The 4th of July is the most popular day for outdoor cooking and for years we always grilled burgers and dogs but recently we acquired a Brinkmann smoke and grill and wanted to smoke a pork butt for the holiday. The Brinkmann is a very capable unit and I did some modifications which I’ll share later this week but for now I wanted to see what Brinkmann would say about smoke vs. grilling.
The biggest advantage to smoking would definitely be the flavor. By cooking with wood, there is a noticable differnce in taste. In fact, when properly smoked, you’ll be able to see a smoke ring around the edge of the meat. It’s a learned art, so mastering smoking is something that takes some time, so it gives a person wanting to cook all the more reason to be proud of their ability.
The beauty of smokers is the fact that they’re generally very low maintenance. Cooking grids need to be cleaned and oiled to stay in tip-top shape. Ash needs to emptied fairly regularly. Other than that, there’s not too much to worry about. Some smokers, such as our pellet grill, use more advanced processes and have a few more moving parts to maintain. A typical dome or offset smoker just require a little cleaning now and then.
Combo grill/smokers vs. pure smokers
The biggest issue is that by using a combination unit, you sacrifice space in all sections. Smoking purists will probably never embrace the combo units, but for homeowners and people who may smoke a few times a month, the comination units are wonderful.
In terms of positioning, it really depends on what your yard or patio looks like. We recommend keeping any grill or smoker at least a few feet from any building, trees, shruberry, etc. Smokers should be positioned so that they can get a little breeze. The last thing anybody wants is to sit in an area with poor ventilation where a smoker is chugging away.
What do you prefer? Grilling or smoking???
Happy 4th of July!!!
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Founder/EIC at Charles & Hudson
Timothy’s background includes stints at This Old House, ELLE DECOR, Metropolitan Home and Woman’s Day. His work has been published on Wired Design, Bob Vila, DIY Network, The Family Handyman and Popular Mechanics and he has been featured on the Martha Stewart radio show and as a speaker at the ALT Design Summit, K/BIS and the National Hardware Show.