If you want to start making your own smoked meats finding the best barbecue smoker is key to being able to start making some great bbq. Unfortunately, it’s quite easy to get confused as to which really is the best barbecue smoker to start with. There’s so many types, models and styles that for most people finding the best one that fits their needs is a hit or miss affair. To make it a bit easier I’ve laid out some basic things you should consider when you set out to get the best barbecue smoker for the money.
To each person finding the best barbecue smoker is a personal choice. If you want to get authentic bbq flavor and don’t mind lots of hands on work a charcoal powered pit is the best choice for you. If, on the other hand, you just want to virtually ‘set it and forget it’ then an electric outdoor smoker is the best barbecue smoker for you. In the middle is the gas/propane smoker. It’s clean and easy to use but some people think the gas imparts an off flavor to the meat.
To start off decide how much attention you want to have to give the smoker while making meat. For long smokes, for example, a charcoal smoker will have to have coals added every few hours, this could be annoying especially if you have to get up in the middle of the night.
One of the more important decisions you have to make when trying to find the best barbecue smoker for you is what size to get. Don’t automatically go for the biggest one you can afford, this is a mistake many rookies make. A large pit needs lots of fuel to maintain cooking temperature, big doors lose lots of heat when opened. Big pits need lots of time to get to smoking temperature. Go with a smaller pit, decide on how much you’ll normally cook and stick to that size. Personally I own three barbecue pits just in case there’s a party I need to cook for.
Next up I want to talk about the most important considerations when trying to find the best barbecue smoker. You see, since barbecue is done at low temps (225 degrees) for many hours, up to 16 in some cases it’s vitally important that you look for qualities that enable the pit to hold temperature well.
First off you’ll want thick steel walls, thick steel will hold temperature very well and even act as a heat sink when fuel runs low.
Next, and vitally important you should make sure the smoker is as close to airtight as possible. The door should close soundly and fit perfectly. For a charcoal smoker any extra air that gets in will cause the coals to flare up, resulting in overdone or even burnt meat. For an electric, with it’s weaker heating element, excess air could cause the temps to drop, extending the cooking time for hours. If you do nothing else make sure the pit seals well, trust me, you’ll thank me for this. Struggling with temps is not fun at all.
In the end I recommend you also read some barbecue smoker reviews on sites like Consumer Search, Consumer Reports and even on Amazon. These barbecue smoker reviews will really help you find the best outdoor smoker that fits your needs perfectly.
Filed Under: Barbeque