Smoking 101: Learn The Basic | Ultimate Guideline For The Beginners

smoke 101

Smokers are the cooking equipment for grilling or barbeque: they provide you to grill your steak at low temperatures in a controlled way. It also provides a smoky flavor to your steak for enhancing taste.

There are different kinds of smokers at the markets or e-commerce sites. It is difficult for a buyer to choose a perfect grill for him or her. In this context, we discuss smoking 101: Basic, six major types of smokers, their advantages, disadvantages, and which one is best for you. So, let jump on it.



Stick Burners Smoker


Stick burners rely on wood for their fuel source. Some expensive stick burners come with heavy-duty materials and unique features. Inexpensive smokers sell at the hardware or department store that is flimsy and leaky. You need to build experience in cooking for understanding when you need to upgrade to a more expensive smoker.

Why and Whom We Recommend

The fuel cost of the Stick burner smoker is low. It is also easy to use. There is no extra maintenance cost for this smoker. So, we can recommend it for reasonable people who are love to grilling occasionally.


  • Very durable and rust-free
  • High-quality smokers
  • Fuel efficiency


  • Make smoke

Charcoal Smokers


Charcoal smokers come in various shapes and sizes relative to our demand. It produces massive cooking power for your delicious food. Charcoal smokers don’t need much attention as stick smokers. Once the coals start to burn, you have to control the temperature with built-in dampers that control the airflow.

Why and Whom We Recommend

The design of the charcoal smoker can be straightforward or as complicated as your desire. With some effort and time, you get consistent results that are worth it. If you are love smoking food, then the charcoal smoker is the one for you


  • Massive cooking power
  • Built-in dampers
  • Enough cooking spaces
  • Can add a deep smokey flavor
  • Authentic smoke ring


  • Take time to produce temperature
  • Difficult to clean

Pellet Smokers


Pellet smokers are famous for its high-tech combination of oven and smoker. You get two different cooking features from the same smoker. You can combine the extra smokey flavor with actual combustion to make your grill tastier. Anyone can use this smoker as an oven, grill, and smoker at the same time.

Why and Whom We Recommend

Pellet smoker gives us smokey flavor like traditional grilling taste with high-tech facilities. Wood pellets produce more heat than a regular wood smoker. They are also environment friendly. So, we recommend it for a professional cooker or who has experienced in grilling.


  • Enhance the smokey flavor
  • Versatile cooking solution
  • Very easy to clean


  • Very expensive
  • Need electric power

Gas Smoker


Naturally, gas smoker uses natural gas or propane to produce massive heat quickly. Propane is very easy to get at any gas station or outdoor store. A gas smoker is famous for its all-around performance. It provides huge cooking space for various dishes according to your need. As with an electric smoker, the gas smoker doesn’t produce any smoke. So, wood chips are using for artificial smoke.

Why and Whom We Recommend

Gas smokers are very easy to handle. Massive cooking power minimizes your cooking time precisely. Compact design and portable fuel tank make it the best smoker for campaigners or outside hanging. We recommend it for both users who grill occasionally or frequently.


  • Very simple to use
  • Can control the temperature smoothly
  • Heat-up very quickly and evenly


  • Run out of fuel quickly
  • Taste is not perfect 

Electric Smoker


Electric smokers use electricity to grill your steak. You haven’t to worry about burning wood or charcoal. This high-tech smoker act like both an oven and grill. You can control the temperature by using the Bluetooth app remotely from a long distance. Very easy to clean the smoker and matches with your interior design of the home.


  • Very convenient for someone who wants to use a smoker first time
  • No need for an additional fuel source
  • Consistency in temperature


  • Produce low heat
  • No smoke ring for grilling

Kettle Grill Smoker


A kettle grill smoker is not a kind of smoker. However, it can produce smoke if you approach them thoughtfully. They are most familiar with live-fire cooking apparatus. Kettle grill smoker is very cheap and readily available. The compact design makes it portable. Easy installation helps to start grilling at once.

Why and Whom We Recommend

We recommend a kettle grill for those reasonable people who need grills primarily but want the options to use as a smoker.


  • Very handy
  • No need for structural change to use as a smoker
  • Live-fire cooking apparatus
  • Compact design


  • Difficult to control the airflow

Different Types of Wood for Smoking Foods & Their Flavors


Mesquite is a hardwood with intense flavor. We recommended it to use it in smaller quantities. This wood is very famous for its intense and unique taste, strong structure. Red meat is the best for using mesquite for additional flavor.


Hickory wood uses for versatile purposes. If you use too much hickory flavor will cause your meat to taste more bitter. The taste of the wood is sweet, savory, hearty, and a bit of bacon. A larger portion of the ribs and pork of shoulders, red meat, and poultry meat is the best for using hickory for additional taste.   


Oak is an essential smoking ingredient for professional people. But any newbie can start smoking with it. Oakwood provides medium to a strong overpowering flavor. Lamb, beef, brisket, and sausages are perfect for using Oak for additional taste.


Cherry produces a mild and fruity flavor to the grill. But when it mixes with hardwood like Hickory, the two flavors enhance the taste amazingly. Chicken, turkey, ham is the best meat type for using cherry flavor.


Apple provides a mild, sweet, and mellow flavor. Apple smoke flavor takes permeates the meat. So, you need to smoke the meat for several hours. Chicken, wild foul, pork is the best for apple flavor.


Maple is very famous for its subtle smoking. People use maple for sweet, light, and mild smokiness. Poultry, pork, game foul is are the best meat type for using maple wood for grilling.


Alder provides a very light and sweet flavor to the grill. You can use it frequently on the steak for unique taste and flavor. Fish, like salmon and Pacific Northwestern types fish, are best for using this wood flavor.

Get The Smoker Ready For Cooking

After choosing the smoker and wood types, you need to prepare the smoker. If you are using wood or charcoal as fuel, light up your materials. Then the meat needs to place in the right place on the smoker. It would be best to keep the smoker in the range of 200–220 °F (93–104 °C) always. It is the best temperature.

Prepare Your Meat

In smoking, you can use any meat. But prepare, and the marinade process should be up to the mark. You have to marinate your Meat correctly. The slow cooking process is the best way of getting tasty smokey Meat. You can choose top-quality Meat to get a proper taste. Here is some best quality meat:

Calculate Your Cooking Time

Time is a huge factor. It should be perfect. Overcooking will destroy the actual taste. Cooking time must be at least 6 – 8 hours. The Pork and beef ribs typically take up to 8 hours and placing your meat also important.

Cover The Meat If Necessary

You can cover your meat inside the smoker with a foil. You can cover meat for 2 hours then uncover it. It will enhance your meat taste.

Most Crucial Equipment For Smoking Food

The top 10 requirements for smoking foods are given below:

  • An instant-read meat thermometer
  • A basting brush/mop
  • A quality butcher’s block
  • A sharp boning knife
  • Rib racks
  • A good quality wireless meat thermometer
  • Better Heat resistant BBQ gloves
  • A charcoal chimney
  • A BBQ grill brush
  • Sturdy BBQ Tongs
  • Aluminum Foil to cover up your meat

Smoking Tips

  • If possible, smoke fresh meat, not frozen. Golden truth, we have described it many times: delicious food can only be made from delicious, fresh ingredients.
  • Grilling smoked meats is not recommended (it doesn’t either make sense) because due to heat, unhealthy substances can engender in them.
  • Grilled meat softens if there is some acidic meat tenderizer in the marinade: vinegar, wine, yogurt, etc.
  • When frying, never prick the meat to check if it’s soft. Precious juice flows out of the heavily pricked meat. Anyway, use a meat trap or wooden shovel, which doesn’t hurt the meat, but it’s easy to handle.

Wrapping It Up

Now, you have the guideline and the six most common types of smokers with their unique features. If any of them are a match your demand we recommend you to buy those types of smokers. You don’t need to overthink about buying a smoker. Just buy one of the types that seem right for your desire and start smoking. You can learn how to smoke food on our website. End of the day, you made delicious food for your family members, friends, relatives, and colleagues.

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