Meat Smokers Review
Why Buy a Meat Smoker?
Meat smokers are an advanced option for outdoor grilling enthusiasts. Smoking your meat slow cooks the food, helping to preserve the natural flavor while infusing it with moist or dry smoke flavors. The process takes longer than traditional grilling but produces a signature flavor you get in some of the most popular steakhouses across the nation.
Meat smokers can run on electricity or charcoal heating sources. Traditionally, charcoal is more popular because it’s more readily available than electricity outdoors and has a reputation for a certain element of flavor. You can utilize various accessories within your smoker to control the dampness of your meat and the interior temperature of your smoker. These factors, as well as time cooked, type of meat and seasonings, all have a significant impact on the flavor of your meat. A few of the top meat smokers on the market are the Masterbuilt 30 Inch Electric Digital Smokehouse, Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker and the Brinkmann Gourmet Electric Smoker and Grill.
Meat Smokers: What to Look For
Meat smokers are becoming simpler and safer to use as technology advances. You can sometimes find combination units that allow you to grill and smoke. Choosing your smoker has a lot to do with how often you’ll be using the unit and how much meat you’ll be treating at a time.
Traditionally, smokers were built for smoking only. Now, there are offset or staggered units available that let you grill and smoke meat in separate compartments simultaneously. Typically, when choosing these units, your smoking space is more limited. You sacrifice some of the volume for grilling options. Other models can perform grilling and smoking functions in the same tank, although you won’t be doing both at the same time. Die-hards often look only at smokers built exclusively for smoking, but it’s really a question of your preferences.
Most smokers still utilize charcoal, just because of the element of flavor it provides. However, newer advances have made electricity a viable option as long as you have a power source nearby. Electric cookers often heat up more quickly and can sometimes be interchangeable with charcoal options when you don’t have an electrical outlet. Electric units can usually use the wood chips associated with charcoal processes.
What are you planning on smoking? This is a large factor in the model you choose. Larger models are, of course, better for larger gatherings and can usually handle upwards of 50 pounds of meat. Smaller models are ideal if you’re only feeding a family or a few friends, or you don’t expect to be handling significant quantities on a regular basis. The larger ones take longer to heat and are more difficult to control, simply because of the volume. Smaller ones can be adjusted and customized according to your tastes and desires.
Indoor or Outdoor
Nearly all models are exclusively outdoor units, much like a barbecue grill. However, there are those available that you can use on your stovetop. The process is much the same, just in a compact kettle ideal for cooking small quantities. Having an indoor meat smoker can add a whole new element to your kitchen.
The bigger your unit, the tougher it is to transport. Some units aren’t meant to be moved regularly, while others include wheels for mobility. The smaller ones can often be carried by hand or in the back of your vehicle. If you’re planning to use your smoker in various locations, look for one that you can manage on the move
Because smoking your meat is a long-term process, you need to make sure you have a safe, secure cooking area as well as the availability to regularly check on your smoker. Once you get the hang of the smoking process, you’ll only be making minimal changes while smoking, but you should always keep your eye on the unit for safety purposes. For more information, check out our product lineup.