Things to Consider When Buying a Smoker
In this video, Malcom Reed shares his method for choosing which smoker or grill to buy.
Smoker Buying Podcast
In episode 15 of our HowToBBQRight Podcast, Malcom and Rachelle Reed talk about shooting this video and all the things to consider when buying a smoker or grill.
the Smoker and Grill “Consumer Reports”
Here you will find things to consider when choosing which style of cooker is right for you… BUT once you decide what style cooker you want, you can find a detailed list of PROS and CONS at AmazingRibs.com – they have a searchable database that contains detailed reviews for over 500 cookers. They really break it down – that is why we call them the “Consumer Reports” of Smokers and Grills.
Tips for Buying a Smoker
I get countless questions looking for information about purchasing a new Smoker, so I thought it would be cool to shoot a quick video talking about a few important ideas to consider before buying that new pit.
1. What’s your Budget?
Smokers come in all price ranges but ultimately how much you are willing to spend determines where you start.
There are lower end pits in the $100-$400 range. This is where most people start out, and there are good options here. For me I’d go with a drum smoker or Weber Smoker Mountain.
In the midrange $400-$1000 you’ll find a little more quality. Stick Burners, ceramic smokers, and even pellet grills can all be found in this range.
The high end smokers are typically over $1000 and this range is for serious pit masters.
2. What are you using it for?
Do you just want a pit for the backyard? Are you planning on getting into competition bbq? Or do you plan to make money with this smoker? These are all important questions to decide the use of the smoker and will determine what type of pit you need.
3. How much capacity do you need?
Capacity is how much meat can fit on the grate. If you’re just cooking at home for family and friends you probably don’t need a huge smoker.
If you’re doing comps or catering gigs then smoker capacity is an issue; and you want to make sure that the pit can handle the job.
4. What is your smoking style?
This is your personal preference, whether its stick burning, pellet smoking, or a combo of coal and wood, your style is important when it comes to deciding on a pit.
There’s plenty more to consider when buying a new smoker like accessories, durability, versatility, and even fuel choices these are just a few of the ideas you should be considering.
Do Your Research
The main point to thing about is do some research first; don’t make a blind buying decision. There’s plenty of good info out there if you just look for it.
Videos and websites are valuable sources and I would also talk to people who actually own the type of pit you’re leaning towards. Learn all there is to know about the smoker before dropping money on it and you won’t regret the purchase.
A few forums where you can ask good BBQ cooks about their experience with different grills and smokers:
Plus there are countless Facebook groups where you can get real feedback from users of the specific grills and smokers you are interested in buying.
Hope this helps a little when you’re deciding to buy your next smoker; and Welcome to the Addiction!
HowToBBQRight Smoker Tour
Malcom Reed shows off his backyard kitchen and his grill setup.
Here are a few Smokers and Grills to check out…
Big Green Egg
The Big Green Egg is a ceramic cooker that can be used for a smoker or a grill. These types of ceramic smokers are very versatile and efficient.
Ole Hickory Pits
Ole Hickory Pits manufactures and sells wood burning smoker ovens for use by restaurants, caterers, meat processors, food service operators, contest cookers, clubs and other commercial users.
Vertical Drum Smokers are also know as Ugly Drum Smokers or UDS.
They are great smokers you buy or make your own.
Pellet Smokers are wood fired smokers that burn compressed wood – or Pellets – as the sole heat source. They allow you to cook at precise temps and are very versatile since you can cook at low and slow temps, to high heat grilling and even baking.