How to choose the correct bbq smoker

bbq smoker
bbq smoker

To choose the right bbq smoker, consider the frequency of usage, how much food to prepare, initial and maintenance cost and its other features. Have a really good look at what you are going to be buying. Also, assess how you think you will need to use it. A BBQ smoker can be a stand-alone unit or a part of a barbecue grill. It is used for cooking food at low temperatures of around 110 degrees and in this day and age you can more or less put any type of food on it too.

Using a grill that uses charcoal

With these bbq grills, you light a fire with charcoal (either lump or briquettes). You need a supply of charcoal on hand in order to work a charcoal grill, so if you don’t have that, you can’t grill on a whim. Also, he next day after you grill, you’ll need to dispose of the leftover ash. The trade off for that inconvenience? Flavour.

Charcoal smoke infuses your food with that irresistible backyard-cookout taste. The flavour is not so apparent with quickly grilled things like chicken breasts and burgers, but low and slow foods like ribs (which need hours of gentle heat over the coals) pick up terrific notes of smoke and wood. A charcoal fire, at least when it’s first lit, also generates far more heat than a gas grill, so if you like a nice sear on your steaks, that’s a good thing to keep in mind.

Gas barbecues

Gas barbecues are perfect for healthy cooking and are more convenient to use. Usually mounted on trolleys, these barbecues feature one or several burners for even heat distribution and accurate cooking. Gas barbecues also offer a fast heat-up time. They are typically fuelled by propane or butane gas. This is from spare canisters of which can easily be stored on the barbecue trolley. The body of these barbecues can be filled with lava rocks for better heat distribution.

Electric barbecues

Mounted on legs or placed on a table, electric barbecues are easy to use and better suited to city dwellers or anyone who doesn’t have the room for a bulkier gas or charcoal model. Powered by an heating element, these barbecues offer precise temperature adjustments. They are practical, compact, lightweight and provide quick cooking times.

Worth noting

There’s a subtle but significant difference between one of the best smokers and a barbecue. While both cook food infused with smoke created by fats dropping on to hot coals or a heat-radiating sheet of metal, a bona fide smoker does it much more efficiently and over a really long period – five to 12 hours – until the meat generates a thick ‘bark’ or crust and the pink flesh beneath it literally falls off the bone.


While liquid propane has been the standard fuel type for many years, an increasing number of customers are having natural gas lines installed. The advantage of using natural gas is having a constant gas supply. Liquid propane tanks require maintenance as they must be exchanged periodically when the tank runs out. However, despite the extra maintenance required with LP tanks, there are still advantages to using them. Propane grills can be easily re-located and the cost of using liquid propane tanks versus installing a gas line is far more economical. LP tanks have also been standardised, making them adaptable to fit most gas grills.

Grills must be ordered with a specific fuel type: natural gas or propane. With rare exception, it is not easy to convert from one fuel source to another. If the need arises to alter the fuel type after original purchase, conversion kits can be purchased at additional costs. The process of conversion can be labour intensive, even with the aid of the kit.


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