Take your backyard barbecues to the next level with high-quality smokers from brands like Kamado, Bradley Smoker, and Dyna-Glo on Overstock. Select ultra-modern digital units complete with adjustable racks for hassle-free cookouts, or choose traditional charcoal-burning smokers for classic taste and function. Electric models with windows that let you see your meats cooking make it simple to gauge cook times, while smokers with remote controls let you turn temperatures up and down without leaving your guests. Discover stationary smoker grill units that pair well with contemporary outdoor kitchens or choose a smoker on caster wheels that let you easily cook in the shade or get out of harsh weather. Made from tough materials, including stainless steel, cast iron, and aluminum, these high-quality smokers from brands such as Brinkmann, Char-Broil, and MasterBuilt will hold up to frequent cookouts season after season.
An electric smoker is great if you want to be able to socialize with your BBQ guests, or if you're not up for a middle-of-the-night wakeup to check on the heat of your grill. Your electric smoker has a constant supply of fuel, and it may come equipped with a thermostat to make monitoring even easier. Once you're finished smoking, it's pretty easy to clean the inner grates; plus, most models are stainless steel, so food doesn't stick to anything. Finally, electric smokers are energy efficient and great for beginners just starting to dive into the BBQ world.
The downside to this smoker is that it's not as portable as a gas smoker since it requires an outlet. It also doesn't provide the same smoky flavor that so many BBQ purists hold dear to their hearts.
A gas smoker uses propane as its main source of fuel and heat. Similar to the electric smoker, heat and temperature remain consistent, and your monitoring will be pretty low maintenance. A propane smoker can hit higher temps than an electric one and you can vary the smoke level based on how many wood chips you add.
Because you're using a propane tank, your gas smoker will be easily portable for all of your outdoor cooking adventures. The propane smoker might also have a thermometer for easy temperature monitoring. Compared to an electric smoker, a gas BBQ smoker will give you more of that smoky flavor you crave.
A charcoal smoker is the model BBQ diehards gravitate towards, and it's not just about the mouthwatering flavor it provides. Instead, charcoal is considered the standard because of the experience it gives the chef; some devotees would claim that they love getting up in the middle of the night to check on the smoker, or painstakingly monitoring the temperature and heat levels over the course of 24 hours or more. The level of convenience you crave will be an important factor in determining if you go with charcoal for your smoker.
Aside from the smoking experience, charcoal grills do provide that undeniable smoky flavor on your meats. You can create nuanced flavor by mixing flavored charcoal and wood chips to build your signature BBQ blend, like a true gourmet chef. Pay attention to the quality of the charcoal you're using, and avoid self-starting charcoal with lighter fluid additives, which can spoil your meat's taste profile.
Many charcoal models, like Kamado, can be used to grill your meat as well. The ability to do both high-temperature grilling and low-and-slow smoking in one unit is a huge advantage for many grilling enthusiasts.
Keep in mind that with charcoal, starting the fire can take longer than you expect. The smoking process will take about an extra 30-45 minutes than with other types of smokers. Plus, maintaining the fire is pretty tricky and requires constant, hands-on attention; you'll improve with practice.
Finally, a pellet smoker blends the convenience of electric and gas smokers with the smoke flavor of a charcoal model. Just like the Kamado charcoal grill/smoker, you can get two appliances for the price of one. The pellet models work as both a smoker and a grill if you're looking for a two-for-one grilling and smoking combo, or if you think your gas grill is about to bite the dust.
The cooking chamber gets filled with chips of wood that create heat and smoke when lit. A pellet smoker typically has a temperature-control dial that allows you to set it and forget it so you can socialize with your guests or mix your signature barbecue rub (provided that you have enough wood for fuel, of course).
Similar to a charcoal smoker, you can blend different wood flavors together for a unique taste. However, the smoke flavor isn't quite as deep or rich as it would be if you were using a charcoal smoker, and a pellet smoker may come at a higher price than the other types of smokers. Again, the level of convenience you crave will be the main deciding factor here, as well as whether you want a combination smoke/grill BBQ grill.