Best Smokers For Beginners
If you’re wondering what kind of smoker you should be looking at as a beginner, here’s the ultimate beginners guide to the best smokers for beginners.
You could, of course, build your own smoker…
I’ll list the main fuel types and place an inconspicuous product placement for each one as I go along.
Propane Gas Smokers
A propane gas smoker is a special gas grill that operates on a propane tank that you can refill, known as LPG(Liquid Petroleum Gasoline). You can find small ones that hold enough gas for a few sessions of propane or the much bigger ones that can hold enough to last you an entire years worth of smoking.
They are usually built in straight vertical cabinets so they don’t take up too much space in your back yard and makes storage a super easy task.
While propane gas smokers don’t require the use of electricity it makes them much more portable than their electricity chewing brethren. These are also a tad more convenient when it comes to fuel consumption, there’s nothing left to clean up afterwards. Although there is always the inconvenience of getting the canister refuelled. Some may consider this a reason as to why a propane fuelled smoker is one of the best smokers for beginners.
Understanding how a propane smoker works may help you determine the choice for your smoking needs.
- The gas burner is usually located at the bottom and the knobs to control the temperature are close by.
- If you want to add additional flavour to your meats you’ll find a chip tray(wood chips) this tray is located above the gas burner. You’ll be able to place your favourite flavoured wood chips to add an extra dimension of flavour. A general complaint from the community is having to refill the tray to refresh the chips, so make sure it’s big enough for your needs.
- The gas canister is the only thing outside of the box you’ll need. The hose pipe will connect directly to it and rests on the floor nearby.
- The exhaust damper is found at the very top of your grill. This integral part controls your smokers input and output of fresh air, an important aspect of smoking is keeping it hot and at the right temperature but not too hot that it overheats and wrecks everything.
Benefits of a Gas Smoker:
What are the benefits of purchasing such a machine I hear you cry? Why wouldn’t my gas oven do the same thing? Keep following the rabbit and you’ll find out.
Cheapest Types Of Smoker
Now, this isn’t a specific rule, but generally speaking, they’re cheaper than most other types of smoker. You’ll find that the lower end range of propane gas smokers are half price of the wood smokers.
Readily Available Fuel Source
Once you get a propane tank you can just keep refilling it and to be honest, there are plenty of places to get them refilled. Any home depot store or garden store will be able to fill it up quickly and cheaply.
Your 20Lb tank will usually last for 18/20 hours of continuous burn time so you’ll have enough in there for a few sessions at least. I always find that on my last session I have just about enough gas to cook half a shoulder so you may want to keep a spare with you just in case something truly awful like this doesnt happen to you.
Drawbacks to Gas Smokers:
Some people say that as propane is the source of fuel, it leaves a different taste to the meat. Others don’t even notice it at all or may even decide not to pay attention to it for the cost of such a cheap fuel source. Deciding on the best smokers for beginners would more than likely want to take taste into account.
I mentioned above that there’s a handy little vent to control the temperature, you’ll need to keep an eye on fluctuations to ensure your smoker doesn’t heat up too quickly. Gas smokers can reach much higher temperatures than others so ultimately, you’ll need a thermometer to be able to cook your meats perfectly.
A wood pellet smoker is a fantastic piece of equipment, it’s a grill, it’s an oven and smoker wrapped into one man-made marvel of engineering. If you’re really looking to treat yourself with full smoked flavours then you wont go wrong with this type of smoker. One caveat though, it is somewhat difficult to maintain a heat high enough to give your meat the searing that they deserve. If you’re gonna go with a wood pellet smoker, make sure it’s insulated properly to keep the heat in.
Benefits of Wood Pellet Smokers:
There’s a few subtle differences between different smokers, one like electric and wood pellet smokers require power. A wood pellet smoker needs power as it controls and regulates temperature.
A Much Better Flavor
Flavour is down to choice, which chips and pellets you use will determine the outcome of the flavor. Wood pellets arguably give off the best tastes. The pellets are completely made from different woods so you won’t find your food with the chemically taste that a propane smoker might give you.
If you’re going to spend a boat load more cash on a smoker, then you’ll be able to get ones that have integrated apps that come with them. Can you imagine the look on your guests faces when you restock the pit with a flick on your phone? You have to admit that is pretty cool.
Drawbacks To Wood Pellet Smokers:
Fuel Costs Can Get Out Of Hand
You’ll need a ready supply of wood to keep up the temperatures. Some of the more expensive pellets will start to rack up costs if you’re not careful.
This might not be such a bad thing, if you’ve got somewhere to plug it in then sure you’re ready to go, most of them require a power supply to keep the temperature going so bear it in mind when you make a purchase.
I’d say along with the propane smoker, one of the best smokers for beginners is the electric smoker. There’s a range of reason why they’re a great choice for beginners.
Set it and forget it is probably the best reason you’ll be able to find when looking to buy an electric smoker. It’s quite an important reason too.
Benefits To An Electric Smoker:
Excel At Certain Foods
Without doubt, an electric smoker excels at cooking foods like fish, vegetables, nuts etc etc. It’s easier to cook good food in an electric smoker.
You Don’t Need Much Wood
You wont need too much wood in order to flavour your meats with an electric smoker. About 4 ounces should suffice, it’s getting wasteful after that point.
Drawbacks To An Electric Smoker:
Just Not As Good
Despite the ease of which you can use an electric smoker, superior food does come form the smoke and the high temperature of a proper wood smoker. Don’t get me wrong, electric smokers are great, but a wood pellet smoker is just better.
Special tip! If you need some good quality knives for slicing and dicing your newly smoked meats, check out The Knife Pro to get started with some quality knife sets and chef knives.