Wood Vs. Water Smokers
Wood Smokers--These smokers, as their name implies, use wood logs as their heat source. Folks who use these like them because they allow the one doing the smoking to make preferential choices regarding which woods will burn in just the certain way he/she want it to as well as provide the specific flavor he/she is looking for. These smokers can be found by many manufacturers and can also be found in a home "do it yourself" type of kit. Expect to pay a minimum of $200 and possibly even up to $1,000.
Water Smokers--A purist may argue against a water smoker as it adds additional, perhaps unnecessary moisture into the smoker. Water smokers are found in the vertical variety with their heat source being either charcoal or electric. The purpose of the water pan is to prevent the meat from being directly exposed to the heat source, thereby allowing it to "smoke." These types of smokers tend to be smaller than regular grills which make them perfectly suited to a back deck or patio, as well as make them easy to transport.