If you enjoy grilling outdoors and you grill for daily meals as well as special events, you may also like using a BBQ smoker. Smoking requires different skills than grilling, so it's both challenging and rewarding to master meat smoking. Here are some things to consider when looking at BBQ smokers to buy.
You can buy a smoker for a few hundred dollars, and you can buy one for several thousand dollars. Sometimes you pay more for the brand, and other times, you pay for quality. High quality is important at the competition level so that smoke and heat don't leak out. That requires thick metal with tight seals.
However, you don't need to spend a lot of money on a smoker for backyard cooking. A small electric or bullet smoker is much less expensive and still makes tasty food for your family and friends.
You don't need a huge smoker for home needs, especially if you won't be using the smoker frequently. You can buy smokers large enough that they need to be hauled on a trailer, but when you want a BBQ smoker for your patio, you'll want one much smaller. Think about how much space you have on your patio so the smoker doesn't crowd your grill. Then consider how much space is inside the smoker. A bullet or cabinet smoker has shelves so you can cook a lot of food in a small space.
If your interest is in preparing good food for your family, then an electric or gas smoker might work for you. These are easy for beginners to use and get consistently good results. However, wood and charcoal are traditional fuel sources and the type of fuel used in BBQ competitions. You may prefer wood, wood pellets, or charcoal if you want a more authentic taste, and you want to learn the art of manually controlling temperature and smoke to get your meat to turn out just right.
Different smokers have different features, so be sure to compare different types of smokers as well as different brands. Adjustable shelves are nice so you can fit in large turkeys or slabs of meat. Storage areas on the smoker give you space to keep your cooking supplies, and temperature control is helpful when you're first learning how to smoke meat. Some smokers have ways to add more pellets or charcoal without causing a drop in smoke or temperature. You can buy smokers with advanced features, but you'll pay more.
For more information, contact a company like BBQ Island.