How to Choose the Best BBQ Smoker

Did you know that sales of outdoor grills and barbeque smokers have risen in the past couple of years? In one quarter alone there was 1.8 billion dollars worth of sales. Because more and more people are spending time outdoors, cooking and entertaining outside have driven the need for ways to prepare food al fresco. 

Are you in the market for a new BBQ smoker this year? Before you invest in one, it’s important to know about the different types first. Check out this handy guide on how to choose the best smoker for your needs.

What Is a BBQ Smoker?

First things first: what is a barbeque smoker? Simply put, it is an apparatus that’s designed to smoke food in a slow manner at low temperatures. A BBQ smoker has a chamber to place the food in, and it cooks with direct or indirect heat. 


Speaking of indirect heat, offset smokers are designed to cook with indirect heat that comes from a firebox located on the side of the chamber. These models are fed by fuel and must be hand-tended and monitored. 


Unlike offset smokers, vertical smokers cook with direct heat that’s placed below the food. Vertical smokers utilize a heat source that makes the smoke rise up instead of wafting over from the side. 


If you want to purchase a smoker that is low-maintenance, an electric smoker might be the best choice for you. They have a simple setup that plugs into an outlet and temperature that’s controlled by a thermostat. Check out these tips on how to use an electric smoker here. 


Another option for those who prefer a no-fuss model is a gas smoker. Like electric versions, they have a vertical design and rely on a gas burner to heat up wood chips. 


Pellet smokers are powered by adding pellets to the smoker that provide not only fuel but flavor. This kind of smoker manages the fuel and heat levels while regulating airflow and smoke levels. 

Different Configurations

The final thing to consider before making a decision is the configuration of your smoker. Many people prefer to have a freestanding model that can be put away and stored when not in use. Others like having a built-in smoker that is incorporated into a backyard outdoor kitchen design

Choose the Best Smoker

Now that you’ve learned the top tips on how to choose a smoker you can find the best match for your needs. Before you buy a BBQ smoker, be sure to make a budget and figure out what you can afford, since they can be a big investment of time and money. And once you have a smoker, take good care of it so that it runs properly. 

Did you find this article about BBQ smokers useful? Want to learn more helpful tips and tricks? Then check out some of the other great content on this site! 

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