If you’re serious about your BBQ meat, there’s only one thing that you’re probably missing in your life and that’s a BBQ smoker. Despite the fact that smokers have been around for almost as long as traditional barbecuing, it’s only this season that they’re becoming the must-have for the recreational scene.
It used to be that if you wanted great BBQ, you’d have to go to a state or county fair or find a great BBQ joint that does ribs right. But now, thanks to innovations in the industry, prices on BBQ smokers have never been lower, making them an affordable choice for meat lovers everywhere.
What is a BBQ Smoker?
If you’re not familiar with the term, a BBQ smoker is an outdoor cooking appliance that works by keeping a constant low temperature on the meat for long periods of time while producing a sort of smoke holding pattern around the meat that makes it absorb the flavor and heat. Further, this helps keep the moisture inside the meat, something that is essential to cooking meats on low temperatures over extended periods of time.
Originally, BBQ smokers were used for food preservation since they were first invented when there were no such things as chemical preservatives and refrigeration. In order to prevent the food from spoiling, it would be exposed to smoke, something that slows down the spoiling process to a crawl. Fish and meat are extremely common smoking products as are herbs used in drinks like malt beverages and tea.
What are the Advantages of BBQ Smokers?
Today, smoking food is more about the other main benefit it brings with it: flavor. The smoke adds a unique flavor and taste to the food that can’t be imitated through other means. The juices get absorbed into the meat slower during the smoking process, making the food more flavorful and juicy. The smoke also goes into the food so if you use hardwoods placed in water before burning, you’ll get a smoky, woodsy flavor to the meat that seems like Mother Nature herself cooked it for you.
In essence, smoking BBQ just tastes right.
That, and BBQ smoked meat also tastes more tender than other types of meat. This is because of the amount of time atlow temperatures the BBQ smoker uses allows for the collagen in meat to breakdown, making it tenderer and more tasty. This makes it an ideal cooking method for tougher cuts of flavorful meat such as brisket and ribs.
The key to a good BBQ smoker is temperature regulation; you have to know how hot the smoker is and how hot the meat is at all times if you want to get a tender, juicy flavorful meal.
Buying a BBQ Smoker
When you’re looking at smokers, make sure you get one on wheels so that you can move it around. The amount of smoke the unit produces might be getting blown into your window one day in one spot, so you’ll need to wheel it a bit further out.
Next, think about the shape and size of the smoker in terms of how much meat you plan to cook at once. If you’re going to be throwing huge BBQ parties, you’re going to need a larger smoker. Smaller smokers should suffice for the weekend warrior who needs his rib-fix once a month.
Finally, decide on whether you want a gas, wood, charcoal or electric smoker. True smoker fuel is wood, but be prepared to tend to the artistic side of smoking; you’ll have to constantly maintain the temperatures, monitor the moistness of the wood and keep an eye on the fire. You can also go with charcoal, but that affects the flavor according to purists.
If you just want the experience without the fanfare and don’t care too much for an authentic smoked BBQ flavor, you can go with gas or electric smokers which are much more simple to use.
Don’t be afraid to buy a smaller BBQ smoker to see if you like the smoking process. Who knows, you might not. But for those of you who will get hooked (or already are) on smoked BBQ, it won’t be long before you’re purchasing a large wood burning smoker for your home.
Finding the Best BBQ Smoker
Keeping these features in mind, you’re now ready to start checking around for the best prices on BBQ smokers. Don’t get fooled by the do it yourself sights; you’re going to want to purchase a real smoker for your backyard, at least until you get the hang of it.
This article has been written by Ant Langston who works for BBQbarbecues, UK’s fastest growing online retailer of BBQ’s and specializing in BBQ smokers. If you’re looking for patio heaters for those colder evenings to make your BBQ experience a memorable one, do get in touch with BBQbarbecues today for more details.