What is the best BBQ smoker to buy?

 

What is the best BBQ smoker to buy? With so many smokers out there, you must be already tired of searching for a perfect smoker. If not, you’ll be soon. But before you exhaust yourself with all the hassle, we’ve prepared for you a thorough smoker 101. From types to styles and from products to usages, we’ve got all covered here so keep scrolling. 

Let’s first get straight into the products and discuss the different aspects of a smoker later.

Dyna-Glo Wide Body Vertical Offset Charcoal SmokerWhat is the best bbq smoker to buy

With lots and lots and lots of space for cooking, the Dyna-Glo Wide Body Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker is what you need for all your backyard and pool parties. It assures an inimitable taste every time. The smoker has an offset firebox, designed for an optimal operation, which cooks the food slowly incorporating the best smoke flavor you can ever have. It offers upto 1890 square inches of cooking space with six adjustable cooking grates each having a capacity of 25 pounds. 

The smoker not only offers an easy temperature control but also retains heat for a long time. It has a removable steel ash pan that collects ash and drippings for hours without overflowing. The prevent any smoke leakage the doors are provided with seals. Moreover, it has a smoke stack that has an adjustable flue so you can control the amount of smoke to your personal preference. Isn’t there everything you need to bring out the maximum smoke flavor?!

There’s a stainless steel temperature gauge that will help you achieve the required backdrop. 

Apart from all that, the smoker is quite easy to assemble and operate, so it’s a particularly good choice for the newbies.

Dimensions : 21 × 43.3 × 50.2 in

Weight : 83 pounds

Pros

  • Holds a lot of meat and veggies
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable
  • Versatile
  • Allows you to be creative

Cons

  • The damper on the firebox is without a handle

Weber 14-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker, Charcoal Smoker

What is the best bbq smoker to buy

This is one of the best BBQ smoker to buy. The Weber 14-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker, Charcoal Smoker is something you won’t ever regret buying. The name itself has assurance as the product comes from the renowned manufacturer, Weber. The quality and the life of the Weber products speak for themselves. The exterior is made up of durable steel and the interior is designed to give your food the best flavor, so it’d be your perfect for companion on competitions.

To give you a gist of it, the Weber 14-inch Charcoal Smoker can accommodate two pork butts at a time which would be enough to feed a couple of dozen people (and a few more). It’s easy to assemble, although it may look difficult with all those parts but believe us it’s not. It’s easy to use, and quite easy to modify. It is provided with two cooking grates and a cooking chamber that is optimized to give the food a strong smoky flavor. 

You can light up your fuel, load your food, and leave the smoker for upto 12-16 hours or overnight, without having to worry about the fuel running out. All thanks to the firebox that has a good capacity for the charcoal. All you need is to fill it according to your requirements (fully loaded for an overnight cooking or for a long haul meal). Also, with it comes the extra large water pan which manages to keep the meat juicy and tender and also controls the temperature throughout smoking. There are rotating vents too to regulate the temperature. It has all the essentials to establish and maintain a good temperature. 

The product is designed to reach a maximum of 500-550 degrees. Here are some thermometers that we suggest for monitoring the temperature of your briquettes and meat. 

Although we should warn you against losing any of the little nuts and bolts while assembling as no spares are provided. In the worst case scenario, the Weber customer care won’t mind providing you with the spares as their customer service has always been commended. 

Dimensions: 31.40 x 14.75 x 14.75 inches

Weight: 23 pounds

Pros

  • Comes with a cover
  • Built-in thermometer
  • Easy to adjust and maintain temperature
  • Portable due to small size
  • Rust resistant legs

Cons

  • Difficult to add water in the middle of a smoke

Cuisinart Vertical 36″ Propane Smoker

What is the best bbq smoker to buy

The Cuisinart Vertical 36″ Propane Smoker is here to provide you full command over temperature and smoke. It uses a propane tank as the power source. You’ll simply need to connect the propane tank and start the smoker with the knob. Once you’ve set everything including the vent, water pan, proper temperature, and the wood chips, you can leave it on its own without keeping a constant check. Isn’t that such a relief?!

However, you may need to refill the wood chips if your cooking duration is really long (like 6+ hours). In that case, a separate tray is provided at the bottom which can be easily pulled out and refilled, without disturbing the smoker’s interior. The interior has an area of 785 square inches and has four removable stainless steel grates.

What else? Well, it’s easy to assemble although will require some time. Moreover, the materials utilized are top-notch so you can rely on the quality of this BBQ smoker.

 

Dimensions: 17.5 x 46.25 x 44.75 inches

Weight: 46.5 Pounds

 

Pros

  • Provides really high temperatures (500-550 degrees)
  • Really strong and sturdy
  • Comes with a built-in easy-to-read thermometer
  • Includes a 40 inches propane hose and a regulator

Cons

  • Smoker’s exterior becomes hot due to lack of insulation.

 

Masterbuilt 30-inch Digital Electric Smoker

What is the best bbq smoker to buy

Next in our ‘best BBQ smokers to buy’ list, comes in our electric smoker. The Masterbuilt 30-inch Digital Electric Smoker is a good option for both beginners and experts. Stating the obvious, one of the perks of an electric smoker is that you can stress less about the charcoal or propane and can concentrate on the other aspects that make your food spot on. 

You can add the wood chips in the tray on the side without opening the smoker so you don’t lose any flavor. The door itself has a seal that helps it close tightly allowing no smoke to leak. With four chrome-coated grates, there’s plenty of space and you can feed anywhere from a couple to a couple of dozen people. It has a large water pan large enough to smoke a long time. So that’s another thing you can stress less about. 

The body of this smoker is insulated so it doesn’t turn hot on the outside. There’s a drip tray provided too. The drip tray doesn’t only collects the drippings but also drains it further to an outside pan for additional ease. 

A simple 101 for the Masterbuilt Digital Electric Smoker is to place it somewhere outdoors (indoors never recommended), load your food, load the chips, fill the water pan, and set the time and temperature with the digital control panel and sit back. That’s pretty much it. So easy. 

Pros

  • Easy assembly
  • Simple operation
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Digital led is difficult to read in sun
  • Replacement parts might be little expensive

 

Dimensions: 19.88 x 20.47 x 33.26 inches

Weight: 45.90 pounds

Original PK Grill & Smoker

what is the best bbq smomker to buy

The Original PK Grill & Smoker is not only portable but also smokes your food faster unlike many smokers out there. It is optimized to maintain a steady temperature inside. The lid closes tightly while the aluminum gasket prevents leakage. The exterior is itself wholly constructed with durable aluminum  that makes this comparatively small smoker sturdy and rust-proof. 

As the name suggests, this smoker provides an option to grill too. The grill uses charcoal to barbecue. It has an area of 300 square inches; quite good for a portable BBQ smoker, isn’t it? Plus, it’s portable! A perfect smoker for tailgating, camping, fishing, and many more of your adventures. 

According to Consumers digest the PK Grill & Smoker delivers the best airflow control, heat retention and temperature control of any full-size charcoal grill (2017). Why wouldn’t it? After all, it’s equipped with four adjustable dampers and vents that help in achieving and the precise temperature and uniform cooking. 

Cleaning it is not difficult, it’s just like any of the charcoal grills are cleaned. Assembling this BBQ smoker is also easy. 

The space available on the side and at the bottom for placing anything that you may require, proves really handy and gives the PK Grill & Smoker an edge. 

 

Dimensions: 16 x 35 x 35.5 inches

Weight: 45 Pounds

 

Pros

  • Provides room to keep your essentials alongside
  • Includes temperature gauge
  • Guarantees a decade

Cons

  • Screws too long for cap-head bolts
  • Short height (27 inches)

Masterbuilt Bluetooth Digital Electric Smoker with Broiler

What is the best bbq smoker to buy

Another masterpiece by Masterbuilt is the Masterbuilt Bluetooth Digital Electric Smoker with Broiler equipped with Bluetooth Smart technology, this smoker is easy to operate. With the built-in bluetooth you can control the temperature, lighting, switch it on or off, and also keep an eye on the food’s temperature, all through your smart device. This feature comes in really handy in winters, or in harsh daylights when you wouldn’t want to stay outside with your smoker.

It’s easy to assemble, takes around 20-25 minutes give or take. There are four chrome-coated grates that provide ample space to cook upto 6 chickens or two turkeys at a time. The wood chips last long enough, up to an hour on average. The manual itself will help you a lot in getting started as it comes with quite clear and useful instructions. 

A little drawback could be the difficulty you’ll face while reading the LED in the daylight. However, you can overcome it (if it isn’t a biggie for you, and we assume it shouldn’t be) by simply using the bluetooth feature. The app also features built-in alarms to keep you up with your food. 

The quality and taste turns out to be no lesser than any professional BBQ smoker around. It’s smoked perfectly and done precisely, so you can’t help but want more.

 

Dimensions: 19.88 x 20.66 x 33.46 inches

Weight: 54 Pounds

 

Pros

  • Built-in meat probe
  • Convenient wood chip loader
  • Easy assembly, helpful manual

Cons

  • Doesn’t include keep warm feature
  • Difficult to read the LED in daylight

 

Z GRILLS 2020 Upgrade Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker 

What is the best bbq smoker to buy

This versatile BBQ smoker offers grilling, baking, charbroiling, roasting, searing, and braising making it an all rounder. The digital control automatically sets off and can be adjusted to temperatures ranging from 180 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. 

The advanced wood fire technology uses the least amount of pellets possible for the perfect results (20lbs of pellets for 20 hours, it says). The temperature is regulated as per the setting providing an even and consistent cooking over time. Being an electric smoker, it’s easy to use even for beginners. You can make a large batch with 450 square inches of space available. It also includes a hopper, foldable shelves, heavy-duty wheels, and rust-proof covers and racks.

The body is sleek and stylish made up of stainless steel and is rust resistant. Working and handling is quite easy as compared to the classic grills. 

 

Dimensions: 45 x 28 x 49 inches

Weight: 84 Pounds

 

Pros

  • Digital and precise control
  • Even and consistent temperature
  • Sturdy and rust-proof
  • Timely upgrades available
  • Versatile

Cons

  • Comes with less or no instructions

 

Char-Broil American Gourmet Offset Smoker

What is the best bbq smoker to buy

This is a budget-friendly yet a super duper smoker from the very renowned Char-Broil. It’s a combination BBQ smoker that offers a grill as well. It is provided with many dampers to control the temperature and a temperature gauge for monitoring the intern heat. 

It’s easy to clean. You’ll simply need to lay it on its side and spray it with a hose. The charcoal won’t be a problem and will come off easily. The grates are also smooth and easy to clean as they are porcelain-enameled. It also features an ash clean tray along the offset firebox. 

Being comparatively cheap and less complicated to use, it’d make a great entry level smoker. It is large enough to hold a whole turkey of around 20 lbs easily. 

The assembly might be time consuming but is quite simple. 

 

Dimensions: 17.50 x 46.25 x 44.75 inches

Weight: 46.50 pounds

 

Pros

  • Adjustable height
  • Easy to clean
  • Multiple vents for easier temperature control
  • Features a side shelf

Cons

  • Flimsy structure

 

Now if you’ve read this and you’re still wondering what on earth is an offset smoker or a drum smoker or any type for that matter, then keep on reading. Following are the types that you should be aware of before you decide the best BBQ smoker to buy for yourself.

 

Offset Smokers

To make sure the smoke passes thoroughly over and from your food, the offset smokers are designed keeping the source away from the food. The heat source that you use (charcoal, wood chips, briquettes, or pellets) all burn in the firebox attached on the side instead of burning directly underneath the food. 

You can control the amount of smoke passing through the horizontally styled smoker easily without disturbing the aura of the smoking chamber. This type of smoker is quite common and is available abundantly. 

 

Vertical water smokers

Vertical water smokers keep your heat source underneath the food. They usually consist of three chambers; a firebox, a water pan and a smoking chamber. The water pan moistens the interior keeping food tender and juicy. Direct smokers are common, cheaper, and typically smaller, a good criteria if you’re just starting and learning. 

Although, a drawback of these types of smokers is usually the lack of control of smoke and in most cases, the loss of heat that takes place when opening the smoker while cooking (that you often need to do). Its small size can also be a disadvantage (or advantage; totally your take).

Drum Smokers

The drum smokers are the simplest and the most basic ones. You can buy them assembled, or if not, they are easy to assemble and they turn out to be lightweight and portable. It only has a firebox at the bottom and a cooking grate at the top while it lacks a water pan. So, keeping the food moist and juicy in the absence of a water pan will be a little tricky but not impossible. 

The lids and doors tightly shut making a little or no loss of smoke at all. You can easily adjust the vents located on the lid and the base to control the temperature.

 

Smoker Ovens

Smoker ovens contain an electric heating element and are usually large box-shaped insulated appliances. Between the smoking compartment and the heat source is an attached piece of metal that conducts heat as well as collects the drippings for an easy clean up. They digitally control and maintain the required temperature and then keep the food warm for a long time after getting it done. 

The sizes, prices, functions, and flexibility of use can vary drastically depending on the models and companies. Like any other smoker, these are recommended for outdoors only. 

 

A Beginner’s Guide to Smoking

A perfect, scrumptious, and heavenly smoked food doesn’t only involve a reliable appliance but also depends upon a number of other factors. Setting the precise temperature, the correct air flow, the cooking time, following the expert’s giveaways, learning through your own trials and errors – true with every appliance alike-, and all the little tips and tricks make a huge difference. 

Check out these instructions to know what experts have to say about the basics of smoking. 

 

  • The key step to start out your smoker is to season it properly. You can get some guidance on seasoning from the manual of your smoker. Doing so will help you in figuring out your desired settings and your desired results. Ironically, the grease and gunk help the smoker to work better by not letting it overheat. Prep it up by cooking some meat that you wish to discard before preparing your food. The purpose is to get some grease out of it into the smoker.  

 

  • Opening the vents will increase the inner temperature as more oxygen will allow more heat accumulation throughout the unit. Likewise, to decrease the temperature you’ll need to close the intake vent a little bit to decrease the flow of oxygen/air that’ll eventually reduce the temperature. 

 

  • Do not over adjust the vents. Adjusting them constantly will fluctuate the temperature a lot. Make your adjustment and be patient with the results, it won’t take affect immediately anyways. 

 

  • Adding water to the water pan lowers the temperature in the beginning, however, as soon as the evaporation starts it accelerates the heating and the temperature rises. Doing so is necessary to keep your food moist and juicy. Although there’s another way of introducing water/moisture in the smoker. You can simply let your food cook without adding water. It’ll help form the crust quicker due to the dry heat. As soon as the crust is good and crunchy, you can add water and leave your food to cook thoroughly while absorbing the moisture. 

 

  • Keep the cleaning easy but efficient. For the grates, you can take them out, soak them in cleaners for an hour and then scrape the gunk. Make sure to clean drippings from the water pan to avoid rancidification. Empty the ashes, grease and droppings of your food as well to prevent your smoker from catching fire. 

 

  • Outside weather shouldn’t be your concern as long as you’re adapting to it efficiently. In cold weather, you can keep some extra fuel by your side due to the extra fuel you’ll need to heat the smoker up. While in hot and windy weather, you can adjust the vents to take in less hot air, preventing unwanted rise in temperature. 

 

With our best-BBQ-smoker-to-buy guide coming to an end, we wish you good luck for your smoking ventures.

Happy Smoking!

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