BBQ Smoker I get asked all the time... what's the best BBQ smoker
to buy? My answer usually leads them in the right direction and gives them a few places to start looking.
I usually tell people about one of the following bbq smokers...
- this is an insulated vertical smoker. They start around $600 to $700 for the large model.
- Traeger Pellet Smokers - This is a nice bbq smoker that burns wood pellets. The Lil' tex starts around $695. The digital controls and oversize hopper are a little extra though.
- Stumps Smoker - this is also an insulated vertical BBQ smoker with a gravity fed charcoal system. They start around $1600.
- Lang Smoker - This is a traditional offset type BBQ smoker. It is made of good
thick metal but it is not insulated. This offset BBQ smoker is unique in that it has a metal plate that runs the full length of the smoker just below the meat grate. The smoke travels
all the way to the other end of the smoker, over the meat, and out the smoke stack on the same side as the firebox. The Lang Model 60 starts at $2195.
- Fast Eddy's by Cookshack - This is a very nice pellet BBQ smoker with a vertical style. Used by many of the top BBQ competition teams. It is around $3295.
- Southern Yankee - these are rotisserie BBQ smokers and they have many
models to choose from. They range from small pull behind rotisseries to large concession trailers. They start at $3750 and go up from there.
And... their final decision usually has to do with the following factors...
- the amount of money you have to spend on a BBQ smoker has a lot to do with your decision. I
think the most bang for your buck is the Traeger Lil' Tex BBQ smoker - especially for the back yard BBQer. Although, many BBQ teams use these too. Whatever you do, don't go down to WalMart or
Home Depot and buy one of those small offset smokers for $300 or less. They are made out of very thin metal and the fireboxes do not ventilate well. You'll have trouble producing good BBQ on those things.
Work needed - A traditional offset BBQ smoker requires a lot of work tending the fire. Some people prefer a traditional offset smoker over something that burns charcoal, pellets, or propane. But let me warn
you... you'll be chopping a lot of wood to feed that hungry beast. You'll need to check your fire in most offset smokers every 15-30 minutes. The Southern Yankee are wood or charcoal burning too. That can
get very tiresome on a long overnight smoke. The Big Green Egg and Stumps Smokers will run a very long time on just one bag of charcoal. Of course, the Traeger and Fast Eddy's burn pellets that are fed automatically.
Insulated - The insulated BBQ smoker allows for long burns so you can get a little shut eye on those long overnight brisket smokes. The Big Green Egg and Stumps are insulated and burn charcoal.
Size - Look at how many square inches of cooking space you get for your money. Traeger Lil' Tex's are nice BBQ smokers, but you'll need two or three of them if you intend to compete with them. Of course
Traeger has many larger models to choose from including some commercial BBQ smokers.
Wood, pellets, or charcoal - What kind of smoke flavor do you like? Do you like charcoal or real wood? Or maybe a combination of both... usually, if you use charcoal for heat and throw some wood
chunks on top for flavor, you'll get a good result. Lump charcoal and Duraflame's hardwood briquettes are other options that produce a cleaner and hotter burn. Of course, wood pellets are real wood and the
results are similar to using real wood logs.
Type - You got your vertical smokers, vertical insulated smokers, traditional offset smokers (with the smoke stack opposite from the firebox), Lang offset smokers, pellet smokers, rotisserie smokers, gas
smokers, and all kinds of combinations of all of these. What BBQ smoker is best suited to your needs or wants?
BBQ Smoker Resources...
Big Green Egg - www.biggreenegg.com
Lang - www.pigroast.com
Stumps Smokers - www.stumpssmokers.com
Fast Eddy - www.cookshack.com
Southern Yankee BBQ - www.sybbq.com
Once you decide on what BBQ smoker to get, you'll need to learn how to use it right. So get a copy of
"Competition BBQ Secrets" and learn how the pro's do it on the competition BBQ circuit...