It’s long been known that man has used heat and smoke to cook food for thousands of years. Even now it’s a popular method of food preparation because the results are simply yummy.
Today we have vertical smokers to use for this purpose, but our efforts are all for nothing when we let the heat and smoke escape.
That’s why we need to learn how to insulate a vertical smoker, so that all that heat and smoke can be focused around the meat and other food items.
So here’s a list of methods you can do for proper smoker insulation:
- Use an insulating jacket to cover the vertical smoker. These jackets aren’t hard to find, as the same companies that make vertical smokers often make these jackets themselves. While plenty of makers of vertical smoker accessories manufacture them too, the versions made by the smoker manufacturers are often better because the jackets are designed to fit the particular smoker perfectly. The fabrics in these jackets have an aluminum cover to keep the smoke and heat in.
- Cover the smoker with an insulation blanket. This time, the aluminum layer is inside beneath the exterior fabric layer. You don’t need a precise fit like for a jacket. You just wrap it around the smoker several times so it stays put. Just don’t wrap it around the firebox.
- Use a welding blanket. If you have access to construction supplies, then you may already have a welding blanket that you can use. These blankets were originally designed to protect workers from the sparks and heat resulting from the welding process. Like the insulation jacket, you have to wrap it around the smoker as many times as possible, but it shouldn’t touch the firebox.
- Use a cement board. The cement board can help with insulating the firebox, so this works with the other jackets and blankets. To do this, first you need to verify that you don’t have any active fuel burning in the firebox. You then use a tape measure to measure the inside of the firebox. Mark the measurements on a piece of cement board.
Use a utility knife to score the cut marks on the two sides of the cement board. Hold the cement board over a flat surface, with the part of the cement board you want to remove hanging over the edge.
You can then press down to break off that piece. When you have your cement board pieces, you can now fit them perfectly against the interior walls of the firebox.
Those cement board pieces can help hold in the heat and the smoke.
It’s true that some vertical smokers are great.
But unfortunately not all vertical smokers are properly ventilated, so these measures aren’t just optional. You need these insulation methods to make sure you’re smoking and cooking your meat properly.