Charcoal Smokers - Real BBQ?

Are charcoal smokers what real barbecue is all about? Many people believe that the best flavor comes from charcoal and that BBQ is not BBQ unless it's smoked.

Charcoal barbecue smokers comes in two main varieties, the vertical smoker and the horizontal smoker.

The vertical smoker is bullet shaped as characterised by the legendary Weber Smokey Mountain.

Horizontal smokers can have on offset smoker box.

Other types include box shape, and barbecue trailers, although these are really a adaptation of the horizontal smoker.


Some can be regarded as a charcoal smoker grills in that they can be used both to smoke foof and they can be used as a barbeque grill.

Charcoal fired smokers are probably the most popular tye of smoker when compered to gas smokers, electric smokers and pellet smokers.

The great advantage of using charcoal is that it is readily available making the smoker portable.


When considering buying it's worth finding out how to use a charcoal smoker first.

Charcoal is fired up exactly as you would a normal BBQ grill. With an offset smoker it's the same principle except that the smoker box is, as implied, offset from the cooking chamber.

Wood chip, lumps, or Wood Pellets, are then placed on top of the charcoal to create the smoke.

Most of the charcoal burning smokers incorporate a water pan which creates steam and so prevents your food from drying out.

The principle of barbecue smoking is the low and slow method.

That is cooking your food at a relatively low heat for a long time. Similar to slow cooking in your kitchen oven.

This allows the smoke to permeate deeper in to the food and give a smokier taste.

It also means that even the toughest of meats will turn out moist and fall off the bone succulent.

As with most things that you buy, you usually get what you pay for. One of the most popular charcoal water smokers, and one that I can highly recommend, is the Weber Smokey Mountain.
Related articles:

Horizontal Smokers
Vertical Smokers
Treager Grills
Pellet Grills
Wood Pellets
Electric Smokers
Gas Smokers

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