Tips, Videos and Suggestions about Choosing a Smoker

There are several factors that will determine what smoker is best for you.

Key things to consider before buying a smoker:

Whole Hog on a Backwoods Smoker Hog Cooker

Whole Hog on a Backwoods Smoker Hog Cooker

1. What is my budget?

Smokers are priced anywhere from $50 El-Cheap-O models all the way up to custom jobs that can cost well over $10K.

You have to decide how much money you are willing to invest. You can find a great smoker in your price range – whatever it is. Just set a budget and don’t over-buy.

2. What quantity of meat am I cooking?

Think about how you are going to use your smoker and the average amount of people your going to feed.

You want to buy a smoker to fit your needs. You buy too big – and it will be a hassle to get it fired up to smoke a slab or ribs and you won’t enjoy using it as much. You buy too little – and you won’t be able to cook what you want or you’ll have to upgrade and spend more money.

So think about what capacity will be ideal for you and your needs.

Whole Shoulders on a Competition Smoker

Whole Shoulders on a Competition Smoker


3. What are you going to use your smoker for?

You’ve got to think about what you’re going to do with your smoker. Most people are going to buy a smoker, put it in their backyard and that’s where it will live.

But if you are planning on moving your smoker, it’s something you need to consider. If you plan to take your smoker to tailgates, competition BBQ contests or church cooks you want to make sure you get a smoker that can withstand being moved.

There are many other factors to think about when deciding on a smoker such as fuel sources (charcoal, wood, pellets etc.), maintenance and durability… and that’s just to name a few.

To get started set your budget and see what your options are out there for you. Each one will have it’s pro’s and con’s. Deciding on what is best for you’re situation is entirely up to you.

Turkeys smoking on an Ole Hickory Pit

Turkeys smoking on an Ole Hickory Pit Smoker Series

Smoker Series

I’ve shot a few videos on the different types of smokers – and I’m working to add more. You can check those out below.

Vertical Drum Smokers (Ugly Drum Smokers)

If you are looking to stay under $500, I would recommend an UDS (Ugly Drum Smoker). This is a solid option and can produce some solid ‘que.

Ugly Drum Smokers (UDS) can hold temperature really good and have enough room to cook larger cuts of meat.

Plus you will get a more authentic barbecue flavor with a UDS. Lots of Competition teams use UDS smokers – including me.

You can buy them already made and ready to go from local BBQ Shops and butchers. They cost anywhere from $300 – $800.

Or you can make a UDS yourself. You can buy a full kit from Big Poppa Smokers for $130 – $200 – this does not include the drum itself.

You can follow my directions to build your own UDS here > It costs $50 – $100 to build your own UDS.

Pellet Smokers

Ole Hickory Smokers

Backwoods Smokers

Backwoods Smokers

I’ve created a video explaining all the different models of Backwoods Smokers with Mark Lambert.

If you are interested in Backwoods, click here and go to my Backwoods Page >>

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Welcome to HowToBBQRight

I'm Malcom Reed and these are my methods and techniques for mouth-watering, slow-smoked BBQ. Recipes, videos, detailed procedures and BBQ tips.

To me, it's all about Barbecue... I love creating, cooking and sharing my recipes.

I have a lot of smoking, grilling and cooking recipes on this website and my HowToBBQRight YouTube Channel. Check 'em out.

I’ll email you every other week with my newest recipes

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