True barbecue fans know that smoked meat isn’t just for the summer. However, smoking in the winter has a ton of additional difficulties that, if mishandled, make it nearly hard to maintain the proper cooking temperature. What should you do the next time you need a smoked dinner arises in cool weather?
The primary difficulty with smoking in the winter is maintaining the proper temperature in your smoker on chilly days. And it’s not just the chilly air that’s difficult; it can also be affected by rain, wind, and even a lack of sunlight. Thankfully, clever smokers have developed strategies to trick Mother Nature even on the coldest days. Here are some suggestions and tricks for ideal winter smoking, whether you already own an electric, gas, or charcoal smoker or are on the market for one.
You can serve melt-in-your-mouth Brisket all year long if you use these suggestions for cold-weather smoking.
The meal you’re going to prepare is where it all starts, right? We advise you to avoid risking a $100 Prime Rib if you’re a rookie. Keep things easy the first few times until you get the feel of smoking in the winter. With Brisket Pro, Tri-Tip is a “go-to” cut of meat. It’s a dependable cut that takes less time to prepare than Brisket and costs less than prime rib or beef tenderloin. Always be aware that smoking food at cooler temperatures may require extra time. Use a digital smoker to make the process even simpler. Just plug it in, set the digital controls, and it will work while you keep warm inside.
Consider that you want to get a smoking temperature of 220 degrees. In the summer, the temperature inside your smoker may already be 95 degrees or higher at the start. Therefore, you would only need to boost that temperature by 125 degrees. In the winter, the interior may feel just as chilly as the air outside. It means that to get and maintain a fire’s temperature, you’ll need a hotter fire and more fuel than you would in the summer. You want to save time and fuel! A good rule of thumb to remember is to increase the cooking time by 20 minutes per pound of meat for every 5 degrees below 45 degrees. It is true whether using an electric, gas, or charcoal smoker.
The direction of the wind.
If the chilly wind’s blowing, you should adjust your vents if the chilly wind’s blowing. Do you understand where the air enters your smoker? The wind will burn your fuel hot and quickly if it blows in that direction. In that instance, partially or not wholly closed those vents, allowing the air to flow.
Shelter your smoker.
If your region has a lot of wind, snow, or sleet during the winter, consider constructing a three-sided shelter for your smoker. Simple plywood sheets would suffice, and you can roll them into the garage to keep your smoker out of the weather. Smoking indoors is hazardous for you, your family, and your home; take no chances.
Consider covering your cooking area with a welding or fireproof blanket, or look on Amazon for further suggestions. Remember that you must allow airflow, or the flames will go out.
Keep track of the temperature.
In harsh weather, keeping track of temperature is essential. You may monitor the internal temperature with a remote digital thermometer or food probe without raising the lid or remaining outside in the cold for an extended period. It will let you know when the meat reaches the desired temperature. Put a leave-in meat thermometer into the thickest section of the cut if you don’t have a remote thermometer, and put it in a position that makes it easy to read.
Keep the smoker closed at all costs.
From the convenience of your living room or man cave, several high-end smokers let you keep an eye on your meat using a smartphone app. If it’s necessary, check on it every 6 seconds. However, if you don’t own a digital cigarette smoker, repress the urge and keep the door closed. Every time you open it, heat will escape, and chilly air will enter; as a result, you must increase your cooking time by 20 minutes. And most likely produce a product that is poor in taste and texture.
Nothing smells better than a perfectly smoked dinner on a chilly winter day. You can have delicious smoked food all year long if you use this advice.
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