Smoked meat is delicious, tender, and flavorful which is why a lot of people would like to be able to smoke their own meet at home. It is possible to smoke meat without a dedicated smoker by simply using a charcoal grill but for best results and for food that can compete with the best barbecue restaurants, a dedicated smoker is a must. Choosing the right smoker can be a bit of a challenge however. That’s why we put together this brief smoker buyers guide. We want to make it easy for you to choose the best smoker.
First, let’s talk about price. You can get very cheap smokers for under $100 and you can pay thousands for a commercial quality unit. What most people can realistically expect to spend for a good quality smoker is somewhere in the $200 to $500 range. Of course purchasing a smoker is just part of the equation and you have to keep fuel costs and mine as well. Whether you are using propane, charcoal, or an electric smoker, it will cost money to operate the smoker. You will also have to factor in the cost of the wood chips or pellets that add flavor to your food.
Types of Smokers
Just a moment ago we mentioned that there are different types of smokers including propane, charcoal, or electric smokers. Charcoal smokers work really well and give your food excellent flavor, but they require a little bit more maintenance than a gas or electric smoker.
A propane smoker is fairly easy to use and they produce great flavor as well. Another benefit is that propane smokers are not terribly expensive.
Electric smokers are the easiest to use because you can simply put your food in and then push a button. However, you’re just not going to get the same smokehouse flavor with an electric smoker that you would with a propane or charcoal unit.
The ability to control and maintain a specific temperature range is very important when it comes to smoking meat. You want your food to be moist and delicious, not tough and dried out. Of course you also want it to be thoroughly cooked because undercooked meat can be dangerous to eat. A good consistent temperature will give you good consistent results and you will be able to make tender, delicious meat every single time.
The problem is that it’s difficult to truly know how good the temperature control is on a smoker until you have had a chance to use it for yourself. One way around that problem is to look at customer reviews before deciding which smoker to purchase.
Researching Customer Reviews
Researching customer reviews gives you valuable insight into a smoker before you purchase one to try it out yourself. Not only can you find out if the temperature control is consistent but you can also find out whether a unit is easy to use, easy to clean, and whether it is durable and will last for years to come.
When you research customer reviews online you can hear from hundreds of other people to find out what they like or don’t like about a particular smoker. This kind of information can help you make an informed decision, giving you the best chance of choosing the smoker that will be best for you.