For those outdoor chefs who often work with a variety of meats, a big block smoker may be the solution. With and average size of three feet high and two feet wide and deep, these smokers can hold a lot of meat, over 50 pounds, and can operate on wood or gas, depending on the type you buy. Many people prefer a gas or electric big block smoker to allow better control over the temperature, but with many of the smokers having three or more dampers to allow heat to escape, a wood-fired big block smoker is not out of the question. It will depend on how many people you plan to invite to your cookouts.
Although most big block smokers are capable of cooking a variety of meats at the same time, due to the potential for cross-species contamination it is not recommended. For the safety of your cooked, only one species at a time should be cooked. You should also consider the flavorings rubbed on the meat prior to cooking as well.
If you have more than one flavoring, it should be placed above the meat with the same flavoring. For example, lemon pepper above lemon pepper not over barbecue. The Better The Smoker The Better The Results When it comes to comparing one big block smoker to another, do not judge by price alone. Smokers of this type are going to be between $100 and $400 with a lot of room for savings in between.
Being able to spot the features you want and need in a smoker is what will help you make the right decision. Just as you do not want to buy a big block smoker that has more capacity than you will ever use, you also do not want one that will require two or more cycles to smoke enough food for your party. On average, a fifty-pound capacity will probably be sufficient for most home use occasions, and any more than that may cause you to heat space you are not using.
Proper cleaning of your big block smoker prior to every use is important to help maintain the flavor of your food. Keeping food safe from contamination of previous cooked foods is also important, but allowing cooked food particles to dry on your cooking grates will harm the flavor of your next cookout as well as set the stage for bacteria growth.
Scott Fromherz owns and operates multiple websites. For more information on big block smokers visit http://www.SimplyBarbeque.com/ or http://SimplyBarbeque.blogspot.com/