Nothing beats eating outside on a nice summer day. While most people enjoy the traditional bbq, the craft of smoking meat is certainly making a comeback.
But before you go out and buy your first smoker, there are a few things to consider.
1. Your budget
Smokers come in a wide range of quality and prices. While cheaper models can cost as little as 50$, others can easily range in the thousands of dollars.
If you are a beginner, you may be better off spending a little less, and choose smokers that are easier to handle and operate.
For instance, the Weber Smokey Mountain offers a good compromise between price and quality. As a matter of fact, some people will even compete at smoking competition using those Webers, even going against teams who use 10k dollars of equipment or more!
2. Charcoal, electric and gas smokers
If you like restaurant quality smoked meat, charcoal grills are a must. Higher end charcoal smokers make it easy to control and keep a consistent temperature. The only con, they do take a bit more time to set up.
Gas smokers would be #2 on my list, as they do produce good flavors, and are fairly easy to set and use.
Electric smokers offers the convenience of ease to use. They have integrated thermostats, but, like bbqs, the food will lack in flavor compared to charcoal/wood or even gas ones.
3. Cooking for a small family vs cooking for an army
Whether you like to cook for your family of 4 or whether you are the official cook for yearly family/friends reunions may dictate your choice. In the latter case, you will need a smoker that can handle multiple large cuts of meat.
Some grills offer you the option of cooking at different temperatures, which makes them more versatile. Of course, if you’re only in the business of smoking meat (which involves cooking at lower temperatures for extended period of time), you may not care about other possible usage for a smoker grill.
For example, the Komodo and the Green Egg are ceramic grills capable of producing very high heat or hold lower heat for long periods of time, which make them amazing at both smoking fish or cooking a crisp pizza crust.
Best smokers for less than 200$
- Char-Broil American Gourmet Offset Smoker, Standard
- Masterbuilt 20050211 Black Propane Smoker, 40-Inch
Best smokers for less than 500$
- Weber 721001 Smokey Mountain Cooker 18-Inch Charcoal Smoker
- Bradley Smokers Original Smoker
- Char-Griller 06620 Akorn Kamado Kooker Charcoal Barbecue Grill and Smoker
- Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Black Electric Digital Smoker
Best smokers over 500$
- REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill – Featuring Smart Grill TechnologyTM
- Smoke Hollow 4-in-1 LP Gas Charcoal Smoker Searing BBQ Grill Model PS9900
- Big Green Egg
- EcoQue ECO-71008 Wood Fired Pizza Oven and Smoker