The Top 5 Smokers

Apr 11


Terry Kuhn

Terry Kuhn

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If you're in the market to purchase a barbecue smoker this year, this very informative article will help you choose the right one for you.

While it's true that you can do a darn good job of smoking food on a regular gas or charcoal grill (I still do it today) there is nothing like having a smoker.  There are a few different types of smokers available.  Let's take a look.The Water SmokerIt's also referred to as the Bullet,The Top 5 Smokers Articles looks something like R2D2 from Star Wars.  Its cylindrical shape is small and convenient for the average barbecuer.  It has a charcoal fire or electrical heating element at the bottom, a water pan (to add moisture to the food) just above that, then the space for the food of choice to be smoked on top.  You add soaked wood chunks to the fire or the heating element to create the smoke.  It is challenging however, to hold a consistent temperature.  Otherwise, the Water Smoker does a fine job.The Electric or Propane Box SmokerYou could confuse this smoker with a dorm-sized refrigerator.  This box-like smoker has the heating element on the bottom with racks above it for the food.  Smoke is provided by adding wood chips in a special drawer near the bottom of the unit.  Some higher end models automatically add the wood chips or pellets for you.  It's much easier to achieve and hold a consistent temperature with this type of smoker.  Some models even have a digital heat setting available.  This also does a good job.The Off-Set Barrel SmokerThis type is my choice in smokers.  A fire-box holds the charcoal or wood for the heat.  This box is to either the left or right side and slightly lower of the main part of the unit.  This design assures that the food being prepared does not come in contact with the flame.  The smoke travels from the fire-box across and under the food and out a small chimney which is on the opposite side of the smoker.  The main idea in true barbecue is "low and slow", and this design is perfect for that.Now that you know a little bit about smoker design, let's take a look at my recommendations for good values in smokers.Brinkmann Gourmet Charcoal SmokerThe Brinkmann Gourmet Charcoal Smoker is my choice for a great starter smoker.  Its' attractive price makes it a true value.  I personally have one of these beauties and I love to use it.  Its bullet design has two cooking levels for very good capacity.  It will make a true barbecuer out of you.Weber Smokey Mountain Charcoal SmokerWeber has consistently produced truly wonderful grills for many decades.  They offer the bullet design Smokey Mountain Charcoal Smoker in two sizes.  The 18.5 inch is small and compact, perfect for a situation where space is limited.  The 22 inch model is a wonderful smoker unit.  They both are constructed with the same high quality craftsmanship and materials that are the backbone of Weber products.  Masterbuilt 30" Electric SmokerThis box-smoker design is great for smoking many types of food.  From ribs to briskets, you can do it all with this unit.  It has many great features and is priced right.  You can't go wrong the the Masterbuilt 30" Electric Smoker.Bradley Digital Electric SmokerThe Bradley Digital Electric Smoker has a digital time/temperature/smoke control.  You don't have to babysit this smoker, it does all the work for you.  Just set it and forget it (although it wouldn't hurt to check it once in a while).  It has 4 racks for plenty of ribs, chicken or brisket.  It's a great value for the money.  Char-Griller Smokin' ProWith the Char-Griller Smokin' Pro off-set barrel design, you will be the envy of the neighborhood.  This smoker is my choice for "best buy".  Its' cavernous main cooking area is capable of holding 100 pounds of meat!  How's that for BIG?  If you're really into smoking and true barbecue, this is the smoker for you.Well, there you have it...the best backyard smokers on the market today.  I hope this research and information has helped you in your choice of what smoker to pick.  Good luck and good smokin'.