How to Choose the Best Charcoal Smoker For You
When you taste any food, the flavor, and how tender it is, determines whether you continue eating it or not. The flavor and the taste are determined by the type of charcoal smoker you use. Meat can be prepared on a grill, but other foods such as fish, pulled pork, turkey and bacon can only be flavored using a smoker.
Smokers come in different shapes and sizes. What you should consider when buying one is the ability to control heat and the air that flows inside the smoker. The best charcoal smoker should allow you to control the smoker’s temperature during the cooking process. Luckily, modern charcoal smokers create a stable cooking environment meaning that you will not have to loiter around them monitoring their temperature. The stable environment gives you the leeway of doing other chores. In addition, you do not have to waste time dealing with soot and ash. The following are the top charcoal smokers on the market.
Best Charcoal Smoker Candidates
Weber Smoky Mountain Cooker Smoker 18.5 Inch
This smoker has made backyard smoking easy. It has multiple vents that will allow you to compensate for wind and temperature changes. It comes with nickel plated grates and has 481 square inches of cooking space.
The unit has a built-in thermometer, a water pan, and is solid in construction. It is one of those cookers you can easily load and offload without worrying about breaking. It is durable and prevents rusting. This is the smoker you can use for many years because it is durable. For extra flavor, you can add hickory wood chips.
Wide charcoal door - It is 18.5 inches and allows you to load charcoal easily. It also prevents you from knocking the water pan and so it is the easiest to use.
Door latch - The latch ensures that the door is secure since it is spring loaded.
Thermometer - It comes with an in-built thermometer and so you don’t have to spend $50 on a thermometer to help you control the temperature. This is a useful feature that any best charcoal smoker should have.
Ash Catch pan - it makes it easier to clean the unit because all the ashes end up on the pan when burnt. It saves you from the hustle of dealing with dirty ashes as it is in other cases.
Price – The unit is not expensive yet it performs better than some of those expensive units available. The smoke production is minimal.
Front access door can easily be bent out of shape if you are not careful.
Char-Broil Vertical Charcoal Smoker
This is an authentic smokehouse that comes with nickel plated cooking grates. It has 726 inches of cooking space. This smoker comes with a snap on cover, individual vents, and a water pan. It comes with a 10 year limited warranty.
This smoker is considered great because it comes with built-in thermometer that keeps the temperature constant and is made of porcelain enamel steel. It gives you more space and allows you to cook as much food as possible. Even though, it is not the cheapest smoker in the market. Once you have learned how to regulate the temperature, you have no business to continue watching over it. It will do the cooking on its own. It comes with unique charcoal stand that allows you to put off the flame quickly. However, you need to be careful with access door since it can bend if it is knocked too hard. Once the door is put in place, it creates a good seal. The smoker allows you to add and remove charcoal as you continue cooking.
- It has enough space
- It can cook a lot of food at once
- It is convenient
- Charcoal is elevated above the ash so it can never smother the ash
- It is durable.
Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D charcoal offset smoker
- It is made of steel
- Dual door design
- Has six cooking crates
- Offset firebox
- Heavy gage steel charcoal
- Dyna-Glo is a nice unit designed to make work easier for the home chef.
- Sometimes it is difficult to maintain the temperature
- There are cases where smoke leaks through the firebox.
- It doesn’t maintain the temperature
- The thermometer is problematic
Dyna-Glo DGO11768DC-D is constructed from steel. It is thin and thus it easily loses heat when cooking. You need to keep an eye on this smoker when cooking during the day to ensure that the temperature remains constant.
It has a thin powder coating, thus, it is not advisable to leave it outside when it is raining. If you must leave it outside, ensure that it is well covered with a plastic bag. It has thin steel which should be replaced as soon as you notice that it has started rusting.
This smoker gives great results, it is inexpensive, and cooks fairly fast if you take care of the leaking problems.
Price - you really don’t have to shell out $10,000 on a charcoal smoker. Buy one that costs less than $100 but spacious.
Quality – check and ensure that you buy a quality smoker. Cheaper models are difficult to handle especially regulating heat.
Versatility – smokers that can double as a grill are the best.
Space – The best charcoal smoker is large and spacious.
Usage – consider the use you will put the unit to. If you just want to use the unit once, buy a smaller one. Check the capacity of the smoker and buy one that will feed not just your family but friends as well. Remember that the smoking process takes long, so buying a unit that allows you to prepare enough food will be the best charcoal smoker in this case.
The type of smoker you choose depends on the need you want to put the unit to. You have tons of smokers to choose from. Look at your budget and buy a unit you can afford. However, you need to remember that if you buy a cheap charcoal smoker you may have problems with regulating temperature and heat loss. Consider the number of people you want to feed and the warranty given. If these don't work for you, electric smoker options here might be the best choice.
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