What is a smoker? Check Out Our Best Smoker Review.
A smoker is a gear used for cooking meat over low heat and smoke. It is mostly used in preparing the barbecue. What is a barbecue? They are closely related to smokers, but a barbecue is the food being prepared in a smoker. Just relate a smoker with a grill where meat cuts are cooked over low heat in direct contact with smoke as a way of adding flavor.
Yes, it depends on the type of grill. Charcoal or wood pellets grills make good smokers. But, a gas powered grill may not make a smoker. Gas grills heat food through the action of hot gas, but they don’t allow smoke to come into contact with food.
There are many types of smokers which come with different features. In most cases, they are categorized according to the kind of fuel used. Some of the factors you need to take into consideration before you buy a given type of smoker are the quality of food cooked. If your family or customers enjoy your food, then stick to the smoker allowing you to cook such food.
If you like to prepare barbecue without fear of running out of fuel, electric smokers will serve you well. Electric smokers are easy to start and have great controls. Portability is excellent when it comes to the electric smokers.
Masterbuilt 20076716 4-Rack Digital Electric Smoker with Leg Kit Cover and Gloves, 30″, Cinnamon
With this smoker, you will have a total of four chrome-coated smoking racks. It makes it possible for you to smoke up to 80 pounds of food at ago. Other great feature includes:
If you love gas as your preferred source of fuel, then you can easily smoke using gas. There are well-designed smokers which run on gas. Gas is a cheap source of fuel which will save you money in the long term.
Landmann USA 3895GWLA Smoky Mountain Vertical Gas Smoker, 38-Inch
The smoker allows you 1576 square inch of cooking. It will allow you have your favorite fowl, meats, and fish smoking at the same time. Other great features include easy access drawers, a chamber for access to wood chip box among other incredible features.
Great features of Landmann gas smoker
Pellet smokers use pellets as sources of fuel. Some of the benefits of buying a pellet smoker include easy maintenance, great flavor and saving you money. The downsides include breakage of parts.
Traeger Pellet Grills TFS81PUB Select Pro Pellet Smoker-Grill
The great features include BTU: 36000 and can provide 806 square inches of grilling space. Stainless steel trim makes it a great addition to your home. Other great features in the smoker include:
Most barbecues will tell you charcoal produces the best flavor. Charcoal is a great option, but it has few drawbacks you need to live within your home.
Smoke Hollow 4-in-1 LP Gas Charcoal Smoker Searing BBQ Grill Model PS9900
The smoker can be run on charcoal or liquid propane. If you feel like starting charcoal is hard, just use liquid propane. The great features in the smoker include ceramic infrared side burner, adjustable charcoal for easier temperature control and ability to cook multiple styles of barbecue. The smoker has ample capacity hence suitable for preparing large meals to make your gathering happy.
The Benefits of a Wood Smoker
Grilling food on open fire is hard. But, thanks to the wood-burning grill. It has made the task easy. You will enjoy safer, tastier and healthier grilling after you resort to wood burning smoker and grills.
The Pros of Cooking on a Wood Fire Grill
Retaining the flavor: Think of your favorite wood flavor, just buy this type of wood, and you will enjoy your cooking.
Keeping it natural: No chemicals in your cooking
More heat and better hygiene
Fun filled experience
Louisiana Grills LG-001000-1750 WH-1750 Country Smoker Whole Hog
There are many features which make this smoker great. It features an auto start electric igniter. Operation temperature ranges from 180° – 500+°. Louisiana is the most versatile grill on the market. It features independent burners and large capacity hoppers. Has the high capacity to accommodate party cooking needs.
When it comes to smokers, you will be faced with many choices. Common types of smokers available include the following:
Ease of use
Cost of operation
Quality of customer service given by the manufacturer
Ease of repair or servicing
The flavor of the smoked meat itself
Disadvantages of Propane Smokers
Replacing propane tanks and having to check the levels as you prepare food.
Drawbacks of Charcoal Smokers
People believe charcoal fumes contain toxins. They are messy to handle.
Maintaining even temperature is challenging. Large quantities of wood are required.
Need added trays to add flavor to food
They are the easiest to operate.
There are different models of smokers in the market. In the following section, I will explore different types of smokers available. Among the wood smokers, electric smokers, gas smokers, charcoal smoker and pellet smokers come in various designs.
Vertical Water Smokers
These are conventional designs of smokers in the market. Brinkman Gourmet Charcoal Smoker is affordable hence popular in the market. Other popular brands include Weber Smokey Mountain cooker.
How Vertical Water Smokers Work
They are divided into three compartments. The bottom houses heat source. Above the water source is a water pan. The water pan produces the necessary moisture for cooking. Above the water container is the cooking compartment.
They are small and more efficient than large smokers. With vertical water smokers, you need less fuel to power them. If you like to give a vertical smoker a try, you can start with vertical water smokers because they are less expensive.
Disadvantages of Vertical Water Smokers
Limited temperature control
Small hence can’t smoke a lot of food
Loses a lot of fume heat when raising the lid
The Weber Difference: It has great features which make it overcome most challenges in this category.
Char-Broil Vertical Gas Smoker
The vertical water smoker comes with three chrome cooking grates. The 595 square inches of cooking surface make it a great appliance if you will like to cook a lot of food. You can achieve up to 7,566 cubic inches of cooking space with the smoker. Other accessories which make it great include warming rack on the smoker chamber, water pan, and porcelain wood chip. The gas allows consistent heating hence assuring you better cooking experience.
Horizontal Offset Smokers
Vertical offset smoker is mostly referred to as an offset. It is a smoker consisting of two parts. It has a long grated cooking chamber, a metal barrel with extended lift door and a smokestack. On one side, there is a firebox with top or side access. Heat and smoke enter the cooking chamber through a small opening.
The only proven way to tell a real smoker from a poor one is to fire it up. A poor offset smoker will leak smoke through the connection between the smoking chamber and the firebox. It also leaks smoke through the doors. Uneven heating is also a problem common in most smokers.
Characteristics of a good offset smoker
A good offset smoker has doors which seal tightly. It keeps the smoke where you need it. Quality offset smokers employ reverse flow technology. The reverse flow helps in heating the cooking chamber indirectly.
Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Offset Smoker
The smoker allows you 619 square inches of cooking space. Convenient access doors make adding of wood or stocking very easy. It has multiple chambers for you to achieve excellent smoke control. Shelves help to keep accessories organized.
They are also known as vault smokers. Other names include block smokers and cabinet smokers. It is a box having a heat source at the bottom and a cooking chamber at the top. The location of the heat source below the cooking chamber helps in conserving heat.
How to identify A Bad Box smoker
A poor smoker will lack features such as insulation, poorly fitting doors, and thin metal. They also lose heat fast when exposed to weather agents such as rain.
Char-Broil Cast Iron Smoker Box
The smoker box comes with a durable cast iron body and a lid. It is ventilated to direct smoke towards food for efficient barbecuing. If you like to add flavor to any cooking, then you need to order the smoker. The design prevents food from burning. It works with most grills.
An ugly drum smoker is an inexpensive, simple smoker. You can make it in your DIY project and save a lot of money in the long run. It is made from a steel drum. Firebox rests at the bottom while the cooking chamber is on the top.
Advantages of drum smokers
Gateway Drum Smoker 55 Gallon – Charcoal
If you prefer an ugly smoker drum, then buying gateway drum will serve you well. It comes with a wide plate steel cooking grate. The solid steel construction makes it very durable. It offers you freedom to choose from high speed or even slow roasting of food.
They look like ovens in your home. But, the smokers are used to cook outdoors due to the amount of smoke produced. Most restaurants use the smokers when preparing food.
How Smoker Ovens Work
They are heavily insulated boxes with heating electronic elements. The elements produce heat which makes wood chips at the top to smolder hence producing the necessary smoke. Between the element and food is a funnel which prevents direct heating of the food and mixing with wood.
Advantages of smoker oven
It is easy to start
Prepares a lot of food at a faster rate
La Hacienda 56107US Steel Construction Pizza Oven and Smoker
If you love barbecuing, then this is the right oven for you to buy. It comes with great features such as temperature gauge, air vents, flue damper and perfect cooking and smoking controls. The wheels make it easy to move the oven around; you can as well use it as a traditional oven.
Smoking refers to a barbecuing on low heat. The cooking process is slow. When smoking the food absorbs the flavor of wood due to smoke produced by the wood. Barbecuing does not necessarily involve the addition of wood flavor to food. Barbecuing refers to a slow cooking process while heat is applied to tough pieces of meat to make them soft.