There is no way to know exactly how to choose the right smoker. Knowing your preferences will make it a lot easier for you to decide but don’t worry, we are here to help you out. We will present you four types of smokers and the crucial information you must know about them. To begin with, we will sort these types by what kind of fuel is used. Therefore, you can choose between propane smokers, electric smokers, pellet smokers and charcoal smokers.
Propane smokers are very easy to use. They run off propane tanks with the system where you can set the temperature and leave it. You do not need to be around these units the whole time to make sure they are running. Systems are mostly automatic. One thing you need to pay attention is the fuel since you might run out of it. Sometimes you might not have enough fuel to last until your meal is cooked so make sure you check your fuel level each time before you start smoking the meat. These smokers are the best for camping or field trips because they are portable. The temperature on one of these can go up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Of course, as any other thing, the parts can break but worry not, they are easily replaceable and not expensive.
Electric smokers, just like propane smokers, are considered “fake”. Meaning that people do not consider them real barbecues because they run off electricity or fuel. But don’t be fooled, these smokers can deliver the same, if not higher quality of the meat. They are also very simple to use and it is easy to maintain the temperature because mostly everything is digital. However, they are not that portable because you need electricity, obviously, so they are the best for use in backyards or on balconies. Just as with the propane smokers, parts of electronic smokers can malfunction but you can fix that easily with a good warranty. So make sure you get one when purchasing your smoker.
When it comes to pellet smokers, you might hear that they are a hassle because of maintaining the temperature and the amount of pellet. Believe it or not, these smokers can do just as good of a job at maintaining temperature as electronic and propane smokers. They run off wood pellets using a thermostat controlled mechanism which, according to the temperature, adds pellet on it’s own. This system makes it very easy to use but it requires electricity and can malfunction. These happen to be the most expensive smokers out there. The cost of the smallest units is around 600$, where an electronic or a propane smoker of the same size you can get for about 100-150$.
Last but not least, charcoal smokers are the only type that is traditionally considered “real BBQ”. It produces the best flavor of all smokers although it can be a hassle when it comes to starting fire and later on maintaining it. That makes them harder to use but with good practice you can master the art of smoking meat on a charcoal smoker. Of course, they don’t come cheap but taking into consideration the prices of fuel you would need for a propane smoker, you kind of get the same thing here. If you are judging by pricing, electric smokers are the most affordable.
Now that you know the most important information about the types of smokers, it is up to you to decide which smoker suits you the best. If you are looking for something portable to take camping, propane smoker is the one. The cheapest and best for use at home would be the electronic smoker. If you are a little bit more experienced with meat cooking, charcoal is for you. And of course, if you want to invest more money for high quality, go for pellet smokers.