A very clever and unusual design, the Orion excels at keeping meat moist and cooking fast. Well, maybe it isn’t that unusual. It is really a hi-tech variation on the cowboy method of cooking in a Dutch oven where the pot sits on coals and coals sit on top of the pot. It is especially good for chicken, turkey, fish, and beef brisket. It is all stainless steel, lightweight and portable, and the central cooking chamber is pretty close to airtight. Wood chips and/or water go in the bottom of the cooking chamber, but the charcoal does not. It goes in a ring around the outside and in a cup on top. About 10 pounds! They recommend Matchlight, which has an awful smell. I much prefer to start charcoal in a chimney. The result is a hot convection oven that is great at creating moist smoky meat in a hurry. Because the charcoal combustion gases are outside the cooking chamber, the smoke flavor is different than most other smokers, and because it is so moist, one does not get crispy skin on chicken or turkey or a good crust on pork. For ribs and pork butt, I prefer to cook at a lower temp. That said, this is a mighty nice smoker for the price. The manufacturer claims it can smoke six racks of ribs in 1.25 hours, about 25% of the time in a conventional smoker, or a 20 pound turkey in 2.25 hours. Includes three rib hangers to accommodate six racks of ribs, three cooking grates, a poultry stand and lifting handle that holds a 24 pound turkey. Click here for more info and pricing: Orion Cooker

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