Outdoor grilling can be a lot of fun if done right.
As you consider adopting this hobby, it is important to understand the different types of smokers out there.
One of the biggest considerations when buying a meat smoker is the kind of fuel they run on. There are a few choices including – electric smokers, charcoal smokers, pellet smokers, and propane smokers.
Different designs and types of smokers function differently, but the bottom line is that they all grill your meat to perfection regardless of what fuel they use.
So let’s take a quick look at the various types of smokers available on the market today:
Types of Meat Smokers
1. Water Smokers
Water smokers are a special type of vertical smokers, often known as cylinder or bullet smokers. Popular examples of smokers in this category include the ProQ, the Weber Smokey Mountain, and Drum Smokers.
The smoke is produced by a fire positioned at the bottom of the smoker. A large water pan is placed directly above the fire, and when it is filled, it regulates the temperatures in the smoke.
It also facilitates the even distribution of heat onto the meat on the cooking grates, which are placed directly above the water pan.
One of the main advantages of using water smokers is that it enables you to control the temperature easily once you establish the right setup for your ventilators.
2. Offset Smokers
One of the unique features of the offset smoker is its design. It is comprised of a smoking chamber and a chimney. The smoking chamber on the side of the smoker has a firebox that facilitates the efficient transfer of heat into the cooking chamber and out of the chimney.
Various forms of baffles and pipes are used to direct smoke and heat into the smoking chamber and the chimney outlet.
There are various shapes and sizes of offset smokers in the market today, from small, medium to the extra-large ones that you can tow behind your car to smoke for the masses!
However, you need a little bit of fire management know if you are using wood on the offset smokers.
Offset smokers are a great way to cook amazing steaks at home. All you need is a little practice.
3. Pellet Smokers
In pellet smokers, compressed wood dust pellets that are ignited using a heat rod are used as fuel.
The amazing thing about this type of smoker is that it does not necessarily require you to be a fire management expert since it has a hopper which automatically feeds the wood pellets.
All you need to do is to set your preferred temperature, and the rest is taken care of. You also do not need to regularly add fuel to the smoker to maintain a constant temperature in the smoker chamber.
For some smoking enthusiasts, the fun part of the whole smoking process is watching the temperatures and regulating the fire. However, if all you want is to put smoked food on your plate, then there is no easier way to do it. It’s all about personal preferences.
4. Cabinet Smokers
The functionality of water smokers and cabinet smokers is somehow similar. Essentially, cabinet smokers are a type of vertical smokers with numerous levels, allowing you to smoke more food at the same time.
Cabinet smokers can use all forms of smoker fuel available on the market. Be it pellets, gas, charcoal or electricity – a cabinet smoker works just fine with all of them. A water pan situated above the multiple cooking grates helps distribute heat evenly throughout the cooking grates.
Cabinet smokers are available in the market in various sizes. Whether you are looking for a little tabletop cabinet, or a large industrial set up, there is always something for you.
If you are looking to smoke tons of food but don’t like big offset smokers, then a cabinet smoker maybe your best option.
Choose a Smoker That You’ll Enjoy Using
There are tons of types and brands of smokers out there, but what matters the most is how much you are going to enjoy using your smoker.
Do not be swayed by forums or websites that tell you that propane or electric powered smokers are not “real” ways of BBQ-ing. That is just their opinion, which shouldn’t matter much.
As long as you, your family and friends enjoy what comes out of your smoker, nothing else matters.