Food & Drink

Smoking Food: An Age-Old Technique Becoming Trendy Again

There are many who would agree that smoked meat is irresistible and that this is one of the most delicious ways to cook meat. It seems that there is something universally appealing about the smell of fire in our food and therefore smoked food is present in many cultures worldwide. In Argentina, they do Asado – huge cuts of meat and sometimes even the whole animal is being stretch out over an open fire pit and smoked to perfection. In South Korea, they do bulgogi, while here down under, sausages are our meat of choice when it comes to smoked food. Filled with grilled onions and sauce of your choice on a roll, it’s as tasty as it sounds. Yum!


The Past

Long before the invention of fridges or any other modern appliances, this was the accepted way of preserving food. It’s believed that this method of cooking food is as old as fire itself and originated in the Paleolithic Era. That’s because apart from adding flavor to the food, smoke also adds phenols and other chemicals that have an antimicrobial effect. This way, food lasted for longer without spoiling and enabled the early man to put down roots, live in one place and form communities.


The Present

But this age-old technique continues today, only that is has become some sort of trend. This is mainly because of the easy-to-use digital smokers so many homeowners have in their houses, usually as a part of an outdoor kitchen. When you own such a convenient and smart appliance, you don’t have to light up your cave fire or have the expertise that the Texas-based smoke meat professionals have in order to enjoy the smoked flavour of food. You can effortlessly prepare smoked meat and impress your family or your mates whenever they come over. But it’s not only meat that digital smokers are used for. Seafood, different kinds of cheeses, veggies, fruits, and nuts can be all candidates for a dose of smoked flavour. Therefore, this device will sure up your grilling game and bring new flavors to the table.


How to Cook on an Electric Smoker?

First and foremost, if the smoker is brand new, you have to rub each of the smoker interior surfaces including the racks with cooking oil, and let it run for two or three hours at 121-135 Celsius to eliminate dust or odors or other residue left from the manufacturing process and let it cool off. You should only do this procedure once.

After that, whenever you want to smoke food, just add some wooden chips of your choice to the built-in-tray, set the smoker to the preferred time and temperature, place the items on the racks (some electrical smokers for home use have four chrome-coated smoking racks so you can smoke lots of different food at the same time) and let the smoker take care of the rest. Because modern digital smokers have digital control panels, you don’t have to check on the items constantly but you can simply set and forget. Also, you don’t need to keep adding fuel into it to keep the fire as it’s the case with a traditional charcoal smoker.


Are Electric Smokers Healthy?

With the rise of digital smokers, you might be wondering whether these are healthy to use or not. Let’s just say that as with all other things, there are both pros and cons. When you have an electrical smoker at home, chances are that you’ll be tempted to prepare and eat more meat than usual which can result in health concerns as high blood pressure and heart diseases. There is also the problem of smoked food containing more sodium because most of the time you have to rub the meat with salt to prepare it for smoking.

But as already mentioned, there are healthier options you can prepare like fruits and veggies and meat doesn’t have to be your only choice if you want to enjoy the smoked flavour. Just as with any other food, moderation is key and if you understand the principle of a balanced diet plan, then almost everything is OK to eat in small quantities. Another point that’s worth mentioning is that smoked food is a better option than grilled and fried food because when cooked on a slow temperature it retains the nutritional value more.

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