Barbecuing may seem simple but it’s actually not. Although you can basically make barbecues with just a fire, it will take you a really long time before you get it cooked. Unlike marshmallows and hotdogs, meat barbecues take much longer to cook. They are also more complicated to prepare.
In barbecuing, one needs a lot of equipment to help you make the cooking easy. One of the basic ones is the grill, which people use to cook the meat. Grills come in different types. There are gas grills, which run with either natural gas or propane. There are also the more traditional grills that make use of charcoal and of course the less common one, the electric grill.
Another piece of equipment that is used for barbecuing is the barbecue smoker. Unlike the grills, smokers are not as commonly used. Barbecue smokers have barbecue rigs with a side compartments; controllable heat vents and smoke stacks. These allow you to control the amount of smoke that comes out.
They have basically the same functions as the grills except that the heat source is away from the food. If it is a vertical water smoker, the heat source can be way way below while in a horizontal smoker, you can find it on the side. One of the basic features of the smoker is that it keeps the heat bottled up inside. This is why it can cook are really low temperatures, from around 200-250 degrees Fahrenheit.
Although cooking with barbecue smokers can be mightily slower than perhaps a barbecue grill, you can be sure that the flavor of the meat will be enhanced more.
Like grills, barbecue smokers also come in different types depending on the fuel being used. There are gas barbecue smokers, which runs on natural gas. There are also barbecue smokers that use charcoal and electricity. Charcoal barbecue smokers produces better flavor but can be really slow and complicated to set up while electric ones can be really easy to use but produces the least authentic flavor for the food.
Still, electric smokers have certain advantages such as being able to produce “cold smoke.” This method is used to cook dishes like cold smoked salmon.
Budget-wise, you can really save up with barbecue smokers. For less than $50, you can actually buy some really good ones that can cook great barbecues. There are, however, electric smokers that use wood chips for the smoke and can be large enough to be used in a restaurant. These are the really expensive ones.