People have been spending more time than ever at home and looking for ways to make mundane mealtimes more enjoyable. Backyard barbecue and grill equipment has become a popular investment, along with a surge of interest in charcoal smokers. Getting started smoking with charcoal can be intimidating—it’s important to get the right equipment and, more important, understand how it works. The good news is, we’re here to help.
What You Need to Know About Charcoal Smokers
Texas-style offset smokers have been the traditional “go-to” for quite a while, but other designs have been gaining ground. New technology, like digital control systems to manage temperature and airflow can help shorten the learning curve to produce excellent smoked foods with little experience. Understanding how much effort and knowledge is needed for each type of smoker will help narrow down which is right for you.
Types of Smokers
This traditional smoker has two compartments. There is a large, horizontal, cylindrical main compartment, with a smaller one usually situated to the right or left. Charcoal is burned in the smaller one, with the resultant smoke and heat vented to the larger compartment, where the food is cooked/smoked. Offset smokers typically burn charcoal, but wood can also be used—in either case, dampened wood chips may be added to help produce more smoke. Offset smokers require more attention to the fire and airflow, and it may take some experience to getting everything…