Continued from Page 2
There are many types of outdoor cookers available to individuals seeking to
perfect their skills in barbecuing fine cuts of beef pork, poultry
and fish - just to mention the most common ones. One of the most popular cookers is a Wood Smoker or Barbecue Pit. Below, and on the left, you will find a picture of a typical wood smoker/barbecue pit. At a minimum, they are usually 18"+ in diameter and 2'+ in length with a "firebox" at one end. This indirect method of outdoor cooking is commonly called barbecuing and requires much more time on the pit than does grilling. We have more information about types and makes of wood smokers and barbecue pits.
On the right, is a picture of a Wood/Charcoal Burning Grill. The grill is used for outdoor cooking where the meat is placed directly over the fire (heat) and is cooked quickly with frequent turning. Obviously, this is called grilling! We point this out because many folks incorrectly refer to grilling as barbecuing and there is a BIG difference because barbecuing is, as said before, done with indirect heat and takes much longer.
Popular Gas Grills
Gas grills, like wood/charcoal grills cook over direct heat. The differences are two. First, the gas grill derives its heat from gas [propane, butane, natural gas, etc] and lights quickly. Second, since gas grills do not use wood or wood substances for heat, do not give the food the flavor naturally contained in the wood smoke. We offer more information for barbecuers who prefer to cook on a Popular Gas Grill.
To find out more about the woods used for creating different smoke flavors, see our specialty woods.
The stand alone Water Smoker or Water Pan Smoker is relatively new to the barbecuing scene. It is primarily used by the 'backyard barbecue enthusiast' although many cooking teams will utilize water in their larger competitive and more expensive wood smokers and barbecue pits. It should also be pointed out that many of the regular wood smokers on the market now incorporate this same method in their pits making moist and flavorful tasting meats.
Specifically, how water smokers work is the water is heated to boiling. The water particles then unite with the smoke created from wood chunks which then condenses on the meat in a basting fashion while coating the meat with smoke flavor. The vapor also prevents the temperature in the cooking chamber from rising much over 212 degrees F - - - the boiling point of water.
(Thanks to Pitt's & Spitt's of Houston for the pictures!)