How to Choose the Best Food Smoker According to Your Needs

Grilling food is an art as well as a passion for many people out there. People love grilled, smoky-flavored food and spend many dollars on it. However, if you’re a die-hard lover of grilled food and visit restaurants frequently, you’re probably going to run out of money pretty quickly.

If this is the case, what you need is a smoker or a grill which will quench your thirst for grilled food. In order to get the best bang for your buck, conduct a little research before buying a new model. That’s why we’re here with some of the points to keep in mind while shopping. If you’re interested in getting a food smoker, make sure to go through these important factors.

Selecting the Right Type of Smoker

There are different types of smokers available in the market, with the differences mostly being based on the fuel they use.

One of these is the charcoal smoker, which uses charcoal for fuel and provides better flavoring for your food. Many people would probably prefer the results of this classic choice, as it’s the most authentic of the lot. Moreover, these types of smokers are usually one of the cheapest models of smokers available. Still, some expensive models use charcoal as fuel. However, charcoal smokers are usually difficult to manage, requiring an expert hand. You’ll also have to make sure it stays clean, which is again a challenging task.

The next type is the electric smoker, which is very convenient to use. These types of models are easy to use, but they lack in generating authentic flavors. There’s a control panel in this electric smoker for setting up and easy operation. These models are quite popular, as they’re easy for both novice and experienced grillers.  You may check out gadgetspicker’s guide for finding the best electric smoker according to your needs.

Another type of smoker is the Pellet smoker, which gets its power from electricity but also uses wood pellets for giving that smoky flavor to the food. These type of smokers provides the same convenience of an electric smoker, while also adds the flavor of charcoal smokers. The only glaring downside here is that they’re usually a bit expensive – learn more about pellet grills.

Propane food smokers are another choice. These are also called LPG grills, as they’re powered using liquid propane gas. These might pose a bit of risk if you’re not used to such power sources, but they’re cheaper options for the most part. The advantage here is a faster heating experience and an easier operation than electric options.

Look for the Right Size

The size is another important thing which you should look at before buying a new smoker for your place. Some small-sized smokers can also cook for many people if everyone has the patience to wait their turn. On the other hand, the large-sized smoker can host a garden party all day long.

This means that you’ve to be a bit smart here while making a final call. What we recommend is to look at your needs and demands first, and then go for the final purchase. If you want to mostly smoke food just for your family, a smaller model will be enough for fulfilling that need. However, if you regularly host parties for your friends and colleagues, then you need a larger cooking space and grilling power. This will usually necessitate a larger model.

The Cost

Food smokers can cost around $50 at the minimum and can even go over $10,000 if you go for the high-end brands. If you’re just starting out in the food smoking area, or just want one for the occasional grilled meal, a tiny water smoker might be good enough.

Some people might want to earn some money through their grilling skills, or at least host a large family party on a regular basis. If that’s the case, investing in a large model from a decent brand might be worth it.

Brand Matters

Not every doctor is a specialist in every field. Similarly, not every brand is a master in manufacturing smokers. You cannot judge the performance of the smoker just by looking at its specifications, but you can make a solid guess by looking at the brand name on the unit.

There are thousands of smoker models available in the industry, but not all of them are the best choices every time. This is why we suggest that you look around the internet for the best and top-selling smokers before buying.

It may be possible that you buy a smoker from a newer brand, and may not receive brand support and warranty. On the other side, you might covet a high-end brand but find that it exceeds your budget. Hitting that balance might require some compromises, but reading online reviews and looking at the ratings will help in making a safer decision.

Features

The more features you want in a smoker, the more you’d probably have to pay for it. It is the features that decide the performance and functionality of any device. Fortunately, some smokers come with great features which serve you with great convenience. We’ll take a look at some kinds of smokers here and see what features they offer.

If you’re a beginner, electric smokers are more convenient and offer features that are easy to use. Charcoal and Pellet smokers provide you better flavors. How important is that charcoal flavor for you and your family? If you have kids, they might not like this result at all, so an electric smoker might be the best option in every way. For grilling enthusiasts, though, a charcoal grill might be the only way to go.

One of the top features is the temperature control option, which we don’t recommend skipping out on.  This feature will allow you to grill the food as per your convenience. Apart from this, there are many more features which you can find in an individual product. If you have any specific requirement in mind, you might have to filter your searches and then check the best options available.

Multipurpose

If you’re going to spend a decent amount on a food smoker, you might as well get the most use out of it. There are several smoker units available today that can both smoke our food along with grilling it to perfection. Charcoal units are usually the ones that provide this versatility.

You might notice that there are some inexpensive units offering this double feature, but make sure their design is of high quality. If you compromise on price in this area, you might get a proper griller or an excellent smoker. If you covet both with the same high performance, you’ll have to shell out a bit more cash.

A Top Choice

There are several models that might fulfill your requirements, so it’s best to look at what people are recommending. Many online reviews point towards certain models such as the Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Black Electric Digital Smoker, citing it as one of the best investments in this area. You can check it out at the link below:

The Masterbuilt has several features to recommend it, not the least of which is the thermometer, top controller, and the choice between a window and no window. You’ll have a decently large cooking space of 730 square inches here, along with four chrome-coated racks and 800 watts from the heating element.

With the timer controls and the thermostat temperature control, we can be sure of even cooking with this grill. The temperatures go from 100 to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. The digital temperature display will allow us to easily read just how hot the grill is and gauge whether it’s right for the meat, veggies, or buns.

On the side, there are additional features such as a space for the wood chips, a drip pan that you can remove and empty, and a top air damper for extra safety.  Overall, this is an excellent grill that works for very experience levels. While it might be a bit expensive, this electric option is worth the investment for its excellent results and positive feedback.  Be sure to check out a good Meat Smoking Calculator to help you out as well.

Conclusion

The food smoker you go for should be able to provide a true barbeque experience as well as churn out results that make everyone’s mouths water. While there are several shapes, sizes, and types available, there’s no one perfect smoker for every buyer. This is why you need to consider the tips and recommendation above, and then make the best decision for you and your family.