Having the best beginner smoker can change your whole experience when getting started in the world of BBQ. These top-rated smokers are easy to use and reliable, perfect for beginners. From electric to pellet fuel, there’s a beginner-friendly option for every type of grill!
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Best Beginner Smoker
Are you a BBQ lover looking for the perfect beginner smoker to take your grilling skills to the next level? Look no further! In this article, we’ve put together a list of the best beginner smokers on the market. From charcoal to electric, we’ve got you covered with a range of options to best suit your needs.
Whether you’re a hands-on grill master or like to take a more easygoing approach, we have something for everyone. With these top-rated beginners smokers, you’ll be able to smoke ribs, brisket, and more in your own backyard.
So don’t wait any longer, check out our list of the best beginner smokers and start your journey toward BBQ greatness!
Our Picks: The Best Beginner Smoker
- Best Overall Beginner Smoker: Masterbuilt Gravity Series 1050
- Best Charcoal Smoker: Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker 22″
- Best Pellet Smoker: Pit Boss Copperhead 3-Series Wood Pellet Vertical Smoker
- Best Electric Smoker: Masterbuilt Electric Digital Smoker
- The Most Affordable: Char-Griller Akorn Kamado
- Most Versatile: Traeger Grill Pro series 575 Pellet Smoker
/Best Overall Beginner Smoker/
Masterbuilt Gravity Series
The Masterbuilt Gravity Series Digital Charcoal Grill and Smoker is a powerhouse offset smoker with all the bells and whistles. This is a great high-end smoker similar to the best charcoal smokers but at a fair price.
Because this unit is a charcoal grill and smoker combo, you get the best of both worlds! Charcoal grills are used for cooking at high temperatures. This unit makes that easy by reaching a cooking temperature of 700°F in under 15 minutes. You can also practice low and slow cooking at a slow smoking temperature of 225°F in just 7 minutes.
You can even put a pizza stone inside and make the best charcoal-fired pizza!
Whether you want to smoke, grill, sear, bake, or roast, it’s all possible. Set the desired temperature on the digital control panel or on your smartphone connected via WiFi or Bluetooth.
Enjoy precise temperature control thanks to the trademarked DigitalFan™. This fan moves air from the hopper to the cooking chamber, keeping your chosen temperature true and steady.
Just like all the other charcoal grills and smokers in the Masterbuilt Gravity Series, there is a large gravity hopper. This storage hopper can hold up to 10 lbs. of lump charcoal or 16 lbs. of briquettes. This can give you a full 12-15 hours of smoking!
A truly excellent smoker and grill combo that allows anyone to smoke food to perfection every time.
/Best Charcoal Smoker/
Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker 22″
Most experienced pitmasters agree nothing beats the taste of smokey charcoal BBQ. When it comes to charcoal smokers, Weber Smokey Mountain is the best in town!
Weber is a well-known brand when it comes to barbecue-related products. They make high-quality charcoal smokers and it’s no surprise that they’re our choice for the Best Charcoal Smoker.
This is a very popular model for both expert and beginner pitmasters because of its impressive build quality and ease of use. The porcelain-enameled lid and bowl are rust-resistant and won’t peel away. Plus, it offers excellent heat retention for steady smoking.
Easy access dampers let you control the airflow while the lid thermometer makes it easy to keep an eye on the temperature.
/Best Pellet Smoker/
Pit Boss Copperhead Wood Pellet Vertical Smoker
Get ready to step up your grilling game with the Pit Boss Copperhead 3-Series Wood Pellet Smoker! This is the ultimate choice for beginner vertical smokers. With a temperature range of 150-420F and a digital control panel for controlling temperature, this smoker makes it easy to cook juicy and tender meat.
It has a glass front door panel that allows you to check on your food without opening the door. This is useful so that you don’t lower the temperature when checking on your food. Plus, with four porcelain racks, you’ll have plenty of cooking space.
When you’re done, use the convenient caster wheels to move the unit to storage or a new location.
/Best Electric Smoker/
Masterbuilt Electric Smoker
The Masterbuilt Electric Smoker is the best electric smoker for those on a budget, plus it’s super easy to use. Simply plug it in, set the digital control panel, and sit back while the magic happens.
Unlike other cheap smokers, this digital electric smoker comes with all the bells and whistles at a low price point. The digital panel manages the on and off controls, and the cooking temperature and has a timer. It also has a special wood chip loading system that lets you add wood chips without opening the door. You won’t have to risk losing smoke by opening the smoker door, saving you time and patience.
This Masterbuilt smoker has a max temperature setting of 275ᵒ F and has enough space to cook either two turkeys, four racks of ribs, or six chickens! Overall, a great bang for your buck, and we couldn’t recommend it more.
/The Most Affordable/
Char-Griller Akorn Kamado
The Kamado Kooker Charcoal Grill & Smoker was a must-add to this list of best charcoal smokers. It has a beautiful design that will impress your guests and you can use it as a grill too! The fuel-efficient, triple-walled steel design is durable and keeps heat in but it is still lightweight enough to move around.
Choose between high-heat charcoal grilling or low and slow smoking. The Kamado Smoking Stone turns your grill into a smoker with indirect heat! It circulates air around your meat while protecting your food from direct heat and flame. Keep in mind, you must buy this stone separately.
Enjoy a large 447 square-inch cooking space where you cook up to 27 burgers at once on durable cast iron grates. This is also the perfect smoker if you have a lot of grilling accessories that you like to work with. It has a bottom storage shelf, two foldable side tables, and hooks for hanging your BBQ tools!
Traeger Grills Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker
If you’re looking for a pellet smoker that excels in many areas and is super easy to use, this model won’t disappoint. The Traeger Pro 575 Pellet Grill is the best pellet smoker on the market, in our opinion.
This pellet smoker is very easy to assemble. It has heavy-gauge steel ensuring years of use. Plus, it features 572 square inches of cooking space, perfect for small gatherings.
What we love most is that this model operates with better precision compared to most models in its price range. This versatile pellet grill is also quite fuel-efficient, using fewer pellets than most grills on the market.
This grill also has Wi-Fi connectivity that makes it easy to control and maintain the internal temperature. Plus, it has one temperature probe which allows you to track the internal temperature data from the app.
Different types of beginner smokers
Before you buy a smoker, you need to know the different types available.
A pellet smoker is a type of grill that uses wood pellets as fuel to cook food. These grills use a chamber of wood pellets that burn and create heat. This heat circulates throughout the cooking chamber using air circulation to cook your food.
Pellet smokers are great because they make a unique wood-smoked flavor in the food they cook. They usually come with built-in thermometers to help hold a stable cooking temperature and can double as grills or ovens too!
Pellet smokers are well-suited for low and slow cooking methods. While they tend to be more expensive than other grills, they are a popular choice for BBQ lovers because of the delicious wood-fired taste!
Electric smokers are a type of grill that uses electricity as a source of heat to cook food. These grills are convenient and easy to use because they don’t need charcoal or wood fuel. Plus, you can usually control them on their digital temperature control panel.
Many people love that you can set the temperature once and let the electric smoker do the rest. You don’t have to always watch the grill to prevent burning.
Yet, some BBQ lovers may prefer a more hands-on approach. Some say that electric smokers lack the authenticity and control of manual models. Despite this, electric smokers are still a popular choice. They’re easy to use and create a delicious, smokey, wood flavor.
Charcoal smokers are a type of grill that uses burning charcoal as a source of heat to cook food. These grills infuse food with a smoky flavor and let users add wood chips and chunks to the burning charcoal to enhance the flavor.
While many people love the rich, smoky flavors that a charcoal smoker creates, these grills need a bit more effort and attention than others.
Users must always watch the temperature and add charcoal as needed throughout the cook. Keeping a steady cooking temperature can be time-consuming.
Despite this, many people prefer the authentic and flavorful results of charcoal smokers. Making them a popular choice among BBQ lovers.
An offset smoker, also known as a barrel smoker or barbecue smoker, has a large, round chamber that cooks food using indirect heat. These grills can be made from repurposed oil drums or other large metal containers. BBQ lovers choose them because of their large cooking space and ability to work as both a grill and a smoker.
Offset smokers are versatile and they produce rich, smoky flavors in your food. You can cook a wide variety of foods at the same time using wood or charcoal.
But, these grills do need a bit more attention and effort than others. Users must always watch the temperature and add more fuel when needed for an even cook. Despite this, many people find the results well worth the extra effort.
Propane or gas smokers are a type of grill that uses gas as fuel to cook food. They are convenient and easy to use. Plus, you don’t need to watch the temperature or add fuel while you cook. Instead, you set the temperature on the burner and let it do the work.
Propane or gas smokers have a burner at the bottom, a tray for wood chips, a water dish, and a cooking chamber for the food. These grills are a good choice for those who want an easy-to-use option. They’re the best smokers for beginners!
But, they may not be the best choice for those who are looking for the smoky flavors and “smoke ring” that comes from charcoal or wood pellet grills.
Things to Consider – Buying the Best Beginner Smoker
In this buying guide, we’ll help you find the best beginner smoker that’s easy to use and maintain. From digital control panels to built-in thermometers, we’ll go over the key features to consider when choosing your first smoker.
Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newbie, these smokers are perfect. They will help you smoke your favorite meats to perfection! So don’t wait, get ready to become a BBQ master with the best beginner smoker!
Beginner Smoker On a Budget
When it comes to choosing the right smoker, budget is an important factor to consider. While it may be tempting to go for a cheaper option, it’s important to consider the potential risks.
Cheap smokers may break down, struggle to maintain a stable temperature, and even pose a safety hazard. While investing in a higher-quality smoker may cost more upfront, it can provide a much better grilling experience. Plus, it will last longer!
It’s important to think about your budget. Think about how much you want to spend. Then, make sure your choice meets your needs.
Cooking Space on a beginner smoker
When it comes to cooking different types of meat, choose a smoker that has a large cooking surface. It should have enough racks and space to cook for your family.
For example, if you’re planning on cooking ribs or packer briskets, you need a smoker with a big cooking surface so that your meat has enough room to cook.
If you’re planning on cooking smaller cuts of meat, such as chicken or pork chops, you may not need as much space. It’s important to think about the type of meat you’ll be cooking and choose a smoker that fits your needs.
Having many cooking racks can also be helpful. Especially for cooking lots of food or for separating different types of meat. This can also help your food cook evenly.
Construction Material of your beginner smoker
When it comes to choosing the right smoker, construction is important! The material used can play a role in durability and ability to hold heat.
Ceramic smokers keep heat well. They cook at high temperatures, but they can be more expensive.
Stainless Steel smokers are more affordable. But, they might not hold heat as well.
Cast iron smokers are durable and can also keep heat well, but they can be heavy and difficult to move around.
It’s important to think about your budget and cooking needs when selecting a smoker based on material.
Type of Fuel in your beginner smoker
When it comes to fuel, there are several options to consider for smokers. Charcoal and wood are great for beginners because they are easy to use and produce delicious results right from the start.
But, you can also consider pellet and electric smokers. Pellet smokers are convenient and allow for precise temperature control. Electric smokers are easy to use but may not provide the same depth of flavor as charcoal or wood smokers.
It’s important to choose a smoker that uses a fuel type that fits your personal preferences and needs.
Number of Accessories that come with your beginner smoker
When looking for a beginner smoker, choose one that comes with accessories that will make your grilling experience better.
These accessories may include covers to protect your smoker, extra warming racks to increase cooking surface area, or even attachments to turn your smoker into a rotisserie or pizza oven.
Look for a model that works with a wide range of accessories. This way, you can upgrade and expand the capabilities of your smoker when the time is right.
When buying any appliance, it’s essential to consider the warranty it comes with. A smoker is no different. After all, you’ll be investing a considerable amount of money, and you’ll want to ensure that you’re covered in case of any defects or issues.
Look for a model that comes with at least a two-year warranty. This will give you peace of mind knowing that the manufacturer is willing to stand behind their product. You’ll feel safe knowing they will address any problems you may encounter.
Also, make sure to check what the warranty covers. Some warranties may only cover certain parts or issues. Others may provide more comprehensive coverage.
In the long run, investing in a smoker with a good warranty will save you money and headaches if any issues arise.
Safety Tips For Beginner Smokers
With the number of BBQ enthusiasts rising by the day, it is important to think about safety measures to keep the practice safe and fun.
Here are some tips to keep your smoker and surroundings safe from fires and accidents.
Keep Things Outdoors
It is extremely important to only use your smoker outside, away from any flammable materials or structures. Pellet grills and smokers generate heat and use open flames, which can be a fire hazard if not used properly.
Always make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper use and maintenance of your smoker to ensure the safest grilling experience possible.
Clean Your Grill Regularly
Cleaning your grill regularly is an essential part of maintaining a safe and enjoyable grilling experience. Grease and food particles left on the grates can ignite and cause a fire, and dirty grills can also harbor bacteria that can contaminate your food.
In addition, a dirty grill is less efficient and can cause your food to cook unevenly. Therefore, it is important to clean your grill after every use, or at least on a regular basis. This can include scraping off excess food and grease, wiping down the grates with a grill brush, and cleaning the exterior and interior surfaces of the grill.
If you’re a dedicated smoker, you know that wearing the proper grilling attire when grilling or smoking meat is extremely important for ensuring your safety. Loose clothing, such as baggy sleeves or pant legs, can easily catch fire or become tangled in the grill, so it is best to wear fitted clothing made of flame-resistant materials.
In addition, it is important to wear closed-toe shoes to protect your feet from hot coals or spills, and to tie back long hair to prevent it from coming into contact with the flames. It is also a good idea to wear an apron or chef’s coat to protect your clothing from spills and splatters.
Don’t Leave Your Smoker Unattended
It is extremely important to never leave your grill unattended while in use, especially when using charcoal and wood smokers. These types of grills can take longer to cook food, and it is easy to become distracted and forget about them.
However, it is important to constantly monitor the grill to ensure that the fire is under control and to prevent any accidents from occurring.
Don’t Forget To Turn It Off!
After grilling, it is important to double-check that you have turned off the grill to prevent any accidents or fires from occurring. It is easy to become distracted and forget to turn off the grill, especially if you are in a rush or have had a few drinks.
However, a forgotten grill can be a serious fire hazard and can cause serious damage to your home or property. Therefore, it is important to make sure that you turn off the grill and all of its burners, close the gas valve (if applicable), and let the grill cool down before leaving it unattended or storing it.
It is also a good idea to double-check the grill before going to bed or leaving the house to ensure that it is completely off and that no accidents can occur. By taking the time to double-check that your grill is turned off, you can help to prevent any potential accidents and ensure the safest grilling experience possible.
Best Beginner Smoker FAQs
Electric smokers are convenient and easy to use compared to the traditional gas versions. You can set a temperature, and the food will cook evenly at the set temperature while you can relax. You also don’t have to add more fuel or maintain the flame.
Electric smokers come with an electric heating rod(s) that heat the cooking chambers. These rods generate heat to warm up the air inside the chamber so you can cook and BBQ meat via convection. Some even have the option of burning coal beside the rods to give the meat a smoky flavor.
A traditional smoker uses charcoal to create heat inside the cooking chamber. You may add wood chips and chunks to add flavor. Whereas in an electric smoker, the heat is created by the rods. You may still, however, use the wood chips for flavor.
In an electric smoker, there’s more heat retention as it doesn’t require airflow. So the smoker can maintain the heat and cook at the same temperature for longer compared to gas and other smokers.
Since electric smokers are large, they use a lot of electricity. However, the exact wattage varies per model depending on the size, the frequency of use, and the cooking time.
If you need very high temperatures, you need to preheat your smoker. Remember, the temperatures will go down whenever you open the lid to place the food inside. So the higher it is, the less it drops once you open and close the lid.
Since there’s no charcoal or other ashes to take care of, it’s effortless to clean an electric grill. Just clean the cooking grates, drip pans, and other pans with a cleanser. You don’t have to use any harsh chemicals. Usually, hot water and apple cider vinegar are all you need to get the pans grates and drip pans shining clean.
You can cook all kinds of meat or vegetables on these smokers—ribs, briskets, turkey, chicken, and pork butts included. In addition, some smokers make crispy or soft (as desired) pizza bread, fish, and grilled vegetables.