May 18, 2010
Those who love that special “barbecue pit” flavor coming out of their backyard should use a charcoal smoker to get the best flavor. There are a many models to suit your needs as there are things to throw on it and cook. You can start out at the inexpensive end for a little as $ 59.99, or you can move straight into the big ones that cost hundreds of dollars.
All the charcoal models work essentially the same. You put a fire in them that will cook the meat real slow and you add pieces of selected wood that smokes up and gives the meat that special flavor you want. This does not matter if you are using a propane, electric, or plain smoker grills.
Types of Wood a Smoker Uses
Mesquite and hickory are the types of wood that people love to use the most. However, you can also try other favorites like alder, cherry, maple, apple, oak and pecan. Each variety gives the food its own special flavor that will make your mouth water. Depending on the size unit you have, you may want to get the wood sized as chips, pellets, blocks, chunks, or logs
A Great Smoker for Beginners
There is a model that Brinkman Smoker makes that is the one I recommend the most for the average person just starting to do their own barbequing at a cost most people can afford. They call this model the Cook’N Ca’Jun II Charcoal Smoker & Grill. This little plain unit can take up to fifty pounds of meat and turn it into a delectable delight. The thing resembles a canister on legs with a dome lid covering it. You open up the door on the front to easily retrieve the water and charcoal pans. When you look inside the smoker you will notice the charcoal pan on the bottom, then the water pan, and then the two chrome plated steel grills where you set your meat. The dome lid goes on top to seal the smoke in and start the cooking.
Now to get the meat done the best you will want to cook it slow over most of the day. You will want to make sure that it always has enough charcoal and wood chips to get the flavoring you want. There is a thermometer on the lid to let you know what the temperature inside is. A nice aspect is that it has metal handles covered with wood to protect you from getting burned when you open it up, or maybe if you want to move a little if it is in the way of something. Now be forewarned, every time you open it up you let heat escapes and that means you will have to keep your meat inside longer to get the smoking done that you want. Another nice thing about this model is that you can just use it as a regular backyard grill for hot dogs and hamburgers.
A More Advanced Unit
Now if you need a little bit more food than the Cook’n Ca’jun can cook, there is the Master Forge Smoker that lets you put up to 60 pounds of meat on its 376 inches of cooking surface. This unit has two wire grills inside and the whole thing rests on an aluminized steel base.
When you first get into barbecuing it probably is best to start out a little small just to make sure you like it. After you get going and become good at barbecuing, there are a lot of other models to choose from for the more advanced person. However, when you are just starting out, you should go with something affordable and easy to use for a great experience.
Ben Chambers is a writer who specializes in outdoor cooking. You can check out his latest site at Charcoal Smoker where he provides a review of popular smokers including the Brinkman Smoker, Masterbuilt Smoker and much more.