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Today, we want to take a look at another great way to smoke meat, using the best charcoal smoker.
We want to look at the best Charcoal smoker options available on the market, and give you a guide on how to pick one.
As most of us know, there are many ways to cook meat.
Smoking meat has always been a totally different cooking approach than grilling it.
Mainly, smoking meat is done with indirect heat, whereas grilling is not.
As always, we suggest that you take a look at our smokers 101 guide if you are new to smoking.
There, you will find everything you need to know about smoking.
Additionally, if you are unsure if a charcoal smoker is what you are looking for, then take a look at our buying guide.
After all, only you know what are the specifications you need, and what are the main features you are looking for in your ideal smoker.
Nevertheless, this guide will help you find the best charcoal smoker regardless of your needs. So let’s get started!
The first thing you should know before you look at any of these products is what exactly is charcoal? And, how does it work.
Firstly, charcoal is a very light black carbon. Mainly, charcoal is mostly made by heating up wood or any other substance, when there is no oxygen.
There are many advantages to using charcoal as compared to just burning another substance such as wood for example.
Basically, by using charcoal you are removing the need of other components.
Which, in turn allows the charcoal to burn to much higher degrees.
More importantly, the use of charcoal produces hardly any smoke.
Moreover, charcoal has many uses. But, for our purposes it is an excellent cooking fuel.
Furthermore, the most common charcoal is usually made from substances like coal, petroleum, and wood(among others).
More importantly, make sure you take into account a few things when it comes to charcoal.
No matter which type you are using(as you are about to see some of these types), take into consideration the following pointers.
Firstly, do not put the coal into your charcoal smoker before they are ready.
Secondly, You should use a chimney starter to light your coal and nothing else.
Thirdly, do not heat both sides of your smoker to the same degree of temperature.
There are a few types of different charcoal types you can use.
Firstly, you should consider using charcoal briquettes. Mainly, it is the most popular type of charcoal in the US.
This type of charcoal is extremely popular due to how inexpensive it is.
Moreover, they are very easy to prepare and not difficult to get a hold of.
Briquettes are made of wood, and contain other material such as starch, that will inevitably make it burn better.
More importantly, Briquettes will burn constantly and are perfect for those looking to cook dishes that take less time to make such as Steak.
On the other hand, you also have hardwood lump charcoal.
Namely, this is made out of charred wood. Additionally, hardwood lump charcoal does not have any of the ingredients that you would see in briquettes.
Moreover, you have to take into account that this type of charcoal is way more expensive than briquettes.
But, it does burn cleaner and is easier to start. Thus, it produces very little smoke.
And, because the pieces of which is made is actual wood, you can get that smoky flavor in your dishes.
In addition, as you could have imagined, it also burns a lot hotter than briquettes.
Nevertheless, do not forget that the heat briquettes is still more consistent.
Thirdly, we have white charcoal Which, is a pure charcoal from Japan.
Especially relevant about this type of charcoal is that it can burn at very high temperatures.
Moreover, it produces no smoke. And, still last you at least 3 hours smoking.
Hence, it is quite the useful charcoal to have for your cooking.
However, please note that this is probably the most expensive charcoal available.
Additionally, it can be more difficult to turn on compared to other types of charcoal.
Especially, if you are new to igniting charcoal for your charcoal smoker.
Before we take a look at the best charcoal smoker options. Let’s briefly take a look at how to use one.
Firstly, you want to make sure you get your charcoal heated. Normally, this is done in a Chimney, more specifically a charcoal chimney.
As the name suggest, it is simply a container where you can get your charcoal heated before placing it on your charcoal smoker.
This is a pretty straight forward process, you put the charcoal in the chimney and let it heat for about 15-20 minutes.
It is important to remember that if you don’t have a charcoal chimney, you still need to preheat the charcoal before adding it to the smoker.
Afterwards, place the charcoal to your smoker and make sure to have a pile of charcoal that’s not lit on one side of the smoker.
Then, pour some of the heated charcoal on top of the unlit pile, slowly.
Don’t forget to arrange one side of the smoker with the charcoal and then add the meat on the other side of the smoker.
Namely, so that the meat is cooked with the smoke and indirect heat, you want to avoid direct heat above all.
Furthermore, add wood chunks to give your meat that tender savory flavor you want.
Wood chunks smoke for long periods of time, a key aspect to combine with the best charcoal smoker possible.
You want to place the wood with the charcoal in the chimney(if you have a chimney).
But, separate it from the charcoal once you move it to the smoker.
Follow that up by placing a 3/4 to full cold water pan. This is great to make sure you get sufficient vapor.
Remember the water pan will most likely sit in the center of the smoker.
The water is key in helping you reach that even temperature where you want to smoke at.
Particularly, at first when the temperature is a bit higher than where you want it to be. Finally, place your meat on the grate.
You then want to create an air flow that circulates the smoker by setting the lid in a way to that the vents are above the meat being smoked.
You definitely have some options when it comes to picking the best charcoal smoker.
All 3 of these smokers provide you with plenty of features and versatility tailored made for whatever your specific needs might be.
That being said, if you are still undecided, we definitely recommend the Weber 721001 Smokey Mountain Cooker 18-Inch Charcoal Smoker.
It is indisputably the best charcoal smoker available right now. It comes with tons of features at a very affordable price.
The fact that it also comes in multiple sizes is perfect to help you accommodate your living arrangements.
It also helps that the manufacturer is one of the leaders in the smoker industry.
Therefore, go get your hands on this marvelous smoker as soon as possible.
If you feel like this one is not the best choice for you, then you should definitely go with the Char-griller 2-2424 table top charcoal smoker.
Namely, it is the most versatile of this group of smokers, and quite frankly, the most affordable.
Furthermore, despite it’s smaller size, it has quite a big cooking space, and its ability to attach it to a bigger Char-griller cannot be understated.
We hope this helps, please leave a comment or any question you may have in the comment section below.
Also, make sure to take a look at our reviews section for other posts such as this one