A BBQ (Barbecue) smoker cooks meat with a slow and low temperature taking an extended period. It creates smoke and holds for the meat to absorb.
The process of cooking meat can be done through various ways, but an ideal Barbecue smoker can do all the process smoothly and takes fewer efforts.
There are a few types of BBQ smokers out there in the market you can choose from. It depends on your need and of course what types of fuel you will use to make your BBQ. In this article, I am going to describe shortly about the types of BBQ smokers and its functionality.
Types of BBQ Smokers
A charcoal smoker will add your grill a natural smoky flavor whether a gas one is easy-to-use and convenient to make your grill. So, like other smoke gears, every BBQ smoker has its characteristics and functionalities.
- Vertical Water Smokers
- Horizontal Smokers
- Box Smokers (also known as Vault smokers, cabinet smokers, block smokers)
- Drum Smokers (also known as Ugly Drum Smoker)
- Smoker Ovens
- Kamado BBQ Smokers
- Pellet Grills
These are the BBQ smokers I am going to discuss briefly one by one about their functionality below.
Vertical Water Smokers
Due to its inexpensiveness, it has been one of the most popular smokers out there in the market. It is cylindrical having almost three parts. Its cooking compartment is at the top of fire and water tray. You can add necessary water or fuel as it has a door to do so.
Like other appliances, it also has some advantages and a few drawbacks too. Its most convenient features are its compactness. As a result, it needs little space. Though most smokers have a temperature control system, it does not have the same option to control temperature.
Horizontal (Offset) Smokers
A horizontal smoker mainly has two parts. One is used for fuel chamber and the other for cooking. There is a hole to travel produced smoke to the cooking chamber. Make sure before purchasing that there is no leaking to get out the created smoke other than through the chimney.
Its cooking chamber is larger than others to cook, but it takes extra time to heat up for the cooking.
As it looks like a box, it is called a box, vault or block smokers. It also has two chambers. The top one is for cooking, and the bottom one is for fuel. Before buying one, you should check that its cabinet door is airtight.
Due to its single door, loss of heat can happen, but the cooking chamber is easily accessible.
UDS (Ugly Drum Smoker) is a constructed merely smoker like vertical smokers. It uses steel construction. Like most smokers it has its cooking compartment at the top and below is the fuel tray.
After getting the charcoal heat entirely up, the lid remains closed placing meat on the cooking tray.
Its design and functions are comfortable but preparing pork and brisket may be messy.
It is easy to use because it runs with electricity and cooks fast. Most restaurants use this kind of smokers for their business purposes. There is an electric heating component at the bottom of the appliance to create heat for burning the wood.
When it gets heat up enough to cook, food is placed on the cooking rack. Its oven computer monitor can control and observe needed heat.
The main drawback of a smoker oven is it does not make food as tasty as traditional charcoal smokers. There is no need to observe all the time during cooking as it has an oven computer temperature control system.
Kamado BBQ Smokers
A ceramic grill is another name of Kamado BBQ smokers. Being a charcoal grill smoker, it is very popular and can add a smoky taste to food. One can use it as both grill and smoker.
It has top racks to load food at the top of the smoker but supplies direct heat to your desired food. To prevent this type of inconvenience, you can modify it with a product that can block direct radiant of the charcoal.
This smoker is versatile. So, you can use for both grilling and smoking. But it is more expensive than other smokers out there in the present market.
Natural hardwood pellets are used for creating smoke in pellet grills. As a result of burning wood, it produces smoke and adds the smoky flavor to the food.
The design of a pellet grill is it has a hopper which is external storage. Wood pellets are used to fill the storage to burn and produces smoke. A low-speed motor draws the pellets to the fire chamber where they start burning and creating smoke.
Pellet Grills also can be used as both smoker and grill but expensive as well.