A Charcoal Smoker Makes For Great Barbecuing

Practically everyone can have that “barbecue pit” flavor in their backyard every night with a charcoal smoker. There are many models to choose from at costs as low as $ 59.99 to highs in the hundreds of dollars. This all depends on what you need and how much you want to cook.

There are now models that use propane and electricity to provide the heat needed, and there are still the plain old charcoal ones that have been used for years. Either way, they generally perform the same, you put heat and and wood inside them, and slow cook the meat until it absorbs the flavoring from the wood.

Wood That is Good to Use

Most people seem to enjoy the mesquite and hickory woods the best, but many also like to use apple, pecan, alder, cherry, maple and oak to get the flavor they want. Now, depending on the size of the unit you have, you may want to use pellets, chip, logs, or blocks of these wood when doing your cooking. However, if you have a smaller smoker, you will probably want to stick with chips.

A Beginner’s Smoker

Most people who start something new want to see how they like it before they spend a lot of money. The one that I think is best for beginners is the Cook’n Ca’jun II Smoker & Grill made by Brinkman’s. This unit might be small, but it can cook up to 50 pounds of meat at a time. The thing looks like a canister with legs that has a dome on it. The front door allows you to easily reach inside and grab the charcoal and water pans. If you look in the top you will see how things are arranged. On the floor is the charcoal pan with the water pan right above it. Then there is the 2 chrome plate steel grills where you place your meat.

The dome is the lid that covers it all up.

To get the meat just right you need to let it cook for hours. Keep on eye on the thermometer on the lid to make sure everything stays hot, and only open the door to throw in chips and charcoal when you have to. Every time that door opens precious heat escapes and that will add to your cooking time. This unit also has wooden handles over the metal to make it easy to move and open without getting burned. If you want to move it to a different location, then these handles provide an easy way to do that as well. Like other models, you can also use this as a simple backyard grill for cooking other things.

When You Want Something Better

The Master Forge Smoker is a little bigger that the Cook’N Ca’jun. This model can smoke up to 60 pounds of meat laying on top of two large grills of 376 inches of pure cooking space. This unit has an aluminized steel base that can sit up like a large table top grill to cook hamburgers, steaks, and hot dogs if you need it to after you finish smoking.

Once you get going and you find yourself using your charcoal smoker all the time, you may want to start thinking about upgrading to a more versatile and bigger unit. There are plenty of style an models to choose from. However, for now, start out with one of these smaller units and just enjoy yourself. We can almost smell the cooking from here!
 

Ben Chambers is a writer who specializes in outdoor cooking. You can check out his latest site at Charcoal Smoker where he provides a review of popular smokers including the Masterbuilt Smoker, Brinkman Smoker and much more.
 

Charcoal Bbq Smokers – A Guide To Charcoal Smokers

Charcoal BBQ Smokers – A Guide To Charcoal Smokers

Charcoal smokers cook the food directly over the coals. Charcoal and wood lumps are the most common types of fuel used in charcoal smokers.

The meat juices drip down onto the coals, giving meat that traditional down-home flavor. With little effort, the BDS consistantly produces high quality, authentic BBQ. You do not need any water pan or heat barrier in the BDS.

The meat is tender and moist with deep, delicious smoke taste. Your smoked meat will always have a beautiful smoke ring. The charcoal grate and ring allow long burn times on a single load of fuel. 12 pounds of charcoal and a few chunks of wood will burn for over 12 hours.

This is more than enough time to smoke the biggest cuts of meat. You never have to add any fuel during a cook. If you want a smoker that is easy to use and cooks top quality barbecue, buy a Big Drum Smoker. There are 18 models to choose from with prices that won’t break the bank.

Air flows through the intake and exhaust vents, creating a convection inside the BDS. Smoking the meat directly over the coals produces pure radiant heat. The unique combination of convection and radiant heat cooks the meat faster than most BBQ pits.

Temperature control is simple, just add or remove the intake vent plugs as needed. Pork butts and briskets only take 8 hours to cook, while other cookers can take over 12 hours. Whole 20 lb. pork shoulders only take 11 hours to cook, compared to 18 to 22 hours with other smokers. Cleanup is fast and easy. The BDS is great for competition, catering and backyard BBQ.

Note: If you don’t have the need for a smoker as large as the Big Drum Smoker, then take a look at the charcoal smokers manufactured by Brinkmann and Weber for smaller, more portable alternatives costing $ 80 upwards.

How to light a charcoal smoker

Charcoal: First, start with good, dry charcoal made of premium hardwoods, because they light easily, maintain a steady cooking temperature, and burn longer.

Lighter cubes: Second, to light briquettes safely and with minimum hassle, try Weber FireStarter lighter cubes.

These solid fuel cubes light as easily as a birthday candle (even when wet!) and are odorless and non-toxic, leaving no residue to mar the flavor of your delicious grilled meal.

Chimney starter: Another handy tool is our Chimney Starter, which holds the coals in a cylinder for fast, easy lighting. Fill the canister-shaped starter with the proper amount of charcoal, place on the charcoal grate over two or three FireStarters cubes or crumpled newspaper, ignite the cubes or paper, and let the coals burn until they have a coating of light grey ash (about 25 to 30 minutes). Pour the hot coals onto the charcoal grate and arrange for Direct or Indirect cooking with long-handled tongs. For safetys sake, wear specialised barbecue grill gloves.

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