One of the most ancient methods of cooking is smoking. With the aid of this cooking method, people have been able to add a complicated, yet deep flavor to different types of foods such as meat and fish. This has been a very essential type of cooking method for some of the most popular dishes in the world.
However, most of the smokers used in this process are known to lose heat in the process, reducing the quality of the meal produced afterward. Therefore, it is very crucial that you insulate your smoker to increase its efficiency. On this post, we discuss some of the most efficient smoker insulation methods, as well as the perfect equipment for insulation for smokers.
Different Types of Smokers and how they Work
In general, there are two main categories of smokers, which are wet and dry smokers. The different types of smokers that are available from these categories depend on the materials used in the construction of the smokers and the cooking methods.
There are propane gas smokers, which are vertical smokers that are similar to heavy-duty safes in appearance.
You can also have a charcoal smoker, which can be either horizontal(offset), or vertical. The vertical options are available in different shapes. For instance, some are similar to safes, while some are similar to drums, and others look like eggs. The horizontal alternatives, on the other hand, are similar to a grill coupled with a chimney.
There is another horizontal type of smoker, which is the pellet smoker. Pellet smokers are also similar to grills with chimneys.
Another type of smoker is the ceramic smoker, which is similar to a huge egg in regards to the appearance.
Electric smokers look like a small fridge. It has additional shelves. However, the shape can alter depending on the brand or company behind its construction.
The wet and dry smokers cook in different ways.
Wet smokers will add some moisture to the process. They are usually less expensive compared to most of the pit smokers available in the market. A wet smoker has a barrel, cylindrical in shape. The barrel is set on a base, which usually is the source of heat. On top of the heat source, some wood chips are added to increase the smoky flavor. You can choose to replace the wood chips with some citrus peels, fresh herbs, or any other aromatic that you might fancy. On top of that, you will find a water pan and a grill above the water pan. The food is placed on the grill and is cooked by the smoke that rises from the elements below.
The dry smokers, on the other hand, cook using a method referred to as indirect grilling. The smoker will usually have two major chambers. One of the chambers holds the food and is the larger of the two chambers. The smaller chamber holds the source of fuel. It can be charcoal, electric, or gas. This source of heat will heat the chamber holding the food indirectly. With this type of smoker, you will be able to cook more food at a time.
How to Insulate your Smoker
There are different effective methods of insulating your smoker that will allow you to smoke your meat in any weather, as explained below.
Most of the companies that supply smokers also supply generic insulation jackets. This insulation for smokers is generic, which means that it can fit several types of smokers adequately. The manufacturers of the smokers, however, will have insulation jackets manufactured for a specific brand of the smoker, the brand that they sell.
Regardless of the type of smoker, you will find that the jackets are made using fabric that is covered in aluminum. Some, on the other hand, have silicone instead of aluminum. Aluminum and silicon will be able to reduce heat loss and they end up saving energy.
An insulation blanket is a more recent innovation compared to the insulation jacket. You can find this type of insulation product at any company that supplies smokers.
The product usually has two layers. It has a fabric layer, as well as an aluminum layer. Once you place the aluminum layer next to the smoker, you wrap the blanket around the smoker.
Considering the fact that it is an actual type of blanket, it is able to work perfectly for all sizes of smokers. However, you will find another type of blanket that is only supposed to cover the top of the smoker and then you can strap it together below the smoker. Other types are usually able to go round the smoker several times. Since it is heavy, you do not have to strap it together. It stays in place perfectly.
There is another type of blanket that is made for wrapping the smoker around the two edges. The top is usually left uncovered. An important precaution is to avoid wrapping the blanket around the firebox.
This type of insulation product works perfectly regardless of the weather condition, whether it is an insulated vertical smoker or a horizontal smoker. The insulation blanket will improve the consistency of heat in the smoker and will encourage even smoking of the food inside the smoker, especially when the temperatures are extremely low.
Welding blankets are created to help protect the welder from heat and sparks. There are different types of welding blankets, which are different in regards to the tolerance of temperature, the thickness, as well as the material used in construction. They are so efficient that there is no chance of damaging them even with molten metal.
They are usually made using an inorganic and heat resistant material and vermiculite that is unexpanded. There are certain types of welding blankets that have fiberglass in their construction. The blanket materials are stitched to each other using fiberglass or Kevlar threads. They are able to handle adverse temperatures ranging from 300 to 2500 degrees F.
Since its main task is to withstand adverse temperatures and deflect it at the same time, they are the perfect smoker blankets. You should choose the welding blanket for every reason. However, it is important to consider the maximum temperature that your smoker will reach before you choose a welding blanket.
To find a welding blanket, you should try checking a supplier of construction material.
You use a welding blanket in the same way you use an insulation blanket. You should make sure that you cover the smoker as many times as possible and refrain from covering the firebox. Due to its weight, it should be able to stay in place perfectly.
A cement board is the only type of insulation product that works from inside the smoker. Cement has iron ore, a blast furnace slag, silica sand, clay, slate, chalk, shale, limestone, and shells. A chemical combination of aluminum, calcium, silicon, iron, and other ingredients are used to make cement.
The combination will be able to withstand very high temperatures. You should, however, consider the ingredients used in making a cement board before you purchase it. You should always avoid boards that would emit chemicals into your food or the air.
If you were wondering how to insulate a smoker, the above methods should help you retain your heat even when there is extremely low temperature.