The Best Smoker Grill Combo Options of 2018

Jun 1, 2018 | Grill

During the summer, you want to get out of your kitchen – it feels lonely and cramped since all the people you know are out in your garden, enjoying cold beers and enjoying the sun outside. You dream of starting a real fire outside, cook some meat over a smoker grill combo, as you drink an ice-cold beer and beat your chest like a Neanderthal.

That is why you need a barbecue grill. But what exactly do you look for? Here are some choices which we believe are the best at sorting your needs.

Rank#1#2#3#4#5
Product


Oklahoma

Joe


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Smoke Hollow

4-in-1


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Char-Griller

Akorn


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REC TEC

Pellet


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Classic Pit

Cooker


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FuelCharcoalGas & CharcoalCharcoalPelletsCharcoal
Weight196 lbs218 lbs98 lbs250 lbs57 lbs
Cooking Surface1060 square inches1886 square inches447 square inches702 square inches144 square inches

What is the Best Grill/Smoker Combination?

Oklahoma Joe reverse flow smoker and grill

1. Best Overall Pick

Oklahoma Joe Grill/Smoker Combo

Weight 196 lbs
Cooking Area  1060 sq inches

This grill has one of the best total square inch cooking surfaces among all grills. At 1,060 square inches, with 751 inches in the central area and 309 inches in the fire chamber, it promises you a great experience with your barbecue sessions.

Its removable baffles and optional smokescreen allow for a setup that can be easily customized to fit your space needs, just in case your garden is smaller than the norm. Its reverse flow smoker has four baffles that guide the smoke and heat to the main chamber, and this allows for delicious results of your meat.

The grill is built from steel that is heavy-gauge to enhance its strength. It also has porcelain-coated cooking grates as well as multiple dampers that allow for smooth smoke and heat control.

Drawbacks: before you start using the grill for the first time, you need to do some modifications to the smoke chamber to optimize the productivity of the grill. The baffles tend to be light and have thin gauges.

Pros Cons
  • Very heavy-duty construction that is very durable
  • The paint tends to peel off after the first few cooks easily
  • Easy to set up and bring down after use
  • The temperature of the grill does not go beyond 325 degrees, so it may be challenging to use if you may want higher grilling temperatures for your sessions.
  • Highly efficient, and keeps its high temperatures even in unreliable weather

smoke hollow 4in1 smoker and grill

2. Best 4-in-1 Option

Smoke Hollow 4-in-1 Gas Grill and Charcoal Smoker

Weight 218 lbs
Cooking Surface 1886 sq inches

If you are searching for a multi-purpose grill that can handle multiple barbecue cooking styles, as well as allowing you to cook large amounts of food for major family and friend gatherings, this is the perfect cooker for you.

A new burner with a larger infrared side sear burner and a porcelain-coated cast iron grid, it seals your steak flavor instantly. Feel free to use it as a charcoal or l liquid propane gas grill. Better yet, you can use the smoker firebox to do some indirect cooking, or use the Infrared searing burner for searing your meat – this means you get up to four options in one grilling unit.

Three independently controlled burners easily ignite with electronic ignition., while the porcelain coated warming rack is perfect for cooking delicate foods and even vegetables.

In case you wonder about adjusting temperatures, the charcoal tray and its dampers give you better control of your grill temperatures, so you do not need to worry anymore about temperatures getting out of hand and burning your food.

The smoker combo grill has two lower shelves and two condiment racks that allow for extra storage of food, while its removable grease and ash pans give you an easy time when cleaning up the grill. You can now cook food indirectly on the grill, thanks to the offset side smoker firebox, which also allows authentic barbecued flavor as a result.

Drawbacks: it does not come with a grill cover. The other problem is that you need to store it in a covered area when it is not in use. This is because the maintenance costs will be too high if you store it outside within a few years.

Pros Cons
  • Very reliable and efficient. It is easy to use
  • The grill tends to rust after some years of use
  • Its versatility allows you to cook multiple things at the same time
  • It does not come with a grill cover
  • Well built, and is durable
  • The gas seals are not very efficient and sometimes leads to gas leakages.

char-griller akorn barbecue grill and smoker combo

3. Best Kamado Combo

Char-Griller Akorn BBQ Grill and Smoker

Weight 98 lbs
Cooking Surface 447 sq inches

The Kamado style of cooking food was developed from ancient cooking methods, which utilized large clay ovens to insulate the food. Kamado cookers now consist of heavy ceramics, but still, retain their purpose.

The Char-griller Akorn retains its signature style of cooking while using current innovative technology, making it lighter, affordable and more durable compared to traditional ceramic Kamados. It is versatile enough to cook anything from ribs to steak to fish and pizza.

It has a warming rack of about 133 square inches, as well as a cooking area of 314 inches, making a total of 447 square inches. Its insulated design indicates that it uses less charcoal, while its less airflow means there is insulated heat for your meat – need we mention that this makes it environmentally friendly as well as allowing for more natural heat control?

The cooking surface is entirely made of cast iron, the exterior finish is powder coated steel, the body is made of 22 gauge steel, and the interior finish is entirely porcelain coated steel. The cart consists of a locking caster on the front part, a tubular steel with rubber wheels to enable for enhanced portability, and a numbered index damper to make it easier to note the damper position.

Other main features include an easy dump ash pan, a locking lid, two metal shelves that easily fold, a heat gauge and a double wall insulation.

Drawbacks: the three-point base makes it dangerous to move, especially when hot and it is also unstable.

Pros Cons
  • Versatile in its use – you can cook multiple things at the same time, and food still retains its moisture
  • Over an extended period, the seal gasket begins to fail and allows excess air into the base, so the grill gets hot.
  • Has an excellent insulation system. Even when hot, it will not easily burn you when you touch it
  • The paint chips off quickly over a few months of constant use
  • Easy to adjust the temperatures on the grill
  • The insulation is held by several small screws, which can be dangerous if they fall off and the insulation is left unattached to the dome.
  • Easy to assemble and remove

rec tec wood pellet grill

4. Best in Pellet

REC TEC Wood Pellet Combination Grill and Smoker

Weight 250 lbs
Cooking Surface 702 square inches

This smoker combo grill is an interesting choice because of its automatic feature – with the simple push of a button, the grill ignites and automatically sets heat to your specified temperature. Once heated, it maintains its temperature throughout the cooking and allows you to control functions such as smoking, baking, grilling and searing, all with relative ease.

Your food ends up with a smoky, delicious wood flavor because the grill uses real wood to supply its heat. Also, the cooker uses technology that helps it maintain temperatures of between 180oF up to 500oF in 5o increases.

The grills have precise calibrations that give you accurate and trustworthy cooking temperatures, primarily when you use it with REC TEC Hardwood Premium Pellets. The ceramic lighter is durable enough to be used multiple times for years, and the high-temperature powder coat, as well as the porcelain enamel finish, allow for durability.

As an added benefit, the grill comes with a warranty lasting six years – you can purchase it with confidence, knowing you are buying one of the best grills you can get.

Drawbacks: cleaning is slightly challenging, as the grill parts are heavy. You also need to exercise some care when handling the trays because their design has sharp edges on the sheet metal.

Pros Cons
  • Has an ample cooking space (702 square inches) that allows you to cook several things at the same time
  • The fan and blower are a bit loud – This is sort of expected with a hopper capacity this large with the auger
  • Its large pellet hopper is one of the largest, having a capacity of 40lbs.
  • Very efficient with your pellets
  • Unlike other brands, it has a central burn pot that ensures equal heat distribution across the cooking area
  • Very high heat capacity
  • High-quality welding – the smoke only comes out at the top, unlike most brands where the smoke comes out even from the grill sides

classic pit barrel smoker

5. Best in Charcoal

The Classic Pit Cooker

Weight 57 lbs
Cooking Surface 144 square inches

This pit barrel cooker has received rave reviews from famous chefs in the barbecue industry, so if you enjoy the outdoors and cooking, this is a good fit for you.

It is a combination of the best qualities of slow cookers and smokers and makes for a “vertical cooking experience” that keeps on producing delicious and perfectly cooked meat all the time.

Its design allows for shorter cooking times that do not require you to regulate smoke or temperatures physically. Among its features is a coal basket that is sized for the ideal amount of charcoal you can use per session, and it requires minimal assembly for you to start cooking.

It comes with eight stainless steel hooks as well as two hanging rods that allow you to cook your meal with relative ease, and also a grate that is standard, which you can use to cook and grill your food.

Drawbacks: You need to handle the product with care, as it is prone to sudden temperature changes (either too high or too low) caused by slight changes in the environment.

Pros Cons
  • Easy to use, and produces consistent results, even for beginners
  • The cooker is made of uninsulated metal, so it may get challenging to handle especially when affected by sudden temperature changes.
  • Easy to maintain
  • Very good insulation material keeps it from losing or gaining heat rapidly
  • Keeps food moist

What to look for in a Smoker Grill Combo

The process of looking for a smoker combo grill can be overwhelming. When presented with a wide variety of options and features such as infrared heating systems and stainless steel construction, you can get easily confused by the sheer features to look for. This can mainly happen when you do not have much experience in looking for a grill.

However, following some principles in looking for the perfect grill for your needs will ease your mind.

1. Ensure the manufacturer has a good warranty

Make sure that you buy a grill that has a valid warranty so that you do not need to spend money on broken parts. The best brands have a warranty and some even having lifetime warranties, covering the cost of replacing the parts.

2. The gas grill burner size should be proportional to the grill

The problem with most grills is they have a small burner yet having a large and impressive casting of grill grates. This means your grill will have an uneven distribution of heat – lots of cold and hot spots. The performance of your grill does not depend on the output of your burning unit or the number of grill burners but is dependent on the distribution of heat on the grill surface. Before using a gas grill, try the bread test and try to calibrate the heat.

3. Check out the grill housings and frames for their strength qualities

The grill construction equates to weld, so check the quality of the seams. The high-quality grills always have polished and high-quality seams, while also having the commercial grade, double lined 304 stainless hoods.

Keep in mind where you live, as climate determines the shelf life of your grill as well.

4. Examine the material used to make the grates

Most materials will serve you well if you clean them regularly, whether they are made of cast iron, stainless steel or are porcelain coated. Take care of the different materials and keep their properties in mind. For instance, do not brush your porcelain-coated smoker combo grill grates off when hot because porcelain is at its most fragile state. Once they are chipped, they rust very quickly, and the inherent problem is most grates have only a one-year warranty.

5. Check the maximum temperature capacity

The BTU rating should be useful in this regard, and it measures the heat that your burner creates. Grills with higher BTUs are not guaranteed to create more heat, so do not just buy a grill because of high BTU numbers. Contrast the number with the shape and size of the grill, because smaller grills that are more compact can create higher temperatures, yet have a lower BTU.

High-quality gas grills usually reach high temperatures, though they can also grill delicate items with minimum flare-ups at lower temperatures.

6. Fuel source

What do you want your grill to be powered by? Most grills use two heat source types, natural gas, and propane. If you want natural gas, you will need to install gas at the grill location. When you buy a grill, you can buy it in any configuration, though you need to keep in mind that you cannot run both fuel sources on the same grill.

7. Consider the features you want

This may not seem important, but you need to know what you are looking for in a grill to save you from a bad purchase. Features can include having a side burner, smoker box, multiple level cooking surfaces, side burners, lights, or a dozen others to look at. Basic grills will perform well though, and the fancy extras will end up getting little use. In light of this, keep in mind that more features usually requires more money, so only buy features you are certain you will use.

Important questions to ask

So, when searching for a grill, what are some basic features to look out for?

1. Is it easy to start?

Typical gas grills have knobs to adjust the temperatures of the grill as you cook. If you use wood chunks or charcoal briquettes, form a pyramid and pour lighter fluid on it. When the fluid soaks in the wood, you can light it, though you can also use instant charcoal which does not require lighter fluid.

The other category of grills you can consider is the Rolling grills vs. Built-in grills. They have no distinct difference in their features. If you decide to go with a built-in grill, know that it costs more. If budget is a major factor for you, you can always get a rolling smoker combo grill since they offer the same benefits while costing less.

2. How easily can you adjust the temperatures?

When you do not have time to allow the charcoal on your grill to glow, gas grills are faster in heat adjustments. The advantage of charcoal grills is that they offer your food a unique taste, though the drawback is that they require more attention when you are after that ideal temperature.

3. The grilling surface area

Grill measurements are in square inches, so this can act as a guide. If you are hosting large numbers of guests, you may require grills that have larger surface areas, while the reverse is also true.

4. How easy is the grill cleaning?

Gas grills are easier to clean than charcoal ones. The reason is the charcoal grills require you to remove residual ash and coals first. The easier your grill is to clean, the more pleasurable experience you get when you use it. Then again, most people prefer meats smoked and grilled on charcoal options.

Conclusion

There is nothing as special as enjoying summer months with your family and friends and enjoying a nice BBQ. If you are a beginner, we recommend you try out the Classic Pit cooker because of its ease of maintenance, and low cost.

References

Billy StewartBilly Stewart

Founder of BarbequeSmoked.com

Find us on twitter @barbequesmoked

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