Barbecue is an art, all experienced barbecue enthusiasts are sure to agree. “The process of slowly cooking meat over low, indirect heat”, that’s the official definition of BBQ and it may sound simple but there is much more to BBQ than just that! The most important factor when it comes to barbecue is the smoker you use. Other factors like temperature, the type of meat and puck flavor are all secondary. The very first decision to make is what smoker should you buy. Beginners would find this process of choosing an appropriate smoker a daunting and confusing one. A smoker is quite an investment to make and you do not want to hastily buy the very first one you lay your eyes on.

There are many different types of smokers to choose from depending on your needs. So the first step is that every beginner must identify their needs. If you want to barbecue just for small gatherings of your family and friends, you do not need to invest in a complicated smoker, a small portable one would be a better choice. If you intend to have a big barbecue bash, however, a small smoker won’t make the cut.

There are four main types of smokers that you can choose from, namely, charcoal, electric, propane and pellet smokers. They are classified depending on the fuel used.

The traditional wood charcoal smoker is the favorite of barbecue connoisseurs all over the world. It is the oldest method of barbecuing meat and still extensively used today. It is widely regarded as the best way to barbecue meat as it imparts a rich, smoky flavor to the meat. According to old-school barbecue lovers, no other barbecue method can compare with the Charcoal based barbecue grill. However, this type of smoker isn’t the best for beginners as it requires constant monitoring and can also be quite time-consuming.

Electric and propane smokers are a much better choice for beginners as they are user-friendly and require lesser effort to use than the charcoal smokers. You could just set it up, load it with the meat and then go about your chores. The temperature control, heat flow and other factors are all automatically adjusted. Once the meat is ready, you can unload it, garnish with the BBQ sauce of your choice and enjoy it. However, these smokers may not work as well with all types of meat. Also, the smoky barbecue flavor that the charcoal smoker is so famous for is missing when it comes to electric and propane smokers.

The best option for beginners is probably the pellet smoker. Pellet smokers are similar to electric and propane smokers. They are fully automated and do not require any monitoring at all. Pellet smokers may look like the traditional charcoal smoker but that’s the only similarity between the two. Pellet smokers are high-tech devices which use wooden pellets and indirect heat to smoke the meat. They combine the effortless convenience of electric smokers and the authentic taste of charcoal smokers. Though they might cost more than charcoal and electric smokers, they are totally worth it. Pellet smokers are the best barbecue appliances for beginners and would be great for experienced barbecue connoisseurs too.

Here’s a great review of the Masterbuilt 30″ 4 Rack Electric Smoker by QVCtv┬áthat’ll help you out more.