The best vertical pellet smokers bring together the convenience of pellet grills and the space of vertical smokers. There is a difference between conventional smokers and vertical smokers. While pellet grills or similar smokers may be used for BBQ or grilling as well, vertical smokers are intended for only low and slow cooking.
With pellets involved, the job gets easier. They can reduce the need of refilling wood chunks/chips with a steady flow of pellets. So, let’s take a look at the top vertical pellet smokers available.
Top Vertical Pellet Smoker Reviews
- Louisiana Grills Vertical Pellet Smoker
- Pit Boss PBV3P1 Vertical Pellet Smoker
- Pit Boss PB7000SP Wood Pellet Smoker
- Camp Chef PGVXXLC Wi-Fi Pellet Smoker
- Pit Boss PB5000SP PG5000SP Wood Pellet Smoker
1. Louisiana Grills Vertical Pellet Smoker
Louisiana Grills Vertical Pellet Smoker is perhaps one of the best known vertical pellet smokers available. Designed with set and forget cooking in mind, the smoker has been around for a few years. It does well on that count, thanks to careful design and good features.
A key element here is the large 60 lb hopper. Yup, that’s massive! The hopper size is larger than some of the conventional pellet smokers and grills available on the market. With a hopper this huge, you can keep the smoker running for several hours without any need for intervention.
Of course, with a large hopper capacity, you’d want a good cooking area as well. This one boasts 2,059 square inches of cooking area. That’s enough space to cook pretty much anything you want. The racks are adjustable, so move them at your will to customize available space.
Louisiana Grills Vertical Pellet Smoker has double-wall insulation, which helps with better and more uniform cooking. Double walls also help with the efficiency of the process, since heat isn’t lost by the smoker.
The premium smoker comes packed with two programmable meat probes and a cooking temperature range of 100F to 420F. This is wide enough for most requirements and easily suited even for low temperature food smoking.
Once you’ve set the temperature, you can be reasonably certain that the smoker will stick to its requirements. That’s one benefit of buying a premium, high-quality product!
- Excellent build quality, which can very well last for years.
- Good temperature management.
- Double-wall build for better insulation and efficiency.
- Large cooking area.
- Easily manageable grates help with customization of cooking space.
- More expensive than similar options.
- Some heat is lost through the glass window, even with the good double-wall insulation.
2. Pit Boss PBV3P1 Vertical Pellet Smoker
Being cost-effective is a key allure of Pit Boss pellet smokers and Pit Boss PBV3P1 Vertical Pellet Smoker is a rather fine specimen.
This dependable smoker has a 40 lb hopper that’s good enough to keep it running for 24-hours or even more. A purge function is available with the hopper, so it’s easy to remove the unused pellets.
This is a relatively small-sized pellet smoker compared to its competition. Yet, it is large enough to house a cooking space of 901 square inches. The smoker houses four porcelain-coated cooking grids that allow this cooking space. They’re removable, so you can change or remove them to add the food of your choice for cooking.
The smoker includes a meat probe and a digital readout to show the internal temperature. It’s worth noting that while Pit Boss has relatively good temperature management, it does have its share of problems. The smoker is prone to small jumps in temperature, so it can end up a few degrees over the preset levels.
In most cases, this isn’t a problem. But, it pays to be careful and keep an eye on the temperature anyway. Temperature range for this smoker is 150-450 Fahrenheit, which should be good enough for most needs. The smoker includes an auto-start and auto shut off igniter.
- Good value for money.
- Good construction and build quality.
- Large hopper size for low and slow cooking.
- Purge system makes it easy to remove pellets in the hopper.
- Can move beyond set temperature, though it’s usually not troublesome.
3. Pit Boss PB7000SP Wood Pellet Smoker
Need a huge vertical smoker? Look at Pit Boss PB7000SP Wood Pellet Smoker. It’s got plenty of room to smoke whatever you’ve got in mind, an equally large hopper to go along, and reliable build quality.
The cooking area available here is 1853 square inches. Made for the company’s Sportsman Series, the smoker is tough and well-built. Thanks to its heavy-gauge steel construction, it’s one of those things you would expect to last several years.
PB7000SP’s large cooking area is spread across six shelves. These shelves are adjustable, so you can set them up the way you like. Or, remove some and free up room to smoke a turkey or something similar.
The smoker works on a temperature range of 150-420 degrees F. As with other Pit Boss smokers, it tends to go slightly hotter than the set temperature, but that’s usually not a dealbreaker.
Pit Boss includes a meat probe with the smoker to make it easier to keep a check on the temperature. There’s also a digital readout at the base for information like setting the temperature and displaying the smoker’s temperature.
This pellet smoker offers a hopper capacity of 55 lbs. It’s large enough to match the massive cooking area on this smoker. Still, you’ll be able to use it as a set-and-forget smoker. Pellets in this smoker can last for pretty much all recipes, unless you’ve got something very unique in mind.
- Excellent value for money.
- Large cooking area.
- Offers a convenient temperature range.
- Large hopper allows set and forget cooking.
- Good quality construction.
- Slight variations on temperature settings.
4. Camp Chef PGVXXLC Wi-Fi Pellet Smoker
Camp Chef is a remarkable competitor for Pit Boss and has a good presence throughout the food smoker line. Their smokers are usually pricier than what Pit Boss offers, but the build quality and other features often justify the price.
For the Camp Chef PGVXXLC Wi-Fi Pellet Smoker, the company has quite a list of features. This one is a WiFi pellet smoker for a truly set and forget cooking experience. Using the WiFi, this smoker connects to the internet and can be controlled via a companion app.
Users can use the app to switch the smoker on/off, to manage the temperature, and to keep an eye on the overall progress. Presence of WiFi connectivity is fairly common in high-end pellet grills, though only a few vertical pellet smokers have this feature. If you want one, this Camp Chef vertical smoker might just do the trick.
The smoker includes four adjustable and removable grill grates. These make it easy to manage the cooking area. The smoker also includes 12 sausage hooks.
Camp Chef PGVXXLC Wi-Fi Pellet Smoker has a temperature range of 150-350 F. The overall range is lower than its competitors, but is good enough for conventional low and slow cooking needs.
Other features for this smoker include a grease management system, a hopper purge, ash cleanout, and smart smoke technology. All of these make using this smoker a very good experience.
- Good build quality.
- WiFi connectivity and remote control through a smartphone app.
- Fairly good temperature management.
- Plenty of cooking space.
- The temperature range is lower than many competitors, though it isn’t a huge problem.
5. Pit Boss PB5000SP PG5000SP Wood Pellet Smoker
As we notice, Pit Boss is the most prolific purveyor of vertical pellet smokers. While there is some competition, famed pellet grill companies like Traeger and Recteq haven’t yet made their mark on the vertical pellet smoker arena.
A member of the Pit Boss Sportsman series, this smoker has an attractive design to go along with its food smoking skills. There’s plenty of cooking area available over its five adjustable cooking racks. Pit Boss says the total surface area available is 1721 square inches.
With a hopper capacity of 55 lbs, you can expect the cooking session to last a very long time. For most recipes, you won’t have to worry about refilling the pellets. The temperature range is 150-420 degrees, squarely covering the requirements of low and slow cooking.
Pit Boss PB5000SP PG5000SP Wood Pellet Smoker has a remarkable build quality. It’s made from heavy-gauge stainless steel and sports clean seams and lines. The construction is on-point and makes you feel confident in the build quality and longevity of this smoker.
- Excellent build quality.
- Large, 55 lb hopper.
- Good cooking area, customizable with adjustable cooking racks.
- Useful temperature range.
- The temperature control wavers a bit.
A Short Guide To Vertical Pellet Smokers
Pellet smokers and grills work wonders with the convenience they offer. The same applies to vertical pellet smokers as well, though fewer companies offer this option. While this means we have fewer choices, they tend to be from reliable manufacturers with good reputation.
If you choose to buy one, remember that the general requirements for vertical smokers apply to vertical pellet smokers as well.
Vertical pellet smokers provide a solution to a troublesome aspect of conventional vertical smokers. Many vertical smokers require wood refills during cooking. Often, this requires opening the door, which brings the inherent risk of the change of temperature and smoke during cooking.
In pellet smokers, the pellets are fed automatically and there’s no need to open the door for a refill. To be fair, several conventional vertical smokers don’t require opening the door.
Here are a few more points to consider.
Temperature Management And Ease Of Setup
Pellet smokers generally employ electronic temperature management. Setting the temperature is easy with these, but maintaining it can be a whole different story. So, temperature management remains a key element.
All smokers on this list have good temperature management. You’ll find that the food smokers maintain the temperature within a few degrees of the set temperature. Some variation is unavoidable but there are ways around it. Modern systems like PID controllers perform better than older temperature management systems.
Keep in mind, smokers can’t maintain the exact set temperature. There will be some variations, though a sensitive PID controller can help reduce these variations. In any case, small variations of temperature don’t usually affect the recipe.
Pricing, Value, And Construction
The convenience of pellet smokers drives up the price as well. And when paying a premium on convenience, no one wants to be hassled by a poor-quality product.
Choose one that has a good construction quality and is sturdy. We want the smoker to last for years and construction quality will go a long way.
The hopper size is another concern. For a truly set and forget experience on the best vertical pellet smoker, you want one with a generous hopper size. Fill it up and let the smoker do its job. The presence of purge function makes things easier if/when you want to replace pellets in the hopper with different wood pellets.
Pellet smokers and grills can include WiFi connectivity. This makes it possible for the grill/smoker to connect to the internet and have a remote control through a mobile phone app. It’s an interesting feature that lets the user perform several functions remotely. With the reduced need for manual intervention, things get simpler.
However, this isn’t a standard feature across pellet smokers. And while it’s useful, consider if remote control is worth the extra expense.
Picking The Right Choice Of Pellet Smoker
Getting the best vertical pellet smoker can make things easier for you. These small boxes have a lot of room for smoking food, which can come in handy. Additionally, with pellets in action, the need for human intervention during cooking is dramatically reduced.
There are a few excellent choices available, each with its own benefits. I believe Camp Chef PGVXXLC Wi-Fi Pellet Smoker is an excellent choice, though the others are pretty formidable too.