Best Smokers for Beginners – [2018] Buyer’s Guide

Buying a smoker for the first time can be daunting, confusing, overwhelming, and challenging. Not only are there a ton to choose from, but the ultimate question comes down to, “what is the best smoker for beginners?”

Comparison Chart of the Best Smokers for Beginners

Product

Our Rating

Price

Smokehouse Products

Big Chief Front Load Smoker

Smokin-It Model #3

Electric Smoker

Weber 731001 Smokey Mountain Charcoal Smoker

Masterbuilt 20070910 30" Electric Smoker

Smokin Tex Pro 1400

In this article, we’re going to answer that and provide you with an overview of five great smokers.

Our goal is to eliminate those feeling that may be overcoming you as you research smoker after smoker and read review after review.

We did our homework so you don’t have to. As with all of our reviews, we’re going to cover the main features of each model and then take a look at some of the mutual pros and cons shared by recent customers.

What to Look for When Choosing Your First Smoker

Companies such as Weber, Masterbuilt, and Smokehouse (to name a few) are constantly looking for new ways to pack their models with amazing features - all while aiming price tags aren’t drastically affected.

As with any product, if you don’t know what to look for when shopping, you may be misinformed post purchase.

Things to consider when buying a smoker for the first time:

  • Is this within my budget?
  • Will this fit what I intend to smoke?
  • Where will I be storing this after each use?
  • Does the size of the smoker match where I’ll be storing it?
  • What is the warranty?
  • Do I want to invest in one great smoker or a few ‘OK’ smokers down the road

Willy's Top Picks - Best Smokers for Beginners

Reviews of the Best Smokers for Beginners

Now we're going to move onto the review portion of our article and break down the best smokers for beginners.

With this, we'll be highlighting each models main features, then covering a few pros and cons according to recent buyers. 

Convenience is king and Weber ensures anyone can achieve delicious results with ease. Backed by Weber’s Tradition, Innovation, Performance, Service (TIPS) business model, this smoker allows anyone to enter the smoking community and come out feeling like an expert chef.

By designing a model that incorporates a package of high quality features, customers gain a smoker they can count on time after time. We’ve researched this model in depth and did our homework so you don’t have to.

Before covering the pros and cons of the Weber 731001 Smokey Mountain Cooker 22-inch Charcoal Smoker, let’s analyze the top benefits under the hood.

Main features of the 22 inch Weber Smokey Mountain include:

  • 726 sq. inches of cooking space
  • 4 rust-resistant aluminum vents and built in water pan
  • Lid thermometer quickly and easily displays temperature
  • Handles are constructed via glass-reinforced nylon materials
  • 2 plated-steel cooking grates enable customers to cook a variety of meats per session

Pros

  • Powerful 10 year limited warranty
  • Very straightforward - add, ignite, enjoy!
  • Tons of additional add-ons available for purchase
  • Has ability to come with or without expert assembly
  • Construction of main frame and legs are very sturdy and strong

Cons

  • Does not come with wheels to easily transport or store
  • Side door is not 100% tight and small amounts of smoke have the tendency to escape
  • Size of smoker presents limitations when smoking large amounts of meat - you may have to prepare in portions

Bottom Line

The 22-inch Weber 731001 Smokey Mountain charcoal smoker offers 726 sq. inches of cooking space and 4 rust-resistant aluminum vents that aid in trapping heat and smoke. The built in lid thermometer is a great benefit if you don’t own an aftermarket thermometer and can save you time.

One of the top qualities customers can expect from this model is the outstanding 10 year warranty and the available extras you can choose from before adding the smoker to your shopping cart. 

The Masterbuilt Electric 30" Digital Electric Smoker is the ideal decision in case you're searching for both security and accommodation. With its 0-24 hour processing timer and auto turn off component, this model is a fantastic smoker for any beginner.

This product may just be the best smoker for someone to learn on, nearly everything about this model is very straightforward. You'll have the capacity to throw together some awesome smoked meals without excess work and needed expertise on your part.

Main features of the Masterbuilt 20070910 30 Inch Electric Smoker include:

  • Rear mounted grease pan makes for easy cleaning
  • 4 adjustable smoking racks let you smoke a variety of meats at once
  • Temperature ranges from 100°F-275°F
  • Built in air dampers help control smoke and heat output
  • Digital control panel features simple push-button functionality

Pros

  • Drip pan and the water pan are both removable
  • Automatic shut-off and 0-24 hours timer
  • Wood tray is easily accessible via side-load compartment
  • Recipe booklet is included to help those searching for new dishes
  • Constructed with insulated walls to deliver succulent results each and every time

Cons

  • Inside meat probe and light are not included in this particular model
  • Digital display is difficult to read during the day due to sun glare
  • Wood chip burner has difficulty burning large pieces - be sure to buy small

Bottom Line

All things considered, the Masterbuilt Electric Smoker is extraordinary compared to other smokers available. You won't be disappointed; with an incredible price tag and well known qualities, this smoker may be one of the best electric smokers available.

It's lightweight and user friendly, conveys a succulent smoked taste to any dish, and you'll ultimately be finding excuses to use this smoker. If this model has been on your mind, you can view our full write-up here.

Smokin-It Model #3 Electric Smoker

All things considered, this electric smoker is a first class smoker. This model is one of the leading smokers and will be the ideal fit for an entry level chef. In the event that you're searching for a fantastic smoker at a decent cost, then this is a no-brainer; the Smokin-It Model #3 electric smoker is the way to go.

It’s well insulated construction allows you to smoke outside year-round and withstand the elements; rain or shine, snow or wind, this thing won’t let you down. Let’s review the main features then check out the pros and cons to prove why it's so great.

Main features of the Smokin-It Model #3 Electric Smoker include:

  • 1200 watt heating element 
  • High quality, durable wheels make storing and transporting this smoker a walk in the park
  • 4 massive stainless steel racks welcome all meats and vegetables
  • Rheostat temperature control ranging from 100°F - 250°F
  • Constructed from 100% 18 gauge stainless steel

Pros

  • 3 year warranty backed by Smokin-It
  • Removable drip pan makes cleaning very straightforward
  • 12 ft power cord allows you to smoke in a variety of environments
  • Delivered fully assembled - avoid headaches at all costs
  • Has the capacity to hold up to 45 lbs of meat per smoking session

Cons

  • No built in additional space to prep food
  • Does not feature a digital temperature display

Bottom Line

When it comes to the Smokin-It Model #3, you could spend far more than the price of this model and still come out on top. You don’t need a big price tag to convey quality but if you had to, it would be worth it.

This smoker will provide everything you need when you’re a beginner smoker and looking to enter the game. Simply put, it’s a grade A smoker that will deliver each and every time, just as you would have hoped. If this model caught your eye, be sure to read our full write-up here.

The Big Chief Front Load Smoker is the ideal decision for somebody who cherishes the flavor blended within smoked meats yet would prefer not to spend a ton of money. It's anything but difficult to use from start to finish. It’s user friendly functionality will ensure you’re a talented smoker in a matter of seconds.

This model comes complete and pre-assembled so it can be utilized and put to the test instantly. The advantageous front stacking highlight gives speedy access to your meats or vegetables while it’s preparing.

Main features of the Smokehouse Products Big Chief Front Load Smoke include:

  • Comes with a drip pan that is dishwasher safe
  • Delivered fully assembled
  • Temperature is non-adjustable and ranges up to 165°F
  • Has the capacity to smoke up to 50 lbs of goods at once
  • Built in vents enhance dehydration

Pros

  • Made in the USA
  • Delivered fully assembled
  • 2 year guarantee for Smokehouse products
  • Includes smoking recipe book to offer support when cooking
  • Comes with 1 ¾ lb of Smokehouse Natural Wood Chips with purchase

Cons

  • Intended for outdoor use only
  • Does not come with cover for storage
  • Smoker does not have double-boxed insulation

Bottom Line

The Big Chief Front Load Smoker is another popular model among beginner smokers looking for a straightforward smoker to learn from. One of the great benefits to buying this is that it’s delivered fully assembled - talk about a major stress off your shoulders.

You can jump right in and start smoking in seconds. With this, it also has built in vents that allow you to have more control over smoke and temperature production. A reliable USA made product offered with a 2 year warranty, you can view our full in depth write up on the The Big Chief Front Load Smoker here.

The Smokin Tex Pro 1400 is anything but difficult to clean thus simple to utilize. Even novices will have the capacity to smoke like an expert chef.

Much the same as all other electric smokers, you can get incredible smoked meals without taking care of it day in and day out. It does the majority of the work independent from anyone else.

The Smokin Tex Pro 1400 also features easy to clean stainless steel racks which are dishwasher safe. This smoker will spare you cash over the long haul since you won't need to spend as much on wood chips unlike different smokers.

This is an immense advantage, particularly on the off chance that you are continually utilizing the smoker since wood chips can get costly sooner or later!

Main features of the Smokin Tex Pro 1400 Review include:

  • 10 amp, 700W, 120V heating element
  • 3 Stainless steel racks; dimension are 14.5”
  • Smoking heat ranges from 100°F to 250°F
  • Smoker is fully insulated, aside from the bottom
  • 1 stainless steel drip pan helps with cleaning and creating minimal mess

Pros

  • 35 lbs on average can be smoked per session
  • 2 year limited warranty included with purchase
  • Recipe book and complete instructions included
  • Very little wood chips are required per each smoking session
  • Includes 4 wheels - front are locking to ensure safe positioning while smoking

Cons

  • Not made in USA
  • Cannot reach super high temperatures
  • Does not include cover buy you can purchase one here

Bottom Line

The final one we wanted to highlight within this review is the Smokin Tex Pro 1400. This smoker is almost in a league of its own as it provides users with a diverse set of advantages compared to standard smokers. This model reaches temperatures ranging from 100°F - 250°F and comes with 3 stainless steel racks able to hold around 35 lbs of food per session.

While it’s not made in the USA, it is backed by a 2 year limited warranty, comes with a recipe book, and complete instructions to support beginners. We also have a great write up solely geared to this smoker which you can read here.

Conclusion

In the end, we want to ensure you have all the information readily available to make a sound investment in your next smoker. To do so, we’re going to sum up this article with one final overview of the smokers mentioned above.

Overall, if you’re someone who’s trying to narrow down their first beginner smoker, any of these will be a great model to begin with. Our top pick for the budget smoker is the Smokehouse Products Big Chief Front Load Smoker and if you’re aiming to invest in a smoker that will set you up for the long-run, then you should set your sights on the Smokin-It Model #3 Electric Smoker.

If this review was helpful, be sure to shoot us a comment and let us know how this went and what you ultimately decided on. We love hearing from your readers. Happy smoking!

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