Best Smokers of 2020 – Comprehensive Round-up

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Smoked food is a delight many people enjoy, but it can be irksome if you have to get your favorite items from a restaurant every time. So, people who have a knack for cooking or enjoy experimenting with new techniques can buy a smoker and cook their food at relatively low temperatures.

There are loads of items that you can make with this method. This includes all kinds of meat and fish. The flavors and texture of the food are adequately retained. Over the years, people have also tried the technique on vegetables, cheese, and other dairy foods, but more on that later.

The article is a well-researched buying guide. Everything that you need to know regarding the product will be explained in detail. Moreover, there is going to be a list of the best models in the market. So if you are ready to enjoy self-made, scrumptious food at home, let’s get started.

Our Top Picks for Smokers

  • Easy to clean
  • Powder epoxy steel build
  • Digital control
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  • Best for the money
  • Embossed aluminum build
  • Comes with recipe book
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  • Best offset smoker
  • Traditional-styled grill
  • Additional temp gauge
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Comparison of the Best Smokers

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Made from high-quality material that is easy to clean
  • Powder epoxy steel construction allows great durability
  • Digital control allows complete ease of use of the smoker
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  • Best smoker for the money
  • Embossed aluminum built allows the design of the smoker to last longer
  • Comes with a recipe booklet to make the most out of the smoker
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  • Best offset smoker
  • Traditional-styled charcoal grill that comes with a firebox allowing you to have a true Texas-style barbecue
  • An additional temperature gauge and storage rack for easier and more convenient usage of the smoker
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  • Best smoker grill combo
  • Rated as the best value pellet grill and smoker in the industry
  • The 500-degree cooking temperature allows perfectly cooked food
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  • Best charcoal smoker
  • A total capacity of holding up to 13 burgers made by the Weber burger press
  • One-touch cleaning system with a high capacity ash catcher ensure easy ash clean up
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  • Best beginner smoker
  • Two cooking grates provide ample space for smoking two large items at once
  • A silicone temperature grommet allows you to monitor the internal temperature of the smoker, allowing better control of the unit
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  • Best reverse flow smoker
  • Large stainless steel fuel basket in the firebox chamber and a door for cleaning out allows extremely easy and convenient ash removal
  • 751 square inches of cooking surface and 4 grates are ample for all types and amounts of food to be cooked
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  • Best barrel smoker
  • Comes with 8 stainless steel hooks for hanging your meat and a standard grill that aids in grilling and searing it
  • The unique design of the smoker enables it to provide optimal and easy smoking for your meals
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  • Best portable smoker
  • Has enabled Wi-Fi that keeps up with technology, allowing better functioning of the unit
  • The foldable legs of the unit make it easy to take it from place to place and to store as well
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  • Best indoor smoker
  • Doubles as a steamer, poacher or even a roasting pan providing you with all the functions you might need it for
  • The steamer can be used right on the stovetop and provide smoking of equal efficiency
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What is a Smoker? 

Smoked food is a delight that many people enjoy.

A smoker is a specially designed apparatus for cooking food at relatively low temperatures. This is done at a controlled temperature to ensure that your food comes out smoked. Traditionally, this was done by burning wood to create an ample amount of heat to cook the food.

A smoker does essentially the same thing, but it is a bit advanced in its cooking mechanism. It uses either a control system that requires manual adjustments or it contains a digital controller that is smarter. The best thing about a digital thermometer is that it allows for more comfort and convenience. 

Many advanced units today also come with Wi-Fi connectivity and app connections. You can control the settings even if you aren't sharing the same space with your model.

How Does a Smoker Work? 

A smoker grill is specially designed to cook meat in a horizontal chamber for a longer duration of time. The food item needs to be placed inside the heat source rather than on top of it. Among other things, the technique allows for easy adjustments of the temperature inside. You can replenish the fuel easily if you are using a gas unit.

You will also not have to add any wood or coal to provide adequate heat. This was done a couple of decades back, but now the technology has advanced a great deal. There are many different types of models in the market, and each one needs to be operated differently. But what is identical in all these units is the relatively long duration of cooking time.

Hot smoking will also require the unit to generate heat from a charcoal base or an electric oven. You will have to adjust the temperature using either a digital thermostat or a knob. If you cook your food at high temperatures, you will likely lose the special smoky effect that you are trying to achieve.

How to Choose a Smoker

If you want restaurant-level quality food at your home, then you must choose the very best model in the market. This can be hard, considering the sheer amount of brands out there. But don’t worry; this section will help you out. Whenever you come across an option, make sure you compare its features with the ones mentioned here.

Smoking Capacity

This is the most important factor to consider because it will ultimately affect the quality of your food, especially meat and fish. If you have to cook large batches of food at one time, you might need a unit with a larger capacity. However, if you only use the smoker occasionally, and don't have to use it for many foods, then we recommend you choose a smaller capacity.

Portability

Portability doesn’t only allow you to take your smoker for a picnic or to a friend’s place, but a portable model will also be easy to store and carry around. Moreover, you must remember that smaller models aren’t always more portable. A large unit with better handles can also provide this feature. So make sure you keep that in mind.

Heat Source

Every unit will require a heat source, and the source must be both reliable and efficient. If you are using an electric smoker, you will only have to plug it in and add water and wood. This offers more convenience and easy regulations. On the other hand, if you are using a propane unit, you will have to ensure there is ample propane for the whole process.

Versatility

There are many units in the market, but the best ones are certainly the ones that can be used to cook several different foods. High versatility means that you can smoke foods like meat, fish, and also vegetables and cheese. This also means that you won't be restricted by the unit when it comes to your favorite dishes.

Willy's Top Picks - Best Smokers

Review of the Best Smokers

Products in the market are usually categorized in terms of their prices, but that isn't a smart way to do it. There are many models out there that offer better features, even at a relatively low price. This list will introduce many such products. You can compare the features, pros, and cons of all these units to see which one suits you best.

Pros

  • Ensures quick and easy assembly of the unit
  • Has four racks that allow for greater diversity
  • Offers eight hours of controlled and cool smoke
  • 24-inch wide body helps cook multiple foods at the same time
  • Powdered epoxy steel construction adds to the durability of the model

Cons

  • Slightly heavier than some other models

What Recent Buyers Report 

Users have been quite frank when it comes to reviewing this product. They admit that they initially disliked the look because it looked too simplistic. But they also admit that they are now ready to swear by this incredible design. They love the 24-inch wide body that can cook multiple foods at the same time and help them entertain a large number of people easily.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

Made with the highest quality, Bradley units are considered to be one of the best ones in the market right now, they come with rugged construction and can create extremely delicious food each time. But perhaps the best feature of this appliance is that it offers a better warranty and hence is more reliable.

You can count on the unit to produce consistent results throughout. It is also best used outside the home and comes with eight hours of continuous and comfortable cooking. It is also a large unit measuring 17 by 14 inches with a width of 24 inches, which allows you to cook food for a party at any time. There is a generator attached too, so even in the absence of electricity, you can get power.

Bottom Line 

Bradley Digital is a household name, and the journey from being an unpopular model to here hasn't been easy. But what has helped the brand build its reputation is its commitment to consistency. The temperature, as well as heat settings, are designed specially to ensure the food gets proper heat currents from all sections. 

Best Smoker for the Money:
Smokehouse Products Little Chief

Smokehouse Products Little Chief Front Load Smoker

Pros

  • Has aluminum construction for added durability
  • An instruction booklet is also given to assist usage
  • Lightweight hence easy to clean and move around
  • Comes with a properly engineered smoke ventilation
  • Provides a consistent temperature throughout the cooking time

Cons

  • Appropriate for outdoor use only
  • Comes with a relatively poor warranty

What Recent Buyers Report 

There is generally a myth surrounding cheaper products, but buyers didn’t let speculations stop them from buying this extraordinary product. And they are glad that they stood in the face of adversity and still invested in Smokehouse. The many safety features of the model and its ease of usage has made them adore this smoker.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This model is leading the food industry, and for some time now, it is also compelling more and more people to try out smoked food. It comes with an instruction booklet that makes it easy for beginners to understand the process. The temperatures provided are pretty consistent, and you can set it to 120V for as long as you want. 

Other reasons for its high popularity are that it is made with aluminum and steel alloys that provide greater durability. You will also get higher flexibility with this model because it comes with different grilled plates that are easy to slide. 

But perhaps the best thing about this Smokehouse unit is that it provides greater ventilation and smoke circulation. This is done whilst also preventing dehydration in the room.

Bottom Line 

Affordability, durability, and convenience come together in making this Smokehouse model, an appliance worth considering for professional and amateur cooks. It is not only one of the lightest models out there, but it also comes with an easy-to-read instruction manual. One quick read will teach you all you must know about the safe usage of Smokehouse.

Best Offset Smoker:
Char-griller Smokin Pro

Char-Griller E1224 Smokin Pro 830 Square Inch Charcoal Grill with Side Fire Box, Black

Pros

  • Comes with two wheels for easy transportation
  • Relatively less expensive than some other models
  • Charcoal drawers can be removed for thorough cleaning
  • Contains a traditional charcoal grill and a smooth firebox
  • Cast iron body is nonstick and provides efficient convection currents

Cons

  • Repairing costs are high
  • Warranty is slightly less reliable

What Recent Buyers Report 

The repairing costs of this model might be high, but buyers don't care about that one drawback. This is because Char-griller offers extremely high durability that doesn't let the appliance falter at any time. The affordability factor has also been poignant in making buyers recommend this model to other potential customers.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

Offset units are similar to traditional charcoal grills because they offer the same cooking and grilling mechanism. This Char-griller unit comes with a side box that allows you to prepare a Texas-style barbecue without much hassle. 

Moreover, it comes with a grill barrel that offers heavy-gauge powder construction and a double bottom exterior to ensure greater heat insulation. Additional features are also provided, such as the temperature gauge, two separate wheels, and a large storage rack. The best thing about it is indefinitely the ease of portability it offers; you can use the two wheels to move the smoker anywhere you want.

Bottom Line 

Char-griller has been a true game-changer in the industry because it took an unpopular smoking technique and completely changed how people perceive it. The inclusion of a cast iron body provides better efficiency and ensures non-stick qualities. Moreover, the use of charcoal drawers provides greater ease of usage.

Best Smoker Grill Combo:
Camp Chef Smokepro Dlx Pg24b

Camp Chef SmokePro Stainless DLX Pellet Grill w/New PID Gen 2 Digital Controller

Pros

  • Contains the meat probe
  • Comes with large-sized smoking and warming trays
  • Automatic auger dispenses pallets for increased efficiency
  • Features a dual LED temperature readout for better control
  • Has patented ash that can clean out the cleanout systems of unit

Cons

  • Temperature can be too high sometimes

What Recent Buyers Report 

Those who didn't want to buy two separate units are glad they decided to buy this two-in-one model. Camp Chef Smokepro is specially built to allow greater diversity. It not only comes with a meat probe, but the inclusion of LED temperature lights is of great comfort to buyers. The cleaning process is also easy and hence adds to the appliance’s appeal.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

Grills can be an amazing addition to an ordinary smoker, and that is exactly why the Camp Chef Smokepro stands out in the competition. It not only includes a large grilling area suitable for enhancing foods, but its smoking tray is also made of stainless steel, thus providing greater durability. 

There is also an electronic button that kickstarts the ignition and ensures you don't have to wait for hours before your griller warms up. There are also ample buttons lighted by LED that let you choose any temperature setting that you want. So if you are looking for a two-in-one model, here is one for you.

Bottom Line 

You might have to pay some extra bucks to get this model, but one look at its features will convince you that it is worth the price. This two-in-one combo allows you to smoke and grill your food simultaneously. The automatic dispense pallets also increase the efficiency by diversifying the way the model transmits heat inside.

Best Charcoal Smoker:
Weber Original Kettle

Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill, 22-Inch, Black

Pros

  • Bowl retains heat and doesn’t rust or peel easily
  • Shields prevent the lid or the handles from getting hot
  • Lid placement is at an angle thus providing greater convenience
  • You can get 3D interactive assembly instructions from the manual
  • One-touch cleaning system comes with a lid hook for easy lid placement

Cons

  • Offers less diversity in terms of food
  • Slightly heavier than some other models

What Recent Buyers Report 

Smoked food lovers are willing to get a little less diversity if it means they can have a model that lasts for a considerably long time. Weber Original Kettle has been in the market for quite some time now and is undoubtedly one of the easiest models to clean and maintain. It also comes with 3D interactive assembly guidelines that buyers love.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

If you are looking to make 13-14 burgers at the same time, you should consider this amazing unit. It comes with a built-in thermostat that provides you ample control to change and adjust the settings according to each food item. 

But that isn’t the best part of this Weber model. It comes with a one-touch cleaning system with a high capacity ash catcher that allows for time-efficiency. Moreover, easy access to grilling tools is also available, which ensures better customization and better organization of your workspace.

Bottom Line 

The bottom line on this one is pretty simple; only buy this model if you intend to use it at home and not move it around. It may be a slightly heavier unit, but it also offers durability like no other smoker. The protective shield on top also covers the lid underneath and provides better insulation. It also prevents the lid from getting hot, thus enhancing the safety of the appliance.

Best Beginner Smoker:
Weber Smokey Mountain Smoker

Weber 18-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker, Charcoal Smoker

Pros

  • Affordable by those on a budget 
  • Provides large cooking space and large grilling area
  • Provides consistent temperatures at a low heat setting
  • Can be connected via an app thus providing convenience
  • Comes with a better instruction manual that is easy to understand

Cons

  • Has a poor warranty
  • Repairing accessories doesn’t restore the original durability

What Recent Buyers Report 

Trying out any new technique is a true challenge for beginners, and they are often skeptical of newer units. Weber has relieved them of all their worries because it provides them with a large cooking area in this unit that prevents food from remaining undercooked. Moreover, amateur cooks have also praised the ease of usage that the unit provides. This comes in handy when they have to entertain some guests.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

People who have a passion for trying out new techniques will rejoice at the sight of this one-of-a-kind smoker. It comes with ample space to cook, grill, and smoke all your foods, thus providing you with a great diverse model. 

Moreover, its assembly is really easy, which comes in handy for beginners looking to find a convenient and comfortable design. Consistent and low temperatures are other specialties of this unit as you can get your meat or your vegetables cooked at the same low temperature for as long as you feel like. 

However, the thing that most stands out to us is the inclusion of a 3D interactive assembly instructions that will guide the users to set up the unit.

Bottom Line 

If you are a new chef and scared of trying out a professional smoker, this model is made especially for you. It allows app connectivity through which you can monitor the temperature of the chambers the whole time. It also comes with a well-written instruction manual that comes in handy when you don't know what to do.

Best Reverse Flow Smoker:
Oklahoma Joe's Longhorn Smoker

Oklahoma Joe's Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker

Pros

  • Optical smokestack is easily removable
  • Features four grates to provide greater diversity
  • Delivers consistent heat to all the items placed inside
  • Provides a large space for cooking multiple foods at once
  • Special technology employs four baffles to guide smoke through the chamber

Cons

  • Assembly is not very easy
  • Multiple dampers make it difficult to control the level of smoke

What Recent Buyers Report 

There aren’t many models out there that use the reverse-flow technology; hence buyers are delighted to find a good model that does. This Oklahoma Joe smoker has also been praised for allowing consistent heat temperatures throughout the cooking process. This, among other things, ensures that all sides of your food are cooked evenly.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

It was hard for us to decide on one singular feature that stood out about this unit; there are just so many! The firebox chamber that the model contains is made with strong and durable stainless steel that doesn’t lose its potency. 

You will also get a baffle and smokestack that is removable and hence allows for easy cleaning. The reverse-flow technology also ensures that the maximum amount of heat remains inside the chamber at all times. But perhaps the best thing about Oklahoma’s model is that it is affordable.

Bottom Line 

The technique might not be easy to understand, but the unit is very easy to use, especially for people who are using smokers for the very first time. With a large cooking space of 1060 square-inch, this Oklahoma unit gives competitors a tough time. The model comes with an amazing heat gauge and durable construction that adds to its high appeal.

18-1/2 in. Classic Pit Barrel Cooker Package

Pros

  • Coal basket is evenly sized to provide convenience
  • Package includes all the necessary accessories you need
  • Comes with eight stainless steel hooks to hang your food
  • Simple design ensures a very simple assembly requirement
  • Strong construction ensures greater durability and strength

Cons

  • Cannot be used indoors

What Recent Buyers Report 

Buyers didn't have to think twice before buying this product. They were amazed by the amazing durability and strength it had to offer. They also praised the coal basket that contained ample space for storing access equipment. But the thing that fascinated them the most was a good warranty. This ensures that the model will last for a longer time.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

Any unit containing eight hooks of stainless steel is bound to be a strong one, and Classic has exceeded all expectations when it comes to providing safety and efficiency. It provides you ample space to hang all your meat items inside and thus ensures better searing and grilling. 

There is also a coal basket inserted so you can put softer foods like briskets and cheese inside. Cooks also hate the hassle involved in using professional smokers, but this Classic unit is easy to use and operate. There is minimal assembly required to get you started.

Bottom Line 

To sum up, if you ignore the difficulty of maintaining this unit, you will find only good things in it. It is made with stainless steel, which is one of the strongest materials out there. Classic smokers are also simplistic and basic in their design, but when it comes to efficiency, they can beat almost any unit out there.

Green Mountain Davy Crockett WiFi Control Portable Wood Pellet Grill

Pros

  • Can run with a variety of power outlets
  • Weighs less hence offers greater portability
  • Has a digital Wi-Fi controller thus increasing efficiency
  • Can be connected to an app for better monitoring of food
  • Includes a thermal sensor to keep temperatures consistent throughout

Cons

  • Durability of accessories is slightly less
  • Repairing doesn’t restore the original efficiency

What Recent Buyers Report 

It was almost impossible for buyers to find a spacious and large smoker that also offered portability until they found this Green Mountain unit. It comes with a strong thermal sensor that allows buyers to monitor the temperature better. They have also loved the app connectivity it offers because, through that, they can control the unit from far away.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

A smoker is a great way to cook food, but many people get frustrated when they are unable to take their units outside or to their friend's place. This Green Mountain unit is different as it weighs only 68 pounds, making it suitable for storage and transport. 

The power option is another interesting thing to see because it allows users to get consistent temperature even with different outlets. The unit also comes with a meat probe and a peaked lid that offers more convenience. 

Lastly, the inclusion of a thermal sensor is a delight to many because it ensures constant monitoring of the grilling temperature, thus avoiding food burns.

Bottom Line 

Those looking for a modern unit that comes with all the convenient features that one could think of should simply buy this Green Mountain model. Its compact design and simple body allow you to fold it up nicely every time you have to take it out on the beach or to a friend’s place.

Camerons Large Stovetop Smoker w Wood Chips and Recipes - 11' x 15' x 3.5' Stainless Steel Smoker

Pros

  • Can be used as both a smoker and a steamer
  • Easy folding technique allows for better portability
  • Allows for hot-smoke food to retain moisture inside
  • Possible to use with any heat source (electric, campfire, or gas)
  • Dishwasher-safe, freeing you from using sponges and soap waters

Cons

  • Consistency in temperature is difficult to produce

What Recent Buyers Report 

Food enthusiasts who were longing to use the modern hot-smoke technique to cook their scrumptious food have finally found the right model to execute it with. The Camerons smoker retains not only the extra moisture but also the original texture and the color of the food, even after continuous usage.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

One thing that makes this unit special is that it can be used indoors with ease. But this isn’t the only noteworthy feature that you need to consider before buying this smoker. The stovetop is pretty original and allows you to smoke a variety of different foods, including meat, poultry, vegetables, and seafood. 

There is also a smoking box that includes different components inside to assist you with diversity. But what our buyers would like most is the easy storage the model offers. With its wheels and compact design, you can take it to a nearby beach or your friend’s house without any hassle.

Bottom Line 

It is a real treat to find an indoor smoker, especially in a market that is bombarded with outdoor units. This Camerons smoker comes with the ability to hot-smoke your foot, thus retaining moisture. It also provides ample diversity by allowing you to insert any heat source. So if you can manage to spend a couple of extra bucks, this model is for you.

Masterbuilt 20077515 Front Controller Electric Smoker with Window and RF Controller, 30-Inch

Pros

  • Has a smooth operating wood chip
  • One of the largest smoking unit in the market
  • Comes with foam insulation for extra heat retention
  • RF remote control can control and monitor the temperature
  • Features a blue LED display that makes reading temperatures easier

Cons

  • Offers low portability

What Recent Buyers Report 

Buyers can be quite skeptical about their investments, especially when a model costs as much as this Masterbuilt unit did. But one experience with this smoker was all to convince them of its unmatched quality and efficiency. They are more than happy to spend some extra bucks in exchange for extra durability and a large capacity.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

Masterbuilt has been a game-changer in the industry and offers many exemplary features in this unit. It has 730 square inches of cooking space that comes with four different racks covered with chrome coatings. This not only adds to durability but also provides extra insulation for better heat retention. 

There is also a blue LED display that makes reading temperatures easy and efficient and an RF remote control that can monitor temperature and indicate when the cooking time is up. The front pan has also been redesigned to give a smoother feel to the whole exterior. So whether you are a beginner or a pro, you will always have this Masterbuilt unit at your disposal.

Bottom Line 

Masterbuilt 20077515 deserves to be on the number one position, and that is not due to its large capacity and extra durability alone. It ticks all the right boxes and has been an excellent unit for cooking and smoking food. There is a fantastic blue LED display that allows you to view the food inside and ensures you get an attractive model in your balcony or terrace. So if you don’t want to make any compromises, we recommend you buy this unit.

Masterbuilt 20078715 Electric Digital Smoker Front Controller, 30-Inch, Black

Pros

  • Equipped with four chromate coated racks for diversity
  • Has an efficient remote control that monitors the temperature
  • Installation instructions are properly explained in the user manual
  • Comes with a side loading wood chips option for greater convenience
  • Allows you to smoke more than 100 pounds of meat at the same time

Cons

  • If damaged, it can be hard to repair
  • Installation might require the help of a professional

What Recent Buyers Report 

Once the model is installed, you will be at ease, just like most recent buyers have been. They have praised the inclusion of a smooth remote control that allows them to manage the settings from a distance. Moreover, the side loading chip option also provides more diversity, and fans love Masterbuilt for this particular feature.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This unit is also 730 square inches in size and comes with four different smoking racks. Each is placed at varying lengths to ensure a different level of heat acquisition. 

But the most noteworthy feature of this appliance is undoubtedly the sheer number of accessories that you get with it. You will have an option to choose from some components when you buy the unit. This includes different racks, cleaning equipment, and other items. 

Diversity is another remarkable part of Masterbuilt. You can fry, steam, and boil your food using this indoor unit. The installation is also fairly easy, thanks to the simple and minimalistic design of the unit.

Bottom Line 

Overall, this is probably one of the only units in the market that works perfectly inside your kitchen. Most other appliances produce too much heat and hence can be unsafe if used indoors. Another major reason for its popularity is that it is convenient to use. You won't have to spend considerable time cleaning it either. All you have to do is remove the plug and wipe it with a damp cloth.

Best Pellet Smoker:
Traeger Texas Elite 34

Traeger Grills TFB65LZBC Texas Elite 34 Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker, 646 Sq. In. Cooking Capacity, Bronze,Black and Bronze

Pros

  • Ensures a more precise temperature control 
  • Allows for greater versatility by providing a 6-in-1 unit
  • Frees you from the hassle of using either gas or charcoal
  • Comes with five racks differently positioned for greater diversity
  • Uses steel to provide you with a durable and sturdy construction

Cons

  • Requires greater monitoring
  • Might lead to a significant increase in the electricity bill

What Recent Buyers Report 

Pellet smokers are very popular, and Traeger is no different. Recent buyers have rated it quite highly. The major reason for this is that the unit comes with a durable and sturdy construction that allows for long-term usage. Moreover, buyers get more versatility with this model, and hence they love it so.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

Generally, pellet smokers are very similar to electrical units. The best thing about them is that they don't require you to use gas or charcoal ever again; you can cook with wood and ensure a much better taste. 

There are multiple options that you can avail with this unit. You can cook your food, either extra hot and fast, or at a low temperature for a significantly longer time. You can also cook, bake, roast, braise, BBQ, and grill food and enjoy unmatched diversity like never before. 

This is also one of the only models that hardly take any time to clean; you can use soapy water and a sponge and clean the whole thing within minutes.

Bottom Line 

With its six cooking options, you are certainly in for a treat when you buy this Tredegar unit. But this diversity is secondary to the amazing precision and accuracy that you get with the appliance. The model comes with app connections and remote control that ensures consistency in temperature and heat settings throughout the procedure.

Best Propane Smoker:
Masterbuilt Gs40 20050211

Masterbuilt GS40 20050211 Black Propane Smoker, 40-Inch, 40 Inch

Pros

  • Has four smoking racks for greater diversity
  • Temperature gauge is made of stainless steel
  • Allows you to choose from a list of accessories
  • Comes with a smooth paint finish that doesn’t wear off with time
  • Gas control valve has an igniter that contains a smooth regulator

Cons

  • Usage requires greater effort and time
  • Difficult to control the temperature of the burner

What Recent Buyers Report 

Recent buyers weren't so sure of investing in this propane appliance, but one look at its gas control valve and its amazing list of accessories was enough to woo them. They haven't regretted their decision ever since and are pleased with the smoker's superior performance.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

Propane smokers might be a bit old and traditional, but the reason they are still popular says a lot about their quality. Masterbuilt shocked everyone when it introduced a black powdered-coated unit with four differently sized racks. This not only provides greater diversity, but the inclusion of a stainless steel burner also adds to the reliability of the model. 

There is also a separate smoke sack that can come in handy when you have to cook hard-skinned foods like meat. The temperature gauge contains a heating element of 15400 BTU that provides adequate heat to cook the toughest of foods.

Bottom Line 

Propane smokers may be a bit hard to operate, but what they lack in convenience, they more than make up for inefficiency. Masterbuilt comes with a temperature gauge that is not only durable but also ensures thorough cooking of the food. So if you are worried about your food remaining uncooked after slow cooking, then here is the model to ease your worries.

Best Vertical Smoker:
Masterbuilt 20070910

Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Black Electric Digital Smoker, Top Controller

Pros

  • RF remote control allows for easy monitoring
  • Provides heating temperatures up to 275 degrees
  • Allows you to prepare more than 100 pounds at one time
  • Offers side loading wood chips thus providing greater convenience
  • Thermostat temperature controller provides consistent temperature settings

Cons

  • Offers less portability
  • Consumes relatively more power than others

What Recent Buyers Report 

Recent users who had to cater to a lot of guests at the same time are delighted to get their hands on this incredible model. It hasn't only allowed them to cook 100 pounds of food at the same time, but it has also decreased its utility bill significantly. Another reason why fans recommend this unit is because it provides better placement of wood chippings.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

Preparing food for a party or an extended family can be quite challenging, but not when you have this Masterbuilt unit making the task easy. It is a 760 sq inch model that allows you to cook more than 100 pounds of food at any given time. 

It also comes with a strong and efficient heating system of 800 watts, ensuring consistent heat transmission to your food. Master built is also known for providing greater convenience through its removable drip tray and its top air damper. Both these accessories ensure that you can view your food whilst it's being cooked for a longer time.

Bottom Line 

Most likely, you would have heard of horizontal smokers; they are fairly common in the market, but the introduction of vertical units like this one has completely revolutionized the way people perceive smoked foods. It not only allows for a large space, but its ability to better monitor the temperatures also puts users at ease.

Types of Smokers 

With the rise in technology, brands have come up with many different types of units, each with a different working mechanism. You can choose a model based on your preference. You should also consider each unit's size if you are thinking of taking your smoker on picnics or beaches. Here are some popular types:

What is a Pellet Smoker?

These are powered via electricity and are similar to electric smokers. But unlike electrical ones, pellet smokers make use of burned wood pellets to produce the required amount of heat. These are also much more convenient than electric smokers. Moreover, the flavor they produce is relatively stronger and more intense.

What is a Cold Smoker?

The temperatures for a cold smoker will range from 20 to 30C. With this temperature, you can smoke all the foods that you want for a distinct flavor. But it is important to note that cold units will not cook foods, but can only give them a smoked flavor and texture. Moreover, they ensure that food remains moist.

What is a Reverse Flow Smoker?

The name is pretty self-explanatory. A reverse flow unit will essentially force the air to travel further inside to ensure a uniform temperature inside the smoker. The other name for this unit is a barbecue smoker and can be used to cook meat and fish. Moreover, the cooking chamber exists in the opposite direction, which further aids the heat circulation process.

What is an Offset Smoker?

Not many people have heard about offset smokers because they are a recent addition to the industry. They smoke food in a long and horizontal chamber while some add charcoal burns in a separate side with a firebox. They also come with cooking chambers that can be used to place briskets and other similar items.

Comparison Overview 

When there are so many good options available in the market, it is natural for you to be a bit confused. But you shouldn’t be because we have got just the solution for you. This section is meant to help you make an informed decision in the type of smoker you want to buy. 

Propane vs. Electric Smoker

These two types are undoubtedly the most common ones in the market, and hence choosing one between the two can be fairly hard. They are both simple to use and can be bought under $200. Both use different heat sources. An electric smoker will use relatively less electricity while a propane model will use propane, which, although less reliable, is comparatively cheaper. So if you want consistent temperatures, electric units are your best choice.

Electric vs. Charcoal Smoker

The former uses a consistent heat source as compared to the latter. The charcoal smoker also produces intense smoke and hence produces a stronger flavor. This is not preferable when you are cooking softer foods like vegetables and some dairy items. 

On the other hand, electric smokers come with digital thermometers and often app connectivity that can ensure greater convenience. So if you want more versatility, you should go to an electrical unit.

Smoker vs. Grill

Both of these products use slightly different cooking temperatures for cooking food. A grill will use a direct source of heat to prepare food, whereas a smoker requires food to be placed inside a heated compartment. Grills will offer a wide range of temperatures, whereas a smoker has a range between 160F and 300F. So, if you want your food slightly cooked and within a short period, we recommend a grill.

Electric Smoker Tips and Tricks For Success

Even if one knows how to use a unit, it is quite possible that they don’t know how to use it effectively. Certain tips and tricks can help you achieve better success. These can also come in handy if you are trying to smoke your food for the first time. Here is how you can do better:

Temperature Setting

You must keep the temperature consistent throughout the cooking process. If your temperature is higher than 250F, you can simply close down the vents and reduce the amount of excess oxygen entering and thus reduce the temperature. Such a steady temperature is also important if you want to get a fully tender item on the plate.

Timings

If you over-smoke your food, you are less likely to get the desired result. Less is always more when it comes to smoked foods, and hence you should make sure that you don’t exceed the required time. You can either use a digital thermometer or a manual controller to set up the time. 

Moreover, you will need different timings for different types of food items. Meat would require more time, while cheese would demand relatively less.

Using Foil

This is also a wonderful trick for beginners. If you are cooking hard-shelled items like meat or fish, you can use foil to create a little mesh. Wrapping the food in foil will prevent burning and helps in the retention of flavor. Moreover, any grease or leftover oil will remain inside the foil and will not come outside. You will also find it much easier to clean your smoker after cooking food this way.

Seasoning of Food

Pre-seasoning your food is key to achieving the best results, especially when you are smoking it. You can put all the spices on top of your meat or vegetables and wrap them in a foil. Keeping the food in the fridge will also ensure thorough flavor retention.

How to Use a Smoker 

There is no rocket science involved when it comes to using a smoker. You just need to follow a few simple steps to help you get started. If you are a beginner, you will have to be more meticulous; however, you will get the proper hang of it with time. So here is what you need to do.

  1. Setting up of temperature probes is the first step to effective smoking. You can keep your grill stable or just keep an eye on the temperature.

  2. When you have pre-seasoned the food and are thinking of putting it inside the unit, it is time to fire up the grill.

  3. You can do this by lighting a full load of charcoal or ash over in the chimney center. Make sure you wear gloves or keep your face away from the chamber.

  4. Then, open the chimney baffles and widen the intake side. You should also control the intake of oxygen through the vent to ensure your grill’s temperature doesn’t fall low.

  5. The next step is to dump the coals into the firebox and then wait until the unit reaches the required temperature. Make sure the temperature remains consistent before you put the food in.

  6. For proper flavor retention, you should add a couple of wood chunks in the internal chamber. You also need to add the wood chunks burning next to the fire.

  7. Adding moisture to the smoke should be your next step. It will ensure your meat absorbs most of the flavor. This will also help better humidify the smoke.

  8. Achieving good taste and texture is no easy task and hence requires a significant amount of time. Hence, it is recommended that you keep the meat and vegetables on a slow heat and for a longer duration.

  9. Midway through cooking, you may also experience a stall, and the best way to get past it is to remain patent and let the meat take its time.

  10. Lastly, it is advised that you switch on the smoker before taking the food out.

If you are still confused about a few steps, make sure you check out this video below.

How to Clean a Smoker

Even the most passionate cooks dread the cleaning process, especially one that is extensive and requires some hard labor. Although smokers are efficient and don’t always require a lot of maintenance, you must clean them thoroughly every once in a while to ensure healthy flavors. Here is how you clean:

  1. If you want to clean the interior chamber, the first step is to cool it completely. Make sure it reaches a manageable temperature before you begin the cleaning process.

  2. Brush any particle buildup towards the bottom of the unit. You can also sweep any residue that might have accumulated inside the chambers.

  3. You can use soap and warm water and gently scrub the interior sections of the smoker. You can also use a sponge or a plastic bristle brush.

  4. Make sure there are no bristles that remain on the cooking surface. This will darken the surface over time.
  5. Remove the washing trays and cooking racks and wash them with soapy water. Rinse and put them in a dry place.

  6. If there is food stuck on the surface, apply some vegetable oil or oil spray on the racks to ensure a more thorough cleaning.

  7. Then, clean the exterior control panel and wipe the exterior side with a damp cloth. You can also use soap to wipe any particles.

  8. If there is a window on your smoker, only use a cleaner that is approved for ceramic glass. This can be used for both interior and exterior parts.

  9. Some smoke residue might also accumulate on the door seal. You can remove it by brushing a cloth over it.

  10. Dirt usually builds up in thermostats and needs to be removed. Use a brush or cloth to remove any debris stuck at the knobs.

For more clarity and visually see what the steps mean, here is a video:

Conclusion 

Baked and fried foods are delicious, but eating and cooking only those can get quite monotonous at times. Smoking has been a technique mostly used in restaurants, but that will change once you buy a smoker for your home.

These are available in different shapes and sizes, and a good model can help retain the original texture, color, and flavor of your food. You can prepare meat, fish, vegetables, and many other unique items in the appliance. Make sure you refer to the guidelines mentioned above to do it perfectly.

Good things come to those who wait, and eating homemade smoked food may just be the prize you are waiting for.

People Also Ask

We’ve discussed smokers in detail above, but there might still be ambiguities. The following questions have been added to give you more insight into your choice. They have been answered honestly to help you make a wiser decision.

What Can You Smoke in a Smoker?

There are a couple of things you can cook in a smoker thanks to its versatility. You can prepare all kinds of chicken and beef using the appliance. The varying heat temperatures also allow you to cook vegetables, salmon, and briskets. Some models may also let you smoke cheese.

How Does an Electric Smoker Work?

As the name suggests, an electric appliance will make use of electricity for its operation. It will work by heating a chamber in which an ample amount of air circulates. This ensures food is heated via convection currents. The unit will also come with a grill rack and a water pan for a thorough procedure.

How Often Should I Add Wood Chips to Smoker?

There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to wood chips. Different models will require a different frequency, but as a general rule, you should change wood chips every six hours. The most important thing is to check out the quality of smoke you are getting each time you add them.