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In this report

Smokers: Ratings of Sources

Total of 21 Sources
1. AmazingRibs.com
As of Aug. 2011
The Definitive Buyer's Guide to Smokers
by Craig "Meathead" Goldwyn
Our AssessmentCraig "Meathead" Goldwyn offers tips on buying a smoker and buyer's guides to charcoal, pellet, gas, electric and stovetop smokers. Among inexpensive gas smokers, he recommends the Brinkmann Vertical Gas Smoker and the Masterbuilt 7-in-1 Smoker. He considers Cookshack smokers to be the "gold standard" among electrics. He says pellet smokers, such as his top-rated Fast Eddy Cooker by Cookshack, are a breeze to use, but they are very expensive. As for charcoal smokers, Goldwyn writes, "The two I recommend most for home cooks are the Weber Smokey Mountain (inexpensive) and the Backwoods [Chubby] (more expensive)."
2. Cook's Illustrated Magazine
July 2010
by Editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine
Our AssessmentCook's Illustrated magazine's testers put three smokers through their paces: the Weber Smokey Mountain 18.5-inch model, the Big Green Egg and the Brinkmann Smoke 'n Grill Charcoal Grill and Smoker. Since it's necessary to control the temperature in a smoker over a long period in order to smoke meat perfectly, they conduct "a 12-hour temperature test, recording the temperature of each model every hour while smoking turkey breasts, ribs, brisket, and pork shoulder." The results are shown in a chart available to subscribers.
3. ConsumerReports.org
June 2009
BBQ 101: Give Food that Smoky Flavor
by Editors of ConsumerReports.org
Our AssessmentEditors say only those who are serious about barbeque should buy a dedicated smoker. Others can simply add wood chips to their charcoal grills or rely on marinades and sauces. Editors test a single smoker, the Traeger Lil' Tex BBQ070. They fill it with 20 pounds of wood pellets -- which are fed into the firepot -- then slow-roast and smoke meat.
4. Amazon.com
As of Aug. 2011
by Contributors to Amazon.com
Our AssessmentAmazon.com is an excellent source for user reviews, but some popular smokers, such as the Big Green Egg, are not sold here. The Weber Smokey Mountain 18.5-inch and 22.5-inch models earn high ratings in about 200 reviews, and three electric smokers get high marks as well: the Original Bradley BT1S1, the Old Smokey Electric Smoker and the Masterbuilt 30-inch Electric Smokehouse Smoker. The Char-Broil 06701289 Charcoal H2O Smoker earns below-average ratings in just over 30 reviews.
5. TheNibble.com
May 2009
How to Make Barbecue, Page 7: Barbecue Classes, Books, Smokers
by Phyllis Haskins
Our AssessmentCook and restaurant auteur Phyllis Haskins and the editors of TheNibble.com recommend smokers. Their list includes any 22.5-inch Weber kettle grill, the Weber 22.5-inch Smokey Mountain, ceramic cookers the Big Green Egg and Kamado, and "big pit" smokers such as the Backwoods Smoker and models by Lang and Klose.
6. Fine Cooking
Not Dated
Worth Owning: The Big Green Egg
by Charles Miller
Our AssessmentAfter a winter's worth of use, Charles Miller declares the Big Green Egg "very durable" and very good at imbuing meat with a smoky flavor. Even at temperatures approaching 700 degrees Fahrenheit, the smoker performed "without a hitch." Miller likes the remote thermometer controls, which let you track meat's internal temperature without lifting the lid, and he recommends the Big Green Egg in no uncertain terms. We'd give this review a higher rating if it included other smokers for the sake of comparison.
7. The Nibble
May 2009
How to Make Barbecue, Page 2: Barbecue Grill and Thermometer
by Phyllis Haskins
Our AssessmentCook and restaurant auteur Phyllis Haskins gives advice about grills and cooking thermometers. Her "cooker of choice" is the Cookshack FEC-100, an electric pellet smoker that sells for close to $3,000.
8. Food & Wine Magazine
June 2009
Outdoor Cooking: Grills, Smokers and Infrared Cookers
by Christine Quinlan
Our AssessmentThe best grills, smokers and infrared cookers are given short write-ups here. Smokers include the Viking Gravity Feed, which feeds itself by letting new coals fall into place as others burn off but sells for upwards of $3,000, and the 22.5-inch Weber Smokey Mountain. Christine Quinlan notes that the Weber smoker now has a built-in thermometer, which "improves temperature control."
9. About.com
Not Dated
Top 10 Smokers under $400 for 2011
by Derrick Riches
Our AssessmentDerrick Riches, About.com's guide to barbecues and grilling, has years of experience as an amateur chef and consultant to the industry. He offers his 2011 picks for the top 10 smokers for under $400. though his selection criteria aren't clear. The article has links to full reviews of nine of the 10 smokers featured here. The Weber Smokey Mountain still earns his highest rating, followed by the no-frills Big Drum Standard Smoker, the Old Smokey Electric and the Bradley Original Smoker. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
10. About.com
Not Dated
Top 10 Smokers over $400 for 2011
by Derrick Riches
Our AssessmentFor those who are willing and able to spend a little more, About.com barbecues and grilling guide Derrick Riches lists his picks for the 10 best smokers over $400. The top three, each of which he gives a rating of 5 out of 5, are the Klose 20-inch by 30-inch, The Good One Open Range smoker (model 30-P) and the Big Green Egg, large size. Most of the short reviews here have links to full reviews of the product at the end. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
11. ProPitmaster.com
Jan. 2010
Best Smoker under $400
by Konrad Haskins
Our AssessmentKonrad Haskins, a veteran of barbeque competitions, discusses the best smokers you can get for under $400. His choices are the Weber Smokey Mountain, the Big Drum Smoker and the DIY Ugly Drum Smoker -- one you make yourself using instructions you can find on the Internet. He writes, "If you are a handy person the UDS is your best bet. If you just want to buy it and be happy the Weber Smokey Mountain (WSM) is the one."
12. Cook's Illustrated Magazine
Jan. 2006
Indoor Smokers
by Editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine
Our AssessmentEditors put three smokers -- two designed for stovetop use, and one for the oven -- to the test. While the stovetop smokers have "serious flaws," the oven smoker did impress testers. It was "virtually foolproof" and produced truly smoky meat. What's more, the oven smoker is very inexpensive.
13. Food & Wine Magazine
May 2006
Steve Raichlen's Favorite Grills
by Steven Raichlen
Our AssessmentSteven Raichlen, a grilling expert and the author of several books on the subject, recommends seven grills. His list includes one dedicated smoker and one ceramic cooker, and he says the Horizon Classic Smoker "looks and cooks just like the big rigs used at barbeque competitions." Raichlen notes that the Big Green Egg has very thick walls to trap heat and can go from low to very high temperatures in minutes, so it can both smoke and sear.
14. ZDNet.com
July 2009
Dead-Finger Tech: The Weber Smokey Mountain
by Jason Perlow
Our AssessmentJason Perlow, a food blogger, selects the tools that he'd give up only if they were pried out of his "cold, dead fingers," such as the Weber Smokey Mountain. According to Perlow, the 18-inch model can accommodate several chickens, a turkey or three racks of ribs at once.
15. TheNibble.com
July 2008
Savu Smoker Bags: Simply Smokin'
by Editors of TheNibble.com
Our AssessmentTheNibble.com's editors test Savu Smoker Bags by preparing chicken with potatoes and garlic, Arctic char and pork ribs. Editors say these "no-muss, no-fuss" bags are a great alternative to buying a smoker. Editors focus mainly on food quality.
16. Cabelas.com
As of Aug. 2011
Smoker Reviews
by Contributors to Cabelas.com
Our AssessmentAt Cabelas.com, you can't see ratings or read reviews unless you click on a particular smoker's product-detail page. The Bradley Original Smoker gets a 4.3 out of 5 rating from about 120 people; Cabelas's own Premium Series gas smokers get good reviews as well. Masterbuilt Electric Smokers get 4.4 stars out of 5 in nearly 275 reviews. Cabelas.com sells many models that cost less than $400.
17. Chowhound.com
As of Aug. 2011
Charcoal Smoker Recommendations
by Contributors to Chowhound.com
Our AssessmentThis lengthy discussion thread from May 2011 includes recommendations for the best charcoal smoker out there. Many people like the Big Green Egg, but say for a small family or a beginning BBQer, the Weber Smokey Mountain might be better, or even one of the Weber kettle grills with the Smokenator accessory.
18. Buzzillions.com
As of Aug. 2011
Smoker Reviews
by Contributors to Buzzillions.com
Our AssessmentBuzzillions.com makes it easy to tell how many owners have reviewed a particular product, and what their overall take on it is. The top-rated smoker here is the Portable Kitchen Grill and Smoker, with an average rating of 4.9 out of 5 from about 100 people. The Weber Smokey Mountain 18.5-inch earns 4.6 stars from about 50 people, while the Bradley Original Smoker also gets good reviews. This year there is a Reviewers' Choice: the Bradley Smoker 4-Rack Digital Smoker.
19. Chowhound.com
As of Aug. 2011
Stove Top Smokers
by Contributors to Chowhound.com
Our AssessmentA contributor seeks advice on what stovetop smoker to buy, and several people recommend the Cameron. Others give good advice on what to look for and what to be careful about when using a stovetop smoker. Most of the discussion thread dates to March 2010.
20. Sears.com
As of Aug. 2011
Smokers and Specialty Cookers
by Contributors to Sears.com
Our AssessmentSears.com has revised its format so that you can now see a product's rating as well as how many reviews it has. Most smokers have few reviews, however. The BBQ Pro Barrel Smoker with Offset Firebox has more than any other but gets an average rating of only 3 stars out of 5. The Masterbuilt Vertical Gas Smoker gets the highest ratings -- close to 5 out of 5 stars -- but from only about a dozen people.
21. HomeDepot.com
As of Aug. 2011
Smokers and Fryers
by Contributors to HomeDepot.com
Our AssessmentHomeDepot.com sells fewer than 20 smokers, including many Brinkmann models. Most have few if any reviews, however, and it's impossible to sort by rating. The Weber Smokey Mountain earns a high overall rating in a handful of reviews. The Brinkmann Gourmet Electric Smoker, which retails for only about $70, gets an average rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars from close to 35 people, and most Brinkmann models have at least a few reviews. The ratings here aren't well organized, and thus the site is not very helpful.
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