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Outfit your outdoor kitchen with smokers and accessories

Which types of smokers are right for you? Charcoal smokers are a popular choice, but they do require you to pay close attention to the mix of air and fuel. Choose a model with a built-in thermometer that helps you keep an eye on the consistency of the temperature. Electric smokers are much easier to operate and are, therefore, perfect if this is your first foray into the world of smoked foods. These types of smokers are also good choices for some of the easy-to-overcook foods such as fish and vegetables. Since electric smokers maintain a consistent temperature, you can simply set them to the desired temperature and then let them do the cooking.

Gas smokers are also quite easy to handle. Add flavored wood chips to give your meats a particular flavoring. Remember to keep a second propane-filled fuel bottle on hand. You do not want to run out of gas in the middle of an outdoor cooking session. Since these models do not require you to stay close to an electrical outlet, you can take them on the road, move them around in the backyard or simply keep them on the patio.

Choose your charcoal with care. Hardwood lump charcoal is a favorite of purists who also value organic food. If this describes you, then choose these irregularly sized chunks of coal and carefully arrange them by size in your grill. You must use them quickly since these lumps burn more rapidly than other types of briquettes. Standard charcoal is easier to handle since the lumps come in pretty much the same size. Note that some brands come with a fire-starter coating that might affect the taste of the food.

If the standard charcoal-burning grill is not to your liking, check out the assortment of gas grills that Sears carries. Pick a model that features at least two burners, which allow you to set up two different cooking zones on the grill. Of course, the more burners the grill features, the more flexibility with cooking times and food choices you do have. Pick a model that encloses the fuel bottle below the grill. An enclosed bottle prevents spilled barbecue sauce on the connectors, which makes bottle exchanges easier to accomplish.

Remember also to invest in proper outdoor cooking tools. Sure, you could use the kitchen tongs and forks, but why would you? Invest in high-quality grill brushes, spatulas and tongs. Long handles are crucial for the safety of your hands while cooking over the high heat of the grill. Opt for tools that feature a hook on the end. You can hang up the tools on the side of the grill and keep your work surfaces uncluttered. Choose stainless steel whenever possible. Plastics do not withstand frequent usage quite as well, and you are going to have to replace these kinds of cooking tools rather frequently.

Sears carries a huge assortment of smokers, charcoal, gas grills and outdoor cooking tools. Choose your cooking method with care. Purchase high-quality products that will last you several seasons. Set up everything this week and make sure you like the arrangement. Start grilling this weekend.

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