Outdoor cooking is not only interesting to do but it gives you most delicious food to eat and enjoy with your family and friends. Whether it is a slow roasted chicken or a fresh smoky rib, you get the best feasts for lunch or dining with fewer efforts required at your point. Outdoor cooking has become easier with the introduction of many advanced grilling and smoking appliances that one can use easily without any trouble. These machines work well and are reliable ones provided that you know ins and outs of the appliance and use it properly. Improper usage may give you trouble. So provided you know how to deal with setbacks with minor adjustments and maintenance, you would not need to take your electric smoker to a professional. You can settle most of the issues with proper handling and care at home. This would not only save your time, efforts but also would lower your maintenance cost.
How to deal with Common Problems of an Electric Smoker?
If smoker doesn’t start up:
- Check to see if the power plug of the electric smoker is inserted correctly in an outlet dedicated to response the appliance. Make sure that all the connections of the machine are tightly held. Make it certain that the power breaker in your house electric connection box is not tripped. Check the fuse and if needed replace it with a new one.
If smoker is Jam/not burning properly/damaged:
- There may be some wood chips (loose ones) trapped in your smoker. If this is the case, your electric smoker will not burn properly. Make sure that you clean the electric smoker after each use and check if any wood chips are left trapped. Get rid of them in order to make your smoker work properly.
- Improper functioning or damaged smoker can also be a result of using soft wood for burning. Woods like pine or fir must not be used with your smoker. Go for alder, cedar, plum, hickory, cherry or maple chips for smoker and these can be easily found at a grocery or hardware shop. You can also get them online.
- An electric smoker can be completely damaged because of its biggest enemy, rust. Every time you clean the smoker, check for any formation of rust and if found scrape it away instantly. Formation of rust can completely break out your smoker so keep on checking for rush formation. For getting rid of the rust, you may use good quality sandpaper or a wire brush.
If electric smoker is not properly smoking food:
- Electric smoker must be provided enough time to heat. Preheating is important in order to smoke food properly. Normal operating temperature is 200 – 250 degrees so you must not expect the temperature to rise above 250 degrees at constant level. You should allow some more time to smoker once you insert your food in the smoker so that the appliance can again reach the peak heat temperature. During the process of cooking, some smoke heat may escape so you must have the damper almost closed. Also make sure that the smoker is placed at a place where it is not too windy in order to have consistency in temperature.
- Many of the people complaint about unevenly cooked food on their smoker. One of the major factors that results in uneven cooking is the amount of food you are inserting in your smoker. All the smokers whether big or small have a limit of the amount of food that they can take in for smoking well. If you are overburdening your electric smoker, you would not get good results with smoking. Moreover it will affect lifespan of your use. So in order to keep smoker in a good shape for years, you must check and insert according to maximum capacity of smoker and rack items to smokeaccordingly.
Some Useful Tips
In order to reap full benefits of this impressive appliance, you must follow all the useful tips that we have shared here. These tips would give your electric smoker extended lifetime and proper functioning.
- After each use, unplug the power cord and let electric smoker to rest and cool.
- Unit when placed outdoors must be covered or if possible place it inside. Keeping it covered would extend lifetime of smoker and would enable proper functioning.
- After each use, you must clean the smoker. The drip bowl and tray must be washed.
- Smoker must not be submerged in water.
- Applying cooking oil to your smoker is important as it removes any residue that may be lying on your smoker and it also strengthens lifetime of your smoker. Coat smoker with cooking oil and for frequency of doing so check your smoker’s user manual. On an average use, your smoker may need oiling in around 6 months but for heavy usage you may need to oil it in 3 months. For specific instructions, refer user manual.
- No other cleaners or dirty cloth must be used for cleaning of your smoker. Use a wet clean cloth.
- Racks and trays must not be covered with aluminum coil.
- Keep the appliance away from reach of children. Never leave it unattended in presence of children.
- Different types of electric smokers are available in market and each one of them has different instructions for operating and maintenance. You must read and follow instruction manual of your specific electric smoker model.
- If you are new to using electric smoker, we recommend you to go for a reasonable priced model and get some experience in smoking before making investment in a high price smoker.
Electric smokers are good investments and they would last for many years provided they are taken care of and are maintained well. Regular usage, cleaning and care would not only make you a master at smoking but will also give your equipment a longer life span. Understanding your smoker and operating according to instructions of the manufacturer is important. There are different kinds of smokers available in market and thus you must know how to use the one that you have. You may not need to get only a high budget smoker but a good electric smoker is one that is maintained well. This guide gives you an insight on what common problems may arise when you use an electric smoker and most of these common issues can be solved at home with ease.