Getting started with the barbecue smoker

A barbecue smoker is a device that gives your ingredients a delicious smoky flavour. In the past, people mainly smoked in order to preserve food longer. Nowadays it is mainly done to eat and enjoy the flavoured preparations immediately after the smoking session. This cooking technique is gaining enormously in popularity, because the trends of facing culinary challenges and outdoor cooking are now completely hot & trendy. Discover the possibilities of a barbecue smoker! 

Which barbecue smokers does Barbecook offer?

Barbecook offers two different types of barbecue smokers: the Oskar, a sturdy model with numerous possibilities, and the Otto, a smaller electric model that can certainly stand its ground! The Oskar barbecue smoker is available in two different sizes: small and medium. You can smoke both hot and cold with it. With the Otto barbecue smoker on the other hand, you can only smoke hot.

What can you smoke?

Meat, fish, poultry, crustaceans, vegetables and even cheese... In principle, everything you put on a regular barbecue can also be prepared in a barbecue smoker. The flavour you give to your dishes is determined by the type of smoke wood, smoke chips or smoke dust you add. You can choose between flavours such as oak, apple, olive and so much more. Discover which types of wood flavours Barbecook offers.

How do you smoke hot?

Ingredients that you want to smoke hot with your barbecue smoker must be brined beforehand. You do this by mixing coarse salt with herbs as desired, wallowing in your food and letting it rest for a while. How long you need to brine depends on the ingredient in question. Follow the instructions in your recipe. Afterwards, rinse all the brine thoroughly and dry the food.

Hot smoking with the Oskar barbecue smoker

Hot smoking takes place at a temperature between 50 and 95 °C. In order to reach this temperature, you light some coals in the lower part of your Oskar barbecue smoker using lighter cubes and a charcoal starter. Wait until the coals are glowing and then sprinkle some water soaked smoke chips or smoke wood on top. Nice extra: in the middle of the smoker is a bowl in which you can put water, broth, wine and/or herbs that refine the smoke flavour and make your food extra juicy. Place the ingredients on the grill, or hang them with hooks on the lid of your barbecue smoker. Close the barbecue smoker and let the smoking begin. Now follow the smoking time indicated in your recipe. When smoking hot, the smoking time is considerably shorter than when smoking cold. Follow the temperature in your barbecue smoker on the built-in thermometer and add some extra coals if necessary. Also sprinkle some extra smoke chips or smoke wood on the coals from time to time. Take your preparation out of the barbecue smoker once it is done.

Hot smoking with the Otto barbecue smoker

Hot smoking with an Otto barbecue smoker is quite simple. Fill the bottom tray of your barbecue smoker with smoke chips or smoke wood soaked in water, place your preparation on the grill and slide it together with the drip tray into your barbecue smoker, plug it in and let's smoke!

How do you smoke cold?

Cold smoking can be done with the Oskar barbecue smoker or with any barbecue that has a lid. With cold smoking your preparation will only be smoked, but not cooked. This is done at a low temperature, between 20 and 25 °C. Same as with hot smoking, you have to brine your ingredients beforehand. Follow the instructions in your recipe. When smoking ingredients at a cold temperature, you will extract moisture from the raw product and thus inhibit bacterial growth. This ensures a longer shelf life. With this technique you use Barbecook's cold smoke generator which you fill with smoke dust and let it smoulder with a tea light in your barbecue or your smoker. You gently blow out the flame as soon as the smoke dust starts to discolour. The smoke should be thin and bluish in colour. Then place the ingredients on the grill or hang on the hooks of your barbecue smoker. Follow the times indicated in your recipe. Cold smoking takes at least 4 hours. Do not try to finish earlier than indicated. Patience is a great virtue!

Extra smoking tips

  • Smoke in moderation when you have guests coming over, not everyone is familiar with a fiery taste of smoke!
  • Use plenty of herbs and flavours. It's not because you are going to smoke your preparations that you don't have to season them. By the way, the Oskar barbecue smoker has a pan that you can fill with wine, broth or water with herbs. This creates vapours during smoking that keep your preparation extra juicy and give it even more flavour.
  • Hot smoking is practically possible anytime, anywhere! Cold smoking, however, is another story. We advise you not to do this in hot summer weather. After all, it will be extremely difficult to stay below the recommended limit of 25°C with your barbecue smoker in these weather conditions.