The Ultimate Guide of the Best Charcoal Smoker for 2017

Authentic barbecue brings a unique and irreplaceable taste, especially right in your little backyard. However, grilling is not as easy as throwing food on the gear and expecting it to be well cooked.

Choosing how to cook barbecue has the same important effects as choosing the right sauce. Thus, many people count on the charcoal smoker for the best barbecue experience.

Let’s figure out some of the best charcoal smoker on the market!

Benefits of Smoked Foods

Before examining charcoal smoker, let’s take a quick glance at the benefits of smoked foods.

You might love them for their smoked delicacy. The satisfaction it brings is irreplaceable. But do you know why you should eat smoked foods?

Smoked foods are appreciated for its richness of nutrients and low amount of fat. Normally, smoked foods are usually proteins so that we can benefit from their nutritional value.

Besides, fat is not used in this type of cooking so that you can avoid this unwelcome substance in food.

However, smoked food is not perfect. It might lead to potential health risks. You should make sure that the food is well cooked.

Raw food sometimes may put your life in danger. Raw fish might contain some parasites that are detrimental to our health.

Plus, harmful carcinogens may be released as a result of the smoking process. For example, nitrates and nitrites are harmful.

What is Charcoal Smoker?

A smoker refers to technological innovation in the field of making barbecue. Since ancient times, human beings have learned to use fire to cook foods. And smoker is the next advancement.

It can be characterized as an apparatus that helps you cook food at the low and controlled heat.

On the market, you can find a wide range of smokers which are different from in each other in types of fuel, sizes or functions.

Some of the most common fuels for a smoker are electricity, natural gas, charcoal or wood. Though, most of them can keep the same temperature more or less than 225 degrees Fahrenheit.

Therefore, the charcoal smoker is the smoker that operates on charcoal as the main source of fuel.

What Can It Do?

Charcoal holds many amazing benefits. But I highly appreciate its ability to reach a higher temperature than other types of smokers, such as gas. In other words, it is hotter.

Undeniably, heat plays an important role in your cooking outcomes. When you feel the temperature is not right, you just need to give more charcoal into the smoker.

Smoker is very simple to use, and you do not have to possess any skills.

Nevertheless, the flip side of this is to make a mess after that. You will find it very dirty to deal with charcoal. Therefore, working with charcoal requires you to have shovels or gloves.

Moreover, sometimes you have to wait up to 15 minutes so that the charcoal lights. It is difficult to know exactly the cooking temperature at any moment as well.

Top 5 Best Charcoal Smoker Reviews

Here are some examples of the best charcoal smoker that will make you excited.

1. Weber 721001 Smokey Mountain Cooker 18-Inch Charcoal Smoker

With its rich experience and long history in the grilling industry, Weber has stayed among the top. People have praised this brand for its durability, excellent service, and high-quality products.

Undeniably, Weber 721001 Smokey Mountain Cooker Charcoal Smoker is one of the top smokers you can get on the market. It is ideal for you to make authentic barbecue right at home.

Its construction is excellent, which explains why its users can save money for years. Porcelain-enameled steel is the main material used to produce this smoker. Thus, it is unnecessary to consider wearing over time.

Besides, its handle is strongly resistant to heat, so you can touch it even when you are cooking. The hot temperature inside the smoker does not cause troubles for you.

Cooking space is a big concern for most users because nobody wants to waste money on a limited gear. Worry no more with this Weber product!

Up to 481 square inches can be used thanks to 2 nickel-plated cooking grates which are 18 and a half inches wide. It is available for most types of food, including the big ones, such as turkey.

You will find a series of useful equipment in this product’s design. It has a built-in thermometer that informs you of the temperature time by time.

On its bowl and lid are some individual vents that have great effects on the ventilation of this product. The heat is distributed evenly, which makes your food taste better.

Weber guarantees to offer a 10-year warranty with its product, but remember that the warranty is limited. So make sure to check it in order not to misunderstand later.

Pros:

  • Create authentic flavor for smoked food
  • Durable construction and great materials
  • Easy to carry because its handle is heat-resistant
  • Great capacity
  • Good ventilation thanks to individual vents
  • Built-in thermometer
  • 10-year warranty, but limited

Cons:

  • Some find its front access door flimsy
  • Not including expert assembly

2. Char-Griller 26720 Akorn Kamado Kooker Charcoal Barbecue Grill and Smoker

Griller and smoker are two important items that you need for an amazing barbecue party. It is good to know that you can get both at one time and with one payment only.

One thing you should know first: This product belongs to Kamado-style cookers. This style has always dominated the grilling market with its high price and quality.

Kamado-style cookers are the innovative products that come from the tradition of using heavy ceramic shells to cook food. Now, they have been upgraded to offer higher temperature and better durability as well.

Surprisingly, Char-Griller 26720 Akorn Kamado Kooker Charcoal Smoker and Grill is not something too costly. But you can still witness many outstanding features in it.

You would be surprised with this product’s ability to cook food. It is possible to contain as much as 447 square inches in this smoker. The primary area is 314 square inches, but you can expand it with warming rack.

Its ultimate design aims at minimizing the consumption of charcoal but maximizing insulated heat to help you get juicy meat.

What’s more? This means that you will have less to clean after cooking because less charcoal means less ash.

The smoker’s construction is considered as excellent as most areas are steel coated with powder or porcelain.

The damper is located in several places to distribute heat very well in the cooking process. Furthermore, you will have two folding shelves to keep charcoal or anything you want next to you during the whole process.

No need to run around for ingredients and no need to get charcoal regularly! What an amazing capability!

Pros:

  • Expanded cooking surface
  • Fuel-saving as less charcoal is used
  • No hard clean-up after cooking anymore
  • Reasonable price, compared to other Kamado-style smokers and grills
  • Well insulated design

Cons:

  • You have to maintain the smoker regularly
  • Sometimes inaccurate information might be shown on its temperature gauge

3. Char-Griller 16620 Akorn Kamado Kooker Charcoal Barbecue Grill and Smoker

This is another version of the same brand as the previous product we have just reviewed. There is a slight difference in the cost between two versions, but it seems that all outstanding characteristics remain.

Likewise, this smoker can do wonder to your party, no matter you want to smoke or grill foods. It would be an additional part of your excitement.

The cooking space is as spacious as the last one’s, and you also see its efficient consumption of charcoal.

Interestingly, this product is available in a number of different colors, but my favorite one is Black as it is so classic. Besides, you can get a red or brown one.

The design is sturdy and durable. You will see the combination of three legs help the smoker stand very firm on the ground. Also, they have wheeled cart to make it easier to be carried to other places.

At the bottom, you will find a specially designed vent section that enables you to remove ash easily. This is removable, so extremely useful for cleaning up.

If you are concerned about controlling temperature, it is necessary to think about its double wall insulation and the existence of heat gauge. These are innovative technologies to show you how well the heat is distributed inside.

Pros:

  • Impressive cooking surface
  • Equipped with wheels for better portability
  • Removable ash pan to help you clean more easily
  • Various colors to choose
  • Good ventilation

Cons:

  • High temperature is claimed to damage its porcelain and paint
  • You do not get free expert assembly

4. Char-Griller 2123 Wrangler 635 Square Inch Charcoal Grill / Smoker

Char-Griller seems to be a tough competitor in the grilling market when its products make up for the majority of this list.

Another top smoker you should consider is Char-Griller 2123 Wrangler Charcoal Smoker. Also, it also serves as a grill.

One of the most surprising and wonderful features about this is its incredibly spacious cooking area. It is the biggest in this list with up to 635 square inches.

The most special point about the Wrangler smoker is that it is equipped with an airtight flanged hood. This means that the heat is distributed more evenly and locked in the flavor of your foods.

Heavy gauge steel is mainly used to manufacture this smoker so that you can count on its durability over time.

There are up to 3 convenient shelves along with this product. They allow you to keep spices, sauces or utensils along with you all the time. It is great because you can focus on cooking.

In this product, you can regulate the temperature completely. Its fire grate is adjustable, which is convenient in most cases.

Pros:

  • Great capacity with a reasonable cost
  • Long-lasting materials and construction
  • Sturdy design with large round legs
  • Heat gauge
  • Double bottom
  • Simple clean up with dump ash pan

Cons:

  • Quite heavy, so you might find it more difficult to move it
  • Some problems with assembly

5. Dyna-Glo DGX780BDC-D 36" Vertical Charcoal Smoker

Overall, this is one of the most affordable among top charcoal smokers on the market. Nevertheless, it still offers many wonderful features that you should look forward to.

Dyna-Glo offers two types of smokers: gas and charcoal, but as we mentioned above, the charcoal smoker has specific benefits.

If you are still amazed at the cooking surface of Char Griller’s smoker, are you ready to take this?

Dyna-Glo smoker even exceeds the standard of most smokers on the market. It provides 784 square inches for you to cook food, which has been such an incredible number so far.

There are four cooking grates that maximize your ability to finish amazing recipes.

This product is also equipped with the innovative management system of charcoal and ash. In particular, charcoal grate and chamber helps you to use the fuel to the fullest extent with the best outcomes.

In this vertical smoker, you will find incorporated smoke zone chamber. It is responsible for optimizing and controlling the temperature.

On the other hand, ash – the result of this cooking process – often makes people unhappy because of its dirty nature. However, with the removable ash pan, you do not need to worry about this anymore.

Pros:

  • Long-lasting construction
  • Innovative technology of managing charcoal and ash
  • Reasonable price
  • Minimal heat loss during the cooking process
  • Simple maintenance

Cons:

  • Not suitable for poorly ventilated areas
  • Possible dangers with unsuitable conditions

Conclusion

In the long run, the smoker is worth investing money because you will have unforgettable cooking experience with it. It is a necessary item for parties that save you from daily worries. You can take a look at how to use a smoker first!

Can you make a decision about the best charcoal smoker after our review? In general, we highly recommend Weber 721001 Smokey Mountain Cooker 18-Inch Charcoal Smoker.

It is important to note that Kamado cookers have such a long tradition of cooking in the human history. This smoker is just the next innovation in the culinary world to elevate a traditional method.

If you have different opinions, do not hesitate to let us know! We welcome all points of view from readers!

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