The advantages of using a smoker are many, not the least of which is producing a flavor that is comparable to the kind you get in top steakhouses. Smoking is a slow-cooking process, which helps to preserve the meat’s natural flavor while giving it a distinctive smoky taste.
Looking to buy your own meat smoker? Here are some of the best cookers out there:
Best Charcoal Smoker to Buy
Sometimes bigger is better and with Weber 731001 Smokey Mountain Cooker you have plenty of room to cook. The 22-inch model has 728 square inches of cooking space – enough to smoke an entire ham and turkey at the same time. The cooking space includes two plated-steel grill grates, enabling you to double up your cooking efforts.
The built-in lid thermometer makes it easy to monitor your cooking and keep it within the optimal 200 to 275 degrees range. The unit also includes four rust-resistant air dampers to help you regulate heat, while its large aluminum fuel door makes it easy to add charcoal when needed.
Also included with this cooker is a porcelain-enameled water pan for high-humidity slow cooks that will produce juicy, tender results every time.
Users appreciate the easy assembly of this cooker, which comes in three main pieces and can be ready for use in less than a half hour. Reviewers also liked the unit’s spring-latched main door, which is bigger than in previous models and makes it easy to add charcoal or wood chunks.
Best Vertical Gas Smoker
The Masterbuilt name has long been know for quality and its new propane smoker lives up to that reputation. The Masterbuilt Propane Smoker gas smoker’s two grill racks offer 717 square inches of cooking space – perfect for just about every kind of cooking. It also comes with a water pan and wood chip tray that are each coated with porcelain.
The smoker’s exterior is durable and able to withstand daily use and abuse without a flinch. It’s also sealed tightly, and unlike some two-door models, it doesn’t leak smoke. It’s also easy to get started with its push-button ignition, and has a built-in temperature gauge on the door (and door handles made of wire and cool to the touch).
Users like the ease of this propane model because they don’t need to constantly stoke charcoal and wood chips as with non-gas models. It’s ease of assembly was another plus with reviewers, as was the ability to maintain low heat to cook long and slow.
Best Infrared Smoker, Roaster, and Grill
This versatile unit – Char-Broil Big Easy Infrared Smoker can be used for smoking, grilling, as well as roasting meat and any kind of food. Its infrared technology eliminates the need for charcoal and flame flare-ups and provides consistent cooking every time.
The Big Easy comes with 180 square inches of grilling area – not as big as some models but still big enough to hold a 25-pound turkey. It also comes with a roaster and roasting basket; the basket is easily removed from the unit. There’s also a removable grease tray which makes clean-up an easy process. It also lives up to its ‘Big Easy’ name with a handy rotary ignition switch.
Users appreciated the tray which captures the drippings, both for its ease of clean-up but also because it can used to make good gravy. Reviewers also liked how easy it was to use, and the overall even cooking the unit provides.