Are you in the market for a smoker? Smoking meat is the process of flavoring, cooking or preserving meat or fish by exposing it to smoke from smoldering wood. Having a smoker will add a lot of flavor and enjoyment to your meats or fish.
You can now have meat or fish that is cooked just right without the creosote, soot and ash. If you’re in the market to buy a smoker, below are the different types of smokers to get you going on your Smokin’ good food!
Each of the below smokers have advantages and disadvantages. It’s best to do your research thoroughly and buy the smoker that best fits your budget and liking!
Offset Smokers: This type is the most common type of smoker that you will see around. It is usually cylindrical in shape with a smaller fire box at the end usually attached to the bottom of the smoker. A small fire is started in the fire box which has tight air control. The heat and smoke from the fire box is drawn through a pipe into the cooking chamber. There is an exhaust vent on the top of the cooking chamber.
Upright Drum Smoker: This smoker is an upright steel drum of varying sizes with a basket to hold charcoal near the bottom and a cooking rack or racks near the top. Air is controlled through an air intake at the bottom of the drum.
Vertical Water Smoker: This is a variation of the Upright Drum. It uses wood or charcoal for heat and smoke. This smoker has a water bowl between the fire and the cooking racks which maintains smoking temperatures. The water vapor and smoke condense together and adds flavor to the food.
Propane Smoker: A propane smoker has a more controlled smoking environment. The heat is generated by a gas burner directly under a steel or iron box containing the wood or charcoal that provides the smoke. The steel box has some holes on the top of the box only. This starves the heated wood of oxygen and smokes instead of burning.
Smoke Box method: The smoke box method uses a two box system. A firebox and a cooking box. The heat and smoke from the fire box exits into the cooking box where it is used to cook and smoke the meat.
Commercial Smoke House: The commercial smoke houses are made from stainless steel. The smoking generator uses friction, an electric coil or a small flame to ignite sawdust on demand. Heat from the steam coils or gas flames is balanced with live stream or water sprays to control the temperature and humidity.
Don’t forget when purchasing a smoker to get a high quality thermometer. If you buy a smoker with a separate fire box on the side, then you will need to buy two thermometers that are placed at grate level in both the fire box and the smoking chamber. Temperatures inside both the fire box and the smoking chamber can vary as much as 50 degrees! Have fun on your search for the perfect smoker and enjoy delicious BBQ once again!