Confused About Which Meat Smoker to Purchase? Here Are the Basics


Meat smokers are able to cook barbecue, turkey, and chicken just to name a few. These smokers are able to come in all forms, shapes and sizes and can vary widely in fuels as well as prices.

Meat smokers are available in a whole range of prices, from $50 to $10,000+. A small water smoker is recommended for those who are not interested in smoking meat regularly. These small water smokers are priced cheaper than other forms of smokers. If you enjoy smoking with these smokers, then perhaps you will find yourself interested in getting a larger, more expensive meat smoker.

There are a number of factors that you should consider when planning to purchase a meat smoker:

The first item that should be considered is the type of fuel. Meat smokers can run on several fuels including charcoal, electricity, hardwood, wood pellets, as well as propane. With each fuel choice, there come advantages and some subsequent disadvantages as well. Smokers which utilize either charcoal or wood provide an authentic taste to the food with the cheapest meat smokers being fueled by charcoal. However, although the smokers are cheaper, they tend to cost the most to use. Electric is more convenient and less expensive to run but do not have the same realistic flavor. Smokers which use pellets are powered through electricity but use the pellets in order to provide smoke thereby combining convenience with authentic flavors. Propane meat smokers are able to heat at a faster pace but they are typically more expensive to purchase. However, propane does not allow you to be as involved in the smoking process. Many people find the actual barbecuing to be enjoyable and therefore choose the more interactive charcoal or hardwood meat smokers.

The last item to consider is the name brand of the meat smoker. There are numerous brands of smokers which are on the market. Although there are many smoker brands which you may be not be aware, make sure that you thoroughly research each of these meat smokers as well as their companies before you decide on a unit. Several generic units that are sold today are made by the brands of specific stores and they do not include warranties or dealer service arrangements. Whenever you find a smoker which you are interested in, research that item thoroughly to see what consumers have to say about that unit. In addition, make sure that the unit comes with a dealer service agreement.

The second choice that needs to be made is the size of smoker which would suit your needs. The smallest of the meat smokers are able to produce a large amount of food for a substantial amount of people, usually up to 20 individuals. The largest meat smoker is able to provide a large amount of food to a large group of people for an entire day. Before making a choice as to the size of meat smoker which you prefer, you should consider how much barbecue you will be making at one time. A small meat smoker will most likely be sufficient for the average family as most people do not have frequent all day barbecues. However, if you often host large parties, the larger smokers would be best. In general, the average person consumes about 1 pound of meat. You should take this into consideration when choosing how much meat to prepare for your meal.

The third item which should be considered is smoker versatility. There are several smokers which are also able to grill foods. In most cases, this is ideal. The Big Green Egg, a charcoal smoker, is such a unit. Be wary of inexpensive units which claim both smoking and grilling capabilities as most of these units are not as efficient as they claim to be. The majority of these inexpensive units are capable of doing either smoking or grilling well but are not able to do both.

This post was written by

jasonjason – who has written posts on Home Tips Plus.
I'm a father of three, married and a home owner since 2006. I've worked in fixing up homes and rental properties.

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