Best Beginner Smokers

Can only master barbecues or pitmasters get good results of food, or a novice can see also? 

Even if you have no smoking experience whatsoever, getting the best smoker for beginners 2021 will allow you to make delicious meals all on your own. If you’re just starting on your journey into the world of delicious home-smoked meats, getting yourself the best beginner smoker meat is a smart choice. From savoury ribs to delicious pulled pork, nothing beats the flavour and juiciness of a well-smoked meal. Depending on the type and fuel source, some smokers are much easier to use than others.

However, as you can imagine, there are many different factors that you need to take into account when looking for the first smoker to buy. This article gives information about the cooking area and hopper capacity since these two factors will determine how much you can cook and how long you can cook it. It sheds light on the temperature range since the amount of heat a smoker can produce will directly impact its cook. Finally, the weight of each model and the overall dimensions, size of the smoker will limit where and when you can use it.

Best Beginner Smokers

There are a lot of reasons to take the plunge and buy your first smoker. Maybe you had some delicious brisket at your local beginner barbeque smoker joint and decided it’s time to give it a try at home. Or maybe you’ve been grilling for years, and now you’re ready to try your hand at smoking.

There are several different types of smokers available on the market, so it’s no surprise that beginners often find the range of choices confusing. In this section, we have compiled a list of models for novice smokers. So whether you want to take a hands-off or manual approach to cooking, you’re sure to find your ideal match right here.

In this guide, we have rounded up a comprehensive selection of the most novice-friendly smokers on the market to help you achieve perfectly smoked meats from day one. We have included models of each type – gas, charcoal, electric, pellet, and kamado smokers – so you can find your ideal match who had best beginner smoker reviews. We also took the time to put together an in-depth buying guide so that you can be sure to get your hands on the best model of a smoker for your needs.

1

Weber 18-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker, Charcoal Smoker

The first bite of tender, fall-off-the-bone meat makes taking it low-and-slow worth every moment. The Smokey Mountain Cooker™ smoker has two cooking grates for smoking multiple items at once, and easily adjustable dampers for precision heat control. There’s nothing quite like waiting all day for dinner.

4.8/5

Weber is no stranger to making smoking and grilling appliances and is known for well-designed devices. This 18-inch smoker is no stranger to their innovations and looks promising from the get-go. It is shaped like a cylinder or capsule and is reasonably compact. The shiny black exterior makes it look pretty lure; this smoker is eye-catching!

When it comes to grilling or smoking, temperature fluctuation can be an absolute nightmare. Uneven temperatures can turn your meat into a rubbery, yucky mess. And if the temperature shoots up too high or too quickly, you’ll end up with a pile of burned and charred meat that looks like a burial gone wrong.

However, the weber smokey mountain cooker has a solid temperature control system. Like most other smokers, it has vents that direct the airflow, and thus the temperature as well. But it takes temperature control to the next level by including a large water pan directly above the coals.

This water pan acts as a heat sink when grilling or smoking. It absorbs heat and then releases it slowly over time. It keeps the temperature stable and lets your meat cook slowly, making it fork-tender and juicy. Weber Smokey Mountain temperature control is near flawless and makes smoking/grilling a real pleasure.

This Smokey Mountain grill was designed for efficiency, safety, and comfort. It has a thermometer port that protects probe wires from direct contact with burning hot metal. However, it also stops the heat from escaping so you can keep track of the meat’s internal temperature without interfering in the smoking process.

The water pan also keeps the smoking/grilling environment a little damp, which stops the meat from drying out. Moreover, the lid has an adjustable vent to control the airflow and a heat resistant handle so you won’t accidentally burn yourself.

The 18-inch smoker is the perfect size for families and small gatherings. Since the appliance is rather tall, it can handle smoking almost anything–chickens, turkeys, fish, and even ribs. While it can be a little difficult for a whole pig, the size is just right for everything else.

The middle rack is perfect for ribs and larger fish like salmon. Furthermore, a Weber Smokey Mountain grilled brisket takes only 1.5 hours per pound, so you won’t have to sweat too much when smoking large cuts of meat.

On the other hand, if you often have to feed a large crowd, the 22-inch model will be a better fit for you. Nobody wants to spend a ton of money on a smoker, only to have it fall apart after a few months. Instead, invest in a durable smoker that will last you for years. The Smokey Mountain griller can withstand almost everything–extreme temperatures, wild weather, and time itself.

PROS

CONS

2

Masterbuilt MB20070210 Analog Electric Smoker with 3 Smoking Racks, 30 inch, Black

With the Masterbuilt 30-inch Analog Electric Smoker, you’ll achieve competition-ready results in your own backyard, without the hassle of charcoal or propane. Simply plug this smoker in, set the analog controls, and it does the work! The three chrome-coated racks provide plenty of room to smoke up to 3 chickens, 2 turkeys, 3 racks or ribs, or 3 pork butts. Master the art of smoking with Masterbuilt.

4.8/5

Whenever it comes to interior kitchen goods, Masterbuilt is attributed to two things: reliability and creativity. The powder-coated metal Electrical Barbecue is an amazing illustration of these requirements.

It features four smoke shelves, allowing you to cook various meats such as turkeys, sausages, poultry, bacon, pig, salmon, meat, veggies, and much more. The thermometer is adjustable between 110 to 280 degrees Celsius, ensuring that customers obtain the perfect temperature each time they smoke meals.

Another of the numerous benefits of this superb electrical smoking is the press buttons electronic user interface. A 0-24-h mechanical clock with automatic cut off prevents items from overcooking, an edge hardwood pan, a detachable water pan, an electronic expansion shutter that can be used to increase smoky volumes, and so much more are included. 

The 730 square inches of dual grilling areas are completely protected to enable environmentally friendly cooking. On festivals, special days, and family gatherings, you’ll have more than enough space to cook sufficient food for a large gathering. A detachable drop plate on the grill base collects cooking liquid that can be utilized for salad dressings and recipes. Cleaning up is also simple due to this handy tray.

It is one of the best, if not the best Masterbuilt smokers. The Platinum 30″ Electric Smoker is more than up to the challenge of feeding not just you but a small army of people. This 30″ smoker has plenty of features that make it worth its high price. 

First off, the smoker has four chromed cooking racks, allowing you to cook an impressive amount of food all at once. The smoker can also be loaded with wood chips through a loading port on the side, allowing you to refill the smoker without opening the front door.

The smoker comes with an RF remote control that allows you to control the smoker from the comfort of your home while also letting you monitor the internal temperature. The front-facing digital display on the top is also easy to use and understand. Finally, the smoker comes with an impressive collection of accessories; a weatherproof cover for when the smoker is not in use, a CD containing cooking recipes, accessories for cooking ribs, chicken or sausages and a pair of carving gloves.

PROS

CONS

3

Char-Griller E16620 Akorn Kamado Charcoal Grill, Graphite

Looking for great searing, smoking, & superior low & slow cooking? Look no further than the Char-Griller AKORN Kamado charcoal grill, slate. With features like an easy dump ash pan & Dual adjustable dampers, this grill is easy to use & delivers great results. Cast iron grill grates & a warming Rack make cooking for the whole crew A breeze.

4.8/5

It’s hard to find a good outdoor grill with a larger cooking surface unless you are willing to spend a fortune on it. It has a 314 square area, which is more than generous for 5-6 stakes. 

The warming rack is 133 square inches which makes the total cooking area around 447 square inches! The removable warming racks make it easy to transfer food to the plate. It is also very handy for cleanups. To get authentic charcoal flavours in your meat, you need high temperature and easy to control functions. Luckily, Akorn grill provides both of those things. It has triple-walled insulation that retains heat and maintains proper temperature. 

The temperature goes from 200-700 degrees Fahrenheit, making it convenient for larger chunks of meat like lamb chops or beef ribs. 

People love Akorn Char-Griller E16620 because of its high heat cooking abilities. With its 314 square-inch surfaces, it can cook for a lot of people. Whether you’re throwing a BBQ party or you are just hanging out with your friends and family, this gorgeous grill can be a great addition. 

If you are new to Kamado grills, then be prepared for a learning curve. They are traditional in functionality. Kamado grills are nothing like your average gas, electric, or kettle grills. The top and bottom dampers are what helps you control the heat. You have to be automatic about it. If you are smoking meat, this is a very important feature to look for. 

Akorn Char-griller not only cooks an amazing barbecue but can also be used as a slow cooker and smoker. When you get the hang of those adjustable dampers, you will love to experiment on this thing. From juicy smokey ribs to pulled porks, you will be able to bring out the BBQ flavours to perfection.

Akorn uses three layered stainless steel to make it lightweight while keeping the traditional style to it. It weighs around 97lbs and comes with three long legs. The legs are at the perfect height to cook for an extensive period. Whether you are tall or petite, this size fits every height. The three legs come with lockable wheels, which makes the weight of the grill irrelevant. You don’t have to lift it to move, instead, pull and pull it to get out of storage. Since you get total control over the airflow, this grill is perfect for trying many new cooking techniques. You can roast, grill, bake, or slow cook to use it as a classic conventional oven. 

As it is energy efficient, you can slow cook for hours without worrying about the cost. It is recommended to use hardwood charcoal for a prolonged period of cooking. 

PROS

CONS

4

Z GRILLS ZPG-7002E 2020 Upgrade Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker, 8 in 1 BBQ Grill Auto Temperature Controls, inch Cooking Area, 700 sq, Silver

We’re a U.S-based brand that has been making high-quality grills and smokers for more than 30 years. With warehouses in Los Angeles, California and Atlanta, Georgia, we’ve exported top-of-the-line products to Europe and all around the United States. We’re proud of what we do and stand behind everything that we build.

4.8/5

Z Grills ZPG-7002B comes with a 700 sq. inch rack surface area. The grilling and the warming rack area dimensions are 19. 2 x 26 inches and 6. 9 x 27. 5 inches, respectively. Features like the LED display, auto temp control, and the auto start ignition system are beginner-friendly. Its convection heat technology makes well-cooked meals. 20 lbs. of wood pellets can last you up to 20 hours. Several users also mention the Z Grills ZPG-7002B has a sleek design and finish. It offers a wide range of temperatures.

The cooking area of the Z Grills ZPG-7002B is long and narrow to fit several foodstuffs. You can fit a 6 Beretta can chicken under its hood. You can take the smoke cap off and add a longer pipe though some smoke will escape. The instructions for assembling Z Grills ZPG-7002B are straightforward, and it will take you less than an hour to do it. Most buyers complained that its temperature control is ineffective.

The price catches everyone’s attention. Even with the inclusion of premium quality features, Z GRILLS lashes the price to half of what you can find in other pellet grills with similar features. It is a great value at an affordable price. The minimal size, durable construction, upgraded digital control system, and an extra grill cover at its price tag make the 7002E one of the most valuable pellet grills out there. Much like the Traeger warranty, Z GRILLS also included a 3-year warranty on the 7002E model.

Z GRILLS comes with a grease bucket that gathers all drained grease, making it easy to clean.

The ability to sear is one major problem of most pellet grills. And Z GRILLS isn’t different. It comes with a maximum temperature of 475°F. Apart from this, the 700E model is a good one for your BBQ smoking. The grill construction is durable, and high quality and the temperature control is just top-notch.

Also, you need to note that the Z GRILLS ZPG doesn’t only come in the 700E model but also the 700D. It does with two extra storage doors and an updated caster wheels. The only difference between the D and E models is that the 700E comes with a 475°F max temperature. At the same time, the 700D comes at 450°F. 

PROS

CONS

5

Masterbuilt MB20071117 Digital Electric Smoker, 30", Black

The Masterbuilt 30-inch Digital Electric Smoker is perfect for the beginner or the pro. You’ll achieve competition-ready results in your own backyard, without the hassle of charcoal or propane. Simply plug this smoker in, set the digital controls, and it does the work! The patented side wood chip loader lets you experiment with flavor without opening the smoker door.

4.8/5

The Masterbuilt MB20071117 is the type of cooker you want in your backyard or at that cookout. This machine is a vertical smoker. With the heat source being further away, most users believe that vertical smokers are superior to horizontal alternatives. The MB20071117 is made of steel but is insulated to keep the heat in as you cook. It is one feature that might help with temperature control as you cook.

Another thing is the device incorporates four chrome-coated racks where you can put your beef, ribs, turkeys, chicken, and more. Since it is a digital electric model and comes with a thermostat, users can regulate the cooking heat with the push of a button. A drip plate is also part of the machine and might make it easier to clean after use. Finally, the outlook of the smoker looks a lot like a mini-refrigerator.

The MB20071117 electric smoker is a superstar in terms of performance. Once the temperature is set, the machine will maintain that until you’re done cooking. Next, it’s effective in imparting the smoky flavour of the burnt wood chips onto your poultry and meats. Also, it looks pretty economical in terms of the wood pellets you use for each cook session. You may only have to refill the smoker box twice in three hours or less.

The smoker is electric, so you need to plug it into a socket before turning it on. After that, you set the temperature on the thermostat according to the recipe. You can add the wood pellets a little after that. Some users prefer to wait till the smoker is up to temperature before they add their wood chips.

Notably, being an electric smoker also means you need a socket nearby to use the device. It is restrictive to some as it’s harder to take it on camping trips and outdoor cookouts. However, if you want it for cookouts in your backyard, there shouldn’t be any issues.

Anybody choosing the Masterbuilt MB20071117 smoker is lucking out since the device is so easy to use. You put your meat on the racks, close the door, set the desired temperature, add the wood pellets, and you’re done. This cooking process seems as easy as one, two, three. Unlike grills, you typically don’t have to flip the meat.

Additionally, portability is not one of the strong suits of the machine. It is the spitting image and size of a mini-refrigerator and doesn’t feature any handles. The weight further drives this point home, as at 45.9 lbs, you’ll find it hard to pick up and carry the device.

PROS

CONS

6

Dyna-Glo DGX780BDC-D 36" Vertical Charcoal Smoker

Charcoal enthusiasts, take heart! With this Dyna-Glo vertical smoker, you can now smoke your favorite foods with your favorite wood chips AND your favorite fuel source, charcoal! Vertical smokers are ideal for capturing maximum smoke flavor, so we’ve included 4 height-adjustable cooking grates, with a total of 784 square inches of cooking space, to accommodate different sizes and types of food. 

4.8/5

When it is about smokers, Dyna-Glo is always ahead of every other company. A notable brand in the market of smokers. Dyna-Glo also produces other various products, including electric log sets and BBQ products. The best beginner smoker is the one that is durable for a long time due to the design created by an expert—the one whose maintenance is as easy as spoon-feeding and also the one that produces delicious food.

This tall structured Dyna-Glo is brilliant in conducting proper heat, making it efficient enough to get the best out of charcoal. It also produces an intense smokey flavour. The top of this smoker collects smoke, resulting in better control of airflow. This smokestack distributes heat evenly to all parts of the cooking chamber. This equally distributed smoke results in delicious food with flavour. The construction of the charcoal chamber helps the smoker save a lot of heat. It burns the charcoal for a long time and produces a flame that will last for a long.

Four cooking grates are available inside the cooking surface area where you can place the right amount of food, meat, or whatever you want to cook. Its temperature gauge is innovative, and it guides you as well. It indicates what the best temperature to cook food is. A removable charcoal pan is inside the charcoal chamber to clean up charcoal. There is also an ashtray that is accessible comfortably. Surely, Dyna-Glo is one of the best options for starters.

This smoker earns the budget Pick designation because it doesn’t have any other options’ bells or whistles but still offers a top-notch charcoal smoking experience without the same price tag. Although not as large as some of the other Dyna-Glo options, this device still features four adjustable steel racks as a solid 784 square inches of cooking space. The vertical, stacked design makes it more space-efficient and compact than other models, allowing it a better fit for smaller smoking setups.

You may not get anything fancy, but you still get an excellent smoker with plenty of crucial heat control choices. Dual doors allow for minimal heat loss as more wood chips are added during the smoking process. The side and top dampers are all sliding and adjustable, allowing for quick and easy heat adjustments during cooking. In addition, this has plenty of smart features to ensure you get top quality food. A high capacity water bowl helps keep the meat moist and tender while still bringing maximum smoky flavour to the cook.

There’s a cast-iron burner for ease of use, a push button, electric ignition, and 15,000 BTUs. A relatively large and high capacity wood chip box allows you to cook without any maintenance for hours, providing minimal heat loss and maximizing ease. Like other Dyna-Glo smokers, fitted protective covers are available separately to enhance the durability of the smoker.

PROS

CONS

7

Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker

This Dyna-Glo Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker DGO1176BDC-D gives you a truly distinct flavor and a wealth of custom cooking options. The smoker has a generous 1,175 square inches of cooking space to give space to cook a variety of foods at the same time. This model features an offset smoker box, which keeps direct heat away from your food consequently giving even heat.

4.8/5

An offset vertical charcoal smoker is prized by many people who want to produce their competition-level barbecue. It’s also a handy thing to have if you like to make your link and ring sausages or smoke your slabs of bacon. An offset, vertical smoker can also be used to add a pleasing smoky accent to jerky before dehydrating.

Given this level of versatility and popularity, the world of smokers has been flooded by many different variations in recent years. Finding the right for you calls for a careful eye and taking the time to think about what you will do with it the most.

The Smoker offers 5-cubic feet of smoking space in its primary chamber. It can be distributed between six adjustable, removable racks. Each is capable of supporting up to 25-pounds of food. The smoker box has a somewhat unique design. There is a built-in ash pan that is easy to remove. A porcelain-coated wood box sits above it for holding charcoal and smoking woods. An adjustable side damper and an adjustable smokestack at the top of the primary chamber give you the ability to control the airflow and heat.

The 14-gauge powder-coated steel is a little on the thin side but not so thin as to be considered cheap. It ultimately saves on weight and cost, which is part of the appeal of a smoker like this. You just have to keep in mind that this can also impact heat loss. In really cold weather, below 32-degrees, this grill can struggle to maintain a consistent temperature above 200 degrees.

Once everything is seasoned properly and broken according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, the smoker should do just fine for many years to come. It’s relatively easy to assemble, considering there are very few moving parts. It might be nice to have a helper with a few things. Still, it shouldn’t take you more than an hour, maybe an hour and a half, to get it fully assembled.

The wisest move to help with cleanup is to line the bottom of the primary chamber with heavy-duty aluminium foil. You can then place your drippings pan on top of it with water for added steam. The pull-out ash pan also helps you dispose of spent material without the scraping and scooping you find with other offset smoker boxes.

The grates don’t have a protective coating. It means you have to take the time to season and maintain them. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations in the instruction booklet.

PROS

CONS

8

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

Known for quality and innovation, Masterbuilt’s cooking products set the standard. With a powder-coated steel outer body, Masterbuilt Electric Smokehouse comes with four smoking racks that allow ample room for turkey, sausage, chicken, ham, pork, fish, jerky, vegetables, and more. It is 100° to 275°F thermostatically controlled for a perfect temperature every time.

4.8/5

The black Masterbuilt 20070910 has an interconnected button control centre and a powder-coated metal body. Even now, in the bright sun, you can read the thermostat settings and preparing food time, thanks to the flashing Blue screen. Its dimensions are 20.4 inches long, 19.9 inches wide, and 33.3 inches tall, worth noting. As a result, it doesn’t take up much room.

The detachable liquid container, which collects grease, is placed at the base of the smoker. The leftover marinade can be used in sauces or gravies, and the tray tends to make cleaning a bit easier.

Masterbuilt shines when it comes to the insulating material. It maintains a constant heat during multiple smoking exercises. And, compared to other people who smoke with thin steel surfaces, the Masterbuilt 20070910 provides markedly improved shielding.

Because the gate has a strict rubber grommet around it, these same fumes don’t spill at all. The valve is in the upper right corner of the component. While it may increase a few other eyebrows, the burner location does not contribute to any heat exchange inconsistencies. The temperature is fairly consistent through much of. Because of the excellent insulating material, you won’t have unprocessed places solely on a single end and undercooked meat on the other. Its layout is already very effective, reducing the need for continual cleaning.

The leftover marinade can be poured into a watering dish or a drip pan. The lower plate is tilted and has a drip slot to direct the grease to a plate exterior. To make cleaning even simpler, line the numerous detachable containers with aluminium foil.

The Masterbuilt 20070910 should not be cleaned with washing powder, as per the handbook. Alternatively, make a distilled water using one part white vinegar and two parts liquid. You can use this remedy to tidy your windows, but while distilled water will suffice. All of the detachable metal components can be washed in the wash. You can also use a damp tissue to wipe the dirt away from the door to the house tight seal.

PROS

CONS

9

Char-Broil 17202004 Digital Electric Smoker, Deluxe, Silver

Known for quality and innovation, Masterbuilt’s cooking products set the standard. With a powder-coated steel outer body, Masterbuilt Electric Smokehouse comes with four smoking racks that allow ample room for turkey, sausage, chicken, ham, pork, fish, jerky, vegetables, and more. It is 100° to 275°F thermostatically controlled for a perfect temperature every time.

4.8/5

Char-Broil might have made their name with high-quality charcoal and gas grills with a friendly price tag. However, that hasn’t stopped them from making deep forays into other niches in the grill and smoker industry. You see that reflected in the sparkle of this innovative stainless steel electric smoker. Yet the Char-Broil 17202004 Deluxe isn’t just your average electric smoker. When you take a closer look, you will notice engineer cues and attention to detail that the shoulder-to-shoulder competitor models don’t always have.

Right off the bat, you will appreciate the double-walled insulation for its ability to hold in heat and maintain consistent smoke density. It works in tandem with the seals on the door and the extra confident side latching handle. The glass door also has a dual-tone finish enveloping the glass window. Not only is it visually attractive, but it also lets you keep an eye on how things are doing in the smoker without having to open the door, which affects the temperature and smoke density.

The Char-Broil 17202004 Deluxe also has a cutting edge digital control centre. It’s intuitive to use and makes you feel like you are truly in command of what the electric smoker is doing. It can also coordinate with an internal meat thermometer to better understand the relationship between the meat and the heat.

The Char-Broil 17202004 Deluxe is largely made from commercial grade stainless steel. The double-walled body helps maximize heat retention. Yet, it doesn’t overload the weight of the Char-Broil 17202004 Deluxe. Tipping the scales at just over 50-pounds, this is the sort of electric smoker that you can easily take with you camping, on a hunting trip or for a tailgating party.

When it comes to assembly, there isn’t a lot you need to do. Most of the Char-Broil 17202004 Deluxe comes ready to go. Just be careful not to accidentally scrape or scuff the stainless steel. All told, from the moment you open the box to the time you start breaking it in, it should only take a half-hour or so. The Char-Broil 17202004 Deluxe is a handy little smoker that can still handle a heavy volume of food. The four stainless steel racks are adjustable and removable. You will be limited to relatively balanced foods with all four installed, like small briskets or cut pork spareribs.

The digital control centre is very easy to use, letting you dial in the temperature and smoke conditions as you see fit. The smoker chip tray can also be externally loaded to spare you having to open the door just for a simple reload. You can also get the wood chips to go a little further and provide some much-needed steam by soaking them in water overnight. This way, they will smoke rather than burn.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that, like a lot of glass, the window in the Char-Broil 17202004 Deluxe will gradually cloud up with smoke residue. Giving it a good deep cleaning every three or four smoking sessions will make it easier to keep the glass reasonably transparent. 

PROS

CONS

Buying Guide

It’s worth buying because the first thing that jumps out as a big advantage for a smoker over a grill is the amount of temperature control you will have. Even the very best grill is difficult to hold at a steady temperature, which is necessary for properly smoked meats. A smoker, on the other hand, will only fluctuate within a five to ten-degree range. This fluctuation will get even smaller with more and more experience. It makes it possible to smoke foods for extremely long amounts of time, even overnight on occasion, which is essential for bringing out a meat’s best flavour. This section will guide you through everything you need to know to find the best smoker your needs. 

Secondly, as you can guess from the name, a smoker will pack your meat with that savoury, smoky flavour. A smoker, unlike a grill or oven, does not rely on heat alone to cook meat. Instead, it also uses smoke produced from charcoal, propane, wood, or wood pellets. It helps to create a smoke ring on food. This pink ring is created outside the food when the smoke mixes with the natural juices in the meat and forms nitric acid. It helps to seal in the flavour more effectively than standard grilling, making meats taste a whole lot better.

Finally, the biggest other reason to get a smoker is to get a great taste and tenderness. Since a smoker cooks for such a long amount of time at a lower temperature, it doesn’t toughen up the food in the same manner as a standard grill. This slow cooking nature allows the meat to achieve a perfect level of tenderness so that the meat easily pulls apart and melts in your mouth, all while being filled with delicious juices and smoky flavours.

Features to consider

As you can imagine, you need to take a ton of different features into account when you are looking for the best smoker for beginners. 

  • Power source

Smokers come in all shapes and sizes. They also use many different fuel sources, and each of them will give food a different flavour. When looking for a smoker, you can select propane, charcoal, electricity, and wood pellets. Each of these fuel sources has its pros and cons, so be sure to take these into careful consideration before you make your final decision.

Propane is probably the cheapest power source to run your smoker with. The removable tanks make moving the smoker much easier since a smoker without a tank is extremely lightweight. Propane also makes it very easy to control the temperature since it burns so cleanly. 

The charcoal smoker features another cheap fuel source to use. Charcoal burns very evenly, making it easy to get the right temperature when you are cooking. It also creates its smoke, making it ideal for this type of cooking. Charcoal is, however, rather heavy to transport.

The electrical smoker is smaller than other styles of smokers. This small size makes such models ideal for smaller spaces, such as apartments or small backyards. Of course, you will need to use them near an outlet or invest in a long power cord. These types of cookers also don’t smoke very much compared to other fuel sources, making them a great option for smaller spaces.

Wood pellet smokers are among the easiest to keep running for an extended period. It is because they have a built-in auger system that keeps the fuel burning by adding more automatically. These smokers do tend to be more expensive than other models, however.

  • Cooking area

The overall cooking area of a smoker will determine how much meat you can make at a time. It is especially important if you are looking for the best smoker for large gatherings. The last thing you want to do in that case is picking a model that can’t handle the amount of food you need for your parties. 

On the other hand, if you are in the market for a smaller sized model, there are certainly options for you. While you won’t fit as much food as you could on a larger model, that doesn’t mean you can’t make fantastic meals. It simply means that the cooker will be smaller, and you won’t need to pay as much to get it. 

  • Hopper capacity – for pellet models

If you are looking for a smoker that uses pellets as its primary fuel source, then you’ll need to think carefully about the hopper capacity. The hopper for this type of grill is where you will be putting the pellets. They will then be fed into the combustion chamber with an auger so that you don’t need to do it manually.

When you are looking into the size of the hopper, you should take the amount of time you want to spend cooking into the equation. If you are cooking for a shorter amount of time, then a smaller capacity hopper will work out just fine. If, on the other hand, you intend to cook for longer, then you will want to be sure to get a larger capacity hopper. That way, you won’t need to worry about your smoker running out of fuel on you while you are trying to make the best batch of meats possible.

  • Number and quality of grates

Something else that is a big determining factor on the amount of meat you can smoke at one time is the number of grates the cooker can hold. The more grates you have, the more meat you can fit in at the same time. 

No matter how many grates you want your cooker to have, look for those made out of the highest quality materials. Usually, cooking grates will be either stainless steel, porcelain, or cast iron. Each of these materials is a good cooking surface, as long as you keep after them. Cast iron is the easiest to clean, while stainless steel needs the most attention. Porcelain grates conduct heat most efficiently, but they are only marginally better than the other two options.

  • Dimensions and weight

When it comes to your smoker’s overall dimensions and weight, you need to carefully consider what you want to use it for. If you are looking to use your smoker for tailgating, for instance, then you will want to go with a much more lightweight model. That way, you will be able to move it easily from place to place without too much strain on your back. Its smaller size also makes it ideal for tailgating since you can fit it into a vehicle. 

Of course, if you are not looking to lug your smoker to different sporting events with you and you have a bigger area to keep it, the size and weight won’t make too much of a difference. 

  • Extra features

One of the essential extra features that you should look for in the best smoker for beginners is an accurate and easy-to-read thermometer. The key to smoking meats properly is controlling the temperature over long periods. It is not something that you want to leave up to chance, so be sure to look for a model with an excellent thermometer. That way, you can ensure that you make delicious meals every time you fire your cooker up.

To go along with an easy-to-read thermometer, you should also look for a model that makes it super simple to adjust the temperature. That way, you will be able to get the temps you want without any guesswork, which will only make smoking your foods that much easier.

Finally, you should look for a smoker that makes it easy to add more fuel while cooking. The last thing you want to do while cooking a piece of meat for hours on end is mess up the temperature because you need to add more fuel. By getting a smoker that makes it easy to add more fuel without opening the whole cooker, you will be able to keep the temperature at the right level to cook your meats properly.

Tips for maintaining your smoker

As you would expect from anything that regularly fills with smoke, you will want to clean your smoker as often as possible. With a clean grill, you will be better protected from grease fires, and the unit itself will be better protected from breaking down. To properly maintain your smoker, be sure to do the following:

  • Clean out the cooking grates with soap and water. Otherwise, rancid grease could accumulate, which could ruin your food or cause fires.
  • Clean the lid and the interior of the cooking chamber. The carbon buildup on these areas could fall onto your food during cooking, which could make it taste awful.
  • To save yourself from having to clean the grease out of the smoker chamber, line it with aluminium foil and replace this foil after every other use.
  • Be sure when you are cleaning the interior to clean off the thermostat probe as well. Otherwise, it will not read the temperature accurately.
  • Last but not least, take the time to clean out the hopper. That way, you will fit the proper amount of fuel in your smoker when you are cooking.

FAQs

  • What is the easiest to start with – pellets, charcoal, wood chips, gas?

Of all the different fuels that you can use to smoke your meats, the two easiest options are usually going to be pellets and gas. These types of cookers typically have an automatic starter switch which makes igniting them simple and efficient. Wood chips and charcoal take a bit of practice to master, though they work just even better when it comes to adding a mouthwatering smoky flavour to your dish.

Electric smokers are also very simple to start. Since they rely mainly on electricity for a power source, their ignition system is as simple as flipping a switch or turning a dial.

  • Are there any tips to check when my meat steak is ready?

While experienced BBQ chefs can usually just look at their meats and know when they are done, this is not usually the case for beginners. The best thing that you do is to get yourself an easy-to-read meat thermometer. That way, you can easily check the internal temperature of your food to make sure that it has reached the right temperature to cook evenly.

  • What foods can I cook in it?

There isn’t a limit as to what you can cook with your smoker. The first thing that everyone would think of is meat, whether chicken, beef, or pork. You can, however, also cook other types of food. You can smoke fish or vegetables and even some unexpected foods, such as nuts, eggs, and cheese if you so desire.

Conclusion

If you truly want to get your hands on the best smoker for beginners, then we highly recommend you check out the Weber 18-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker. It is a very easy-to-use smoker. Thanks in part to its automatic auger that feeds wood pellets into it whenever it is running low. It maintains its temperature very well and is effortless to set up, making it perfect for anyone just getting started.

Charcoal grills have long been the favourite among smoking masters, and the Char-Griller E16620 Akorn Kamado Charcoal Grill, Graphite great option for masters and beginners alike. It is very easy to use, durable, and simple to keep clean.

Dyna-Glo DGX780BDC-D 36″ Vertical Charcoal Smoker are a great option if you are looking to cook things for a long time. The automatic auger, easy-to-set temperature control, and sturdy design make this an excellent smoker.

Leave a Reply