Barbecue smokers, also referred to as barbecue pits, operate using flavored wood chips, such as hickory, mesquite and maple, to infuse flavor into smoked meats, vegetables and cheeses. There are three popular types of smokers which include vertical water smokers, electric smokers and off-set smokers. Vertical water smokers look like trash cans and consist of a fire pan, two cooking racks and a water pan. Electric smokers don't require a fire - they simply plug in! Both vertical smokers and electric smokers are portable and perfect for beginners because they are easy to use. Off-set smokers are larger and more complex. They contain a firebox, a horizontal and vertical smoking chamber and a chimney. Barbecue smokers range in price from $50 to $6000 online.