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The perfect equipment for cooking low ‘n’ slow

As the weather warms up, try giving your meats the low ‘n’ slow treatment. We found a range of equipment for grilling aficionados to get cooking this Spring.

Low ‘n’ Slow BBQ has become increasingly popular in the last few years, with smoking equipment becoming a staple in the Australian backyard BBQ scene.

In contrast to traditional grilling, where meat is seared at high temperatures – cooking low ‘n’ slow requires patience.  Cook times vary from two hours for chicken, to 14 hours for a whole brisket. The meats are usually cooked at low temperatures between 100 and 135 degrees Celsius to ensure heat is maintained over long periods of time.

While sustaining heat can be a balancing act, the typical eight hours of cook time requires only intermittent temperature checks. This style of barbecuing doesn’t need to be under surveillance – it ripens up ready to eat all on its own.

While the cook time is a commitment, this style is perfect for experimenting with drawn out taste and flavours. Low ‘n’ slow BBQ is truly an art – and an artist needs the perfect tools. We’ve looked into some of the best gear to get you started on your journey.

1.   The vertical water smoker.

Source: Barbecue Bible
Setup & benefits

If you’re just entering the smoking scene, water smokers offer the best of both worlds. They’re simple enough for first timers to operate, but have the ability to hold their own in serious BBQ competitions – often employed in multiple units.

Water smokers are hardworking cooks with a long service life. Due to their ‘bullet-shaped’ build, their maintenance and clean-up is simple. They take up little space in even the smallest of backyards, and with an average weight of less than 20kgs, it is possible to transport them.

They work by cooking food over a distant heat source. A water pan is located between charcoal and food – ensuring that the meat does not dry out over an extended cook time. The water helps better maintain low temperatures and deflects heat consistently across the meat.

Where you can grab yours

A beautiful piece of equipment, but certainly not for the casual griller. You can pick up a Pro Q Smoker from Barbecues Galore.

2.   The offset smoker.

Source: SCS Smokers
Setup & benefits

Looking for glory? The offset or ‘stick burner’ smoker may be the one for you! Offset smokers are the big leagues, dominating the barbecue competition circuit. Thanks to the manufacture of mass-market models, they have brought their street cred to backyards all around the world.

Offset smokers work with a combination of wood and charcoal generated heat. This charcoal and wood combo is burned in a ‘fire box’ located outside the cooking chamber. Smoke enters the chamber via vents – providing a tell-tale smoky flavour to the meat.

The ‘fire box’ allows you to stoke the fire without opening the cooking chamber, locking in the smoke and taste. Different flavours can be achieved by experimenting with the combination of charcoal and wood. Chefs often use specialty wood mixed directly with charcoal to create exciting new tastes.

Where you can grab yours

Once again, another big piece of equipment for the BBQ enthusiast. But, we’d argue, an absolute must-have for anyone who’s serious about their smoking. Get in touch with the people at Radar Hill Smokers; they know what they’re doing.

3.   The pit barrel smoker.

Source: Barbecue Bible
Setup & benefits

If you enjoy outdoor low ‘n’ slow but want higher volume than a camp oven, the pit barrel smoker caters for your needs. Made from steel, pit barrel smokers have a porcelain enamel coating for added strength and durability.

The pit barrel smoker is set apart due to its hanging capabilities. Hanging meat in the centre of the pit barrel allows heat to penetrate deeply into the dish. The ‘smoke fog’ created in the barrel results in juices that drip directly over the meat, and onto the coals below.

Pit barrel smokers are known for their flexibility. They can also be used as a traditional grill through the addition of a grate. Like both camp ovens and smoking platforms, the pit barrel is portable. It’s lightweight and compact enough to fit into most vehicles with some boot space. This is perfect for group barbecues or trips requiring a higher volume of meat.

Where you can grab yours

The original and the best; when it comes to barrels, you can’t beat Pit Barrel Cooker Co.

4.    The camp oven.


Setup & benefits

The camp oven is a staple for any Australian camper or backyard, and it’s easy to see why. Their simplicity, ease of use and portability makes it an ideal choice for cooking on the go.

As they are largely used while camping, the natural environment only adds to an already mouth-watering meal. The camp oven allows for the preparation of dishes like slow cooked leg of lamb or pulled pork.

Camp ovens are perfect for low ‘n’ slow cooking as you can begin the cook in the morning and come back to a steaming hot meal. It’s a time-saving solution for campers, as they return to a hassle-free meal at the end of the day. Camp oven cooked meat is warm, tender and absolutely delicious – what’s not to love?

Where you can grab yours

Cast iron camp ovens can be found from all good camping stores, such as BCF.

As their use becomes more commonplace, smokers are being manufactured in all shapes and sizes. Whether you are a smoking novice or master of all things low ‘n’ slow – the variety of styles available ensure that there is something for everyone.

The type of fuel you use to smoke your dish impacts the meal more so than it does in traditional grilling. To really amp up the flavour of your smoked meat, we recommend using smoking wood chips in combination with briquettes or charcoal. They work well with all the equipment listed above, and provide additional taste and richness to the meal.

We recently released our own product line of smoking wood chips. There are three flavours to choose from (Hickory, Mesquite and Apple­) – and are available now for purchase nationally from BCF (all flavours) and Woolworths (Hickory only). Each type of wood adds its own unique taste to the meat, and experimenting with different combinations can take your dish to the next level.

To find out more information about our new product line, or to keep up to date with the latest in the world of BBQ – visit the news section of our website.

Header Image Source: SC Smokers