Smokers are used to adding flavor to meat and other foods by exposing them to smoke from burning or smoldering materials, especially wood. Although meat is most commonly smoked, other foods such as cheese and vegetables can also be smoked. Smoking may or may not be an essential part of the grilling process, but some people swear that the grilling experience isn't complete without smoking.
The best smokers for outdoor cooking or grilling comes in so many variations that it can be quite daunting for most beginners to decide which is the right one. Coal is a popular fuel for these smokers. Traditional American barbecue is usually cooked with one or each of these charcoal smokers: an offset charcoal smoker or a vertical drum.
The main feature of an offset charcoal smoker is that the cooking chamber is usually cylindrical, with another, smaller cylinder attached to one end of the grate. To smoke the food, a small fire is lit in the fireplace. A connecting pipe draws smoke and heat into the compartment where food is stored. The heat and smoke penetrate the food and soften it before exiting the ventilation openings. Rauch also gives a unique taste when cooking food.
Another type of smoker, the Upright Drum Smoker, as the name suggests, has an upright steel drum used for cooking. Contraction can be regulated in several ays, but generally, the charcoal basket is held at the bottom of the drum to generate smoke and heat. Some charcoal smokers use a bowl of water in the smoker to keep the meat moist.