The 5 Best Beginner Smokers of 2018
The key to having successful barbecues is having a good smoker/grill. Your smoker will make all the difference to your family and friends when determining whether the food was well cooked or not. A good smoker should be able to smoke/ grill your food to perfection regardless of what fuel it uses. Smokers can use either propane gas, charcoal, or wood chunks for fuel. It should also allow you to regulate the temperature inside the grill.
Although not necessary, I have found that water pans make a huge difference when it comes to smoking. For me, grills/ smokers that come with water pans are a bonus. I have been smoking and grilling food for a while now, and I have experimented with quite a number of cookers. I found that these five below were among the best, especially for beginner smokers.
|Rating||[usr 4.1]||[usr 4.7]||[usr 4.4]||[usr 4.3]||[usr 4.0]|
|Weight||141.1 lbs||39.07 lbs||39.34 lbs||68 lbs||196 lbs|
|Cooking Surface||820 sq. in.||481 sq. in.||730 sq. in.||1120 sq. in.||1060 sq. in.|
Pit Boss 820FB Pellet Grill
|Cooking Range||180 – 500 Degrees|
|Cooking Surface Area||820 sq. Inches|
This pellet grill from Pit Boss comes with a flame broiler for open flame searing. The best thing about this smoker is that for fuel, it only uses cooking grade wood pellets that are all-natural. This means that you can forget all about propane and charcoal.
With a digital control center, the dial-in control is quite easy to use giving you ultimate control from approximately 77ºC to 316ºC. To maintain a clear burning flame, an electric ignition is used and the air is forced to accelerate by a fan.
This grill is pretty much a set and go. Just set your temperature on the digital control center and let the grill do the rest. The hardwood pellets are fed to the burn pot by the auger where they are ignited by the electric ignition system. You will certainly need no further fire accelerations.
When you are done with the cooking, all you have to do is to press the power button on the digital control. This allows a period for the grill to cool down before eventually shutting down.
Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker
|Size||14 – 22 Inches|
Unlike the pellet grill from Pit Boss above, this particular smoker uses the traditional charcoal. This black 18-inch charcoal cooker from Weber is made of porcelain-enameled steel. The handles are of heat-resistant nylon to ensure that you do not get burnt when handling the cooker. The outer shield is made of strong, durable aluminum that is also rust-resistant.
Regulating the temperature of the cooker is so easy with this particular model. It comes with a durable built-in thermometer that allows you to monitor the temperature on your grill. The smoker comes with two heavy-duty plated steel cooking grates that provide ample space for smoking ribs as well as a roast simultaneously. The additionally featured porcelain water pan also comes in handy while smoking by adding some steam to your meat leaving it soft and tender.
In addition, this smoker comes with a free Weber cover and a 10-year limited warranty. To get a full overview of this grill you can read our full review here.
Masterbuilt 30 Inch Electric Smoker
|Patented Side Wood Chip Loading System|
|Maximum Temperature||275 Degrees F.|
With all things digital, this smoker from Masterbuilt comes with digital panel controls for switching on and off, setting the time and regulating the temperature. The thermostat temperature control ensures even and consistent smoking. With four smoking racks, all coated with chrome, you have more than enough room to smoke food for a large group of people.
Masterbuilt really took into consideration your safety while using this smoker. It comes with a fully-insulated body. Using it is also quite easy. The wood chip loading system is a patent on the side that allows you to add wood chips with the door of the digital electric smoker closed. It is a set and go! All you have to do is set the temperature and time and leave the rest to the smoker.
Just like the Weber Smokey Cooker, this one also comes with a water pan to enhance your smoking. Steam from the water leaves your meat soft and tender.
Read More: Masterbuilt 30″ Electric Smoker
Smoke Hollow 38202G Gas Smoker
|Cooking Surface||3.4 Cubic Feet Cabinet|
This smoker from smoke hollow has a 3.4 cubic feet cooking capacity allowing you to cook a large amount of food at the same time. It also comes with 4 cooking grids which are plated with chrome and have several adjustment levels. Unlike the others above, this smoker from smoke hollow uses propane gas as its fuel. It uses the standard propane tank, just as any other gas grill would use and a 20 lb tank will serve for around 15 to 22 hours. You may, however, want to keep an extra tank handy.
The two-door system on the smoker allows you to easily regulate internal heat and moisture from the water pan. You are able to feed the water and wood chip pans without opening the top door, which would otherwise result in loss of smoke and heat. You also get to have complete control of the smoker with the cast brass gas control system. The system also allows for increase from low to a high-temperature range. In addition, there are upper and lower air vents for maximum temperature control.
Read More: Smoke Hollow 38202G
Oklahoma Joe Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker
|Cooking Surface||1,060 sq/inches|
|4 Baffle System|
This 3-in-1 smoker allows you to choose the method of cooking. The heavy-gauge steel construction makes it sturdy enough and durable. For you to have complete control, this smoker combo comes with a convenient fire access. It also has 3 temperature gauges and a couple of dampers.
This liquid propane gas grill has 3 cookers in 1 with an offset smoker box. The cast-iron cooking grates are porcelain coated to ensure a consistent temperature. The coating also makes it easy during cleanup.
With this smoker combo, startups are quick and easy thanks to the electronic ignition system. You also get to have some extra prep space as the smoker comes with a fixed side shelf. The 3 in 1 professional temperature gauge allows you to monitor the heat level easily.
Getting a smoker/ grill should be at the top of your priority list, especially if you love barbecues. However, before you get one, you need to consider a few factors. For example, what kind of fuel are you comfortable using? Smokers can be charcoal, electric, gas or pellet smokers, each with its advantages and disadvantages.
You may also want to consider other factors such as temperature adjustment and control as well as the capacity of the smoker. The design and shape of the smoker are also important. Do not forget to check the heat distribution and pricing as well.
All in all, if you love smoked and grilled foods, getting a smoker/ grill cooker will be among the best decisions of your life.
It is important to season your grill/ smoker before you use. This is because the cooker will always heat up too much and may end up burning your food. Seasoning is simply covering the cooker with oil. Ensure that every part of your cooker is covered before you start using it.
Water pans are a must-have for smoking your meat. The heat warms up the water and the steam from it makes the meat soft and tender.
Consider getting a cover for your cooker. While some smokers/ grills come with their covers, others do not. If yours is the latter, investing in a cover could save you a lot. Leaving your cooker out in the open exposed to weather conditions shortens its lifespan. A cover comes in handy to protect it from extreme weather conditions.
Clean up your cooker after use. Using your cooker with accumulated grime and grease is simply unhygienic. Get a good grill brush with which you can quickly scrape off the dirt off your cooking grates once you are done with every cooking session.