Smoking meat has been a way to preserve food since the dawn of time. The ability for the smoke to permeate the food and inhibit the bacteria that causes spoilage has been used by almost every culture in the world.
Smoking meat has never really gone out of style but now technology has improved both the timing and quality of smoke production to the point of allowing almost anyone to produce quality smoked meats in their backyard.
Additionally, modern pellet smokers provide a fire and forget smoking system so you have time to smoke meat and get other things done.
Smoking meat is part of the curing process used in prehistorical times to preserve all types of cuts of meat. In modern times, it is a means of preparing food for immediate consumption, but the effects of either method are essentially the same.
The phenols in the smoke permeate into the connective tissues and muscle to slowly break down the proteins, thus making the meat tender. In addition, the smoke adds to the taste, thus allowing for a unique flavor that is more subtle yet flavorful than using a synthetic chemical applied smoky flavor.
To properly smoke meat, it takes a lower than nominal temperature of between 200 and 300 degrees over a period of hours. Depending on the method and style, this is usually between eight and twelve hours. Thus it can be labor intensive to consistently monitor the smoker to make sure the temperature stays in range.
The use of modern pellet grills and digital control systems has all be eliminated the need for constant supervision and are more than capable of self maintaining the correct temperature range, with some smokers having an accuracy of plus or minus five degrees. This allows almost anyone to fuel up, start up and smoke meat for hours without having to sit and watch the smoker.
Five Great Pellet Smokers to Buy
Best Electric Pellet Smoker for the Money
Using a wafer style pellet, this automatic smoker, Bradley Smokers Original Smoker produces plenty of smoke to smoke even large cuts of meats.
It has a minimal ambient temperature rating as well as a maximum temperature production of 250 degrees. It has four large rack for meat storage and uses an all stainless steel interior that is easy to clean for a faster turn around time.
It has an easy to use and set control panel and smoke generator and it can be used as a slow roasting oven. Purchasers of the Bradley Smokers Original love the easy to use set up and the large interior with plenty of room.
Top Pellet Barbecue Grill under $500
Traeger is the original pellet grill, and this unit, Traeger Pellet Grills Model #BBQ155.01 Smoker is a combination grill and smoker. It has over 280 cubic inches of cooking space and uses an all digital control system for even smoke production and heat production.
It has an electric auto start system so you can set it to start while you are still asleep. It has a bronze lid for better heat retention and the auger is fully automatic.
It can produce up to 19.5K BTU, for grilling and smoking, with the temperature being adjustable for smoking. Purchasers of the Traeger Pellet Grills love the versatility of grilling, smoking or even baking while being easy to set up and easy to run.
Best Outdoor Pellet Smoker under $400
Known for quality Whiskey, one doesn’t have to drink to enjoy the delicious foods from this smoker. Made by Bradly for Jim Beam, the Jim Beam Model #BTDS76JB Smoker uses a wafer style pellet for smoke production. While the burner is a 125 watt electric burner, smoke is provided by the hardwood wafer.
The all digital control system allows for automatic starting and stopping, as well as constant temperature monitoring so the food is done when it is ready.
People who have purchased and use the Jim Beam smoker, love the flavor and the results from this awesome smoker.
Best Large Capacity Pellet Grill & Smoker
Perfect for grilling, smoking or baking, this pellet smoker, Camp Chef Deluxe Pellet Smoker can do it all.
The hopper will hold up to 18 pounds of pellets and the automatic auger will feed to firebox to make sure the temperature stays where it needs to. The high quality, heavy duty construction means this grill smoker will last for years and give plenty of great tasting results.
It has a large, cavernous cooking space and a easy to use control panel that will even give you the internal meat temp at the touch of a button. People who use this smoker love the versatility and easy to use aspects, as well as the control features for a range of cuts of meats.
Best Large Pellet Grill to Buy
If you want superior quality, then the Pellet Pro Model #Cpg-627 Smoker is for your. The heavy duty construction means that it will last for years and the heavy duty nature contributes to the heat retention allowing for more precise control over the temperature.
The digital PID control system provides accurate temperature adjustments of plus or minus five degrees as well has having multiple probes to monitor internal meat temperature.
It has over 700 cubic inches of cooking space and will produce over 30K BTU of grilling or smoking heat. People who purchased this grill smoker love the robust and dependable nature of the grill itself and the comprehensive control system that allows them to have exacting control.
To best protect your investment, it is recommended that you purchase a cover designed to protect your grill or smoker from the elements. For the best results, consult and follow all instructions found in the manual.