If you’re anything like me, you’re always on the hunt for new ways to take your BBQ game up a notch. And with the smoke tube, you could change your BBQ cold smoking game for good. Just fill this mini-cannon with wood chips or pellets. Then place it on your smoker’s grates and introduce your meat around it.
This is like a smoke flavor bomb that’ll take your taste buds to heaven and back. It’s a simple hack that I learned at cooking school and have been using ever since. I’ll guide you through everything, from what you need to choosing the right wood pellets and keeping the wood in the smoke tube burning. So, let’s get smokin’ and take your grilling game to the next level!
First, here are some supplies I use for this pellet tube smoking technique:
Note: I provided the tools in order of importance. It’s not necessary to use a water pan by the way. And if you can swear by your cooking skills, a thermometer isn’t 100% compulsory. But I recommend having one on hand.
Next, I will guide you through the complete process of using a smoke tube in your pellet grill and some other things you could do to enhance the smoking experience.
The first step is to fill the smoke tube with wood chips or pellets. You don’t need to fill the tube to the brim. After filling the smoke tube, tap it lightly to remove any air pockets.
Before firing up the tube, you may want to place a water pan in your pellet grill to add moisture to the smoking environment. This will help prevent the meat from drying out and cook evenly.
Place the water pan directly underneath the meat on the grates. If your pellet grill doesn’t come with a water pan, purchase one separately and place it in the same location.
Fill the pan with hot water before placing it on the grill. Some like to replace water with beer or juice. But this doesn’t add anything spectacular to the taste or texture of the meat.
Light the filled tube with a gas torch at one end of the tube. Ensure the flame burns for up to 10 minutes before transferring it to the grill.
I recommend letting the smoke tube burn by itself. But if the wood chips/pellets aren’t burning or smoking well, you may need to fan it a bit.
Next, place the burning smoke tube on the grates near the heat source. The ideal placement is upright (if your smoker allows this) in the middle of the grill, a bit away from the food. This is so that the smoke can circulate around the meat. Otherwise, you can lay it flat in the middle or at an angle in the cooking chamber if your smoker grates don’t have enough height to allow a vertical placement.
Some smoke tubes are designed to be hung on the side of the grill. Other manufacturers recommend laying it flat on the grate. Ensure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions and ensure it’s not too close to the food, as this can cause the meat to become over-smoked and bitter.
Once you have your smoker tube placed in your grill, it’s time to start the cold smoking process. Make sure you close the lid of your grill to ensure that the smoke stays inside the grill and circulates around the food being smoked.
Closing the lid also helps to maintain a consistent temperature inside the grill. This is essential for cold smoking.
Finally, monitor the food regularly to ensure it cooks evenly and absorbs enough smoke flavor. Also, ensure the pellets stay lit. Use your meat thermometer to check the internal temperature and adjust the heat and smoke output accordingly.
Remember that cold smoking meat with a smoke tube is a slow process. It’s a smoking method where the heat ranges from around 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. So be patient and let the smoke work its magic.
The final internal temperature to stop cooking depends on the meat. In any case, 145 degrees Fahrenheit is the minimum internal temperature for pork, lamb, and beef recommended by the USDA. For poultry meats like chicken and turkey, the minimum here is 165, according to the USDA.
You may try out the following to enhance the smoking experience:
Simply put, a smoke tube, also called a pellet tube, or a pellet tube smoker, is a small perforated metal cylinder. It’s designed to hold wood pellets (as well as wood chips) and create cold smoke when the wood inside is burned. It’s a nifty little gadget that can take your low or cold smoking game to the next level. It adds a rich, smoke flavor that we all love to the meat.
Smoke tubes come in a variety of sizes and shapes. But they all work in essentially the same way. The tube is filled with wood pellets or chips, then lit with a lighter or butane torch. Once the pellets or chips start to smoke, the tube is placed on the grates alongside the meat, and the smoke is allowed to work its magic.
They allow you to experiment with different types of wood to create different flavors.
For example, if you’re smoking chicken, you might use applewood pellets for a sweet, fruity smoke flavor or hickory pellets for a more robust, smoky taste. The possibilities are endless, and it’s all up to your preference.
Using a pellet tube in your pellet grill can be a great way to add smoke flavor to your meats, but there are also some pros and cons to consider:
To prevent the smoker tube from dying and ensure it continues to produce smoke throughout your entire cook, there are a few things you can do:
I recommend using a smoke tube in a vertical position if your smoker allows this. This allows the pellets to smolder and cold-smoke for a longer period. Placing the smoke tube horizontally can cause rapid burning of the pellets. This may result in the smoke tube dying before your cook is finished.
I use a smoke tube whenever I want to add a smokier flavor to my grilled meats. It’s especially useful for low-and-slow cooking methods, such as smoking or barbecuing, where the meat spends several hours on the grill. So, whether you’re cooking brisket, pork shoulder, or ribs, a smoke tube is an excellent tool in your BBQ arsenal to elevate your grilling game.
Congratulations, you can now take on the world of BBQ with your newfound knowledge of cold smoking tubes! By using a smoke tube in your pellet smoker, you’ll be able to infuse your meats with even smoky goodness. This cold smoking technique can elevate your grilling game.
By following the procedures I explained and with a bit of practice, you can create mouthwatering, smoky meats that will impress your guests and have them coming back for more. So go ahead and give it a try, and enjoy the delicious results. Happy smoking!