What About a Gas Smoker?

If you like barbecue, you need to have a gas smoker.

What is a smoker you say? It is a SLOW outdoor cooker. If you are in a hurry, go buy some ready made barbecue from the frozen food section in the grocery store. But if you want REALLY GOOD EATING keep reading.

There are charcoal smokers and gas smokers. My preference is gas. Sure, I know that the true “purist” only cooks with charcoal. But, let me tell you about my experience with charcoal.

I bought a Brinkman Gourmet Deluxe Smoker, like the one below, a bag of charcoal, a bag of wood chunks and some chickens.

I took everything home. I set up the smoker and filled it with easy to light charcoal (presoaked with lighter fluid).

It was windy that day, so I placed the metal cylinder over the base, lit it and went inside to get something to drink.

When I came back out, it looked like a jet engine was running in the back yard. There was a cylinder of flame 10 feet high!! (I may be overstating a bit.) Anyway, the color of the smoker had changed from a nice shade of green to glowing red and black. This was suppose to be a slow cooker NOT an incinerator.

I put out the fire with a hose. Then I cleaned up the mess and started again.

This time, I started without the easy to light charcoal presoaked with lighter fluid.

It took me a few more times to get the hang of cooking with charcoal, because the heat would be too hot one time and then too cold the next. But eventually, I got it right.

What I was trying to fix was the classic beer can chicken recipe. And once I got it right, it was one delicious chicken.Beer Can Chicken

I used this method for several years. Then one day my son found “The Afterburner” at our local fair. The device converted my charcoal smoker to a gas one. It allowed more precise control of the temperature with a lot less work, much less cleanup and no jet flames.

This configuration produced many a fine meal. By the way, the stand was welded up from a water heater base. The afterburner literature said you did not need a separate base. But, I’m cautious about fire and would rather not take the chance. Here is the Old Smoker

I know the old gas smoker converted with the “Afterburner” worked great too! So, I sold it to my neighbor and he still uses it today. Here is how it looks today. In the picture to the right.
Now everything was good until one day while passing through my local big blue box, I saw a gas smoker on clearance.Here is the newer gas smoker very well used

Let’s see, it had a BIG door, lots of shelves, cast iron wood smoker box (long lasting). Large and easy to get to the water pan, easy to add additional wood chips, brass burner, cheap. SOLD!! The ease of using it, was well worth the money.

Many a fine meal has come out of this box!!

Here is our recipe for barbecue rub for pork and beef.

In conclusion, if you really like barbecue, this is what you need!

Dave Altman

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