Lots of people love the taste of barbecue, but they don’t think they’ll ever be able to make their own at home. They assume that it requires a massive, custom-built smoker or pit that is far beyond the reaches of their budget. They also assume that they won’t have the time or skill to use one if they could afford it.
Lucky for you, both of those assumptions are wrong. While it is true that the biggest units are necessary for restaurants and big events, it is also true that you can make great barbecue in a small smoker. The average backyard barbecue fan can buy a smoker that will “meat” their needs without going broke–or going to school.
Gas smokers are a great option for the aspiring smoke chef. These units are compact, affordable, and easy to use. They achieve the correct temperature faster and provide the option to do regular gas grilling in between rounds of barbecue. It is just a matter of locating an expert source on how to choose a gas smoker. Once you’ve researched the different models on the market, you can buy your model of choice and get started in the wonderful world of barbecue.
One thing that all the Top rated gas smokers on the market have in common is burners that can be adjusted precisely.
We all know that the key to good barbecue is the ability to achieve and maintain the right temperature, so this is a major point to consider when you are shopping for a gas smoker.
Some burner controls only require half a turn to go from minimum to maximum temperature. This makes it nearly impossible to finesse the flame to your desired level. Gas burners that cannot be tweaked to your exact needs will never get you the temperature you want, so choose a gas smoker that has a wide range of adjustment.
Sufficient Wood Space
Temperature is key in barbecuing, but the flavor is what it’s really all about. A gas smoker will easily generate all the heat you need using the gas burners, but it will still rely on wood to take care of the flavor. The only way to create the right flavor in your barbecue is to have the right kind of wood to use in your smoker–and the right amount of it.
Because some gas smokers pull double duty as regular grills, they aren’t designed with enough room for wood.
The smoker box is treated as an afterthought and ends up undersized. Make sure you choose a model that allows you to burn enough wood to generate a steady supply of good smoke. It also needs a sturdy damper that will allow you to adjust the rate at which your wood burns. If it goes too fast, your wood is quickly consumed and leaves an overpowering flavor. If it burns too slowly, you end up with bland meat.
Your gas smoker is a long-term investment. If you properly maintain it, you should get many years of reliable performance out of it. Thin metal will never withstand the elements or the twisting and turning of rolling the smoker from place to place, so it is important to choose a gas smoker made of sturdy materials.
Metal finishes are important as well. Unprotected surfaces will quickly corrode as smoke, spices, marinades, and grease accumulate. That’s true no matter how conscientious you are about cleaning. You also want gas lines that are made of thick materials, positioned in a way that won’t crease or bind them during operation, transport, or storage.
As much as we might like to eat barbecue every meal, the fact is that we sometimes like to prepare other kinds of food. Those of us who prefer flame-cooked meats probably grill more often than we smoke, so if you’re in the market for a gas smoker, you may want one that also doubles as a gas grill.
These models have several advantages.
First, they eliminate the need for a separate grill. This results in less expense and less space. You will also keep a closer eye on the condition of your smoker if you are grilling on it every few days instead of just doing a round of smoking a couple of times a month.
While the purists may insist on a smoking setup that is 100% wood, the fact of the matter is that gas smokers can do a fantastic job making barbecue, and they can do it with less setup time, less wood, and greater versatility. If you’re in the market for a gas smoker, look for one that meets the standards we’ve addressed today as well as the particular needs you have for making barbecue the way you like it.