Smokers are starting to get a place in the heart of BBQ lovers. These days, there are plenty of smokers with various kinds of heating methods that are available on the market. The professional-grade might cost you some hundred bucks, but there are also budget options that you can select as they cost right below $500. These affordable and best BBQ smokers can give similar heat and flavor as the industrial-grade ones. Consider one of the smokers below. See how well it smokes your ribs and brisket and turn it into a mouth-watering delicacy.
The Different Types of BBQ Smokers
Depending on your needs and wants, you can choose either to buy a traditional log burners, electric smokers, gas smokers, pellet smokers or charcoal smokers. They all require a different set of cooking skills and heating methods. There is no need to splurge on a huge smoker that you see in the restaurants as they take lots of caring and monitoring efforts. You can consider one of the types mentioned above as all it takes is a little bit of seasoning and temperature control. There are several models that include a built-in dial temperature. If your unit does not come with any, you can buy a digital thermometer to watch the temperature and control it accordingly. In this review, I will explain each of these smokers and make a suggestion of a smoker that you can purchase.
If you love the scent and flavor of a traditional barbecue ribs, perhaps log burner is the ideal type of smoker for you. It can produce the beautiful taste of woods in the meat while maintaining the moist of the food. While it produces a better taste, it is not necessarily easy to use. Log burners require a high dedication from the cooks. If you are BBQ enthusiast, this should not be an issue. Wood log burners can cook your meat in a clean way but if your smoker has a too low of a temperature, it can create a dirty and bitter meat. Therefore, it is important for you to watch the smoker, add wood fuel accordingly and manage the chimney opening to keep the heat at a high and stable rate to get that tasty smoked meat. You can opt to buy a high-end log burner if you have a big budget. These big burners have a horizontal food chamber with a firebox on the side for wood or charcoal burning. They usually priced at above $500. For a lower-priced burner, the hardware might feature a thin metal sheet and can rust after several usages. Thinking of buying one? Consider this Smoker – Brinkmann Trailmaster 57-Inch Vertical Smoker.
Brinkmann Trailmaster 57-Inch Vertical Smoker
Brinkmann Trailmaster Smoker is a great smoker option for you to consider. It is very affordable and yet can give similar great smoking results to your ribs, meat patties, and sausages. It features a chrome-plated cooking grate with a front door to make it easy for you to insert the food into the cooking barrel. There is an offset firebox on the side that allows you to extend the smoking time. It comes with a smoke damper. You can use it to adjust the smoke as well as heat easily and quickly. One of the designs that make it a very efficient log burner is the vertical chimney. Smokes and heat circulate well inside the barrel and escape vertically via the big opening chimney. If you would like to keep your meat moist and tender, you can apply a water pan on top of it. The size of this smoker is not too big or too small. With 1,300 square inches of cooking space, you can put rib slabs and other kinds of meats easily inside this smoker.
Unlike log burners that require intensive monitoring and heat control, the electric smokers are more suitable for those who would like to free themselves from hours of standing near the smokers. You can simply plug the unit into a power plug to turn it on, insert your food, and walk away from it for hours. However, it has a lack of that natural fire feel and taste. If you would like to have the similar wood taste and flavor in your meats, you can insert wood chips or charcoals above the heating panel to get that nice woody scent. Since electric does not use any oxygen to control the fire or heat, there is no chimney of air vent with this smoker. However, there is a heat vent that you can use to control the temperature. Nevertheless, it is the perfect smoker for apartments that do not have any balcony or small houses with no outdoor space. Consider Char-Broil Vertical Electric Smoker if you would like to purchase an electric smoker.
Char-Broil Vertical Electric Smoker
With a cost under $200, you can score the best BBQ smoker for your home with this Char-Broil Vertical Electric Smoker. It uses a simple dial thermometer to control the heat inside the barrel. There is also a combination of wood and water pan on top of the heating element to create that natural and woody smoke. The door of the electric smoker applies a magnetic closing mechanism. There is no lock. You can simply push the door, and the magnet will ensure that it remains tightly closed. After several hours of slow and low-heat cooking, you will get the similar, great tasting smoked ribs. There is no need to splurge your money when this particular smoker can give you the similar great results.
Similar to electric smokers, gas smokers are also easy to use. It has the set-and-forget feature as the smoker can keep the heat at a consistent rate without needing your effort. The price is also well-priced as you can get a unit for about $200 and $250. Even though it uses a modern cooking technique, you can achieve the woody smell by inserting wood chips in a pan and place it over the burner. With the wood chips, you can achieve both the heat and the great smokey flavor. One of the best BBQ smokers that you can consider is the Landmann Smoky Mountain 34-inch Two-Drawer Vertical Gas Smoker.
Landmann Smoky Mountain 34-inch Two-Drawer Vertical Gas Smoker
Landmann Smoky Mountain Vertical Gas Smoker is one of the best gas smokers that can give you the great tasting barbecue ribs. It has a vertical body with two separate compartments. One of the drawers gives a placing space for a water pan to keep your meat moist and juicy. Another one is for you to place a box of wood chips to create that nice woody smoke. You can insert your meat into the smokebox and leave it for several hours without much babysitting. However, you will still need to come back to this device every once in awhile as it has a tendency to run out of gas and you will lose the necessary heat if it happens.
An avid BBQ lover might be better off with this kind of smokers – pellet smokers. It acts like an outdoor oven and is ideal for your backyard. Just like an oven, it shows the current temperature. Plus, some of the latest models even come with a built-in Wi-Fi feature, convenient for you to control the heat from your smartphone! You can burn pellet woods to get that woody smoke, and the heat is easily controllable with the built-in thermostat. It breaks you free from continuous monitoring. You can turn on the smoker in the morning, set the ideal temperature, place your meat inside the box and leave for work without any worries. The slow-cooked meat will be ready for you to enjoy when you reach home in the evening. However, it is important to note that this type of smoker is not the best smoker for high-temperature grilling or searing. One of the top pellet smokers for you to choose is the Traeger BBQ155.01 Junior Tailgating Pellet Barbecue Grill.
Traeger BBQ155.01 Junior Tailgating Pellet Barbecue Grill
Traeger BBQ155.01 Junior Tailgating Pellet Barbecue Grill is a high-end pellet smoker that produces superb results. BBQ lovers can appreciate the build quality of this device and enjoy the succulent smoked meat produced. In fact, Trager is the major maker and distributor of pellet smoker in the country. The Traeger Junior is the mini version of the professional, full-size Lil’ Tex Elite Smoker. It comes with a digital controller, which makes smoking meat much easy. It has about 292 square inches of cooking area. While it might not be big enough for a full rib slab, you can cut it into pieces and cook it without much babysitting. The price of this device might be a little bit on the expensive side at about $700, but I can assure you that it will be a worthy investment.
When it comes to the quality of the smoked meat, charcoal smokers is another best BBQ smoker that can give you that tasty and juicy meat. Similar to the traditional wood log burners, this particular smoker also takes skills and effort. You will need to adjust the charcoal and the circulated air as you smoke your meat. It is to ensure that the smoker produces the ideal temperature to slow cook the food and create that soft and moist meat. There are also some models that come with a thermostat controller. It effectively monitors the air intake and ultimately the heat. If you need a reliable, compact, and affordable charcoal smoker for your home, consider Weber Smokey Mountain 18.5-inch Charcoal Smoker.
Weber Smokey Mountain 18.5-inch Charcoal Smoker
Weber Smokey Mountain 18.5-inch Charcoal Smoker is a compact smoker that you can put in your small backyard for your BBQ parties. It has a reasonable price of about $230. It might be small in size, but the food box is big enough for you place a big turkey or a whole ham. Water pan and thermometer come together with the purchase. It is a durable outdoor charcoal smoker that does not rust even when left in the outdoor. It is thanks to the power coated porcelain enamel that wraps the exterior body. It has a solid build without any bended parts. It keeps the oxygen well inside the vent, and this allows for a consistent heat and air circulation. The smoker can keep a steady heat for several continuous hours quite well.
With tons of cheap and great quality smokers on the market, there is no issue about not being able to find the one that suits your needs and tastes. Consider one of the smokers above and use it for your summer BBQ parties or tailgate events!