If you didn’t know about smoking before, if you are on this site you will most certainly already know what smoking is. And no! Not that type of smoking! We’re talking here about the process of smoking food and it might seem strange to you but this method of cooking goes all the way back to the time of our cavemen ancestors and is still a method of cooking widely known and used throughout the world today!
Quite simply, smoking food involves a process which cooks and preserves food while at the same time flavoring it by exposing the food to smoke from a material set on fire (duh a burning material). Still not convinced of the powers of smoking food? Well, if one thing is going to convince you it would probably be the billions of people (okay maybe that’s an exaggeration, millions are probably closer to the mark) who attest to the wonderful taste smoked food brings into the palette. So come on and join us to see if a smoker isn’t the best thing ever to happen in your life in this best BBQ smoker review!
Read more about smoking food on Wikipedia
Top 5 Smokers Comparison Table
Masterbuilt 20070311 Smoker
Weber 721001 Smokey
REC TEC Wood Pellete Grill
>>Top 10 Electric Smokers in the Market
>>Top 10 Charcoal Smokers Comparison & Reviews
>>Top 10 Gas Smokers Comparison Table
>>Top 10 Pellet Smokers & Grills for Delicious BBQ
How To Select The Best Smoker For Your Home? Smokers Buying Guide
Many people when deciding to buy a smoker more often than not purchase it at an impulse and not by first thoroughly researching which smoker is the best suited to their needs. It may be an extremely daunting experience for the beginner when faced with the huge variety of BBQ smokers at the local hardware store. You see so many brands not to mention so many different types of the “best BBQ smokers” that it is natural to be afraid and to hesitate. You might even ask yourself if getting a smoker is the best decision you could make. Most of all, you might fear for the value the smoker could bring and do not want to spend money on something you can’t use properly. Fear not, because in this article, we will show you what to keep in mind when looking for the best smoker that your money can buy.
1. What’s your budget? : As with all things in life, your money more often than not plays a role in it so when deciding to buy a smoker you have to think of how much you are willing to spend. It is safe to say that spending a ton of money on the best BBQ smoker does not necessarily equal to a great experience. So to all the rookies out there, don’t be shy to start off with a cheaper smoker, those that tend to fall around the $50 mark. Of course, if you are willing to spend more, then there is absolutely no problem at all but establishing a budget can go a long way into finding the perfect smoker for you.
2. How many people will you cook for? : This is a factor which will influence what type of smoker (there are many different types, which we will take a look at later on) but the gist of it is this; if you think that you will only use the smoker to cook dinner for your family, then it is probably best to start off small although it is widely encouraged in the smoker community that it is also a great idea to buy a bigger smoker than you think you will need as a future-proofing method, if, let’s say, in a pinch, you have to cook for your whole extended family. Keep in mind that what matters the most in a smoker is the size of the primary cooking grate, measured in square inches. Also, another measurement to note is the vertical height from the grill grate to the top of the lid, for example when you want to smoke a whole turkey.
3. What foods do you enjoy cooking? : To get an idea of how the foods that you wish to cook should influence what smoker you will buy; foods like steaks, chops, chicken breasts, fish fillets, veggies, garlic bread, etc., require only a grill grate and a strong heat source and you don’t even need a lid. On the other hand though are foods like ribs, pork shoulders, whole chickens, leg of lamb, prime rib, beef tenderloin, pork tenderloin or loin roast, and dense vegetables (like potatoes) which are best cooked by indirect grilling and for this you will most likely need a grill with lots of grate space, easy temperature control, and a high lid.
4. What additional features do you want? : You might be interested in the finer aspects of smoke cooking, particularly in the variety of options that manufacturers offer such as side burners, infrared burners for high-temperature searing, rotisseries, cast iron grill grates, digital upgrades, side tables, warming grates, custom work tables, thermometers, insulated covers for cold-weather grilling. If the price tag agrees with you, then you most certainly win the go-ahead sign. It is quite important to note that, however, most of the time an increased amount of electronics or moving mechanical parts that a grill has, it has a higher chance of being more prone to breakdowns and problems.
5. Do you need (or want) portability? : Perhaps you would like to camp someplace and enjoy grilled or smoked at the same time, maybe even you’re a tailgater. In any given situation that you are a person who travels, then a portable smoker is a must. It may even be the major reason to influence what smoker you will buy. At the same time, the size of the smoker must be an important consideration. A portable smoker that is too big isn’t really a “portable smoker” is it? The same goes for how easy it is to set up. You most certainly do not want a smoker that you practically have to build according to the instructions whenever you have to set up, do you?
6. How much space do you want the grill or smoker to take up? : As in the point above, it might be prudent to buy a smoker that fits your living space. For example smokers like kettle grills, water smokers, and upright barrel cookers are very space efficient. If space-saving is something you really don’t care about then offset smokers and stainless steel super grills might be what you are looking for. It is also important to note that most appliances last longer when shielded from the elements, so make sure you dedicate an area indoors to store your grill when you are not using it.
>>Best 5 Electric Smokers Buying Guide
>>Best 5 Charcoal Smokers Present in the Market
>>Best 5 Gas Smokers For Great BBQ
Reviews of the Top 5 Smokers Popular in the market right now:
So are you unsure of where to start? No worries! Below we have listed some of the best smokers in the market right now. Happy Cooking!
Probably one of the major selling points of this Masterbuilt product is that they aim at containing most of the heat (provide the door is kept closed, of course) for the optimal smoking effect and being an electric smoker, it does its job pretty well. This product is listed as having distinct styles or variations in design such as having a top controller and window or a digital one with no window or with just a front controller. It also comes with an RF Remote control which monitors temperature, time, internal light, on/off and meat temperature.
It features a thermostat control for even cooking from 100 to 275 degrees F and a built-in meat temperature probe. Probably one of the best design features in the Masterbuilt 20070311 BBQ smoker is that it has a convenient side-loading for wood chips which is an extremely smart idea as most of the time it’s a struggle keeping the heat constant inside the smoker but with the side loading it means less heat is lost than if you were to open the main door every time just to load in wood chips.
Another good design feature is that it comes with a remote control which increases the convenience at which you wait for the smoking. You don’t have to worry over the smoker as with a remote control you can, well, remotely take care and monitor the internal temperatures inside the smoker. The Masterbuilt 20070311 also sports a very easy assembly, with everything being quite straightforward. Upon completion of assembly, users will notice that it has a handle and rear wheels which make it very portable. It could be one of the best smoker in my opinion with lots of plus points with it.
>> Read Full Review of Masterbuilt 20070910 Digital Electric Smoker
At first glance, the Weber 721001 is truly a magnificent appliance to behold. This charcoal smoker is constructed from porcelain-enamelled steel, giving it a sleek, shiny and professional look and its heat-resistant handle completes the look and also being very useful and convenient placed. Now aside from having an impressive aesthetic appeal it will also excel in ensuring your confidence in its cooking or smoking (or grilling) abilities.
It sports 2 nickel-plated 18-1/2-inch-wide cooking grates for a total of 481 square inches which is plenty of space for any food that you would ever wish to cook. It also comes with a water pan, a built-in thermometer, individual vents on bowl and lid and a storage cover. Although most charcoal smokers are not known for being very good at maintaining a constant temperature, the Weber 721001 can go toe to toe with most electric smokers which is quite a feat.
>> Weber 721001 Smokey Mountain Read Full Review
The Masterbuilt 20050211 may not be the prettiest looking appliance in the market but do not, even for a moment let that fool you. Its solid construction consists of four chrome smoking racks, a stainless steel burner, a porcelain-coated wood chip tray and a water pan. The dimensions of this smoker is such that you will have absolutely no problem fitting in whatever food you need to cook, a handy feature which will get you cooking more than enough food for your guests.
Another design feature that you will find in most gas smokers and that you will most certainly find in this product is its extremely accurate temperature gauge which is very important if you want to smoke your food properly. It is able to maintain a constant temperature and is also able to compensate for any heat loss quite easily.
A first look at the Dyna-Glo DGY784BDP will reveal one thing; it has quite an impressive size. It comes in at a total of 784-square inches of cooking space which is probably more than enough space for cooking for your family or for a backyard barbeque. The four adjustable wire racks are conveniently designed and very easy to take out and insert. This gas smoker features a 15,000 Btu cast iron burner with an electronic push-button ignition and a large control dial.
The solid construction consists of a porcelain enamelled steel wood chip box with handles and lid for the choice of wood chips and a porcelain enamelled steel water bowl. This product also sports an easy to use double-door design (upper/lower) for greater heating/smoking, cooking control, sliding air dampers on top and sides for the choice of smoked/cooking heat control options, and a nice decorative temperature gauge with a decor ring. Another extremely likable design feature of this BBQ smoker is it’s very easy to assemble, some users even reported that they managed to assemble it under an hour.
>>You Might Like Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Charcoal Smoker
And now featuring one of our top picks for our best BBQ smoker review, we present the REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill – Featuring Smart Grill Technology™. Anyone looking to buy the REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill will agree that it is one fine looking behemoth of a smoker. The high temperature durable textured powder coat finish provides it with a sleek and shiny look, the look of a true professional smoker.
But don’t let its solid, robust and inconspicuous, no-nonsense construction fool you into thinking that it’s like any old smoker of its kind because this pellet smoker is packing quite the punch in the high-tech department.
The patented Smart Grill Technology™ is able to maintain an extremely precise temperature from 180ºF to 500ºF in 5º increments. The electronic temperature control and clean stainless steel interiors make this appliance a joy to use with no fancy over design on any part. It is huge, meaning you will have virtually no problem fitting in whatever food that you would like it.
It also comes with a 40 lbs hopper to ensure ease of refuelling even in the middle of cooking! And to top it all off, this BBQ smoker can also reach useful temperatures of nearly 500 degrees meaning it can go hot enough to sear a steak or even fire a pizza. And don’t worry; it’s well enough insulated so that it will not be affected at all by the wind.
>>REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill Full Review
Different Types of BBQ Smokers You Should Know
- Electric Smokers: Aside from the fact that they need electricity and that they may break more frequently than the other types of smokers, electric smokers are well-known for their ease of use (they maintain a constant temperature quite easily) and well-insulated units.
- Propane (Gas) Smokers: This is similar to an electric smoker in which you can easily just set it up and then walk away. Of course, because it runs on fuel (pardon the pun) you may find yourself running out on fuel which according to past experiences of some veteran propane smoker users isn’t that big of a problem if you know how to manage fuel levels properly. Also like the electric smokers, propane smokers do tend to break so keep that in mind, although spare parts are so readily available that, again, it really isn’t such a big deal. One other major feature of propane smokers is that they are, most of the time, very portable which adds to their flexibility.
- Pellet Smokers: Like the electric and propane smokers, pellet smokers are easy to maintain in regards to its constant temperature and parts can break particularly with their auger mechanisms which need electricity to function. Also, worth noting is the cost of pellet smokers. You’re looking at shelling out around $600 for a unit.
- Charcoal Smokers: Widely regarded as the only proper way to make barbeque, food cooked using charcoal smokers do tend to taste better than the counterparts. The difficult part is getting to the actual smoking; starting a fire is darn hard and then maintaining the fire is a tricky and time-consuming process. Also, charcoal doesn’t come cheap.
Grillers & Smokers Recipes
In this section of presenting a top-notch recipe for you all hungry mouths at home, we are proud to present to you our featuring smoker for today! Yes, that’s right! It’s the almighty, no-nonsense, sturdy and solid REC TEC Wood Pellet Grill – Featuring Smart Grill Technology™!!! This robust and magnificent hunk of a smoker has been turning heads lately for being reliable, tough and a great all-rounder even for a smoker at its price point. Its patented Smart Grill Technology™ has been the talk of the town for being extremely convenient and so easy to use that it is not even funny!! Add to that, the sheer uncompromising 40 lb hopper load and it’s no wonder that this pellet smoker has caught our eye! For that matter, we decided it deserved a test of mettle (we cooked some food on it) and so we rustled up an amazingly delicious and simple to make a recipe for you all to try at home!
Beef Ribs Recipe for Smoker
Ingredients: Beef ribs (of course!), Mojave Garlic Pepper rub, BBQ Sauce.
- Here we can see the power of the Smart Grill Technology™, just by turning a knob; you can easily set the smoker to pre-heat to 250 degrees (Fahrenheit).
- Slap some Mojave Garlic Pepper Rub onto your beef ribs to partially marinade it. Delicious!
- Now gently place your marinated beef ribs into that smoking beast of a grill and let it do its job for 3 hours. Go play some poker while waiting; there is no need to worry as the smoker will take care of everything itself.
- Has 3 hours passed yet? Go check your smoker and dial up the temperature to 375 degrees (Fahrenheit) and wait another 30 minutes.
- Has 30 minutes passed yet? Now get your BBQ sauce and lather your beef ribs to taste. As they say: the more sauce the better! Now let it sit for another 5 minutes.
- Oh boy! Has 5 minutes passed yet? It’s time to take out those ribs and enjoy their melt-in-your-mouth, succulent and juicy flavours. Enjoy!
It is safe to say that if you have come this far, you will have learnt a ton of information on smokers. I would Recommend Masterbuilt 20050211 Black Propane Smoker as this is one of the best smoker and you can use it even without electricity also the food cooked tastes really well. You can easily make lots of recipes with it easily, rest depends upon your requirement and needs. Venture bravely and may fortune reward you with delicious home-cooked food! Happy Smoking!