Best BBQ Smoker
When we talk about smoking meats, we’re talking about something that’s been scientifically proven to provide enjoyment to the masses. Do I have statistics to back up this bold claim? I do, but unfortunately, I have misplaced them and won’t be able to include them in this piece. Rest assured, however, that this is real and I am not speaking solely about my own love of smoked meats.
Either way, dubious claims aside, smoking meat is not only an activity that results in delicious food for anyone patient enough to engage, but the process itself can be a lot of fun for anyone who’s interested and willing to learn how to smoke meat.
Contrary to what many people believe, smoking meat doesn’t have to be an overly expensive pursuit either. If you go out and buy the world’s most expensive meat as an amateur looking for something to do you can certainly spend a few dollars, but there’s no need to go this route. The beauty of smoking is that you can take less coveted cuts of meat (think beef brisket or pork butt) and through the magic of smoke and time, turn them into something much greater than how you found.
While smoking isn’t the easiest art to perfect (yes, it’s an art; and yes, you can perfect it), it’s the journey that makes it satisfying. Smoking will take a goodly amount of trial and error and there will times, you can be sure, that you will churn out a truly terrible piece of meat. Again, this is all part of the fun if you think that this is something you’ll enjoy.
Perfecting your own spice rub, honing in on the perfect cooking time and temperature for the smoker you have purchased, and finding your favourite cut of meat to smoke are all aspects that add to the fun of smoking.
To bring things back for a moment though, to smoke anything you’re going to need a smoker first. While choosing one may seem a bit daunting at first, it certainly doesn’t have to be. There are myriad options out there that are actually quite affordable. Realistically, this can be an inexpensive hobby if you would like it to be one. You can find a great smoker and piece of meat that can satisfy a number of people for less than a night out in some cases.
While the smokers we’re going to be talking aren’t quite that inexpensive they’re still not going to put you in debt. We’ve chosen three smokers to discuss that are perfectly suited for those who are interested in the craft and are looking for something good, but not too elaborate or complicated. Something that starts you off on the right foot and allows you to tinker and work on your proprietary spice blend that achieves brisket nirvana. This is not an article for the best smokers for beginners!
All that said, let’s take a deeper look into what we have determined to be the three best BBQ smokers out there. If you’re someone who’s interested in smoking and wants to learn more about what smokers are out there for you, look no further than this list here.
Best BBQ Smoker
The first smoker here from Masterbuilt, is the most modern of the three we decided to review. It’s got a very clean look to it, one with a clear window that allows you to view your meats as you’re smoking them, much like an oven. While looking decidedly modern, it still operates like you would expect an old-school smoker to.
With 975 inches of cooking space, it provides plenty of space for experimentation and various sizes and types of meats. Not only that, but this bad boy comes with four cooking racks and a very easy wood chip loading system.
What makes this a fine option for someone just starting out is that it’s remote temperature-controlled, which obviously makes things a lot easier to manage for the rookie smoker. If you’re a purist who’s looking for something that requires more skill and a deft touch, this probably isn’t the one you’re going to choose.
For those looking to get their feet wet and their BBQ empire off the ground, however, this is a great option for a pretty reasonable price.
On the other side of the coin, we have this smoker from Dyna-Glo. Whereas the offering from Masterbuilt is an easy-to-navigate and control smoker for those just getting started, this one is for those who take their meat a little more seriously. Why is that, you ask? For starters, this smoker can smoke up to 150 lbs. (!) of meat at once. While that may fall short of some of the restaurant smokers you’ve seen out there, for an amateur smoker with a rig in their backyard, that is a hell of a lot of meat.
This is not electronically controlled too, relying on the skill and cunning of the pitmaster at the helm. As we mentioned, this isn’t for the faint of heart. Featuring heavy-duty steel, a porcelain-enameled smoker box, and 1176 sq. inches in cooking space, you know you’re getting something special here.
If you take smoking seriously, or are someone who is looking to upgrade to something of a purer experience, this is a fine option. This is actually the least expensive of the three as well, which makes it that much more enticing.
Lastly, we have the Smokey Mountain Cooker from the venerable Weber. Weber has been making quality products for a long time and this smoker is no exception. What we like so much about Weber products is that they’re not filled with frills and gimmicks, simply quality parts that compose a quality finished product.
We feel this particular model here is a fine middle ground between the two we’ve spoken about thus far. while not quite as large and intimidating as the model from Dyna-Glo, it also doesn’t feature the modern touches the Masterbuilt does.
This is a charcoal smoker made of porcelain-enameled steel built to take a real beating, as evidenced by the ten-year warranty that comes with the product. If you’re looking to take that next step with your smoking, this is a great option. Something that will take a little more skill to get the hang of but will ultimately pay serious and delicious dividends.