The best smoker is a highly specialized culinary tool that will add a new layer of flavor to your food at an incredible price!
Whether you’re a fan of fall-off-the-bone ribs, juicy briskets, or love Southern food in general, even a small smoker will earn itself a place in your kitchen and heart. The best smoker applies a low, steady heat source that allows smoke to penetrate your meat cuts and add irresistible flavor and depth to your meals.
The Best Smoker
The best smoker is generally considered a multipurpose cooker since it can enhance any meat cut’s flavor. Each comes with unique sizes, features, fuel sources, and prices that adapt to large and tight budgets alike.
Picking the best smoker for you is all about considering key factors and your individual needs.
The first factor you need to consider is the smoker’s fuel source since it directly impacts your meat’s flavor and overall ease of use.
Most traditionalists will agree that the best grill smoker combo should use charcoal and hardwood as their fuel sources. This combination adds a pronounced and thoroughly delicious smoky flavor that elevates your meat cuts to culinary perfection. But charcoal smokers come with a major drawback: they’re difficult to clean and require a higher level of supervision to ensure their temperature range stays optimal.
On the other hand, gas smokers are easier to clean and operate. But it’s significantly harder (some argue impossible) to get that delicious smoky flavor that charcoal adds to your meals. A gas smoker can certainly deliver juicy, soft, and delicious briskets and ribs to your Sunday cookouts, but finer palates will agree that charcoal and hardwood add an “X factor” to any cut.
Pellet smokers are a hybrid that uses charcoal and sawdust pellets to create delicious meals and is somewhat easier to clean. It’s a great compromise between the two previous smokers, and many models come with fantastic price tags on them!
Electric smokers, on the other hand, are all about convenience. They require minimal supervision, are easy to clean but fall short on the taste department. You can have some deliciously tender meals with these handy appliances, but if you’re a taste-first kind of person, then you’re better off with a charcoal smoker.
Today we’ve included a selection of the best smokers out there. Each of these tried-and-true products is great for beginners and pros alike and perfectly adjusts to all budgets as well!
The Highland Oklahoma Joe Smoker
The Highland Offset Smoker is one of the best smoker grills for backyard cookouts. The Highland comes with a convenient design and easy-to-use temperature controlling features to take your BBQ game to a whole new level with only half the effort.
This Oklahoma Joe smoker comes with a traditional barrel structure (also known as an offset smoker) powered by charcoal and wood. With this offset smoker, you’ll consistently get that wonderful charbroiled taste that we all know and love. It offers an impressive 1000 square inches of total cooking space, making it an ideal choice for large families and special events.
The Highland Oklahoma Joe Smoker has enough room to smoke a whole brisket alongside a pork butt in its easy-to-heat cooking chamber. The key to mastering every offset smoker is to be patient and methodical, which is why we recommend getting an excellent-priced chimney starter such as this Outset charcoal starter. This handy tool will save you time and keep your hands safe from the heat all at once.
Thanks to the Highlands firebox roomy design, you can also dump the lit charcoal batch on its far side while letting your wood pieces dry out on the other. That way, you don’t have to keep reaching over the fire when tending to the charcoal batch, and you’ll always keep some preheated log pieces at hand to regulate the temperature.
It’s worth mentioning that the Highland Oklahoma Jose smoker lets you easily control its chamber’s temperature even during the coldest months of the year. This offset smoker’s high-quality steel perfectly retains heat, while its multiple dampers allow you to regulate smoke and temperature over time.
The YS640 Yoder Smoker
The YS640 Pellet Grill is the ideal Yoder Smoker for aspiring pitmasters that value precision and taste. The YS640 is made in the USA from 10-gauge steel, and it features a state-of-the-art design that makes barbecuing and smoking as easy as possible.
As part of the Yoder Smokers S Series, the YS640 offers a WIFI-connected, adaptative control system that factors in the immediate environment weather conditions to give you the best possible smoke flavor.
You can also calibrate your pit by using its LCD left-side station or by using the Yoder Smokers app on your phone. This cutting-edge technology allows you to monitor and control the chamber’s temperature from your patio table or living room.
The YS640 Yoder Smoker also offers 1,070 square inches of cook space (combined with nearly 12 inches of headroom) to hold anything from briskets and pork butts to chickens or turkeys, and it’s all thanks to Yoder Smokers trademarked ample inner space and improved smoke flow technology.
What’s more, this versatile Yoder Smoker is also one of the best smokers to flame grill with! This smoker gas grill combo can be set up directly over the flame grilling, letting you sear stakes at 700°F just as easily as keeping a 12-hour smoke steadily at 250°F.
The 36 Deluxe Lang Smokers Model
The Lang Deluxe Patio is one of the best smokers for family backyard use, cross-country traveling, road-trip vacations (and even food truck ventures!), thanks to Lang Smokers’ dedicated team of experts.
If you’re looking for an extremely versatile lang smoker that fires up quickly and is roomier than your regular small batch cooker, look no further than the 36” Deluxe Patio. This lang smoker has six cubic feet of cooking space and easily holds up to 72 pounds of food with room to spare.
This deluxe Lang smoker comes with a super underrated tool that pitmasters love: an attached warmer box. This valuable add-on will save you from going back and forth to your indoor oven when cooking complementary foods. Just add your sides to any of its warmer box trays, and you can cook everything in one go!
Lang smoker warmer boxes always come with separate temperate gauges, a built-in drip pan system, and a damper system that lets you gauge how much smoke and heat travels into it. This convenient module lets you warm up already cooked whole foods while the main course cooks in the chamber, making it the perfect add-on for hosting BBQs far away from a kitchen area.
Last but not least, Lang smoker’s superb customer service can help you customize any cooker, adding chargrills, stainless steel pull-out shelves, and even making your lang smoker sit on a trailer frame for long-range transportation. Plus, if you’re thinking of venturing into the Food Truck industry, their team can build a whole food truck structure around your favorite smoker, providing you with a super-efficient cooking and service area that you can take anywhere you like!
The Multipurpose Highland Reverse Flow Smoker
The Multipurpose Highland reverse flow smoker provides an ideal temperature distribution and thorough smoke flow, allowing you to cook incredibly delicious smoked meats for family and friends!
Reverse flow smokers are often considered the superior alternative to regular offset smokers. Mainly because of the uniform cooking environment created within their main chamber.
This Oklahoma Joe Smoker forces hot air and smoke to travel under an additional metal plate (called baffle) and double back across the chamber so it can finally exit through an exhaust damper located at the same side of the firebox.
A reverse flow smoker design ensures that your chamber maintains a uniform temperature at all times, a critical factor when it comes to smoking any large cuts of meat.
With an improved reverse flow smoker design, the newest Highland Oklahoma Joe Smoker prevents severe and direct heat from overcooking certain parts of your meat (especially the meat closest to the firebox), allowing for a more stable heat distribution across the smoker’s inner chamber.
Even though mastering a reverse flow smoker will get your more consistent barbequing results, Oklahoma Joe Smokers decided to expand the possibilities of a grill master by including optional smokestack exhaust dampers, letting them choose between reverse flow smoking and traditional offset smoking.
What’s more, the versatility of the Highland Reverse flow smoker, its extremely durable heavy-gauge steel structure, and convenient primary and secondary cooking space (619 and 281of square inches respectively), makes it one of the best smoker grills you can get for both offset and reverse flow style smoke cookouts.
The BARQ-3600 Myron Mixon Smoker
The BARQ 3600 Myron Mixon Smoker is one of the easiest, most reliable smokers grills you can get your hands on. This BARQ Myron Mixon Smoker is perfect for having a good time with friends and family, as it silently and efficiently cooks large cuts with minimal supervision required.
This electric-powered smoker grill comes with a large-capacity pellet hopper that automatically feeds its bottom firebox with your favorite wood pellets, maintaining the perfect chamber temperature without the need for pesky manual reloads.
This electric smoker’s compact and modern design features a square-shaped military-grade, double-wall chamber construction that offers unmatched heat, moisture, and flavor retention. Plus, the BARQ 3600 chamber is big enough to hold 12 whole chickens, 24 baby back ribs, or 12 Boston Butts!
The Weber 18 inches Small Smoker
The Weber 18 inches small smoker is the best smoker grill for those with limited patio areas and outdoor enthusiasts that love a good old smokey BBQ cookout while enjoying nature.
Vertical smokers are marvelous cooking stations built from the ground up to save as much space as possible. Like most small smokers, The Weber 18 has a super convenient, easy to operate design that’s divided into three sections: a bottom heat source, a water pan, and a smoking chamber.
Overall, the Weber 18-inch small smoker is one of the best smokers for beginners due to its ease of use and affordable price tag. With the Weber small smoker, you’ll be able to cook succulent pulled pork, fall-off-the-bone ribs, and delicious drum sticks easily and efficiently. Plus, its portable size is guaranteed to fit in a garage corner or your car’s trunk if you like the sound of smoked ribs by the beach!
Cooking with the Weber 18 small smoker is very straightforward. You start by loading its bottom compartment with charcoal and light it up or load up a preheated charcoal batch from an outset charcoal starter.
Next, fill the small smoker’s water pan with some apple juice, hot sauce, or apple cider vinegar (depending on the recipe) to infuse your meats with a delicious and unique flavor. The Weber 18’s water pan will store and regulate the smoker’s heat, shielding the upper grates from the charcoal’s direct heat. This simple yet effective design keeps your cooking chamber moist and prevents your cuts from dying up.
That’s it! Just throw some meat in its upper cooking area and let them rest for as long as they need to!
The Longhorn Academy Smoker by Oklahoma Joes
The Longhorn by Oklahoma Jones is lauded as one of the best dual academy smokers mainly because of its multi-station smoker & grill design.
This all-encompassing smoker gas grill combo features both a charcoal and gas grill chamber, an extremely versatile offset firebox, and a multipurpose work area that puts together the ultimate cookout station.
Thanks to its highly-specialized four-stations design, the Longhorn allows you to master up to three different cooking methods.
For starters, the Longhorn’s farthest left side features a firebox that doubles as a charcoal grill. You can de-moisturize wood chunks (ahead of a long-smoked BBQ cookout), cook small-sized meat batches, preheat your foods, or even warm up your plates by sitting them on top of its square-shape lid.
Next, you get a smoke chamber with an individual temperature gauge and exhaust damper so you can cook anything from Chinese BBQ pork to deliciously spiced Smoked Briskets. As a bonus, this academy smoker module includes a grate lifter tool to reposition any scorching hot grates safely.
To the right hand of your smoke chamber, you have the gas grill: operated by three stainless steel burners that quickly cook through their 36,000 BTU output. This section alone is perfect for cooking sausages, burgers, pulled pork burritos, and foil BBQ potatoes with the added heat retention benefits that only an Oklahoma Jones smoker grill delivers.
Last but not least, at the furthest right-side of the Longhorn, you have a convenient side shelve that houses an additional 12,000 BTU burner. This station is the perfect place to heat skillets and pans while the rest of your chambers are packed with meats. You can also use this convenient spot to cut and serve food as it leaves the smoker and grill.
The Longhorn academy smoker pretty much covers everything you need for your cookouts, and it’s the perfect smoker gas grill combo set for those who don’t like to limit themselves when barbequing among friends and family!
The best smoker is, without question, a life-changing appliance that will introduce you to a whole new level and depth of cooking.
Many consider smoke to be the sixth taste, right there with salty, sweet, bitter, sour, and umami. That smoky flavor, after all, dates back to over 1.8 million years when we first started cooking our meat and asserted our dominance as a species over the planet.
As a parting piece of advice, we highly recommend you consider two additional factors: temperature range control and size.
The best smoker must offer a slow-and-steady ambient smoking temperature for all your cookouts. This factor alone separates mediocre smokers from top-notch products since its design, construction, air intake, and overall seal are directly affected by its design. A smoker that can effectively regulate temperature also makes the whole cooking process significantly easier, which is particularly important if you’re a beginner.
Lastly, you’ll want to consider your smoker’s size. Remember that smoking a piece of meat to perfection requires time and patience and is a rather nuanced process. If you ask me, it’s best to go with a larger-sized model that can feed you and others in a single cookout!
While many of these models are serviceable smoker and grill combos, we highly recommend you take a look at our selection of the best Korean BBQ grills for this year. These nifty appliances will add convenient, last-minute dishes that all pitmasters should master, should they need to host last-minute guests!