Best Smoker for Beginners
If there’s one thing we can all agree on, no matter our political leanings or the size of our bank accounts, it’s that barbecue is great. If you can look me in the eye and tell me you don’t enjoy sinking your teeth into a perfectly cooked rack of ribs than you’re either a fool or a liar.
Bbq being great is a universal truth, and I’m not here to listen to anyone trying to tell me otherwise. While we all love going out for bbq, there’s also a deep pleasure in firing up the grill and doing your own version of your favourite meal. Something about being in the backyard, cold beer in hand, playing some lawn games, smoking or grilling some delicious meat is a pleasure than can rarely be duplicated. One of life’s simple pleasures, to be sure.
Now, most people are able to grill with relative success; home cooks don’t always get it perfect but it’s typically pretty good. Once grilling has been mastered then, what’s the natural evolution of a bbq person? It’s to smoke meat. Smoking is a much more exacting and patient exercise, but the results of a perfectly cooked brisket or pork butt is a feeling that can only be matched by that of getting married or having your first child. Hyperbolic, you say? Absolutely not, as a finely smoked piece of meat is as close to nirvana as many of us will ever get.
When we were thinking about our love of meat and bbq, it made sense to pair that with our love of backyards. And what better way to add to an already great place than bringing a smoker into the mix? We initially thought that these would be quite pricey, but after doing our homework and looking at the options out there, we found that there are quite a few affordable options for the beginner smoker.
These aren’t necessarily the biggest and baddest smokers on the market, but that’s not what the beginner needs. These are simple to use, don’t take up the entirety of your backyard or deck, and will still smoke and assist you in creating delicious meat.
It’s probably going to take a few attempts to get your recipe and smoking times correct, but that’s all part of the fun and challenge of smoking meat in the backyard. The three smokers we chose to review here will assist you in finding your sweet spot without breaking the bank or taking up all of your space. They are from recognized labels who know what they’re doing when it comes to grilling and smoking, which is partly why we chose them. Each will provide something a little different than the last, and depending on what you need, should cater to whatever it is you’re looking for.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at what we have determined to be the three best smokers for beginners.
Best Smoker for Beginners
The first smoker we wanted to take a look at was this one from Masterbuilt. Masterbuilt has been in the game for a long time and is a trusted name in grills. What initially caught our attention was the fact that this is an electric, digital smoker.
While some purists may turn up their nose at the idea of an electric smoker, this is something that will work quite well for the beginner looking to get their feet wet. The digital aspect makes the temperature easier to read, obviously, as well as easier to control. When you’re first getting started, having a few helping hands along the way makes the journey that much easier.
In addition to those things, this smoker has 730 square inches of space to smoke as well as four chrome-coated racks. There’s a side-loading space for wood chips and a removable drip pan. What all of this amounts to is a smoker that’s built for ease of use and convenience.
Again, smoking is constantly a work in progress- the smoker can’t do everything for you- but this particular model certainly does its best to make things as easy as possible. Reasonably priced for what you’re getting, this is a fine option for any beginner smoker.
The second smoker we chose to look at is this one from Char-Broil. This one is quite different in that it is a grill/smoker combination. Try thinking of this one as the side-car to a motorcycle. While it may not be the sexiest and greatest smoker on earth, we feel that this particular model provides a lot of value for someone looking to try things out and not spend a ton of dough. This is great if you happen to need a new grill as well, as you can kill two birds with one stone here.
With that said, this is still a sturdy, well-made smoker that will give you the opportunity to try your hand at smoking meats. It’s built to keep the smoke inside, with easy access to the wood chips as well as an adjustable top chimney vent.
As we said before, this isn’t the biggest smoker on the planet, but for what it brings to the table it’s certainly something worth investing in. if you’re looking to try your hand and don’t want to break the bank, then this is the smoker/grill combo for you.
The last smoker we wanted to talk about is the Smokey Mountain Cooker from Weber. If you happen to know anything about barbecuing or grills, then you have surely heard of Weber before. A company that strives to make quality products no matter what they’re doing. This particular smoker is no different either, blending quality craftsmanship with an ease of use.
This is a charcoal smoker that is made of porcelain-enameled steel, as well as nicked-plated cooking grates. What all of this amounts to is a consistent and even cooking and smoking experience. if you do thing right with this smoker, you can rest assured that things will turn out exquisitely.
It’s the most expensive smoker of the three here, but it still isn’t going to break the bank coming in at well under $300. If you’re looking for something that will withstand the test of time, deliver quality meats to your dinner table, and have a few extra bucks to spend to ensure these things can happen, then this is absolutely the smoker for you.