);

Buyers Guide & Information

Best BBQ Smoker Grills Reviewed

Whether it be for your home or commercial use we have narrowed down the best-branded products for your grilling requirements.

by

Buyers Guide & Information

Best BBQ Smoker Grills Reviewed

Whether it be for your home or commercial use we have narrowed down the best-branded products for your grilling requirements.

by JohnL

by JohnL

The reasons to invest in a high-quality smoker grill are too many to count. The only reason not to invest in one is if you follow a strict vegetarian or vegan diet and don't see yourself eating smoked meat anytime soon. Smoked meat is considered a delicacy, but you could be eating it every day if you purchase one of the best smoker grills for BBQ. 

This guide will not only tell you about the essential considerations for buying a smoker grill but also provide in-depth insight into the best BBQ smoker grills on the market. By the end of this, your mouth will be watering from all the talk of juicy, tender, and flavorful smoked meats.

Image

Model

Fuel

Grill Size

Check Price

Camp Chef SmokePro LUX Pellet Grill

Camp Chef SmokePro

Pellet

19.5" x 34"

Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker 18 Inch Smoker

Weber Smokey Mountain

Charcoal

21” x 19” x 41”

Oklahoma Joe's Charcoal/LP Gas/Smoker Combo

Oklahoma Joe's

Gas & Charcoal

31.5” x 74” x 50.6”

PK Grills PKO-GCAX-X PK Original Grill & Smoker...

PK Grills PKO-GCAX-X

Charcoal

16” x 35” x 35.5”

Smokin-It Model #1 Electric Smoker

Smokin-It Model #1

Electric

12.5” x 17.25” x 13.5”

Weber 61004001, Stainless Steel

Weber 61004001

Gas

29” x 59” x 48”

Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Charcoal Offset Smoker

Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D

Charcoal

20.2” × 34.52” × 47.03”

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

Classic Pit Barrel Cooker Package

Charcoal

21” x 21” x 31.1”

Traeger TFB42LZBC Grills Lil Tex Elite 22 Wood...

Traeger TFB42LZBC

Pellet

42” x 22” x 49”

KBQ C-60 BBQ Smoker Pit

KBQ C-60 BBQ Smoker Pit

Real Wood

25.59” x 19.29” x 41.73”

Benefits of BBQ Smokers for Cooking Meats

The main advantage of using an at-home BBQ smoker grill for cooking meats is that you'll have easy access to all the smoked meat you could ever want. No more visiting your local grocery store to satisfy your craving for a mouthwatering smoked ham or rack of ribs. Aside from that, here are the 4 main benefits that come along with investing in a BBQ smoker grill:

  • More Flavor:
    BBQ smokers enhance the taste and texture of meat by adding flavor through the use of wood chips or charcoal.
  • No Home Heating:
    Using the home’s oven to cook meat not only uses electricity, but it also raises a home’s temperature. With a smoker, the process can be done outdoors to avoid high energy bills and inflated temperatures.
  • Life Of The Party:
    If you’re the only one in your family or group of friends who owns a smoker, it’s guaranteed that you’ll be the life of the party. The good news is that the best smoker grills don’t require hands-on attention, so you can entertain guests during the smoking process.
  • Easy To Use:
    These days, using a smoker is as easy as preparing the meat, setting it on the grate, and letting the machine do its thing. All that is required of you is to monitor the food, and of course, enjoy it as soon as it’s ready.

Buying a Top-Quality Smoker Grill

Smoking/Grilling Needs

The first step in the buying process is to consider your smoking, grilling, and barbecue needs. What types of meat will you be cooking? How many people will you be cooking for? How often will the smoker be used? Answering these questions will get you off on the right foot to decide on the smoker that is perfect for you and your family.

Fuel

The best smoker grills for BBQ are fueled in a variety of ways. Some fun on gas or propane, while others are electrically operated and require a power source. The type of fuel you use determines a lot, and not just whether or not you need to stock up on propane. Fuel type also affects the flavor of the finished product. Many smoker users prefer charcoal smoker grills for the smoky flavor that it creates, but others prefer electric smokers for their convenience.

Smoking Consistency

The best grill and smoker will eliminate any guesswork from the smoking process. If you choose a smoker that is consistent in the way it cooks with each and every smoking session, it’s possible to smoke meat to perfection and obtain the juicy flavor you’re hoping for. As soon as the smoking session is over, you can count on the meat to be cooked exactly to your liking.

Temperature Range

Most smokers can be set at an optimal smoking temperature between 200 and 220 degrees Fahrenheit. The best machines offer the option to set the temp significantly higher or lower depending on if you want to smoke your meat low and slow or hot and fast. Look for a smoker that reaches a temperature of 400 degrees or higher for searing the meat once it has been cooked thoroughly. 

Cooking Space

The amount of meat a smoker BBQ grill at any given time depends on its cooking space and capacity. It's pretty obvious that the larger the smoking chamber, the more meat it can hold. But aside from looking for a smoker with a large chamber, you should also be mindful of work surfaces. It doesn't matter how large the chamber is if there are insufficient grates to store the meat as it cooks.

Cooking space will be represented in square inches. Just remember that these machines are not one-size-fits-all; the best smoker BBQ grill can hold a capacity of up to 1,000 square inches of meat. However, if you're looking for a more portable smoker, it is more likely that you'll be working with about 500 square inches of space.

Storage, Portability & Mobility

Smoker grills for BBQ come in all shapes and sizes, which means some are more portable than others. Consider the amount of available space you have in your home and where you plan on storing the smoker while it's not being used. If you intend to store it outdoors, be sure to invest in a cover to keep it protected. Also, think about how easy it will be to transport a smoker if you want to bring it along for a weekend camping trip.

Durability

A smoker machine's durability depends on how well it is constructed as well as the materials it is built with. The type of materials used plays a huge role in how long the smoker will last and how easy it will be to clean and maintain. Durability is of the utmost importance, especially for a smoker that is stored outdoors.

Stainless steel looks nice, but it is prone to rust and corrosion in outdoor environments. However, stainless steel is easy to clean, so it is the ideal material for the internal smoking chamber. If this is for outdoor use, look for a smoker grill that is coated with a rust-resistant enamel, like a porcelain coating.

Ease of Cleaning

A smoker needs to be cleaned after each use, so finding an easy-to-clean model is essential. The cleaner the smoker, the better the food will taste. Most smokers come with a stainless steel chamber that can simply be wiped down with a wet cloth. Look for a model that features removable grates, trays, and other parts and pieces to take all the frustration out of cleaning.

Warranty & Support

Cost, warranty, and customer support three major factors when browsing the best BBQ smokers. It’s possible to spend as little as $100 and as much as $10,000 on this type of machine, so establish your budget before browsing around. Aside from budget, look for a smoker that offers decent warranty coverage. This doesn’t just protect you in the event of a defect, but it also shows that a company is proud of its product.


10 Best BBQ Smoker Grills Reviewed

1. Camp Chef SmokePro

Best Pellet Smoker Grill

Fuel

Pellet

Grill Size

19.5" x 34"

Temperature Range

160°F to 500°F

Cooking Space

875 sq. in.

Warranty

3 years

Investing in a BBQ pellet smoker is the best way to get that smokey flavor we all love. The best smoker grill that utilizes wood pellets is the Camp Chef SmokePro. This wood smoker grill doesn’t just outshine the others when it comes to smoking flavor; it's also easy to use, even for first-time meat smokers. It is equipped with digital controls and an electronic auto-start ignition.

The digital temperature display and simple setting controls make it easy to control the temperature of the smoking chamber. Camp Chef uses Smart Smoke technology, which “ensures the maximum amount of smoke and, therefore, the best flavor around.” This pellet smoker BBQ grill has an impressive cooking space of 875 square inches, giving you room to cook anything.

Another great feature is the easy-to-clean design. "The SmokePro LUX Pellet Grill was given the Vesta Award, an industry-exclusive honor, for its innovative cleanout system and user-friendly design," says Camp Chef. The wide temperature range of 160 to 500°F, allowing you to slow smoke or grill the meat to your exact liking. And you won't have to worry about continually filling the smoker with pellets; the smart auger design automatically dispenses pellets for better smoking efficiency.

The smoker's hopper capacity is 18 pounds of pellets, so you'll never have to cut a smoking session short by running out of pellets. Every SmokePro purchase includes a meat probe, warming rack, bottom utility shelf, ash cleanout system, and more. This is our top pick for so many reasons, but if a pellet smoker isn't for you, there's no shame in opting for an electric or gas model instead. 

Pros

  • Automatic pellet dispenser
  • LED temperature readout
  • Included meat probe
  • Smart Smoke technology
  • Auto-start ignition

Cons

  • Pellet design not for everyone

2. Weber Smokey Mountain

Best Charcoal Grill Smoker

Fuel

Charcoal

Grill Size

21” x 19” x 41”

Temperature Range

Up to 400°F

Cooking Space

481 sq. in.

Warranty

10 years for bowl & lid

Similarly to a pellet smoker, the best charcoal grill smoker is all about enhancing meat products with smoky flavors that aren't as easy to maintain with electric or gas models. The Weber Smokey Mountain 18" smoker cooker can achieve this and so much more. Weber says that this is intended "for tender meat falling off the bone and the first savory bite that makes taking it low- and-slow in your Smokey Mountain Cooker smoker worth every moment."

The Weber grill smoker isn’t just about enhancing flavors and tenderness, though. The company has done everything possible to make the smoking process easy, even on first-timers. They have created a highly durable smoker that won’t rust or peel thanks to the porcelain-enameled lid, bowl, and center section. This material isn’t just durable, but also better able to retain heat than other commonly-used smoker materials.

Within the chamber, there are two cooking grates that are large enough to hold 2 food items at a time. While these items are cooking, keep tabs on temperature with the silicone temperature grommet. To control the temperature and make adjustments, just change the position of the conveniently-located dampers. If you have any trouble figuring it out, the Weber app is a fantastic resource that offers everything from how-to tutorials to recipes. 

Another loved feature of the Weber smoker is its compact size. This makes it highly portable, easy to store, and the perfect item to pack for a weekend camping trip. Some Weber users love this compact design, while others wish that there was a bit more cooking space to work with. It has a total cooking space of 481 square inches, which is significantly lower than most of the other models covered on this list of best BBQ smokers.

Pros

  • Long warranty period
  • Rust-resistant material
  • Plated steel cooking grates
  • Built-in lid thermometer
  • Amazing charcoal flavor

Cons

  • Small cooking space
  • Needs regular charcoal refills

3. Oklahoma Joe's

Best Gas Charcoal Smoker Grill

Fuel

Gas & Charcoal

Grill Size

31.5” x 74” x 50.6”

Temperature Range

Up to 450°F

Cooking Space

1,060 sq. in.

Warranty

2 years

Looking for the best charcoal grill smoker combo? The Oklahoma Joe's model is the best gas charcoal smoker grill combo, which means you'll get the great taste of charcoal combined with the convenience of gas. The manufacturer says that this smoker is “equipped with both charcoal and gas grill chamber and an attached offset firebox, this multi-purpose smoker and grill allows you to barbecue your way.”

Oklahoma Joe's builds all of its products with durability in mind, and the charcoal/gas grill and smoker is no exception. It is constructed with porcelain-coated cast-iron grilling grates and heavy-gauge steel. There are two cooking areas contained within this smoker; one primary space that measures 750 square inches, and one firebox chamber that is 310 square inches. This is a combined total of 1,060 square inches of cooking space, which means you'll never run out of room.

The gas grilling chamber uses three 12,000 BTU burners. The smaller charcoal chamber comes with one 12,000 BTU burner while also accommodating a charcoal chimney starter. Oklahoma Joe's Longhorn combo grill and smoker reviews love how the cooking spaces are divided - one chamber is dedicated to smoking with gas, one is for grilling, and one is for charcoal smoking.

The professional temperature gauge allows a user to monitor and control the temperature of each chamber accurately. There's no guesswork involved with the Oklahoma Joe's smoker. One downside is that this smoker lacks portability, but this is often the case with smokers that offer as much cooking space as this one does. Its vast size makes it challenging to store discreetly, but the large wagon-style wheels for added mobility are a nice touch.

Pros

  • Impressive cooking space
  • Ultimate versatility
  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Cool-touch handles
  • Easy-to-use smoke/heat control

Cons

  • Heavy and bulky smoker
  • Assembly can be difficult

4. PK Grills PKO-GCAX-X

Best Portable Smoker Grill

Fuel

Charcoal

Grill Size

16” x 35” x 35.5”

Temperature Range

180°F to 750°F

Cooking Space

300 sq. in.

Warranty

10 years

The best small smoker grill for home use is the PK Grills PKO-GCAX-X. This is a charcoal grill smoker combo that offers amazing value with its low cost, impressive portability, and durable construction. Portability is an important consideration when shopping around for the best home BBQ smoker, which is one reason the PK Grills model should be at the top of your buying list.

This model features a unique shape that is unlike any other model of its kind. As described by the product listing, "the original PK grill & smoker detaches easily from any of its available stand options for transport. As a portable smoker grill, PK's are great for tailgating, camping, fishing/hunting cabins, etc." Assembling and disassembling this smoker can be done as quickly as you can say "baby back ribs".

The smoker was built to cook with 300 inches of cooking space, capable of handling everything from sausages to a Thanksgiving turkey. This 300-inch surface area is significantly smaller than models like the Oklahoma Joe’s bbq smoker grill, but you can’t expect much more than this capacity from something as portable as the PKO-GCAX-X.

This specific model comes in two color options, graphite, and silver, and can be purchased with an additional stainless steel grid. It has been the recipient of many awards and has even been dubbed the official grill of the Steak Cookoff Association. This is a top pick if you’re looking for something portable and easy to store, but not ideal if you’re in the market for lots of cooking space.  

Pros

  • Recognition from Consumer’s Digest
  • 2-zone cooking
  • Durable aluminum construction
  • 4-point venting system
  • Amazing 10-year warranty

Cons

  • Small cooking space
  • Difficult to gauge temperature

5. Smokin-It Model #1

Best Electric Smoker

Fuel

Electric

Grill Size

12.5” x 17.25” x 13.5”

Temperature Range

100°F to 250°F

Cooking Space

468 sq. in.

Warranty

3 years

Choosing an electric smoker means that you won't have to rely on gas or charcoal every time you're in the mood for smoked meat. Simply plug in the machine, fill it with the recommended amount of wood chips, and start smoking using the most environmentally-friendly smoking method. The best electric BBQ smoker out there is the Smokin-It Model #1.

The Smokin-It electric smoker grill can smoke up to 22 pounds of meat at a time. It is constructed from 100% 18-gauge stainless steel and comes with 3 removable shelves (with the option for installing a fourth shelf). The grill smoker box is equipped with a drip pan that should be placed beneath the smoker while it is in operation. All of these materials are made from stainless steel, so they are easy to clean and extremely durable.

Similar to the PK Grills smoker we just reviewed, the Smokin-It #1 ranks high for its portability features. It is set on 3-inch rubber casters and weighs less than 60 pounds, so you’ll have no problem moving it around the house or taking it along for an outdoor adventure.

One reviewer even claims that he plans “to take it RV camping and will probably end of serving many in the campgrounds all drawn from the aroma.

Pros

  • Powerful 400-watt heating element
  • 18-gauge stainless steel
  • Side handles & caster wheels
  • NSF certified

Cons

  • Requires a power source
  • Relatively small cooking space

6. Weber 61004001

Best BBQ/Grill/Smoker

Fuel

Gas

Grill Size

29” x 59” x 48”

Temperature Range

Up to 700°F

Cooking Space

669 sq. in.

Warranty

10 years

The best smoker grill combo is, without a doubt the Weber 61004001. This gas grill with smoker is all about versatility - how you choose to cook your meat is entirely up to you. It is equipped with three high-performance stainless steel burners, stainless steel Flavorizer bars, and a brand new Grease Management system to reduce the risk of dangerous flare-ups and make the cleaning process a breeze.

This is not only the best gas grill smoker combo for its high-quality construction but also its innovative modern technology. This isn't your grandpa's smoker machine, which becomes pretty obvious as soon as you set eyes on the sleek design and shiny knobs. The 61004001 comes in a black or stainless steel finish with the choice of either liquid propane or natural gas.

Another reason that we have ranked this as the best BBQ grill and smoker combo is that “each component of GS4 was uniquely designed for ease-of-use and to provide an unequaled satisfaction to your backyard grilling experience.” The Weber company also says that it allows you to “smoke infused food that grills evenly and consistently regardless of where it’s placed on the cooking grate…”

Weber is a name that you can trust, and this company has been setting the bar high for other grill manufacturers for decades. They were one of the forefathers of the auto-start ignition, which means that the ignition is guaranteed to ignite every time with no hassle. For this model to become more than just a grill, you will need to purchase the best smoker box for gas grill, like the Weber stainless steel smoker box. Wood chips or pellets will be placed in this box to infuse foods with smoky flavors.

Pros

  • Generous Weber warranty
  • Auto-start ignition
  • Integrated tool hooks
  • Tuck-away warming rack
  • Hassle-free cleanup

Cons

  • Additional smoker box needed
  • High cost

7. Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D

Best Offset Smoker Grill

Fuel

Charcoal

Grill Size

20.2” × 34.52” × 47.03”

Temperature Range

Up to 250°F

Cooking Space

784 sq. in.

Warranty

3 years

Choosing an offset smoker grill is considered the more traditional method of smoking meat. It contains two separate smoking compartments, one small charcoal chamber, and one large food chamber. Having two chambers offers more versatility, more cooking space, and the potential to create competition-worthy smoked meat. This and more is what you’ll get from the Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D model.

Both chambers are constructed from heavy-duty porcelain enameled steel for extreme durability. The main chamber offers nearly 800 square inches of cooking space and can smoke up to 100 pounds of food at a time. Contained within this chamber, there are 6 height-adjustable cooking grates, allowing you to change the grate position depending on the size of the food you’re working with.

As far as special features go, the Dyna-Glo doesn't lack in any way. There's an electronic pulse ignition system to ensure that the ignition starts quickly and reliably. There's also a removable ash pan that helps to make ash cleanup easy. The temperature gauge is easy to read; just check to see that it indicates "Smoke Zone" for ideal smoky flavor infusions.

If you’re still wondering what’s the advantage of choosing an offset smoker grill, here’s what Dyna-Glo Grill has to say: “This model features an offset smoker box, which keeps direct heat away from your food consequently giving even heat. At the same time, the adjustable smokestack and side dampers that work together that improve airflow and transfer of heat in the primary cooking chamber.”

Pros

  • Offset design for even cooking
  • Minimized heat loss
  • Great for outdoor smoking
  • Electronic pulse ignition system

Cons

  • Low maximum temperature
  • Awkward shape difficult to store

8. Classic Pit Barrel Cooker Package

Best Barrel Model 

Fuel

Charcoal

Grill Size

21” x 21” x 31.1”

Temperature Range

Up to 250°F

Cooking Space

324 sq. in.

Warranty

1 year

A smoker barrel isn't everyone's cup of tea, but if you're looking for a traditional method that creates delectable smokey infusions, no type of smoker compares to the barrel design. The best barrel model on the market is the Classic Pit Barrel Cooker Package. This is the #1 best-selling drum cooker that uses simple methods to cook some of the best food you've ever tasted.

According to the Pit Barrel Cooker website, “the Pit Barrel features top-quality construction with durable 18 gauge steel and a porcelain enamel coating. The PBC package includes all of the accessories to cook an enormous variety (and quantity!) of food.” Not only will you be receiving the barrel cooker, but also a set of stainless steel hooks, charcoal basket, steel cooking grate, wooden hook remover, and a barrel stand.

The best feature of the Classic Pit Barrel is its unique design. It makes the smoker easy to operate, but more importantly, it is designed to evenly distribute heat throughout the chamber for great-tasting meat. It's highly portable, built to last, and cooks food to perfection. And best of all, the simplicity of this barrel smoker means that the price is right. The only downside for some users is that the smoking process requires time, so you must be patient. This smoker operates in the "low and slow" fashion.

Pros

  • Hassle-free design
  • Minimal assembly
  • Bonus products included
  • Even heat distribution

Cons

  • Smoking meat takes time
  • Small cooking space

9. Traeger TFB42LZBC

6-1 Smoker Grill

Fuel

Pellet

Grill Size

42” x 22” x 49”

Temperature Range

Up to 400°F

Cooking Space

418 sq. in.

Warranty

3 years

For ultimate versatility in the cooking process, the Traeger smoker grill TFB42LZBC is a great choice. This is the best smoker grill combo; it's a 6-and-1 smoker grill with the ability to smoke, grill, bake, roast, braise, and barbecue. The other perk is that you'll never have to buy another bag of charcoal again since this smoker is fueled by hardwood pellets. Pellets create the same great taste as charcoal without all the hassle.

The Traeger model allows a user to cook meats either low and slow or hot and fast, cooking to perfection each time. Maintaining temperature is easier than ever, thanks to the integrated digital temperature controller. This controller keeps temperatures within 20 degrees of the set temperature and is set using an easy-to-use knob.

The Traeger Grills mission is simple: “Our goal is to continually innovate, with an ambition to make outdoor cooking easier and better tasting. We’ll help you spend less time tending to the grill, and more time on bringing family and friends together, creating a more flavorful world.” The TFB42LZBC does exactly this; you won’t have to spend all your time monitoring meat temperatures with this 6-1 smoker grill.

This model is the perfect size for home cooking with 418 square inches of cooking space. Some people find this to be too small, though, especially for those who plan on entertaining friends and family members. For more cooking space but the same versatility, you can opt for another Traeger or go with the Camp Chef SmokePro or the Oklahoma Joe’s gas/charcoal combo.

Pros

  • Predictable and consistent
  • Integrated digital temperature
  • 6-in-1 functionality
  • Easy-to-clean components

Cons

  • Small cooking space
  • High cost

10. KBQ C-60 BBQ 

Best BBQ Smoker Pit

Fuel

Real Wood

Grill Size

25.59” x 19.29” x 41.73”

Temperature Range

Up to 350°F

Cooking Space

960 sq. in.

Warranty

2 years

Why choose the best BBQ smoker pit vs. another type of smoker? Top-rated smoker pits like the KBQ C-60 run entirely on real wood - no pellets, no charcoal, no gas, no electricity. It does this by using an inverted flame to draw smoke from below and pull it through a hotbed of coals. The chamber is then flooded with oxygen that is vented through a set of air vents.

The KBQ company says that “this action completes the fire triangle, creating an Inverted Flame and the thin blue smoke that great pit bosses make after years of experience managing real wood fires.” If you’ve ever managed a real wood fire before, you know full and well that it isn’t easy. That is no longer the case with the KBQ C-60.

This model has an impressive meat-smoking capacity of 60 pounds with 12 adjustable racks. Using real wood and not just charcoal or pellets enhances flavors and creates unbeatable juiciness. It is a bit more challenging to get used to the real-wood smoking process, but in time you'll become a pit boss like no other. If you're looking for an easy smoking solution, you might want to look elsewhere. But if amazing flavor and juicy tenderness are what you're after, it's hard to beat the KBQ C-60.

Pros

  • Uses 100% real wood
  • Unbeatable flavor, color, and bark
  • Tons of patented features
  • Automatic temperature/combustion controls

Cons

  • High cost
  • Not ideal for beginners

Types of Smoker Grills

Many people assume that there are just two types of smokers to choose from, gas and electric, but there are 4 fuel types to choose from. The type you choose plays a role in cooking performance, versatility, and power usage. They include:

  • Pellet
  • Gas/Propane
  • Electric
  • Charcoal

Pellet Smoker Grill

Pitboss Grills says that pellet smokers "are outdoor cookers that combine elements of smokers, charcoal - gas grills, and ovens. They use 100% all-natural hardwood pellets are the fuel source that allows pellet grills to provide direct or indirect heat." Pellet smoker fans love the flavors that come along with using hardwood chips or pellets. The main downside is that these are less convenient since you'll have to refill on pellets every few hours. 

Gas Smoker Grill

A gas smoker grill uses propane gas to heat the cooking chamber. Gas smokers cook food at high temperatures quickly, so you won't have to wait long for a perfectly-cooked smoked meat dinner. Because a propane smoker grill doesn't utilize wood chips or charcoal, it won't create the same smoky flavors that are common with other types of smoker grills.

Electric Smoker Grill

An electric BBQ smoker uses electricity to power the cooking process. They're easy to use, easy to assemble, and utilize a relatively low amount of energy for each cooking session. Electric smokers provide amazing meat consistency thanks to easy-to-use temperature controls. Similarly to gas smokers, though, these aren't the best at creating the smoky flavors that meat-eaters have come to love.

Charcoal Smoker Grill

Using charcoal to fuel a grill or smoker is the most traditional method of smoking meat. It may not be glamorous, but using charcoal has a certain charm. Not to mention, the flavors that come along with charcoal cooking are unbeatable. There are multiple types of charcoal smoker grills to choose from, including offset, Kamado grill, drum/barrel, cabinet, and bullet.

Out of each of the charcoal grill smoker types, our favorite is the drum/barrel design. SpruceEats says that this type of smoker grill “is a very basic smoker made of a steel drum with a firebox in the bottom and a cooking rack on the top. The base and lid have vents for adjusting the temperature, and the whole thing seals together to prevent smoke leaks.” It may be old-school and lack the convenience that comes along with an electric or gas model, but it is simple and highly effective.


Smoker Grill Accessories

  • Wood Chips (for Pellet Smokers)
    When you purchase the best pellet smoker grill, remember to buy high-quality wood chips for BBQ smoking. You can find them in a variety of flavors, like mesquite, hickory, or applewood. 
  • Charcoal
    Not everyone needs to purchase charcoal, it’s only necessary if you have a charcoal smoker grill. The type of charcoal does make a big difference in the cooking process - this product won’t steer you wrong. 
  • Grid Mat for Fish & Vegetables
    A smoker machine is not just for hearty meat products; it is also capable of cooking fish and veggies to perfection. If this is your plan for your new smoker, be sure to invest in a grid mat to keep food from sticking to the grate. 
  • Sausage Hooks
    There’s no better method for cooking sausage than to hang it within a smoking chamber. The best way to do this is to buy a pair of Cuisinart smoker hooks. Just make sure that the hooks you purchase are compatible with your specific smoker grill model. 
  • Meat Thermometer Probes
    Consuming meat comes with its risks, but only when it's not cooked properly. You can quickly check the internal temperature of any meat product by using a top-rated meat thermometer
  • Smoker Insulation Blanket
    When using a smoker outdoors in cold weather, there’s a chance that the chamber will lose heat, which can affect the food’s texture and taste. This can be avoided by using a smoker insulation blanket, like the Masterbilt MB20100613
  • Smoker Grilling Tongs
    It’s impossible to call yourself a master of barbecue grilling without a pair of high-quality smoker grilling tongs. The Grillaholics Premium Grill Tools offers a complete set of BBQ smoker accessories, including tongs, meat fork, grill spatula, and basting brush. 
  • Cover
    The best way to keep your smoker grill protected from the elements is to keep it covered. Some manufacturers provide a cover with each purchase, but in most cases, you'll have to buy one separately.

How to Use a Smoker Grill – Tips for Home Cooking

Setup

To set up your new smoker, you'll have to follow the specific instructions provided by the manufacturer. Every smoker is different in the way it operates, so setup and assembly vary from product to product. Even if you've used a smoker before, never assume that you can set up your new machine without referring to the user manual.

Seasoning New Grills

Before using your new smoker for creating mouth-watering delicacies, you’ll have to “season” it. Lang BBQ Smokers says that it's necessary to "season your smoker cooker with this oil process. Spray cooking area with vegetable oil or PAM (walls, doors, grates, everything inside the smoker cooker). Fire-up your smoker cooker, pre-cook in it by letting the oil sizzle and sear and pre grill for about 35 to 45 minutes or longer."

Heat Control

Heat control is essential for cooking food to your exact liking. Controlling heat is relatively easy with the best smoker grills for BBQ, but certain factors can cause the smoking chamber to lose or gain heat throughout the cooking process. To properly control heat, here are a few things you can do:

  1. 1
    Pay attention to how fast the chamber temperature is rising - quickly rising temps can lead to seared or overcooked meat.
  2. 2
    Learn how to use your smoker's temperature control settings properly - this might involve pushing buttons or adjusting intake vents.
  3. 3
    If your smoker is struggling to maintain heat, use an insulation blanket to prevent loss of heat.
  4. 4
    Avoid making too many temperature adjustments throughout the cooking process.

Cooking Tips

Learning how to use a smoker grill doesn’t have to feel like rocket science, but getting used to the features and functions of a smoker grill takes some time. There are, however, a few tips you can follow for ending up with perfectly smoked or grilled meat every time:

  1. 1
    Remember the phrase “low and slow” - perfectly cooked meat takes time, and overheating the smoker can lead to searing or drying out.
  2. 2
    Always use high-quality wood chips, chunks, hardwood pellets, or charcoal.
  3. 3
    Try not to overdo the smoke - too much smoke can lead to an overpowering, unappealing flavor.
  4. 4
    Regularly check in on the smoker throughout the cooking process.
  5. 5
    Mist the meat every few hours with equal parts water and vinegar - this helps to preserve moisture.

Smoker Grill Recipes

If you consider yourself a master chef, you might already have a recipe book full of smoked meat ideas. If not, here are a few of our favorite smoked meat recipes that will leave you feeling satisfied:


Cleaning and Maintenance

Some people claim that leaving food residue on grill grates enhances the flavor of food over time, but this is entirely untrue. Leaving leftover grease and food residue is not just unclean, it is also harmful to your health. Plus, it can ruin the entire flavor profile of what you're cooking. Cleaning your smoker grill after each use is a must, and doing so is easy - as long as you do it right away.

Once the smoking chamber has completely cooled, remove all grates, trays, and pans. Depending on the amount of grease and grime, these can either be wiped down or washed completely in the kitchen sink. While these parts are removed, wipe down the entire smoking chamber with a wet cloth. Cleaning your smoker grill is as simple as that. 


Frequently Asked Questions

Smoker vs. grill. What are the differences?
When comparing a smoker vs. grill, there are a lot of similarities, but also many differences. A smoker uses smoke to cook meat, heating with charcoal, gas, wood, or electricity. A grill cooks food much faster by using heated grates. The food comes in contact with these grates and must be rotated frequently for even cooking. To take advantage of both grilling and smoking, consider buying a smoker grill combo.
How to ensure the meat doesn’t burn in a smoker grill?
The best way to ensure that your meat doesn't burn is to check on it periodically. The best smoker grills will come with a glass window in the door, allowing you to take a peek every once in a while. Another method to prevent overcooking is to use a meat thermometer. Many thermometers are meant for in-smoker use, and some even send notifications to your smartphone when the food is ready.
How long do these smokers take to reach desired temperatures?
This depends on the specific smoker model you have chosen. Internal chamber heat is affected by many things, including the size of the chamber, fuel type, and surrounding outdoor temperature. The best smoker grills on the market heat up relatively quickly compared to low-end models.
What are the best meats to smoke in a BBQ smoker?
The beauty of investing in a smoker grill is that the meat-cooking options are endless. These machines are capable of smoking just about any type of meat to perfection, including chicken, pork, ribs, brisket, and fish. You can even use a smoker grill for perfectly seared veggies, but ribs and brisket are the two most popular choices.
What are the best meats to grill in a BBQ?
Once again, the type of meat you grill is entirely up to you. Chicken is a popular choice, especially if you’re trying to adopt healthy eating habits, but it's not your only option.
Where is the best place to buy these BBQ smokers?
Browsing around for smoker grills for sale can quickly become a daunting task. There are so many manufacturers and third-party sellers who claim to have the best prices and the greatest selection. But no other store compares to shopping on Amazon, especially if a low price, high quality, and shopping convenience is what you’re after.

Conclusion

We’ve covered ten of the best smoker grills on the market plus everything else there is to know about purchasing one. Our smoker grill reviews have revealed a great deal about the best products, especially when it comes to the #1 product: the Camp Chef SmokePro. The thing we love most is that the Camp Chef uses pellets to create a smokey richness that no other smoker grill can even come close to.

Last Updated on

Top