How To Choose A Barbecue Smoker

There are virtually endless variations in methodology depending upon equipment, the style of BBQ or smoker grill and personal preferences. However, here are some universal guidelines for choosing a barbecue smoker grill.

A smoker should be a long term investment. As a general rule, buy the best smoker you can afford and justify. Here are some considerations.

If you just don’t have time to maintain a charcoal or wood fire for long burns, consider gas or electric. Smoke is generated by heating shavings or sawdust. You will sacrifice the authentic wood smoke flavor and the feeling of pride and accomplishment derived from managing a fire properly for a long time to produce outstanding barbecue.

Good-One Patio Smoker/Grills are portable and easy to use. Charcoal will give some smoke flavor which may be supplemented by adding chunks of wood during the burn. The cheaper water smokers require a lot of fire tending and are usually modified to improve performance.

The Good-One Smoker/Grill is more expensive but is well built, durable, and controllable, holds temperature for a long time and is assembled and ready to Smoke right off the sales floor. Kettles and barrel smokers can be used but special precautions and techniques are required to maintain the proper temperature and avoid flare-ups.

Are you just going to cook for family and a few friends, or have large parties or even do some catering?

This is how easy it is to move the smoker around, all Good-One Patio models come with 10? pneumatic tire for easy portability.

Metal Thickness and Quality
Check the thickness of the metal construction, also look for Smokers that are welded together not bolted. The Cheaper the smoker the more bolts to hold it together, thus causing heat loss among the bolt joints.

Temperatures and Smoke
Temperature is really what distinguishes Smoking from other forms of cooking with fire. Smoking is a form of smoke cooking but smoke cooking (which includes higher temperatures) is not necessarily barbecuing. You may use a grill to make barbecue but it is not grilling (also a high temperature cooking method). Cold smoking is done at temperatures of less than 120º F.

Actually, there are only two rules in Smoking on Good-One Smoker/Grill barbecues…

1. Low and slow: Long cooking times of four to twenty four hours, depending upon the meat, at temperatures ranging from 200º to 275º F. measured at the meat level allows tough meat to get tender without drying out. 225º to 250º is ideal.

2. Keep your smoke sweet: Stale or acrid smoke results in a strong, bitter and unpleasant flavor.

Keep a small but active fire
Maintain airflow through the smoker. Keep the upper spinner open 1 ½ turns and regulate the fire with the bottom spinners Do not let the fire smolder or starve for air.

Use high quality wood for smoke.

Wood should be well seasoned, only use green wood if you really know what you are doing.

Use only hardwoods for smoke. Hickory, oak and cherry are fine traditional woods and easy for beginners to use. Avoid wood from conifers or needle bearing trees such as pine.

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About The Author, Ron Goodwin
Ron Goodwin is one of the founders of "The Good-One™" Smoker/Grill. Rons smoker and barbecue grill articles offer information about the Good-One Smoker, barbecue, trailer smoker techniques and grilling tips and barbecue and smokers product information.