HOME > Food & Drink >
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN BUYING A SMOKER
Regardless of whether you are looking for a brand new smoker or a used one, you have to consider some things to ensure that you are getting the right one that will be able to suit your needs. This article lists down some of the things that you need to keep in mind when buying a smoker.
One of the primary things that you need to keep in mind when buying a smoker is your purpose for doing so. For you to have a good idea of whether you should go for propane smokers or electric ones or even other types of smokers, you should ask yourself if you are looking for something for your backyard or how often you will be using it. You should also ask yourself whether you are after a smoker that will be able to cater to a large group or only your family. By answering these questions, you will be able to narrow down your options.
Temperature Range and Control
Another thing that you need to keep in mind when buying a smoker is its temperature range and control. As much as possible, go for a smoker that makes it easy for you to control its temperature by having a thermostat. In this way, you will have a good idea as to whether your smoker still produces even heat. In parallel to this, make sure to invest in a thermometer that you will be able to place at a great level. When it comes to temperature range, the best smoker will allow you to crank it up to a high temperature to cook a turkey or even higher to sear a steak.
In case you only intend to smoke a slab of ribs for you and your family, then a relatively small smoker will be sufficient. On the other hand, if you are looking for a smoker that you can use to cook food that you will be able to serve at a party, then you have to go for a large smoker with a huge capacity. The key is in staying true to your needs when it comes to the size of the smoker that you need to get.
Material and Workmanship
As much as possible, go for metal smokers because thick steel absorbs heat to be distributed evenly around the cooking chamber. Apart from the material that it is made of, you should also look into the workmanship and durability of the smoker. For instance, inspect the welds and look closely if there are sharp edges that may cause injuries. The legs and wheels of the smoker should also be sturdy.
When buying a smoker, you should also consider some features such as wheels that prove to be handy when you need to move the smoker around from one place to another. Some smokers also come with grills and movable shelves. It should also be accessible, allowing you to add charcoal, wood, and water easily.
When it comes to the accessories of the smoker, you have numerous things to think about. This is because a great smoker will most likely have a drip pan or a water pan. The former will catch the fats and other fluids from the food that you are smoking while the latter can keep your meat moist and juicy by raising the humidity inside the smoker. You will also need a damper on the firebox if you are using a wood and charcoal cooker to control the heat.
Go for a smoker that is easy to clean because you have to make sure that before and after you cook, the interior of your smoker is spic and span. The reason behind this is that the dirt accumulated inside your smoker can be a breeding ground for bacteria, which is why you need to ensure that it is clean. Nevertheless, cleaning the exterior of your smoker proves to be optional although you may want to invest in a cover if you go for a smoker with a stainless steel surface.
When buying a smoker, you should also consider the amount of money that you can afford to spend. Smokers come in a wide range of prices that typically vary based on the manufacturer of the smoker as well as the features and accessories that come with it. You may find a smoker that costs a few hundred and others that cross the thousand price. Again, the best smoker for you is the one that you will be able to afford, which means you may want to balance the features that you are looking for in a smoker with its price.
Make sure to get a smoker that is covered by warranty. In doing so, you have a certain level of guarantee that in case anything goes wrong with your smoker, you will be able to have it repaired or replaced accordingly depending on the issue that you encountered. You should also inspect whether there is a phone number or email that you can use to get in touch with tech support as necessary.
Finally, always consider your safety when buying a smoker. If you have children or pets living with you, then make sure to get a smoker that is child or pet safe. The electrical parts of the smoker should also be safe and protected from extreme weather conditions such as snow or rain. Most importantly, you should take the time to check whether the handles of the smoker don’t heat up.
When buying a smoker, make sure that you first consider what you will frequently use it for. Alongside this, you should also keep in mind the temperature range and control of the smoker, as well as its capacity, material, and workmanship. It is also a good idea to consider the features and accessories that come with the smoker as well as how it should be maintained. Perhaps the most important factor you have to keep in mind is its price, warranty, and safety. All these are geared towards ensuring that you get the right smoker that will be able to suit all your needs.