Have you ever wondered how some restaurants that serve smoked BBQ ribs can make the meat so tender that they literally fall off the bones? Well, to be able to answer that question, we first need to know that this type of food is cooked using special grills called BBQ smokers.
What Are BBQ Smokers?
BBQ Smokers or grills are special apparatus used for outdoor cooking meat in a controlled low-temperature environment. This type of equipment is powered using a variety of fuels, which includes electricity, wood, natural gas, propane, pellets, and charcoal. This cooking contraption typically looks like your regular BBQ grill but are larger in size and built to contain more meat.
How Do BBQ Smokers Work?
Unlike regular grills that cook the meat using the direct heat produced by the fuel it uses, Smoker Grills uses the smoke produced by the fuel to slowly cook the meat inside the grill. These cooking apparatus typically requires long cooking time to prepare the food, which is why they are usually larger and contains more racks to place the meat on.
Smokers use a low temperature that ranges from 175-225 degrees Fahrenheit to cook the food. The fuel used to produce the smoke is typically covered with damp wood chips to add a flavorful aroma to the smoke that will prepare the barbecue. The type of wood chips used to add flavor to the meat varies but some of the most popular ones used for BBQ smoking are the Maple, Hickory and Cherry wood.
Setting Up the BBQ Smoker
To cook the meat using the smoker, the fuel is placed in the fuel compartment which is located separately from the meat rack (main compartment). Wood chips are then added on top of the fuel used and the temperature is set to the desired setting.
Cooking the Meat
Once the desired temperature is met, the marinated meat is placed inside the main compartment. The smoke produced from the heat of the fuel used is filtered into the meat compartment to slowly cook the food.
The low heat temperature generated by the smoke slowly cooks the meat inside the chamber. The food product is left to cook on the rack for a long period of time usually between 4 hours to 36 hours, depending on the desired result.
Even though the meat is cooked for long periods, the meat is not burned because it is only the smoke that cooks the food, preventing the temperature to get hot enough to scorch the food. This slow cooking technique allows the food to fully absorb the smoke giving it an authentic barbecue flavor.
Once the desired time for cooking is finished, the smoked BBQ produced is more tender, delicious and aromatic than other grilled meat that is cooked in regular grills.
To conclude, BBQ smokers have become more popular than other grills mainly because they have the capability to cook food away from direct heat, making it possible to cook food slowly, which allows the meat to absorb the flavor, cook evenly and become more tender than other BBQs.