So you made the decision to purchase a smoker or grill (or even better – both!) and you need to decide which one is right for you. It’s a big decision and we want to help you choose wisely, so we’ve written up a little bit about each style of cooker to help make your decision easier.
Offsets / Traditional Smokers
Let’s start off where it all began – offset smokers. This is the original style of “off-the-ground” indirect smoking. These are perfect for traditionalists or someone that wants to learn the craft from the ground up. With this style of cooking, you’re managing and feeding the fire through out the cooking. It’s very primal and hands on experience.
When thinking about what type of offset smoker to buy – QUALITY MATTERS! You want a firebox that’s made out of ¼” steel to last but with the space to allow you to manage your fire. You also want to make sure your smoke stack is situated just below your cooking grate to ensure optimal airflow throughout the cook.
Grilling – this is the direct heat, over the coals, big flashy fire that guests love to see when entertaining. We cooking for more than a few people, we recommend a grill with some size – at least 24” x 36” – and something with a charcoal grate that can be raised and lowered. The reason is it allows you to get more life out of your fire. You’re able to start a large fire and then as it cooks down you can raise the fire up to the grate to keep your temperature consistent. Also, with a grill of that size, you’re able to create hot and cool zones and even try for some indirect cooking.
Now, if you travel a lot or have a small patio space, then the charcoal tailgater grill is right for you. It’s small footprint is only 24″x18″x50″ but still has a generous cooking surface of 651 square inches — that’s a lot in a small package! The grill is easily removed and connected to a trailer hitch adapter so you can bring your tailgater wherever life takes you – the beach, the ballgame, or just around the neighborhood.
Finally – the pellet grill. Pellet grills offer versatility and control like no other grills. With a pellet grill you don’t have to worry about flare ups or temperature swings within the grill. There is also no need for a match or lighter fluid to get your grill started. On the other hand, the grill does require an outlet to use and is dependent on electricity. You simply plug in the pellet grill, fill the hopper with wood pellets, and set to your desired temperature. This is a great option if you love that smoky flavor but you don’t want to spend hours monitoring the cook. Another reason to go with a pellet grill, is that it can do it all – you can grill, smoke, bake, roast, you name it.
No matter how you approach it, as long as you’re smoking or grilling, you’re doing the right thing. And as along as the food tastes good to you, you’re doing it right!