Overview of Barbeque Smokers

Have you ever been to a barbecue restaurant and tasted that rich, delicious, smoky flavor? Most of us have a favorite barbecue place, a restaurant that offers the perfect combination of sauces and spices with just the right hint of smoke. Although you can continue dining out, you have another option of making your own smoked BBQ. In fact, with so many great smokers on the market, we see the number of people making their own famous BBQ growing. If you think you might be interested in smoking turkey, ham, beef, fish, or even vegetables at home, then investing in your own smoker is a great option.

The Unit

A barbecue smoker is a unit that provides an environment for cooking/smoking food. This environment is carefully controlled with the right amount of smoke and temperature so food comes out perfect. When you start to shop for smokers, you will find a huge range of sizes, styles, prices, and even colors. Even fuel type varies to include electricity, gas, charcoal, wood, and pellets. The goal with any smoker is to create a consistent temperature around 225 degrees and just enough smoke to create that wonderful smoky flavor we all love.


One of the most important factors associated with a BBQ smoker has to do with airflow. To create perfect barbecue, you need to be able to reach the ideal temperature and then maintain it. For this to occur, your smoker must have proper airflow. Unfortunately, some of the old style smokers do not offer proper airflow, which means temperatures get out of control, resulting in tough and overly smoky food. If you have an older model, you might consider buying a modifier, which will help improve the operation of your older smoker. Remember, the smoker must have adequate oxygen to reach the fire so proper temperature can be maintained throughout the cooking cycle.


You also need to keep in mind that wind will have a definite effect on the way in which your smoker works. In fact, even small breezes can pull heat from the smoker, thus creating airflow problems. For this reason, you need to make sure your smoker is placed in a location where it would be obstructed from wind. Many times, people will place the smoker on the deck, which puts it in line for wind. If you want to use the deck, then purchase or build some type of protective barrier so you will end up with the right amount of airflow and temperature.


Now, if you have never smoked food before but want to start, we suggest you choose something smaller and try brisket as your first meat, which cooks up beautifully. For instance, a 12 to 14-pound brisket could be put in the smoker around 9:00 p.m., then ready for your 6:00 dinner. Typically, you would use some type of seasoning or rub, with hundreds of great recipes online or in your favorite cookbook. As you become more skilled, you can start modifying things to discover what you like best. Checking the smoker a couple of times during the day is all you need to do and once you taste the meat, chances are you will never barbecue any other way again.