How to Choose the Best Smoker – A Complete Guide for Beginners

Smoking meats takes the low and slow method of cooking to a new level. The smoker creates a smoky flavor to your meat and the slow cooking breaks down the tissue in the meat creating tender delicious meals for family and friends to enjoy. Finding a smoker that is built with a quality construction that will last for years of inclement weather is an important part to getting a smoker to use and enjoy. We have selected smokers for top quality brands that will provide years of smoker use to create memorable moments that your family will reminisce about for years to come.

Best Smoker Reviews

Weber 731001

Weber 18-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker, Charcoal Smoker

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The Weber-721001-Smokey-Mountain-Charcoal smoker will create a genuine smokehouse flavor at home. Sometimes the best foods are the ones that are cooked low and slow. This smoker will provide tender juicy meals that will have friends and neighbors asking for more. The two 18 ½” nickel plated grates are large enough to cook a whole turkey and a whole ham. The two shelves allow you to cook multiple items at the same time providing 481 square inches of cooking space. The smoker is made of porcelain enameled steel and is top quality construction. With a 10 year warranty this unit will last for many years of smoking meats. Also included with the Weber-721001-Smokey-Mountain-Charcoal smoker is a water pan, for keeping meats moist and tender. It has a built in thermostat for consistent temperature control. Individual vents for the charcoal at the bottom and the meat at the top. There is a heat resistant nylon handle and cover for easy removal of the cover even when the unit is hot.

  • 481 Square inches of cooking surface on two nickel plated grates
  • Porcelain enameled steel construction charcoal smoker
  • Water pan, built in thermostat and individual vents for even cooking
  • Heat resistant nylon handle
  • 10 Year warranty


Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Black Electric Digital Smoker, Top Controller

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The Masterbuilt-20070910-30-Inch-Electric-Smokehouse provides an inexpensive and energy efficient method of smoking meats. The cost of the electricity used is much less that the cost of charcoal or wood and it is less maintenance during the cooking process as it does not need to be constantly refilled with wood or charcoal. Just fill the wood chips with your favorite smoked flavors and turn the unit on. The Masterbuilt-20070910-30-Inch-Electric-Smokehouse provides 730 square inches of cooking surface on 4 racks. The wood chip loader is on the side enabling you to leave the main door closed. The removable water pan creates a moist environment resulting in very tender meat. The inside of the Masterbuilt-20070910-30-Inch-Electric-Smokehouse is insulated for energy efficiency, even cooking and consistent temperatures. The temperatures range from 100 to 275 degrees. The removable rear mounted grease pan creates easy cleanup of drippings in between smoking. There is a digital push button panel for exact temperature control. It also has a 24 hour timer and an auto shut off. The powder coated steel exterior is made to withstand the elements and the unit comes with a 90 day warranty.

  • 730 Square inch cooking surface with 4 cooking racks
  • Powder Coated steel exterior electric smoker
  • Digital control panel, temperature controlled thermostat and 24 hour timer with auto shut off
  • Insulated walls for energy efficiency, even cooking and consistent temperature
  • 90 Day warranty

Weber 711001 Smokey

Weber 18-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker, Charcoal Smoker

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The Weber-731001-Smokey-Mountain-Charcoal smoker comes with 2 22 ½” nickel plated cooking grates for a total cooking surface of 726 square inches. This is a large enough smoker to entertain large groups and cook a full turkey and a full ham at the same time. Ribs and brisket, chicken and sausages all taste better when cooked in a smoker. The Weber-731001-Smokey-Mountain-Charcoal smoker comes with a porcelain enameled steel construction and is built to last for many years of entertaining. The 10 year warranty along with Weber’s top level customer service makes this a smoker that you can have confidence in. The unit also comes with a removable water pan, for moister meats. Individual vents for smoke intensity control. A built in thermostat for temperature control and heat resistant nylon handle and cover. The Weber-731001-Smokey-Mountain-Charcoal smoker creates an authentic smokehouse flavor from all your favorite meats, cooked right at home.

  • 726 Square inches of cooking surface on 2 22 ½” nickel plated cooking racks
  • Porcelain enameled steel construction charcoal smoker with individual vents on bowl and lid
  • Water pan for moist meats and built in thermostat for temperature control
  • Heat resistant nylon handle on cover
  • 10 Year warranty

Smoker Buying Guide

What are Smokers?

Smokers enable you to cook your favorite food by smoking at low temperatures. These apparatuses are known for the grilling of barbecues. They also come in various prices, sizes, features, functions, and even shapes. Below are some shopping tips so that you can get the best one in the market.

1. Consider Your Purpose of Buying

Are you going to buy for the sake of barbecuing alone? If that’s the case, the smaller smokers are the perfect options for you. These are simple and easy to maintain. These are also cheaper than the more complex ones. However, you can only do one thing with these smokers and that is to grill meat. Another disadvantage is the lack or limited control over the temperature while cooking. Aside from that, these smokers usually make use of charcoal or wood. You need to fill the grill with charcoal every once in a while.

There are also smokers that have several features and compartments. These additions allow you to prepare food for more people. This is the best choice if you are frequently visited by your relatives and friends. If you are also fond of throwing backyard parties, the bulkier smokers are also the right ones for you. The bigger smokers are for commercial use as well. However, these types of smokers require large space.

The advantage of considering your buying purpose is to get the best one that fits your budget. The price of smokers ranges from $50 up to $10,000. There’s no need for you to invest a great sum of your money for a cooking equipment you will rarely use.

2. Know The Capabilities of Different Smokers.

Even though smokers are known for barbecue grilling, you can now do a lot of things with this type of cooking equipment. Aside from barbecuing, you can use it to smoke various types of food – be it meat or not. Different sizes and cuts of meat can also be cooked in a Smoker.

3. Determine The Additional Features You Want to See in Your Cooking Apparatus.

Some smokers have thermostat. This will enable you to control the temperature of the cooking equipment. In case you opt for one of these, you need to make sure that there is a supplementary water pan for the thermostat.

4. Make Sure That You Buy User-Friendly Equipment.

Since some smokers come with various settings, you need to understand the purpose of each one and how to manipulate them properly. Otherwise, it will be better if you stick to the simpler smokers.

5. Study the Safety Features.

Smokers vary when it comes to the source of power for the cooking of food. The traditional method will always be the burning of wood or charcoal. Some smokers make use of gas. The most advanced ones are electric-powered. Given this variation, the safety features are also different.

For electric-powered smokers, the cord should be short to avoid tripping. At the same time, make sure that you are placing it near a power source. There should also be a heat-resistant handle.

6. Familiarize Yourself with The Maintenance Needed for The Cooking Equipment.

Smokers are prone to rusting and dents. That is why in your shopping you should already consider buying stainless steel-made smokers and avoid those that are not. But in case rusting happens after you purchase and use it, you need to remove it by using a brush and baking soda. First, you have to moisten the brush with water. After that, you dip it into a pack of baking soda and rub it.

The basic smokers present a challenge in maintenance as well. Because it requires the burning of charcoal, you need to remove ashes afterwards. There will also be stains. On the other hand, bulky smokers may also be easier to clean at first. However, when thorough cleaning is needed, there are spots inside the bulky smokers that cannot be easily reached.

7. Look for Accessories.

Just like any outdoor appliance, smokers also require covers. These can come as accessories to your purchased cooking equipment or you will need to buy it separately. If you want to ensure the durability of your apparatus, don’t neglect covering it while placed outside or keep them inside.

Aside from covers, another accessory for smokers is rack. When opting for racks, be it for free or not, make sure that it is also rust-resistant. Racks also come in various designs. If you plan to buy them separately, it pays to measure your cooking equipment first. That is to see whether the racks you choose will fit or not. You can also buy racks that come in plain designs.

There are smokers that have built-in thermometers. Purchasing any of these smokers can save you the burden of buying a separate thermometer. Thermometers for cooking enable you to perfect the cooking of your food. If you are not that obsessed with perfection, then there’s no need for you to bother shopping for a supplementary thermometer.

8. Get the Best Warranty.

Unlike most appliances or equipment, the warranty for smokers can last from as short as 3 months and some warranties can last for even a decade. However, it doesn’t mean that the most extensive warranty is the best option. The best warranty is the most inclusive warranty; that means that most, if not all, of the maintenance, replacement, repair and upgrading will be shouldered.

If you are shopping with a tight budget, you can look for discounted smokers. Secondhand but well-maintained smokers as well as slightly used smokers are also good options if you are shopping for inexpensive cooking equipment. Shopping for a Smoker doesn’t have to be troublesome and time-consuming. All you have to do is follow the tips provided herein.

Last update on 2021-04-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API