Here is what I recommend to people all the time who are starting out
If you are new to BBQ and have been hearing how great it would be to own your own smoker, let me tell you that the rumors are true. It is Awesome!
Even if you have been grilling for years, there seems to be an intimidation factor associated with buying and trying it out. This does not need to be the case. First thing you need to determine is what type of smoker is right for you.
If you are still unsure or are considering it as a gift for someone else, here is my recommendation. Go electric, and here is why.
Electric smokers are great entryways into this backyard lifestyle. They are affordable, require little experience and are quite versatile in their use. Oftentimes people will buy their first grill and soon after, realize that it is not exactly what they were looking for. Many hobbies are like this.
I am not saying that an electric grill will always be the right fit. But like sports and hobbies you need an entry point. I always recommend starting out simple and affordable. Considering you can get an electric for about $200, you are basically making a minimal investment and if they do choose to upgrade soon, they can keep it as a back up or sell it and get what they really want, now that they have tried it out.
Propane, charcoal, and wood fired are all great ways to get started as well, but I always recommend beginning with the easiest to use and making decisions from there.
Basically it is a tall stove that uses pellets for the smoke. It well help you to learn the basics and maintains the heat perfectly for you. There are smaller ones for $80 or so that are great for a first timer, but I have seen too many people dissatisfied very quickly and get discouraged. Most people do keep there original one because there is plenty of room, and it is great for finishing off longer cooks that may start out on a Kamado for example. You just move it over to this bigger oven with a door and continue cooking.
This is a good electric smoker. I stay away from glass fronts now only because they get dirty and then you feel the need to clean them. It is very easy to operate too. I started with a similar one and I kick myself for letting it go. I should have kept it in addition to what I have now.
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