Written by: Sam the Cooking Guy
And before you think I'm encouraging you start smoking cigarettes, think again. I'm merely suggesting you start smoking brisket, chicken, ribs, pork, salmon, burgers - anything really on a smoker in your back yard.
I recently was in San Antonio and as we drove through a neighborhood I started noticing smokers were nearly everywhere. And it didn't matter whether it was a big house, a small house or a house somewhere in between - they all had them. And if I wasn't already a fan of the smoker, I would have been then.
Cooking on a grill (gas or charcoal) is one thing, and done right gives you delicious food. But something smoked for say 4 to 24 hours (or even longer) produces results unattainable any other way. I mean a brisket out of the oven is a wonderful thing. But what happens to that same brisket when it's been smoked for 16 hours is crazy. The fat just melts in a way that does ridiculously great things to the rest of it. But Sam, you're thinking, smoking is a pain requiring you to constantly refresh water, or charcoal, or both - no? And while in many cases that remains true, it's time to learn about "pellet smoking."
Pellet smokers have a side hopper that hold pellet sized compressed wood in a variety of flavors: cherry, pecan, mesquite, apple...you get the idea. Just fill the hopper, set the temperature you want, turn it on and walk away - and I mean walk away. The pellets are automatically pulled into a small fire box when needed and deliver the right amount of heat and...smoke and you do nothing. Last Thanksgiving I put two turkeys on the smoker at midnight, went to sleep and awoke to effortless smoked turkey perfection.
So the short version is, any smoker will make you happy. But if you would like a more 'plug-n-play' way, a pellet smoker may be for you.