|Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker||4.5||Check Price||Read More|
|Dyna-Glo Vertical Charcoal Smoker||4||Check Price||Read More|
|Masterbuilt Charcoal Bullet Smoker||4||Check Price||Read More|
|Char-Broil Bullet Charcoal Smoker||4||Check Price||Read More|
|Backwoods Chubby Charcoal Smoker||5||Check Price||Read More|
A good barbecue is an art form, and finding the best charcoal smoker to transform that party or family get together into something even more special is very important.
You want to have the best-tasting smoky meat, that is perfectly tender, and the best smokers on the market are going to help you achieve that.
As beloved TV chef Anthony Bourdain once remarked: “Barbecue may not be the road to world peace, but it’s a start.” Anything that adds to great barbecue and starts on that road to world peace is something everyone should be interested in.
We are going to look at some of the top-rated smokers, and help you find both the best value smoker and the best affordable smoker.
- What Are The Advantages Of A Charcoal Smoker?
- How To Choose The Best Charcoal Smoker
- How We Chose The Best Charcoal Smoker
- 5 Best Charcoal Smokers
What Are The Advantages Of A Charcoal Smoker?
One of the best reasons to buy a charcoal burner is the kind of taste that you can achieve with a charcoal smoker as opposed to other smokers that are out there on the market. You aren’t going to get that smoky tenderness quite the same with a gas or electric smoker.
They are also easy to move around, with no bulky propane tanks, or extension cords, and you can even transport it with the charcoal inside.
They also get hotter, which means you can have that crispy outside with the tender meat inside.
Another great thing about charcoal smokers? They are much less complicated to repair than their gas or electric counterparts. More often than not you are just going to have to replace a part and you are good to go.
How To Choose The Best Charcoal Smoker
Your Available Budget
How much money do you have to spend? If you are only using the smoker occasionally then you may not want to spend too much. If you are doing a lot of smoking, spending a little extra may make more sense.
Have you ever smoked food before? If not, you may want to look for a smoker that is easy to use. If that is not a worry, then you are going to be looking for something that can do what you want it to do, and that matches your skill level.
The Type Of Food You’ll Be Grilling
If you only want to smoke small things like chickens, or sausages, or small cuts of meat, you aren’t going to need a massive amount of cooking surface.
If you are looking to cook briskets and large racks of ribs, then you are going to need a smoker with a bigger capacity.
Size is also a consideration if you only have a small space in which to use the smoker. No point getting a huge smoker if you only have a tiny place to use it in.
Mouths Being Fed
How many people are you planning to feed when you smoke? If it is just for you, and you have a small family, you aren’t going to need a huge smoker.
If you are planning on having the whole neighborhood around, or you plan on using it at big social gatherings, then you are going to want something a lot larger.
Fire and Building Safety Law
This may seem like a strange one, but there may be residency laws that prohibit you from lighting any kind of fire, even a smoker. It may pay to check on this before you rush out to purchase a charcoal burner. In this case, an electric smoker may be a better option.
How We Chose The Best Charcoal Smoker
There are a number of things that you want to look at in order to make the right choice when deciding on your charcoal smoker. You want to look at the price, the size of the cooking area, and what you are able to cook with it, and the ease of use.
|Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker||$$||254”||4.5|
|Dyna-Glo Vertical Charcoal Smoker||$||784”||4|
|Masterbuilt Charcoal Bullet Smoker||$||395.4”||4|
|Char-Broil Bullet Charcoal Smoker||$||370”||4|
|Backwoods Chubby Charcoal Smoker||$$$||884”||5|
5 Best Charcoal Smokers
We are going to look at 5 of the best smokers on the market, and explore their ease of use, and their results, to help you make a decision and choose from these great smokers, and within that the best smokers under $300.
- Porcelain-enameled lid, bowl, and center section
- Two Cooking Grates
- Silicone Temperature Grommet
- Plated Steel Cooking Grates
- Rust-Resistant Metal Legs
- Built-In Lid Thermometer
When you find that perfect charcoal smoker, you want to make sure that it is going to last a long time. With the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker, you get plated steel cooking grates and rust-resistant legs that are going to weather a lot of use.
This attractive smoker has that porcelain-enameled lid, bowl, and center section that aren’t going to rust and are designed to retain the heat so you can get the most effective cook for your meat.
You can smoke two large items at once on the two cooking grates, and you can easily monitor and control the temperature of the smoke with silicone temperature grommet and the dampers.
The fuel door comes off, so you aren’t going to have any problems adding extra charcoal and wood as needed.
- Easy to add fuel
- Can’t do full brisket or rack of ribs
- 4 Cooking Grates
- 784 Square Inch Of Total Cooking Area
- Charcoal Chamber
- Charcoal Grate
- Removable Ash Pan
- Stainless Temperature Gauge With Smoke Zone
- Large capacity water bowl
This smoker is our favorite for value and one of the best value smokers available. Its mix of functionality and cost really do mark it out. This smoker has some great features that are going to allow you to barbecue different kinds and sizes of food at the same time, thanks to the four height-adjustable cooking grates.
The stainless steel temperature gauge has a really nice feature, with the smoke zone, letting you know when you reach the ideal temperature for infusing the smoke flavor into your food. This makes this smoker a great choice for those just starting out with smoking and those who have more experience.
Add that the push button electric ignition for quick and easy lighting, and you are going to look like a professional barbecuer with no problem. You get a large charcoal chamber, which means that you can cook for a long time without having to change out the charcoal, and when you do have to change it the ash is easy to remove and the charcoal is easy to add.
That large capacity water bowl is going to help you get that meat as juicy and tender as you want it, and get the ultimate smoky flavor.
When you want to access your food, the double door design is going to help you maintain that heat.
- Large Cooking Area
- Easy to clean
- Easy to start
- Double door
- You have to open the door to change charcoal
- 395.4 Sq. Inches Of Cooking Space
- Two Porcelain Coated Smoking Racks
- Front-access Door Makes Adding Charcoal Easy
- Built-in Lid Thermometer
- Porcelain-coated Charcoal Pan And Water Bowl
This smoker, like anything that comes from Masterbuilt is designed to be easy to use, so that it can be used by beginners, and more experienced barbecuer looking for the best affordable smoker.
It has a lot of cooking space for a small smoker, but if you are looking to do a lot of cooking for a lot of people, you may want to look for something bigger.
It’s compact and easy to pack away, so if you aren’t barbecuing very often, this might be the perfect choice for you.
The front door makes it easy to add charcoal, and the built-in lid thermometer means it is easy to monitor and manage the temperature. It is good for a full rack of ribs, chicken, and pork, but you may have to split something as large as a full brisket.
- Easy to use
- Easy to clean
- The size is OK only if you have a small number of people to cook for.
- 370 sq. in Cooking Surface
- Porcelain-coated Cooking Grates
- Innovative Airflow Control System
- Porcelain-coated Body For Lasting Durability
- Removable Ash Pan For Quick And Easy Cleanup
- Two Chamber-lift Handles
- Lid-mounted Temperature Gauge
- Formed Fire Access Door
That innovative airflow system features numbered damper settings so you can make sure that you are able to achieve precision when setting the cooking temperatures for your food. The formed fire access door seals the smoke chamber. The steel tube legs offer a conveniently accessible height.
It is super easy to clean, with the porcelain covered steel body and components. Those materials mean that it is going to last a long time. It also has a removable ash pan that helps get rid of wastes easily.
- Great temperature control
- Easy to clean
- Size (it is pretty small, so is not going to be ideal for a large family or event)
- Proven reverse flow (double wall) design
- Fully insulated for fuel efficiency and safety
- Stainless steel cooking chamber
- Powder coated exterior box for longer protection
- Fully assembled
This is our favorite of the charcoal burners. While it may be the most expensive of these top-rated smoker, it’s easy to see why it’s considered one of the best smokers on the market.
This smoker looks like a safe, and you can definitely trust your food to it. It’s designed to be.
The inside is all stainless steel, which makes it easy to clean, and helps the smoker reach a temperature of 180 to 300 degrees. You are going to need about 6 to 10 lbs of charcoal and it is going to take 6 to 10 hours to cook your food depending on the temperature used.
You are going to be able to cook 8 slabs of baby back ribs, 2 to 3 briskets, or 2 to 4 Boston Butts.
It is the most expensive of the smokers that we are looking at, but being one of the best smokers on the market, and coming from a company like Backwoods Smoker, who has been in the industry for over 30 years, you know you are getting quality. You get a professional level smoker that a beginner can use.
This sturdy smoker is only 130lbs, so it is easy to move around, making it great for a barbecue at the lake, camping, or a backyard party.
- Fully insulated
- Easy to clean
- Size (You can cook a lot on this beast of a smoker)
- Easy to use
If you are wanting to get into charcoal smoking, as you can see from our charcoal smoker reviews, some of these top rated smokers are a great start. They offer some wonderful results that are going to match the best smokers on the market, and satisfy professional barbecuers and barbecue aficionados, who may be more used to a traditional setup, such as an offset smoker.
We really loved the Backwoods Chubby Charcoal Smoker. Although it is the most expensive of the charcoal smokers we looked at, it is super easy to use, allows you to achieve professional results, and gives you great room to expand your smoking skills as you become more confident with the machine. It does have a large capacity, but that shouldn’t scare you off, as once you get bitten by the bug, you are going to want to do a lot more smoking.
Our pick for the best value smoker was the Dyna-Glo Vertical Charcoal Smoker. It is attractive, easy to use, gives you great results, and although it isn’t the lowest price, it doesn’t have some of the usage issues that some of its closest competitors suffer from.