by Captain Ross Gallagher
This previous spring, my in laws came to visit for the week in S. Florida. As the adventurous week of entertaining and cooking had come to a close, we made a final trip to our local Bass Pro Shops, and were browsing their selection of BBQ’s and Smokers. I mentioned out loud how I wouldn’t mind getting into smoking meat and fish. I suppose my cooking over the week must have been top notch, as I was offered my choice of Smoker. With a half hour of research on my cell phone and many positive reviews, I ended up picking the matte black Masterbulit 30″ Electric Digital Smoker.
Unfortunately, the smoker was purchased the week before I was leaving for a summer of work in Alaska. I refrained from firing it up that week, and five months later, with my return from the Great North. I unpacked my new toy, and browsed the owners manual. Pretty simple instructions, with one very, very important first step. You must season your smoker before the first use!
The fumes from paints and chemicals inside the smoker are released during the first heating are quite noxious. This step is very simple, but oh so important. A simple 4 hour high heat cycle (250 degrees) with two hours of smoke at the end season the smoker and prepare it for a life time of enjoyment.
As I browsed online smoking forums looking for ideas and recipes, it became clear that when learning to smoke, it may be easier to start of with cuts that have a higher fat content. The Boston Butt or Pork Butt was the clear choice for my first endeavor. The marble throughout the cut would keep the meat moist and flavorful during the smoking process, even if I hadn’t perfected it yet.
By following suggestions on smoking time, wood and temperature. My first smoking came out great. Not as fall apart as I would have liked, but the flavor and smoke on the meat was amazing.
This unit is very user friendly. The temperature control is adjusted through a digital display on top of the unit. This offers the novice an advantage over charcoal smokers, where temperature control can be quite unforgiving. Simply season or brine your meats, soak your wood chips, pre heat the smoker, monitor the internal temperature of your meat, remove and let rest once it has reached temp and enjoy! By the way, this can be a relaxing way to spend a saturday or sunday morning into afternoon, I always seem to get a lot done around the house when I’m smoking.