There are two types of cheap smokers in this world. There is the one that looks like Uncle Karl in a white t-shirt and smells like a five-alarm house fire and there is the one that is inexpensive and prepares delicious meals. It is fair to assume you aren’t looking for another Uncle Karl.
Having an inexpensive meat smoker is an excellent way to enjoy delicious tasting meats and vegetables that have been roasted or enhanced with a smokey flavor. From simple meals to family gatherings, you will most likely find that you want to smoke more and more often, although probably not as much as Uncle Karl.
The Science Behind The Smoke
Believe it or not, there is real science behind smoking meats and other foods. Smoking was used for generations as a means of preserving meat before refrigeration. The smoke permeates the cells of the meat forming a small, thin antimicrobial barrier that prevents the bacteria that causes food to go rancid take hold. While not as effective as refrigeration, it is certainly more effective than if you don’t have a fridge.
The habit of preserving meat in this way was so prevalent that eventually, the taste for smoked meats became a part of who and what we are as people. Some scientists have suggested that the taste of smoked meats is now in many people’s genetic makeup.
A Simple Smoker
Regardless of that being true or not, what is factual is that smoked meats are a great way to enjoy a meal and you don’t have to break the bank to have one. Your common smokers are a box that has a section for a fuel source to provide heat and a cooking area. The heat both cooks the meat and provides the heat to smolder the wood to produce the smoke. Overall, a simple and elegant concept to getting a meal you will never forget.
Five Great Inexpensive Smokers
Top Indoor/Outdoor Kettle Smoker
Perfect for those without a lot of space for a traditional smoker, this model – Nordic Ware 365 Series Smoker can be used indoors or outdoors and it can be used with any fuel source. This model uses a wood chip dust to mix with water to add the smokey flavor to foods and it can be done right on your stove top.
It is made with a heavy duty construction and it comes with a temperature gauge that is easy to see and read. Easy to use and operate, this kettle style smoker is well liked by those who use it with the most common remark being how convenient it is to use for them.
Best Charcoal Smoker on the Market
The Char-Broil Vertical Charcoal Smoker is a traditional style, vertical smoker that uses charcoal as the fuel source. It has multiple grates for placing food at various levels in the smoker and it has a porcelain-coated water bowl.
It has an upper cook box and a lower fire box so you can open one without affecting your smoke production and there are multiple vents on the side to help you master the air flow for the optimal production. These types of smokers are very popular and relatively easy to use and people who have this specific model love how convenient and easy to use this smoker is.
Top Rated Electric Bullet Smoker
Found in many homes across the country, this electric smoker – Masterbuilt Model #20078616 Smoker uses the robot or bullet style to provide plenty of room for smoking your favorite meats. With over 350 square inches of cooking space, this unit uses a single element to consistently provide heat and smoke, up to 400 degrees to ensure properly smoked and prepared meats.
It has an easy to clean system and the front door allows you to check on your meat without losing the heat of opening the lid. People who have this model love how easy it is to use since there is no need to add fuel or monitor the fire level.
Best Patio Gas Smoker Grill for the Price
Another bullet or robot design, the Gracelove Patio Series Gas Smoker one uses charcoal and wood chips to ensure you get quality smoked meats. Constructed of a solid gauge metal with powder coating, this model has a lower fire box and a separate cook box with lid and upper grate.
This design offers plenty of room while at the same time focusing the heat and smoke on allowing you to adjust for your flavor. Each layer or level has its own door and it comes with a water bowl for smoke production. This design is also popular with those that use this specific model remarking about how well the unit is constructed and how great the results are.
Best Portable Electric Smoker
The Masterbuilt Model #20073716 Smoker is a vertical style, box smoker that is electric and portable. Perfect for tailgating, camping or using around the house when you want smoked food, this unit has a 1400W element to deliver plenty of heat and smoke with your favorite wood chips.
The legs fold for easy portability and the unit has a built in temperature gauge so you can monitor your meats to get them just perfect. People who have purchased and use this model love the convenience of electric and how portable this unit is with many using it for camping.
For the best results, read and follow all manufacturer instruction concerning the care and cleaning of your smoker.