The concept of preparing and enjoying preserved, smoked food has been around for centuries. Smoke provides a minor anti microbial effect as well as preventing the food from becoming rancid. Over time, the need for smoke as a preservative and we were able to just smoke food for the enjoyment of the flavor.
As popular as it ever has been, making your own smoked food at home is easy and convenient. The key element in having great smoked food at home is having a quality smoker. Found in almost every price point and affordable for almost any budget, smoking meat is a great way to enjoy time with family and friends or to stock up.
Smoke With The Water
There are two basic types of smoking methods, one is a dry smoke and the other a wet smoke. A dry smoke is where only the smoke and heat are added into the smoke box, where the food is. A wet smoke uses a combination of wood and water to produce a moist smoke, which along with the heat, cooks the food and adds flavor. There is a wide debate as to which is the better but the facts are that a dry smoke tends to work better for certain cuts and types of meat, while a wet smoke works for different cuts and types.
In essence, it boils down to personal preference. Although, a dry smoke is perfect for jerky and other dried meats, as no excess moisture is added due to the lack of water in the cycle. Both types work for many smokers and a lot of smokers can be used with either method, although some work better with one than the other. Other than wet or dry, there are smokers that use charcoal, wood chips or pellets, propane or a combination of the above. So, choose the one that is right for your needs.
Five Great Smokers For Your Home
Top Rated Propane Smoker
The Camp Chef Smoke Vault Series 18 inch Smoker is a compact, yet with a roomy interior, vertical smoker for home use. It uses propane and will produce a temperature range of between 50 and 500 degrees, thus allowing you to even bake. It has adjustable racks and a temperature gauge built into the door for checking the temp without having to open the door.
It has three adjustable dampeners to get the heat and air flow mix perfectly balanced for excellent cooking. Highly recommended, people who purchased this smoker love the fast, easy set up and excellent and delicious results.
Best Glass Door Electric Smoker
Called the glass series due to the all glass door, the Cajun Injector Glass Series Smoker is perfect for home use. The glass door allows you to see the progress of your meats without having to open the door. It is an all digital system with the temperature displayed at the to on the control panel over the door, so you can check without having to bend down.
It is an electric smoker and it comes with multiple racks and even hangers for ribs or sausage. Another highly recommended smoker, people who purchased this smoker love the glass door and the digital controls for making things easier.
Best Vertical LP Gas Smoker
This smoker – Smoke Hollow Model #44241G2 Smoker has dual, tube style burners to produce a generous amount of heat for smoking. Fueled by propane, this vertical smoker is a 44 inch, smoking powerhouse that is the largest in the Smoke Hollow Brand. Powder black coating adds resistance to rust and corrosion and the cavernous interior will handle almost any size cut of meat, including large game birds.
It has a lower firebox door so you can check your burner status without compromising your heat and smoke. People who purchased this smoker love the fast assembly, so they can get to cooking quickly.
Best 4-Rack Digital Smoker
This model smoker was made for Jim Beam by the Bradley Smoker company. The Jim Beam Model #BTDS76JB Smoker is an all electric and digital smoker that uses the Bradley wood wafers for smoke generation. This is a fire and forget smoker as once the hopper is located, and the digital controls set, it will handle the rest on it’s own.
The digital controls are very user friendly, and the interior area offers a generous amount of room for even large birds. People who purchased this smoker, love the friendly nature of the controls and the easy loading and go aspects of this smoker.
Best Smoker for Home Use
Designed for the home, this glass door, electric and all digital smoker is perfect for those who don’t want to sit and wait. This smoker – Masterbuilt Model #20075315 Smoker has over 900 cubic inches of cooking space and a windowed door so you can check your food without having to open the door.
It has a built in meat probe, in addition to the RF remote so you don’t even have to get up. Multiple racks and a easy wood chip leading feature make this smoker, almost hassle free. People who purchased this smoker love the solid and robust digital controls and the remote system.
Be sure to use your smoker, outdoors and keep it at least five feet from the home, as the exteriors will heat up. For long term results, use a smoker cover to protect your smoker from the elements.
As with any purchase, read and follow all instructions found in the manual, especially the cleaning instructions as some manufacturers require different methods.