Cooking up a storm on a warm summer's evening with a good group of friends is one of the real beauties in life. Good food, good people, good weather. Cooking that perfectly barbecued smoked chicken is a skill and one that requires the right barbecue for the job.
There is nothing worse than having a group of friends over for dinner only to ruin all the meat and veggies by losing control of the barbecue and disappointing all of your guests, only to be banished from cooking duties forever.
Fear not, in this article we are going to go through the best smoker grill barbecues on the market, to ensure that the next time it's your responsibility to cook up a storm, you will absolutely nail it and be deemed the barbecue master for all of the time.
There's a big difference between a smoker and a barbecue. Sure, both cook food infused with smoke produced by juicy fats dripping onto hot coal or a heat-radiating sheet of metal, but a real smoker does it much more effectively and over a longer period of time – like five to twelve hours – this allows the meat to develop a thick ‘bark' or crust and the red flesh beneath it falls off the bone.
You'll learn more about smokers and how they work by reading this article. There is no other country in the world that comes close to the United States, particularly Texas and other Southern states, where low-and-quiet smoking is a way of life when it comes to meat cooking.
Whether it's a huge brisket (a piece of meat that is too tough for traditional barbequing) or a rack of ribs, smoking creates a memorable feast of succulent juice and intense smoky flavor that cannot be achieved using a standard barbecue at normal cooking temperatures.
This list of the best smoker grill combo barbecues starts with the most basic and cheapest option. In this case, however, cheap does not imply poor quality! In fact, the Pit Barrel Co. Cooker is one of the most highly rated smokers on the market and has been for years. It's also suitable for grilling.
The Pit Barrel Cooker, which has a simple, porcelain-enameled steel drum design, draws heat upwards and reduces cooking times by utilizing its vertical orientation. The drum's bottom is heated by a charcoal fire, and the cooking grates sit on top, ready to be doused in your smoke of choice.
Hooks are even included in the package price to give you more flexibility in smoking multiple racks of ribs and other cuts efficiently and effectively.
To use the Pit Barrel Cooker for grilling, simply stack your meat on the grate closest to the fire. It's a little difficult to get to the meat you're grilling on this barbecue. It does a great job, and it's an added bonus if you'll be using your barbecue mostly for smoking.
The Pit Barrel Cooker doesn't require constant temperature monitoring, unlike offset smokers and kamados. Simply load it up and get to entertaining, watching the game, or finishing that yard work.
And once it's done, you'll have a barbecue of competition quality. For anyone who primarily wants a smoker but will occasionally grill, the Pit Barrel Co. Cooker is an unbeatable value.
A kamado will give you virtually unlimited options in terms of what you can cook when it comes to having a great multi-purpose barbecue in your backyard. The Kamado Joe Classic II is our favorite kamado of all time, and it wouldn't be complete without it.
Now, this heavy-duty ceramic cooker is not only suitable for barbecue and slow smoking but also makes a great outdoor oven for roasting and baking, as well as making some to-die-for homemade pizzas.
Yes, it's more expensive than some of the alternatives on this list. When you consider the versatility and longevity you'll get from this one purchase, it's a bargain!
However, in terms of the Kamado Joe Classic II itself, this cue offers unrivaled quality with innovative additions that really set it apart from the competition. To begin, there's the distinctive six-piece firebox.
This is at the base of the kamado. Because it's already broken up, the ceramic can naturally expand and contract with changing temperatures, ensuring that you don't end up with a cracked product that needs to be replaced.
There's also the industry-leading wire mesh fiberglass gasket, which, when combined with the stainless steel latch, seals your kamado completely and will keep it that way for 10 times longer than any other kamado on the market!
Kamado Joe created the Air Lift Hinge to make lifting the heavy ceramic lid simple. Your nana, toddler, and probably even the dog could whip it up and swipe some ribs without you knowing... In terms of temperature control, this baby reduces the weight by about 96 percent.
The Kontrol Tower is a patent-pending cast aluminum structure that allows for precise heat control while also keeping the elements out.
This, combined with the Kamado Joe Classic II's thick ceramic body, makes it an excellent choice for anyone looking for a combo barbecue in cooler climates.
The Oklahoma Joe's Highland Reverse Flow Offset Smoker offers traditional wood and charcoal smoking with the added benefit of being able to grill directly over the firebox or set up the entire cooking chamber as a mega charcoal grill.
So, it's a very versatile and cost-effective option for a quality smoker grill combo that will be the pride of your backyard for years to come! This painted steel drum is solid and reliable, with 619 square inches of smoking space and 281 square inches of firebox grilling.
However, the reverse flow design makes it stand out from the typical offset smoker. Inside, there's an additional baffle plate that absorbs and radiates heat, while the strategically placed holes allow smoke to pass through to cook evenly and reduce the need to rotate your meat.
The Highland Reverse is everything you need for backyard smoking and grilling without the unnecessary frills, including high-quality dampers, a sturdy cart with built-in storage, an accurate temperature gauge, and a fuel box to improve burn efficiency.
While it will take some time to master cooking on an offset smoker, once you do, you'll be impressing everyone you know with your authentic results.
Oklahoma Joe's has you covered when it comes to traditional offset smoking with the added convenience of gas grilling! You get just over 1,000 square inches of cooking space split between the two fuel types with the OJ Gas and Charcoal Combo.
While you grill in the firebox, use charcoal and wood to smoke the traditional way, sear some steaks quickly on the propane grill, and simmer that sauce down on the convenient side burner. This baby lets you do it all.
The propane side burner is also sized perfectly for you to place your charcoal chimney on top of it and get your coals burning quickly.
If you're concerned about the quality of such a wide range of grills, rest assured that this is one of the best models in Char-Broils' smokers and grills line.
The Oklahoma Joe's Combo is made from heavy-gauge steel that's thick enough to withstand the heat without warping, and it has three powerful 12,000 BTU burners plus an extra side burner of the same strength.
The gas and charcoal combination of this cue will serve even the most experimental of pitmasters well for years to come, thanks to two accurate temperature gauges, quality, easy-to-use dampers, and a cart that provides more than enough storage for fuel and your propane bottle.
The Camp Chef Woodwind Pellet Grill is one of your only options if you like the convenience of pellet smoking but want to be able to grill as well. But it's a great one! Camp Chef has solved this problem by adding a neat little gas searing station on the side, which isn't possible with most pellet smokers.
With an extra-large pellet hopper, simply load up your meat and pellets and walk away as your tri-tip smokes on more than 800 square inches of cooking space. Fire up the gas grill and reverse sear it on the 184 square inch side burner once it's done.
But it's not just the Camp Chef Woodwind + SB's multi-purpose capability that makes this a great barbecue.
It's easy to see why the Smart Smoke Technology does such a great job of controlling the temperature and smoke levels so that you can keep your desired cooking heat without experiencing any significant fluctuations.
It also comes with two meat probes so you'll never have under or overcooked meat again, as well as a patented Ash Cleanout System, which means all you have to do is pull a lever and your job is done. The grill grates are even dishwasher-safe.
Options abound on the Pit BossMemphis Ultimate 4-in-1 barbecue. This cue is not only equipped with a gas grill and a charcoal grill but also has an electric smoker hidden beneath.
Before we get any further, keep in mind that this smoker grill combo is primarily a grill! There is no true offset smoking feature, although you can filter a little smoke from the electric box into the gas grill or charcoal grill.
This is the beast for you if you're primarily a grill man or woman and just want to smoke a little. With a total cooking capacity of 2,127 square inches divided between the various fuel types, you'll be able to cook enough for the neighborhood.
To keep fuel consumption low, you can simply fire up one section when it's just the family. There are six different grate positions to choose from, giving you the flexibility you want from an all-in-one grill and smoker.
As the price suggests, you're getting a lower-quality painted steel body. While you can keep an eye on things using the built-in temperature gauges, the front air intake and rear chimney make temperature control relatively straightforward.
The Pit Boss Memphis Ultimate 4-in-1 also has a lot of storage built-in. Place your propane bottle to one side, fill the drawers with utensils and wood chips, and prepare your meal on the convenient side tables. This is a great combo smoker for anyone who wants a lot of options at an affordable cost.
The Memphis Wood Fire Grills Pro is the pinnacle of backyard cooking. It looks like a gas grill without the knobs. However, this slick and sexy beast is actually a powerful pellet smoker.
With the included perforated insert, we mean that it's specifically designed to get hot enough to grill directly over the pellet fire.
The Memphis Grills Pro, which is made entirely of stainless steel and has a double-walled construction for superior insulation, combines the use of a basic wood fire with the technology of a high-spec kitchen range.
You've got an oven-grade gasket to provide a leak-proof seal. Plus, two four-inch fans circulate heat for an even cook that's set up to give you competition-worthy results right from the start.
WiFicontrol is also included because simplicity is the name of the game when it comes to the Memphis Pro Pellet Smoker.
With two separate pellet hoppers for you to mix and match different woods and smoke for as long as 62 hours without touching a thing, you'll love being able to monitor your cook directly from your smartphone.
Grilling on the Memphis Pro is also simple. Just insert the perforated insert and you'll have instant heat, similar to a gas grill. However, because it's from a pure wood fire, you'll get a slightly smoky flavor to add authenticity to your cook.
The Memphis Pro Pellet Smoker isn't huge in terms of capacity. 562 square inches of food can be accommodated in a basic setup. That is generally sufficient for the majority of people's daily needs.
For when you're entertaining, there are additional racks that bring the total cooking area up to 834 square inches. For even more space, upgrade to the Elite model.
This combo grill and smoker is a high-quality, durable, versatile product that produces excellent results whether it's used as a standalone unit or in a built-in outdoor kitchen.
Your budget is the first thing you need to establish. A BBQ, grill, or smoker setup can cost anywhere from $100 to $20,000.
Having an idea of what you want to spend will allow you to see what is within your price range, and then you can take a closer look at the below 9 elements, determine what is most important to you, and then see how they fit into your budget
When looking at a BBQ, Grill, or smoker, one of the most important decisions is to determine what size you need. These are not one-size-fits-all products.
Consider how many people you'll be cooking for, how much space you have, and whether you'll need to move it around once it's set up.
Quality, price, and longevity of your smoker grill will be affected by the materials it is made from. A stainless steel grill may look impressive, but if you plan on keeping and using it outside, it can rust quickly.
Smoker grills with a high-quality coat of paint or enameling last much longer in these conditions. Consider where you'll be using your grill and decide what will work best for you.
Is your barbecue going to stay in one place? Or do you have a large outdoor area where you'll be able to move your smoker grill around depending on where you want to cook? Do you often go camping or fishing and like to take your cooking with you?
Or are you the kind of tailgating enthusiast who can't leave home without his or her grill? You can buy a variety of smoker grills with wheels, poles, stands, and even adapters to fit on the back of your car.
How much maneuverability you need with your grill will depend on what you want to do with it.
Before you buy a new smoker grill, think about the temperature range. How do you plan on doing the majority of your cooking? Are you going to cook most of the time on low and slow? Or would you rather have a versatile appliance that you can use to cook low and slow, sear, and even make a pizza?
Smoker grills are more than just a cooking grate over a wood fire these days. WiFi, remote controls, automatic feeders, wheels, rotisseries, and multiple temperature gauges are all commonplace these days. Before swooning over all the fancy features, think about what you really need for your smoker grill.
Consider what kind of fuel you want to use when buying a BBQ, grill, or smoker. There are three main types. Pellets, gas/propane, charcoal, and electric. Each fuel has its own pros and cons
While there are many great benefits to being able to cook with both gas and charcoal, combo grills are not without their drawbacks. Quality and price: as a rule, combo grills tend to fall into one of two camps, poor quality or very expensive.
Having grown in popularity in recent years, hybrid BBQs are great for offering that perfect mix between gas and charcoal cooking, reaping the benefits of both.
It's also more time-efficient as you can start cooking in minutes. Meanwhile, charcoal BBQs are fantastic for creating an authentic BBQ taste and experience.
Light charcoal and let the fire burn down or preheat your electric smoker. Once the fire is burned down (charcoal only) and the smoker is hot, add a handful of your wood chips.
Use the vents on your smoker to stabilize the temperature around 225 to 250 degrees. Maintain the smoker at a temperature between 225 to 250F.
Grilling meat is an American tradition, but it's not the healthiest thing to do. A growing body of research suggests that cooking meat over a flame is linked to cancer. Japan, Russia, and Eastern Europe, where smoking is a popular way to preserve meat and fish, became laboratories for gastric cancer research.
Stale smoke is the result of improper airflow in smokers. While it is often thought that more smoke is better, too much smoke can be just as much of an issue as too little smoke.
Because excessive amounts of smoke can cause food to lose its tender, smoky flavor, a smoker's smoke should always be a thin blue color.
There is no time limit on smoke absorption. The ring stops growing when the meat hits about 170°F and myoglobin loses its oxygen retaining ability, not 140°F.
The biggest difference between smoking vs grilling is time. Smoking can be an all-day process with constant temperature monitoring to make sure the meat cooks through evenly.
Grilling is more accessible and much quicker, but smoking gives a tender and flavorful product that's nearly impossible to replicate.
If you buy the best BBQ now, it's almost certain to be there when grilling season returns. You can slow cook brisket or flash-fry a perfectly rare steak with the best barbecue; and with a mix of the best gas and charcoal barbecues, as well some hybrid and even electric options, our best BBQ guide will have something for everyone.
Although they don't have to be expensive, the best BBQ will typically cost you at least £200, which is why many people wait for Black Friday barbecue deals to see what savings can be made.
While they're not the most seasonal, a professional grill will be the perfect Christmas present for a sophisticated alfresco chef.
A kettle charcoal BBQ will be more than adequate for cooking up hot dogs and burgers on the rare sunny days, but others will be looking for a powerful gas BBQ to entertain friends and family in an outdoor kitchen.
I hope you have found the information you were looking for in this article.
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