Smoker grills give you the best tasting meat you’ve ever enjoyed – cooked slowly on a smoker, your favorite cuts will be tender and simply irresistible. These grills are available in many sizes and styles and include a variety of different features. With proper planning, they’re great for those who enjoy entertaining guests.
Meat Smoking 101
Smokers are not like traditional outdoor grills. Instead of putting your food directly over a heat source for a short amount of time, heat, smoke, and moisture from smoldering coals are allowed to slowly influence the meat. You’ll find different designs, shapes, and sizes, but every smoker has a grill (where you put the meat), a water pan or bowl (keeps the environment moist and tasty), and a charcoal/wood chip bowl (brings the heat).
The Best Smokers for Beginners
For the casual smoker and entertainer, we recommend a smoker/grill combo. It’s convenient and space-saving and still provides the option of traditional grilling. Some of these even allow you to cook different foods at varying temperatures at the same time. See the table below for recommended safe temperatures for cooking meat.
|Type of Meat||Degrees (Fahrenheit)|
|Beef, Veal & Lamb Roasts||145-170|
Smokers are grouped into three main categories: charcoal, electric, and gas. Charcoal varieties are our best-selling models, thanks to the convenience of grill combos and easy-to-use vertical smokers. Charcoal may be more traditional and ideal for beginners, but electric and gas designs offer outstanding temperature control. Most of our box-shaped designs are propane-fueled with the convenience of push-button ignition systems.
What to Look for in a Smoker
Fuel Types Used for Certain Meats
The most common and traditional process used to fuel a charcoal smoker consists of combining commercial charcoal briquettes or lump charcoal along aromatic wood chips or chunks. For electric and propane-fueled smokers, you’ll still combine wood chips, chunks, or pellets with a heat source and moisture to produce smoke, and – in most cases – there won’t be a need for the use of charcoal (unless desired).
Wood chips provide the flavor for the food. Each type of wood yields a different flavor, and some are better suited for certain meats and fish than others. Most backyard chefs are likely to choose from hickory, pecan, red and white oak, and mesquite for beef and pork, and you can’t go wrong when smoking fish using alder and classic fruitwoods such as apple and cherry.