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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 grills to electric smokers, 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!
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Our Picks: The Best Beginner Smoker
- Best Overall Beginner Smoker: Masterbuilt Gravity Series 1050
- Most Versatile: Traeger Grill Pro series 575 Pellet Smoker
- Best Pellet Smoker: Pit Boss Copperhead 3-Series Wood Pellet Vertical Smoker
- Best Charcoal Smoker: Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker 22″
- Best Electric Smoker: Masterbuilt Electric Digital Smoker
- The Most Affordable: Char-Griller Akorn Kamado
Best Overall Beginner Smoker
Masterbuilt Gravity Series
Masterbuilt Gravity Series Digital Charcoal Grill and Smoker
The Masterbuilt Gravity Series Digital Charcoal Grill and Smoker is an impressive offset smoker that combines the best features of a charcoal smoker with modern technology, offering exceptional performance at a reasonable price.
- Dual functionality: charcoal grill and smoker combo
- Quick heat-up times for high-temperature grilling and low-temperature smoking
- Versatile cooking options: smoke, grill, sear, bake, or roast
- Digital control panel and smartphone connectivity via WiFi or Bluetooth
- Precise temperature control with DigitalFan™ technology
- Large gravity hopper for extended smoking sessions
What We Liked:
- High-end performance at a fair price
- Offers both grilling and smoking capabilities
- Precise temperature control for consistent cooking results
- Large hopper capacity for long smoking sessions
What We Didn’t Like:
- May require a learning curve for beginners to master the digital controls
- Takes up a considerable amount of space due to its size
Using the Masterbuilt Gravity Series Digital Charcoal Grill and Smoker has been a fantastic experience for us. We loved how versatile it is, letting us crank up the heat for grilling or keep it low for smoking. The digital control panel and smartphone connectivity were super convenient, making it a breeze to monitor and adjust the cooking temperature from anywhere.
We were also impressed with the DigitalFan™ technology, which did an amazing job of keeping the temperatures consistent while cooking. Plus, the large gravity hopper meant we could enjoy longer smoking sessions without constantly checking or refueling.
Compared to other charcoal grills and smokers we’ve tried, the Masterbuilt Gravity Series really stands out with its mix of high-performance features, precise temperature control, and cutting-edge technology.
If you’re a BBQ enthusiast or home cook looking for a versatile and high-performing charcoal grill and smoker, this one’s a fantastic choice. It offers a wide range of cooking options and advanced features, making it an awesome addition to any outdoor cooking space.
To sum it up, the Masterbuilt Gravity Series Digital Charcoal Grill and Smoker is an outstanding choice for anyone on the hunt for a top-quality grill and smoker combo. With its advanced features, spot-on temperature control, and variety of cooking capabilities, we can’t recommend it enough for those looking to up their BBQ game.
Most Versatile Smoker For Beginners
Traeger Grills Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker
Traeger Grills PRO 575 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker
Introducing the Traeger Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker, the most versatile smoker for beginners. This innovative smoker offers incredible wood-fired flavor with its Set-It & Forget-It® ease and precise temperature control, making unforgettable meals a breeze.
- WiFIRE technology for remote monitoring and control
- Included meat probe for accurate temperature monitoring
- Easy-to-use controller and porcelain-coated grill grates
- All-terrain and locking caster wheels for mobility
- Turbo Temp for quick startup and temperature recovery
- Hopper cleanout for easy pellet flavor swapping
- Total cooking space of 575 sq. in. and pellet hopper capacity of 18 lbs
Our experience with the Traeger Grills PRO 575 was highly satisfying. The WiFIRE technology allowed us to monitor and control the grill from anywhere using the Traeger App, while the easy-to-use controller and meat probe ensured perfectly cooked food every time. We also appreciated the convenience of the Turbo Temp feature and hopper cleanout for quick pellet flavor changes.
When compared to other similar products, the Traeger Grills PRO 575 stands out for its versatility and advanced features. Although the price may be higher than other beginner smokers, the overall performance and convenience make it well worth the investment.
What We Liked:
- Versatile cooking options with precise temperature control
- WiFIRE technology for remote monitoring and recipe access
- Easy-to-use controller and meat probe for accurate cooking
- Durable construction with all-terrain and locking caster wheels
- Convenient features such as Turbo Temp and hopper cleanout
What We Didn’t Like:
- Higher price point compared to other beginner smokers
- Searing may require practice for optimal results
Overall, the Traeger Grills PRO 575 offers outstanding value and performance as the most versatile smoker for beginners. Its advanced features, durable construction, and convenient functions make it a top choice for those looking to elevate their cooking experience. The PRO 575 is an investment that can help beginners become grilling and smoking masters in no time.
Best Wood Pellet Beginner Smoker
Pit Boss Copperhead Wood Pellet Vertical Smoker
Pit Boss Copperhead 7-Series Wood Pellet Vertical Smoker
Introducing the Pit Boss Copperhead Wood Pellet Vertical Smoker, the best Wood Pellet Smoker for beginners. This smoker offers impressive features and functionality, making it perfect for those new to the smoking game.
- Large cooking surface of 1,815 square inches
- Dial-in digital control board with LED read-out for temperatures ranging from 150°F - 420°F
- Huge 55 lb. hopper capacity for up to 35 hours of smoke time
- Automatic start-up and cool-down features
- 6 adjustable cooking racks and 6 stainless-steel meat hooks
Our experience with the Pit Boss Copperhead Wood Pellet Vertical Smoker was delightful. The smoker offers versatility with its adjustable racks and meat hooks, allowing us to experiment with various dishes. The large cooking surface, along with the precise temperature control, ensured evenly cooked and perfectly smoked meals. We also appreciate the simple front access drawer for grease management, which made clean-up a breeze.
Comparing the Pit Boss Copperhead Wood Pellet Vertical Smoker to other similar products, this smoker stands out with its ample cooking surface, precise temperature control, and long-lasting smoke time. The automatic start-up and cool-down features, as well as the 100% hardwood pellet fuel, contribute to its status as the best Wood Pellet Smoker for beginners.
The target audience for this smoker is beginners who want a versatile and user-friendly wood pellet smoker. Its impressive features and cooking surface make it an excellent option for those wanting to explore different smoking techniques without too much complexity.
What We Liked:
- Tons of cooking space for various dishes
- Precise temperature control with the digital control board
- Long-lasting smoke time with the 55 lb. hopper
- Easy start-up and cool-down functions
- Adjustable racks and meat hooks
What We Didn’t Like:
- Heavy and large, may require more space for storage
- Assembly can be time-consuming
In conclusion, the Pit Boss Copperhead Wood Pellet Vertical Smoker offers great value and performance for those new to smoking. With its vast cooking surface, precise temperature control, and user-friendly features, this wood pellet smoker is an excellent investment for anyone looking to elevate their outdoor cooking game.
Best Charcoal Beginner Smoker
Weber Smokey Mountain
Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker 22″
The Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker 22″ stands out as the best charcoal smoker for beginners. This smoker is an excellent option for those new to the world of smoking meats, offering a range of convenient features and precise temperature control for optimal results.
- Fast heat-up: Reaches 225°F in 10 minutes or 700°F in 15 minutes
- Digital control panel and smart device control: Manage temperature and cook time with ease
- DigitalFan for precise temperature control
- GravityFed hopper with an 8-hour capacity
- Fold out cord storage and stainless steel side shelves for added convenience
Our experience with the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker 22″ was highly positive. The quick heat-up times and easy-to-use digital control panel made for a user-friendly experience. The DigitalFan provided precise temperature control, ensuring perfectly smoked meats every time. We also appreciated the fold-out cord storage and stainless steel side shelves, which offered additional preparation space and a neat way to store the power supply.
When comparing the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker 22″ to other similar products on the market, it stands out for its convenient features and ease of use. The smart device control and DigitalFan technology set it apart from its competitors, offering beginners a simple yet effective way to perfect their smoking techniques.
What We Liked:
- Quick and efficient heating
- Easy temperature and cook time management via digital control panel or smart device
- Precise temperature control with DigitalFan
- Long-lasting use with the GravityFed hopper
- Additional preparation space with fold out cord storage and stainless steel side shelves
What We Didn’t Like:
- May be expensive for some users
- Requires a stable WiFi or Bluetooth connection for smart device control
All in all, the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker 22″ offers great value and performance for beginners seeking a top-quality charcoal smoker. With its range of convenient features, precise temperature control, and smart device compatibility, this smoker is a great choice for those looking to explore the world of smoking meats.
Best Electric Beginner Smoker
Masterbuilt Electric Smoker
Masterbuilt Digital Electric, 30″ Smoker
Introducing the Masterbuilt Electric Smoker, the best electric smoker for beginners. This smoker is perfect for those just starting in the world of smoking, offering easy-to-use features and consistent results.
- Digital panel controls for on/off, cooking temperature, and time
- Dimensions of 20.47″ W x 19.88″ L x 33.26″ H
- Max temperature setting of 275ᵒ F
- Inside capacity for 2 turkeys, 4 pork butts, 4 racks of ribs, or 6 chickens
- Patented side wood chip loading system
- Thermostat-temperature control for even, consistent smoking
- Fully-insulated body for heat retention
Our experience with the Masterbuilt Electric Smoker was great. The digital controls made it easy to set the temperature and cooking time, and the thermostat control ensured even, consistent smoking. The side wood chip loading system was a convenient feature, allowing us to add wood chips without opening the door and losing heat. Overall, the smoker provided excellent results and was simple to use.
Comparing the Masterbuilt Electric Smoker to other similar products, this electric smoker stands out as the best choice for beginners due to its user-friendly features and consistent performance. Its thermostat-temperature control and patented side wood chip loading system set it apart from competitors, offering beginners an accessible and reliable smoking experience.
The target audience for this smoker is beginners who want an easy-to-use electric smoker for mastering the art of smoking. Its user-friendly features and spacious interior make it an excellent option for those looking to explore smoking without the hassle of charcoal or propane.
What We Liked:
- Simple digital controls for easy operation
- Spacious interior for various dishes
- Patented side wood chip loading system for added convenience
- Consistent smoking with thermostat-temperature control
- Well-insulated body for efficient heat retention
What We Didn’t Like:
- Limited maximum temperature setting of 275ᵒ F
- May not be suitable for larger gatherings due to interior capacity
Overall, the Masterbuilt Electric Smoker offers outstanding value and performance for those new to smoking. With its digital controls, thermostat-temperature control, and patented side wood chip loading system, this electric smoker provides a straightforward and enjoyable introduction to the world of smoking.
Best Affordable Smoker For Beginners
Char-Griller Akorn Kamado
Char-Griller Akorn Kamado Charcoal Grill
Introducing the Char-Griller Akorn Kamado, the most affordable smoker for beginners. This versatile Kamado-style BBQ grill and smoker is perfect for high heat grilling and low and slow cooking, offering great value without sacrificing quality.
- 20-inch cooking diameter with 447 square inches of total cooking area
- Triple-walled steel insulated design
- Cast iron grates, locking lid, and 8″ locking caster wheels
- Removable warming rack, bottom storage shelf, and foldable side shelf workstations
- Indexed adjustable dual dampers and thermometer
- Easy dump ash pan for quick cleanup
In our experience, we found that the Kamado-style design allowed for both high-heat grilling and low and slow cooking, making it perfect for different types of dishes. The large cooking area, foldable side shelves, and convenient storage options were all appreciated features. Although controlling the temperature required some practice, the adjustable dual dampers and thermometer made it manageable.
Comparing the Char-Griller Akorn Kamado to other similar products, this smoker stands out due to its affordable price and versatility. While there may be a learning curve for temperature control, its overall value and performance make it a strong choice for beginners.
What We Liked:
- Affordable price point for beginners
- Large cooking area for various dishes
- Durable and insulated steel construction
- Easy heat control with adjustable dampers
- Convenient foldable side shelves and storage options
What We Didn’t Like:
- Learning curve for temperature control
- Assembly may be challenging for some
All in all, the Char-Griller Akorn Kamado offers impressive value and performance at an affordable price. With its versatile design, large cooking area, and convenient features, this smoker is an excellent choice for beginners looking to explore the world of smoking without breaking the bank.
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. If you think a small grill is more your style, check out our guide on the Best Small Charcoal Grills.
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
Why Should I Buy An Electric Smoker?
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.
How Does An Electric Smoker Work?
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.
What Is The Difference Between An Electric Smoker And A Standard Smoker?
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.
Is An Electric Smoker Fast?
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.
How Much Electricity Does An Electric Smoker Use?
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.
Should I Preheat My Smoker Every Time Before I Cook?
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.
How Should I Clean My Electric Smoker?
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.
What Can I Cook In A Smoker?
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.