Yesterday, we spent a little time outlining the differences between smokers, grills and barbecues, which revealed that one of these is not quite like the others.
If you’ll recall, we saw that grills and barbecues are basically the same apparatus, just used in different ways. But, smokers stand apart; smoking meats (or any food, for that matter) requires certain controls for heat, airflow and even dehydration that are not required in the other cooking methods. Here’s a look at a few different kinds of smokers:
Drum smokers, so named because of the shape, allow racks to be placed vertically in a sealed column with the heat source placed at the bottom. Many models also allow room for a water pan that can help control the temps and keep meat extra moist by adding humidity to the mix.
Propane smokers may come in drum form or some other shape, and the main difference is that heat to burn the wood or charcoal is provided via propane. This can help greatly with controlling the temps, though purists may frown upon the method.
Of the most competitively priced, offset smokers can double as a grill/barbecue and are very convenient if you have the space for one. The design puts the firebox on the side so you can better control the smoke flavor in meats placed on the main grill grate.
Try one of these smoker styles and see how much fun it is to get that smoky flavor on your own this summer instead of spending a fortune at your local BBQ shack.