There are two basic types of smoking done today; cold smoking and hot smoking. Cold smoking relies on smoke and cool temperatures to cure foods, and can take up to several days to achieve results. Hot smoking uses heat as well as smoke, and greatly speeds the curing process. Your True North Electric Food Smoker utilizes this method.
How to BBQ with Wood Chips
You don't need a smoker to infuse your foods with that irresistible smokey taste. Try our Wood Chips or Wood Bits on the Barbecue.
Gas Grill: Wrap 1 or 2 cups of wood in foil, punch holes, and place on top of the lava rock. You can also place the package just on the grill but you may have to wait a bit longer for the wood to smoke.
Charcoal Grills: Soak 2 cups of chips in water and spread evenly over charcoal.
Two factors introduce flavors to smoked foods: brines and wood chips. Both act together to yield a whole range of flavors.
A salt cure is used prior to smoking. This step is referred to as either brining or marinading (for recipes, visit our True North Recipes section).
Brining of meat or fish is an essential step in the smoking process. The salt acts to physically and chemically change the structure of the meat, so when smoked, it gives us that firm, flaky quality associated with smoked foods. Also, the brining acts as a preservative, greatly extending storage life.
Allowing meat to air dry after brining is important. Place the meat on racks and elevate them so air may circulate around the individual pieces. An air dry time of 1 to 2 hours is suitable for most meats. Look for a glossy surface to develop on the meat or fish. This is called the “pellicle”. When the “pellicle” forms, the meat is ready to smoke.
THE SMOKING PROCESS
Step 1: The Smoking Cycle – The smoking cycle is done first and generally lasts 1 to 3 hours, depending on the number of panfuls of wood bits burned. Two to three pans are sufficient for most jobs. Note: Each panful will take 15 minutes to start generating smoke and last approximately 45 minutes. For more information on what type of wood to use in your smoker, view our True North Wood Chip Flavour Guide.
The amount of heat is an important factor in smoking, as it determines when food is “done”. The True North Smoker is designed to operate in the optimum temperature range for hot smoking - 110° F to 160° F.
Step 2: The Drying Cycle – The drying cycle is required to provide additional heat to complete the curing process. Remove the chip pan, leave the unit plugged in, and dry until the texture of the product you are smoking meets your satisfaction. The drying cycle can last up to 12 hours (possibly longer), depending on the outside temperature and meat type and thickness.