Vertical vs Horizontal Smoker: What is the Best BBQ Grill?

vertical vs horizontal smokerIn summer, it’s great to make barbecues in your patio, with your family and close friends or on the beach, where they are allowed. Going to cook meat, fish, or just vegetables and cheese outdoors, select the suitable equipment, characterizing vertical vs. horizontal smoker.

Knowing what to smoke in a smoker, according to its application, purpose, your group of friends’ or family size, material and durability. It is to be easy to clean, corrosion-resistant and handy.

However, first of all, consider the different types of smokers, the cooking equipment temperature range, and fuel sources.

What is a BBQ Smoker?

A smoker is a device for cooking and smoking food, making it delicious, flavored and browned. The apparatus looks like a long metal box or barrel with the cooking department. It commonly consists of the firebox, a storage bin for wood or pellets, a food chamber and a grill.

Types of Fuel for Smoker

The smoker may be powered by various types of fuel, including electricity, gas, propane, charcoal, wood, and pellets. Additionally, the devices come with different heat control, cooking area, temperature, and duration.

Thus, an offset smoker is an elongated metal box with 2 long chambers and a charcoal grill. Vertical smokers with side fireboxes are less common than classic design, horizontal ones, as vertical smoking area provides less space for cooking food. On the contrary, horizontal appliances are simple and not expensive. They let the heat distribute over the fish or meat evenly.

See interesting information about best fish smokers!

Hot and Cold Smoker

Additionally, hot and cold smoking is possible, providing different food processing time and temperature. The cold method implies long-time smoking at the temperature below 110 °F. Hot cooking is fast and safe, as the temperature of about 220 °F kills all pathogens that can be available in the uncooked meat.

How Does a Vertical Grill Work?

Vertical smokers are comparatively simple, easy to use devices. They consist of three parts:

  1. Firebox.
  2. Water pan.
  3. Smoking chamber with cooking grills and racks.

An advanced top-quality smoker might include up to 8 racks. Several hooks to suspend additional pieces of meat of fish are available. The bottom part operates as a firebox. Depending on its type, the smoker uses suitable fuel to generate heat. It might be gas, wood, charcoal or electricity.

Each fuel or heat source is different in terms of temperature control. Wood and pellets add authentic flavor to your delicious dishes. Electric devices are hassle-free and easy to use. Nevertheless, vertical grill of any type has a water pan at the bottom.

You are to fill it with any liquid you like and it moisturizes the air inside the chamber. It might be clean tap water, wine or beer, pop, etc. This way, you add special aroma to your meat, fish or vegetables. The liquid evaporates slowly, following the temperature rise. It improves your food flavor.

Pros and Cons of Vertical Smokers

Vertical grills meet your slow food smoking needs. It requires relatively long cooking time. It would take you not less than 5-6 hours to smoke a chicken or turkey. But you get tender, delicious meat. Slowly, evenly distributed heat and moisturizing are beneficial.

Vertical smokers work well during warm summer months. These handy appliances are:

  • relatively small in size;
  • easy to store;
  • not expensive to buy and maintain;
  • intuitive to operate.

If you are a beginner in smoking food, prefer a vertical smoker. Is your backyard not too spacious? It might be your right choice. Liquid prevents your vegetables or meat from over-roasting. Additionally, vertical devices use less power or fuel to generate heat. They are more efficient than larger smokers.

However, vertical grills are not the best during cold, windy weather. They lose heat and smoke, especially if you open the access door frequently. Unfortunately, you are to do it when you need to add water or rotate your meats. Charcoal or wood tray is located below the water bowl. You’ll have to remove it to add some fuel.

Before using your smoker, you’ll have to remove the upper grate. It lets you access the lower one to put some meat or spare ribs there. External temperature control devices, like gauges, are beneficial. They let you monitor the heat level easily. Additionally, the smoker is not large, and it limits the chamber volume. You can smoke not too much meat inside. You get tender, delicious food that meets only your family or small party needs.

What is the Best Type of Smoker?

Quite naturally, it depends on your tastes and preferences. Meanwhile, horizontal vs vertical offset smoker is a cleaner burning device.

best type of smoker for beginnersIt allows adding wood chips or pellets during the cooking process, without opening the food chamber. Adjusting the temperature or rotating the meat is also possible. This way, you can change the food taste or flavor, creating your fine cuisine masterpiece.

On the contrary, an offset vertical wood smoker is compact, taking less space than the horizontal one. A cabinet style smoker is designed for cooking small amounts of food every day. It’s easy to clean and efficient, consuming less fuel. The devices that come with water pans moisturize the air that helps to avoid the meat over-roasting. Thus, a vertical offset vs horizontal offset smoker is better in terms of the temperature control, allowing smoking meat, for example, chickens on hooks. This way, the food looks better, as it’s evenly roasted through.

In terms of the cooking temperature, cold smoker vs hot smoker is recommended for professional use, as it requires patience and some time. Additionally, it may be used for cooking cheese, vegetables, and spices, cured meat, to add a pleasant flavor. Hot smoking is suitable for BBQ cooking, as it’s fast and the meat is completely safe to eat.

How to Use an Offset Smoker?

best smoked foods

Hot smoking may be attributed to fire risks; improper cold food processing may cause contamination due to bacteria growth or botulism. Therefore, it’s essential to know, how does a smoker work, maintaining the due temperature and the fire.

Thus, it’s firebox is offset to one side, that’s why the device is called a vertical smoker with an offset firebox. The cooking chamber is on the top. Meanwhile, the fire is not directly underneath. The heat circulates around the food, entering the department from the right-hand side. Additionally, a chimney is available to allow the hot gases exhaust.

Step by step

Now, if you still wonder, how to use a vertical charcoal smoker:

  • start the device by setting the available temperature probes;
  • open the vents (both air intake and the chimney ones);
  • light the chimney;
  • adjust the heat and add the food;
  • add the wood chunks, briquettes or pellets when necessary;
  • rotate the meat on the grill;
  • spray some water to keep the food moist.

Some water can be added to the firebox, as well, in a pan or so, to avoid the meat drying out.

General Representation

Now, when you know the basic vertical and horizontal smokers’ peculiarities, benefits, and drawbacks, you can select the suitable, proper-size device for the application.

Expert knowledge. Recent research data. That’s all you need to select the best yard accessory. Outdoor cooking is fun. It’s attributed to great holidays and a friendly atmosphere. It will be even more pleasant and easy with a perfect fire pit or smoker.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Great Yard Master