On the market, there are many different types of smokers. Purchasing a smoker undoubtedly ushers in a new period of your culinary experience, or your experimentation results in a new beginning of delicious meals.
A smoker is the finest device to get if you want to make some delectable meats.
There are different types of smokers in the market to meet up your demand. We can guide you to find the best smoker you are looking for.
To get along with us, we created a guide to the best common types of smokers along with their benefits and drawbacks.
You are on the right track to get an idea or a complete solution on how and which smoking appliance to choose from here.
11 Different Types Of Smokers
1. Electric Smokers
An electric smoker is an outdoor cooking device that uses hot electric rods as its heating source. So, now you don’t need to worry about burning charcoal or wood. These smokers are very neat to operate that accommodate a broader selection of designs. Amongst other types of smokers in the market, electric smokers may vary in terms of options with temperature control, features, warming racks, cooking area, digital control panels, and many other features embedded.
☞ How Do Electric Smokers Work?
Electric smokers use a heating element to continue its course instead of burning fuel to create heat.
There is no ignition required as the smoke from the wood chips that come out and that part is suspended above the heating element. An electric smoker is capable of smoking meat using limited components.
Most of the electric smokers are assembled vertically keeping the heating elements at the bottom with the water pans, food racks, and the wood in between.
An enhanced Smokey flavor can be obtained from the food. It also creates a secondary cooking environment keeping a safe distance from the element of getting direct heat and maintaining a steady temperature.
☞ What I like
- Electric smokers are environment friendly, which makes the device a beginner for someone who has not tried a smoker before.
- Additional fuel sources like gas, charcoal, or pellets are not required which puts an impact on your costs and the amount of stuff that you have to store.
- You can rely upon a good quality electric smoker to maintain a steady temperature and as they don’t run out of fuel. As a result, it is a low-maintenance device that just needs to refill its water bowl occasionally.
☞ What I don’t like
- Due to the lack of real combustion and the low smolder temperature of the wood chips used to make the smoke, the flavor created by an electric smoker differs significantly from traditional smokers.
- Because there are no combustion gasses present, your meat will not produce a smoke ring, which is created by carbon monoxide and nitric oxide.
- The wet environment inside an electric smoker makes it difficult to achieve a crisp crust on chicken skin or ribs, which is ideal for delicate foods like fish, cheese, vegetables, and sausages.
☞ Should You Buy An Electric Smoker?
Electric smokers are ideal for folks who can’t use wood, gas, or charcoal burners near their homes.
They’re also good for folks who would rather place food in a smoker, set a timer, and walk away, knowing that their food won’t spoil because they aren’t continuously checking on it.
Learn more about the finest electric smokers in our buying guide.
2. Propane/Gas Smokers
Remarkably, natural gas or propane are used to heat gas smokers.
When it comes to fueling these smokers, the terms ‘gas’ and ‘propane’ are used interchangeably. Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) is another name for propane (LPG)
You’ll almost certainly be utilizing a refillable gas bottle unless you have a direct gas hookup to your home. Thankfully, they are inexpensive and readily available at most gas stations and other stores.
☞ How Do Propane/ Gas Smokers Work?
The burner and vents are at the bottom of most gas smokers, while the chimney and dampers are at the top.
The gas passes from the bottle to the cooking portion through a manifold. The gas is then ignited as it passes through the burner valves.
Gas smokers, like electric smokers, do not produce smoke naturally, hence wood chips are added to provide a smoky taste.
☞ What I like
- Gas smokers are just as easy to operate as electric smokers, and propane is a readily available fuel source.
- A gas smoker’s temperature is simple to adjust, and changing the heat is much easier than with a charcoal or pellet burner.
- A gas barbecue will heat up considerably faster than a charcoal grill. It takes around 15 minutes to get from cold to cooked, which is ideal if you are short on time.
☞ What I don’t like
- While a gas grill produces more combustion chemicals and hence more flavor than an electric grill, some people claim that it tastes like bacon.
- To be cautious, you’ll probably need multiple gas bottles, one full and one half-full, just in case one runs out. If your tank is running low, check it every 30 minutes.
☞ Should Buy A Propane / Gas Smoker?
Gas smokers are ideal for pitmasters who want a bit more flavor-enhancing combustion chemicals than an electric smoker, with none of the maintenance or cost associated with charcoal smokers or pellet smokers.
A gas smoker would fit someone seeking something they could take camping or to cookouts because its gas bottle fuel source is relatively portable and the smokers themselves tend to be pretty light.
3. Pellet Smokers
Pellet smokers combine an oven and a smoker in a rather high-tech package. They mix the added smoky taste of real combustion with the ease of use of an electric smoker.
One of the best things about a pellet smoker is that it can be used as an oven, grill, and smoker all at once, making it a one-stop cooking option.
☞ How Do Pellet Smokers Work?
Pellet smokers employ compressed sawdust that resembles chicken feed.
From a hopper on the side of the smoker, an auger drill feeds these pellets into a firebox. A heated metal rod inside the firebox causes the pellets to burn, producing smoke and heat in the cooking chamber above.
Pellet smokers utilize built-in thermometers to maintain a constant temperature by adjusting the airflow and amount of pellets put into the firebox.
☞ What I like
- Pellet smokers combine the flavor enhancement of real wood smoke with the convenience of a cooking system that you can set and forget.
- They’re multi-functional, serving as a smoker, grill, and oven all in one.
· Because the wood pellets burn down to almost nothing, there isn’t much housekeeping required other than emptying the firebox, which is generally detachable.
☞ What I don’t like
· They are not inexpensive! Expect to invest at least $400 for a starter smoker that is genuinely useful.
· You’ll need a socket nearby because the heating rod that ignites the pellets, the fans, and the drill are all powered by electricity.
· Because wood pellets aren’t as common as charcoal or gas, you’ll want to keep some on hand just in case.
☞ Should Buy A Pellet Smoker?
The pellet grill is a terrific alternative if you’re serious about smoking but want a high-tech solution that allows you to truly burn wood without the constant supervision of a charcoal smoker.
It’s also attractive and adaptable. If you just have space for one cooking device, one that can cook, smoke, and grill is great.
4. Charcoal / Wood Smoker
From the robust Weber Smokey Mountain to the eye-catching ceramic kamado ovens like the Big Green Egg, charcoal smokers come in a variety of forms and sizes.
In terms of the fuel that contributes the most to taste, charcoal and wood pellets are a close second.
Charcoal smokers need a bit more effort than electric or gas smokers, requiring extra setup, babysitting, and cleaning in return for a better flavor.
☞ How Do Charcoal/Wood Smokers Work?
When wood is superheated at temperatures exceeding 1,000°F, most of the non-carbon organic constituents are burned away, leaving a ‘char’ that burns cleanly and produces little smoke.
The char is subsequently shaped into little briquettes, which we refer to as charcoal.
The compounds created by a charcoal smoker, such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen oxide, help to enhance the flavor of the meal.
Wood chips, which are often placed above the charcoal to smolder, add to the smoke production.
Air intakes near the coals control the amount of heat produced. The hotter the charcoal burns, the more air is let into the firebox.
Most charcoal smokers suspend the food above the coals and utilize a chimney and air dampers at the top to distribute the heat and smoke.
To smoke with charcoal, you must be able to manage the movement of air and smoke.
If there isn’t enough air, the food will be dry and harsh, and if there isn’t enough air, the smoke and ash will make the meal bitter.
☞ What I like
· When it comes to producing that rich smoky taste, charcoal smokers are the gold standard.
· They are available in a variety of styles and sizes, making it easier to find one that fits your needs.
· Charcoal boosts the flavor of the meal you’re cooking, and the nitrogen oxide it generates is necessary for a genuine smoke ring to appear.
☞ What I don’t like
· Compared to electric or gas barbecues, charcoal grills require a lot more care and a bit more expertise and know-how. You’ll have better luck with an electric smoker if you want to set and forget it.
· It will take some time to start smoking since you will need to fire the charcoal and let it ash over before putting it in the smoker.
· Because of the ash and particulates created by charcoal, you’ll have to clean up a lot more once you’re done smoking.
☞ Should Buy A Charcoal / Wood Smoker?
The charcoal smoker is the one for you if you’re serious about smoking food.
Their designs may be as simple or as complex as you desire (you can even create one out of an old oil drum), and while getting consistent results may take some time and work, it is well worth it.
5. Offset Smokers
The origins of offset smokers may be seen in their barrel-like design, which was inspired by disused oil barrels.
Most pitmasters’ bucket lists include owning one of these monstrosities, which are large, bulky, and have enough room to feed an entire city block with beautifully smoked food.
☞ How Do Offset Smokers Work?
Because the firebox is offset to the side and below the main cooking chamber, the offset smoker gets its name.
Smoke and heat are pulled over the food in the cooking chamber and out of a chimney when wood or charcoal is burned in the firebox.
In a traditional offset smoker, the chimney is on the other side of the firebox.
Some offset smokers have a reverse flow technique, which employs baffles to drive smoke and heat beneath and over the food.
Reverse flow offset smokers are quite straightforward to find since the chimney lies above, rather than opposite, the firebox.
☞ What I like
· An offset smoker’s large barrel cooking chamber makes it simple to cook large quantities of food.
· Some versions come with a grill plate that attaches above the firebox, allowing you to use it as a griller and smoker in one.
· You may add extra fuel to the fire without letting out the heat or smoke since the firebox is separate from the cooking chamber.
☞ What I don’t like
· Offset smokers that are cheap are not worth the money. Heat loss, leaks, and dry food are all symptoms of poor construction. It may be a bit more expensive upfront, but top-quality offset smokers are always worth it in the long run.
· It takes a long time to set up an offset smoker. It will take about an hour to get it up to temperature and ready to cook.
· It’s also not as straightforward as the electric smoker’s ‘fire and forget’ technique.
· To get the most out of your offset smoker, you’ll need a lot of experience to figure out how to operate it properly, but once you do, you can expect to cook some amazing cuisine.
☞ Should Buy An Offset Smoker?
Offset smokers are a great investment for someone who is willing to put in the time and effort to get the most out of a terrific, yet difficult-to-use, smoker.
Offset smoking is both an art and a science, but it can yield a lot of tasty food if you have the patience.
Just make sure you have adequate space in your yard before purchasing one. They aren’t tiny!
6. Kamado Grills Smoker
When we say that Kamado grills are old school, we’re talking about the fact that they’ve been around for almost 3000 years.
Most people aren’t familiar with the term Kamado, but they are familiar with the Big Green Egg!
While the Big Green Egg is the most well-known Kamado grill brand, it is far from the only one available. There are several great brands to select from, and they all produce fantastic smokes.
☞ How Do Kamado Grill Smokers Work?
The Kamado grill’s unusual egg form is more than simply a design element. The form and thickness of the ceramic walls, which are based on traditional clay ovens, help in heat and moisture retention.
The meal is put on a grill grate above the fire, which provides heat at the bottom of the cooking chamber. Vents at the top and bottom of the grill regulate the amount of heat produced.
If you’re using a Kamado grill to smoke, you’ll almost certainly be using wood chips and a water dish. A deflector plate lies slightly above the fire and reflects part of the heat in some versions.
The form of the grill causes the smoke and heat to rise above the food and be directed back onto it.
☞ What I like
· Because there is less airflow inside a Kamado, your food is less likely to dry out, thus your meat will stay moist and delicious.
· Kamados are extremely versatile, and in addition to smoking, they can also grill, bake, and even serve as a pizza oven.
· If you live in a colder region where ordinary grills and smokers struggle to maintain heat in the winter, the thick walls of the Kamado grill are a perfect method to keep the temperature steady.
☞ What I don’t like
· Kamado grills, as wonderful as they are, are not inexpensive. A top-of-the-line model will set you back roughly $1000.
· Temperature management might be difficult due to the fact that there are just two vents. If you overshoot, the thick ceramic walls will take a long time to cool off.
· Because the fire is beneath the meal, adding more fuel and collecting ash can be difficult.
☞ Should Buy A Kamado Grill Smoker?
It takes some practice to master the usage of Kamado grills, but once you have, they are a fantastic and adaptable cooking system.
This is the grill for you if you want to bake the bread for your sandwich and smoke the meat that goes in it.
If you’re in a chilly environment and are having trouble retaining heat, a Kamado grill can help you out because of its superb insulation.
7. Kettle Grill Smokers
While a kettle grill isn’t exactly a smoker, it is one of the most popular pieces of live-fire cooking equipment and can easily be used to smoke modest amounts of food.
These are our favorite types of grill smoker combos since they are inexpensive and easily accessible.
If you have one of these lying around in your garage, it might be a simple method to start smoking food.
☞ How Do Kettle Grill Smokers Work?
By rearranging the charcoal within, adding wood chips, and adding a water pan, a kettle grill may be turned into a smoker.
Smoking on a Kettle grill can be done in a variety of ways, including the Snake technique.
In a “C” shape, place unlit coals two briquettes deep and two high (precise arrangement may vary). Then you light a couple of hot briquettes and set them towards the beginning of the Snake.
The unlit coals will be progressively lighted by the burning coals, lowering the temperature and lengthening the burn period.
To generate smoke, wood pieces are placed on top of lighted coals, with a water pan laid on the grill grate above them. The additional water serves to deflect some of the heat while also adding moisture to the grill’s inside.
The smoked food is then put on the opposite side of the banked coals, with the grill’s cover on it and the air vent of the lid above the meal.
The air is then pushed up over the coals, wood chips, and water pan through the grill’s base vent. This produces smoke and moisture, which flavors the food as it exits the lid vent, while the indirect heat of the coals cooks it.
☞ What I like
· You don’t need to buy a smoker if you have a kettle grill on hand.
· You don’t need to make any structural adjustments to your kettle grill to use it as a smoker, and wood chips and a water pan are quite cheap to come by.
☞ What I don’t like
· As the kettle grill isn’t meant to be used as a smoker, it might be difficult to precisely manage the airflow, and hence the quantity of smoke and heat, resulting in inconsistent outcomes.
· Because you’re still using charcoal, you’ll have to clean up after yourself.
☞ Should Buy A Kettle Grill Smoker?
The nicest part about utilizing a kettle grill as a smoker is that you’re almost certainly already in possession of one.
Kettle grills make excellent jery-rigged charcoal smokers and are ideal for those who wish to grill but also smoke food on occasion.
8. Vertical Water Smokers
Vertical water smokers are typically among the most affordable options, as well as being quite simple to use.
Vertical water smokers are good for beginners because of this. Furthermore, vertical water smokers take very little area, making them perfect for individuals with limited outside space.
☞ How Do Vertical Water Smoker Work?
There are three chambers in vertical water smokers.
The firebox is the first chamber, located on the lowest level, and is where the heat is created. This is essentially a metal bowl with a perforated metal collar and a grate at the bottom.
Charcoal, along with any wood chips you choose to add for taste, is placed in the firebox and ignited on fire.
The water pan is on the next level up. The water pan serves as the foundation for the entire system. The water is heated when the firebox heats up. This helps to spread the heat and prevents the meat from drying out.
The smoking chamber is the third room. This is the whole top section of the machine, starting above the water and continuing up to the grill where the meat is cooked. The meat is smoked from this location.
The lid, which is commonly dome-shaped, sits on top of the smoking chamber.
☞ What I like
· Most water smokers cost less and burn charcoal, giving you the satisfaction of playing with fire. Some versions are available for less than $100.
· These are basic smokers with minimal moving parts or electrical components that might fail. They’ll survive for years if they’re cleaned regularly and kept out of the elements.
· The majority of models are under 50 pounds, making them easily transportable.
· The water pan deflects and disperses heat, nearly assuring moist grilled meats, fish, and poultry.
· They take up very little space—only the diameter of their grill grates, which range from 14.5 inches to 22.5 inches for most models. Water smokers are more fuel-efficient than horizontal offset smokers because of their size and construction.
· Cleaning up is simple and can usually be done with a grill brush, degreaser, and a garden hose.
☞ What I don’t like
· When compared to other types of smokers, the cooking area is fairly limited (although some models double the cooking space with upper and lower grates).
· You must remove the top grill grate to access food on the lower grill grate (if your smoker has one), which might be inconvenient.
· Refueling during a cook might be difficult if your unit has a front access door.
· Temperature control on some brands can be difficult, especially if the firebox lacks vents (sometimes a problem with the lower-end smokers).
· Cooking temperature is difficult to maintain in cold, damp, or windy conditions due to the thin-gauge steel construction.
· To create smoke, these cookers are intended to burn charcoal with wood chips, chunks, or smoking pellets added. If you’re a purist who insists on smoking only with wood, an offset barrel smoker is a way to go.
· If your smoker’s exterior is porcelain-coated enamel (as most are), be careful not to damage it or it may rust. Dings are especially common on the lid.
· Why Vertical charcoal smokers aren’t all airtight. During BBQ sessions, ill-fitting pieces might enable smoke to escape.
· Water can permeate the smoker and gather in the bottom if it is stored outside.
☞ Should Buy A Vertical Water Smoker?
Vertical water smokers are fantastic additions to any home. These are tiny and affordable ways to prepare delectable smoked meats.
Rather than merely grilling all of the time, invest in a vertical water smoker to enhance your grill master game.
These are lightweight alternatives that keep the meat wet during smoking. The meat will not dry out throughout the cooking process as a result of this.
In addition, vertical smokers use less fuel than horizontal smokers.
Unfortunately, because they are smaller, they may not be able to smoke as much meat or bigger chunks of meat at once.
9. Box Smokers
Box smokers, also known as cabinet smokers, vault smokers, and block smokers, are tall boxes that contain a cooking chamber.
This implies that, unlike offset smokers, the meat and the smoke source are both within the box.
☞ How Do Box Smokers Work?
These smokers run on charcoal and wood pieces. On the bottom of the smoker, there is normally a pull-out chamber with a buffer in between.
Like the water smoker, this buffer may or may not have a water pan. The cooking chamber, which is above the charcoal, has shelves where the meat may be placed.
The temperature is controlled using vents on the top and bottom. There are two doors at the front of the smoker: one for the cooking chamber and one for the charcoal chamber.
You may add extra charcoal or smoking wood as needed without risking the smoker’s temperature dropping.
These smokers are popular among barbecue contest competitors since they can cook all of their meats at once due to their size.
☞ What I like
· Design is extremely durable and will endure for years if properly cared for.
· There are only a few pieces that can be broken or lost.
· While they come in a variety of sizes, they usually take up a small amount of space on your patio.
· Can prepare enough food to feed a huge group of people.
☞ What I don’t like
· This is one of the priciest alternatives on the list.
· Because of the size of the cooking chamber, it might take a long time to heat up.
· Usually only available at niche stores and on the internet.
· Is exclusively intended for use as a smoker.
☞ Should Buy A Box Smoker?
Yes, this is a good investment. It’s difficult to imagine a product that’s built better than the Smoke Vault at such a reasonable price if you’re looking for a smoker with a lot of versatility, lots of interior real estate for cooking a variety of cuts, cooking a lot of cuts at once, and fast smoking times.
True, the door could be sealed better, and the dampers could be put to greater use if they merely closed.
However, neither of these flaws outweigh the significant improvement that Smoke Vault will make in balancing your demand for smoky, succulent BBQ in a timely manner.
10. Drum Smokers
Drum smokers, often known as UDSs (short for “ugly drum smokers”), are a do-it-yourself craft built of steel drums. The main advantages of a UDS are its simplicity and low cost. For under $100, you can build your own ugly drum smoker if done well.
Despite their inexpensive cost, they have been known to produce world-class smoked meat, winning honors at BBQ contests on a regular basis.
Every UDS, or ‘Ugly Drum Smoker,’ is unique, and elements like weather (temperature and humidity), wind, and the amount of food you’re cooking may all influence how effectively it works.
It will take some time to perfect your technique.
The most essential thing to remember is that the quantity of heat produced by the burning charcoal is proportional to the amount of oxygen introduced through the bottom vent.
For the charcoal to burn, oxygen is required. The more oxygen present, the more heat is produced by the charcoal.
☞ How Do Drum Smoker Work?
Air enters a vent at the bottom of the UDS, supplying oxygen to the charcoal. The oxygen is used by the charcoal to burn and create heat.
The meal is cooked by hot air (and delicious smoke) rising from the embers. The heated air rises and leaves out the top vent.
When heated air escapes via the top vent, additional air (and oxygen) is drawn in through the bottom vent, completing the cycle.
The bottom vent’s expansion improves the oxygen supply, allowing more charcoal to burn and boosting the temperature.
By suffocating the vent, less oxygen is released, lowering the temperature. Cooking using a UDS usually entails adjusting the size of the bottom vent until the smoker reaches a temperature that is close to the goal.
☞ What I like
· Compact, so it won’t take up too much room on the patio.
· With a small components list, it’s possible to build one at home, making it the cheapest smoker on the market.
· With minimal effort, it is possible to maintain a constant temperature for lengthy periods of time.
· It’s simple to figure out how to utilize it.
· It’s possible to use it as a barbecue. Simply ignite a whole chimney of charcoal to cook with instead of adding some lighted charcoal to a basket of the unlit charcoal.
☞ What I don’t like
· There’s a reason they’re dubbed ugly drum smokers! Smokers manufactured at home may not have the same fit and finish as a brand new one.
· Cooking capacity is limited.
☞ Should Buy A Drum Smoker?
Aside from its simplistic look, an unattractive drum smoker is also simple to operate.
Fill the charcoal basket with lighted charcoal and wood bits, then add your meat and adjust the vents to the appropriate cooking temperature.
There is extremely little airflow and oxygen within the drum because of its small construction. Many individuals report that they can use their UDS without adding charcoal for up to 12 hours.
A UDS can easily cook 4x 10-pound pork shoulders at once in terms of capacity.
11. Oven Smoker
The difference between a smoker oven and the rest of the types on our list is how much temperature control you have.
These appliances frequently have computer controls and temperature probes, making them simple to operate for barbeque novices.
You may even leave the smoker oven running while you do other things or go to work and return to smoked meat.
☞ How Do Oven Smoker Work?
Oven smokers are essentially strongly insulated boxes with a heating source at the bottom, as designed.
Once the wood chips have been placed in the box, they will heat up, and the smoke will ascend through a channeled piece of metal, keeping the heating elements clean and preventing grease from starting a fire.
When we talk about electric smokers, we’re referring to them. A damper and a push-button control panel with an easy-to-read blue-lit, digital LED display is located on the top of this item to assist you to manage airflow for an increased or decreased smokiness flavor of your food.
The cooking temperatures and times specified using the digital control panel pushbuttons are shown on this display.
It’s easy to use and has no learning curve because it has programmed temperature control and cooking duration.
☞ What I like
· Well-made with long-lasting materials. Will be able to withstand the hardships of being permanently outside.
· It is effectively insulated for optimal heat retention due to its high build quality.
· The top vent can be adjusted to manage smoke levels and taste.
· A 24-hour timer and a digitally programmed temperature control panel are both simple to operate.
· The adjustable rack system allows for a variety of cooking possibilities while also making cleanup a breeze.
☞ What I Don’t Like
· The absence of a meat thermometer probe, which is now standard on many models (Though there are many affordable 3rd party wireless meat thermometers available.)
· Because the 800W heating element isn’t the most powerful on the market, it takes a long time to warm up. It is, nevertheless, more than adequate for effective cooking.
☞ Should Buy An Oven Smoker?
You don’t have to open the door to add extra smoke, losing heat, and you avoid all the concerns of “if you’re looking, you ain’t cooking!”
Wood chips may be added effortlessly through a side loader during your cook.
Overall, this Masterbuilt electric smoker provides a great balance of build quality, cooking efficiency, and ease of use, all at a reasonable price.
Yes, there are better versions if you’re ready to spend a higher price, and there are several in this guide, but for a mix of awesomeness and affordability, you can’t go wrong with this device.
What To Consider Before Buying A Smoker?
It pays to consider carefully before choosing a smoker to increase your outdoor cooking options, whether you want a new, updated smoker for your favorite hobby or a fully-equipped smoking machine appropriate for winning local contests.
These tried-and-true devices cook meat while infusing it with a smokey flavor, making them great for ribs, brisket, pulled pork, salmon, and a variety of other dishes.
Smokers, like grills, come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so it’s important to think about which one you’ll need.
☞ Your Budget
Since you’re a first-time smoker, the cost is probably one of your main worries. Some of you may have already decided on a pricing range.
There are two schools of thinking when it comes to budgeting for your first smoker.
Option 1: Purchase a low-cost smoker to learn on and then upgrade later.
You may buy up an inexpensive smoker for $50-$100 at your local hardware shop.
After a season, if you’re still using it and having fun with it, you may upgrade to a higher-quality smoker. The trouble with this is that inexpensive smokers are very bad quite a bit.
Due to poor heat retention, you’ll spend more time battling with temperature control using a cheap smoker.
Consider the following scenario: Is it worth it to learn on the cheapest guitar available when even Santana couldn’t make it sound good?
The good news is that if you can’t extend your budget any further, you can still acquire high-quality equipment and use it as a smoker/grill combo.
Option 2: Start by spending a little more. If you have more than $200 to spend, you have a lot more alternatives for an excellent first smoker.
At this price, you can even obtain a smoker that can compete with the best. Old smokers are still functional, especially after a thorough cleaning.
Now that you’ve figured out your budget, it’s time to figure out which style of a smoker is best for you.
Another thing to think about before buying a smoker is how much you intend to use it. What types of events do you think you’ll want to use it for?
How many people are you planning to serve with your smoker? And how much meat are you planning on smoking at once?
If you seldom entertain at home and simply use it for yourself or small groups, you won’t need nearly as much space as if you’re throwing an annual party and want to bring the entire neighborhood over for your trademark smoked brisket.
☞ Temperature Control
The ability to effortlessly manage your temperature is one of the most significant qualities to look for in a smoker.
A few types, particularly pellet grills, include digital temperature control, but for the most part, you’ll have to set the temperature manually and check the temperature of your meat on a regular basis.
Do you want to be monitoring your smoker every hour if you see yourself using it?
Or would you want to be able to select the temperature and forget about it until the job is completed?
You’ll be looking at a variety of smokers depending on the sort of experience you want to have.
☞ Type of fuel
Because various fuels yield such obviously diverse outcomes, this is one of the most difficult decisions to make when purchasing a smoker. The following are the principal fuels:
Charcoal: Charcoal smokers utilize a mix of wood and charcoal to create a smokey taste that is simple to comprehend, inexpensive, and adaptable with different wood chips.
The masters prefer charcoal, although it has its own set of challenges. Charcoal smokers seldom have perfect temperatures, need a great deal of knowledge in placing and lighting, and are extremely difficult to clean.
Consider this choice if you don’t mind devoting a significant amount of time to your smoking endeavor.
Electric: Electric smokers take a lot of energy, but they include high-tech sensors and controls that allow for precise temperature control and programming. However, out of all the fuel alternatives, they emit the least amount of smoke.
Gas: Propane smokers are a popular choice for novices since they are quicker and simpler to manage than charcoal smokers and provide better tastes than electric smokers.
Pellet: These days, we’re seeing a lot more pellet smokers, which utilize electricity or gas to burn wood pellets, effectively modernizing the charcoal method.
The Traeger series of devices, which are basically grill hybrids that can be used for a variety of purposes, including smoking, has increased their popularity.
Buyers will benefit greatly from the all-in-one strategy. It’s worth noting that hybrid smokers that blend different fuel types are also available, however switching between them can be time-consuming.
Do you need portable or not?
If you’re going camping or tailgating with your new smoker, you’ll need one that can travel well.
A smoker that has been specifically developed for this purpose and is simple to set up will be a key consideration. A few pellet smoker companies, provide good value portable choices.
Portable propane and electric smokers are also available.
☞ Easy to clean or not?
Cleaning the outside of your smoker is a choice, depending on how nice you want it to appear. Cleaning the inside is not an option.
As we’ve seen, a lot of liquids and fats will drip from your meat as it cooks, and while a drip pan will collect part of it, there will surely be leftover goodies on the inside, especially if you’re smoking your meats for hours on end.
Examine how much of the inside is removable before you buy. Grates and grills, fireboxes, and water pans will all be removed, but hosing off the inside of electric smokers isn’t always an option.
Before deciding whether a smoker is ideal for you, consider how much time you’re willing to spend cleaning it.
☞ Can it Grill or not?
Although smoking meat is undoubtedly the most delectable way to prepare it, there are instances when you don’t have time or just want to grill some burgers or steaks.
By removing the water pan or putting a grate above the firebox, many of the smokers we discuss here may simply be converted into grills.
Consider whether you want your smoker to also serve as a grill, and vice versa, before making a purchase.
☞ Have a Drip pan or not?
As meat cooks, it will leak fats and juices, and because gravity exists within your smoker, that fat will have to go somewhere.
In other circumstances, you’ll want to retain the fluids so you can transform them into a delectable sauce or gravy to serve alongside your meat.
Other times, you’ll just want to get rid of them as quickly as possible.
The water pan (if your smoker has one) may often be used as a drip pan, but make sure you know where the juices are flowing.
☞ Where to buy a smoker online?
We hope that our introduction to different types of smokers has been helpful and that you are now ready to make your purchase. While seeing smokers in person is preferred (and more enjoyable!), here is a selection of internet merchants where you may shop for or purchase the smoker of your dreams.
Wrapping It Up…
Remember that the secret to a successful BBQ is to have fun, enjoy your friends and family’s company, and provide delectable cuisine.
You don’t need a costly smoker or the most up-to-date technology to accomplish this.
We’d appreciate it if you shared this information on different types of smokers with others if it has relieved some of your nervousness before purchasing your first smoker.
If you’re more experienced and disagree with one of our choices, or believe we’ve overlooked excellent types of smokers.
Mary – is a passionate Food Blogger, currently writing at Best Smoker Guide. Having years of work experience on food blogging field and have a good sense of humor. She enjoys eating new foods and finding ways to cook them out.
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