When choosing a smoker, it is important to take into consideration where you want to take it and the availability of fuel needed for the smoker to work. There are two types of portable smokers which are the bigger-sized ones and the tabletop units. We rounded up a list of the best portable smokers to bring on your next adventure, so you don’t need to spend a lot of time searching the market.
Top 8 Best Portable Smokers for Camping
1. Traeger Tailgater Pellet Grill
Traeger is one of the trusted brands when we talk about smokers. It’s designed to have a 6-in-1 system where you can braise, roast, bake, and even barbecue. You can do almost everything with this wood pellet grill.
This smoker has a 300 square inches cooking area and can reach 450 degrees Fahrenheit at its maximum temperature. Cooking is easy because it comes with a meat probe and can handle 8 pounds of hopper capacity.
Tailgater has a heavy-duty metal body construction making it a bit heavy. This could be a downside because you might need help to carry it.
Still, this unit is portable in size and has foldable legs that make transportation to your camping site easy. Fueled with natural hardwood pellets, you can add additional flavor to the meat you cook.
This smoker boasts its Digital Arc controller that has the capability of maintaining a consistent and precise temperature. Additionally, it has a feature that keeps the food warm until you are ready to serve it.
2. Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker
This cooker is compact in size with great heat retention producing flavorful smoky barbecue. Aside from being user-friendly and having a well-built body, it is also versatile and affordable.
Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker is coated with enamel to prevent corrosion letting this unit last for years. It is made with stainless steel and weighs 23 pounds making it a durable portable smoker.
The diameter of the grates for this charcoal cooker is 14 inches, so you can cook plenty of food at once. You can also be sure all your meat is grilled evenly with its temperature monitor features.
With a built-in thermometer, a door for easier loading of charcoal, and an opening at the side for meat probes, you can have easier control of your bbq. The unit is also loaded with three air vents to ensure proper airflow in the charcoal basket.
Since this smoker is fueled by charcoal, this does not need electricity to function. This is a plus especially if you are camping in a place where it is hard to find an outlet.
The charcoal type of smoker tends to be lighter compared to its contenders. You can carry it anywhere you want without the hassle.
3. Masterbuilt Portable Digital Smoker
If you are looking for an eco-friendly type of smoker, then this is for you. This electric fueled smoker is user-friendly and dependable if you are on the road. This smoker will make sure you can cook your recipe right.
With 2 cooking racks, you can cook a decent amount at once. This is great if you are cooking lots of meat because they can be loaded in two cooking racks for easier placement.
The grating material of this smoker is chrome-coated wire and the body weighs 22 pounds. It has an easy push ignition starter for easy cooking.
Masterbuilt smoker needs to be plugged into a power source to function. Cooking can be done faster because it heats up quickly with its 1,400 watt power. If you are on the road, you will need an inverter and connect it to your car. Turn it on, set the temperature gauge, and you are good to go.
If you are new to grilling and smoking, this model is recommended. You may not be able to replicate that smoky or charcoal-grilled flavor but it can give you well-cooked barbecue. It’s great value for the money you invest.
4. Z Grills Pellet Grill
The PID technology that this smoker has allows it to be versatile and to have a wide temperature range. It is possible to grill, bake, smoke, and roast in this unit while giving you consistent cooking results.
This pellet grill is also great for beginners who do not have any experience setting up a conventional smoker because it has an electric auto-start ignition. You won’t be having a hard time trying to figure it out because it is easy to use. You just need to check if the temperature is right.
Z Grills smoker has a 10-pound capacity pellet hopper for a longer cooking time without the hassle of refilling it often. It has an amazing smart temperature management feature wherein pellets are added to the fire automatically. Regulating consistent airflow and cooking temperatures are its greatest features.
Its steel body construction is the size of 25 x 48 x 40 inches with 20 pounds in weight. Its quality material makes it highly durable and could last you years.
Easy to assemble and set up, this portable camping smoker is designed for outdoor small gatherings.
5. Char-Griller Akorn Jr
Considered as a top-quality grill, Char-Griller is a sturdy smoker that has three walls to retain heat. Thus, it can reach 200 to 700 degrees Fahrenheit. It gives you a huge range of options when we talk about grilling.
This smoker is made from durable steel with a powder-coated body and only weighs 33 pounds. Transportation is not a problem because it has a compact size. The grilling space is only over 150 square inches so it’s a bit limited but enough for small families.
With an adjustable damper, it’s easy to control the airflow and maintain even heat when cooking. Since it has great airflow, the temperature can last for 7 to 12 hours. This is perfect for low and slow smoking your recipe.
With its built-in temperature gauge, dump ashtray cleaning system, and side handle for easy carry, the Char-Griller is a good companion for your travels.
Although it may get challenging to assemble for beginners in barbecuing, its entirety is built for a less hassle and enjoyable cooking experience.
6. Broil King Keg 5000 Kamado Grill
Fueled by charcoal, Broil King Kamado grills are one of the best units you can find. It’s designed with improved durability and performance to give you years of successful cookouts.
With its compact design and double-walled steel body, this can maintain and retain the temperature so top-quality meat is at your reach. Even better, this smoker uses 2x less charcoal compared to others so you can spend more on food and less on fuel.
This smoker measures about 41 x 27.5 x 47 inches. Its box feature has two shelves and cast irons as inclusions. The cooking area is quite spacious at 280 square inches. These are decent measurements for a portable smoker.
Also, unlike many kamado grills, Keg 5000 is packed with extra features like detachable resin side shelves, mobility car, chrome swing-away secondary rack, and multi-tool for bbq giving you a better cooking experience.
Charcoal smokers like this unit are great for giving that authentic smoky taste for bbq.
7. Davy Crockett Pellet Grill
This is a portable and easy-to-pack smoker. It can be folded to fit in your car trunk so you can bring this for your next camping and bbq.
Offering a wide range of temperatures from 150 to 550 degrees Fahrenheit, it allows you to have options when grilling or searing the food.
Davy Crockett Pellet Grill weighs 57 pounds which is an impressive tailgating smoker. It can monitor the temperature because of its feature called Sense-Mate. It can be connected to WiFi which allows you to monitor through an application on your phone.
Operated through a standard 12V DC plug-in, a pellet hopper that can hold up to 91 pounds of wooden pellets, installed with a magnetic grill light, all these features make this smoker so convenient to use for camping even at night time.
This smoker includes a meat probe, a lid for the poultry meat, racks, and a tray with a hook. This product is designed to be light and portable. If we talk about convenience, this is the smoker you are looking for.
8. Camerons large Stovetop Smoker
This stovetop smoker can be used to smoke different meat, vegetables, and fish. It has a smoking box where you can keep all the components inside when you are not using it. Aside from this convenience, the handles can be folded away when stored. It is made with stainless steel that helps retain the moisture and flavor of the food you are cooking.
Cameron large stovetop smoker can be used indoors using gas, electric or even campfire. At the same time, it can be used as a steamer. The size is 11x15x3.5 inches and weighs 5.6 pounds. The bundle includes wood chip samples and a recipe guide.
This multi-purpose and portable steamer needs an external heating source. It has a limited cooking space which is a downside if you have extra guests.
Best Tabletop Smokers for Easier Carry
Tabletop smokers are even more portable than the full-sized versions. These bbq ranges look like briefcases or toolboxes that give you the space and ability to grill and smoke meat wherever you go. These don’t have a lot of features compared to the list above but can still do a great job for your barbecue.
1. Asmoke AS300 Electric Portable Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker
Asmoke AS300 is an ideal choice for traveling and camping. It’s small and lightweight with great durability and easy maintenance. While this portable pellet smoker seems simple, it actually has an 8-in-1 use.
Equipped with a PID control system for accurate temperature, this pellet smoker heats up 15% faster and uses 20% fewer pellets than other smokers. You can save both time and money while barbecuing with this model.
This is a highly recommended unit for those who want a compact durable design with great versatility. Another big plus is you can get this smoker for a budget-friendly price.
2. Traeger Grills Ranger Portable Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker
This portable tabletop grill runs on 120V with a cooking temperature of up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. This is more than enough for most barbecues and simple recipes.
The Traeger Grills Ranger is the alternative for Tailgater if you prefer easier transport. It only weighs 60 pounds with a pellet hopper capacity of up to 8 pounds.
Ranger also has a new Digital Arc Controller that makes sure you get a precise and consistent cooking temp so you avoid undercooking or overcooking. Plus, this tabletop grill comes with a Keep Warm mode convenient for travel.
3. Pit Boss Portable Tabletop Pellet Grill
Enjoy your next cookout with the Pit Boss Tabletop Portable Pellet Grill. With an easy-to-carry portable design, 256 square inches of cooking space, and a well-installed tech, you are ready to grill wherever you are.
Pit Boss has an automatic start-up and cool-down system making it more convenient to barbecue on your travels. Its temperature range goes up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit which is more than enough to get grilling and smoking.
With a dial-in digital control board, 7-pound hopper capacity, locking lids, and handles, it’s really convenient to take on your next outdoor adventure. This model is also one of the cheapest tabletop pellet grills in the market.
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4. Frontier Series Traveler Country Smokers Wood Pellet Grill
Sleek, compact, and easy-to-use, this portable wood pellet grill is your next best companion for camping. The Traveler can provide you with savory, wood-fired bbq flavor in a transportable package.
This model lets you do everything just by pushing a button. You can cook your recipes on the 256 square inches cooking surface with temperature ranges from 180 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. With this, you can easily create smokehouse quality food while you’re on the go.
You can grill, sear, smoke, BBQ, and more with this well-packed cooking range. It’s a little pricey compared to other tabletop smokers but it offers great durability and versatility for more flavorful cookouts on your journey.
5. Raptor Grilling Optimized Portable Charcoal Grill Smoker
This tabletop travel grill is one of the most fuel-efficient smokers for camping. You can use lump charcoal or exotic fuels like binchotan charcoal so you don’t need to pack so much fuel with you.
The Raptor is the only tabletop portable grill smoker that uses charcoal instead of pellets in this list. This is a good choice for those who like that charcoal-grilled and aroma to your bbq plus it’s a cheaper and more accessible fuel.
With an exclusive sealed lid and tight air valves, you can adjust and find the perfect grilling temperature. This portable smoker has 230 square inches of outdoor cooking surface and it can be used for a number of different functions other than smoking and grilling.
1. What to consider when buying a portable tabletop smoker?
Size and smoking capacity- There should be enough cooking space, a burning box, and heat flow. You should have an idea how much meat you want to cook and it should still be able to fit in the trunk.
Weight- Portability means being able to be carried anywhere. The lighter the material, the more portable it is.
Portability- Portable smokers should be easy to carry around and be small enough to be able to fit at the back of the truck. Some smokers have handles and legs that can be folded. Others have crate boxes for easy transport.
Ease of use- A good smoker should be easy to set up and user-friendly. You don’t want to end up reading the thick manual just to figure out how it is done. For example, smokers that are automated are easier to use. Some have an automatic ignition system. Overall, pellet and propane are easier to control in terms of temperature.
Fuel- Every smoker needs a different type of fuel. Each one comes with its advantages and disadvantages. Electric smokers can be a disadvantage when you are at the beach or when you don’t have a source of stable electricity. Another thing, gas-powered smokers can be bulky and you need to have extra tanks with you.
2. What type of wood should be considered when buying a pellet?
Depending on your preference, you may consider oak, hickory, or mesquite. It will greatly influence the outcome of your food.
3. What is the best portable smoker for camping?
There are many quality products out there you can get. The list of smokers we showed here can serve as your first options since these are the highest-rated or well-recommended models.
Before choosing a portable smoker, you should consider first the different types of smokers. Your grilling experience depends on the type of fuel you have for your smoker. The different smoker options are as follows:
1. Electric Smoker
This kind of smoker is the most environmentally friendly among them. You just need an electric outlet for this, which is a luxury if you are outdoors or at the beach. If you are out camping, you would need an inverter. This could limit your options to where you can use it.
2. Pellet Smoker
Efficiency and portability depend on the type of fuel you want. Some hoppers and wooden pellets could weigh more than the charcoal type. Other than that, this option has a huge variety that you can choose from.
This kind of smoker uses wood and is fed from the pellet hopper. It usually has a controller that maintains the temperature. This requires a power connection to run the electronics. What people love about this is it gives your bbq an authentic wood-fired smoky flavor.
Generally, a wood pellet is not available anywhere. It also needs electricity to operate this kind of smoker, which could be a hassle.
3. Gas Smoker
Another great option is the Gas smoker and this is a great option when we talk about portability. The downside, on the other hand, propane tanks are needed to start grilling. It can be bulky especially if you are traveling.
Propane tanks are available at local stores and are accessible. However, this type of smoker does not yield a charcoal-grilled or wood-fired taste to your recipe.
4. Charcoal Smoker
Among the other types, this is the least portable but the most common choice. Aside from being easy to operate. it is readily available and no other external source is needed.
This type of smoker does not have any wires or components so generally, they weigh less compared to the other types. This fuel type is lighter and more portable.
Charcoal is also available almost anywhere. Accessibility, affordability, and rich smoky flavor are the best advantages of this type.
Before buying your next camping smoker, there are things to consider first. Different people have different needs, the thing is you need to find what will work for you. Every smoker has its pros and cons, like buying full-sized portable smokers would be great for cooking many portions while tabletop smokers are the best in terms of portability.
With these things in mind, you are now ready to purchase the best portable smoker to bring to your next cookout.