Smokers vs. Grills

So many times I’ve heard the question, “What kind of smoker do you use?  I have no idea what to use!”

Me?  I have three things on my deck:

1.  Standard LP gas grill (Warm Morning…not the exploding model)

This is the good ol’ standby.  Steaks?  Hotdogs?  Rando-meat for company in a pinch?  Your standard grill is a definite need.  LP or charcoal – that’s your choice.  When it comes down to it…I just use LP if for nothing else but the pure ease, no mess, and no extra cost / time of charcoal.

2.  Charcoal 2-box smoker (Brinkman)

This is your generic $150 “from the home improvement store” 2-box smoker.  One side is an offset 18″ wide firebox which connects to the 36″ cooking platform.

3.  Masterbuilt 30″ Electric Smoker

 Being influenced by the more purist-thread of BBQ pitmasters, I had decided that I was never going to give electric a chance.  Holy heck was I wrong.  This is nearly the ONLY thing I use (outside of the quick hotdogs on the grill) for any kind of meal prep.  It looks like a little dorm fridge, has a lock, and a temperature / time control.  Other than adding wood regularly and double checking to make sure the plug hasn’t fallen out of the wall – it’s pretty much a “set it and forget it” operation.

So to answer the question above – save up about $200 and get the electric smoker.  For beginners and even the amateur pitmaster, why not take one of the variables out of the equation?  Smoking with charcoal is definitely a badge of honor, but your setup requires nearly CONSTANT supervision to maintain a constant temperature.

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