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.
The Best BBQ Smoker Accessories for Your Newest Obsession
Sometimes we get into new hobbies not necessarily for the sake of the activity itself, but because of the myriad options in accessories and complimentary options that hobby offers us. I have a friend who got into hunting not because he enjoys the pursuit of the solitude of the outdoors, but because it allowed him the ability to buy fancy new hats and boots and various gun accessories. While he still enjoys the primary pursuit, I think he secretly gets more joy out of going to the shop to buy ammo and a new shirt while the hunting is, charitably, a tertiary concern.
Now, I’m not suggesting everyone who dives head first into a new hobby acts this way. For some, it can be an unforeseen benefit the primary activity itself. Conversely, for some it can be a real pain in the ass to buy all of these extras that just end up costing money you didn’t want to spend; I get that, but we’re not talking to that person today.
We like the idea of accessories, perhaps not as much as my hunting friend, but we still like being able to add complementary pieces to our hobbies. The art of smoking includes no shortage of accessories, some of which are necessary to successfully cooking a delicious, juicy piece of meat. While you can go wild purchasing all manner of unnecessary but fun pieces (i.e. A “Kiss the Chef” apron; while hilarious, it’s wildly presumptuous to think that someone actually wants to kiss you, especially after spending hours in a plume of meat smoke), sometimes you’re better off sticking to those items that are complementary to the smoker itself.
Today we’re going to jump into three products that will actually work in your benefit as a pit master. Two of these products are items we deem to be absolute necessities from a safety and taste standpoint. The third is an item that will can benefit you greatly when you’re looking to cook a specific item a certain way, but in no way is it a frivolous purchase akin to the stupid apron.
Each one of these products is a great way to further your success as the pit master of your backyard. BBQ smoker accessories are everywhere, but these will actually do something for you. Moreover, none of the three products we chose to review are going to hurt your wallet, the most expensive of the three coming in well under $100.
We’ll walk you through each product and why we feel it’s an important piece to add to your smoking setup. If you plan on being a serious smoker, or even a weekend warrior type, these three items are only going to provide you with an upgrade on your setup. Without further ado, here are our favourite BBQ smoker accessories, why we like them so much, why they’re necessary, and why you should be buying them as soon as you can.
Camp Chef, Sante Series Turkey Cannon Infusion roaster
The first piece of equipment we wanted to take a look at was this infusion roaster from Camp Chef. While this isn’t something we would deem to be an absolute must, we found it to be extremely practical and a great way for cooking chicken and turkey.
What this accessory does is allow you to cook your poultry perfectly and evenly by allowing the heat to more easily enter the inside of the bird while roasting the outside- think beer can chicken. By loading up the roaster with beer or sauce or whatever flavour you like, it will infuse the bird with flavour and keep it moist by steaming it from the inside out.
While a lot of people are happy concoct their own contraption for this sort of meal, we’ve found that using something set up specifically for this use is much easier and works significantly better than any home job we’ve used ever has. For only $20 you can get yourself a great way to cook poultry.
This is an accessory that’s quite cheap, easy to use, works to great effect, and provides you with delicious and healthy poultry. It’s a bit of a no-brainer, if you ask us.
Grill Beast BBQ Grilling Cooking Gloves
If you want to be a real smoker, you’re going to need to get yourself a proper pair of gloves. You can’t go rooting around in the smoker, moving meats around, touching the grill, what have you, with your bare hands like some sort of Neanderthal. These gloves, which you have to assume are going to be excellent because the company that makes them is called Grill Beast, perform quite ably.
They’re fire retardant and heat resistant while being able to withstand temperatures up to 660 degrees Fahrenheit. What all of this amounts to is being able to work with your meat and smoker with total impunity; giving you the utmost confidence that you won’t get burned. This is, in essence, all anyone is really asking for when they purchase a pair of gloves for smoking.
These are an absolute must for anyone who wants to try their hand at smoking, and for about $20 we highly recommend you grab more than one pair. These come with a lifetime guarantee as well, so should anything ever go wrong you know exactly what to do with your gloves. We doubt this will ever come to fruition, though.
ThermoPro TP20 Wireless Remote Digital Cooking Food Meat Thermometer
Lastly, we wanted to discuss what is perhaps the most important accessory you can purchase if you plan to serve up a decent piece of meat- the meat thermometer. These are necessary for pretty much anyone who cares about the finished result of their smoking efforts, which is kind of the whole point of the process.
This particular thermometer, from ThermoPro, is really well built and done so specifically for smoking and grilling. With a digital readout, they’ve taken all of the guessing out of the process for you. not only that, but you it comes with pre-set temperatures for particular types of meat, guiding you through what can be a difficult part of the process at first.
For $50, this is something you need to get. It facilitates in cooking great meat and that’s not something that anyone should be sleeping on. It's also not hard to use. Simply put: go get this.
Masterbuilt Smokers – A Review of One of The Best Brands on the Market
The act of smoking meat has a lot of moving parts. When there are so many variable you need to keep track of it’s important to be able to rely on a few certain things. Maybe you’ve got a great butcher who reliably gets you great cuts of meat. Perhaps you’ve been able to truly hone in on your spice and rub blend; creating something masterful that works with everything.
These are all important aces to have up your sleeve. If your smoker doesn’t work as advertised, however, you’re going to be producing something substandard no matter how closely you’ve perfected the other elements. If your smoker can’t retain heat, can’t maintain a consistent temperature, is in some way deficient, you may as well pack it up and throw it in the trash.
Now, this isn’t to suggest that you need to spend a mountain of money to be able to smoke something properly. What we’re saying is that while you don’t need to spend a ton of cash, you do need to pay attention to who’s making the particular smoker you have your eye on. There are certain companies out there who have been producing quality products for a long time that consistently and reliably put out great products for fair prices.
That’s why we chose to dedicate a post here to Masterbuilt smokers. If we’ve learned anything in our research it’s that Masterbuilt is constantly producing smokers that reliably pump out great pieces of meat. We’ve tried a number of them and have never once had an issue with their build, part quality, or prices.
Masterbuilt makes a few different smokers as well, so you have your choice of heat source as well as price range you feel comfortable settling into. This is a company that’s been in the grilling and smoking game for a long time, and that’s worth something to us. It hasn’t been luck or good fortune, but an adherence to high standards when it comes to producing their products. We’re of the opinion that no matter what amount of money you spend a product should be built with consumer value in mind, and we believe that Masterbuilt is a company that takes this seriously.
We thought we would delve into a Masterbuilt smoker review so we could share with you, dear reader, some more details about a company we’ve had nothing but success with and one whose values we believe in. There are three smokers here that we decided to include in our review- two electric smokers and one propane fueled smoker. Each one comes in at a different price point and offers something a little different than the previous model.
We hope that you can find something here that will become a regular part of your bbq’ing and smoking rotation. As we said, Masterbuilt does a lot of things right, these smokers being no exception to that. With that in mind, take a dive into our Masterbuilt smoker review and find something that works for you and your backyard.
Masterbuilt 20071117 30" Digital Electric Smoker
The first offering we wanted to take a look at here was this electric, digital model. While it’s fairly austere in its design, don’t let that lead you into believing that it can’t perform like something significantly more expensive. What we really liked about this smoker at first was that for under $300 you’re getting a really high-end smoker that isn’t priced as such.
By purchasing a digital model, you’re guaranteeing yourself an evenly cooked piece of meat by being able to manager the temperature much easier. Some may see this as a slap in the face to what they consider a natural and pure pursuit, but we’re on the side of the ledger that simply appreciates a great slab of meat.
This guy comes with four chrome smoking racks, an integrated thermostat for temperature regulation, and a fully insulated body. This is Masterbuilt providing you with an easy and straightforward approach to smoking, something all of us are looking for. These technical specs in addition to the quality of the smoker itself make for a fine machine for a fine price. this is a great option for those looking for something easy that can provide quality and longevity.
Masterbuilt 20077515 Front Controller Electric Smoker with Window and RF Controller, 30-Inch
From a fairly entry level electric digital smoker we take you to the next level with this model. While providing the same basic smoking capabilities as the first model we chose to look at, this one comes with a number of additional features that only serve to improve the whole experience. the Rf controls here allow great control over the temperature of the smoker and the meat itself, giving you a tremendous amount of control over how you want your meat to be cooked. This is a fine machine for the perfectionist out there.
In addition to the greater control, Masterbuilt has streamlines the drip tray and wood chip loading and unloading processes to make the whole process that much simpler and easier to perform. They’ve taken all concerns into account here, and while this is the most expensive of the three smokers we’ve reviewed, the price is truly reflected in the quality of the end product.
For those that will appreciate being able to tightly control the whole experience and don’t mind spending a few extra bucks to get it, then this is the machine for you.
Masterbuilt 20051311 GS30D 2-Door Propane Smoker
Finally, we wanted to offer a model that isn’t electric and digital; something that requires a little more elbow grease. The last model we chose to review is propane powered, thus requiring a more watchful eye from any pitmaster who chooses to take this challenge on.
What we liked about this last smoker though, aside from the fact that it’s still a Masterbuilt, is that the attention the detail in the other areas is absolutely spot on. Things like a porcelain-coated wood chip tray and water pan mean you’re not going to have anything burn on you when things get too hot. A locking door and a built-in temperature gauge allow you to maintain a consistent heat while being able to maintain it quite easily.
This is a smoker that’s been built with the purist in mind. It’s the most cost-effective model we chose to review as well. If you’re someone who’s looking to enjoy not only the destination but the journey as well, this is a fine option for you.
Charcoal Smokers – The Best Choice for a Consistent Heat
As you know by now, smoking is an art. It takes time, patience, and a deft hand to perfect meat. And much like art- this is a tortured metaphor, but stick with me- there are a number of different mediums in which one can express their craft. This is a roundabout way of saying that when you’re buying a smoker, or choosing how to use it, there are a myriad of options at your disposal. Given that there are so many ways to use a smoker or to smoke meat, we thought we’d try to break it down a little further and discuss just one at a time.
Today, we wanted to go over charcoal smokers. Charcoal is a time-honoured tradition to some, and an afterthought to others, but we wanted to discuss how there are a great number of charcoal smokers out there that can cook a delicious piece of meat.
Charcoal is a great method for achieving an even and consistent heat for your meats. Many aren’t major charcoal fans due to the length of time it takes for the charcoal to reach the desired temperature, but when it comes to smoking pretty much every part of the process requires patience.
We wanted to touch on charcoal as it’s probably the easiest way to get started. As we mentioned, charcoal is a great vehicle for achieving a consistent heat, which is the most important part of smoking meat properly. While you’ll obviously want to include your wood of choice, starting with a charcoal smoker provides a great baseline for reaching your meat goals.
If you’re someone who has long disavowed charcoal as your power source for grilling, we suggest opening your mind here. We know that Hank Hill was not a fan, but we feel that these strong feelings can be overcome once you’ve tasted the results from a charcoal smoker.
The three smokers we decided to review here each cover a different price point and offer something a little different. There is one here for the more advanced smoker, someone who likely already owns one and is looking to make an upgrade.
There is also something here for the beginners who don’t want to spend a ton of dough on something they’re not sure is yet for them. What we’re saying is that you’ll find something here if you even have so much as a passing interest in smoking meat.
Take a look at what we have deemed to be the best charcoal smokers on the market and find something for yourself. There’s no better time to be indulging in deliciously smoked meats than this very moment. Seriously, right now. Do it.
Weber 721001 Smokey Mountain Cooker 18-Inch Charcoal Smoker, Black
The first charcoal smoker we wanted to discuss here is the Smoker Mountain Cooker from Weber. We’ve discussed Weber products here before but it bears repeating: they make great products. For all the smokers we’ve come across, especially for this charcoal group, there isn’t often anything better than what Weber is offering. The quality on the parts paired with the quality of the build goes a long way in ensuring you’ll get exactly what you’re paying for.
If you’re looking for a charcoal smoker that retains heat and does so evenly than look no farther than this guy here. You can be assured that the smoker won’t break down on you over time and will deliver consistently delicious results. It’s going to be the most expensive of the three we’ll be discussing here, but that comes with the promise that it’s going to be the best of three as well.
If you have the bit of extra money to throw at the Weber, we highly recommend you go that route. It’s a great smoker that will do exactly what’s asked of it for as long as you want it to. If you’re going to take smoking seriously, we highly recommend this model to anyone and everyone.
Char-Broil American Gourmet Offset Smoker, Standard
The second charcoal grill we wanted to discuss is the bbq/offset smoker combo here from Char-Broil. While this little guy may not look like the biggest and baddest smoker out there, it provides a very nice option for those not looking to spend a ton of dough and give their hand a try at smoking.
What we came to like about this model is that, first of all, it’s extremely affordable. More than that, though, is that it performs like something you would pay three times as much money for. This is a great model for those looking to not necessarily jump in to smoking head first; something for those who want to give smoking meat a try on their own schedule.
If you’re looking to get into smoking and maybe don’t have the money and time to dedicate to it that some others may, take a good look at this model. It’s a bbq as well, so if you ever decide that smoking just isn’t for you, there’s a grill there that can still be utilized any time you want. Really, you’re getting the best of both worlds here.
Char-Griller 16620 Akorn Kamado Kooker Charcoal Barbecue Grill and Smoker, Black
The last model we chose to review for this piece was this model from Char-Griller. Now, Char-Griller is not a brand we have worked with in the past so naturally there was a bit of skepticism. Fortunately for us, we were pleasantly surprised by the results we achieved when we took this bad boy for a spin.
We didn’t expect anything to be a legitimate competitor for the Weber, but this model gave it a real run for its money. The quality of the smoker is excellent and we found that it did a great job of maintaining a consistent temperature. Using a cast iron body goes a long way in ensuring quality and consistency, which this smoker does.
If you’re looking to step outside the box and try a smoker that we found produced fantastic results, look no further than the Char-Griller.