The Best Smoker - Expert Reviews

The Best Smoker – Expert Reviews

Barbecue inspires awe that verges on veneration; tender, slow-roasted, and covered with smoke, this must unquestionably be the work of a skilled craftsperson. But thanks to advancements in technology and design, anyone can now make excellent barbecue.

 Traeger Grills Pro Series 34 Electric Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker, Bronze

The convenience you ask for will determine which is the best smoker for you. You can get a pellet grill, which allows you to monitor and tend from your smartphone, or a barrel smoker, which requires manual management of the firewood. 

There are three types of smokers: electric (without pellets), charcoal, and propane. When choosing one, bear in mind how much time you want to spend crouched over or next to it, as well as how smoky you actually want your food to be.

Top picks

Here is the list of the top five best smokers in 2024.

In-depth reviews

Now let’s jump into our Ryan Coleman’s in-depth reviews of the top five best smokers.

1. Best Overall: Kamado Joe Big Joe Grill, Series II


  • Dimensions: 46.5 x 28 x 48 inches

  • Fuel Type: Charcoal

  • Capacity: 508 square inches

  • Included Accessories: Flexible cooking rack, grate gripper, heat deflector, ash tool.

  • Temperature Range: 225°F – 750°F


View Amazon


  • Outstanding thermal retention and fuel efficiency 

  • Ease of use


  • It is heavy and cumbersome

  • Requires to remain dry

The 18-inch Classic Joe II charcoal smoker can be used with chips or wood chunks as a source of smoking fuel. We're focusing on the smoker capacity here, despite the fact that it has numerous functions that make it a more versatile appliance than just a smoker. Its ceramic composition and gasketed top offer good thermal retention, while the lower and upper vent systems allow for temperature control. 

The layout and airflow enable effective fuel combustion, reducing the need for extra wood or charcoal. Despite being a large appliance, the lid's spring-assisted hinge makes it easy to open it, and the supplied rack and casters make moving the smoker easier. Its 508 square inches of cooking space may accommodate a few pork butts, and you can optimize space for pork bellies and ribs by vertically hanging them. 

2. Best Pellet Smoker: Traeger Grills Pro Series 780 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker


  • Dimensions: 27 x 55 x 49 inches

  • Fuel Type: Pellet

  • Capacity: 780 square inches

  • Included Accessories:  Connectivity options, temperature probe

  • Temperature Range: 120°F – 550°F


View Amazon


  • Many connectivity options for hands-free control

  • Sizable fuel and cooking capacity 


  • Some people find the size and weight too big for their space. 

The 780 has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Alexa connections that keep the user connected to what's going on inside by tracking the temperature of the smoker, the food's internal temperature, and the amount of time left on the cook. But it offers more than just technology.

Although it was made primarily for smoking, it can also be used for baking or grilling. The Traeger has a vast capacity and can simultaneously cook 34 hamburgers, six full chickens, or six rib slabs.

3. Best Electric Smoker: Char-Broil 19202101 Deluxe Black Digital Electric Smoker 


  • Dimensions: 16.54 x 32.52 x 18.11 inches

  • Fuel Type: Wood chips

  • Capacity: 725 square inches

  • Included Accessories: Digital temperature probe

  • Temperature Range: 100°F – 275°F


View Amazon


  • Large chip box and digital controls allow for ease of use and consistent temperatures. 


  • At low temperatures, the smoke becomes unstable

  • Window can be difficult to clean.

The Deluxe is adaptable and simple to use, blending the accuracy of digital controls with the convenience of smoking with wood chips and the accuracy of digital controls. It is not the most flashy product on the market, but it is consistent and dependable and produces accurate results with little interaction.

Its higher capacity makes it possible to smoke enough to serve a supper for two or a large gathering, and its temperature range makes it possible for both hot and cold smoking.  A bigger chip box reduces the need to open the smoker to add extra fuel, and the built-in temperature probe measures the internal temperature of the objects inside.

4. Best Value: Weber 14-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker


  • Dimensions: 14.7 x 14.7 x 31.4  inches

  • Fuel Type: Charcoal

  • Capacity: 286 square inches

  • Included Accessories:  Built-in thermometer

  • Temperature Range: 200°F – 400°F


View Amazon


  • The design allows for adding more fuel, loading and unloading, and easy lighting


  • There are almost no accessories 

  • There’s a learning curve in the damper system.

This model's 14 × 14-inch design makes it ideal for small places and transport, and its 286 square inches of cooking space is large enough to accommodate two substantial cuts of meat or rib slabs. With porcelain lining on the body, lid, and bowl, exceptional heat retention is achieved. 

The way the dampers are made makes it possible to regulate the airflow through the device while maintaining perfect temperature control. In addition to the integrated thermometer for controlling the temperature of the smoker, there is a thermometer port located on the smoker's side that makes it possible to use an external probe to check the interior temperature of the food. The Weber is not the least expensive option available, but it is a good, durable one with a warranty of 10 years.

5. Best Versatility: Weber Original Kettle 18-Inch Charcoal Grill


  • Dimensions: 22.5 x 25x 39 inches

  • Fuel Type: Charcoal, chips, wood, pellets

  • Capacity: 363 square inches

  • Included Accessories: Built-in thermometer

  • Temperature Range: 0-550°F 


View Amazon


  • Easy to clean

  • Light weight allows for easy mobility 

  • Decent thermal retention.


  • Dual baffles take time to be accustomed to

  • Handles and exterior can get very hot while cooking. 

Although the Weber Original Kettle 18-Inch Charcoal Grill doesn't have the complexity of the thermal retention in a kamado grill, the top and lower baffles make temperature control simple.  The straightforward design enables low-temperature offset cooking, such as smoking or baking, direct heat searing, or a combination. Any combo of wood, charcoal, chips, or pellets can be burned on a kettle grill. In terms of cost-effectiveness and usability, the Weber is a great option.


The following FAQs will further aid in your buying process of the best smoker.

1. What’s the best type of smoker that’s easiest to use?

Electric smokers are the most user-friendly, followed by pellet or propane smokers. Each of these smokers regulates temperature automatically, so you don't need to do much at all as long as your fuel (wood chips, pellets, or propane, respectively) is available.

2. What can I cook on a smoker?

Almost everything that you can eat can be put on a smoker. Although most of us identify smokers with meat, they can also produce amazing results with fruits, vegetables, and seafood of all kinds. One of the pleasures of turning smoking into a hobby is figuring out the countless possibilities and recipes.

3. Can wood be used in a charcoal smoker?

Yes. Many chefs use charcoal as a common heat source for cooking and lighting the wood used for smoking, which gives barbecue of all kinds its unique flavor. Ryan Coleman likes to light charcoal in a chimney starter to ignite his smoker, followed by layers of charcoal and wood in the firebox to create a bed of coals.

Final thought

There is a BBQ smoker for everyone thanks to recent advancements in smoker technology, whether you need more space, want the most cutting-edge connectivity, are just trying out barbecue or want to up your game. The Kamado Joe Classic Joe II deserves the title of the best smoker since it combines simplicity of use with reliable outcomes. 

Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-D Heavy-Duty Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker & Grill

With its ability to roast and smoke foods, the Kamado Joe Classic Joe II is the perfect BBQ smoker for the kitchen or backyard. It will get you cooking quickly, and once you're done, it's easy to keep things going. And because it's made of heavy duty cast iron, you can count on it for years of service. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top