Love camping but miss the smoked dishes you do at home? If you want to take that smoky, grilled flavor with you on the road, planning is essential!
Whether you’re camping at a lakeside resort or attempting to retrace the harrowing Oregon trail in your RV, settling down to an appetizing dish of smoked butt and cornbread at night will make your experience even more enjoyable! All you really need is a quality electric smoker and the right preparation.
If you don’t already own a quality electric smoker, you can check out this list of popular electric smokers to see which models are built for life on the road. There are portable models that just need an electric source and you’re ready to make your own smoked brisket, no matter where the wind takes you!
Here are some great cooking tips to help you use your smoker while camping.
1. Create a meal plan for the duration of your hiking or camping trip.
Add variety to your diet but remember that each type of meat has its own shelf life. Properly stored, however, your meat should still preserve its flavor.
2. Prepare and season your meat in advance.
This will save you time and reduce the amount of packing you need to do. If your meat is seasoned at least 48hrs before cooking or smoking, it will absorb the flavor deeper to the bone.
3. Freeze and store all your meat in separate, air-sealed bags.
Raw fish, pork, beef, and poultry should be frozen and kept frozen in an airtight cooler. When freezing or storing, avoid mixing different types of raw, uncooked meat together to prevent potential food contamination.
4. Pack utensils and food coverings.
You can often purchase an entire grilling utensils kit at your local department store or home and gardening store. Ranging in price and size, these usually come fully equipped with tongs, scrubbing pads, gloves, and some even include a meat thermometer. Check your preferred grill or smoker brand for options.
Flies, mosquitoes, bees, moths, and other insects can’t help being drawn to outdoor cooking. Remember to pack food coverings as well, and have plenty of foil paper on hand for keeping your cooked food warm after you take it off the grill or out of your electric smoker.
5. Bring enough fuel for the appropriate number of cooking hours.
By calculating the total number of hours you plan on smoking, you can determine the right amount of wood chips required.
Smoking recipes will usually indicate either the amount of wood chips to use or the length of smoking time required. If, for example, a recipe for smoked butt requires 3hrs of smoking time, and you plan to cook it twice over a 10-day excursion, you’ll need 6hrs worth of wood chips. Read your user guide to find the wood pellet capacity and fuel duration for your brand.
6. Keep a pot of warm water on hand while smoking your meat.
Boiled water will reduce the risk of contaminants in your water, and can be used to help make clean up hassle-free. After smoking your meat, for example, you can remove racks from the smoker and soak them in hot water, as well as your cooking utensils.
If you’re too intimidated to try smoking meat because you haven’t done it before, relax, it’s not that complicated! You can check out these smoking meat tips for beginners to ease your nerves and see that anyone can smoke their own meat, even on the road when camping.