A lot of people dream of having a backyard barbecue party at least once in their lives. However, if you want your guests to enjoy the best barbecue meal possible, it’s a great idea to invest in a decent smoker. Fortunately, there are dozens of manufacturers out there so it shouldn’t be too hard finding exactly what you need. If you’re planning on purchasing such an item anytime soon, here are some buying tips.
Types of Smokers
Generally, there are four types of smokers out there – gas, charcoal, electric and wood smokers. Each has its own unique set of pros and cons.
Wood smokers tend to be more versatile than other options but they’re also more expensive. Electric models are quite popular since you don’t need to worry about starting them up with fire or lighter fluid. Gas units are arguably easier to use than wood smokers due to push-button ignition systems while charcoal models offer a classic barbecue flavour that many people love.
Buyers looking for something basic may want to go with an electric smoker whereas those who prefer traditional cooking methods should consider purchasing a wood smoker instead since it produces outstanding results for certain types of foods.
If you want to purchase the right smoker for your needs, it’s a great idea to determine how many people you’re planning on feeding. If you plan on hosting big parties, it’s a great idea to purchase something with enough room, so your guests don’t have to wait their turn for the next batch of meat.
Another point worth mentioning here is that most smokers come in two different types: horizontal and vertical. If you want to cook functionalities such as bacon or sausages, it’s best to choose a vertical smoker.
You should definitely focus on purchasing a smoker that comes with all the right features you can think of. This is why trailer smokers are often your best bet because they usually come with a number of cooking functions. They’re also often well-made and durable. Here are some of the most recommended features to look out for:
Adjustable racks (ability to adjust them according to the size of the meat and how much smoke you want it to receive)
Side firebox (helps keep your coals constantly lit throughout the smoking process which ensures even cooking temperatures across all your meats)
Water pan (prevents any unpleasant flavours from seeping into your food while simultaneously keeping humidity in check)
Price is an important consideration too, especially if you’re on a budget. Keep in mind that inexpensive doesn’t always mean better when it comes to smokers. If you want something durable and reliable, it’s best to invest in a high-quality model instead of going with the cheapest alternative available. In the long run, this will save you money anyway so it’s definitely worth considering before making your purchase.
At the same time, there are great deals out there if you look hard enough since most people don’t need all the bells and whistles that come with pricier options.
When choosing among different brands and models, it’s also a good idea to compare prices online or at brick and mortar stores near you. This is the best way to find out which products are really worth their asking price and which ones have been marked up due to certain brand names.
You’ll be using your smoker for years so aside from size and price, durability should play an important role as well. After all, no one wants to keep investing in something that gives up after only a year or so. It’s crucial to check out what kind of warranty is being offered by the manufacturer as well as customer reviews and ratings.
Then, proper cleaning is key to getting the most out of your smoker. After all, when you see a lot of grease and residue building up on the inside, it’s obvious that something isn’t right with this unit. If your smoker has been thoroughly cleaned already, you can skip these steps but if food or other substances have started to stick onto the racks it’s best to use some sort of brush first in order to loosen them up before running it under hot water.
Not only will regular cleanings keep your smoker working properly for years to come, but they also prevent any unpleasant odors from lingering which may ruin your next meal. It’s certainly worth taking a few minutes out of your day for this reason alone.
If you want to purchase the right smoker for your needs, it’s a great idea to determine how many people you’re planning on feeding. If you plan on hosting big parties, it’s a great idea to purchase something with enough room, so your guests don’t have to wait their turn for the next batch of meat. This will also factor in on the most suitable features. Price is an important consideration too, especially if you’re on a budget. Keep in mind that inexpensive doesn’t always mean better when it comes to smokers, and cleaning will not only keep your smoker working properly for years to come, but it will prevent any unpleasant odors from lingering which may ruin your next meal.