For the love of meat and all that is smoked, having a high-quality smoker can be a great addition in barbeque equipment. For the longest time in history, smoking equipment has been used to produce some of the most relished cuisines. Gourmet lovers will attest to this and it’s probably among the many reasons why smokers are a must-have in the finest high-end restaurants.
Speaking of which, having a grill smoker in your backyard, especially during a barbecue season can help bring families and friends together, whether celebrating a birthday, an anniversary, or any other special occasion. But then again, your choice of a smoker can make a huge difference in your food preparation and ultimately your overall health.
That having been said, here’s how to buy the right food smoker for your needs.
1. Determine A Budget
It goes without saying that quality always seems to attract huge prices and smokers are no exception in this regard. One thing to note, however, is that smokers are fairly priced depending on the features available, manufacturer, and brand. You’ll always find something that is within your budget needs, but considering the many options out there, a guide to finding the right BBQ smoker will make the job less burdensome.
This will help to provide you with insights on how to find the most affordable yet efficient smokers available on the market. But as they say, cheap is expensive. This means that to avoid disappointments down the line, consider buying new instead of cheap second smokers. You’ll always find new and amazing smoker models at almost any price range.
2. Consider Your Needs
For home-based use, you may not need a large smoker. But this may as well depend on the size of your family or the number of people you intend to invite from time to time. However, for commercial needs, having a smoker with a larger capacity can help improve your business, especially considering the time it takes to smoke certain recipes. Before picking a smoker, whether for commercial or individual uses, it’s important to consider its fuel type, size, and function among other factors.
3. Grill Combo Vs Smoker
Of course, having a dedicated smoker is perhaps the best decision you can make for your smoking needs. But this doesn’t mean that you’re confined to a single option. Various smoker-grill combinations come as a single package. The downside, however, is that these options may limit your flexibility and certain feature you’d otherwise have on a single purpose smoker.
4. Choosing the Right Type of Smoker
When determining the best smoker best suited for your needs, it’s important to weigh all the different options that are currently available on the market. Basically, there are three common types of smokers to look out for, they include:
- Vertical Water Smokers – Vertical water smokers are either powered by charcoal, electricity, or gas. However, the most commonly used vertical water smokers are powered by charcoal. They contain a water pan that helps to regulate heat, deflecting heat flares, and preventing the meat from drying out.
- Offset Smokers – Offset smokers are elongated metallic barrels with an attached firebox on one end. The metal barrel serves as the cooking chamber and has a lift door and a smokestack. The heat from the firebox penetrates the cooking chamber through an opening between the two.
- Box Smokers – Also known as vault or block smokers, box smokers have a heat source at the bottom and a cooking chamber at the top. These are typically powered by a variety of fuel sources and due to this, various box smokers derive their names from their sources of power. Common types of smokers include Electric smokers, Charcoal smokers, Propane/gas smokers, and Pellet smokers.
It’s very important that when choosing the best type of smoker, you consider smokers that can maintain cooking temperatures for long. Modern smokers come fully equipped with a temperature regulating mechanism and a thermometer.
It’s also imparting to consider the smoker’s efficiency. Depending on the type of fuel used by the smoker, its efficiency will determine the overall cost of running and maintaining it. Modern smokers are highly energy-efficient, consuming less power while at the same time producing the best-smoked foods.
6. Things to Look For In A BBQ Smoker
If you’re planning to add a smoker in your kitchen itinerary, the available options and available features can make your purchase decision an overwhelming one. There are various things however that when carefully considered will help to narrow down your search. These include:
- Even heat distribution
If you love smoked foods, then having a smoker will be a step closer to some of the fines and the most nutritious meals. However, your choice of a smoker can have an impact on the quality of meals and your overall smoking experience. The above tips will come in handy when selecting a smoker best suited for your needs.