Creating mouth-watering, slow-smoked BBQ is never easy, but it is always worth it in the end. Of course, the quality and condition of your equipment can make a big difference to the finished flavor. Keep your smoker in tip-top condition by following our simple maintenance checklist.
Check Your Smoker for Damage
If you’re anything like us, your smoker works all year long, but that can lead to serious performance issues if you aren’t careful. A wood or charcoal smoker doesn’t have a lot of fancy parts that can break down. You’ve got your metal box, a place for your fire, racks to hold the food, vents and a thermometer. That’s it. Some smokers also have a water bowl. Check each of these parts before every use. You want to make sure there is no rust, and your vents are firmly secured and rotate freely. Give your thermometer a test drive too. If everything looks like it’s in good repair, you’re ready to get started.
Choose Your Wood Blend
When smoking food, gas, propane and electric options just don’t get the same results. Good smoke flavor comes from a real fire using real wood. According to our Pitmaster, Jacob Carriker, “Fahrenheit 250 uses locally cut and seasoned fruit wood from local farms in the area. Smoking with fruitwood provides a nice flavor to your BBQ.” Seasoned properly, the wood burns at a nice, even temperature, giving you the perfect balance of smoke and heat.
Good Maintenance Means Good Food
You want the smoke to flavor your food, but it should be a woody, clean smoke. Not smoke from rancid grease. A properly maintained smoker will last for decades, so a little maintenance is worth your time. After every use, pull out the racks, scrub them down and dry them completely. Dump out the fire box and give it a wipe down. Clean the vents and wipe off all of the surfaces. Once your smoker is clean, make sure every part is dry and reassemble. Then, cover it with a tarp. Even if you store it in your garage or under a roof, a tarp can help keep dirt, dust, and moisture at bay.
Fire It Up
Once you’ve got everything ready, sit back, relax and enjoy the day. The smoker does most of the work and all you need to do is keep a close eye on the temperature. Ever wondered how Fahrenheit’s meat is always consistently smoked? “The temp in the smoker fluctuates depending on location so we are constantly rotating the meats to come out with a consistent product,” said Carriker. Need a guide on how long to smoke your meat? Below is an estimate of how long we smoke each of our menu items for:
- Brisket: 16-20 hours
- Pork Butt: 15-18 hours
- Tri-Tip: 4-5 hours
- St Louis Ribs: 6-7 hours
- Salmon: 1.5 hours