Do you ever want to grill a steak or chicken but don’t have any wood? Maybe you’ve got a friend who has one and it’s been sitting in their garage for years. Or maybe you have a large pile of wood that’s just waiting to be used. Here’s how to use a barrel smoker to make delicious, juicy BBQ.
Steps To Use A Barrel Smoker:
I’m sure most people who have read my posts on barbecue know about my love for cooking with wood. In fact, I often use a barrel smoker when I’m cooking in the backyard. This post is going to teach you how to use a barrel smoker in your kitchen.
STEP 1: Get a Barrel
You’ll need a big old barrel. I bought one at the local Home Depot that was $15 and had a good amount of space. This one is 24 gallons and will hold about 30 pounds of meat (2-4 people).
This can vary depending on your budget, but the most important thing is to get a good quality smoker with a strong warranty. The best options are the LBC, a Weber Smokey Mountain and a Pellet Grill.
STEP 2: Set it Up
If you want to get a better picture of how to do this, go watch the video. There are instructions for setting it up at the end.
You’ll need to start by drilling holes in the bottom of the barrel to drain the smoke. You’ll also need to make sure there’s room for your charcoal to burn.
The biggest thing you need to do is make sure your lid is in place. It needs to be sealed because you’re going to cook with it, and if it doesn’t seal tight, smoke will escape.
STEP 3: Cut Up Your Wood
The next step is to cut up your wood. You want to make sure you have enough pieces so you can get them inside the barrel without having to cut them into smaller pieces. This will help keep the smoke inside the barrel and keep it from escaping.
You may want to cut it into smaller pieces like this to make it easier to handle.
STEP 4: Make Sure the Barrel Is Clean
Once you’ve made all your cuts, you want to make sure they’re in a clean place where they won’t get dirty. If you’ve got a lot of pieces, you can put them in a paper bag and shake them around a little to help clean them up a bit.
STEP 5: Put Your Wood Inside the Barrel
Once everything is ready, you’ll want to make sure your wood is inside the barrel. You don’t want any holes or air pockets because this could cause the smoke to escape and ruin your food.
This is an easy way to do this. You’ll want to get a large piece of wood and just make sure it’s going in the right direction. Then just drop it into the barrel until it’s inside.
STEP 6: Start the Fire
Put your charcoal in the bottom of the barrel and light it. Once it’s lit, put the lid on top and close the door. Keep it closed for 30 minutes.
STEP 7: Open the Door
Once the 30 minutes is up, open the door. I like to let my fire burn for a bit before opening the door, but you can open it right away if you want.
STEP 8: Get Your Cookers Ready
Now it’s time to get your cookers ready. If you have two smokers, you’ll want to make sure that they are in the same position and that the vents are open. You’ll also want to make sure they’re both set to the same temperature. This will help ensure that they’re working at the same level.
If you only have one smoker, you’ll want to make sure it’s on the same level as the grill.
STEP 9: Place the Meat
Now it’s time to put the meat inside. This will vary depending on the type of meat you’re cooking. If you want to cook something like pork shoulder or brisket, put them in the middle of the barrel.
If you want to cook something like chicken, I’d recommend putting it on top of the meat. Chicken tends to have a lot of fat, so it doesn’t need as much smoke.
STEP 10: Close the Door
Once everything is in place, close the door. Make sure you’ve got your lid on tight. I like to leave the door open for another 30 minutes or so. You can do this at any point during cooking, but it’s best to wait until after you put the meat in the barrel.
STEP 11: Cook
It’s time to cook. You can use any kind of smoker you want, but I use my barrel one because it’s easy to set up and clean.
You’ll need to add more charcoal to your fire every hour or so to keep it burning. It takes about 2 hours for the fire to start cooking the meat. You’ll know it’s ready when the meat starts to look dry and pulls away from the bone.
Now that everything is set up, you’ll want to start cooking. You’ll want to make sure that you’re checking the food every few minutes. It’s easy to forget about it, but if you leave it in there too long, your food will get dry and tough.
Once your food is ready, you’ll want to remove it from the grill or smoker and enjoy!
Thanks for reading!