Cooking the juiciest ribs and making your pulled pork taste like it was cooked by a professional chef – under the right temperature with just the right amount of barbecue sauce on it may have seemed hard to achieve before, but luckily, things have changed. Today, provided that you have a good BBQ smoker, you can easily prepare your favourite dishes without having to pay constant attention to the whole process or worrying whether or not you’ve cooked the meat at the right temperature. Soot and ash won’t hinder your cooking experience either, but in order to make this dream a reality, when buying a BBQ smoker you need to look for certain features which will make this experience possible.
In order to get the food cooked just right, the smoker needs to allow you to control the temperature pretty easily and for that, your best bet is looking for BBQ smokers that have a thermostat. A lot of people will tell you to go with electric BBQ smokers as they have a thermostat, and although they work very well with fish meat, other types of meat just don’t taste as good as the ones prepared in a charcoal smoker. Gas smokers are also a great option if you don’t want to go through the cleaning process of a charcoal smoker and you want the temperature control of an electric one. While the flavour of your meat will be slightly different than that from a charcoal smoker, you won’t spend much and they are also very easy to use.
Material + Cleaning
In this case, the outer side of the smoker may not be such an issue but the inner side will most definitely be if you don’t want to clean it regularly. For those of you who don’t want to bother much when it comes to keeping the interior of your smoker spotless, I’d suggest you go for one made from stainless steel. And by ‘interior’, I mean the racks since they come in contact with the meat you’re preparing. Do consider the size of the drip pan, grates and water pan so you know whether or not they’ll fit in the dishwasher. As for the ash, just try to find a smoker that will allow you to get rid of it easy. And for the outer shell, go with heavy steel as it holds heat better.
Insulation & Seals
No matter whether you get a smoker with the heaviest steel, if the smoker and its components aren’t well built, you are going to have a hard time figuring out where the heat and smoke are escaping from. The quality of the welding is also a determining factor here, and while you may still get well-cooked meat sometimes, you won’t be able to do so every time since the results will be inconsistent.
The level of craftsmanship involved in the making of BBQ smokers can be noticed by the sturdiness of the legs and wheels, whether or not the metal will warp and the water and rustproof levels of the paint. A durable and high-quality smoker won’t have the metal warp and the paint won’t start to chip away after the first year of using it. Having sturdy parts means that the smoker has a durable construction, but sharp edges mean that the craftsmanship isn’t up to par with the rest of the properties, which means that you should avoid buying that particular model.