I bought a model that has 4 smoking racks, a meat thermometer, and a remote control. (Insert  Tim Allen "Tool Time Man Laugh" here.) It is programmable up to 250 degrees and many hours (I've only used it to 7 hours so far).  The window in the front allows you to see progress or just act as a tease.  Surprisingly, it only takes about a cup of soaked woodchips to produce a wonderful smokey flavor.  Also included is a moisture tray that will add steam to the smoke so your meat turns out moist and juicy. As a bonus, it also collects a lot of the drippings, making clean up a lot easier. I purchased mine at Sam's Club for just under $300 (and the use of a heafty gift card helped seal the deal!).  It is the Masterbuilt attached, because it's just too good not to and you can't get "new smoker smell" from the internet...yet.