Need to buy a new smoker? Let’s take a look at the best smokers on the market!
There is a very wide variety of smokers available today. They vary by size, fuel source, technology, budget, and several more factors. That’s a whole lot of things to look for. A big reason for creating this list is to (hopefully) make the selection easier for you.
Included here are the top smokers available. We’ve included smokers from various categories and price points. So, take a look to see what works best for you!
Best Smoker Reviews And Picks
- Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker
- Masterbuilt MB20051316 Propane Smoker with Thermostat Control
- Traeger Grills Ironwood 885 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker
- Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker, Charcoal Smoker
- Kamado Joe Classic II Ceramic Charcoal Grill
- Masterbuilt Bluetooth Digital Electric Smoker with Broiler MB20073519
- Z GRILLS ZPG-450A 2020 Upgrade Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker
- Bradley Smoker BTDS76P 990216 Digital Electric Smoker
- Green Mountain Trek Prime WiFi Control Portable Wood Pellet Grill
- Char-Broil Bullet Charcoal Smoker
- Stovetop Smoker – Gourmet Mini
Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker
Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker is considered amongst the best smokers, especially if you prefer to go the traditional route. This is a large smoker with a lot of space and excellent build quality.
The smoker is built from heavy-gauge steel – and it shows. The metal is thick and strong, which is a big reason reviewers and customers often say the Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker is “built like a tank”.
Plus, there is a clear attention-to-detail in the build of this smoker. The construction is thoughtful, clean, and well-crafted. This is a smoker that is built to last for years.
For its cooking surface, the Longhorn boasts a total of 1,060 square inches. Of these, 751 square inches are available in the main chamber and 309 in the firebox. This area is large enough to cook whatever you prefer on the smoker’s four porcelain-coated cooking grates.
As a high-quality smoker, Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn leaves plenty of control in the hands-of the user. It uses a series of four baffles to deliver heat to the main chamber. All of these are removable at the discretion of the user. Add to that the optional smokestack locations and you have a fairly well customizable setup.
More Quality Features And Characteristics
Apart from these specifics, some quality-of-life aspects make this smoker worth the money. The large stainless steel fuel basket and an easy clean-out door make it easy to maintain and manage the firebox chamber.
Its handles stay cool to the touch and remain easily manageable. Shelves at the front and bottom of the smoker are very convenient. Also notable is the lid-mounted temperature gauge. It’s easy to read and accurate.
- Excellent and dependable build quality.
- Good customization options enable it to work as a reverse flow or traditional offset smoker.
- Access with the firebox door for easy ash cleanup and fire management.
- Dependable temperature gauge.
- Large cooking area.
- It has multiple dampers for better heat control.
- Some units may get smoke leakage that requires modifications by the user to fix.
Masterbuilt MB20051316 Propane Smoker with Thermostat Control
Masterbuilt is amongst the biggest brands for smokers. Most of its offerings are right on point and are often well-received. Case in point, Masterbuilt MB20051316 Propane Smoker with Thermostat Control.
There is plenty of cooking room in this cabinet-style vertical smoker. You get 961 square inches of cooking space. It’s also possible to do some customizations by adjusting the chrome-coated smoking racks.
One thing I like here is the clear viewing window. It isn’t exactly a rarity for such smokers, but the window does look good and also helps with keeping an eye on the food being smoked. It’s easy to clean and maintain, so not much of a problem there.
Masterbuilt has employed a two-door system here. The larger door caters to the cooking area, while the smaller bottom door makes it possible to access the wood chips. This way, additional wood chips can be added without opening the main door and letting the entire smoke dissipate!
Thermostat And Other Notable Features
Masterbuilt MB20051316 is a propane smoker and comes with a 15,750 BTU stainless steel burner. That’s plenty of power to do its job and maintain the right temperature. However, that’s easier said than done.
The thermostat with the unit is easy to handle and quick to get to the right temperature. But there is a problem of accuracy here. It’s not terrible, but it’s not dependable either. You will need another thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature.
It’s a minor inconvenience, but something that would be necessary anyway. The wood chip tray is large enough to work for several hours without requiring a refill.
Since this smoker uses liquified petroleum gas, it uses a safety valve to prevent leaks. Should the flame go out, this valve automatically stops gas flow to prevent accidents.
- Excellent value for money.
- Very quick to heat up and start the smoking process.
- Good size with plenty of cooking room.
- Large chip tray means there is no need for repeated refills.
- Has a thermostat to enable temperature management.
- Needs careful setup to work properly.
- While the thermostat is helpful, it isn’t very accurate.
Traeger Grills Ironwood 885 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker
Traeger Grills Ironwood 885 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker is a remarkable pick. Smoking can easily take hours, and pellet smokers like this make it easier to handle and manage the entire process.
The ability to smoke food without needing continuous physical human intervention is perhaps the biggest USP of pellet smokers and grills.
The build quality is solid. Traeger Ironwood 885 makes generous use of powder-coated steel in its construction. The body is well-made, built to last, and the finish is worthy of the price tag. Double-walled sides provide better insulation and easier temperature management. However, if you are in a cold and windy area, you’ll still need an insulation blanket.
As its name implies, Traeger Grills Ironwood 885 offers a cooking area of 885 square inches. It’s an excellent smoker but is also useful for BBQ and some grilling. The company itself claims “6-in1 versatility” with the ability to bake, roast, and braise.
Ironwood 885 Pellets, Automation, And App Control
Pellet grills are convenient. Traeger Ironwood, even more so. The pellet smoker has a 20 lb hopper, which is large enough for several hours of uninterrupted smoking. Ironwood 885 will automatically use pellets as necessary to maintain the desired temperature.
The smoker uses precise temperature control. Once you’ve set the temperature, the smoker will stay within +/- 15 °F.
Ironwood 885 smoker uses Traeger’s WiFIRE technology. The smoker connects to your home network via WiFi. Once connected, you can use Traeger’s app to control the smoker. This includes notifications when the Ironwood is low on pellets, ability to switch it on/off, or to change the temperature. You can even control it with Amazon Alexa!
All this makes it possible to smoke food without continuously checking whether the smoker is at the right temperature, if it has enough wood chips, and whether it’s cooking right.
If 885 is too large for your needs, take a look at the Ironwood 650.
- Excellent build quality.
- Good value for money.
- Double-walled insulation provides better efficiency and consistent cooking temperature.
- Good hopper size.
- WiFi Connectivity, app-controlled, and Alexa certified.
- It has a 3-year warranty.
- More expensive than other smokers on the market.
- The app needs improvement and can sometimes be difficult and non-intuitive.
Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker, Charcoal Smoker
Portable, spacious, and remarkably good at its job, the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker, Charcoal Smoker is worthy of attention. It’s available in three sizes, 14”, 18”, and 22”. While the size might change, the quality and impressive setup remain constant.
The cylindrical smoker has a rather simple design. Weber makes it remarkable with excellent construction and simple quality-of-life features.
Porcelain-enameled steel forms the key part of its construction. Nickel-coated grates provide ample cooking area. Weber claims that there is enough room to smoke a ham or turkey in this smoker. And that claim is largely true.
Features And General Setup
Cooking low and slow gets a whole new feel with the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker and Smoker. Though it looks compact, the cylindrical body has enough room to handle smoking functions without a hitch.
The smoker has a large enough water pan, a fairly accurate thermometer, a heat-resistant nylon handle, rust-resistant legs, and individual vents on the bowl and lid. The built-in lid thermometer also has a marking to highlight the right smoking temperature.
A damper system is placed at the bottom of the smoker. It’s conveniently set and functions as easily as a dial. Managing this is an easy way to handle the temperature or extinguish the smoker.
Of the sizes available, the 18-inch is the best bet. I think it’s sized just right and meets the requirements for portability, good quality, and easy control of the process. Plus, it’s spacious enough to cook (or smoke) almost anything you want.
- Excellent construction quality.
- Portable and easy to manage.
- Spacious enough for most food smoking needs.
- Easy to manage cooking temperature, though it isn’t exact.
- Might need a few extra mods to bring out its full potential.
- Slightly more expensive than similar, competing smokers.
Kamado Joe Classic II Ceramic Charcoal Grill
Kamado Joe Classic II Ceramic Charcoal Grill is pretty much in a league of its own. This is a combo setup that can handle anything from low and slow smoking to high-temperature searing. Kamado Joe’s unique shape has inspired several similar products, though the Classic II still stands reasonably unique in its approach.
The grill works on either wood or charcoal. It’s remarkably easy to handle ash management as well. When you’re done, simply slide out the removable ashtray and remove the waste.
Construction Quality And Versatility Matches Best Meat Smokers On The Market
Sure, it is amongst the best meat smokers on the market, but there’s more on offer than just culinary skills. The construction and build quality of the Classic II is superb. You can expect this grill smoker combo to last years. And years could as easily mean decades in this context.
Interestingly, the grill uses what it calls a “2-Tier Divide & Conquer” system. In this setup, you can cook different foods in different styles and at different temperatures – all at the same time!
Kamado Joe Classic II uses stainless steel and ceramic in its construction. The body, by and large, is steel. The use of ceramic is evident as well, and you’ll find six-piece ceramic panels for the FireBox.
Classic II is a heavy grill and easily weighs 250 pounds. As such, you can expect the lid to be remarkably heavy too. However, most of the heavy lifting is done by the Air Lift Hinge. It reduces the dome weight by 96%, making it possible to easily lift (an otherwise heavy) lid.
The thermometer on the lid is accurate and reliable, making it easier to keep an eye on the smoking process.
Additional cooking accessories are available should you need to modify or enhance the functions of the Kamado Joe Classic II.
- Superb build quality.
- Excellent temperature management.
- Additional accessories are readily available to expand the features of this grill.
- Easily adjustable to various cooking needs.
- Quick and easy ash cleanup.
- Very versatile and useful unit.
Masterbuilt Bluetooth Digital Electric Smoker with Broiler MB20073519
Masterbuilt is quite prolific in producing a variety of smokers, including those produced under the brand name Smoke Hollow. With its wide range of products, the company has the luxury to add several specific features to various models.
Case in point: Masterbuilt Bluetooth Digital Electric Smoker with Broiler MB20073519.
This smoker uses Bluetooth technology and represents the company’s direction towards smarter smokers. After all, in a world where pellet grills and smokers are rapidly popular, there is no reason for electric smokers to avoid smart features.
As such, Masterbuilt MB20073519 Bluetooth Digital Electric Smoker uses Bluetooth to connect to your smartphone. Once connected, you can manage (or view) the temperature of the smoker, power it on/off, change temperature, power on/off the lighting, and similar features.
While many companies struggle with getting smartphone control to smokers or grills, I think this poor smoker has it the worst. Bluetooth is barely a solution for hands-off connectivity, since the range is barely a few meters. And that’s not including the various problems with connectivity and setup.
There are definitely some uses of this system but the application is sorely lacking.
Build Quality, Cooking Food, And More Features
Masterbuilt MB20073519 has a good build quality. You won’t be floored by the build, but it isn’t some flimsy low-cost job either.
It has a clear viewing pane to watch the food being cooked. In my opinion, that’s a nice touch – I’ve come to have a better appreciation for these little things.
The temperature management is handled by a thermostat. It does an okay-ish job, but it’s better to rely on a higher quality thermometer and probe for better readings.
There is a large enough cooking space for most requirements, with Masterbuilt claiming that you can “smoke up to 6 chickens, 2 turkeys, 4 racks of ribs, or 4 pork butts”.
- Well-priced to offer good value for money.
- Easy to use and manage.
- Fairly powerful heating element.
- A side-load mechanism for wood chips makes it possible to add wood chips without opening the main door.
- Bluetooth function and connectivity need major improvements.
- Small smoke tray necessitates regular refills.
Z GRILLS ZPG-450A 2020 Upgrade Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker
Interested in a cheaper, value for money option? Z GRILLS ZPG-450A 2020 Upgrade Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker could be the answer.
This wood pellet grill and smoker takes the approach of adding several functions, but at a lower cost. Priced lower than a similar Recteq or Traeger pellet grill, it offers an attractive value proposition. Though in the same vein, there is some compromise on quality.
Its build quality isn’t as good and the temperature control isn’t nearly as precise as those on offer from Rec Tec and Trager. So, if the lower price seems like the deciding factor, this grill deserves some attention.
Temperature, Performance, And Use As A Smoker Review
Z Grills says that the ZPG-450A 2020 Upgrade can work on temperatures going from 180 °F to 450 °F. That puts it in the perfect range for smoking food. A PID Controller strives to keep the temperature in the set range. It struggles to maintain the temperature, so you will have to keep an eye out.
A note on the 2020 Upgrade is important because Z Grills claims to have solved several issues on previous models.
Z GRILLS ZPG-450A 2020 Upgrade Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker has 452 square inches of cooking space and a 15 lb hopper. It is designed for use by small families or small groups. You shouldn’t expect it to feed a larger group.
The company presents this pellet grill as an “Ultimate 8-in-1”. That goes all the way from Smoking and BBQ to grilling and searing. Smoking, yes, it can do it. Some BBQ and perhaps some grilling are on the cards as well.
However, searing is beyond the means here. Pellet grills generally can’t reach the temperature necessary for searing. Z Grills itself places the maximum temperature at 450 °F, which is too low for proper searing.
- The smoker offers good value for money.
- Well-suited for a small family.
- Convenient and easy to use.
- The temperature control is questionable.
- Some customers report issues related to quality control and customer service.
Bradley Smoker BTDS76P 990216 Digital Electric Smoker
A “set and forget” mechanic for smokers is appreciated. We can all appreciate the convenience of not having to check up on the food every few hours and see if the smoker needs wood chip refills or temperature management. Pellet grills and smokers generally handle that aspect.
Bradley Smoker BTDS76P 990216 Digital Electric Smoker takes a similar approach, though it’s entirely focused on smoking. The machine uses a mechanism similar to pellet grills, although it employs Bradley Bisquettes.
The build quality is excellent. Bradley has used a powder epoxy steel construction for the exterior and stainless steel on the interiors. Similarly, the temperature management system is quite dependable too. Right with the control panel is the feeding setup for the bisquettes.
One issue worth noting is the low placement of the control panel. The smoker will likely be placed on (or very close to) the ground. That means the control panel and management will be at the bottom – practically on the ground. Bradley apparently wants to put the smoker on a table. No big deal, but I think that’s still a non-solution.
Bradley Bisquettes And The Smoking Technology
You can set up Bradley Smoker BTDS76P 990216 Digital Electric Smoker for temperatures up to 320 F and have it be fairly dependable. Once you set the temperature and place the bisquettes, the smoker can function for about eight hours without needing intervention.
The interesting part here is the use of the CleanSmoke Technology and Bradley Bisquettes. According to the philosophy behind CleanSmoke tech, the bisquette isn’t completely burned and turned to ash. Bradley says that wood burning to ash is accompanied by bitter, foul, and acidic toxins.
Therefore, the smoker puts out the bisquette before it turns to ash and replaces it with a new one. The company claims this results in healthier and better-tasting smoked food.
It also results in a more expensive setup. Bradley Smoker BTDS76P 990216 is pricey by itself, but the bisquettes add to the cost. You’ll have to use Bradley Bisquettes with this smoker. For convenience, they are available in several wood flavors. However, they’re more expensive than wood chips and you’ll need more of the bisquettes for conventional smoking.
- Excellent construction quality.
- Bradley Smokers says their CleanSmoke Technology results in healthier and better-tasting food.
- Set and forget smoker doesn’t need user intervention.
- Full digital control over temperature (maximum at 320°F).
- It doesn’t generate ash, so there is less cleaning to do.
- Expensive, plus users will have to buy and use Bradley Bisquettes to operate the smoker. They’re more expensive than wood chips and more bisquettes are consumed for smoking (as compared to wood chips).
- Not suited for colder climates.
Green Mountain Trek Prime WiFi Control Portable Wood Pellet Grill
Need an easily portable pellet grill and smoker to take to the outdoors with you? Green Mountain Trek Prime WiFi Control Portable Wood Pellet Grill will fill that role. Built with a generous amount of stainless steel, this pellet grill is solid and can last a long time.
If you want to take it out camping, the compact dimensions are a huge benefit. Trek Prime’s small legs enable easy set up at campgrounds or your chosen locations. Just remember to use a heat-resistant surface.
GMG Smart Control temperature controller allows setting the temperature between 150°F to 550°F with 5°F increments. That’s good enough for most smoking needs and even BBQ and grilling setups.
For power, it can connect to a conventional 110V outlet or (if outdoors) to the standard 12V outlet for most vehicles.
Automation And Pellet Feeding
GMG Trek Prime connects to WiFi and puts the control of the grill in your hands. When connected with your smartphone, you can control the temperature, power the grill on/off, monitor the temperature, and handle a few more aspects of the grill.
App connectivity isn’t exactly impressive, but the hiccups are something we’ve come to expect from pellet grills.
The hopper capacity is 9 lbs, which is good enough for a grill this size. Green Mountain Grills plans to offer extendable legs and cart option for the Trek soon, though none is available yet.
- Good build quality.
- Easily portable and quick to use.
- Can work with a standard 110V outlet and 12V car adapter.
- WiFi connectivity for easier use.
- WiFi connectivity and usage are flaky.
- Available leg extension and folding mechanism takes some effort.
Char-Broil Bullet Charcoal Smoker
Char-Broil’s cylindrical smoker has a lot going for it. Good construction and value make it one of the best smokers on the market. And well, what really seals the deal is the large cooking area and the setup to deliver excellent results.
The available cooking area comes in at 370 square inches when utilizing two porcelain-coated grates. Its 16-inch diameter allows enough room for larger cuts and foods, so there’s more freedom to what you can smoke in here.
Construction, Build, And Smoking Prowess
Char-Broil Bullet Charcoal Smoker is made from a porcelain-coated steel body and rests on steel tube legs to rest at a conveniently accessible height. It features a removable pan for quick-and-easy cleanup and an “innovative” airflow system.
The airflow system is basically managed by a zipper-style setup. Moving this zipper can decide on the airflow, the heat, and therefore, the temperature for the smoker. A lid-mounted thermometer lets you know what the temperature in the smoker is.
It’s an excellent smoker with good value. Though if you’re looking for something more resilient and tougher, the Weber Smokey Mountain Smoker is a good pick.
- Attractive pricing.
- Fairly good build quality.
- Portable and convenient to use.
- The thermometer isn’t dependable.
- Gets leaky with the smoke.
Stovetop Smoker – Gourmet Mini (Bonus Entry)
Stovetop Smoker – Gourmet Mini is a bonus entry because it’s not a conventional smoker. Heck, you can’t use it for most conventional smoking needs.
Nevertheless, this is a remarkable product for home use. It’s a small-sized smoker built for use on the stovetop. Use it to smoke cuts of meat, fish, vegetables, or anything that would go into this small package.
Product dimensions for the stovetop smoker are 11x7x3 inches. It’s a compact and interesting choice for use at home. It’s a small indoor smoker, so there are obvious limits on what it can do. But, the good part is that it really works as claimed.
Which Smoker To Pick? Building On Smoker Reviews And Assessments
There are several types of smokers available on the market. Plus, there is the usual variety of size, shape, and smoking capacity to pick from. To make things easier, here are some qualities to consider so you can buy the best smoker on the market.
Think Of The Smoker Type And Use
Electric smokers are very convenient, pellet grills take convenience to a whole new level. Yet, the charm and quality of traditional offset smokers or reverse flow smokers is tough to beat. Some with a more puritanical approach might even insist that a traditional smoker is better for pitmasters.
That said, there is no harm in considering convenient options like electric smokers and pellet grills. They’re great picks for beginners and many of them are excellent at what they do. Conventional ways aside, most people won’t be able to tell the difference between food cooked on electric smokers or offset smokers.
If the electric smokers don’t hit the spot for you, pellet smokers might just do the job. In several ways, they offer the convenience of electric smokers and the flavor profile of offset smokers.
You should also look into barrel-style or bullet-style smokers and grills. They’re compact, convenient, and don’t need large space for storage.
Size, Cooking Capacity, And Budget
You’d think that size and cooking capacity are essentially the same. It’s largely true, but the shape and type of the smoker can make a huge difference. For example, bullet smokers are compact as compared to conventional offset smokers. Electric smokers need less of a footprint too.
Another thing to remember is that cooking capacity relates not just to the area of the grates, but also to the overall volume. So don’t simply look at grates – look at what you can place on those grates!
Budget is an obvious and perhaps the deciding factor. As you see here, smokers vary greatly in price. You can get a decent one for a few hundred dollars and even for a few thousand! I won’t say the expensive one is better, because that isn’t necessarily true, but consider your budget range freely.
Besides, there are plenty of cheaper and low-priced smokers that offer excellent value and quality.
Features That You Need
All of us consider features when we pick a product. It’s a good way to go about making a purchase!
But it’s often useful to take a more critical look at the features we’re planning to pick. Do you really need the smoker to have WiFi? Is a 900 square inches cooking capacity necessary? Automatic pellet loading? Bluetooth… and a lot more!
By themselves, these features have legitimate uses and can come in handy. But what a buyer should consider is how the feature impacts them, not just the presence of a feature.
The Smoker Par Excellence
This article hopes to be useful in narrowing down (or in the selection) of the best smokers on the market. It’s not an easy pick and several subjective features and opinions form an essential part of this discussion.
On the other hand, considering the number of options available, the consumer is free to pick the smoker that suits their needs the best. The available features, quality, and options are something worth appreciating and enjoying.