Learn about 5 Types of Smokers

You have watched a thousand BBQ recipes on Netflix and YouTube, tested the mouth-watering smoked meat from Big Green Egg. 

Now, you are determined on your way to test your own barbeque! So, you sit in front of your Pc or Mac, start searching on Amazon, Home Depot, and MasterBuilt for BBQ smokers. 

Woe!

The spirits you had looking for a smoker go down to zero because of the availability of smokers. 

There are thousands of options in the market and you become bogged down with the number of smokers.

So, it’s easy to become pissed off and lose the idea of a smoker. 

Fortunately, we are here for you to help. We enlisted different types of smokers along with their pros and cons. In return, you can pick the best type of smoker for BBQ.

Without skipping the page, stay with us till the end of this guide. 

What is a Smoker?

A smoker is a cooking appliance that’s designed to cook at low temperatures in a controlled & smoky environment, imparting flavor to the food. 

smoker

You can find a wide range of smokers in the market, from gas to electric smokers. 

Each type of smoker has a unique design, advantage, and disadvantage. Plus, each of them uses different fuels to produce heat and smoke. 

No matter what types of fuels it requires, you must smoke the food at a stable temperature with smoke (around 225-degree F). 

Indeed, a smoker is cooking equipment that holds low temperatures and produces smoke to cook food.

How Many Types of Smokers are There?

In the market, you can find the following kinds of smokers, including: 

  • Charcoal smoker
  • Offset smoker
  • Gas or Propane smoker
  • Pellet smoker
  • Electric smoker

Now, let’s know more about each of the smokers, their upsides, and downsides. 

Charcoal Smoker

A charcoal smoker is the most sought-after smoker to the BBQ enthusiasts for ultimate smoking efficiency, durability, and affordable price. 

Due to its vertical shape, sometimes this smoker is also known as a vertical or bullet smoker. 

Some charcoal smokers have two cooking grates to smoke large items or multiple roasts. As a result, you can feed a large family or enjoy the backyard annual BBQ party with your friends. 

The water pan above the bottom compartment helps to deflect the direct heat and creates a moist environment. On top of that, most charcoal smokers come with dampers. Using them, you can control the heat and smoke to get even smoked meat. 

Therefore, you can also add wood chips to get the extra flavor to your meat. 

Considering all, a charcoal smoker will be the best smoker for a large family.  However, it comes in different sizes. So, you can pick the one according to the number of your family members.

Pros:

  • Fits in the patio due to its compact design  
  • No learning curve or easy to use
  • Affordable price
  • Durable
  • Portable

Cons:

  • A bit challenging to clean  

Offset Smoker

An offset smoker is a type of smoker with a horizontal chamber where you keep the food.

And the firebox on the side from where heat and smoke travel into the chamber to cook & smoke food at slow and low temperature. 

It will be your best trait if you have enough room and a large number of people to feed with mouth-watering smoked meat.

However, maintaining a stable temperature and clean fire depends on the experience, which comes from practice and passion. 

Charcoal and wood both can be used to achieve your desired flavor. To control the temperature, it has a vent to open or close the door to draw or put away air. 

Though it takes time and effort to master using an Offset smoker, you can cook the world-best and delicious meat with it. 

Pros:

  • Allow you to cook a lot of meats 
  • Let you add more fuel without opening the cooking chamber
  • It would be the best choice who love old or traditional smoking method

Cons:

  • A steep learning curve  
  • Need more fuel  

 Gas or Propane Smoker

Gas or propane smoker uses gas or propane as its fuel source to provide consistent heat to cook. However, the flow of this smoker is- it wouldn’t produce smoke.

So, you must use wood chips or chunks for producing smoke to bring a smoky flavor. 

We recommend you have multiple propane tanks on hand as a single tank will not be enough for a longer cook. 

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Simple to control temperature
  • Offer faster cooking or smoking process

Cons:

  • The smoked meat by gas smoker taste a bit bitter  

Pellet Smoker

Do you look for a smoker that allows you to cook, smoke, grill, or bake meat at the same time?

Then, a pellet smoker is what you seek. 

A pellet smoker features a built-in thermometer to control heat and smoke. It uses wood pellets as its fuel source which ignites slowly and cleanly compared to the wood chips. 

This type of smoker is best for cooking ribs, briskets, and turkey. And the best part is- using a pellet smoker is effortless. 

Pros:

  • Offer all-in-one cooking solution
  • Produce less messes and take almost no effort to clean
  • Convenient to use

Cons:

  • Finding the fuel (wood pellets) is a bit difficult

Electric Smoker

If you are new in the BBQ world but willing to cook your own delicious barbeque without burning wood, then Electric Smoker will be your ideal pick. 

Electric Smoker made smoking simple. Just read the smoker instructions, prepare your recipes, keep it on the cooking racks, set temperature and timer, then go for a walk.

The smoker alone does everything for you. 

Pros:

  • No learning curve
  • Easy to control the temperature
  • Let you do other tasks
  • Save your bucks as you don’t need to buy additional fuel

Cons:

  • A bit harder to smoke chicken ribs evenly

Conclusion

So, which types of smokers will be best? 

Actually, it depends on your personal preferences and how easy you feel with a smoker. 

If you are comfortable with an electric smoker, then go for it. On the other hand, if you want to explore the old-school fun of smoking, then an offset smoker will be your best trait. 

Now, it’s up to you!!

Which type of smoker are you going to take in your lineup? Or which one do you recommend most for others?

Let us know by leaving a comment below.