Last updated: August 10, 2021

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Whether meat, fish or vegetables, the art of smoking has been practised by mankind for thousands of years. Food can be preserved for a long time and smoky aromas are created through smoking, which are transferred to the food. While they are gently cooking, the smoky aromas unfold and create a new taste experience.

Nowadays, gourmets from all over the world use a smoker grill. For our product comparison, we have looked at various models to give you the best support in your choice. The following aspects should make your decision easier.




Summary

  • In a smoker grill, food is smoked through the use of heat. Without direct contact with the heat source, meat, for example, can be cooked slowly and steadily to perfection.
  • Fuel as well as construction serve different purposes and affect the food. Various types of wood are used for smoking in a smoker grill.
  • Smoker grills are available in a wide price range. Tried and tested products are available from a medium price range.

The Best Smoker Grill: Our Picks

In the following, we have selected what we think are good products. Our list should help you find the right smoker grill for you. For this purpose, we have included a short description with our conclusion.

Smoker grills: buying and evaluation criteria

To support you in your search for the best smoker grill, we have summarised below what you should look for before buying. These criteria should make your search easier. The criteria that should help you choose the right smoker grill include:

Below you will find a detailed description of these criteria. Our recommendations are there to help you find the ideal smoker for you.

Smoker type

At the beginning you should think about what type of smoker grill you are interested in. There are different types. You can choose between ovens, balls or the classic barrel-shaped version. Whether the variants also differ from each other in terms of taste remains questionable.

Barrel-shaped smoker grills are the most popular variant. They usually have four feet with two wheels on one side. The most important thing is that your grill has an airtight lid. After all, the smoking of your food should proceed optimally.

Equipment

When choosing the perfect grill, you should consider how much space you need. Many smokers have an extra chamber. An extra grilling surface can be an advantage.

Furthermore, the standard equipment includes a built-in thermometer. A must when it comes to grilling. Make sure that a thermometer is really integrated.

Besides an additional chamber, an extra side table can also pay off. There are models that have this installed on the side. Before buying, you should also check the quality of the base and the wheels. They should be stable enough so that you can reposition your barbecue without any problems.

Material

The material your barbecue is made of says a lot about its durability. Grills made of stainless steel are expensive, but very robust and heavy. Medium-priced smoker grills often use a mixture of stainless steel, coated steel and die-cast iron.

The quality of the grill grate also has an impact on your grilling experience. Here again you have the choice between stainless steel and cast iron. Stainless steel stores heat efficiently and thus ensures that the temperature does not fluctuate too much. In addition, a barbecue made of this material is easy to clean.

Cast iron grill convinces with its higher weight and the resulting heat storage. The popular burnt pattern on steaks and sausages also comes out well with this variant. Nevertheless, cast iron grates are more fragile and prone to rusting. With regular cleaning, however, this should not be a problem.

Grill surface

Now we come to the heart of our topic. The grilling surface. Think carefully about how much space you really need. At a family party or a barbecue with friends, it can quickly become overcrowded.

Of course, too large a surface also causes heat loss. Normally, however, it is better to have more space than too little. With an additional grill chamber, the area to be used can also be optimally divided. Make sure that the grill grate has an elevation so that meat or vegetables can be temporarily removed from the fire.

Fuel

The last essential question is the type of fuel used. You can choose between coal, gas and pellets. Pallets are only suitable for smoking at low temperatures. They are responsible for the smoky flavour later on. If the grilling function of your smoker is not so important to you, we recommend that you use this fuel.

Charcoal requires some practice to use.

Finding the right temperature requires experience. It also depends on the layout of the grill. Does it have an extra charcoal chamber or does the grate lie directly on the charcoal? Charcoal is one of the most popular variants and ensures an authentic barbecue taste.

The last variant is the gas-powered smoker. The temperature can be regulated very well. However, due to the lack of fuel, wood must be added for smoking. A gas smoker quickly reaches the desired temperature and is easier to keep clean. There are also grills with combinations of these fuels. So depending on your taste, you have plenty of choice.

Smoker grills: frequently asked questions and answers

In the following, we have selected the most frequently asked questions about smoker grills. We have found the answers to help you make the right choice. Our research should give you an accurate overview of this topic:

How does a smoker grill work?

Compared to a normal grill, the food is not prepared with an open flame in a smoker. The embers are heated in a separate chamber. The resulting hot air is used for the smoking or cooking process.

Smoker Grill

The hot steam transfers the aroma of the wood to the food. (Image source: Z Grills Australia / unsplash)

Although this method takes longer, it prepares the food more gently. Many smoker grills tend to have an extra chamber with a normal grill function. The use of pellets can create a special smoke aroma. Smoker grills are particularly suitable for tenderising meat.

Who is a smoker grill suitable for?

A smoker grill is particularly suitable for meat lovers. The smoking process creates woody aromas that give the meat a special flavour. In addition, the process makes the meat last longer.

In general, all kinds of food can be prepared in the smoker. However, you should have a lot of patience if you want to buy a smoker grill. The cooking process can often take hours.

The result is definitely something to behold. Meat, for example, becomes very tender when cooked properly and can be pulled off the bone practically by hand.

What types of smoker grills are there?

Besides the type of fuel, smoker grills can be shaped differently. If you are short of space, you can buy a so-called smoker barrel. In this, the food is cooked over a charcoal ember. To regulate the temperature, there is a bowl of sand or water under the grate.

There is also the option of a permanently installed smoker. Here you have plenty of space to smoke your meat for hours. With electric versions, all it takes is a few presses of a button.

The most popular variant is the barbecue cart. A barrelsmoker is mounted on a mobile frame. In most cases, a normal grill is also integrated. This is the best choice in terms of price and performance.

How is a smoker grill operated?

A smoker grill is operated somewhat differently than a normal grill. We show you how to start smoking in three steps.

  • Heating the smoker grill: The fuel is heated in the chamber provided for this purpose. For a smoky aroma, it is advisable to add wood chips.
  • Theright temperature: The temperature should remain as constant as possible and is ideally between 110 and 130 degrees. The lid should always remain closed so that the temperature does not fluctuate too much. If the smoker gets too hot, each grill has a flap through which the heat can escape.
  • Cooking meat, fish and vegetables: The cooking times of individual foods vary. Large pieces of meat can take several hours. Beef takes almost twice as long to cook as chicken. Fish, on the other hand, is prepared somewhat faster than beef. In addition, all kinds of vegetables are ideal for smoking as a side dish.

As already explained, the most important thing is a stable basic temperature. If you are unsure of the cooking times, we recommend that you check again specifically for your chosen food.

The use of certain types of wood can partially take over their aroma. So always have some wood chips ready for smoking.

How do I clean a smoker grill?

You should only use water to clean the individual components of your smoker. Chemicals such as washing-up liquid leave residues which evaporate when heated and can be absorbed by food.

For coarse dirt, you should use a grill brush, followed by a sponge and water for more thorough cleaning.

It is also important that you always remove your used fuel, such as charcoal, promptly. The salty ash, in combination with increased humidity, can damage the inside of the material over time.

After cleaning all elements, the smoker grill should dry well. Moisture can lead to corrosion. In summary, a thorough cleaning only requires water, a sponge and a brush for coarse residues.

Conclusion

With a smoker grill, food of all kinds can be smoked. Many smokers have an additional grill function. When smoking, the temperature and the wood used are important. When using fuel, you should pay attention to how the heat builds up and is distributed.

Smokers made of stainless steel are the most stable option, but they are also more expensive than products made of cast iron. The most important things are a built-in lid, an air supply and a thermometer. A grill should only ever be cleaned with water and a brush to avoid damaging the coating.

Image source: Z Grills Australia / unsplash

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