Smokers represent a good way to cook delicious food, and yet leave the heat outside your home. In the hotter months, this can represent a large energy savings since you're air conditioner won't have to overwork compensating for the heat you're adding into the space. Keep in mind that when you cook indoors in the warmer seasons, you're dumping heat into a house that's struggling to cool down.
Using the right smoker might be looked at as an efficient way to cook as well if your smoker allows you to close it off so as to smother the remaining charcoal. You'll be able to use the charcoal next time assuming your smoker is good enough to smother the coals. The charcoal used in these smokers is of the natural type which contain no chemicals like lighter fluid.
What's the right smoker? Well, for the best taste, high efficiency, good heat retention, moist food, and the ability to smother the natural lump charcoal, try the Big Green Egg . It's expensive, but you won't regret it one bit when you see how juicy the meat is and how much flavor you get. This particular style of smoker is ceramic which means that it's far better at retaining temperature and moisture as compared to a metal smoker. Metal smokers are more prone to loose heat quickly, and dry out your food.