Making great barbecue cuisine takes time, practice, and the right equipment. If you truly want to be a master of barbecue, you need the right equipment. And that means choosing the top smoker for your needs. Find out the best smokers for home use and get ready to test out your favorite recipes.
|Masterbuilt MB20070210 MES 35B Electric Smoker||Check The Price!|
|Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-D Heavy-Duty Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker & Grill||Check The Price!|
|Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker 18 Inch Smoker||Check The Price!|
|Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill Smoker||Check The Price!|
|PIT BOSS 77435 Vertical Lp Gas Smoker||Check The Price!|
Why Should You Get a Smoker?
You can make good barbecue meals with a grill. So do you really need a smoker? The truth is, every barbecue area should have a place to smoke meats. When you cook meat in a grill, it cooks quickly. But quicker isn’t always better, and you need a smoker if you want a true depth of flavor.
Smokers cook your meat at a low temperature over a long period of time. By doing so, smokers break down the protein in the muscle tissue. The result is tender meat that leaves your mouth watering.
In addition to being more tender, meat cooked in a smoker has a different flavor to it. The fat melts during the cooking process, which enhances the flavor. As the smoker cooks, it infuses a smoky taste into the meat. A smoker can elevate your barbecuing to a whole new level.
Types of Smokers
Even if you know all of the best smokers on the market, you might be overwhelmed by your selection. This is because there are several types of smokers available. Before you make your decision, you should know a little about how each type works and what benefits it has. Then, try out your favorite recipes.
A bullet is aptly named for its bullet-like shape. Although these smokers tend to be very affordable, they are also more difficult to control. If you’re looking for the best smoker for a beginner, a bullet shouldn’t be your top choice.
A barrel smoker is typically made from a steel drum. It’s large enough to hold enough meat to feed a large family and has the ability to include a water or drip pan.
Although this is one of the more popular types of smokers, it’s also one of the most difficult to use. Unless you buy a high-end offset smoker, one side of the unit will get much hotter than the other side. Units that are more expensive have ducts and tightly sealed doors to regulate the temperature.
Cabinet Style Charcoal
This type of smoker has a door that opens like a refrigerator. Even the more lower-end models tend to be easy to use. But this category of smokers isn’t cheap, so the most affordable models will still be more expensive than other types of smokers.
If you don’t want a separate smoker and grill, an egg smoker is a sensible option. Most of these smokers allow you to both smoke and grill your food. They work well in cold climates because they keep the temperature steady.
For those who are more concerned about price than quality, a propane smoker is the way to go. They are made of thin metal and tend to leak, but they do manage to smoke food well. Unfortunately, competitive cookers are often prohibited from using propane smokers.
Typically equipped with digital thermostat control, pellet smokers feature the latest technology. They burn hardwood pellets and still manage to give off a mild but smoky flavor. But the convenience comes at a cost, as these smokers cook food at a higher temperature than other smokers. You also need to be sure to store and use your pellets properly, or you’ll end up with a problem.
What Should You Look for in a Smoker?
Once you decide what type of smoker you want, you still need to consider several other details. Before you begin shopping, know your budget. Smokers range from $100 to thousands of dollars. Knowing your budget will help you narrow down your selection.
While you’re looking at equipment, pay attention to the features. For ease of use, you should seek out a unit that makes it easy to control the temperature. There’s nothing worse than planning a get-together and having the food finish two hours later than planned. Or, there’s nothing more dangerous than eating improperly cooked meat. If a smoker you like doesn’t come with a thermostat, you should see if it is compatible with a third-party thermostat.
There are some other accessories you may want with your unit. For instance, some smokers come with covers. Others have convenient hooks for hanging your tools. Look for the accessories that you want to get the most from your purchase.
The quality of your smoker also matters. To get a piece of equipment that lasts, look at the thickness of the metal and the quality of the seals. The thicker the metal, the better. You should also inspect the welds, hinges, and latches. You don’t want your unit to fall apart after only a few uses.
When you’ve narrowed down your selection, pay attention to the warranty. Is there a warranty, and if so, how long does it last? What type of parts does it cover? By having a good warranty on your product, you may protect yourself from needing to buy a replacement.
Top Five Smoker Reviews
Easiest to Use Smoker
This electric smoker comes with temperature control and a 1,500 watt heating element. Thanks to both features, the unit maintains a consistent temperature throughout the smoking time. Equipped with three smoking racks, the smoker has enough room to cook three chickens at a time.
As far as ease of use goes, this piece of equipment is a top choice. The wood chip tray slides out, allowing you to move ash without too much hassle. Between the temperature control and the ease of cleaning, the Masterbuilt smoker is a popular with beginners.
It’s important to recognize that this is an electric smoker. So, if you have anything against electric models, you might want to reconsider this purchase. But the Masterbuilt brand is well-known and a great starter model.
Most Portable Smoker
As an offset charcoal smoker combined with a grill, this product is versatile and provides a strong smoky flavor to your meat. It comes with a significant cooking capacity of 1382 square inches and has five different racks. Because its body is made with heavy-gauge steel, the Dyna-Glo is durable.
This unit comes with a temperature gauge that tells you what temperature you should use for smoking your meats. When the time comes to access your food, the carefully designed handles keep you from burning your hands. That keeps you from burning your hands, as I may have done once or twice with my old smoker.
If portability matters to you, this Dyna-Glo model might be an excellent choice. It has oversized wheels that allow you to move it before or after you use it. Although the cover for this unit isn’t included, you can opt to purchase one made specifically for this model. This product is ideal for those who want a high-capacity smoker that won’t break the budget.
Best No-Frills Smoker
Don’t let the simplicity of this product fool you. Although it’s a small, no-frills smoker, the Smokey Mountain Cooker gets the job done. The 18 inch size gives you enough capacity to cook a large roast. Equipped with two different cooking grates, you can smoke more than one item at a time.
This unit relies on plated steel to protect its cooking grates, which makes it durable. If you live in a humid climate, you will appreciate the rust-resistant metal on the smoker’s legs.
Instead of making you guess the temperature, the Smokey Mountain Cooker has a built-in lid thermometer. To adjust the temperature, you can use the adjustible dampers on the top of the lid. If you’re looking for a product that takes a no-frills but effective approach to smoking meats, then this is the way to go.
Best High-Tech Smoker
This smoker has all of the bells and whistles, which makes smoking simpler than ever. Z Grills is a wood pellet smoker that features smart smoke technology. To maintain the temperature you want, the unit uses an automatic feed system. It keeps the smoker within a 20-degree temperature range.
In addition to requiring very little supervision, this smoker also has a large capacity. It fits up to five chickens or six racks of ribs. It’s also versatile, as it can grill, smoke, or even bake food.
As with all pellet smokers, this one relies on hardwood pellets to make heat. With this model, 20 pounds of pellets last for approximately 15 hours of smoking. While the Z Grills is working, grease drains out of a spigot and not at the bottom of the smoker. It’s perfect for those who don’t want to worry about watching their smoker all day.
Most Vertical Smoker
A vertical gas smoker, the Pit Boss 77435 powers out 12,500 BTUs. With a temperature range of between 100 and 350 degrees and a temperature seal, this product cooks low and slow. If you want to check on your food as it cooks, you’ll enjoy the large viewing window. An external gauge tells you the temperature.
Because this unit has a high frame, you don’t need to crouch down to get your food out. The wood chip drawer and grease tray are both easily accessible, making for a convenient system. It features about 800 square inches of cooking space and has a total of three racks.
To improve portability, this smoker has back wheels and a handle. You can transport it from one place to another without any heavy lifting.
Although each of the smokers comes with its own benefits, one stands out above the rest. The Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill Smoker is the best smoker for several reasons. It makes smoking meats almost fool-proof and has all of the features you need for a successful barbecue. In addition to being the best smoker for home use, it’s also one of the best ones for novices.
The versatility of this grill is another reason for its high rating. It boasts eight different functions, meaning you don’t need to have more equipment cluttering up your backyard. If you’re looking for a product that’s easy to use and one that does it all, the Z Grills will surpass your expectations.