Many people live and die by the smoker! There is often no substitute for a smoker when it comes to smoked meats, such as turkey, chicken, pork, beef and sausage. Slow-cooked meats often have extraordinary woodsy flavors and are usually fall-off-the-bone tender.
With that in mind, what are you waiting for? Get out there and purchase a smoker to experience the outstanding flavors of perfectly smoked meats.
Smokers cook with indirect heat, as opposed to grills, which cook with direct heat. Smokers also cook food at a much lower temperature, for a longer period of time, thereby requiring a steady supply of fuel and smoke.
Smokers can cost as little as $50, and run upwards of $10,000 for professional smokers.
Assuming this is your first forage into smokers, it is best to start at a low price range to first decide if a smoker is right for you.
The three, different types of smokers are:
Smokers can run off many, different types of fuel, including charcoal, hardwood, electricity, wood pellets and propane.
Charcoal – Charcoal provides a traditional, authentic flavor. A charcoal smoker is generally cheaper than other types of smokers.
Hardwood – Hardwood provides an authentic, smoked flavor. Use nut or fruit hardwoods, such as cherrywood and applewood, to infuse your barbecue with a deep, rich aroma and taste.
Electric – Electric smokers are convenient, as they require very little effort on your part. However, they often lack the authentic flavor found in other types of smokers. You’ll also need to position your electric smoker near an outdoor outlet, which may be inconvenient.
Pellet smokers – Pellet smokers are electric powered, yet burn wood pellets to provide authentic heat and smoke. Many smoker owners find the pellet smokers to be the “best of both worlds” in terms of convenience and authentic flavor.
Propane – Propane heats up quicker and faster than electric smokers, and is easy to use.
Large smokers can feed a whole party, while small smokers can accommodate a large, family meal. Larger smokers often come equipped with multiple racks and features.
Some multipurpose smokers are capable of both smoking and grilling food. The versatile quality of these types of smokers makes them ideal for many households.
If you enjoy tending to your fire and your meal, then a hardwood or charcoal smoker is right for you. If you don’t have the patience of tending to your smoker, then a gas or electric smoker may be a better fit for you.
Most smokers have temperature gauges, and are constructed of heavy stamped sheet metal. Professional smokers are equipped with a log-burning firebox which accommodates the large size of the smoker.