7 Types of Smokers (And Which One You Should Buy)

Jason Webster
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The 7 most common types of smoker

And which one you should buy.

I’m sure in your life you have heard about people bragging about having the best barbecue smokers, the most popular ones being the ones you use inside in the winter and outside in the summer.

There are many different types of smokers and they come with a wide range of prices. In general, the shape and size of the barbecue will be the biggest factor in determining what type you should buy.

Barbecue smokers can be separated into 3 different categories by the amount of time they require to cook a meal.

Propane/Gas smokers

Propane/Gas smoker is the most common choice among a smoker enthusiast.

Propane/Gas smokers are well-suited for people who spend most of their time outdoors.

You can easily cook for a large crowd.

The smokers run on propane and gas, so you won’t run out of fuel at the middle of a dinner party.

They are usually more affordable than electric smokers and charcoal smokers.

They also have a wider selection of smokers and accessories.

However, there’s the problem of maintaining the smoker which is a standard requirement.

Because the smokers use fuel, you still need to regularly maintain the smoker.

You’ll also have to make sure that it’s always at the right temperature, etc.

Charcoal Smokers

A charcoal smoker provides a quick burning fire that keeps the temperature steady and even. Apart from adaptability and efficiency, charcoal smokers are a favorite option among serious smokers because they have an airier chamber, which leads to more smoky flavor in your smoked meats.

The disadvantages of charcoal smoking include having to refuel charcoal every 30 to 45 minutes. It also takes more efforts to maintain the heat, and it doesn’t take much to lower the temperature. Some smokers require you to manually feed the charcoal.

Charcoal smokers are available in a variety of sizes. The most popular smoker size ranges from 20-inch up to the massive—typically around 80-inch….

You also have a charcoal smoker that uses a top exhaust system like the propane smoker. If this is your first-time purchase, I strongly recommend you get the traditional bottom-fed charcoal smoker.

Offset Smokers

Offset smokers are a very popular choice of smoker among many American grillers. They originated in the 1940s, and have been in constant evolution ever since. The shape of the smoker is designed to be paired with the indirect heating of charcoal. Despite its design, it provides a wonderful cooking experience you can’t easily get from other smokers.

Why it’s the best:

Let’s say you’re planning on a weekend cooking competition. This smoker is for you to churn out all the delicious meat you can. If you’re holding a smoker competition of your own like the Texas-style smoker competition held annually, this smoker will be a perfect choice because of its durability as a product.

Pellet Smokers

A pellet smoker is a great choice to consider if you want to smoke food – it is fast-becoming one of the most popular choices in the smoker market.

They are also very easy to use – no more than 5 minutes are needed to get your pellets into the smoker and the temperature to the desired level.

Most are really consistent in producing fantastic results.

Electric Smokers

Electric smokers come in many shapes and sizes. What common features they have is that they all have a heating element inside and they all plug into a wall outlet. You can even find them disguised as a propane cooker.

Electric smokers heat your charcoal for you. They are the most user-friendly and the easiest to maintain.

Many of them allow for in-and-out access for checking the meat… without having to open your smoker!

You can get started with a smaller unit and then progress as you get more experienced to the bigger more advanced units.

A plus is that they can be left alone once loaded so you can get a quick bite to eat or use the bathroom while it does its job.

These units are perfect for those of us who are not much into checking on food constantly and want a convenient, easy to use option. A plus is that you can just keep your meat in one place all day.

You don’t have to worry about temperature swings as the time goes by. Every model heats up evenly, the temperature stays consistent and you don’t have to worry about rotating the meat to be sure you have all sides cooked.

You are even able to cook with the door completely closed.

Kamado Grills

Kamado grills are not portable and require a fixed location which can withstand high temperatures. It’s perfect for a dedicated smoker’s garage.

Kamado grills can come with a variety of options and grills. Some are good for cold smoking while others are better for dehydration smoking.

Generally speaking, Kamado grills are good at producing smoke. They come with ultimate customization and control features, allowing you to easily manage the temperature and airflow. However, it’s relatively heavy.

Kettle Grills

Kettle style smokers are the original smoker design. They were built to cook food over an open fire. There are many variations of kettle grills but they all follow this basic design.

Kettle grills have a large cast iron or steel pot that serves as the cooking chamber. A large metal chimney vents the smoke from the fire below the kettle grill. The chimney goes through a large heat shield before exiting the body.

This design is effective but is limited by the size of fire it can handle and temperature control. Grilling on a kettle grill requires two fuel types, wood pellets and charcoal. With charcoal and wood pellets it is possible to grill using indirect heat.

The kettle grill is a great choice for someone just getting started in smoking. Better models have a robust build quality and a finish that will last.

Famous Kettle Grills: Weber Kettle, Weber Smokey Mountain.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Smoker

Smokers vary in design and functionality, and there are few important features you should consider before buying a smoker.

First of all, you need to figure out the size and uses of the smoker: should you opt for a small tabletop smoker or a large smoker for tailgating?

Some smokers are versatile enough to accommodate all your smoking needs, while others might be better suited for a specific application.

Once you’ve decided on the primary purpose of the smoker, take into consideration the following features:

Cooking grates: If you’ll be smoking larger cuts of meat, or if you want to smoke more than one type of food at the same time, invest in a smoker that comes with a porcelain-enameled cook grate made of cast iron.

Controllable temperature: A smoker with an adjustable temperature control lets you control the smokehouse temperature to provide a perfect environment for barbecuing.

Build quality: Depending on where you plan on storing the smoker, you might consider an outdoor smoker, otherwise known as a Pellet Grill, which has a build that’s weatherproof.

Grate mounting: Some smokers feature a grate mounting hole that allows for simpler attachment of the grates. This option saves you lots of time and energy.

Additional features: Some high-end smokers come with additional features like spring-loaded racks.

What is your budget?

Smokers come in all shapes and sizes, offering different levels of convenience and features. The prices vary depending on the size of the smoker and the material. Generally speaking, smaller smokers with less features cost less.

If your goal is to smoke small portions of meat alone, a smaller smoker will do the job. Perhaps a small 2-4 lb. vertical charcoal smoker is what suits your needs.

Alternatively, if you plan to smoke much bigger portions, you could go for a medium size smoker, which can handle up to 15 lbs. of meat. For your next BBQ party, this could be a great choice if you plan to offer several items for your guests.

On the flip side, you can also choose a large smoker that is able to smoke meat up to 100 lbs. Naturally, you will need a large space that is properly ventilated.

Type of fuel

We are already familiar with pellet stoves which are typically fueled by pellets but others, such as liquid propane stoves, are fueled by a liquid fuel instead. This fuel can often be difficult to get, as you will have to source it from a local distributor that stocks a wide range of stoves for you to choose from.

The number of people you will be cooking for?

Another important factor to consider before buying the best smoker is to find out whether you will be smoking alone or with a group of friends. The size of your desired smoker would depend on how many people it will be used to feed. Bigger is not always better, so make sure to know the difference between a large and a small smoker pot before you spend the money buying one.

Do you need it to be portable?

In my opinion the best cigarette roller is the Silver Bullet. This product is the perfect size to fit in your pocket and travels well.

Wrapping it up

So, there you go!

I’ve presented you with quite a number of things to consider before you buy your first Betta.

Let’s recap:

  • Plastic or glass tank?
  • Flat-sided, round-sided or vase-shaped?
  • Aquarium heater or no heater?
  • Allegiance to one brand or a contender?
  • Betta or saltwater?

Regardless of which choices you make, there are many things you can and should do to make sure you have a happy, healthy fish buddy living in your home for many years to come.

Top Sirloin Steak: What it is and How to Cook it

This kind of steak is a prime cut that comes from the back and upper portion of the cow. It can contain a strip of back fat called the small intestine, as well as bones and tendons. This is the most tender cut of the meat.

People usually find it hard to grill a top sirloin steak properly, but it’s actually quite simple. All you need to do is let the steak rest and take it out of the refrigerator an hour before dinner so it gets to room temperature.

Preheat your grill.

Meanwhile, you can season or rub a mixture of seasonings on the steak. Just mix salt, pepper, and oil, or rub with rosemary and oil, or add a mixture of rosemary and balsamic vinegar.

Once the grill’s hot, you can add the steak on the grid. Grill each side of the meat for around five minutes for medium-rare doneness.

Turn it over now and then while you grill. It’s better if you season the meat before you place it on the grill. Doing so will help the meat absorb the seasonings and get good flavor.

Once your meat’s done, let it rest for five to ten minutes. Slice it up and you are done.