Slow cooking meats using low heat and smoke is an age-old American tradition, but if you are trying to get into the world of backyard smoking, you may be intimidated by the number of choices on offer. BBQ smokers come in a wide range of shapes and sizes and can use a wide variety of fuels to create their all-important heat and smoke.

Pellet smokers are a popular choice among dedicated smoking enthusiasts, but they have a number of features that make them particularly useful for people who are new to BBQ smoking. Here are 5 reasons why pellet smokers are an excellent, user-friendly choice for smoking novices:

Easy to use

Pellet smokers work on very basic principles. When the smoker is switched on, an electrical generator causes a metal ignition rod to heat up. This rod causes the wooden fuel pellets around it to ignite, creating a smoldering, low-temperature heat ideal for smoking a wide variety of meats and other foods.

This unique ignition method makes pellet smokers very easy to use; simply load the fuel chamber with your chosen pellets, activate the ignition rod, and wait for the smoker to come up to temperature. This makes pellet smokers much less intimidating for beginners than traditional charcoal smokers, which can be difficult and time-consuming to ignite without some experience.

User-friendly fuel source

Timber smoker pellets are a safe and convenient fuel source and can be much easier to deal with than other smoker fuels. They are much less messy than charcoal (a useful quality if you store your smoker fuel indoors), and significantly less dangerous to deal with than propane tanks. Bags of smoker pellets are also much lighter and easier to carry than gas tanks or sacks of charcoal.

Acquiring fuel for a pellet smoker is also relatively simple. Smoker pellets aren't quite as easy to buy as basic charcoal, but they can be easily found in most hardware stores and grill specialist stores, and they are sold by a wide variety of online smoking supply stores. 

Inexpensive to run

Smoker pellets are also a highly efficient fuel source, burning slowly and creating very little waste byproducts. While wooden pellets are more expensive by weight than wood chips or charcoal, they burn for much longer and are usually more cost-effective to use long-term. This helps keep fuel costs for your fuel smoker low — ideal for beginners who aren't yet sure if smoking is up their street.

Low maintenance

Charcoal smokers are reasonably simple to use, but create a significant amount of soot and must be cleaned out regularly. Electric and gas smokers are much cleaner than charcoal smokers, but they contain complex components and must be regularly maintained to prevent mechanical problems.

Pellet smokers burn much more cleanly than charcoal smokers and are much less mechanically complex than gas or electric smokers. Consequently, they are very easy to maintain. A regularly-used pellet smoker only needs to be cleaned a few times a year, and a quick inspection of the smoker's heating rod to check for damage is usually sufficient to prevent malfunctions.

For more information on BBQ smokers, contact a business like BBQ Island.