Horizontal barrel smoker

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If you want to make professional tasting, fork-tender briskets and dark, smoky ribs, the horizontal barrel smoker, shown at right, above, is the machine to do it. Barrel smokers have two parts: an offset firebox and a cylindrical smoking or cooking chamber. Most backyard barrel smokers burn charcoal or small logs. The heat is controlled by opening or closing the dampers on the firebox and at the top of the chimney. Horizontal barrel smokers operate at a low temperature: 225° to 250°F. Low and slow is the essence of barrel smoking.

What to look for when buying a barrel smoker: Thick, heavy construction—at least ⅜-inch-gauge steel; adjustable vents on the firebox and chimney; prep racks on the front of the firebox; a drip spout with a bucket for collecting the fat; wheels to make moving it easier.

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