Electric smoker or traditional? One of the biggest debates about food frequently happens between BBQ experts, pitmasters, and smoked meat enthusiasts. Today, we'll leave them that debate to focus on the electric smoker and the question: is it possible to create healthy meals using an electric smoker? This question might also lead to a few more. Is using an electric smoker itself beneficial? Is smoked meat carcinogenic? Are they safe to use?
Last but most importantly, are there healthy recipes for your electric smoker? We're happy to tell you that yes, there are! And we're excited to get into a bit of the electric smoker itself. Let's dive right in!
Are Electric Smokers Any Good?
Electric smokers are much more convenient than traditional. There's no need to worry about direct or indirect flame, nor do you need to use much smoking wood or charcoal. They use a convection system that circulates the heat and smoke around the meat cooking it evenly from all directions. This means you don't need to worry about turning or monitoring the meat. These days, most electric smokers also come with a digital control panel with temperature controls that display the current temperature. All you need to do is check it without worrying about opening the smoker and losing heat.
Is The Smoked Meat Carcinogenic?
When you subject proteins like smoked meats and fish to a high temperature, this produces heterocyclic amines or HCAs. Also, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons or PAHs are both known carcinogens identified in scientific studies. These flare up with fat and meat juices drip into the flame of the grill or directly onto hot coals.
When you use an electric smoker with the addition of woodchips, not only are you enhancing the flavor and juiciness of the food being smoked, you don't need added fats, oils, or artificial enhancers. In addition to that, there are no coals or open flames for fat to drip into.
Are Electric Smokers Safe?
Not only are they a healthier means to smoke meat, but they are also, in fact, much safer to use. Many electric smokers are exceptionally well-sealed, reducing the heat and smoke leakage that eliminates the possibility of very dangerous fire flare-ups while reducing the overall smoking time. People with breathing issues are also better off using an electric smoker since they don't have to contend with the pollutants found in pellets or charcoal.
Healthy Recipes for Your Electric Smoker
Here are a few fantastic and healthy electric smoker recipes to try!
Smoked Lobster Tails
- 4-6 lobster tails
- ¼ cup butter, or substitute for olive oil with lemon for an even healthier choice
- 4 cloves of garlic
- Preheat smoker to 400F
- Open lobster tails with poultry or heavy-duty kitchen scissors. Release lobster meat from inside shell by running fingers on the inside between shell and meat.
- Melt the butter with garlic cloves, or mix garlic and lemon in olive oil, drizzle over lobster meat inside of the opened shell.
- Place into your smoker and smoke until internal temperature reaches 130-145F.
- Remove from the smoker and heat, let rest for a few minutes. Using a fork, slide the fork under the lobster meat and lift it out and onto the top of the lobster shell. Serve and enjoy!
Instead of the oven, go for the electric smoker! A smoked turkey is a classic that offers a phenomenally extra juicy, flavor-packed tender cut of meat that you'll swear you'll never go back to oven baking again. Smoking low and slow is the key to success and incredible taste.
- 12lbs turkey, brined
Wet Rub Seasoning:
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tbsp ground sea salt
- 1 tbsp ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp mild paprika
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp powdered ginger
- 1 stick of butter
- 1 cup of chicken stock
- 2 tsp cajun seasoning
- 1 tsp garlic powder.
- Brine your turkey for at least 1 hour per pound in the refrigeration. Remove from brining solution and dry. Allow for the turkey to come up to room temperature.
- Mix the wet rub ingredients and apply liberally all over the turkey. Prepare your butter to baste. Place the turkey in the pre-heated smoker, following your electric smoker manufacturer's instructions.
- Cook for approximately 30-40 minutes per pound, basting the turkey with your prepared butter base each hour. If you have a meat thermometer, this is a great tool to help you know when to remove the turkey from the smoker. Your turkey needs to be, or the meat thermometer needs to register 170F (75c) in the thickest part of the thigh and 160F (71C) for the breast. Once these temperatures have been reached, remove them from the smoker and let them rest for 30 minutes.
And that's it! Enjoy your Turkey!
Other Healthy Electric Smoker Dinner Ideas
A few other excellent suggestions for recipes to try for your electric smoker are:
- Bourbon Smoked chicken. To reinforce that whiskey flavor in the brine and the basting butter for this chicken, use Jack Daniel's whiskey barrel chips for smoking.
- There is no need for the grilling skillet; thread some shrimp on pre-soaked wood skewers or metal skewers, add some cajun spice and smoke until cooked, and add a cool and tangy rémoulade as a complimentary condiment.
- Smoke your vegetables! The best veggies to smoke are artichokes, asparagus, Brussels Sprouts, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, corn on the cob, bell peppers, onion, zucchini, squash, eggplant, and carrots.
When it comes to your electric smoker, it's possible to create some extremely healthy, versatile, and creative meals with flavor profiles you might not expect. When it comes to finding inspiration for your next family meal, we strive to do our best to not only help our Wholey family but to provide the highest-quality cuts of meat from your everyday favorites to the unusual and rare. We also make it ultra-convenient for you by delivering it straight to your front doorstep. We hope you'll love these healthy electric smoker recipes and suggestions!