Best Pellet Smoker

pellet grill reviews

Food, especially meat, tastes much better when smoked. If you want to take up smoking food but you’re worried that it might be too complicated there is one simple solution for you – get yourself a pellet smoker. Pellet smokers, also known as pellet grills, have started selling like crazy as people begin to realize they are incredibly easy to use. You may not get the street cred from traditional pit masters with your pellet grill and smoking skills, but you will be able to produce excellent barbecue effortlessly. Wood pellet grills give you smokey, juicy, and tender meat that’s perfectly cooked without the hassle of babysitting your smoker.

What is a pellet smoker?

As you could probably guess from the name of these smokers, they run by burning wooden pellets. Typically, a pellet smoker comes with a hopper on the side where the pellets are added. When you turn on the smoker, pellets will move from a hopper to a burn pot where they will be burned and the smoke will be diffused by a fan. A thermostat measures the temperature of the grill and determines how many pellets to burn while keeping a consistent temperature.

 

pellet smokers

 

The greatest thing about pellet smokers is that you don’t have to do much to get perfectly smoked dishes. Simply set the digital controller to the desired temperature and the smoker will do the rest. These smokers are pretty much set-and-forget, which means that you’ll be able to spend more time with your guests and still serve them food that has wonderful smoked flavor. It’s this convenience that’s led to the recent rise in pellet grills and other electric smokers.

Another thing about pellet smokers which might impress you is that you can also use this type of smoker to grill your food. So, don’t be confused if you come across the term “pellet grill” in this article because it refers to a pellet smoker. When used as a grill, pellet smoker will start up quickly and cook your food with minimal supervision. Depending on your smoker, you can either use the small area above the fuel pot to grill your food or you can put a griddle on the pellet smoker when it is running on high heat.

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“Big Dino Bones” Smoked Beef Short Ribs Recipe

Smoked Beef Short Rib Recipe

Have you ever seen those gigantic “big dino bone” smoked beef ribs at someone’s cookout and wondered what massive beast they came from? Dubbed “dino bones” because of their size, these ribs are actually just your regular beef variety!

When you order ribs at your local butchery or at a restaurant, they’re usually from the Short Plate section of a cow’s rib cage, cut into smaller 2- to 3-inch pieces and labelled as beef short ribs. “Dino bones” are these self-same rib bones before they’re cut to size. And my lord are they delicious!

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How To Smoke A Perfect Pork Shoulder

How to smoke pork shoulder
Courtesy of BarbecueBible.com

 

Steven Raichlen of Steven Raichlen’s Barbecue Bible has a fantastic three part series on pork shoulders, wherein you can learn all you need to know about this delectable hunk of hog. ‘In Praise of Pork Shoulder’ covers everything from the anatomy and animal husbandry involved in selecting the perfect pork shoulder to the best seasoning, grilling techniques and gear for optimal deliciousness. It’s the most in-depth, step-by-step recipe you can find. 

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Best Electric Smoker

best electric smoker
Courtesy of Char-Broil

Smoking meat, or any other food, gives it a great flavor that you can’t get from a grill or an oven. Technically, you can try using a grill to smoke meat, but the taste won’t be the same. Gas grills reach very high temperatures quickly and they are not good at capturing smoke. In addition, they can cause the meat to become very dry over long periods of time. On the other hand, charcoal grills can do the job, but they are usually too small for lots of meat. That is why you need something larger and better – an electric smoker.

 

Top Pick - Masterbuilt 40 Inch Electric Smoker

electric smoker reviews

This is the perfect backyard electric smoker. The Masterbuilt 20075315 Front Controller Smoker with Viewing Window and RF Remote Control is the best electric smoker for most people because it has the perfect combination of convenience, durability, and quality.

With an LED controlled heating element, internal temperature probe, and rugged construction, this smoker is durable and easy to use. With 975 square inches of cook space it can handle everything from smoked chicken legs on a school night to a Christmas brisket. The removable racks and drip trays make it easy to clean up.  Just plug it in, set the controls, and the smoker will take care of the rest. This 40” electric smoker from Masterbuilt is a great choice for both amateurs and pros alike.

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How To Trim A Brisket

how to trim a brisket
Photo by Brett Spangler

Brisket is a large, tough cut of beef that comes from the breast of a cow. It is most often prepared using a slow cooking method like smoking, braising, or barbecuing. Unlike some other meats, you will want to cut away parts of the brisket to make sure it cooks properly and you maximize your flavor. In this article, we’ll show you how to trim a brisket before you cook it.

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Franklin Barbecue Brisket Recipe

Franklin bbq brisket

Aaron Franklin is one of the most famous pitmasters in America. And he’s earned it! His restaurant Franklin Barbecue is one of the best BBQ joints in Texas, which is saying something. He’s also the host of BBQ with Franklin on PBS where he shares his favorite recipes, tips, and techniques with the rest of the country. Plus he wrote one of our favorite cookbooks about smoking meats – Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto.

He shared his famous Franklin BBQ Brisket recipe on his show. We figured we’d feature the recipe here and include the clips from the show so you can try smoking this brisket for yourself at home.

The beauty of this recipe is how simple it is. Aaron Franklin isn’t doing anything crazy, his back-to-basics brisket is meant to show off the taste of the meat. It’s based on technique and simple ingredients, which makes it easy to cook for pitmasters of all skill levels. It also makes it one of our favorite recipes yet!

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The Dreaded Brisket Stall Explained

brisket stall
Courtesy of Kingsford

Don’t let the dreaded brisket stall get in the way of your BBQ. There is nothing better than enjoying a slow afternoon around the smoker with your loved ones. The only downside of a good brisket barbeque (apart from the occasional turn of the weather) is the wait. All the finger snacks have been polished off, stomachs are rumbling and mouths are starting to drool in anticipation. Then it happens… the dreaded brisket stall, also known as the brisket plateau or the ominous “zone”. Suddenly the temperature of the brisket, which has been steadily climbing as it cooks, stops dead and refuses to rise any further. Your beautiful cut of meat that you labored over has suddenly stopped cooking.

You’ve heard stories about this temperature plateau lasting for hours, and now you’re in a panic. We’re here to help!

Below we explain why the brisket stall occurs and what you can do to make sure your dish comes out of the smoker on time and tasting delicious. Continue reading “The Dreaded Brisket Stall Explained”

When to Wrap Brisket

When to wrap brisket

We all have cravings. Some people like sweets, some like vegetables, I prefer a juicy, crispy brisket. Cooking a great brisket takes a lot of preparation, time, and patience but all the work is worth it in the end. One of the major questions you’ll need to face when preparing your meat for the smoker – when to wrap brisket and when to smoke it bare naked (it’s going to be hard to avoid the jokes with this one!)

These little details can make all the difference. Wrapping your brisket changes the cook time, whether or not it’s juicy or dry, and how crunchy your bark is. We put together a quick overview to help you decide when to wrap, what to wrap with, and how it changes the brisket in the end. Continue reading “When to Wrap Brisket”