Choosing the best food smoker / BBQ smoker

We hope the following information will help you to choose the best food smoker / BBQ smoker.

Type of Food Smoking / BBQ Smoking

Firstly for those new to food smoking hot and cold food smoking is often confused so here are the differences: Hot food smoking also known as BBQ smoking is cooking meat and fish at low temperatures for long periods of time and introducing wood smoke for a part of the cooking time. The BBQ smoker devices used have a barrier between the fire and the food to prevent the food drying out and burning. A vertical food smoker uses a water bowl between the fire and the food and a horizontal smoker has an offset fire box mounted on the side of the smoker as a way of separating food from fire. Cold smoking is a food preservation process using a combination of curing with brine or salt rub and exposure to COLD smoke for very long periods of time. It is an exacting process that will require attending a cold smoking course or reading up on the subject.

Best Shape BBQ Smoker for Hot Food Smoking

For hot smoking there are 2 shapes: vertical and horizontal both work well but do have their differences. Horizontal smokers are also known as barrel smokers and have a firebox bolted to the side with a hole between for the heat and smoke to enter the main chamber. The advantage of a horizontal smoker is that they double up as a BBQ grill, the disadvantages is that they don't have a water bowl and the fire needs to be replenished more often than a vertical smoker.

If your main requirement is meat and fish smoking then a vertical smoker is the best shaped smoker.

Which is the best brand of meat smoker?

ProQ Vertical Meat Smokers

The ProQ brand of food smoker is designed in Britain and manufactured in China. The design criteria was to build a BBQ smoker which was the right size, well priced and, most importantly, irons out the design flaws in other manufacturers vertical smokers as detailed below: - Three models Ranger, Frontier and Excel 20 to suit every smoker requirement - Modular design so all ProQ models can be increased or decreased in size - Easly lift off top sections for full access to fire basket - Modular design allows for easy access to each smoking compartment - Four vents for full control of air flow. Important for extended cooking duration - Mesh fire basket for even burning charcoal

Weber Smokey Mountain Hot Smoker

Weber produce 3 models of their range of Smokey Mountain BBQ smokers. These are 37cm, 47cm, 57cm in diameter. They are all true to the Weber quality, but this quality comes at a price. So all in all a serious contender and besides from price there is only one other disadvantage and that is you can only properly access the middle grill by removing the top grill.

Brinkmann Smoke n Grill Vertical BBQ Smoker

The Brinkmann Smoke n Grill is an entry level vertical BBQ smoker under 100 so the perfect option for those with limited budgets. The Smoke n Grill has 2 cooking grills, water bowl and fire bowl, but no vents in the base, so air flows through the gap between the fire bowl and the side of the smoker. There is a vent in the lid. The Brinkmann Smoke n Grill will produce good results but you will need to be aware of the following. As the body is in one piece you need to remove both cooking grills to make and replenish the fire.
A great hot smoker with some drawbacks so if can stretch you budget then consider the Brinkmann Gourmet BBQ Smoker. Brinkmann Gourmet BBQ Smoker.

The Brinkmann Gourmet BBQ Smoker
is the same size as the Smoke n Grill and costs roughly 20 more, but definitely worth it. The Gourmet food smoker has a separate base for the fire which also doubles up as a mini portable BBQ. The main advantage is that you just lift off the main body of the smoker to access the fire. Verdict: If you are looking for an entry level BBQ smoker that doubles up as a portable BBQ and is easy to use then the Brinkmann Gourmet is the best in its price range.

Cheaper Brands
There are many cheaper BBQ food smokers that will do the job but might not stand the test of time.

The good news is that whatever BBQ food smoker you choose you will be able to produce delicious good quality meat and fish that in our opinion far surpasses food cooked using the traditional BBQ grilling method.