Buying a smoker changes your experience about cooking your favorite smoked dishes. It gives you choice to cook your BBQ food according to your taste. In this article I am going to discuss different types of smokers.
People choose kind of smoker according to the parameters of their cooking experience. I will in detail about different types of offset smoker according to their features.
There is a big range of smokers according to their functionalities and use. Every type of smoker has its own advantages and disadvantages but the most important things what type of food you are going to cook and how much money you want to spend on buying a smoker and want to put your effort and money.
Applications Of BBQ Smokers
Barbeque smoking is one of the most difficult cooking skills it needs more experience to cook than other types of cooking. It needs a special capability to master and craft this skill.
In these days with modern and latest models of smokers you do not need to put extra effort to cook smoked food. You do not need to take care of the cooking process for hours, no need of putting pieces of wood again and again, also not need to worry about the measuring temperature and moisture of the cooking chamber. No need to change sides of meat.
This article will help you with the information of different types of smokers and the benefits you can get from them to cook your food more easily.
Brief Overview Of Smoking
In mostly cooking with a smoker, you put food on the burning coal or on wood to make the food cooked. You have to stand closer as guard to check again and again that food should cook properly and also have to put some marinade to avoid food from drying and make it cooked in a good way to enjoy the full taste.
It depends on you, what type of smoker you want to use for cooking your food or what kind of food you are going to cook with it. Using a charcoal offset smoker will give you smoked taste in your food, you will get smoked infused food and this taste can not be replaced with other food cooked in other kind of smoker.
Cooking with smoker and other grilling, there is a difference. In grilling you have to put food direct on heat, but in smoker you have to cook food in cooking chamber, where you will cook food with slow temperature. In smoker food will be cooked with slow heat and the smoker will enhance the taste of food.
Food which cooked on offset smoker will get very slow heat instead of a conventional grilling method, where food will be placed on direct heat on grill, so the slow and steady method of cooking food will enhance the taste, that’s why people love the taste of foods cooked on smokers.
The time of cooking food with smoker will depend on the size of meat or food you will be going to cook and also the type of food, in general it takes, 2-3 hours to cook the food, although it is common to leave the food cooking whole night for slow and steady cooking to enjoy the taste of food more.
This slow cooking technique cooks the meat in which bones can get separate easily, it happens because of the moisture of food which we can maintain in the cooking process of smoker. The taste of food will be amazing and you will goanna love and enjoy it.
Types Of Smokers Which You Should Buy
There is a difference between smokers and grills, if you want to cook meat then both are most appropriate. You can grill veggies like Corn, leafy vegetables or some other plant-based foods, but you can not cook these vegetables in smokers because their slow smoking process will dry the leafy vegetables.
So, the best option to smoke food is meat, poultry and fish in the smokers.
Market is full of different types of smokers, while choosing a smoker it depends on the diversification of smoke low and slow according to your type of food you are cooking. It also depends on how much effort you want to put on cooking food and type of barbeque you want to smoke. In this section of our article, we will discuss all the hot topics of discussion about types of smokers, their pros and cons and some other things.
Offset smokers also called horizontal smokers. It cooks food slow on low temperature, in this type of barbeque smoke penetrates in the meat, which makes food crispy from outside and juicy and moisture from inside. Smoke gives a wonderful taste in the flavor of cooked food.
Parts Of Offset Smoker
These are the main parts of offset smoker
- Cooking chamber
- Mover wheels
How It Works
Functions and structure in offset smoker are very simple. A firebox is mounted on the side of cooking chamber, it is few inches lower than the cooking chamber where we place food or meat for barbeque cooking. Smoke from firebox goes to cooking chamber to penetrate the meat and to give its flavor, the smokey flavor which people love to eat.
Some models give you double functions to grill and smoke, they allow you to grill on direct heat on one side and smoke on the other side. In some models of smokers there is functionality to hold lumps of charcoal, which makes it a large charcoal smoker as per its functionality.
You may used different types of offset smokers, they all are built to carry charcoal and wood together to be used as fuel for cooking. This is the essential function of an offset smoker and includes in the definition of an offset smoker. If you want to cook and enjoy the smoked barbeque meat then offset smoker is best facilitator for you to enjoy cooked juicy beef ribs.
- If we talk about size variation, there is a variety in size, you can choose according to your need, some models can cook up to eight kilograms of beef. You can choose small size if you want to use it for one- or two-persons servings.
- It can be long lasting for years if you choose a model which should be made with a durable body sheet.
- A smoker will provide ideal heat and temperature for cooking food, if it is made of good quality heavy thicker sheet.
- You can adjust temperature with the use of a thermometer to avoid check again and again.
- Learn cooking with smokers or to become master of use of smokers is very time taking process, you may need long time to master this skill.
- Cooking meat with a vertical grill can be easy to handle, you will see meat in front of you, you can rotate it while cooking, in offset smoker you have to cover the meat and cannot see again and again because temperature will be affected if you do this practice inside the cooking chamber.
- It will be difficult for you to cook without a thermometer because you need to check meat again and again to avoid over cooked meat.
You can call it a vertical water smoker because this type of smoker has a vertical shape, where you will able to burn fuel in the bottom of the fire chamber. These are small in size you can put it on your lawns and balconies.
There is a proper moisturize unit setup in this model to make the food full moisturized. It is necessary to make it juicy and good in taste.
In size they are small and look like bullets. If we take a look on their size there is no electric or machinal equipment attached with it, it is very easy to move them.
Parts of Bullet Smokers
Main parts of Bullet smokers.
- Water pan
How it works
Wood and charcoal can be used as fuel in Bullet smokers, the place of fuel is on the bottom of smoker, which is called fuel or heat chamber. Above of this chamber there is a water pan placed for moisturizing purpose.
This water pan helps to spread heat through out of the cooking chamber. It helps to provide heat to meat for cooking a juicy smoked meat and also helps dryness in the meat.
Cooking chamber has a rack which you can also name it as grill, on where you can put the meat for cooking. You can open or close vents to control the heat and airflow in the chamber accordingly.
Size variation is available in Bullet smokers but the most common type used is able to serve a small family or handle small gathering cooking of friends.
- The most important benefit of Bullet smokers is they are portable and you can easily disassemble them to move them in the trunk of your vehicle.
- They are small in size and won’t left a large foot print on your place where you put it for smoking.
- It is easy to use for the beginners who do not know much about smokers but have a little knowledge about using it.
- As you know that they are smokers and you cannot use them for grilling food.
- Due to their small size, you can not smoke big quantity of meat on this type of smokers.
- After every cooking session you have to clean the water pan.
Vertical Or Box Smokers
As its name showing that in this type of smoker the main position of heat source or fire is under the cooking chamber where food is placed for cooking, the structure of this type of smoker is different from offset smoker where there is a separate parallel chamber for fire called firebox.
In this kind of smoker food placed on the cooking chamber on the grill the heat transfers directly. Food takes extra time to cook.
Parts Of Vertical Smokers
Here are the most important parts list.
- Heat chamber
- Vertical chamber
- Moisturize unit
- Grills or Bars
How It Works
There are three main portions in Vertical Smoker. The firebox or fire chamber is on the bottom part. Mostly wood and charcoal are used in this kind of smokers for fuel but in some models propane gas and electricity is also used for heating source and they cook food fast than charcoal or wood.
There is a water pan above the heat chamber to moisturize the full chamber to avoid meat from dry and bitter cooking, if you want full smokey taste then better is to use charcoal or wood for fire. Use wood under charcoal. It will produce more smoke to give your food more smokey taste.
The most useful feature of water pan is to provide moisture through out of the chamber to avoid meat from dryness and it provides meat a soft and juicy flavor. On the top of moisturize chamber there is cooking chamber where food is placed for cooking.
- They are vertical in size so you do not need to worry about the space, it will take small space in your lawn or backyard.
- They are large in size and enough to cook food for large amount of people.
- As per their structure of construction they are very durable. You may find people are using them for long time.
- Due to their construction, they are more energy efficient than some other model.
- They are cost friendly and easy to buy if you have low budget.
- There are some latest models like Pitt Boss Copperhead 7 Series, you can make pizza, roast and can cook or bake, it has versatile in functionality.
- Expect of some models it is not versatile in functionality, you cannot bake or make pizza with it.
- It has large cooking chambers that why it may take a while to reach the required temperature.
- In some models you can remove food only in one direction.
In shape Drum Smokers looks like shipping cargo barrels. It is easy to use like charcoal smokers. Some people call it Ugly Drum Smokers. This name refers that it has made of steel barrels.
It consists of meat hooks, charcoal basket, air vents, grills racks and a chimney.
Drum smokers are cost friendly light weight and easy to use, if we compare it to other smokers. You can buy assembled unit if you do not want to assemble it. You will get readymade solution, just buy and start smoking your desired food.
Parts Of Drum Smoker
- Grill grates
- Drum or Barrel
How Drum Smoker Works
Firebox or heat chamber is located at the bottom side of Drum smoker. It is full of charcoal and woods to produce heat for cooking. The grill bar is almost a foot above the fire chamber and smoke leakage is managed by a seal through the lid that smoke should penetrate the food for a great taste.
With the design of this smoker, you can cook more than twelve hours without burning more coal, because the airflow for temperature adjustment is controlled by vents, you can adjust the vents accordingly to fulfill the required temperature in the drum.
There is a 10 pounds capacity to cook beef in this smoker at once, so this is the most suitable smoker you have if you want to cook regular meal for your friends or family.
- These types of smokers are smart in size and do not take big part of your lawn.
- It is easy to use and you do not need much space for sitting because there is capacity to maintain temperature for hours.
- Because they are ability to add more grill bars, you can ask it as versatile in function.
- It is cost friendly, you can save cost accordingly, you can buy more accessories later to add more functionalities in it.
- You can cook more than 10 pounds beef in it at once and there is more capacity in it to cook more meat.
- The only con of this is it looks ugly but in reality, there is nothing ugly with it.
When we talk about Electric smokers, then thing comes to our mind is oven smokers. From its name it looks that it is for indoor use like oven smokers but keep remember that it is designed to produce more smoke that’s why you can not use it indoor. It is made for outdoor smoking.
Parts of Smokers
- Electricity plat
- Power cable
- Grilling bars
How it works
The operation of Electric Smoker is very simple, there is a heat plat mounted at the bottom of the smoker, with the help of electricity it produces heat. When you put wood pieces on that plat. It makes smoke when the plat produce heat.
There is also a metal piped funneled between the heat plat and food. It throughs smoke on food in the way to prevent food from dryness. It provides heat to meat to cook in a delicious way.
In this smoker there are two units one is called higher end the other is called lower end. There is a thermostat in the higher end to control the temperature. In lower end there is a dial, you can adjust desired temperature from this dial.
This smoker gives ease to its users to cook meat more easily, you just have to put the thermostat on the desired temperature and it will work on auto adjustment.
- There is a variation in sizes that you can choose according to your need and food you are going to cook with it.
- It can cook and hold more than 10 pounds of beef. So, there is no restrictions of quantity of meat you will smoke in it.
- You can cook more easily with this smoker, all you have to do is to put the wood and coal on the plat and switch the electricity on to set the things on.
- These are electricity-based smoker, you have to use it by reading user manual or with proper care.
- You can use it offside but have to cover it up to save it from water to keep its parts from damage.
It is the most similar like offset smoker, if you want to cook juicy mouthwatering meat, then Pellet smoker is right option for you. There is difference between offset and pellet smokers. This is the high-tech smoker.
If you want that your food does not cook for hours then this is the best option for you. You can use charcoal or wood pieces to smoke your food in less time. You just have to start it and it will take less time and not over cooked your food.
Parts of Pallet Smoker
This smoker has many parts we will list some major parts below.
- Electronic thermostat
- Temperature gauge
How it works
Pellet smoker works like a trinational oven, you can cook your food with the charcoal or with electricity, there is a thermostat in the cooking chamber to adjust the temperature of cooking chamber for a wonderful cooking experience. It reduces the time of cooking.
In this Pellet you have to put wood pallets in firebox and have to set the required temperature. The thermostat controls the pieces of pallets to burn and you can get your desired temperature in the cooking chamber.
The smoker produced from burning pellets penetrates the meat to give it a wonderful taste.
- Pellet smokers are available in big sizes. You can select the size as per your need. The most common type can cook 10 full shoulders of beef at once.
- There is no much effort to operate it, you just have to put some wood pellets and adjust the temperature. It will rotate and burn the pellets automatically.
- Most of models are designed for typical smoking. You can use them accordingly.
- Pellet smokers are not budget friendly they are the most expensive smokers.
- In cold or windy weather, it is possible that pellet smoker can be run out of wood pellets.
- Pellet grill contains a lot of mechanical equipments which are difficult to handle and may cause of failure.
- It can be difficult to replace the parts of Pellet smokers.
- Wood pellets remain in the humid environment and sometimes it can be difficult to caught fire due to humidity.
These types of smokers were very popular in the 1970s. it is called Kamado or Ceramics smokers. There shape and function were very popular. They can cook food slow and low.
There are different variants in size and shapes but the function of Kamado Grills remains same. Most of the Kamado grills are made of Ceramics. That’s why it is very costly. Its durable and life lasting.
Ceramics is insulating, once it reaches on the desired temperature it will hold for long time, you can cook meat slowly on it.
Ceramics have the quality to be heated on 700 °F, and then you can cook high quality of steak or other food easily from the comfort of home.
How it Works
It is very easy to smoke in Kamado Grills, you just have to full the firebox with wood chops and high-quality charcoal, in order to get desired flavor of your food.
Between the grill grate and firebox there is a removeable heat deflector plat. If you want to cook your meat on direct flame like ordinary smoker, then remove deflector plat from it and put the food for cooking directly on flame.
If you want to cook food slow and low then put the deflector plat on the flame and it will act like a smoker to smoke your food.
There are dampers at the bottom of kamado grills which controls airflow in the smoker to cook food on desired temperature. There are different sizes available. A small 10 inches Kamado grill can cook over a large beef shoulder. You can cook more big pieces according to size.
- You can use Kamado grills for multipurpose, like you can use it for roast, pizza baking and some other type of foods.
- Durability of Kamado Grills are long lasting, you can use them for years.
- In sizes they are compatible so, do not worry about it that it will take more space in your backyard.
- Once it gets the required temperature, it can hold that temperature for long time.
- If you give them overheat, it will take long time to get back on normal temperature.
- Because they are made of ceramics it can be fragile. You have to use them with a complete care to avoid the cracks on it.
- The are durable but some factors can make it damage.
Once you will master the skill of barbeque smoking you can make your foods delicious. It is difficult for beginners to master that skill in start but with the proper practice or hands on you can make yourself expert and master in it.
There are many factors which makes your smoking experience wonderful. One of them is choosing the right smoker according to size and the food you will be going to cook is the first step. You also have to choose the type of wood to give your flavored smoke to your food which you are cooking.