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The Best Smoker

Last updated on May 12, 2020

We looked at the top 13 Smokers and dug through the reviews from 46 of the most popular review sites including Grill Online, Best Grill Reviews, ratingle, BestReviews, GrillSay, Backyard Refuge and more. The result is a ranking of the best Smokers.

Best Smoker

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Our Picks For The Top Smokers

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  The Best Overall

Traeger 6-in-1 Pellet Grill And Smoker

Traeger

6-in-1 Pellet Grill And Smoker

Overall Take

Full Featured GrillThis smoker features an auto loader and meat temperature probes.

Experts Included
DWYM Outdoor and Garden Experts plus Home Esthetics, GrillSay, Raymond-nh, Gadgets Picker. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" The Traeger Renegade Pro is from the company that has been building wood grills for more than three decades. In short, the Renegade Pro delivers unmatched quality when it comes to its build and functionality, which makes it a must-have..."
Cons
"This is a grill that was only designed to work with wood."

Z Grills 8-in-1 Wood Pellet Smart Smoker

Z Grills

8-in-1 Wood Pellet Smart Smoker

Overall Take

Versatile Outdoor CookerThis smoker can handle most any size job, and most cooking methods too.

Experts Included
DWYM Outdoor and Garden Experts plus The Spruce Eats, Seriously Smoked, Fireplace Lab, Best Grill Reviews. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" The performance-to-price tag ratio of the Z Grills 700D makes it a value buy for backyard smoke chefs that need a larger grill without a large bill."
Cons
"The temperature can fluctuate a lot as the grill runs. Works better as a smoker than a grill."
  The Best Value

GMG Portable Grill With Digital WiFi Controller

GMG

Portable Grill With Digital WiFi Controller

Overall Take

Portable Budget GrillThis pick is a budget grill that's great for tailgates.

Experts Included
DWYM Outdoor and Garden Experts plus Seriously Smoked and 1 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Pros
" This grill comes with three adapters that you can use to with a 110V outlet in your home or a 12V outlet. It has a thermal sensor inside called the Sense-Mate that monitors the internal temperature and automatically adjusts the..."

Weber Larger Capacity Smoker, 22-Inch

Weber

Larger Capacity Smoker, 22-Inch

Overall Take

Big Jobs Made EasyThis smoker can feed a crowd with professional grade temperature control.

Experts Included
DWYM Outdoor and Garden Experts plus BestReviews, Amazing Ribs, The Spruce Eats, King of the Coals. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" A top-notch smoker. Unlike most smokers, this package includes a protective cover. Includes free expert assembly option. 2 silicon grommets monitor internal temp. Easy to adjust temp with dampers. Easy to add more charcoal or wood while cooking."
Cons
"It is too large to fit flat in a standard sink, and you can't line it with foil easily because it is wider than the largest sized consumer-grade foil. We wish WSM had a wider lid. It rests inside a..."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
20

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the smokers available to purchase.
13

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

46

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Grill Online, Best Grill Reviews, ratingle, BestReviews, GrillSay.

13,133

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Walmart, Home Depot.

Our experts reviewed the top 13 Smokers and also dug through the reviews from 46 of the most popular review sites including Grill Online, Best Grill Reviews, ratingle, BestReviews, GrillSay, Backyard Refuge and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Smokers.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

Traeger 6-in-1 Pellet Grill And Smoker

Our Expert Score
9.6
4 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.6
218 user reviews
Our Take

When it comes to wood smokers, this smoker delivers consistent flavor meal after meal. The automatic loader makes prep easy, and the meat temperature probes keep your steaks from overcooking. Regulating the heat is easy with the digital controller.

What other experts liked
The Traeger Renegade Pro is from the company that has been building wood grills for more than three decades. In short, the Renegade Pro delivers unmatched quality when it comes to its build and functionality, which makes it a must-have...
- Home Esthetics
The Renegade Pro Wood Pellet Grill is ready for any kind of cooking and grilling. It is guaranteed to have the best features. First of all, it is also equipped with an automatic loading system for wood chips.
- GrillSay
This grill comes with a Digital Pro Controller with AGL. Features meat temperature probes so you don’t have to buy them separately. Made from durable, premium-grade solid steel. It’s a 6-in-1 model with several different functions.
- Raymond-nh
It has Digital Pro Controller with AGL. It has dual meat temperature probes. Solid steel construction makes it a durable grill. It is a versatile model with 6-in-1 functionality.
- Gadgets Picker
What other experts didn't like
Not big enough to cook for larger families.
- Home Esthetics
This is a grill that was only designed to work with wood.
- GrillSay
Although large, the grill’s cooking capacity is not enough for someone that wants to entertain or cater to a large family.
- Raymond-nh
The size is not enough for larger families.
- Gadgets Picker

The Best Bang For Your Buck

GMG Portable Grill With Digital WiFi Controller

Our Expert Score
0.0
2 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.8
129 user reviews
Our Take

This grill is great for tailgates thanks to a portable setup. It fits in most trunks and can stand up to its share of inclement weather. Internal sensors guard effectively against overcooking.

What other experts liked
This grill comes with three adapters that you can use to with a 110V outlet in your home or a 12V outlet. It has a thermal sensor inside called the Sense-Mate that monitors the internal temperature and automatically adjusts the temperature when it climbs too high or drops too low.
- Seriously Smoked
Portable and convenient. Server Mode available to remotely monitor and control grill. Easy to carry in your car. All-weather cover for protection. Durable and practical.
- Whit's Amuse Bouche
What other experts didn't like
Small-size. Some issues with the auger motor.
- Whit's Amuse Bouche

Overall Product Rankings

Traeger 6-in-1 Pellet Grill And Smoker

1. Traeger 6-in-1 Pellet Grill And Smoker

Overall Score: 9.4
Reviews Included: 5

Z Grills 8-in-1 Wood Pellet Smart Smoker

2. Z Grills 8-in-1 Wood Pellet Smart Smoker

Overall Score: 9.3
Reviews Included: 5

GMG Portable Grill With Digital WiFi Controller

3. GMG Portable Grill With Digital WiFi Controller

Overall Score: 9.2
Reviews Included: 4

Weber Larger Capacity Smoker, 22-Inch

4. Weber Larger Capacity Smoker, 22-Inch

Overall Score: 9.1
Reviews Included: 5

Nordic Ware Indoor And Outdoor Kettle Smoker, 7×13-Inch

5. Nordic Ware Indoor And Outdoor Kettle Smoker, 7×13-Inch

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 5

Bradley Warm And Cold Electric Smoker

6. Bradley Warm And Cold Electric Smoker

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 5

Cuisinart Vertical Propane Smoker, 36-Inch

7. Cuisinart Vertical Propane Smoker, 36-Inch

Overall Score: 8.9
Reviews Included: 5

Dyna-Glo Charcoal Offset Smoker

8. Dyna-Glo Charcoal Offset Smoker

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 5

Char-Broil Offset Smoker And Grill

9. Char-Broil Offset Smoker And Grill

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 5

Char-Griller Charcoal Grill with Side Fire Box

11. Char-Griller Charcoal Grill with Side Fire Box

Overall Score: 8.5
Reviews Included: 5

Char-Griller Kamado Charcoal Grill

12. Char-Griller Kamado Charcoal Grill

Overall Score: 8.4
Reviews Included: 5

Masterbuilt Digital Electric Smoker, 30-Inch

13. Masterbuilt Digital Electric Smoker, 30-Inch

Overall Score: 8.3
Reviews Included: 4

Our Smoker Buying Guide

What does summer smell like? Depending on where you live, it might be a mix. Suntan lotion. Freshly mown grass. And of course, the mouth-watering scent of ribs or brisket in a smoker.

For many outdoor chefs, their smoker is more important than any appliance or piece of cookware in the kitchen. It allows you to simultaneously cook meat while imparting a crucial smoked flavor, the latter of which is attained by exposing it to burning wood of some kind. There are several basic styles of smoker. Some will directly use the burning wood to generate heat, while some will pipe in smoke while heating up the food by gas or electric means.

As experienced pitmasters can tell you, there’s a delicate art to the process of smoking meat. Even the most advanced smokers will require a bit of attention as the meat makes its long journey to perfection. But since you’ll most likely be outdoors and can do those adjustments with a drink in hand, that’s part of the appeal.

If this is your first time owning a smoker, you probably have a budget in mind, and there are a wide range of price points among most of the different types. But you’ll also want to consider what you’re cooking, and who you’re cooking it for. Will you be bringing your setup to a tailgate, or keeping it in the backyard for family gatherings? Do you plan to feed the entire bowling team every week, or just the immediate family every once in a while? Portability, versatility, internal capacity and ease of use are all relevant factors and can make the difference between your smoker being a trusted appliance or an eyesore taking up space in the garage.

If you’re new to the practice of smoking meat, you will probably want to stick with a model that lets you control the temperature easily and precisely. That means either an electric smoker or a simple charcoal-burning type.

Of the two, electric smokers are likely the easiest to cook with. They’re so easy, in fact, that many brisket and BBQ competitions won’t allow chefs to use them. They can come in many different shapes and configurations, but in all cases the main work of the cooking is done by electric heating coils. On top of that, wood chips or pellets can be loaded to supply the smoked flavor (or omitted entirely, if you’re just using it to grill). In most cases, electric smokers won’t give you the full smoky flavor of more traditional models, but their precise temperature control makes them ideal for the “set it and forget it” style of cooking.

Charcoal-burning smokers are all about the fuel. They get both their heat and smoke directly from the charcoal, and they too can come in a few different styles. Drum smokers are the simplest configuration, and the most basic ones might actually be just a standard steel barrel that’s been repurposed for grilling. (There are kits you can buy to convert one if you’re feeling ambitious and have the right tools). The simplest drum smokers couldn’t be easier to fire up: Just load some charcoal in the bottom, light it and cook the food on a tray at the top. This can be fine for chicken, but it will take some special care to prevent pork or more delicate meats from drying out.

Vertical or “bullet” charcoal smokers add the crucial innovation of a water pan between the heating element and the food. That keeps your ribs and brisket from drying out and helps regulate the temperature a bit better. Basic bullet smokers are among the cheapest on the market, but more full-featured and sturdy brands such as the Weber Smokey Mountain are widely used by competing barbecue chefs.

An increasingly popular type is the pellet smoker, which uses a little more technology to get that direct wood-smoked flavor. It uses hardwood pellets that burn more slowly than less refined wood chips, saving a little fuel and making the heat level more consistent. They also produce less ash and residue than more traditional fuels. Pellet smokers can turn out some great flavor for relatively little effort, but the price point tends to be higher.

If you’re looking for performance on a more modest budget, Kamodo grills can be a good bet. Most of them are first and foremost for grilling but can be modified for smoking meats with a slight adjustment to the vents. Their durability and smaller profile makes them more ideal for smaller patio spaces, but the tradeoff is less capacity for crowd-pleasing meals.

On the opposite side of the size spectrum, there are offset smokers. These units are broken into two chambers: A larger one reserved for the meat and main heating element, and a side compartment where wood or charcoal is burned. The smoke fills up the cooking chamber through a vent and gives the food an even, smooth flavor — provided it is well-designed with a proper airflow system. Beware of cheaper offset smokers that will produce uneven heat distribution along with erratic flavor.

Bear in mind that most smokers can do double duty as standard grills (among other cooking methods), but all of them will take a bit of getting used to for the novice. Luckily, practice doesn’t only make perfect. In this case, you’re bound to make some great meals along the way.

DWYM Fun Fact

Brisket wasn’t always the go-to smoked meat that it is today. As the story goes, this fat-heavy cut of steak was only deemed fit for ranch hands and other lower-tier employees of the early cattle barons in the days of the Old West. The joke was on them: Patient chuck wagon cooks discovered that of you cooked the meat for long enough over low heat, you had something truly special.

The Smoker Tips and Advice

  • What kind of fuel should you use with your smoker? In a lot of cases, you’re limited to the kind that the smoker is engineered to use. In others like electric grills and drum smokers, you’ve got a bit more leeway. Hardwood pellets will burn the slowest and produce the least ash, so they’re a good happy medium. You can use sawdust for fish or other meats that don’t need a lot of heat. As a bonus, it’s by far less expensive. Wood chips burn the fastest, but you can mitigate that by soaking them in water to produce a nice smolder.
  • No matter how well you’ve got your cooking technique down, you’re still cooking outdoors. Weather can introduce variables that can wildly alter your cooking time, so take precautions. If you’re using your smoker in cold weather, make sure it’s got proper insulation so it doesn’t lose heat. High winds can cause the opposite problem, stoking your charcoal or wood chips higher than you might like. In either case, you can buy special tarps to cover your smoker and keep conditions steady.

About The Author

Avatar
Tod Caviness 

As a professional writer for the past couple decades and a homeowner for the last seven, Tod Caviness has learned the hard way what vacuum cleaners will actually pick up dog hair and which plants will survive on a Florida patio. His favorite room: The office, with the kitchen a close second.