Last Updated on: 23rd February 2023, 08:43 pm
Smoking is fine art that requires practice to master it ,but it’s necessary to have the right smoker to enjoy the process of learning it if you are a beginner.
for your convenience we have gathered all the information that you need to choose the best smoker as a beginner.
our top choice is Weber smokey mountain due its versatility and affordability. we will go in more detail in a moment.
So let’s get started
What makes a smoker good for beginners?
There are variety of smokers out there , having different features and uses that make a beginner feel overwhelmed.
In my opinion a beginner should start with an electric smoker. although it will not give the traditional smoking experience but it’s more safe and easy to use than other type of smokers.
After smoking meat on an electric smoker, they should then move to any type of smokers they want.because until then they would have mastered the basics of smoking.
- one feature that a beginner friendly smoker should have is that it should be easy to clean. smokers use different type of fuel.
After burning out they leave behind some waste, so the smoker should have a safe and easy process to clean this waste.
- Preferably if it has a removable grilling grate ,it will be much better because smoking meat on the grilling grate leaves behind some chunks of meat that should be cleaned before the next use.
- Another feature to look for is that it should be easy to heat up.most of the beginners are not familiar with the ignition process of the fuel at the start.
It’s a tempting process to ignite the right amount of charcoal to produce the exact temperature to smoke the meat.
- Another feature that a best smoker for beginners should have is that it should be able to maintain the heat.
most of the beginners like to check if the meat is smoked or not during the process so they keep opening lid after some time.
If the smoker can’t maintain the temperature after opening the lid then it might increase the time required for smoking as well as affect the flavor of the food.
Best smokers for beginners
Keeping in mind the different aspects of weber smokey mountain ,it’s our top pick for beginners.
As a beginner you want to learn smoking by ease but also want to enjoy the smoky Flavor of charcoal.then it can only be done by WSM .
Smoking can’t be easier than that. we can say that Weber mountain smoker is the master of all trades when compared to other brands.
Weber smokey mountain
Weber smokey mountain is a all-round smoker that provides multiple benefits at the same time. It gives both the ease of use and taste of a charcoal smoker in the same place.
It requires a bit of effort in the start to igniting charcoal and lighting up fire.but it’s less complex then the other charcoal smoker.
the effort required is then rewarded by the delicious smoky taste of the meat.
It has a durable outer surface and can last for longer time.
The manufacturer of the Weber smokey mountain are so much confident their product that they provide 10 years warranty .it can’t be more trustworthy than that.
It can maintain the temperature for long time due to its build and design.so it can be used for cold smoking.
the temperature and humidity inside the smoker is controlled by a water bowl .which maintains constant temperature and humidity to smoke meat with good flavor.
It can be a good choice for both beginners and experts.its ease of use and the flavor makes it go to choice for beginners .
while being good for beginners,it is so much advanced that it has even been used by smoking experts in various smoking competitions.
It comes in three sizes, 14,18,22 inches .for beginners, It’s better to go with 18 inches Weber mountain smoker.
because it has enough space for smoking anything in start.you can also go with 22 inches smoker but it’s get a bit hot due to smoking a large amount of meat in one go.so it can be a bit frustrating for beginners.
You don’t have to worry about the less space because it has two grilling grates attached which make it efficient for smoking more food while covering less space.
And finally, to your surprise,it’s more inexpensive than it’s other competitors.it provides the same comfort and taste produced by expensive smokers at much less cost.
Hence it makes smoking more enjoyable.
- It’s easy to use
- It’s temperature control is pretty easy
- It has awesome build Quality and lasts for years.
- It’s affordable and pretty inexpensive keeping in mind the features it has
- Comes in different sizes which make it perfect for everyone
- The meat smoked has the flavor of charcoal smoker
- It’s not sealed completely.the lid can have a little gap
Masterbuilt gravity smoker
Masterbuilt gravity smoker is latest version of masterbuilt smokers which provides the flavor of smoking meat with charcoal smoker while is easy to use as a pellet smoker.
It has digital control panel for controlling the temperature.you just have to set your desired temperature in this panel and then it automatically controls temperature in exact range.
In addition to controlling temperature it also controls the airflow inside the smoker with an electric fan which pushes the air into the smoker.
so it can save you from the frustration of adjusting the vents to control the airflow.
It is a combo of smoker and grill which means it can be used for both smoking and grilling .
it is a versatile smoker with temperature ranging from 225 – 700°F ,which means you can use it for cooking food with different techniques.
It uses both electricity and charcoal at the same time to provide both the flavor and ease of use at the same time.
It has a large hopper to store a huge amount of charcoal so that it don’t run out during the process of smoking which affects the falvor of the food .
It is durable and last longer than average smokers due to good build Quality .Due it the temperature control, airflow management and build Quality it can perform different functions efficiently.
- It’s easy to use and beginners friendly
- Gives the flavor of charcoal smoker without much effort
- Heats up pretty quickly and can maintain temperature over long time
- It’s easy to assemble
- It’s a versatile smoker which can perform different functions with same design.
- The temperature is easy to control which makes it a set it and forget it type of product
- A bit expensive
- Some parts of the smoker can have grease on them at the time of delivery.
pit barrel smoker
Pit barrel smoker is the top competitor of weber smokey mountain in terms of price and Features.
its design and working process is a bit different from weber smoker but the flavor is equally good.it can be a good choice for people on budget.
In contrast to Weber smoker ,it smokes meat by hanging them by hooks inside the smoker.it may sound odd but it’s actually more efficient.
it provides more space and makes sure each part of the meat is smoked evenly.it has 8 hooks and 2 bas to which the hooks are attached.
In addition,it also comes with a grilling grate.so of you are uncomfortable with hooks or just want to smoke meat by traditional feel of grilling grate then you can also use that.
It’s not insulated and works by convection heat method.the internal temperature is raised higher than external temperature.
it causes condensation due which smoke is produced.the airflow is adjusted by a rotatable plate
In addition to addition to the smoke produced by condensation process, a water pan is also used to produce the smoke.
moreover because the meat is hanging vertically,the meat juices also flow down and then smoked to produce more flavor.
It works with the minions method,which means instead of inginiting all the charcoal in one go ,a small amount of charcoal is Ignited and placed on the unlit charcoal.
So the Lower charcoal is burnt slowly after the lit charcoal is burnt out.
- It’s is easy to use and good for beginners
- The build Quality is excellent
- It gives the meat a good flavor
- It’s affordable and price is justified by quality
- Its easy to assemble
- Can’t smoke Large chunks of meat and require trimming
- Temperature control require a bit effort
Traeger pro is an easy to use smoker equiped with advanced technology to make cooking process more fun.
It is also a good choice for beginners because it’s setup requires only clicking a couple of buttons and after that it can manage itself on its own
It doesn’t require any effort in starting up fire because it has a one touch ingnition feature which helps you to start smoking with a single click.
It comes with various safety features which minimize the chances of accidents while using it.it has uper and lower temperature thresholds.
low temperature alarm is activated if the temperature drops below 125 during smoking ,which shuts down the smoker right away.same goes for high temperature alarm which activates at 550 degrees.
It’s temperature control is also quite easy and if you open the lid during the process,it can reheat quickly.
the meat smoked inside a traeger pro smoker have Grill marks on it,which is good for meat texture.
It also has a probe thermometer which tells you the temperature of the food being smoked inside the smoker.
it also comes with an app which shows the live temperature on your phone screen.it also shows notification when the desired temperature is reached.
It has a large cooking area of 780 square inches due to which we can smoke more meat at once.this Cooking area is divided into two parts.
Primary cooking area has the space of 570 square inches and secondary cooking area Is of 210 square inches
Due to such large cooking area,its not portable. Although it comes with terrain wheels by which you can move it around your backyard,it is to take it for outdoor smoking.
It comes with an advanced technology known as wifire technology which makes it more easier to use.
By Wifire technology you stay notified of the temperature of the smoker even when you not physically present with the smoker.
And in addition to that you can even change the temperature of smoker by wifire technology even when you are away from the smoker.
- It’s easy to use and makes smoking fun
- Wifire technology makes it easy to follow up and control temperature
- It has a pretty good flavor compared to other electric smokers
- Can smoke at high temperature and can be used for outdoor smoking
- Large smoking space
- It’s not portable.
Masterbuilt electric smoker
Masterbuilt electric smoker is an easy to use and beginners friendly smoker that requires a little bit of effort to start the smoker and after that it can run on its own without needing much attention.
It is good for the beginners that don’t have budget to buy those expensive smokers that make the smoking process much easier.
It provides both the ease of use and less cost at same time.so it’s like hitting two birds with one stone.
As obvious by the name it works with electricty.it requires a waterproof electric outlet to start the process.
although it also uses wood for smoking,it doesn’t provide Smoky falvor.it is main disadvantage of masterbuilt electric smoker.
It’s better for the people who don’t want to be involved in smoking process and just want to get the smoked food with ease.so it provides alot of ease at the expense of a less flavor.
As it uses electricity,it can provide consistent temperature for longer time, that’s why it is usually used for cold smoking.
it is not affected by the weather conditions because its insulated.so you can use it for smoking anywhere even at the places where charcoal smokers are not allowed.
They also have the built-in thermometer which gives you the exact reading of internal temperature without any effort.
it comes in two sizes 30″ and 40 ″ .40″ has more space for smoking and can be used for smoking large chunks of meat without trimming them.
- It easy to use for beginners
- It heats up quickly and can maintain temperature for longer time
- It’s easy to clean
- It is Inexpensive
- It has a good build Quality and lasts longer
- It’s insulated
- Doesn’t provide Smoky flavor
- The LED display lights are dim
Choosing your first smoker
Choosing your first smoker is quite the most important step to enjoy smoking.there are number of things that should keep in mind before making your final choice.
Dont worry ,we are going to explain them one by one so that you should be able to enjoy your passion of smoking at its best.
Easy to use
As it will be your first smoker then you should choose a smoker that is user friendly .it should be able to smoke with less effort.
so you will be to enjoy smoking with minimal effort. Although complex smokers come with a lot of advanced features but it’s better to not use them at start.
What’s your budget?
The second and most important thing to keep in mind is your budget . There are a lot of smokers that make smoking alot easier while providing the best taste.
but they are expensive and not affordable for a normal person.
So its better to consider your budget limit.you should narrow down your choices depending on your budget.you will have to choose the best available in your budget.
To narrow down further there are two approaches by which you can choose your first smoke
You might want to practice and learn smoking on this one .if thats the case then you should not buy an expensive smoker at first.
its better to buy a basic and inexpensive smoker at start to practice and learn the in and out of smoking using a basic smoker.
after you have mastered it then you can buy a new and Better one to smoke more efficiently.
In addition to that it also helps in the aspect that you might be just buying it timely and your interest might vanish over time.
so buying and practicing on an inexpensive smoker will save you money at start.and then of you like it you can always go and purchase an advanced smoker.
But this approach also have a downside that cheaper smokers have a lot of issues . They are not well insulated so smoke leaks out affecting the flavor of food.
in addition to that they have thinner cylinder layers which make them useless in harsh weather conditions.and the list goes on.
So you can say that the price is always justified by its quality.A 50$ smoker and a 1500$ smoker can’t be the same.
we personally don’t recommend going with cheaper smoker at start because it will halt your passion of smoking because of it’s issues .
Buying a new one
The second approach is to buy a new and affordable smoker.they come with alot of features that will make then easier to use.
This will even help you to experience smoking at its best. These require less effort and are more fun.
If you can’t afford a new smoker then you should look for second hand smokers that are still in good form .
so you can get a better smoker while on budget.this approach is better than first approach of buying a cheaper smoker.
Insulation and even distribution of Heat
Smoking is a low and slow process that can take hours to complete.so the flavor of the food smoked depends on consistent temperature provided for hours.
so it is necessary that the smoker should be insulted so that it can maintain temperature for longer time without being influenced by external environment.
In addition to that it should be able to distribute heat throughout the smoker so that the food would be cooked evenly.
if heat is not distributed evenly then it can lead to unevenly smoked food with bad taste.
This even distribution is normally achieved by electronic fans which push air throughout the smoker which causes the heat to distributed evenly.
in addition other air control mechanism such as air vents also play an important factor in temperature maintenance and distribution.
Warranty is one of most neglected thing while buying a smoker.it should also be considered as a plus point while considering a smoker.
normally warranty for a smoker ranges from 3 years upto 8 years which is no doubt a longer life span.
Warranty provide protection when testing new brands or buying smoker for first time. It means that you can’t go wrong with that smoker.
if there are any flaws or malfunctioning,you can get back your Money or get it repaired free.
It is a common fact that the smokers with warranty often last longer.this because only the manufacturer that are confident in their smoker quality provide warranty.
the cheaper or low quality smoker don’t have warranty and at the same time last for short time due to build Quality.
which type of smokers are you interested in?
Smokers come in a large variety depending on the type of smoking method they use.this also depends on the fuel type.
they use.every type of smoker has its own pros and cons.so none of the smoker can be declared as better.
For example electric smoker gives quick ignition and ease of use while offset smoker are better for slow cooking because they can smoke for 16 hours continuously.
so every smoker is master in its own game .
You should first decide what functions you are planning to perform with your smoker.
if you are planning to just enjoy the final product and not interested much in smoking process then you should go with electric smoker because they work on set it and forget it method.
But if you are passionate about smoking and love to get involved in smoking process then you should go with a charcoal smoker.
in addition to that the meat smoked in different smoker have different taste depending on fuel type.
Here are some famous types of smokers available in market.
These are smoker that use charcoal as their fuel .they are most popular type of smokers around the world due to their traditional smoking method.
they give you the feel of real smoking by keeping you involved throughout the smoking process.
These are excellent fir people who want to get involved in process of smoking.they give you control over each step of smoking.
while using a charcoal smoker you will have to perform each function manually from igniting the charcoal to adjusting the air flow.you will have to stay involved and babysit it to get better taste.
They require some effort to smoke but are still better than offset smoker because of ease of use and smoked food taste.
It requires some effort in maintaining the temperature inside the smoker by adjusting airflow and humidity. The effort is rewarded with the flavor of the smoked meat.
It can also be used by beginners because it is not too much complex and beginners can master it shorter time.
it is easy to use while at same time providing the best taste possible.
It is not a set it or forget it type of smoker.you will have to get involved in smoking process.
in some cases accident can also happen if the cook just start it move away without keeping an eye on temperature.you will have to check it time to Time and adjust it’s temperature accordingly.
Although it may look frustrating to some beginners to control the temperature and ignite the Charcoal.
But for most of the people it looks fun to get directly involved in the process of adjusting the temperature by tweaking the vents , airflow and humidity.and the balance achieved by these adjustment gives the feeling of an ultimate achievement.
- The taste produced by charcoal smoker is unmatchable.it retains the tenderness of the meat while smoking slowly over time.
- Smoking ring is produced by charcoal smoker is better than it’s competitors.the ring is produced because the food is actually being Cooked through the smoke.
- It provides the best experience while having outdoor fun.
An outdoor camping along with meat smoked with charcoal smoker at the right temperature can make the outing memorable.
- It requires a bit effort to smoke with charcoal smoker due to its traditional smoking process
- In addition to the effort required to smoke the food, charcoal cost may also add up.
so the mony saved while buying a smoker will eventually spent on buying charcoal.
Charcoal smoker are here for ages.they are constantly improving over time .the latest models are highly efficient and at the same time easy to use .
The latest models have mechanism to ignite easily and then maintain the temperature consistent over long period of time for smoking.
this gives the meat even distribution of heat and slow smoking to achieve best taste
They cook food by low heat and for longer Time.in this way each bit of meat is cooked evenly .
although temperature requires varies According to the type of food being Cooked inside the smoker.
if it’s tougher then we will use low temperature because high temperature will cook meat’s outer surface but inner portion will remain uncooked.
Gas smoker are user friendly and easy to use .they can be an excellent choice for beginners because less effort is required to heat them up and adjust temperature.
They also don’t much input from the user. You can just start them and go to bed .they will make sure to provide you with smoked meat when you wake up .
They also don’t need much effort in temperature control like charcoal smoker. You can control their temperature with few clicks.
in addition to that the effort required to ignite charcoal is also negated by propane.
- One of the main feature that I personally like about gas smoker is that they are easy to use and Don’t involve complex process to smoke meat.
- Secondly ,they also have an easy temperature control so that your meat should be smoked at the right temperature to give best flavor.
- Finally, propane is gas and in addition to being easily ignited ,it lasts longer than charcoal.
- The main disadvantage of using a gas smoker is that it doesn’t produce smoke ring.
So despite providing good taste you can’t feel the enjoyment of traditional smoking.
- Another con is that they don’t have much space. They often come with small size cylinders.
so you can’t use them for smoking large cuts of meat or batch smoking for more persons.
- Finally,they are not insulated and are easily effected by weather. When the temperature outside is low then their temperature is also decreased by condensation.
so they can’t be used for outdoor smoking in cold weather.
Although propane last longer than other type of Fuels,you need to make sure that you have a backup if the first propane tank runs out of gas .
this applies for every smoker running on fuel . If you run out of fuel during the smoking process then it will be difficult to heat up the smoker again and even if you do the smoked meat will not have better taste.
Pellet smokers are advanced type of smokers and are nowadays trending in smoking industry due to their efficiency.
they are fun to learn for beginners and at the same time best companions for pros.they are easy to use and come with different features that make smoking fun while requiring the least effort possible.
They also work on the set it and forget it methodology and can manage themselves on their own.but they require some effort while starting the process.
after that you can control their temperature by user friendly temperature controller which then adjust the internal temperature automatically.
- The most important feature that makes them stand out from their competition is their temperature control.
they don’t require much effort and there is a maximum possibility that beginners can smoke their food at the exact required temperature after some effort.
- The second advantage of pellet smokers is that they can manage their fuel on their own so you don’t need to babysit them.
The fuel just needs to be ignited at the start and after that they can run on their own.
- They require less input in smoking process.
You just need to start them ,add some meat and wait while the pellet smoker does the magic.
- As mentioned before quality is in direct relation with price.pellet smoker are a bit costly.this price is justified by their efficiency
- Although pellet smokers do smoke the meat but they can’t produce smoke ring .
the meat smoked in a pellet smoker will always have less flavor than smoked in a charcoal smoker.the charcoal smokers are the champions of game when it comes to flavor of meat.
The popularity of the pellet smokers is due to their ease of use .
they are generally considered to be designed to be uses be beginners but their are smoking expert out there that admit that pellet smokers have helped them a lot in making progress in their journey.
Infact pellet smokers are not smokers but grills. This is because they are designed to grill food at high temperature.
But due to their efficiency and temperature control they are mostly used for smoking and hence known as pellet smokers.
Electric Smokers are the easiest smokers when it comes to smoking for beginners.they don’t require much effort .
Although they use some wood or charcoal ,most of them come with automatic ignition button so you don’t need to get frustrated in lighting up the fuel.
They are easy to use and controlled by their control panel.so you can set them up in a couple of clicks.
The command given by you through the control panel is executed by smoker itself.
In addition to being easy to start ,they are also able to smoke meat at the right ,consistent temperature for longer time.
so there is no way you can go wrong with them.
- The main advantage of using an electric smoker is that they are easy to use.
You can just start them by clicking a couple buttons and then you can enjoy playing games or watching Netflix and then comeback to get your meat smoked for you.
- Normally smokers are used to smoke stiff meat .
But electric smoker can smoke delicate food like fish , sausage etc efficiently due to their amazing temperature control.
- They are advanced smokers that dont require you to be physically present with them all the time .they can manage them by themselves.
in addition they have several safety features which make them safe while running on their own .for example they shutdown when a maximum or minimum temperature threshold is reached.
- They are not usually used for outdoor smoking because they require electrical output to smoke the meat. In addition to that the elected output should be waterproof to avoid any accidents.
- Although although they run on electricity their maintenance can be costly. So the money saved by avoiding the charcoal cost is then used in expensive repairs.
- Another disadvantage of electric is that they can’t produce smoke ring.
- Finally , these Smokers run on their own so they don’t give the traditional feel of smoking .
These can be a bit boring for the people who want get involved in every bit of smoking process. They don’t require much user input like traditional smokers.
for example you don’t have to get involved in adjusting their temperature.you just have to set your desired temperature on the control panel and smoker does the rest on its own.
These can be a go to choice for the people only interested in the enjoying the smoked meat but are not willing to put effort in smoking process.
You just have to put your meat inside it and wait while it’s being smoked.smoking can’t be more easier than that.
Offset smokers are the most complex smokers used for smoking.they are designed for advanced use and not for beginners.
According to some bbq experts offset Smokers are one of the major reasons why most of the beginners quit smoking after some time .
They require more effort to start up the fire and control temperature.they don’t have any digital control panel to set temperature.
You will have to adjust the temperature yourself by adjusting different parts of smoker.
if temperature is getting too high then you will have to add some water to increase humidity and adjust air vents to allow maximum air flow to decrease the temperature.
On the other hand if temperature is decreasing then you will have to minimize the airflow and keep the lid closed to raise the temperature.
it also require effort in starting fire because the fuel used are wood or charcoal which are not easily ignited.this frustrates most people especially the beginners.
If someone is willing to learn smoking by using an offset smoker then he will likely end up dumping it out after a couple of months.
they are manually controlled and require you get involved in Smoking process at each step.
- They keep you involved in process and give you maximum control over every step.
you can decide the temperature on which the meat will be smoked, humidity present inside the smoker, airflow and various other factors that allows you to get best taste while retaining it’s tenderness.
- They can maintain the temperature for longer time.so they are used to for smoking of tough meat or Bones at consistent temperature for longer time.
- They are beast of a smoker and have huge smoking area.so you smoke large batches of food at once because you will again have to wait for several for another batch of food to get smoked.
so they are helpful for smoking for more people .
- They too costly then other types of smokers.in addition to their own cost ,the expenses of fuel and maintenance keep adding.
- They are not easy to use for beginners and most of the beginners get frustrated if they start out with an offset smoker.
Komado grills are also known as komado smokers because they are versatile and can be used for smoking .
they are easy to use due to their simplicity.they don’t involve any complex process for smoking food.
The temperature is controlled by adjusting the airflow.
If you want to increase the heat inside the komado grills then you will have to decrease the airflow and if you want to decrease the temperature then airflow will be increased to increase condensation and other processes.
They are good for beginners as they don’t involve any complex setup or process and at the same time produce good flavor.
- Komado grills are very versatile and can perform different function with the same design.
So you can experience smoking, grilling and roasting at the same time.
- The temperature control of komado grills are really precise allowing you to smoke meat at the right temperature to get the best flavor possible.
- The fuel used are charcoal and wood which give the traditional feel of smoking with other complex smokers.
- As obvious by the features,it’s more expensive than the other daily life smokers. Their maintenance is also costly which makes them costly for daily use.
- It has less capacity to hold meat than other smokers.so it will require to cook meat in small batches.
at the same time you will have to cut meat into smaller Chunks to put them into smoker.
are you looking for a specific function or a versatile smoker?
Smokers come in various designs.some are designed for specific function while others are versatile which can perform different functions.
Versatility is a plus point in a smoker but beginners should go for smokers that are designed for specific functions because versatility is overwhelming.
Versatile smokers are more expensive than the smoker designed for specific functions.
They also have high build Quality and insulated to maintain heat for longer Time.
As beginners you should first buy a smoker that is specific function let it be smoking or grilling or anything else of your choice.
once you have mastered that specific skill then you can upgrade your smoker to versatile one.
Do you want to buy a Grill or smoker?
Smoker and grills are different frim each other.
you should first decide which one you want to buy and then narrow down further by keeping in mind other factors to select the best smoker for beginners use.
A smoker smokes the meat for longer time at slow temperature.
it is used to cook tougher meat or Bones because if these are cooked at high temperature their outer surface will get Cooked but internally they might not be cooked evenly.
A grill cooks meat at high temperature for shorter time duration.it is normally used to cook soft and delicate meat.
How many people do you typically cook for?
Another feature to keep in mind is the number of person you are going to serve. If you are going to only Serve you family members than smaller smoker will better.
but if you are planning to use it on family gatherings, different functions and outdoor camping then it’s better to go with smoker with large cooking space.
You will not regret buying a large smoker over a small smoker because smoking is a time taking process and you will have to Cook the maximum meat in one go.
the only downside is that the larger smoker will cover more space than smaller one
Do you plan to use it outdoor?
Smoker come in different varieties and design. Some are designed only to use and house backyard or other specific places because they are not portable.
if you plan to use your smoker outdoor in camping or other events then you may need to buy a smoker that is portable.
Your smoker should also be resistant to weather conditions so that it may not be affected by the weather conditions of the place you are camping at or otherwise it can destroy the whole fun while camping.
it should be able to maintain temperature at any weather condition.
Smoker price is directly in relation with the build material. Cheaper smoker may save you some bucks but they will keep frustrating you over the long run.
the outer coating of cheaper smokers is thin.due to which the smoke leaks out .
The consistent temperature inside the smoker is crucial for flavor of the smoked meat.if the temperature drops due to smoke leaking out then it may be difficult to heat the smoker again.
if you succeed in doing so your smoked will have a bitter taste due to fluctuating temperature.
The smoker with good build Quality will last longer than the smoker with cheaper material used in its build.
the cheaper smokers will Normally dumped into garbage after a couple of bad smoking experiences.
So you will have to choose a smoker that will be inexpensive yet with better build Quality.
Efficiency is also related with the build quality.it means to which extent the smoker can perform the function for which it is designed.
If the build quality is not better than it will effect the efficiency of smoker.
If the smoke leaks out than the flavor of the meat will be destroyed.it will result in wasting of fuel ,time and food just because of the bad build Quality.
Hence the efficiency is affected by the decreased.
Smoking is a complex process involving multiple technical terms and techniques.
If you are a beginner then it will be beneficial for you to get familiar with some of these before buying you first smoker or smoking for first time.so let’s get started.
What’s the difference between smoking and grilling?
Smoking and grilling are often used alternatively but actually they are two different approaches to cook meat with two different techniques.
it will be beneficial for you to know this to decide what you want to do with you meat.
Grilling is the cooking of meat at high temperature for short time.it is used for smoking meat of fish , sausage and other soft things.
the heat source or fire is kept in direct contact with the food. Usually it is couple of inches away from meat.
Smoking is slow cooking of meat for longer time at low temperature.it is used for cooking tougher meat and bones.
If the tougher meat is cooked at high temperature then outer surface will get Cooked while inner portion will remain uncooked.
So smoking is used to Cook it at low temperature so that the heat should be distributed evenly throughout the meat .
in this technique heat source is not in direct contact with meat.the radiation from the fire can’t reach the meat.but a deflectent is used which deflects the smoke toward the meat to cook it slowly.
If you are familiar with basic with physics then you will be able to understand more clearly that the grilling uses conduction method to transfer heat from fire to meat .so heat is transferred directly from fire to meat
While smoking uses convection method where the low temperature air coming from outside is moisturized by condensation and heat is transferred by smoke to the meat.
How much do smokers normally cost?
Smokers are present in a large variety in the market.they might range from as cheap as $50 dollar to above 10000$.this means that they all are not the same.
Their price is justified by the features they have .a cheaper smoker comes with lot of problems which make smoking more of a problem then fun.and after few months they end up in garbage can along with your curiosity for smoking.
While the expensive smokers come with alot features that make them worth it.they are even used in competition to win prizes.
You should look for the smoker that will be able to smoke food with maximum comfort while remaining in your budget.
How meat is smoked inside a smoker?
As obvious by its name ,a smoker cooks the meat by smoke .the meat is not in direct contact with the fire so its not roasted.
Instead it’s slow cooking of meat over several hours. To keep meat moist during this process a pan of water is used . This helps in retaining meat tenderness.
The flavor of the meat depends on the temperature and fuel type used.usually lump charcoal is used in charcoal smokers while gas smoker use propane.
The heat produced is then controlled to smoke meat at optimal temperature.it is done by humidity produced by the water pan and air flow inside the smoker.
The flavor of the meat mainly depends on the temperature on which it was cooked.in this way meat is smoked inside a smoker.
What is cold smoking?
Cold smoking is smoking of meat at extremely low temperature for longer time .it adds more flavor and tenderness to the smoked meat.
The smoker used for cold smoking should be insulated, so that it should be able to smoke at consistent low temperature for longer time without being influenced by the external factors like weather conditions.
Masterbuilt smoker come with features designed for cold smoking. Other smoker can be modified by different accessories to use for cold smoking.
the crucial feature for cold smoking is the maintenance of temperature.
What is the Easiest food to Smoke?
Their is nothing on that can be smoked with perfection without putting any effort.but its better to start smoking with basic and less complicated food so that it should require least effort to smoke them .
The smoking is the game of patience.you will have to constantly put effort for hours to smoke the food and it can have a bad taste.
but the important thing is to try again until you achieve perfection.
Some of the Less complicated food to smoke are :
- Chicken thighs
- Turkey thighs
Essential barbecue accessories needed for smoking
Smoking is not involves using just a smoker but their also other accessories that are used for safety and other functions.these include
- Slicing and Trimming Knives : sometimes the Chunks of meat are larger than the size of smoker’s cylinder so we have to cut them into smaller pieces to be able to easily placed on the smoker grate.
- Thermometer: thermometer is the most important part of smoker because it tells you the internal temperature without opening the lid. If the temperature is not maintained properly,it can affect the meat taste.
- Charcoal: charcoal is the important thing to smoke in charcoal and offset smokers.the meat smoked by charcoal has better taste than any other fuel.
- Wood chunks: wood chunks are also used as fuel in most of the smokers.they can be used alternatively with charcoal.
- Electric outlet: Electric outlet is required for the electric smokers.it is necessary that the extension of this outlet should be waterproof to avoid any accidents.in addition to that the electric outlet should provide consistent current .
- Bbq gloves: smoking and grilling are performed at high temperature, so bbq gloves are used for safety when adjusting temperature or other processes like removing the meat from smoker.
Tips for your first smoke
Smoking can only be Mastered by experimenting it . You will have to do it wrong to learn how to do it right.Following are some important tips to keep in mind while smoking for first time.
- The most important thing to keep in mind while smoking is that it requires patience and dedication to master. You will have to put the maximum effort and wait for hours to smoke but at the end you might get the results that you expected. It can only be Mastered if you enough patience to wait for smoking process and dedication to try again if failed.
- If you are planning to do smoke for longer time or cold smoking then it’s better to add a bowl with apple juice or water to maintain the humidity within the smoker and retain the tenderness of meat
- To get good taste you will have to get involved in the process.the more effort you put in ,the better the flavor will be.
- After smoking, remove the meat from the smoker and follow the FTC technique.which is to foil the smoked meat in towel and put it in Cooler to avoid drying and retain it’s tenderness.
- While learning smoking,it’s better to smoke ribs or sausages.these are inexpensive and can be smoked relatively quicker than stiff meat.
- Don’t just throw any wood available into smoker as a fuel. Different type of meat require different woods . First research on which type of wood is better for the meat you want to smoke and add accordingly.
- Smoking can only be learned by practice and practice.you go wrong once but you can’t wrong forever.as they say practice makes a man perfect.so follow this moto .
- Always remember to clean the grate of smoker before smoking.ot may have small pieces of meat that was smoked before.
- It’s better to lubricate the grilling grate with paper towels and oil to keep it moist and avoid meat from drying.
- Grill temperature can be different from the temperature of food.so you have to adjust the temperature by keeping in the both .
- It’s better to use the probe Thermometer which tells us about the temperature of food so that we can decide on which we want to smoke our meat.
- Its important to keep in mind that in bbq the meat require higher temperature than bones.it is because the bones or meat with bones are smoked at low temperature for longer time to cook evenly.
- When you put cold food on the grilling grate,it will stick to grate.dont try to separate it forcefully.instead wait for it to get loose and separate on its own.
Some mistakes that beginners make while Smoking
Most of the mistakes done by the beginners are related with using something excessively.lets have a look at some of the things you need to Avoid as a beginner.
- The most common mistake beginners do is heating too much.it can cause the meat to dry out and lose its tenderness.its necessary to provide only the exact temperature.
- Secondly , adding meat that is too cold also affect meat Flavor.because the meat is tougher and will likely be cooked at wrong with.
- The other mistake that beginners do is relying too much on clock.you can’t just put meat inside the smoker ,lit it up and then wait 3 hours to get your meat smoked.you will have to get involved time to time to adjust the temperature, airflow, humidity and other factors to get the best flavor possible.
- Producing too much smoke can also affect the flavor of the food .so it must be avoided.
- The most critical mistake a beginner can do is cooking without a thermometer.you can’t smoke in a smoker without a thermometer, even if you are a pro.
- Another common mistake is using the wrong wood to smoke the meat.it can affect the taste and tenderness of the smoked meat.
- Another mistake that most of the beginners do is opening the lid of smoking too often. The heat can escape from smoker and will require effort to heat up again.
- And finally,not using a water pan can also be costly.because the meat can lose its tenderness if moisture is not maintained.
So now that you have reached here then it means you are really serious about smoking.
After considering all the factors required for the ideal smoker for beginners, Weber smokey mountain wins the game.
It provides both the ease of use and best flavor at the same time. moreover it has a good build quality and can last for ages.
Due to its build Quality it can work any weather condition without being influenced by external weather.which makes it more efficient for outdoor uses.
We hope that this guide would provide value for selecting your first smoker.of you have any other smoker then kindly let us know in comments.
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