Do you own a vertical gas smoker? Maybe you have your own classic vertical propane smoker? If so, you’re fortunate to be right on the culinary trend, a trail blazer.Smoked foods are a big thing at the moment, something the best gourmet checfs are trying their hand at. If you’ve ever been to a posh eatery where you’re offered a tiny bunch of delicately-cooked wild mushrooms nestled in a Kilner Jar full of actual wood smoke, you’ll know the score!
If that sounds tasty to you, a vertical wood smoker might be exactly what you need to take your alfresco culinary skills to the next level. If you’re not that into cooking but just adore juicy, well-cooked foods prepared outdoors, a vertical gas smoker is also the perfect way to achieve outdoor cookery heaven.
The thing is, a meat smoker creates a great deal more than simply smoked meat. Fresh salmon, river trout, sea trout and mackerel all taste stunnngly good when gently smoked, as well as being better for your health than great chunks of bloody red meat.
Natural gas grills have long been an alfresco entertainment staple in the USA, as well as Down Under in Australia where the BBQ is king. There are books chock full of tasty and simple-to-achieve smoker recipes created especially for a bbq smoker. And the vertical smoker is probably the most popular choice of all.
How come they’re so good? The sheer ease of cooking makes them a much better choice than an ordinary BBQ. The biggest and best feature a generous-sized smoking chamber with several shelves capable of holding multiple racks of ribs and pork chops, chunks of fragrant fish and tasty chicken pieces. The firebox itself holds the coals, and smoke wood is usually attached like an offset smoker, occasionally located directly below your racks.
They all work the same in principle. You carefully place the food on a cooking rack away from direct heat. You burn wood to create smoke, which in turn flows around and flavours the food, while the indirect heat cooks it. Each wood has its own unique flavor, and there are even a few woods you should never use in smoking food because they taste horrible.
The fragrant cooking smoke comes from wood chips, chunks, pellets or dust. Hickory and Mesquite Wood Chips are popular and taste gorgeous. But alder, oak, pecan, maple and other fruit trees like cherry, plum, apple and peach are widely used for smoking. Here’s a great tip – soak your wood chips in water for 40 minutes and drip dry them before use. It’ll enhance the flavor. You can even mix and match different woods for your own unique flavors.
Our top tips? Find a food smoker model made from heavy steel, which works the hardest of all to retain that lovely heat. Choose one that fits your outdoor space instead of being too big to gather around or too small for cooking food for all of your guests at once. And pick a model with convenient wheels for easy movement. But most important of all, bear in mind that in this case the more you can afford to spend, the better quality, better performance and longer lasting the grill.