Making True Barbecue With A Smoker
Are you considering getting a smoker that can be used in making true barbecue or even foods like smoked turkey and pastrami? There are hot smokers on the market that come in quite a few sizes and shapes and even powered by various kinds of fuel. Here are a few things you should consider when you start shopping for your next smoker.
Food Smoker Costs
You can find smokers for around $50 or more than $10,000. If you don’t plan on using it heavily, then you might want to start off with a smaller and vertical water smoker. Those are often the cheapest ones you can buy. You can make some good barbecue, even in these smokers, so for many, it’s the only one they ever need. Then again, there’s far more to smokers in general that just these basic units.
Smokers and Fuel Types
Smokers can get fueled using propane, electricity, wood pellets, charcoal, and hardwood. Each of these various fuels has their own benefits, and some of them have drawbacks too. Wood smokers and charcoal are more common and typically give your cooking more of an authentic flavor. The market’s most affordable smokers are typically charcoal, but there are really expensive charcoal smokers too.
Electric smokers are obviously quite convenient, but many of them wind up lacking in authentic flavor. Some of them are computer-controlled, which means you can set up your smoker and let the thing run until your food is ready.
Pellet smokers are powered electrically, but they do burn wood pellets in order to have smoke and heat. Units like these have many of the same conveniences as electric smokers, but they also give you the same flavor you might get from hardwood and charcoal smokers.
Propane smokers usually heat the fastest and easiest, even compared to electric smokers, and they’re also generally easy to use.
Depending on what you’re willing to spend on a smoker, you can get tremendously tasting barbecue without a lot of effort. One thing you’ll have to ask yourself is just how involved you’d like to get in the process. Barbecue itself is a long and even noble tradition coming from people by sitting around the fire making good food. Do you want to be able to just set it and forget it? Or would you like to be more of an active participant in cooking your food? Look for computer control or electronic features that might automate some of the work for you.
The smallest smokers might make enough food for a big family and sometimes even several dozen folks. Larger smokers can put out enough barbecue to keep a party going all day long. It’s essential that you think about how much barbecue you’d like to make prior to buying a smoker. If you only intend to smoke for your family on weekends, then you can get by with a small unit. If you’d like to be able to smoke enough for a corporate event, then you’ll need quite a bit more space. A lot of smokers will actually say just how much food you can make with them. As a general guideline, you’ll have to have 1 pound of raw meat per person. That involves quite a bit of food.
Some units that are on the market that can both grill and smoke. If you’d like to enjoy the best of both worlds, then one of these units is right up your alley. Charcoal units are the most frequent type of multipurpose smoker. There are many budget-level units that claim to have this feature, but you should know that it really takes a good design that can both smoke and grill really well. Many of the cheapest models can do one well or the other, but rarely both.
You might not immediately recognize the brand names that many smokers have stamped on them, but it’s well worth your time to look into the companies making the smoker that you’re thinking about buying. Some generic units are actually store brands that don’t come with support or service in the future.
If you find a smoker that you think is right for you, check out the smoker reviews that other users and industry experts have provided.