A charcoal smoker buying guide is a pre-requisite to give a brand a chance to prove it. A smart buy leads to the positive long term outcomes where making hurry in doing so leads a financial loss.
When we hear the name “Charcoal Smoker,” what comes to our mind? We think that it is something associated with charcoals and smoke, which involves some heating mechanism. But to describe in exact words, it is a gadget that smokes food throughout an extensive time with low, indirect warmth created by consuming charcoal.
A charcoal smoker is not something similar to a conventional coal broil. Somehow there mechanism is similar to that of electric smokers and pellet smokers but not in full. It’s a unique kind of gadget that gives the food a specific aroma and flavor, enhancing the taste and bringing a new type of joy.
Getting one for your home may be challenging as market is saturated with the variety of those. To save time and money, a 15 minutes reading respect is must. In this article we will guide you what to look for in a charcoal smoker before getting one for your use.
Why should you buy a Charcoal Smoker?
If you think that, why should I buy a charcoal smoker? The answer to that question is within yourself. Are you a food lover? A person who loves to eat? Are you a person who wants to taste every morsel with a unique relish? If the answer to these questions is yes, then you are the person who should buy a charcoal smoker. The smoke rises within the gadget get absorbed in every molecule of food with such an elegancy that it modifies the taste into something spectacular.
What are the options available in the market?
When a gadget comes into the market, it comes in various shapes and sizes. Although all the devices of that kind are the same as time passes, modifications happen. As a result of those changes a perfect, a better product comes in the market that fulfills our need and specifications and is also economical and environment friendly.
1. Bullet Charcoal Smoker
These smokers are called bullet smokers because they have a dome lid. Bullet charcoal smoker is enduring and sturdy in a reasonable value range. Because of the enormous cooking space, you can smoke an immense measure of food immediately.
The cooking temperature is effectively kept up with a cover thermometer, and the creative five-level air control framework brings about ideal execution.
They have some normal ventilation that is not so much appreciated. Some have gravy leaks from the upper food layer to the lower one that keeps the food at an adjusted temperature without showing many fluctuations. They are the cheapest smokers available in the market.
2. Drum and Barrel Smoker
As the name represents, these smokers look like drums and barrels. The structure of the Barrel smoker is about simplicity.
Everything is spread out, so life is pretty much as simple as workable for the flame broil expert, and you can accomplish noteworthy outcomes with negligible endeavors on this Smoker.
That, yet it’s staggeringly simple to separate and place in the storage compartment for in a hurry occasion. In this type of Smoker, meat hangs on the hooks. It comes for a higher price range as compared to other versions available.
3. Vertical Cabinet Smoker
A vertical smoker looks just like a small refrigerator. They are well insulated to decrease heat loss. A nice bit of advantage of this style of Smoker is that you get a lot simpler admittance to both your food and your charcoal than with the bullet style smoker.
This covers less area as compared to others. You might not see this type of charcoal smoker much because it is not commonly used. People prefer drum or bullet to this one because they are much easier to use.
4. Offset Smoker
If you saw a charcoal smoker in a movie or a tv show and then decided that you should have one, Then this is your thing.
It has a unique kind of structure that attracts customers. It is called an offset smoker because the firebox is not a part of the cooking chamber. You can add more fuel easily without allowing much heat to escape.
Offset smokers have two main parts. One aspect the cooking chamber, and the other one is the firebox. It is one of the most expensive charcoal smokers available in the market because cheaper versions are unreliable.
5. Ceramic Egg/Kamado Smoker
These were first used in the 1970s. These are the best outdoor cookers available in the market. These enormous protected egg molded cookers are sold as charcoal smokers.
But they are vastly improved at smoking than flame broiling, and high temperature is searing. They are generally very much protected and particularly great at holding a consistent temp, even in a chilly climate. Food is protected from indirect heat. These are more expensive than other grills available.
6. Box Charcoal Smoker
Box smokers are essentially a container with a warmth source in the base and cooking chamber on the top. Since the warmth source is straightforwardly underneath, the warmth is moderated as in a vertical water smoker.
The better box smokers cost much more, yet they deliver many great grills in a profoundly controllable climate. On the off chance that you need to smoke grill for an opposition, catering, or an eatery, these smokers can be the most reliable and simplest to-utilize smokers available.
Charcoal Smoker Buying Guide
Things to look for when Buying a Charcoal Smoker
If you have decided to buy a charcoal smoker, then somethings must be kept in mind.
One must remember all these points at the time of getting a smoker.
1. Availability of Thermometer
Thermometers are an essential part of the Smoker. Without these, smokers are incomplete. Although different smokers are present in the market that have either manual thermometers or no thermometers at all.
A user should make sure that the Smoker he is buying is the one having a digital thermometer. A digital thermometer allows the user to take a complete watch of the food entirely while it is cooking.
It also protects the food from being overcooked or undercooked. You can note the importance of thermometers because we cannot just tell about the status of chicken being cooked by looking at the juices coming out of it.
You must keep some points in mind:
- Always prefer digital thermometers over manual ones
- Do not use bimetal thermometers
- Prefer instant thermometers
- Try to look for the expensive ones because they will pay you in the form of accuracy
2. Aesthetical looks
When it comes to cooking, most people think that our cooking apparatus must be stylish because it represents the beauty of the food being cooked and its elegance.
Although fat and metallic smokers are available in the market that are not very attractive but work well, if we spend a little amount of more money, we can get a pretty looking smoker that not only cooks food properly but also gives it a great grandeur.
3. Additional Specifications
If you spend a large amount of money on a charcoal smoker, you would not want it to be just a smoker. You would not like to go for different sauces to the kitchen from time to time.
A charcoal smoker must have a tray and other holders attached to its body to put extra stuff like cooking items and sauces.
4. How much should we spend?
When buying a smoker, You must keep the budget in mind because smokers come in various types and various sizes whose prices vary greatly. If your first Smoker doesn’t utilize a smoke consistently, you may not need all the additional highlights.
You can get a respectable, fundamental charcoal smoker at a truly moderate cost. While buying smokers, you must keep the fuel cost in mind because charcoals are not very cheap.
5. Double Zone Cooking Capability
A good smoker must have two zones. A zone where the food is cooked and the other area is the one where the food is indirectly heated slowly.
If you buy a smoker with only one of these zones, then you will feel disabled. It would be best to look for the Smoker having both of these zones to get satisfying results.
6. Various Sizes
Smokers vary from smaller versions to larger ones. It depends upon the user that how big a smoker must be.
There is a difference of about 140 square inches and 700 square inches of the space available for cooking. Before you purchase, consider how you will need to utilize it to ensure you’ll have sufficient space for all you’re envisioning.
Also, consider the location where you are going to put the Smoker. It can be your backyard or garage and the space available there for placing the Smoker.
7. Built-in or Moveable
When buying a smoker, we must keep in mind that if we want to buy a smoker, that remains fixed in its place or move it from time to time.
Majority of people prefer portable smokers because they pack up their Smoker and carry it with them whenever they are going out camping.
If a smoker is more extensive, it won’t be easy to move it from place to place. Kamodo Smokers are the heavier ones, so they are challenging to move.
We should keep them fixed in our yard. If you are a person who loves to go out camping every weekend, then barrel smokers are your thing.
8. Addition of fuel
The most crucial factor that must be kept in mind is the access to the fuel given to you. Some smokers provide easy access to fuel (charcoal).
Charcoal can be added easily to the Smoker while it is working not to interrupt the cooking process. The Smoker must have a big fuel holder so that a more considerable amount of charcoal can be added to it.
9. Airflow and Ventilation
The convective impact of a decent wind current will make your food cook quicker and all the more equally because the air around your meats is consistently supplanted by new, hot air.
Additionally, excellent wind current through the Smoker pulls outside air in, keeping up the spotless consuming fire.
Airflow is vital as it is required for the combustion of charcoal. An inadequate amount of air will result in incomplete combustion that will produce harmful gases. That’s why we should buy a smoker with a proper ventilation system and controllable airflow.
10. Quantity of final Product
If you are going to buy a charcoal smoker, do you know how many people you will be using that Smoker? Are you going to use it for larger gatherings or just for yourself?
If you don’t know the answers to these questions yet, you should think about them because these are the answers that will be deciding the amount of final product required to use the Smoker.
It isn’t generally the situation that greater is better. On the off chance that you once in a while, if at any time, cook for an enormous group, it will be a genuine agony. Also, an exercise in futility and cash to illuminate a tremendous smoker to cook two chicken pieces.
In the market, smokers are available in different square inches. You can also order a manufacturer to make a smoker of the size you require.
11. Quality of Grates
Quality of grates matters a lot while determining which Smoker should be preferred. If we use cast iron grates, they will leave marks on the meat, and it will not look so much amazing. Cast iron grates often leave residue on the meat that is harmful to the health. So, this should be kept in mind while buying a charcoal smoker.
Stainless Steel Grates are durable and hygienic.
12. Camping Friendly
Various kind of smokers is available in the market that works on different fuels. Some smokers work on gas while others work on wooden chips. But easy to use and portable are the ones that use charcoal as their fuel. They are like a charged battery take them wherever you go and use them accordingly. They do not require any gas pipe or electricity to run and perform their functions. Just put some charcoal, give it a spark, and you are good to go.
13. Charcoal Smokers with Propane Tanks
Lighting a charcoal barbecue can be somewhat precarious. There are charcoal barbecues with little propane boards at the base to help you get your coals to light, which may prove useful on those occasions when you don’t want to make your supper into the creation need to accelerate the cycle.
14. Accessories to Look for
The buyer should look for the following accessories along with the Smoker:
Ceramic Place Settler
Divert heat for more excellent circuitous cooking and serve twofold obligation as a stone cook surface for pizzas or calzones.
A brass brush is required to clean up the grate and other parts of the charcoal smoker.
A charcoal smoker must have a grill cover because it protects the food from other environmental conditions and keeps the food cooking slowly and adequately.
Only a smoker with a grill cover must be preferred if you can afford.
15. Easy to Maintain and Clean
Keep it in mind, if a charcoal smoker or grill is not friendly to clean then it is a complete waste of money. You may get a one which has a relatively lower price but it is not easy to clean and maintain. In the longer run you have to hire a person for the job which incorporates additional cost.
So, read the complete charcoal smoker reviews and then get the one for you. It must have self-handled qualities with complete manual.
Brand or Quality- Solve the Dilemma
A couple of times, we come across situations where we should prefer the product’s quality over the brand of the product. It is not always true that a product made by a well-known brand is the perfect one, while a product that has no brand tag is useless and is of lower quality.
When buying a smoker, we should properly check the quality of metal, thickness, and insulation. If a smoker is not properly insulated, heat will escape out in the environment, and we will not get the required result.
Ventilation must also be kept in mind. It also plays a significant role in giving food its taste and aroma. Suppose you go over a brand of Smoker that you have never known about.
In that case, it merits taking some effort to examine what sort of client care they give and get familiar with somewhat about where the item is made and what level of workmanship you can anticipate.
Highlighting various points regarding charcoal smoker does not means that the availability of every thing is mandatory. Every person have different priorities and budget. Besides, this the purpose also holds a lot of weight. You can smoke everything you need in a traditional inexpensive charcoal smoker but you have to forgo leisure on the other side.
So, list out your set of priorities and then order the one suites you the best.