grilling visible smoke

A Review of the Smoke Hollow 26142e: What You Need to Know

People have used smoke as a method of preserving and flavoring food for thousands of years. With no knowledge of chemical preservation or freezer technology, our ancestors discovered, probably by chance, that food exposed to smoke tasted better and lasted longer. Today, refined cooking appliances such as the Smoke Hollow 26142E continue to offer an ideal solution for smoking food.

The smoker packs some impressive features and lets you cook different dishes simultaneously or separately. An in-depth review of the Smoke Hollow 26142E may be all it takes for you to realize that you need to add it to your cooking appliances collection.

Comparison Table

What to Consider When Buying the Ideal Smoker

Choosing the right smoker is key to ensuring that you enjoy cooking convenience and all the benefits of smoking food. There are many products on the market today, and that can end up creating some confusion in selection. However, with some basic information, you will be able to sift through the options and settle on the most ideal.

Type of smoker

There are different types of smokers, including electric, charcoal, and gas smokers. Understanding some of the advantages of the different types of smokers can help ensure you make the right choice.

Electric smokers are easy to ignite and operate, while charcoal smokers often take a longer time to cook food and may require undivided attention with regards to regulating airflow and heat output. Gas smokers are also convenient but are generally an expensive option when compared to electric or charcoal smokers.


Different dishes require specific cooking conditions, which is why you should think about the type of controls a smoker has. Integrated controls should be easy to adjust so that you can get the ideal temperature outputs.

High-end smokers sometimes feature smart temperature probes that let you monitor conditions on your laptop or smartphone.


It is always a good idea to pick a smoker that features heavy-duty construction. This often promotes durability and lets it withstand rugged use. Compact smokers are recommendable for outdoor cooking because they are easy to transport.


The amount of money you pay for the product you need should be another issue to keep in mind. High-end smokers usually have additional features that may include wheels, covers, and extra space for food prep. However, you can still get impressive smokers at a relatively cheap rate.

Benefits of Smoking Food

meat bratwurst sausage

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Smoking different types of foods can have a variety of benefits with a few being preservation, killing certain germs, and enhancing the appeal of food.

Food Preservation

grilling from the tablegrill

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Smoking foods such as fish and meat helps prolong their shelf life. With the right handling, such food can last for up to four days in a refrigerator or three months in a freezer.

Managing bacteria

Scientist pathologist

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Many bacteria often attach to food and may cause harm to human health. Smoking food helps kill some of those bacteria and slows down the growth of others.

Enhancing Food Appeal

food salmon teriyaki fish eat

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When certain foods go through a smoking process, they become more appetizing. Some examples of such foods include meat and sausages. Smoking also enhances smell and flavor.

Softens Food

Another advantage of smoking food is that it makes it tender enough for people to consume easily.

How We Reviewed the Smoke Hollow 26142E

Image via: Amazon

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The Smoke Hollow 26142E is an electric appliance that utilizes 110-volts of power and comes across as one of the most impressive smokers in the market today. It has innovative features that simplify operation and a compact design for portability. A closer look at this smoker should help you appreciate why it is an exceptional appliance to add to your collection

What You Need to Know About the Smoke Hollow 26142E

The Smoke Hollow 26142E comes with two chrome-plated cooking grids to accommodate any food under preparation. The racks can adjust to variable heights for convenience and optimal results.

Integrated side handles make it possible for you to quickly move this smoker from one point to another, while a cool-touch spring wire door handle with a latch system makes for convenient access and safety when opening or closing the cooking chamber.

Another feature of the Smoke Hollow 26142E is a removable, porcelain-coated water pan that collects any fluids that drip during food preparation. The water pan simplifies cleaning after food preparation. Additionally, this smoker comes with a porcelain-coated chip tray for convenience.


spare ribs grill bbq barbecue

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The Smoke Hollow 26142E has an overall 1.3 cubic foot capacity, which is enough to prepare food for an entire family. You can divide the cooking chamber with the two available grids to organize food according to type, or remove one rack to accommodate bulk foods.

Design and Construction


Image via: Pixabay

This particular smoker features heavy-duty construction, which helps enhance longevity even with frequent use. The robust, fully-welded steel cabinet can withstand heat and other elements that may otherwise cause damage.

Side handles help simplify mobility while a full-length door helps trap heat within the cabinet and guards food against getting into contact with germs during preparation. The Smoke Hollow 26142E has four legs and a compact design for convenient placement and storage. It also features a long power cord on the side for quick connectivity to a power outlet.

Customer Rating

This smoker is available on Amazon with a customer rating of 3.7 out of 5.0 stars. Users who like it say its quite easy to set up and operate. They also claim that it is durable and can easily cook large meals. Users who give it a low rating say that the Smoke Hollow 26142E has a faulty temperature control system and that it develops rust in specific parts.

A Comparison of the Smoke Hollow 26142E With Other Smokers on the Market

While the Smoke Hollow 26142E boasts of functional parts and sturdy construction, it is not necessarily the only smoker that can produce good cooking results. A look at other electric smokers on the market should help bring things into perspective.

Some of the best alternatives available include Masterbuilt 20071117 30-inch Digital Electric Smoker, Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker, Southern Country Smokers 2 in 1 Electric Water Smoker, and Bradley Smoker BTDS76P 990216 Bradley Digital 4 Rack Smoker.

Masterbuilt 20071117 30-inch Digital Electric Smoker

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This is another electric smoker you can use as a beginner or pro. It features robust steel construction which helps it withstand rugged use. It is compact in design, making it easy to position indoors or outdoors and has four legs for convenient placement.

The Masterbuilt 20071117 30-inch Digital Electric Smoker has digital panel controls for smooth operation and monitoring. An integrated thermostat temperature control lets you get the ideal settings depending on the results you want to achieve, while a fully-insulated smoker body ensures food doesn’t lose flavor through evaporation.

This product has a patented, side wood chip loading system that allows you to add chips without opening the smoker door. While the Smoke Hollow 26142E has two grids, this particular smoker comes with four chrome-coated smoking racks to organize food. Additionally, it has an adjustable air damper for smoke control.

Users on Amazon give this smoker a rating of 4.0 out of 5.0 stars. Those who love it claim that it is sturdy and withstands frequent use. Consumers with a different opinion say it works well as an oven but falls short of producing excellent results when smoking. There are also some who claim it has multiple manufacturing defects.

Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker

Char-Broil Analog Steel Electric Smoker - 18202077
  • COOKING SPACE: 544 square inches of cooking space
  • POWER: 1200 watt heating element and insulated cooking chamber
  • GAUGE: Door-mounted temperature gauge

The Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker is a smoker that also has a compact design for convenient storage and portability. It features sturdy steel construction to help enhance durability and has four legs for easy positioning. This smoker has a 1200-watt heating element for quick food preparation.

A door-mounted temperature gauge lets you monitor cooking conditions, while dual latches help keep the door sealed. This smoker offers up to 544 square inches of cooking area, which is enough to prepare large meals. It comes with three chrome-plated cooking grates to hold food.

Double-wall insulated construction helps trap heat within the cooking chamber, while dual-exhaust ports help control smoke and airflow. This smoker also comes with a large-capacity wood chip box that allows for prolonged smoking without the need for frequent refilling.

An aluminized steel water pan keeps meat or other dishes moist and juicy, while a removable drip tray ensures easy cleaning after food preparation. This particular smoker has an impressive Amazon rating of 4.2 out of 5.0 stars.

Users who like it say it is easy to set up and withstands the test of time. Individuals with a different opinion claim the heat output is not accurate and that it has poor quality construction.

Southern Country Smokers 2 in 1 Electric Water Smoker

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The Southern Country Smokers 2 in 1 Electric Water Smoker is a versatile alternative to the Smoke Hollow 26142. It features 351 square inches of cooking space, which is enough to accommodate large meals.

The smoker comes with two chrome-plated cooking grids to help organize food, a built-in temperature gauge for monitoring, and a 1500-watt heating element for heat production. It features a chimney-like design that makes it compact enough to fit in small spaces.

Its three legs let you position it on different surfaces, while the heat-resistant wooden side and hood handles ensure safety when moving. Sliding access doors on the sides simplify adding water and chips. The smoker comes with an extra-large 5.5-quart water pan to optimize the slow cooking process.

This product has a 3.3 out of 5.0-star rating on Amazon. Users who love this product say it’s easy to assemble and transport. They also say it is relatively easy to operate. Some users say it does not retain heat, making it less than ideal for cooking.

Bradley Smoker BTDS76P 990216 Bradley Digital 4 Rack Smoker

No products found.

This smoker features robust power epoxy steel construction to ensure durability. It comes with four cooking racks to organize different dishes and has a digital control panel for smooth operation. Its four short legs make it possible to position it on most surfaces, while the compact design takes up little space in storage.

This particular smoker has a rating of 3.6 out of 5.0 stars on Amazon. Users who like it say quality construction makes it an excellent option for those who want something for long term use. Individuals that dislike this smoker claim it develops numerous problems after some time of use.

Enjoy Cooking Convenience With the Smoke Hollow 26142E

The Smoke Hollow 26142E is a versatile smoker that lets you prepare your favorite dishes conveniently. It is quite easy to operate and makes light work of the cleaning process. Its compact design ensures you don’t have to worry about storage space.

It’s worth noting that this appliance features premium material construction, which makes it withstand rugged use. The Smoke Hollow 26142E does not require any special maintenance work. Instead, all you have to do is follow the instructions for use and wipe it clean with a wet piece of cloth after cooking.

Do you have any fun recipes to prepare on the Smoke Hollow 26142E or want to share your experience with smoked food? Go ahead and let us know in the comment section.

Smoked salmon with herbs

How to Smoke Salmon in an Electric Smoker to Perfection: Complete Guide

If you love smoked salmon, learning how to smoke salmon in an electric smoker is a great skill to have. By smoking your salmon at home, you get to control what goes into your smoked salmon recipe. You also may find that you can save money by being able to purchase and smoke larger cuts of salmon rather than buying it pre-smoked.

Learning how to smoke salmon is an easy and fun weekend cooking project that is perfect for entertaining a crowd. There are also endless varieties of ways you can use your home-smoked salmon.

Try serving up Sunday breakfast with some smoked salmon, cream cheese, and bagels for a fun buffet. Or perhaps use your smoked salmon in a fun party dip to enjoy with friends.

How to Smoke Salmon in an Electric Smoker

Before we look at how to smoke salmon in an electric smoker, let’s learn a little more about this dish and smoking methods.

Smoked salmon around the Americas

Smoked salmon has its roots all over the world. Native peoples in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska regularly preserved their salmon by drying and smoking it over alder wood.

Smoked salmon is also an essential part of Jewish cuisine. Jews fleeing the pogroms in Eastern Europe settled in Britain and began to preserve Scottish salmon. European Jews also brought smoked salmon with them to the United States.

Temperature matters

While you may think where there is smoke, there is fire, when it comes to smoking fish, including salmon, that is not always the case.

There are two types of ways to smoke salmon: cold smoke or hot smoke.

Cold smoking uses a mixture of salt and sugar, also known as a cure, that flavors the meat and draws out much of the moisture. After curing, the salmon gets smoked at relatively low temperatures, around 80-degrees Fahrenheit or less. While this smoke imparts flavor, it does not cook the fish. When cold smoking salmon, the fish stays in the smoker for a relatively short amount of time.

In contrast, hot smoking flavors the fish with a wet brine. The smoking temperature for hot smoking is over 120-degrees Fahrenheit. The hot smoking method both flavors the fish and cooks it, allowing you to consume it safely. Hot smoking typically takes several hours.

Electric smoker advantage

When smoking fish like salmon, precise temperature control is essential. While you can smoke salmon using a charcoal grill or pellet smoker, learning how to smoke salmon in an electric smoker can give you a bit more control.

Electric smokers allow you to control the temperature inside the smoker precisely. To produce smoke, an electric smoker uses an electric heating element to start the woodchips. When the ambient temperature reaches its threshold, the component turns off.

However, if the ambient temperature gets too cold, the heating element turns back on. This produces a more steady smoke and heat, allowing you to get a great smoky flavor without significant temperature fluctuations.

How to Smoke Salmon in an Electric Smoker: What You Need

Here is what you will need to smoke salmon in an electric smoker.


To make excellent smoked salmon, you will need to start with a great cut of salmon.

Fresh or frozen

While freshly caught fish is a great option when smoking salmon, you can also use frozen salmon in your electric smoker.

In fact, according to champion angler fisherman Buzz Ramsey, the freezing process destroys the cell structure in the fish. That allows the fish to take on more flavor from the cure and the smoking process, leading to a more flavorful product.

Wild vs. farmed

While you can smoke any salmon, it’s essential to be aware that not all salmon is the same.

Wild salmon is salmon that is caught in the wild. Wild-caught salmon is incredibly flavorful with a distinct pink-orange hue to the flesh. Be mindful that it tends to be on the leaner side and quickly dries out.

Farm-raised salmon is salmon that is bred and raised in captivity. This salmon tends to be fattier, with a mild flavor. Farmed salmon gets its color from additives to their feed.


Smoked salmon gets the majority of its flavor from two sources: brine and wood chip smoke.

Wet or dry

Salting is an integral part of the smoking process. When you salt your fish, you help impart flavor, and the salt helps to preserve the fish as well.

When preparing salmon for smoking, you can salt your fish using a wet brine or a dry rub.

Wet brines are typically used for hot smoking. A wet brine is a salt dissolved in water, along with any other flavorings. Wet brines may also be poured over the fish during the hot smoking process.

Dry brines are a dry combination of salt and other seasonings that you coat the fish in. Once coated, you let the fish rest in the refrigerator for a few hours or a few days, depending on the recipe. This process helps to draw out excess moisture from the fish.

Wood chips

The type of wood chip you use will determine the smoke flavor in your smoked salmon. Alderwood is a common choice for smoking salmon and is the wood traditionally used by the indigenous tribes of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. However, other light woods like apple, hickory, and oak can produce delicious smoked salmon.

How to Smoke Salmon in an Electric Smoker: Step by Step

Now onto the good stuff: learning how to smoke salmon in an electric smoker! This recipe is originally from Fine Cooking.

Be forewarned that this will take some time to brine, dry, and smoke properly. You want to give yourself about two days for this project. The good news is that most of this time is hands-off, so you do not have to worry about babysitting the salmon.

Assemble your ingredients

You will need the following ingredients for this recipe.

  • 1 salmon fillet, between 2 and 3 pounds
  • 4 ounces coarse salt
  • 4 ounces brown sugar
  • 3 quarts water
  • Woodchips for smoking

Assemble your equipment

Smoked salmon takes a fair amount of time as well as equipment. Be sure to have all of this handy so that you can cut down on the overall work.


While your electric smoker can maintain the smoker’s temperature, you need a meat thermometer to monitor your salmon’s temperature.

Instant read thermometers are suitable but require you to open the smoker to test the doneness. Whenever you open your smoker, you let out heat and smoke, which may prolong the cooking time.

Alternatively, continuous read probe thermometers stay in the fish and allow you to check on fish without opening the smoker continuously.

Oven mitts

Have a good pair of oven mitts to take your salmon in and out of the smoker. Good gloves can also protect your hands if you need to add wood chips to your smoker.

Prepare your salmon

Prepare your salmon fillet by deboning and scaling, if necessary.

Fishbone tweezers could help remove any stubborn pin bones if your fishmonger missed them initially.


Prepare the brine by dissolving your sugar and salt in one quart of hot water. Add the rest of the water and cool your brine completely before using.

Submerge your salmon fillet in the brine for at least 8 hours and up to 12 hours. Be sure to keep your brine and salmon cool in the refrigerator through the brining process. Rotate at least once halfway through the brining process to ensure that the fillet is evenly brined.


After brining, remove the salmon fillet. Pat dry with paper towels and then place on a rack, skin side down. Place the salmon back in the refrigerator, uncovered.

This drying process forms a membrane, known as the pellicle. The pellicle will make the fish look slightly darker, and be somewhat tacky to the touch. The pellicle will help smoke better adhere to the fish, making it taste better. It may take a few hours or up to overnight.

Prepare smoker

Prepare your smoker with the woodchips of your choice, according to your electric smoker’s manufacturer’s directions, bringing it to an internal temperature of 200-degrees Fahrenheit.

If you are worried about your salmon drying out, you may want to include a tray of water to keep the salmon moist while it cooks.

Smoke salmon

Once you have your smoker prepared and pre-heated, add your salmon to the smoker. Close the door and smoke until your salmon reaches 145-degrees internally for at least half an hour. Cooking times will vary between electric smoker manufacturers and the size of the fillet.

Cool and serve

Once your salmon is done smoking, remove it from the oven. While you can eat it warm, hot smoked salmon is easier to cut after it has cooled. Store any leftovers by wrapping in plastic wrap or butcher paper, and keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Serving It Up

Whether you are a fisherman who wants to preserve your catch or an amateur gourmand looking to add to your repertoire, learning how to smoke salmon in an electric smoker is a great weekend project. By using an electric smoker, you can cut down on some of the guesswork that comes with using manual smoking methods.

Do you love smoked salmon? What’s your favorite way to serve it? Are you interested in learning how to smoke salmon in an electric smoker? Let us know in the comments!

Small smoker on wheels

Everything You Need To Know About The Little Chief Electric Smoker

Smoking meat is one of the oldest ways to preserve food. The Little Chief electric smoker played a role in the history of this technique, helping U.S. fishers smoke their prize catches.

Smoking both dries out food and introduces natural preservatives from burning wood. This makes food last longer, which everyone, from early hunters to farmers to fishers, all appreciated.

Eventually, fishers in Northwest America mastered this technique. They discovered that not only does smoking fish make it last longer, but it also makes them more delectable.

By figuring out the perfect wood and temperatures to cook with, fishers made smoking meat an art. One that we all can cherish today.

Comparison Table

Why The Little Chief Electric Smoker Is One Of A Kind

The first thing you need to know about the Little Chief electric smoker is that it’s not for cooking food. It’s a true-to-heart smoker.

If you plan on cooking something with the Little Chief electric smoker, it’ll have to be small. That’s because the Little Chief runs at a low temperature, and you can’t change it.

That’s also the charm of the Little Chief electric smoker. You don’t have to mess with any controls, because there aren’t any. Furthermore, the Little Chief doesn’t require any assembly.

Simply place your food in the smoker, set a timer, and you’ll have delicious smoked food to enjoy.

What You Get With The Little Chief Electric Smoker

Grilled marinated meat

Image via: Pixabay

For as low as it costs, the Little Chief electric smoker has a healthy number of features. Despite how simple it looks, the Little Chief’s much more than a large aluminum box.

A No-Nonsense Smoker

Grilled meat on griddle

Image via: PexelsPexels​​​

You don’t have to be a professional pit boss to use the Little Chief electric smoker. Right out of the box, the Little Chief is ready to go.

The wood pan’s easy to fill up, and to start smoking, you just turn the Little Chief on.

After your food’s ready, clean up’s just as easy.

The racks and drip pan in the Little Chief are removable, so you don’t have to hunch and toil to clean the smoker. The drip pan’s even dishwasher safe, keeping you from having to do any scrubbing.

Everything You Need To Smoke Food

Man cooking meat

Image via: P​​exels

Buyers adore how easy the Little Chief electric smoker is to use and assemble. They rave about how they’re able to make amazing smoked food with barely any effort.

Beginners to smoking food love that they can have unbeatable jerky without having to undergo complicated steps. Not having to choose a temperature takes out half of the guesswork of cooking for them. With its front-loading design, adding meat to the Little Chief is as easy as grabbing food from the fridge.

The Little Chief electric smoker’s simplicity also makes it long lasting. The Little Chief electric smoker lacks complex parts that could break, leading reviewers to praise how their smoker has been running for years on end without issues.

Buyers also found the Little Chief’s aluminum construction kept it lightweight and portable. A few reviewers said the downside of this is that it’s easy to dent the Little Chief.

The only problem with this simplicity is that some reviewers got caught off guard. Some buyers didn’t know you couldn’t cook with this smoker and were dismayed at the lack of temperature control.

The Popular Opinion

Feedback calligraphy

Image via: Pixabay

Many Amazon reviewers are in love with their Little Chief electric smoker despite its 3.6 out of 5-star rating.

Ease Of Use

Senior man and woman holding wine glasses

Image via: pexe​​ls

Buyers adore how easy the Little Chief electric smoker is to use and assemble. They rave about how they’re able to make amazing smoked food with barely any effort.

Beginners to smoking food love that they can have unbeatable jerky without having to undergo complicated steps. Not having to choose a temperature takes out half of the guesswork of cooking for them. With its front-loading design, adding meat to the Little Chief is as easy as grabbing food from the fridge.

The Little Chief electric smoker’s simplicity also makes it long lasting. The Little Chief electric smoker lacks complex parts that could break, leading reviewers to praise how their smoker has been running for years on end without issues.

Buyers also found the Little Chief’s aluminum construction kept it lightweight and portable. A few reviewers said the downside of this is that it’s easy to dent the Little Chief.

The only problem with this simplicity is that some reviewers got caught off guard. Some buyers didn’t know you couldn’t cook with this smoker and were dismayed at the lack of temperature control.

Gets The Job Done

Smoked meat barbecue

Image via: Pixa​​bay

Although the Little Chief lacks many features, buyers appreciated the meals they could make with it.

For the low cost, reviewers were able to smoke fish, venison jerky, trout, nuts, cheese, and they loved all of it. Reviewers consistently mentioned how the Little Chief electric smoker gave their food delicious flavor.

Reviewers were even able to make juicy chicken and hamburgers using the Little Chief.

Although you can’t thoroughly cook these meals in the Little Chief electric smoker, you can incorporate the Little Chief into their cooking process. This adds a whole new layer of flavor to any of your Saturday afternoon grilling sessions.

The major flaw to smoking with the Little Chief smoker is its poor insulation. If you try using the Little Chief in windy or cold weather, the internal temperature will drop drastically. To make up for this, you’ll either have to use an insulating blanket or use the Little Chief like it’s a cold smoker.

Making Our Review

Grilled shish kebab on metal skewer

Image via: Pixabay

In making our review, we’ve aimed to lay out all of the Little Chief electric smoker’s features. Rather than speaking strictly of the smoker’s components, we also focused on how its features will apply to your method of smoking.

To get a good idea of whether the smoker would be right for you or not, we also looked at reviews by publishers and buyers. Reviewers helped us find applicable information for the best ways to use the smoker.

Amazon reviews furthered this investigation. We used Amazon review to get a glimpse into what everyday buyers enjoyed and disliked about the Little Chief smoker. By bringing this information together, we hoped to present a complete look at the Little Chief electric smoker.

Can Anything Beat The Little Chief?

After hearing about how much the Little Chief electric smoker has to offer, it’s essential to take a step back. Sure, the Little Chief has its perks, but are there other affordable smokers that do more? We’ve come across three smokers around the Little Chief’s price bracket that might be able to outcompete the Little Chief.

Masterbuilt 30-inch Digital Electric Smoker

Masterbuilt® Digital Electric Vertical BBQ Smoker with 710 Cooking...
  • Vertical digital electric smoker with 710 square inches of cooking space

If you want to smoke meat, you’ll appreciate the Masterbuilt 30-inch digital electric smoker. Amazon reviewers rated the smoker 4.0 out of 5 stars, enjoying the variety and ease of use the smoker offers.

The smoker reaches between 200 to 275 degrees Fahrenheit, allowing you to cook more than just jerky. Reviewers said they were able to cook whole chickens, ribs, and more with the Masterbuilt.

What’s unique about this smoker is its control panel. All you have to do is set the temperature and the timer, and it will do the rest. The main problem with the panel is that it’s hard to read in direct sunlight.

The smoker has four racks, giving you plenty of room to cook food. The entire smoker is 20 inches long by 20.5 inches wide by 33.3 inches tall, giving it more space than the Little Chief.

Another special feature is the unique side panel the Masterbuilt has. You’re able to add chips through the panel while cooking, rather than opening the entire front door.

As for the negatives, buyers said the chip holder itself doesn’t hold many woodchips. Reviewers also felt the smoker didn’t put out enough smoke unless cooking higher than 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Finally, there were some various defects reviewers came across, such as paint peeling inside the smoker’s doors.

The Masterbuilt 30-inch digital electric smoker does its job well. It’s more expensive than the Little Chief, but if you want to smoke a variety of meat, this will be a better bet.

Camp Chef Smoke Vault

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Camp Chef is a well-known brand in the realm of smokers. They provide high-quality smokers that tend to run on the expensive side.

The Smoke Vault is a propane smoker that follows this trend, earning 4.2 out of 5 stars by Amazon buyers. The higher price pays off in build quality and versatility.

It has two racks compared to the Little Chief’s four and has dimensions of 18 inches wide by 16 inches long by 30 inches tall.

It also has three damper valves, helping regulate temperature, unlike the Little Chief. The Smoke Vault also has a thermometer on the front door, increasing your control over temperature.

Although the Smoke Vault isn’t an electric smoker, it’s in this list because it’s ideal for those who want more out of the Little Chief.

The Smoke Vault cooks from 215 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. This gives you variety in what you wish to cook or smoke.

If you want to smoke meat like briskets, chicken, and ribs, the Smoke Vault will serve you better than the Little Chief.

If you want to stick to small items, though, you might prefer the Little Chief. The Little Chief’s more affordable than the Smoke Vault. Also, the Smoke Vault requires refilling propane tanks, which can be a hassle.

Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker

Char-Broil Offset Smoker, 30"
  • 477 sq in primary cooking surface
  • 3-piece smoking chamber helps eliminate air loss and maintain temperature
  • Porcelain-coated cooking grates and lid-mounted temperature gauge

When it comes to price, the Char-Broil Analog electric smoker is closest to competing with the Little Chief. For a reasonable price, the Char-Broil Smoker is very well built.

Earning 4.2 out of 5 stars by Amazon reviewers, the Char-Broil smoker is praised for being a great all around smoker. The Char-Broil smoker reaches up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, letting you smoke meat such as ribs and pork butt.

With three grates and 544 square inches of cooking space, there’s plenty of room to get creative with. At 20.7 inches wide by 15 inches long by 33.5 inches high, this smoker model is slightly larger than the Little Chief.

Reviewers consistently applaud the smoker’s build quality. It’s insulated fairly well and any issues reported are usually cosmetic.

When it comes to smoking, the Char-Broil electric smoker comes with a water pan, keeping your meat juicy and tender. Reviewers felt the wood chip tray was a little small, but nothing terrible.

As for setting the temperature, the smoker has a dial that you use to set the smoker’s heat. There’s a thermometer on the front door, which helps you get that perfect temperature.

It takes a little effort to get the hang of but is worth the savings when compared to the Masterbuilt smoker’s price.

The Char-Broil analog electric smoker gives the Little Chief and the Masterbuilt smoker a run for their money. It’s an all-around reliable electric smoker with minor drawbacks.


  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Produces lots of smoke


  • Not for cooking
  • Poor insulation
  • Dents easily

Wrapping things up, the Little Chief electric smoker has a specific type of buyer in mind. The smoker has one, moderately low temperature, restricting your options for smoking.

You can’t cook slabs of meat like you can in the other smokers mentioned. Instead, you have to use the Little Chief Electric Smoker for small items like jerky, sausage, and bacon.

If you want to use the Little Chief with food like chicken and ribs, you can only use it as a final touch after cooking the food elsewhere. The low cost makes the Little Chief perfect for this method of smoking, but unusable for those who only want to barbeque.

Making The Decision

When deciding whether you want to buy the Little Chief electric smoker or not, you need to know what you want.

Grilled meat

Image via: Pixab​​ay

If you’re happy with smoking nuts, bacon, and fish, you’ll love this smoker and save a lot of money.

If you want something to cook full racks of ribs and chicken in, you’ll be better off with models such as the Char-Broil analog electric smoker.

Let us know in the comments if you have any other favorite electric smokers we’ve left out!

person eating meal

Electric Smoker Chicken Breast: Healthy And Full Of Flavor

Chicken breast is the basis of many healthy recipes. Electric smoker chicken breast recipes can help elevate this healthy, yet humble, meat to greater flavor heights.

Smoked chicken can add a rustic flavor to just about any healthy dish. Using your electric smoker to smoke chicken breast is just another fantastic way to experiment with flavor. Smoking chicken is an excellent way to both cook and flavor your meat for a unique taste experience.

Electric Smoker Chicken Breast:

A Recipe For Deliciousness

Is chicken breast meat you want to smoke? Of course! It’s healthy and delicious.

But is it really worth the time and effort?

In a word: yes.

Where Can I Use Electric Smoker Chicken Breast?

While you could easily eat smoked chicken breast on its own, consider some of the other things you can make with it. The smoked chicken breast would add some great flavor to your lunchtime salad or sandwich.

Try a unique spin on chicken soup by using smoked chicken. Or how about a fusion mashup with smoked chicken tacos?

The possibilities are endless!

The Problems With Chicken Breast

chicken breast

Image by pixabay

The trouble with chicken breast is that it is very easy to screw up. Chicken breast has very little to no fat. While this makes it a great source of lean protein, this leanness makes it not as flavorful as more fatty cuts of chicken.

Fat also melts to lubricate the meat while it cooks. Without fat, lean cuts like chicken breast tend to get dry when cooked.

This dry meat problem can get even worse the longer you cook your meat. To safely cook at low temperatures as you would with electric smoker chicken breast, you need hours.

Not adequately preparing your electric smoker, chicken breast can leave you with a tasteless, dry piece of meat.

Electric Smoker Chicken Breast:

Things To Consider

smoked chicken meal in a plate

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Before you start researching electric smoker chicken breast recipes, let’s go over what you need to know about smoking chicken breast in an electric smoker.

All About Chicken Breasts

raw chicken meat

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When it comes to chicken breast, you have several options to choose from. Depending on what type of chicken breast you select will help determine what kind of preparation you need for your electric smoker chicken breast.

Got A Bone To Pick

Chicken breasts typically come in two forms: bone-in or boneless. The bone-in version usually comes with the rib bones attached. The boneless version has the ribs removed.

When cooking chicken breast, the rib bones in a bone-in chicken breast act as insulation. It can help keep the chicken moister over extended periods of cooking.

However, since the boneless chicken breasts do not have this insulation, these chicken breasts are more prone to drying out.

Taste Is Skin Deep

Prepared chicken breasts at the meat counter may or may not have skin. Bone-in chicken breasts are more likely to have the skin intact. Meanwhile, boneless chicken breasts typically have the skin removed.

Just like with chicken bones, chicken skin adds a layer of protection. During cooking the fat in the skin melts, basting the meat underneath and helping to keep it moist.

The skinless chicken breast does not have this type of protection and can get tough during the cooking process, if not prepared correctly.

Beyond The Breast

chicken meat in a plate

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While we’re talking mostly about electric smoker chicken breast here, remember that most of the techniques we cover will work for just about any kind of smoked chicken recipe.

If you’re not a fan of breast meat, try smoking dark meat. Like chicken breast, you can choose to smoke dark meat either bone-in or boneless, with the skin on or off.

For a real treat, try smoking a whole chicken! You can try smoking it intact or use a technique called spatchcocking. Spatchcocking takes out the backbone to let the bird lay flat. That results in a chicken that cooks evenly with lots of skin exposed.


Brining is an integral part of preparing any meat for smoking. However, it’s even more critical for chicken breast due to how lean the meat is.

Moisture And Flavor

Brining does two important things for smoked chicken breast. The first thing it does is add moisture. With little to no fat on the meat, chicken breast can get dry during cooking.

The brining process helps the meat retain moisture during the cooking process. The salt in the brine denatures some of the protein in the meat, allowing it to hold onto more moisture. If the meat were not salted, the moisture would escape during cooking.

Of course, the salt in the brine also adds flavor. Not only can salt add its own flavor to the chicken, but it can also help deliver other flavorings in the brine.

Dry Or Wet

There are two main types of brine you can use for electric smoker chicken breast. A wet brine is a salt and other flavorings dissolved in water. A dry brine is salt with other dry seasonings, sprinkled heavily onto the chicken.

Whether you choose a wet or a dry brine is up to you. Both methods can deliver excellent results.

Wet brines typically take longer, several hours and up to a day or so, to work its magic. Conversely, dry brines are easy to put together and take only a few hours in the refrigerator to work.

Fattening It Up

Chicken breast is popular as a lean source of protein. But when you’re making electric smoker chicken breast, a little bit of fat can go a long way toward keeping your chicken breast moist and tasty.

There are two easy ways to add some fat to your electric smoker chicken breast: bard and inject.

Bacon Bard

The first is to bard, or wrap, your chicken breast in a slice of flavorful fatty meat, like bacon, as in this maple smoked bacon-wrapped chicken breast recipe.

As the chicken smokes, the fat from the bacon melts and bastes the chicken, much in the same way chicken skin would, but even tastier.

Shot Of Flavor

Another way to add fat to a chicken breast is to inject it with flavor, literally. Using a meat injector marinates the meat from the inside out.

Using a flavorful fat, like infused olive oil or even butter, can help amp up the fat and flavor in your electric smoker chicken breast recipe.

Mind Your Smoke

With an electric smoker chicken breast, smoke is also a flavoring agent as it’s a cooking method. Choosing what type of wood you use is essential when you’re making an electric smoker chicken breast.


cherries in a net

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Fruit woods are a popular choice for using with smoked chicken as they impart a sweet, fruity flavor to the meat. Cherry and apple are two very popular kinds of wood.


If you want to go beyond fruity flavors, there are other smoking woods to choose from. Maple is a sweet wood and pairs well with chicken breast. Hickory and mesquite are also popular, and pair well with Southern and Southwestern-inspired brines and marinades.

Step By Step: Electric Smoker Chicken Breast Recipe

grilled meat with sliced of tomato

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Now that we know what goes into an excellent smoked chicken breast recipe, it’s time to try our hand at it! This recipe is adapted from Fox Valley Foodie’s bacon wrapped smoked chicken breast recipe.

Gather Your Ingredients

For this recipe, you will need:

  • 6 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • 12 thin strips of bacon
  • 3 chunks of your favorite hardwood
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup each of kosher salt and brown sugar
  • 4 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns

Prepare Your Brine

First, you need to brine your chicken. Prepare your brine by heating one cup of water and thoroughly dissolving the salt and sugar.

In a large bowl, add the salt and sugar mixture, as well as the remaining cups of water, garlic, and peppercorns. Leave the brine until it reaches room temperature.

Add the chicken breasts, using a plate to weight the chicken down if necessary to ensure it is properly submerged.

Alternatively, you can place the chicken and brine in a gallon sized, zip top bag. Be sure to remove all the air to ensure proper coverage.

Put the bowl in the refrigerator. Leave the chicken to rest in the brine for two hours.

Prep Your Chicken

Remove the chicken from the brine, rinsing under cold water to remove any excess salt. Pat the chicken dry.

Wrap each chicken breast in bacon, securing with toothpicks.

Prep Your Smoker

Preheat your smoker to 275-degrees Fahrenheit and add the smoking wood, per your manufacturer’s instructions.

Smoke It

Once your smoker is preheated, add your chicken breasts to your electric smoker. Smoke your chicken breasts until the chicken reaches 165-degrees Fahrenheit on an instant-read thermometer.

Remove from the smoker and let rest for about 10 minutes before eating.

Serve It Up

smoked chicken in a white plate

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Once rested, you can eat your electric smoker chicken breast just as you would other chicken. Try pairing it with some mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables for an awesome, healthy meal.

But that’s not all you can do!

If you love pulled pork, try using your electric smoker chicken breast in this smoked pulled chicken sandwich as a healthier alternative.

Another sandwich worth trying is this great chicken club sandwich — your electric smoker chicken breast is sure to sing as the star in this club.

For something truly one of a kind, substitute your electric smoked chicken breast for regular chicken in this southwest egg roll recipe. It’s an appetizer your guests will be sure to talk about for months to come.

Electric Smoker Chicken Breast: The Breakdown

Having an electric smoker opens the door to a wide array of different smoked foods. Smoking your own chicken breast on your electric smoker helps to add some added depth to this healthy, but sometimes bland, meat.

Whether you eat your electric smoker chicken breast straight from the smoker or add it to some of your recipes for a flavorful protein boost, this is a great meat to have in your smoking repertoire.

How do you smoke your chicken breast? And how do you eat it? Tell us about it in the comments!

assorted meat on griller

Find The Best Meats To Smoke For Your Next BBQ

If we’re honest, electric smokers are magical devices. If you want delicious, perfectly smoked meats, it’s the way to go. Since electric smokers make the whole process so straightforward, finding the best meats to smoke seems to be the real challenge.

Obviously, there are a few that are always on the top of the list, such as brisket or pork. But you don’t need to stop with the obvious. It’s time to branch out and find all of the best meats to smoke.

Trying a variety of meats will also allow you to try an array of flavors. When smoking different meats, your choices are endless. You can smoke anything from ham to salmon. However, there are a few that top the list as the all-time best meats to smoke, and that’s why we’re all here.

The best recipes are the key to incredible smoked meats. Once you get the hang of using a smoker and learn what you like, you can play around with flavors and timing. Before you know it, you’ll have your own list of the best meats to smoke.

But what should you consider when you are smoking meats?

The 411 on the Best Meats to Smoke

Finding the best meats to smoke is one step in your quest for a delicious dinner. As we mentioned before, the right recipe, timing, and flavor combinations are crucial. All of these factors are going to depend heavily on the meat you choose.

For instance, ham is incredibly easy to smoke because they usually come pre-cooked and possibly even pre-smoked. All you’re doing when smoking a ham is adding even more flavor. Therefore, you won’t have to worry as much about internal temperature to ensure that the meat is cooked safely.

Instead, you need to focus on keeping it moist during the smoking process. That alone makes it one of the best meats to smoke for beginners.

On the other hand, brisket is more challenging to smoke and can be a little pricey if you’re shooting for perfection. You need to get the right cut and quality if you want a juicy and tender final product. Although, you won’t need to worry as much about seasoning because it has a fantastic flavor on its own.

In most cases, people choose to use a simple combination of salt, black pepper, and garlic.

In the end, finding the best meats to smoke is entirely up to your personal preference. Once you know where you want to start, you need to find a recipe. Each recipe will focus on specific flavors which you can accomplish with the right combination of woods and spices.

The best recipes will tell you everything you need to know. In turn, once you get the hang of smoking meats, feel free to play around with new flavors on your own.

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The perks of using an electric smoker

Smoking meats is a relatively simple task that many people find intimidating. It can seem like an incredibly touchy process. However, if you have an electric smoker, it will be very straightforward.

An electric smoker will give you the ability to control the heat properly without any extra effort on your part. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about hot spots. All you have to do is set the temperature, prepare your meat, and replenish the wood chips on occasion.

In many cases, an electric smoker is considered one of the best smokers on the market purely because it is the easiest. That doesn’t mean that you couldn’t get the same results with another smoker, but you will need to take more care in tending to the heat source.

Therefore, if you are new to the business of smoking meats, or a veteran, you might be interested in an easy method. It’s nice to learn to control temperatures and replenish heat sources in other types of smokers. But in the end, it’s nice to be able to set the temperature and let an electric smoker do the work for you.

Buying the best meats to smoke may be more accessible than ever

Most of us go to our local butcher or grocery store on the hunt for the best meats to smoke. Wouldn’t it be so much easier if you could have them delivered right to your door?

Well, many companies can do that, but it can be pricey. Luckily, Amazon intends to make the whole process much more affordable.

Since they have acquired Whole Foods, they have expanded their business to include a wide array of fresh foods.

Nevertheless, we all know keeping food fresh as it travels can be difficult. However, in this ever-changing world we live in, having fresh food delivered to your doorstep is going to be more common than you might think. And much sooner than we all realize.

delicious meat grilling

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The Best Meats to Smoke for Amazing Flavor

There are so many different options on the market, and it can make choosing the best meats to smoke a little confusing.

What do you choose? What is the most important thing to look for?

We picked these meats based on popularity and flavor possibilities. Some of them will be common choices, and others may be something you never considered before.

Hopefully, we will be able to give you the fresh ideas and robust flavors you were looking for all along.

The king of smoked meats

We all know that pork is at the top of the list when it comes to the best meats to smoke. There are certainly plenty of choices.

We already mentioned that ham is one of the easiest meats to smoke because it usually comes pre-cooked and even pre-smoked. It makes your job incredibly easy because it is already juicy and packed full of flavor.

Although, you can also consider a pork shoulder, ribs, and various roasts.

The best thing about pork, in general, is the fattiness of the meat. It makes it ideal for slow smoking without running the risk of drying out the meat. The richness of the fat will offer robust flavor, even without rubs, barbeque sauce, or general seasonings.

Nevertheless, the extra flavor will undoubtedly take it over the top.

meat on skewer

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What to remember when picking your pork

Generally, people seem to get in an argument about cutting away the fat before you pop your pork into the smoker. When it comes to cooking or smoking pork I typically skip this step and get right to it. It helps keep your meat tender and juicy.

Additionally, the fat will fall away easily after cooking. So you won’t have to worry about trimming anyway.

Therefore you can pick a cut that has plenty of fat because it can be a huge help. Keeping that in mind, pork chops aren’t a great choice. They are too small and cut too thin, which can make them extremely tricky.

Chicken is a simply delicious option

Chicken is incredibly simple to smoke and the type of blank slate that is ideal for practically any flavor combination. However, there are quite a few things you should keep in mind to make the best smoked chicken.

First of all, you need to remember that whole chickens are typically small. So if you’re planning on smoking a few at the same time make sure they are around the same size. It will be much easier to ensure that they cook through evenly.

Brining your chicken is another excellent idea. Most people recommend brining a chicken for about 12 hours. You can even add more ingredients to your brine to infuse flavors, such as wine, fruit juices, or spices. The point of brining your bird is breaking down the tougher parts of the meat and keeping it tender and juicy.

Additionally, “spatchcocking” your chicken is another good idea. I honestly had no idea what this was before and had to read up on it. Spatcocking is a process of removing the backbone from neck to tail. Once you do that, you can lay the chicken flat, and it will cook evenly.

If you are partial to a crispy skin on your smoked chicken, you may also want to consider patting the meat dry before popping it in the smoker. Cook the bird at 225 degrees Fahrenheit until the internal temperature reaches about 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Then you can turn the smoker up to 325 degrees Fahrenheit for another half an hour. It will give you a delicious crispy skin. Talk about yummy!

smoked meat

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Time to beef up your dinner

Beef is one of the best meats to smoke because you can do just about anything and use any cut under the sun. You can make roasts, ribs, and briskets better than ever. It gives you the ability to slow roast the meat until it is incredibly tender.

The key to smoking beef is to cook it on a low temperature for the right amount of time. The time your meat will be in the smoker will depend on the cut and weight of the meat. The best cuts are an even thickness and beautifully marbled, such as brisket.

The marbling of the meat will help you keep it moist during the process. Other than that, the flavor will depend on the wood and the seasoning you use.

Typically, people use rubs, marinades, sauces, or even injections. It all depends on the recipe you’ve got your eye on.

One thing you should remember when smoking beef is the importance of resting the meat. It will enable you to cook the meat to the proper internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Then you should allow it to rest for about an hour.

Resting the meat gives the juices time to settle into the meat. You can lose a lot of flavor and moisture when you cut into the meat directly after pulling it from the smoker.

raw brisket

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Texas style beef brisket recipe

Brisket is one of the best meats to smoke of all time, as long as you do it properly. It might sound intimidating, but it’s easier than you might think.

As we mentioned before, brisket is a beautifully marbled piece of meat. Although, if you want it to be flawless, you need to fork out a little money for a high-grade slab of brisket. With all of that in mind, it’s time to check out a delectable Texas-style beef brisket recipe.


  • A 12 to 14-pound whole packer beef brisket
  • 2 tablespoons of kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons of coarse ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of garlic powder


  1. 1If you wish to trim the fat cap on your brisket, make sure to do so when it is cold. It makes the process much more comfortable. If you are cutting the fat cap, make sure to leave about ¼-inch of fat.
  2. 2After trimming, allow the meat to come to room temperature before putting it in the smoker.
  3. 3Preheat the smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit and make sure to add the wood of your choice at this point as well. Hickory, apple, cherry, maple, and red oak are fantastic choices.
  4. 4Mix your salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a bowl or container and evenly distribute over the meat. Make sure to cover the entire surface of the meat on the top, bottom, and sides.
  5. 5Put your meat on the smoking rack. If you are using an electric smoker, you only need to make sure the fat cap is on top. If you are using another type of smoker, make sure that the thickest part of the meat is pointed towards the heat source.
  6. 6Smoke the brisket until the internal temperature is 165 degrees Fahrenheit. That should take about 8-hours for a 12 to 14-pound brisket.
  7. 7When it is done, wrap the meat in butcher paper and let it rest for one hour on the counter. Then you’ll be ready to slice it up and enjoy!

Tender and delicious lamb

Some people have inhibitions about eating lamb. Even if you aren’t a vegetarian, it can be an odd thing to wrap your head around, at least in my mother’s case.However, if you are interested in finding the best meats to smoke, many say that lamb in at the top of the list.There are plenty of different recipes and ways of preparing lamb.

leg of lamb

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Smoked leg of lamb recipe

The “best” lamb recipe is hard to pin down because it comes to personal preference. However, a Greek-style smoked lamb is a classic.

Therefore, we want to give you this classically delicious lamb recipe. It’s simple and straightforward, especially if you get the boneless leg of lamb that is already tied up to the size of a football. Some might say that there is a big difference in the taste when you remove the bone before smoking, but it’s not true. A boneless leg of lamb will cook evenly and give you a marvelous flavor.

So let’s get to it, shall we?


  • 2 to 2 ½ pounds of a boneless leg of lamb
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of thyme
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil


  1. 1You will need to debone and tie up the leg of lamb, so it forms a roast. You may also need to trim away excess fat, depending on the cut. Keep in mind that you could skip this step if you buy a boneless leg of lamb that is tied up and ready to go. All you need to do is ask a butcher for assistance.
  2. 2Mix the rest of your ingredients and apply it to the entire roast.
  3. 3Place the coated lamb in a dish and cover with plastic wrap to marinate in the fridge for an hour.
  4. 4Preheat the smoker to 250 degrees Fahrenheit while you wait.
  5. 5Once everything is ready to go, place the meat on a smoking rack and add the wood chips of choice. Hickory, apple, or oak are great choices.
  6. 6Smoke the lamb for about 3 to 4 hours or until the internal temperature is 145 degrees Fahrenheit. That will bring your meat to a beautiful medium rare with a delicious crust. If you prefer a well-done lamb, you may want to leave it in longer. You could also wrap it in butcher paper and let it rest for an hour.

meat and tomato sauce

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When You Find the Best Meats to Smoke, You’ll Never Want to Stop

Overall, finding the best meats to smoke comes down to personal taste. We can tell you which ones are popular enough to have tons of recipes. But that isn’t to say that other options aren’t on par.

Honestly, with the right recipe, the list of the best meats to smoke is endless.

Hopefully, we gave you some great ideas and a few handy tips. The recipes in this list are fantastic and would be wonderful to try if you have the time.

But we would also love to hear about your favorite recipes in the comment section below.

After all, we are always hungry for some delicious new ideas!

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Brisket cut

How To Smoke A Brisket In An Electric Smoker: A Hands-Free Recipe!

Are you wondering how to smoke a brisket in an electric smoker? Who doesn’t love a good brisket? Everything from the juicy, tender meat to the flavorful bark is irresistible. It seems like something that only a professional could pull off correctly.

But that isn’t true because now you can achieve this healthy and delicious meal at home. Learning how to smoke a brisket in an electric smoker is incredibly easy. Your friends are going to think you’re a pitmaster. You’ll think so too when you taste your creation.

However, there are a few simple steps you need to take when learning how to smoke a brisket in an electric smoker. The first thing you need to do is get the right meat and a quality smoker.

You see, the right cut of meat is going to give you an extraordinary amount of flavor and you’ll hardly need any seasonings. Using an electric smoker will give you so much more freedom than basically any other smoker on the market.

Before you get started, there are a few simple steps you need to take. Before you know it, you’ll have a brisket that tastes just as good as your local barbecue.

The Perks Of An Electric Smoker

meat and sausages in an electric smoker

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First of all, you might be wondering, why we are specifically focusing on an electric smoker. Well, the truth is, if you’re learning how to smoke meats, it is the most straightforward machine on the market.

Even if you have been using smokers for years, you’ll be surprised at how easy they are to control in comparison to many others. That will make learning how to smoke a brisket in an electric smoker the most straightforward option out there.

Talk about convenient.

Propane and charcoal smokers have the risk of running out of fuel during the smoking process. Charcoal smokers are especially challenging to control because you need to refresh the coals frequently.

The more you open the smoker to restore the fuel, the more heat you will lose in the process. That can lead to temperature spikes and drops which will seriously affect the time it takes to make your brisket. It may even affect the quality of your final product.

Electric smokers have simple settings and will control the temperature for you. That will lead to a quicker dinner and more reliable final product.

Additionally, they are relatively energy efficient and use cleaner energy than both coal or propane. When using an electric smoker, you don’t have to worry about chemical contamination like you would with any other smoker.

two piece of meat in an electric smoker

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What you should know about using an electric smoker

As we mentioned before, an electric smoker is incredibly straightforward and easy to use. Most models include an on/off switch or pushbutton start.

They also include temperature controls that range from 100 to 275 degrees, although the range will depend on the model. It might not seem like a wide range in comparison to an oven, but that’s the point. It’s the ideal way to learn how to smoke a brisket in an electric smoker at a low temperature.

When smoking any meat, low and slow is the way to go. It will give you a perfectly tender and juicy meat that is to die for.

Additionally, the walls are insulated, which will maximize temperature retention. They include a side wood chip loader, removable drip tray, and adjustable dampers. All of those features will enable you to achieve a marvelous flavor.

To tell the truth, there isn’t much to the whole process. That’s the beauty behind learning how to smoke a brisket in an electric smoker.

How to Smoke a Brisket in an Electric Smoker like a Pro

When it comes to learning how to smoke a brisket in an electric smoker there are only a few things you need to keep in mind. The cut and quality of the meat are the most crucial factors of all.

Next, you will need to find the perfect flavoring method, which can be accomplished in several ways. Keep in mind that it isn’t going to take much, but the execution needs to be done flawlessly. However, you’ll be happy to know that’s easy to accomplish.

Picking and prepping your brisket

Alright, time to get to the meat of this smoking business.

Picking the right cut of meat is essential to making the perfect brisket. No matter what meat you happen to be smoking, you should pick the best on the market, whether it’s ham, sirloin, ribs, or brisket.

If you’re going to take hours upon end to make a meal, you should drop a little extra cash to get the best cut.

According to many experienced smokers, you want the “packers cut.” It’s a sizeable two-muscle cut with a generous fat cap. They typically come at about 11 pounds.

The quality is crucial as well. You need a high-grade slab of meat, which usually means getting a Waygu or Prime brisket. They have excellent marbling that will boost the flavor, moisture, and tenderness of the final product.

smoked brisket in a plate served

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Tips for flavoring your brisket

The truth is, brisket is one of the most flavorful parts of a cow. It contains plenty of fat that will provide a delicious natural flavor. Plus, cows don’t have a gamey taste, so you won’t need to add much seasoning or brine the meat.

There are a lot of people who recommend injecting your meat with beef stock, bouillon, MSG, or seasonings. However, there’s no need for any of that.

Simple seasonings on the exterior of the meat are more than enough because the meat is already rich and delicious. Coarse ground salt, pepper, and finely ground garlic powder are the most common choices.

Although if you’re interested in adding a little boost to the flavor, the right wood chips are a fabulous addition. Most experienced smokers recommend oak if you are just learning how to smoke a brisket in an electric smoker.

Texas Style Brisket Recipe

Texas style brisket is a wonderful recipe if you are learning how to smoke a brisket in an electric smoker. But strap in because it’s going to take you a whopping 15-hours in total to cook this fantastic brisket.

It might seem high maintenance when you are just learning how to smoke a brisket in an electric smoker. However, it’s going to be well worth the wait. You merely need to plan your day correctly. But you’ll have plenty of time waiting around and you can use that time to accomplish lots of other things while you wait.

smoked brisket being cut into pieces

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Ingredients and equipment

  • An electric smoker
  • Butcher paper
  • Oak wood chips
  • 12 to 14 pound whole packer brisket (plan for 1/2-pound per person and adjust the cooking time)
  • 2 Tablespoons coarse Kosher salt
  • 2 Tablespoons coarse ground black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons garlic powder

Prepping your tasty treat

  1. First off, you need to plan for the crowd you are serving. If it’s for a party, this recipe should feed about 24 to 28 people if you plan 1/2-pound per person. Although, leftovers are never a bad idea!
  2. Make sure the meat is room temperature, and the smoker is up 225-degree before getting started.
  3. Next, you will need to trim and season the brisket. Some people don’t bother trimming the meat because they want the additional flavor from the fat. They plan to cut away most of the fat after cooking, rather than before. But if you are planning to trim your brisket, there are some great guides to pull it off perfectly. As for the seasoning, just sprinkle it all over and rub it on so it sticks. Easy peasy.

Smoking up a storm

  1. Place the brisket in the smoker and add the wood chips to the appropriate pan. Allow it to smoke at 225 degrees for around 8 hours. The cooking time will depend on the size of the brisket, and this approximation is for the 12 to 14-pound brisket. The rule of thumb is, “when it’s done, it’s done.” But a more exact plan would be to shoot for 165 degrees.
  2. Once your brisket has reached 165 degrees, you can take it out and wrap it up like a present in butcher paper. Using butcher paper, rather than foil, will promote a deliciously caramelized bark. Just make sure you seal it up correctly and place it back into the smoker with the folded side down.
  3. Once you return it to the smoker, it can smoke for another 5 to 8 hours. Again, it will depend on the size of the brisket. You want the brisket to reach about 202 degrees.

Time to rest

  1. When it is finally done you can take it out but leave it wrapped up. Place it on a cutting board or baking pan so it can sit for at least an hour. That will allow the juices to settle and redistribute through the meat. Although, if you need it to stay hot for dinner, you can wrap your juicy package in a towel and place it in a cooler. That will keep it warm for up to six hours.
  2. After allowing your brisket to rest, it will be the perfect temperature slicing. You won’t lose all the tasty juices, but it will be tender enough to slice like a stick of butter.
  3. Slicing your brisket is a bit of a task. If you got a high-quality piece of brisket, there should be a flat portion and a point. The point will have two overlapping muscles running through the middle. Considering all of the above and the fact that you should cut against the grain for maximum tenderness, it can be tricky. Luckily, there are fantastic guides for slicing your brisket.

Smoking A Brisket Has Never Been So Tasty

Making brisket can take a bit of money and a big chunk of your time. The perk to learning how to smoke a brisket in an electric smoker is your ability to go hands-free.

All you need to do is prepare the meat and pop it in the smoker. Beyond that, there isn’t much you have to do. It’s all about cooking the brisket low and slow until it reaches the right temperature.

It will slice like butter and only requires simple seasonings to taste amazing. However, there are a few things to remember if you’re going to learn how to smoke a brisket in an electric smoker properly.

First of all, the temperature is everything.

Don’t worry about the meat when it’s in the smoker. You can check it when it gets to a certain point, but there is no need to flip the brisket continually. The more you open the smoker, the more the temperature will fluctuate. That could extend the cooking time tremendously.

smoked brisket on plate with tomato side

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Also, remember that you can get creative. That could include experimenting with different flavors by using wood chips, seasonings, or sauces.

Although, you’d be surprised how many “purists” smoke the bare meat and roll their eyes at any other method.

However, we aren’t those people. Instead, we want to give you a delicious basic recipe while you learn to ropes. We would also love to hear any tips you have for learning how to smoke a brisket in an electric smoker in the comments!

smokey meat on the grill pan

Best Grilling Accessories For A Memorable Summer

When the weather warms up, with longer days and shorter nights, it’s time to get outside and get to grilling! Picking the best grilling accessories for your backyard barbeque can help bring your backyard cooking game to the next level.

Aside from choosing the best grilling accessories to make your food taste awesome, don’t forget to consider other ways to make your guests feel welcome in your backyard.

For example, set the mood with some great lighting and music. Keep unwanted pests at bay by setting out natural pest deterrents like citronella candles and torches. Be sure to provide plenty of shade for guests during hot afternoons and maybe consider a fire pit to gather around in case the evening gets a bit chilly.

Best Grilling Accessories

Thermo stats grilling accessories on a grilled meat

​Via Pixabay

You may already have the best grill for you but accessorizing allows you to take advantage of everything your grill can do. Let’s take a look at some of the different types of grilling accessories available.

Essential tools

Just like you need pots and pans in a kitchen, there are a few absolute must-have essentials for your backyard grill. Tongs and spatulas are a must have for any grilling situation.

Look for tongs and spatulas made from stainless steel that have comfortable handles, as these will hold up best to the intense heat that your grill can put out. Also, when it comes to any grilling tools, you want long handles to help keep you a comfortable distance away from the heat.

Cooking accessories

While backyard grills are great for grilling food over an open flame, different cooking accessories can help you be creative with how you use that heat. Some of the best grilling accessories can help you do just that!

For example, rotisserie attachments can help you evenly roast large cuts of meat without having to turn the meat yourself laboriously. A pizza stone or cast iron pan can turn your charcoal or gas grill into a pizza oven.

Cooking accessories allow you to think outside just the grill! Try using a wok over an open flame. It can help you achieve that elusive, super hot flame that is so essential for creating that wok hei flavor present in authentic stir fry dishes.


Collecting the best grilling accessories is not just about cooking tools. There are many various grilling accessories out there that help make your summer cookouts easier though they may not be directly involved with the food.

For example, for charcoal aficionados, what type of charcoal you use is just as important as how you start your fire.

How We Chose

We collected a variety of the best grilling accessories from around the web, in a variety of categories. We chose items that are both top-rated on Amazon as well as good values and easy to use.

The Best Grilling Accessories for Your Summer Cookouts

grilled veggies using the best grilling accessories

​Via Pixabay

Without further ado, let’s get to cooking with the best grilling accessories out there!

Vegetable grill basket

The #1 Vegetable Grill Basket by GRILLUX - BBQ Gift Accessories for...
  • Easy to use - curved handles allows for easy carrying, use as wok pan to stir fry chopped chicken, beef or pork, nothing...
  • Keeps food inside - raised edges prevents food from escaping
  • Heavy duty cookware - 100% stainless steel, retain heat and cooks food fast, great for camping

Veggies taste incredible when roasted on the grill. Grilled onions and peppers pair perfectly with most meats. You can even forgo meat altogether with a beautiful grilled portabello mushroom. The problem is that it’s really easy to lose veggies through your grill gates, especially when they are cut small.

The Grillux BBQ Grill Basket can help solve these issues. This stainless steel metal basket has a 4.6 out of 5-star rating on Amazon. With four, curved metal sides, this basket sits atop your grill plates. The heat can come through, but the veggies will not fall out.

The Grillux BBQ Grill is available at various home and garden centers as well as on Amazon.

Check your fuel

DOZYANT DZ-CPG2 Propane Tank Gauge
  • Compatible with all appliances with a Qcc1/ Type1 connection and up to 40-lb. Propane tanks.
  • Heavy duty 100% solid brass construction withstands weather, scratching, denting and corroding.
  • Monitors fuel level without removing the tank. Gauge display accounts for ambient temperature change. Color coded dial...

Imagine this: you’re planning the perfect BBQ party. You have all your meat and sides ready, and you’re just about to get grilling. Unfortunately, you step outside only to notice that your propane tank for your gas grill is empty!

While there are methods like the hot water trick to check how much propane is in your tank, using a tank indicator like the Dozy Ant Propane Tank Gauge lets you see how much gas you have at a glance. That is not only good for making sure you have enough propane to start the party but also enough propane to keep it going.

You can find the Dozy Ant Propane Tank Gauge on Amazon, where it as a 4.1 out of 5-star rating, as well as at your local propane store and home and garden centers.

Beer Can Chicken Roaster

Cave Tools Beer Can Chicken Holder Roasting Pan with Vegetable Spikes...
  • Chicken Gifts: These Grilling accessories help you get your chicken or turkey Fryer cavity centered on a beer tower atop...
  • No Need for the Chicken Rotisserie Grill: Stand's stainless steel build distributes heat to ensure the cavity and the...
  • Easy Cleaning Pans: Whether in an outdoor mountain campfire or in the kitchen, stand and racks have easy clean-up and...

Smart is knowing that beer and grilled chicken are the staples of many American backyard summer cookouts. Genius is putting the two together to make something easy and delicious from what you already have on hand.

The usual method for cooking the affectionately named Beer Butt Chicken involves upending a seasoned chicken onto a half drunk can of beer. Though classic, this method is a bit unwieldy.

The top-rated Beer Can Chicken Roaster Rack gives you a sturdier surface. This stainless steel roaster includes a canister to hold your beer (or any other flavorful liquid) on a deep drip tray to catch all the delicious juices that may run off.

This roaster rack also includes vegetable spikes you can use to roast vegetables right alongside your beer can chicken. Finally, the tray is dishwasher safe.

You can find the Beer Can Chicken Roaster Rack at specialty food stores as well as online at Amazon. Customers give it a 4.6 out of 5-star rating.

Original bear paws

No products found.

Southern style pulled pork is traditionally shredded using two forks to break up the meat. While we’re not ones to mess with tradition, no one said there’s anything wrong with improving on the tried and true method.

These all-nylon meat claws give you long, sharp tines to comfortably grip and shred cooked meat. You can also use the claws to provide you with a better grip on large roasts or even watermelon.

The Original Bear Paws meat shredding claws are a hit on Amazon where they receive a 4.7 out of 5-star rating from customers. You can also find them at your local specialty BBQ store and other retailers.

Clean your grill

GrillStone Grill Cleaner Starter Set, with Handle and Two Blocks
  • Cleans 4x faster then wire brushes and scouring pads
  • Conforms to any surface to clean between the grill grates
  • 100% chemical free and non-toxic

Before you plan your first cookout of the season, one of the most important things you can do is to clean your grill.

After inspecting your grill to make sure that there are no leaks in the gas lines, you need to give it a good scrub down. Metal brushes are great for this but can leave bits of metal that can get transferred to your food.

A study released in 2016 noted that between 2002 and 2014, 1,700 Americans ingested bits of wire grill brush! Of these cases, one in four patients needed to be admitted to the hospital.

Sending your guests to the hospital is definitely NOT the way you want your grilling season to be remembered.

So what’s the alternative? Try using a stone brush like the ​EarthStone GrillStone Grill Cleaner. Unlike the wire on traditional metal grill brushes, the ​EarthStone GrillStone Grill Cleaner uses a pumice stone to scrape off the gunk of cookouts past.

You can find this 4.4 out of 5-star rated stone brush online at Amazon as well as other specialty BBQ stores and home and garden outlets.


Gas grills offer unparalleled convenience, with your fire ready at the push of a button. However, for some purists, there is no comparison to grilling meat over good old charcoal.

No matter what type of charcoal grill you use, you always want to start with great charcoal. Though briquettes may be a great place to start, they can be full of additives.

If you’re not ready to have mystery smoke along with your meal, try burning some hardwood lump charcoal like Kamado Jo or Fogo. Both of these charcoals received a 4.2 out of 5-star rating from Amazon customers. These charcoals are also available at your local specialty BBQ store.

Light it up

Weber Rapidfire Chimney Starter, Standard, Silver
  • Designed to quickly produce hot coals for cooking
  • 7.5 in. In diameter, 13 in. High
  • Specialized cone-shaped grate

Of course, even the best charcoal is not going to light itself. Using lighter fluid is a quick way to get a charcoal fire going, but it is messy, dangerous, and adds unnecessary chemicals to your fire.

Instead, use a chimney starter like the Weber Chimney Starter, the number one top seller on Amazon with an impressive 4.8 out of 5-star rating. You can also find it for sale at most home and garden stores.

Chimney starters let you get a nice, even start on your charcoal, using newspaper and convection to light your coals.

Another option is to use an electric lighter like the Looftlighter. This lighter uses superheated air to start charcoal in just a minute. You can find the 4.2 out of 5-star rated Looftlighter on Amazon and at other specialty BBQ stores.

If you want a more portable option, try using ready-made fire starters like Light-A-Fire all natural starters. These pre-portioned pods contain sawdust and food-grade wax. You can even use them in conjunction with a chimney starter on your grill or use them to start a campfire or a fire in your backyard firepit.

Light-A-Fire is available on Amazon and comes in a handy plastic container. This 4.2 out of 5-star rated product makes an ideal, portable solution for picnics and other mobile cookouts.

Essentials for everyone

Mr. Bar-B-Q 21 Piece Stainless Steel Barbecue Tool Set with Carrying...
  • Professional grade 21-piece set with high-end design and aluminum carrying case.
  • Set includes: 18-inch spatula with bottle opener end, 17-inch fork, a 15-inch slicing knife, a 17.5-inch basting brush,...
  • High-quality set designed for the ultimate grill master or pit boss - at home, or on the go.

Every backyard cook needs a good set of tools to get their food on and off the fire. This ​21-piece barbecue set from Mr. Bar-B-Q includes everything an aspiring backyard gourmand needs, in a handy carrying case.

Tools in this kit include tongs, a spatula, reusable skewers, as well as slotted spatula and corn holders. You can find this grill tool set on Amazon where it gets 4.1 out of 5-stars from customers.

Another great essential that no grill party should be without is a good set of BBQ gloves. Backyard grilling can get hot, and having the right gloves can help keep the cook safe while they are dealing with the food.

We like these Extreme Heat Grill Gloves, available on Amazon. These top-rated gloves enjoy a 4.4 out of 5-star rating from Amazon customers. The gloves can take the heat, protecting your hands up to 932-degrees Fahrenheit. Whether you are handling a hot chimney starter or moving pans around, the insulation on these gloves will keep you safe.

Even better, these gloves are 14-inches long, covering a good part of your arm. Rather than a mitt-style, these are glove style allowing you the full range of motion with all your fingers. The fingertips are covered with raised silicone tips for extra grip.

Food safety

ThermoPro TP20 500FT Wireless Meat Thermometer with Dual Meat Probe,...
  • 500FT Remote Range: Compared with those Bluetooth meat thermometer on the market, this meat thermometer digital wireless...
  • Hassle-Free Setup: No synchronization or APP download required, the upgraded wireless thermometer receiver clearly...
  • Kitchen Timer: Food cooking smoker thermometer features count up and countdown setting that is perfect for long-time...

Practicing safe cooking methods helps ensure that your grill party isn’t remembered for all the wrong reasons. Always cook your meat to FDA doneness standards to help ensure that no one gets foodborne illnesses from your meat masterpieces.

Instant read thermometers are great for temping smaller pieces of meat like chicken breasts, steaks, and chops. If you need continuous temperature monitoring on a larger portion of meat like pork butt or a tri-tip roast, try investing in a wireless thermometer

Thermopro makes top-rated monitors and has both an instant-read (4.3 out of 5 stars) and a Bluetooth (4.5 out of 5 stars) thermometer available on Amazon.

Night light

LED Concepts BBQ Grill Lights Magnetic Base Super-Bright LED...
  • GRILLING & BBQ LIGHT – Perfect for outdoor grilling and BBQ – Provides instant illumination exactly where you need...
  • MULTI-FLEX NECK – 22 Inch Goose-neck that adjusts 360° to illuminate any task
  • ADJUSTABLE SCREW CLAMP – Sturdy adjustable clamp that attaches to various surfaces to ensure that the weight of the...

While a night light probably isn’t the first thing you would think of when considering the best grilling accessories, it should be!

Everyone knows that the best grill parties are the ones that last well into the summer night. While it may be warm enough to stay outside, the night sky does make it pretty challenging to see the grill.

A grill-safe light like this LED BBQ Grill Light can help you keep the party fed into the wee hours of the night. It is an Amazon bestseller with a 4.4 out of 5-star rating.

Cedar grill planks

Cedar Grilling Planks - 12 Pack
  • Textured Grilling Planks for More Smoke and More Flavor!
  • 5.5". x 11.00" x 1/3" - Upgraded Thickness!
  • Grilling planks are only intended for single use. Reuse is unsanitary.

Have you ever tried plank grilling? If not, this method should be on your to try list for your next grill party.

This grilling method owes its origins to indigenous Americans, who grilled fish on wood for ease and flavor. To cook on a plank, take your food-safe plank and soak it in water. From there, you can toss it onto a hot grill and let it smoke a little. Place your seasoned fish, or vegetable, or meat, on top and let it cook!

As it cooks, the food gets infused with the smoky wood flavor. Even better, plank cooking makes for an excellent presentation and easy cleanup!

These top-rated Cedar Grill Planks get a 4.6 out of 5-star rating on Amazon. You may also be able to find these planks at your local BBQ specialty store.

Get Ready for the Cookout

burning charcoal inside the grill plate

​Via Pixabay

The best grilling accessories help the backyard chef with everything from food preparation to food safety. With the best grilling accessories at your fingertips, anyone can have a great summer grilling season.

What are your favorite grilling accessories? Do you have one that you think should have been on your list? Let us know in the comments below!

​Featured Image Source: Unsplash

Group of people having a barbecue party

Backyard Barbecue 101: How to Host an Unforgettable Party

Barbecue season is here, and homeowners everywhere are getting their grills ready for a great backyard barbecue. If it’s your turn to host the party, the pressure to impress your guests might be already getting to you.

What should you include in your menu? How many people should you invite? Will your budget cover all the costs? These are some of the questions that may be going through your mind.

Don’t worry. We’ve all been there.

The mistake most hosts make is complicating their menu and biting off more than they can chew in terms of planning. Doing so will only make your barbecue party stressful for you and leave no room for fun — and we can’t have that!

So fear not — we have all the information you need to plan a stress-free, fun-filled backyard barbecue.


Man holding a spatula near a barbecue griller

image source: via Vincent Keiman

If you’ve never hosted a backyard barbecue before, you might feel like a fish out of water. Especially if you’re trying to figure out what you need to make the party a success.

But the trick is not to over-think it.

The first step is determining everything you need for the party. Once this is sorted, you’ll feel more confident and ready to execute.

So without further ado, let’s find out some of the BBQ essentials you need to host the most memorable barbecue party in your neighborhood.

The perfect backyard barbecue

Meat is the star of any backyard barbecue party. Therefore, if you’re aiming for perfection, you need to invest in the right BBQ. You have two choices: gas and charcoal.

Your choice will depend on the number of people you’re planning to host and your preferred flavors.

A gas BBQ grill is more convenient because it’s easy to light, use, and clean and gets to the optimum cooking temperature faster compared to a charcoal grill. However, charcoal BBQ grills are cheaper and add a unique smoky flavor to your meat.

Size-wise, consider the amount of space you have and how many people you’ll be cooking for.

If you can’t seem to make up your mind, a gas/charcoal grill combo would also come in handy for this and future BBQ parties.

Don’t forget the fuel when buying the grill!

Utensils and accessories

To do a good job, you’ll also need the right tools. Go for long-handled utensils, because these will help keep your hands away from the hot parts of the grill. Some examples of kitchen tools you’ll need include tongs, spatula, knife, and carving fork.

You’ll also need an apron, marinade brush, meat thermometer, and chopping boards.


Don’t forget the ice. It’s one of the essential items you shouldn’t miss in a backyard barbecue. And no, don’t postpone it for later. You might forget to get it, and you don’t want to be the host that keeps sending guests on an ice run. So, stock up in advance!

Decor and lighting

The other thing you should add to your checklist is decor and lighting. Lights set the mood of the party once the sun sets. So, make sure you have enough festive lights.

Your decor will depend on your preferences and the BBQ theme you are going for if you have one. If you don’t have an idea, go for simple decorations that make the area stand out without looking like you’re trying too hard.

Man grilling sausages

​Image via Pexels

Drinks and food

A backyard barbecue is not complete without an assortment of drinks and food. You need to figure out what you’ll serve and then create a shopping list of everything you’ll need.

Some ideas that work for most BBQ parties include chicken, burgers, sausages, sweet corn, kebabs, ribs, salad, peppers, drinks, wine, and beer.

For desserts, you can include ice cream, cake, or fruit salad.

Drink dispenser

Another must-have item on your checklist is a drink dispenser. Topping up everyone’s drink when they’ve finished can be quite a hassle. It may take a lot of time, depending on the number of guests, and you may not enjoy the party.

Having a few dispensers at your disposal will make things easier. In this way, everyone will get to serve their drinks, and all you’ll have to do is to refill the containers.

Tiki torches

Tiki torches will also be a great addition to your backyard BBQ. They’ll not only provide additional lighting but also keep mosquitoes at bay — your guests will truly appreciate a buzz and bite-free night.

Top 10 Tips on How to Host the Most Unforgettable Backyard Barbecue Party

a woman preparing a barbecue

image source:

It’s not enough to have your checklist ready. You also need to know how to make the party memorable for all your guests.

If you have a neighbor or friend who has set the backyard barbecue bar extremely high, it can seem like a daunting task. But it doesn’t have to be. You can add your unique touch to the party and make it unforgettable. These tips can help.

1. Less is more

It’s easy to go overboard when you’re trying to impress your friends and relatives. But don’t let the pressure get to you. Instead of thinking of all the classy meals you can include in your menu, try working around your main dish and add your top dishes that people rave about.

You should also go for simple decorations that make your space stand out effortlessly. For a backyard barbecue, balloons, bright table cloths, and string lights should do the trick.

2. Understand your guests

Another thing that will go a long way in helping you plan the best BBQ is understanding your guests. What do they like to eat? Will there be children? Anyone with diet restrictions?

The answer to these questions will help you provide exactly what everyone needs. Don’t complicate things by trying to create an impressive menu. An uncomplicated menu is precisely what a group of people of different ages need.

3. Potluck is always a good way to go

Image source: Unspla​​​​​sh

if you want to cut back on costs and add some elements of surprise to your menu, it may be a good idea to ask your guests to bring desserts or appetizers of their choice.

With this approach, you’ll give your guests a chance to taste each other’s favorite dishes, which will undoubtedly be a great treat for their taste buds.

4. Stay on budget

It’s also essential to stick to your budget when planning a backyard barbecue. One way to do this is to utilize things you already have, like plates and cups.

Doing this will allow you to save lots of money you would have otherwise spent on paper plates and paper cups. And the best part? You get to safeguard the environment too.

5. Plan, plan, plan

Don’t wait until the last minute to start your preparations. Create a to-do list and start checking off tasks as soon as you can. Send out the invites. Determine when you’ll run errands. Also, don’t be shy about seeking assistance from a friend or two in advance to avoid last minute rush.

6. It’s all about the meat

person slicing a meat on brown wooden board

Image source: Unsplash

As we mentioned earlier, meat is the star at any barbecue. Therefore, you can’t afford to mess it up. Get all the meat you need and keep it refrigerated in advance. Before the barbecue party, make sure the meat is marinated well before the event to avoid any delays.

Also, make sure you prep your grill by cleaning it and placing it in an easily accessible area before the big day.

7. Set up

Don’t wait until the day of the backyard barbecue to set up everything. Do it a day or two before to ensure you have everything you need. Make sure you have enough chairs, tables, lighting, and everything else you need to ensure everyone’s comfortable.

Early set up will give you some time to run to the store in case there’s a shortage of something.

8. Prioritize safety

It’s also crucial to prioritize safety, especially if you plan to have kids at the barbecue.

For instance, if you have a pool, make sure you hire a lifeguard for the day to watch out for the kids and set some pool rules to ensure everyone stays safe.

9. Entertainment is key

Although meat and food are the first things you should be concerned about when planning a backyard barbecue, you also need to think about entertainment. What will your guests do once they are done eating? How will you keep the kids engaged to prevent them from messing up everything?

Consider including games like Charades, Pictionary, Never Have I Ever, and other games that make everyone participate and get to know each other better.

For the kids, consider hiring a teen to watch them as the adults relax.

10. Don’t forget to have fun

Don’t stress too much about how your guests perceive your party that you forget to have fun. Take a break from running up and down and join in on the fun. A good host takes time to mingle with the quests and participate in the activities. If you end up having lots of fun, chances are your guests are having a great time too.

Make Your BBQ a Day to Remember

Group of people toasting to eachother

image source:

As you can see, little things can go a long way in making your backyard barbecue memorable. So stop overthinking it and use the tips we’ve shared to plan a BBQ no one will forget any time soon.

What are some of the things you do to make your BBQ memorable that we haven’t included in this list? We’d love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts and views in the comments section below.

​Featured image via ​Pexels

grilling meat and vegetables

Propane Camping Grill: Make Cooking in the Great Outdoors Simple

Camping can be a lot of work, but cooking while you’re in the great outdoors doesn’t have to be. At least, not if you have a propane camping grill. I’ve been on a lot of camping trips. It’s one of the cheapest choices when you’re looking for a budget-friendly adventure. After countless trips, I know just how difficult it is to plan a real meal while you’re on the go. The choices normally come down to eating out, if that’s even an option, or rigging up a way to cook over a fire.

grilling sausages

Image source:

If you choose the latter, you will also need to bring firewood or buy some at the campground. Plus, you’re going to need to light the fire somehow, so you need to pack additional tools for that. Overall, it isn’t exactly a task that new campers look forward to. All around, it’s more trouble than it’s worth if you’re only setting up camp for the night until you continue the journey the next day. A propane camping grill is a perfect solution for cooking on the go or in the great outdoors.

And a propane grill is perfect for everything from camping to tailgating to picnics in the park. Even if you don’t plan many camping trips, you will have plenty of uses for a propane camping grill. No matter where your adventure takes you, cooking dinner on the road is going to be easier than ever before.

Picking the Perfect Propane Camping Grill

When you’re picking out a propane camping grill, there are a few things that you need to consider. It isn’t a complicated decision, and it just depends on your needs. First of all, you need to consider the group you will be cooking for on your trip. I’ve been on camping trips with just my husband or in large groups of over 30 people. In almost every situation, I have been in charge of cooking the food, at least for one meal.

Depending on the group you usually go camping with, you will need to consider the size of the cooking area. No matter what, a portable propane camping grill isn’t going to be very big. They need to be small for portability. Luckily, all of the options on this list are a great size for a family. A propane camping grill will give you all the convenience of an electric skillet, but you won’t have to rely on outlets. Therefore, you can take a propane camping grill anywhere and cook at any time.

Another thing to think about is the size of the propane bottle. Many propane camping grill models will not include a propane bottle. So when you are buying one, make sure that you get enough for the duration of your trip. If you plan to get a larger 5-pound bottle, you may also need to get a new hose to adapt it to your propane camping grill.

You should pick something with a removable drip tray, a lid lock, and preferably, a removable grill top. All of those features will make it easier to clean or pack on the go. Plus, campsites usually frown upon cleaning your dishes in a bathroom sink. So you need all the convenience you can get.

Gas vs. charcoal: The convenience showdown

You might be wondering why we are even focusing on a propane camping grill when charcoal grills are just as portable.

The thing is, charcoal grills can be more complicated to lug around. For one thing, they don’t always have a latch to keep the whole unit together.

Additionally, you’re also going to need enough charcoal to get you through your trip. You can buy it at most campgrounds or any nearby grocery store, but it’s a messy business. Furthermore, you’re going to have to light the charcoal, so you will need additional tools for that.

When it comes to a propane camping grill, you can usually start it with the push of a button. Plus, you can guarantee evenly distributed heat so that your food will cook evenly every time. When it comes to charcoal grilling, it can be difficult to ensure there won’t be a hot spot.

When it comes down to it, a propane camping grill is more convenient, but it isn’t your only option. It all comes down to personal preference.

How We Reviewed the Best Propane Camping Grill Selection

We want to make sure to give you reviews that are based on genuine customer experiences. Therefore, we made sure to base our ratings on Amazon customer reviews.

Our goal is to let you know the features of each model so that you can pick the right one for your camping needs. For that reason, we will include what Amazon customers loved most about each product.

Our overall goal is to give you a fantastic selection so that you can find the best propane camping grill for your big adventure.

Price to pay for convenience

Camping is the most affordable way to travel. It will allow you to go anywhere without having to drop a ton of money on good hotel rooms.

You certainly don’t want to save money by going to a dingy two-star motel that probably has bed bugs. Remember that you get what you pay for.

At least when you’re camping, you know who has been in your tent, unlike those stained mattresses or questionable comforters in seedy hotel rooms.

Who would have thought camping is the cleaner choice?

Anyway, cooking on your journey doesn’t have to be expensive. The price range on these propane grills is between $85 and $210.

It might seem a little pricey in the beginning, but they’re sturdy and will last for a long time. So this one-time purchase will get you through years of camping trips, as long as you take care of it and store it properly.

The Top 5 Propane Camp Grills

Cooking while you're camping will finally be simple. If you get a propane camping grill, all you have to do is press a button and make sure you have enough fuel. Honestly, it will be like cooking at home.

If you’re interested in convenient camping, these lightweight and portable camping grills are perfect. They’re easy to pack or store when you aren’t on the go.

Plus, you don’t only have to use them when you’re camping. You can use it on the back porch when you’re having a fun little barbeque or in the park for a cute picnic.

The possibilities are endless. So if you’re interested in getting a propane camping grill, take a look at these fantastic options!

Cuisinart CGG-180T Petit Gourmet Portable Tabletop Gas Grill

Cuisinart CGG-180T Petit Gourmet Portable Tabletop Propane Gas Grill,...
  • Portable gas grill with 145-square-inch grilling area and foldaway legs.
  • Cooks 8 burgers, 8 steaks, 6 to 10 chicken breasts, or 4 pounds of fish.
  • Powerful 5,500 BTU stainless-steel burner and even-heating porcelain-enameled grate.

The Cuisinart CGG-180T Petit Gourmet Portable Tabletop Gas Grill is incredibly convenient. It’s lightweight, with foldable legs, a lid latch, and a briefcase style carrying handle for the ultimate portability.

The 145-square inch grilling surface will give you enough space to cook food for about 8 people at a time. So it is perfect for a small group or a large family.

This propane camping grill has a stainless steel burner that evenly heats the porcelain-enameled grate. That, combined with the removable drip tray, will make it easy to clean up.

You can attach this unit to a small tank, which you will need to purchase separately. If you want to use it with a large 5-pound propane tank, you will also need to get the appropriate hose.

Coleman RoadTrip LXE Portable Gas Grill

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If you’re interested in a standing model, the Coleman RoadTrip LXE Portable Gas Grill is fantastic. It has 285-square inches of grilling surface, which is double the grilling surface of the Cuisinart CGG-180T. The slide-out side tables will be convenient when you’re getting food off the grill.

The grill has a collapsible design that will fold down until it’s the size of a small rolling suitcase. It has a lid-lock, wheels, and a convenient handle.

Plus, it has double-burners and can use interchangeable cooktops. You can switch between grills, griddles, and stovetop burners, although the additional cooktops are sold separately. This model only comes with two porcelain-coated grilling grates.

You can start grilling at the touch of a button with the insta-start ignition for matchless lighting. Keep in mind that you will need to purchase the propane bottle separately.

Coleman 2000020947 Ppn Sportster Grill

Coleman Gas Grill | Portable Propane Grill | Sportster Grill
  • COOKING POWER: Up to 11,000 total BTUs
  • LARGE GRILLING AREA: 225 sq. in.
  • PUSH-BUTTON IGNITION: For matchless lighting

Another fabulous standing model is the Coleman 2000020947 Ppn Sportster Grill. It has a fully collapsible design that will fold down to the size of a suitcase. It also has convenient wheels and a handle for portability and is an excellent size for compact storage.

Setup is simple with the lift and lock system. You’ll be able to count on your collapsible grill standing steady and secure until you’ve cleaned up and packed it away.

The Coleman 2000020947 Ppn Sportster grill has a 225-square inch porcelain-coated grilling grate. The grates and drip tray are both removable. Both removable features are the perfect combination to make grilling and cleanup more efficient than ever.

Additionally, this unit does not come with a propane bottle, so you will need to purchase it separately. However, it does include an insta-start ignition, so you will not require matches or a lighter to start up your grill.

Giantex Stainless Steel Tabletop Gas Grill

Giantex Portable Gas Grill with 2 Burner, Max. 20,000 BTU total,...
  • 【Giantex Tabletop Grill】: Giantex 2-Burner stainless steel tabletop grill is built for the BBQ-grillers, Construct...
  • 【Easy To Operate】: Two push-and-turn ignition burners for quick and easy start-ups. It offers 20,000 total BTUs and...
  • 【Foldable Design】: Foldable legs and lockable lid for portable transport and storage. Also make it more easily...

If you are on the lookout for a highly portable propane camping grill, the Giantex Stainless Steel Tabletop Gas Grill is ideal. It has foldable legs and a lockable lid. The stainless steel design makes it durable enough for any camping trip.

This propane camping grill is built for secure storage, and the stainless steel handle will make it extremely portable. Each of the double-burners has twist-and-turn ignition knobs.

Additionally, the stainless steel grate offers plenty of cooking space for the whole family. You should keep in mind that the grate is not removable, so it might not be as easy to clean as other models. However, it does have a well-concealed grease trap that is removable and easy to wash.

One thing you should know about this grill is that there is some assembly required. But it comes with everything you need to put your propane camping grill together quickly.

Weber 50060001 Q1000 Liquid Propane Camping Grill

Weber Q1000 Liquid Propane Grill, Titanium
  • One stainless steel burner produces 8500 BTU-per-hour to heat 189 square-inch total cooking area
  • Porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates and cast aluminum lid and body
  • Fully assembled out of box. Dimensions - lid closed (inches): 14.5H x 27W x 16.5D inches

The Weber 50060001 Q1000 Liquid Propane Camping Grill is a fabulous choice for your great adventure. It has a single stainless steel burner and is incredibly small and portable.

This propane camping grill has a cast aluminum lid and body, and a porcelain-coated cast iron grilling grate. The grate gives your 189-square inches of cooking space.

It comes fully assembled and ready to go. Plus, the push-button ignition will make it easy to get started. Keep in mind that the directions recommend that you preheat the grill before you begin cooking.

Cooking in the Great Outdoors Has Never Been Easier

Cooking dinner when you’re camping doesn’t have to be hard. Although, it can feel like it if the only option is rigging something up over the fire. Packing a convenient propane camping grill will make whipping up your meals so much easier.

You won’t have to rely on hot dogs and smores on your next trip! They might be classics, but trust me, they can get old pretty quickly. It will be refreshing to make well-rounded meals, no matter where you are.

So on your next big adventure, get ready to cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner with ease. Not only will you be able to pack up the grill and toss it in the car, but cleanup will be a breeze.

If you have a favorite propane camping grill, we would love to hear all about it in the comment section below!

Featured Image via Pixabay

burgers on a grilll camp chef pg24

The Best Portable Pellet Grill Options Available

Forget propane. Today's most popular tailgate barbecue is the portable pellet grill.


People's tastes are shifting away from gas and over to the rich flavors of pellets and smoke. And that's a good thing! There's something wonderful about meat infused with smoke. A portable pellet grill provides that awesome flavor in a convenient, easy-to-transport package.

Of course, there are dozens of ways to barbecue your food. There are charcoal, gas, and woodchips. When I go camping, I usually just slap a light grill over the campfire and cook all my food on that.

One time I even discovered bacon-wrapped marshmallows. It's true! Believe it or not, they were as delicious as they sound.

That said, we here at Electric Smoke Center don't condone wasting bacon, or marshmallows, in such a callous manner. Which is why when we heard that pellet grills were gaining in popularity across the barbecuing world, we were instantly intrigued. But what is a pellet grill?

Check it out.

The Best Portable Pellet Grills: Comparison Table

What Is A Pellet Grill?

Picture your standard smoker. It's a drum-shaped metal barbecue with a hopper offset to the side or rear. In a similar fashion, a pellet grill has a hopper box which vents into the main cooking chamber.

That's because, at its heart, a pellet grill is a smoker. It uses heat and smoke from the pellets to cook the food. Think of it as a giant oven. That is, except for a portable pellet grill.

A portable pellet grill is a scaled-down version of a regular pellet smoker grill. It may be smaller and able to set up on a tailgate. Other versions are larger and include folding legs or wheels.

No matter how they manage it, a portable pellet grill is able to get around easily. And because it's a pellet grill and not a gas grill, there's no need to carry propane canisters with you.

The Best Portable Pellet Grill Options You Can Buy Today

Because there aren't that many grills to choose from, you would think that finding the perfect grill for you would be easy, right? If only that were true.

At the end of the day, the portable pellet grill that appeals to you will depend a lot on style, price, size, and any extra bells and whistles. Everyone is different.

For that reason, we didn't list these in any particular order. We'll let you find the perfect grill for you!

Camp Chef Pursuit 20 Portable Pellet Grill Smoker

Camp Chef 20' Pursuit Portable Pellet Grill, PPG20, Black, Stainless,...

First up is the Camp Chef Pursuit 20 portable pellet grill smoker. This is one of those portable grills which are nice and big. Sturdy plastic wheels and folding legs provide the portability you need to stash the grill in your trunk easily. 

But get this: it comes with a whopping 2,100 cubic inches of grilling space. You get a 500 square-inch grill, two meat probes, and a 10-pound wood pellet hopper. You'll especially love the easy ash clean out trapdoor.

One thing you'll notice is that the Camp Chef Pursuit 20 is on the pricier end of the spectrum. Expect to pay premium price. Of course, you get what you pay for. In this case, you get an awesome portable pellet grill. You also get a great three-year warranty.

On Amazon, customers gave it a whopping 4.8 out of 5 stars. This was the highest-rated portable pellet grill we found. 


  • Everyone raved about how easy it is to cook with this machine. It holds up to transportation well, and people said it was sturdy and spacious.


  • The only complaint was that it can be challenging to find the right temperature to cook.




3 years


where to buy

Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Pellet Grill

No products found.

No products found.

What do mountains and Davy Crockett have in common? Why, cooking meat, of course! With the Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Pellet Grill, you get a tiny and portable pellet grill you can take anywhere. 

This little barbecue is perfect if you live in an apartment or you do a lot of camping. It's 29-inches by 14-inches by 20-inches. Picture a steel lunch box with folding legs, and a big black wood pellet hopper slung on the side.

We love this portable pellet grill thanks to its digital "Sense-Mate" thermal sensor so that we can keep track of the internal temperature. You'll pay premium prices for this tiny but powerful pellet grill. In addition, you get a great 3-year warranty.

Also, customers on Amazon gave it a respectable 4.1 out of 5 stars. Almost everyone said that the Davy Crockett grill has excellent temperature controls. That thermal monitor is a real fan favorite. People also loved that this is an ultra-portable pellet grill.

Some people complained that it had the inferior build quality, and several people had their units malfunction. Thankfully Green Mountain Grills has excellent customer service and an even better warranty.


  • Has excellent customer service and an even better warranty.


  • Some people complained that it had the inferior build quality, and several people had their units malfunction.




3 years


where to buy

No products found.

Traeger Scout Portable Tabletop Wood Pellet Grill

15' PTG+ Portable Electric Grill

Next up is the 3-year warranty portable tabletop wood pellet grill. Traeger is the original pellet grill inventor and producer. And while you might think that they're unhappy that they no longer enjoy patent protection, you would be wrong.

With all the new manufacturers entering the market, pellet grills have exploded in popularity, and Traeger enjoys great sales thanks to it.

But let's get back to the Traeger Scout. This little steel box resembles a safe more than a barbecue. It's designed to sit right on the table, with four little metal legs under the body.

The pellet hopper is built right into the body, so you get a uniform box. It comes with a meat probe and digital temperature control that allows you to control the cooking process.

This thing is only 13-inches high and 21-inches wide. That makes the Traeger Scout the smallest portable pellet grill we reviewed. Expect to pay premium prices for it. And like most of the grills we chose, it comes with a 3-year warranty.

Customers on the website gave it 5 out of 5 stars. They loved that it is small and versatile. While it cooks food just fine, it seems to be the combination of size and function that customers loved.


  • Small and versatile
  • Premium functionality


  • Not the most affordable option




3 years


where to buy

Pit Boss Portable Pellet Grill

Pit Boss Portable Tailgate/Camp With Foldable Legs Pellet Grill, Tan...

Fourth on our list is the 5-year warranty Portable Pellet Grill. With 340 square-inches of cooking space, folding legs, a 5-pound hopper, and an additional flame broiler, it's perfect. It hits that sweet spot between portability and amazing function. 

We also loved the stylish bronze look. It has a digital control panel with an internal temperature monitor. That means you can keep a good watch on how your food is cooking. A rear-exhaust convection system keeps hot air flowing around inside. Neat!

You'll pay premium prices for this versatile barbecue. But it gets better. That's because the Pit Boss grill comes with a fantastic 5-year warranty!

Then, at the Walmart website, customers gave the Pit Boss a healthy 4.1 out of 5 stars.  They raved about how well it smokes food. One person even said that they would never go back to another barbecue. 


  • Customers said it was very portable and tucked away nicely with the legs folded.
  • Smokes food well.


  • Quite a few people had issues with the unit breaking or falling apart, and customer service wasn't very helpful in providing a quick fix.




5 years


where to buy

Z GRILLS ZPG-450A Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker

Z GRILLS ZPG-450A 2024 Upgrade Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker 8 in 1 BBQ...

Finally, we have Z Grills ZPG-450A wood pellet grill and smoker. With a name like the ZPG-450A, you know this is a serious piece of equipment. One look at it and you get the impression that you're dealing with a full-powered smoker and not a portable pellet grill. 

That's because it has 450 square-inches of cooking space inside a metal drum, with a massive 15-pound hopper on the side. A chimney stack rises above the entire unit. Also, you can reach temperatures of over 450-degrees, making this the hottest grill we included. As we said, this is a serious machine.

In addition, expect to pay premium price for the ZPG-450A, depending on the options you choose to go with it. It comes with a 3-year warranty. Also, on Amazon, customers gave it 4 out of 5 stars.


  • Almost every single customers raved about the quality of the food that comes out of this thing. They said it was the best smoker they had used. The fact that the legs fold up and it becomes portable was just the icing on the cake. 


  • Several people complained of mechanical malfunctions, which the warranty was able to cover.




3 years


where to buy

All About Pellet Grills

little girl grilling sausages

Image via Freepik

Imagine this: the mouth-watering aroma of chopped wood and the ease of gas. Except that you don't need to chop wood and you don't need gas. Does that sound too good to be true?

Don't worry, because it exists today in the form of wood pellets. These are basically little pellets made of wood and pulp materials. Because they're dry, they burn really easy. And a pellet grill is like a drum or traditional smoker with a chamber attached for the pellets.

But there's more.

The original pellet grill patent belonged to Traeger, but since the patent expired in 2009, the floodgates opened. According to the Hearth, Patio, and Barbecue Association, pellet grills are fast becoming the most popular barbecue on the market. There are good reasons for this.

How Does It Work?

By now you're probably wondering if a portable pellet grill is a barbecue or a smoker? The truth is that a pellet grill is a smoker. It uses compounded wood pellets to create hot smoke instead of wood chips. But it gets better.

You see, pellet grills are super-easy to use. Inside the pellet hopper is a metallic rod. This is an electric heating element, which glows bright red when you turn it on. That ignites the wood pellets.

You can then set the temperature you want with digital controls, and the rod will control how hot the pellets burn. Then the pellets will burn, glowing red or even white depending on the temperature.

Next, a fan blows the heat and smoke from the hopper into the cook box. Metal plates under the grill heat up, providing ambient heat which cooks your food.

At any rate, you never get the choking, polluting smoke of charcoal or need to fight with pressurized gas canisters. Just load the pellets, turn it on, and forget about it.

Are They Healthy?

Is using a portable pellet grill healthy? What's inside those wood pellets?

The first thing you need to know is that pellet grills use special food-grade wooden pellets. You can't just throw any wood pellets in there. That said, those wooden pellets are as safe as any other type of grilling combustible.

You see, those food-grade wood pellets consist of sawdust pressed tightly together into pellet form. Some may contain flavored vegetable oils for extra seasoning. They are as safe as charcoal or propane. However, there's always an element of risk when grilling.

Carcinogens in food burning on a grill may heighten the risk of cancer, but if you've ever wolfed down a Whopper and fries, grilled food is the least of your worries.

portable barbeque grill

Photo by Artem Beliaikin from Pexels

How Much Do They Cost?

By now you think that you might check out one of these newfangled portable pellet grill contraptions. Why not?

You can pick up a portable pellet grill for affordable prices. Most places that sell barbecues carry them, including Home Depot and Amazon.

How We Reviewed

Make no mistake about it; there aren't many pellet grill manufacturers out there. We expect to see more enter the market now that they're not held back by patents. But for right now, you're looking at only a handful of pellet grills.

So we checked out the ones that we do know about, and read up on each of them. Then we checked out customer reviews, to see what real people had to say.

There were three that we dropped from our list, simply because they had overwhelmingly poor reviews. That left us with a list of the best portable pellet grill options you can buy.

It's Grill Season!

grilling meat

The cool thing about owning a portable pellet grill is that when grilling season arrives, you can go anywhere. You're not stuck to your backyard. Surprise your friends and bring your grill to their home. Everybody will appreciate delicious smoked meat.

The only thing you need with a portable pellet grill is a power outlet, some wood pellets, and some delicious food to cook up. So what are you waiting for? It's grill season!

What kind of grill do you use? Let us know in the comment section below!

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