What is a Gravity Feed Smoker?
We’re going back to the basics with this post and tackling a question we see a lot: what is a gravity feed smoker? As makers of the best gravity feed smoker around, we feel particularly qualified to answer this one, so keep reading for a quick guide to what gravity smoking is and how it works.
Gravity Smoking 101
When you hear the word “gravity,” you probably think about the thing that keeps us on the ground instead of floating up into space. And while it’s not the exact same concept when you apply it to smoking, there are some similarities.
Gravity smokers put gravity to work in a different way, automatically meting out charcoal heat to keep temperatures controlled without the need for constant babysitting. We like to think of it like a “set it and forget it” smoker, since it does all of the hard work of temperature regulation and smoke and moisture circulation for you while you focus on other things. This feature makes gravity feed smokers an ideal choice on the competition circuit, as well as a top pick for home enthusiasts.
How Does a Gravity Feed Smoker Work?
Okay, so now you know what it does, but how does a gravity feed smoker work in the first place? Well, it’s a bit of science combined with a lot of ingenuity, and it looks a little something like this:
Gravity feed smokers have a coal chute (also called a hopper) that is filled with enough charcoal to last throughout the burn, though depending on how long you’re planning to run it you may need to replace the contents of the chute at least once. High-end gravity smokers like ours can burn for as long as 16 hours at a time, and require about one half pound to one pound of charcoal for hour. You can use lump coal or briquettes, and you can even mix it up with wood chunks too to add more depth of flavor.
Other than the chamber where the smoking itself happens, another key feature of the gravity feed smoker is the firebox. This is where the magic happens, with heat and smoke transferred from hopper to the bottom of the cook chamber, where they rise evenly and upwards to cook the meat. This bottom-up smoking method helps circulate heat in a controlled motion, in turn ensuring that heat stays constant throughout the cook time.
While not all gravity feed smokers feature it, we like to include a water pan as well. This adds another controlled element to the smoke that helps balance out the heat. It also brings more moisture into the equation, which results in more tender meat. There are a few other notable features as well, including the option for an internal, built-in temperature probe and an exhaust chimney with a damper to prevent condensation from dripping on to your food.
What do you get when all of these features come together? A highly effective, highly automated smoking process—and most importantly, the world’s best barbecue.
Want Better BBQ? Add Some Gravity
At Myron Mixon Smokers, we firmly believe that there’s more to amazing barbecue than just some heat and some meat. Our gravity feed smoker is designed to do more, with every minute of cook-time optimized for a truly delicious end product.
If you want to learn more about how it all works, reach out to our team by phone or email, or come visit us in person. We’ll be glad to walk you through even more of the specifics of how the gravity feed smoker works, as well as to go over the differences between our six gravity feed smoker options.