10 Best Smokers for Beginners Expert Review

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BBQ smokers are an excellent way to get started with traditional BBQ. Today, use a charcoal, gas, or pellet smoker to cook the ultimate BBQ meat. Whether you’re a complete novice or on a tight budget, here’s a comprehensive guide to the world’s best smokers for beginners to help you make the perfect pick.

Investing in a smoker is an excellent way to improve your BBQ skills. While grills have long been a fixture in many people’s backyards, smokers are a little more unusual.

Smokers create the ideal low-and-slow cooking atmosphere. The meat is housed in a cooking chamber, and very low heat gently raises it to temperature. The core premise is the same whether you use a charcoal, propane, or pellet type.

Top 3 Pick

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Reviews Of Best Smoker For Beginners (Top 10)

Smoking food is an excellent way to improve the flavor of a wide range of meats, vegetables, and other meals. Finding the appropriate smoker may make a huge difference in the quality of your food, whether you are a novice or a seasoned veteran.

We’ve created a list of the top ten smokers for beginners in 2023 so you can pick the right one for you. There is something for everyone, from electric and gas smokers to wood pellet grills and other types. Read on to find out which smoker is right for you.

1-Traeger Grills Pro Series 22 Electric Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker

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The Traeger Pro Series 22 is a flexible grill capable of cooking a variety of foods, and the smoker is one of the best types of smokers for beginners. It can be used for smoking, baking, or grilling and can cook quickly or slowly.

It features a wide cooking area and can hold four chickens or 24 hamburgers at once. It also includes two huge racks, allowing you to cook ribs or steaks on the main rack and veggies on the auxiliary rack. The grills have a wood pellet smoker design that gives them the appearance of being made of metal, but they are actually composed of plastic and steel, making them more durable than metal grills.

The Traeger Pro Series 22 includes an Internal Temperature Probe that indicates when your food is done cooking, eliminating the need to guess when it’s time to take it from the grill! You may also use the digital controller to select your own temperature and time to ensure that your food is properly cooked without relying on external temperature sensors or timers.

I was pleasantly surprised at how simple it was to assemble this grill. If you want to be able to cook five-star meals without having to spend years studying to become a professional chef, this grill is for you. When you’re cooking for your friends, all of the work is done for you, giving the impression that you’re a master chef. I wholeheartedly endorse it!

Pros

  • You can use it in your backyard or in the woods
  • It’s easy to clean up and store
  • Good temperature control
  • The smoker box is easy to access

Cons

  • A little bit Heavy and bulky

Our Verdict

The Traeger Grills Pro Grill and Smoker is a high-quality smoker suitable for both novice and experienced smokers. It has a number of qualities that make it an excellent alternative for those who want to smoke meat, poultry, fish, and other foods. It is also simple to use and comes with a variety of attachments, making it an all-in-one smoking solution.

2-Masterbuilt Gravity Series 560 Digital Charcoal Grill and Smoker Combo

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Masterbuilt MB20040220 Gravity Charcoal Grill and Smoker is the perfect choice for anyone looking to start cooking with charcoal so this one is the best starter smoker. The grill features a digital control panel, which is easy to use and allows you to choose your cooking time, temperature, and more. It also has a built-in meat probe thermometer for perfect results every time and can reach up to 225°F in just 7 minutes or up to 700°F in 13 minutes.

The grill’s reversible cast iron grates allow you to cook low and slow while using the smoke+sear function. The reversible grates are also designed to be used as a griddle or skillet when you want to make eggs or pancakes, respectively.

The grill comes with two porcelain-coated warming/smoking racks, perfect for holding food while it’s being cooked on the grill. These racks offer 560 square inches of cooking space, perfect for large meals or multiple dishes, and will fit everything from burgers and hot dogs to steaks and chicken breasts!

I’ve absolutely loved my 560 for the past three years! It’s easy to use, cooks food perfectly, and maintains temperature well. I’ve been able to smoke all sorts of things on this smoker – ribs included – and they always come out super tender and delicious. Materials were all included in the package, though assembly instructions could have been better if they addressed certain things like using the grill trays, etc.

Pros

  • Digital control panel with easy-to-use controls
  • Durable, heavy-duty construction
  • Movable firebox and ash catcher for easy cleaning
  • Brushed stainless steel grates for non-stick performance, even when grilling fatty meats
  • Heavy gauge steel door with locking handle for secure storage and transport

Cons

  • Comes with a lot of pieces, so a little bit difficult to assemble

Our Verdict

If you’re looking for a smoker who can do it all, the Masterbuilt MB20040220 Gravity Series 560 Digital Charcoal Grill and Smoker Combo is a great option. This smoker comes with a host of features that make it perfect for both novice and experienced smokers.

3-PIT BOSS 10514 PB820D3B Wood Pellet Grill

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This Pit Boss grill is an excellent choice if you want an all-in-one solution for your grilling needs. The 8-in-1 features 100% natural hardwood pellets, allowing you to cook with both direct and indirect heat. This means you can cook low and slow or hot and fast all at once. With the easy-access slide plate flame broiler lever, you can start cooking immediately.

The PB820D3 boasts 849 square inches of cooking space for all your grilling needs. It also comes with a built-in side table that makes it easy to serve guests while they wait for their food to finish cooking in the main grill area. The side table also doubles as an extra storage area when not using it as an eating surface.

I’m happy with the grill I got for $400 from Amazon. It has a large cooking area and comes with a lid thermometer to help you monitor the temperature, so the food will be cooked low and slow without any worry of it drying out or burning. I would highly recommend this grill to anyone!

If you are looking for something that can handle large amounts of food without getting overwhelmed, this is definitely one of the best smoker grills available today!

Pros

  • -820 square inches of cooking space
  • Small enough to move around the house but big enough to feed a crowd
  • Easy to clean, requiring only a paper towel and soap
  • Easy-to-use controls for temperature and time
  • Sturdy construction that can hold heat well during cooking

Cons

  • The new model is not as good as older models

Our Verdict

The PIT BOSS Wood Pellet Grill is perfect for those who want to smoke meats, seafood, and other food items. It has 820 square inches of cooking surface, making it large enough to accommodate multiple things at once. The smoker also has three burners that can be controlled independently, so you can cook at different temperatures if necessary.

3-PIT BOSS 10514 PB820D3B Wood Pellet Grill

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The Realcook Vertical 17-inch Steel Charcoal Smoker is a good smoker for beginners. It’s not too big or too small, and it’s easy to use.

Realcook Vertical 17-inch Smoker has two cooking grids providing 453 square inches of total cooking space, so you have plenty of room to cook your favorite meats. This smoker is perfect for those who want to cook a lot of food at once or for those who want to have plenty of space to experiment with different recipes.

The cooking grids also provide a convenient way to smoke different-sized meats and vegetables. When you’re done with the smoking process, you can easily take everything apart and clean the unit by removing the grills and lid.

It has a temperature control system that keeps your food at the right temperature while smoking or grilling. This smoker features a built-in thermometer on top of the lid, allowing you to monitor your food’s temperature as it cooks without having to open the cover!

When I first saw the Realcook smoker, I was skeptical. The price seemed too low to be worth the grill’s quality, but when I started using it, I quickly realized that it was much better than some of the more expensive grills. It smokes cheese and meats perfectly, but it grills both smoked and regular food to perfection. Everyone who has tried my food raves about how good it tastes!

Pros

  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Easy to clean
  • Built-in temperature control
  • Can be used for both charcoal and wood
  • Rotating the lid for more cooking options

Cons

  • Some users report that it’s cheaply made

Our Verdict

The Realcook Vertical 17-inch Steel Charcoal Smoker is a great way to add authentic smoke flavor to your backyard barbecue. This smoker features a 17-inch cooking chamber, making it excellent for smoking significant cuts of meat or multiple racks of ribs. It also features smoker also features a built-in temperature gauge, making it easy to monitor the internal temperature of your food.

5-Masterbuilt MB20071117 Digital Electric Smoker

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Masterbuilt Electric Smoker is an excellent choice if you want to smoke food at home without using an open flame or charcoal. This electric smoker has all the features necessary to make delicious smoked foods.

The Masterbuilt Smoker has a digital control panel on/off, temperature and time settings, and a patented side wood chip loading system that allows you to add wood chips without opening the door. The smoker can hold up to four racks of ribs, six chickens, and two turkeys. It also has a fully insulated body, so it retains heat for hours of smoking enjoyment.

It comes with seven different cooking options from 150ᵒ F through 225ᵒ F in increments of 10ᵒ F. You can also choose between three cooking styles: low and slow for more traditional barbecue flavors, high for more intense heat, and smokeless for those who prefer not to have any smoke flavor in their food.

Masterbuilt smokers are excellent, and their customer service is outstanding! I had an issue with my smoker not producing enough smoke, so I contacted them via email, and they responded the next day with a solution. They told me to remove the burning bracket, which did the trick! Now my smoker works excellent for making jerky, sausage, and long cooks.

This smoker is easy to use – you just set the time and temperature and walk away—no need to check on it constantly. Just add more wood chips if you want more smoke. It’s also light and compact, which makes it easy to move around. You can put it anywhere there’s an electrical outlet.

Pros

  • Digital displays for easy temperature control
  • Heats up quickly and maintains a steady temperature
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Multiple racks for different types of meat/smoke flavors

Cons

  • Won’t give as much smoky flavor as charcoal or pellets

Our Verdict

The Masterbuilt is an excellent product for those looking for an easy-to-use smoker. It is simple to set up, and you can quickly control the temperature and smoke output. The digital display is clear and easy to read, and the smoker’s overall construction is solid. It produces excellent results, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good electric smoker.

6- Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker

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I have been using the Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker for several months now, and I have to say, I am highly impressed with its performance. The vertical design of this smoker allows for naturally rising heat, which not only improves the efficiency of the cooking process but also enhances the flavor of the smoke. 

One of the features that I really appreciate about this smoker is its six height-adjustable cooking grates. These grates allow me to accommodate various sizes of food, and I can easily adjust the height to ensure that everything is cooked to perfection. With a total smoking area of 784 square inches and a total cooking space of 1176 square inches, this smoker has plenty of space to accommodate significant cuts of meat and multiple dishes at once. Each grate has a capacity of 25 pounds, which is more than enough for most smoking sessions.

The porcelain-enameled steel charcoal chamber is another standout feature of this smoker. It is designed to keep the briquettes stacked tightly, which helps to improve burn efficiency and extend the cooking time. The charcoal and ash management system, which includes the charcoal chamber, grate, and sliding, removable steel ash pan, is also very convenient. It can handle large amounts of ash, allowing for hours of maintenance-free cooking.

I also really appreciate the smoke stack on this best small smoker, which features an adjustable flue for additional flavor and temperature control. The built-in stainless steel thermometer is also a great feature, as it allows me to monitor the temperature quickly and ensure that everything is cooking at the optimal level. 

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Easy access to the food
  • No need for foil or other accessories
  • A compact design that is easy to store and transport

Cons

  • A larger cooking chamber makes storing a smoker in smaller spaces difficult

Our Verdict

Overall, I am very pleased with my Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Charcoal Smoker purchase. It is well-built, simple to operate, and constantly yields outstanding results. If you’re looking for a new smoker, I definitely recommend giving this one a shot.

7- Green Mountain Davy Crockett Sense Mate Electric

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I recently purchased the Green Mountain Davy Crockett Sense Mate Electric Wi-Fi Control Foldable Portable Wood Pellet Tailgating Grill and am impressed with its performance. One of the most fantastic features is the Sense-Mate thermal sensor, which constantly checks grill temperature and avoids under or overcooked food.

The meat probe is another excellent feature because it allows you to monitor the internal temperature of the meat without losing any heat by opening the grill. With these two characteristics incorporated, this product is ideal for anyone who enjoys cooking outdoors.

The peaked lid for rib racks is also a great feature, as it allows me to cook ribs quickly without having to flip them constantly. The convenience tray is also a nice touch, as it provides a convenient place to rest my utensils and tools while I’m grilling.

One of the things that really sets this grill apart from others is its portability. Weighing in at just 68 lbs., it’s easy to transport and fits easily in nearly any trunk, making it the ultimate tailgating grill. Plus, it can be powered by either 110V or 12V with adapters for three power options. It’s incredibly versatile and can be used just about anywhere.

I’ve had a lot of fun using this grill so far and have had great success with everything I’ve cooked on it. Whether I’m grilling up some burgers and hot dogs for a backyard barbecue or cooking up a complete Thanksgiving feast, this grill has exceeded my expectations in every way. This is an excellent choice if you’re in the market for a portable, high-quality pellet grill. 

Pros

  • Able to be folded up when not in use
  • Easy to clean and easy to move around
  • Sleek design that’s great for tailgating or camping
  • Integrated Wi-Fi enables you to control the grill from your smartphone or tablet

Cons

  • It is not water-resistant, so it cannot be used in the rain

Our Verdict

The Green Mountain barbecue is a high-quality, multi-purpose barbecue that is ideal for tailgating or camping adventures. It is simple to operate and has a temperature sensor to ensure that your food is cooked to perfection every time. Overall, it’s a fantastic product for anyone who enjoys grilling on the road.

8- Pit Barrel Cooker Classic Package

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I bought the Pit Barrel Cooker Classic Package and was blown away by how well it performed. I was a little daunted by the notion of smoking meat as someone new to outdoor cooking. Nonetheless, its Barrel Cooker Classic Package – 18.5-inch Drum Smoker made achieving ideal results every time a breeze.

The Pit Barrel Cooker is also extremely long-lasting, thanks to a high-quality porcelain enamel finish that can withstand both internal heat and weather conditions. I’ve used it in both rain and shine, and it’s held up admirably.

One of the things I love most about this drum smoker is its versatility. Not only can you smoke ribs and brisket using the hooks and steel grill grate, but the custom GrillGrate allows you to add sear marks and smoke everything from burgers to desserts. I’ve even used it to grill vegetables, and they came out perfectly charred and flavorful.

Despite its impressive capabilities, the Pit Barrel Cooker is also very portable. It’s lightweight and compact, so it fits easily in most vans, SUVs, and truck beds. The handles on the side make it easy to lift and transport, which is great for camping or tailgating.

Overall, I am extremely satisfied with my purchase of the Pit Barrel Cooker Classic Package. It’s the complete smoker starter, with everything you need to get started, including two hanging rods, eight stainless steel hooks, a standard grill grate, a charcoal basket, and a hook remover tool. If you’re in the market for a reliable and versatile drum smoker, I highly recommend giving the Pit Barrel Cooker a try.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Versatile, can smoke and grill
  • Durable, even with a firebox full of charcoal
  • Comes with everything you need for smoking meat

Cons

  • Not 100% correct temperature control

Our Verdict

Smoking meat is a great way to flavor it and add tenderness, and the Pit Barrel Cooker makes it easy to do just that. The Pit Barrel Cooker is the best smoker for the money and great for those who want to smoke meat because it’s easy to use and produces excellent results. The package includes an 18.5-inch drum smoker, a stand, and all the necessary hardware to get started smoking meats. The smoker is made of steel and is durable, so it will last many years.

9- Char-Griller E16620 Akorn Kamado Charcoal Grill

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Char-Griller E16620 Akorn Kamado Charcoal Grill is the perfect addition to any backyard grilling enthusiast. Not only does it look great, but it also has many features that make it an extremely versatile grill. It features a large cooking area, so you can cook up to 27 burgers, which is perfect for family gatherings or parties.

The double-walled design makes this smoker durable and robust enough to withstand the elements. The cast iron grates allow you to use the smoker for high-heat grilling and low and slow cooking.

The Control panel is easy to use with an adjustable dual damper that allows you to alter the heat levels with just one button touch quickly. The thermometer also displays temperatures so you can quickly check when your food is ready without touching it. This smoker also has a foldable side shelf with storage hooks that allow you to keep your tools close at hand while working on your next project.

I’ve had my Kamado cooker for two years, and I’m still really happy with it. It’s bigger than I expected—but not so big that it would be hard to handle—and easy to assemble, and the quality seems good. It’s about 1/4 the cost of a green egg, but it works just as well. A practical and affordable Kamado cooker with great corporate backup! This grill is excellent! It’s such a great deal!

Pros

  • An easily adjustable airflow control valve allows you to adjust the flow of smoke
  • Easy to light on fire with a match or lighter
  • Smokeless cooking feature, meaning no charcoal is needed for cooking
  • Removable ash pan for easy cleaning and maintenance

Cons

  • A cheap thermometer is included in it

Our Verdict

The Akorn Kamado is an excellent smoker for anyone interested in Kamado-style cooking. This cooking method is ideal for slow-cooking meats and other meals, giving them a rich flavor. The Akorn Kamado grill is ideal for this since it allows for adequate air circulation and even cooking.

10- Weber 18-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker

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If you want to start smoking, this barbecue smoker is an excellent choice. It’s inexpensive, simple to operate, and does an excellent job of smoking food.

I’ve used it for over a year now, and I love it. It takes about fewer hours to get your first smoke going, but after that, it will give you delicious smoked meats every time.

The Weber Smokey Mountain charcoal smoker is the ideal method to infuse your next dish with true smokehouse flavor! It includes two 18-inch cooking grates, allowing you to cook up to two full turkeys or hams at once. The stainless steel bowl holds 2 liters of water and allows you to monitor the temperature within the smoker to avoid burning or overcooking your food.

It also includes an adjustable damper so you can control how much smoke goes into your meal while keeping the temperature consistent throughout the cooking period. This lets you make tender ribs, luscious brisket, or crispy chicken wings without having to worry about them drying out in the oven or on the grill!

Pros

  • It is made of stainless steel, so it’s easy to clean
  • Two cooking racks provide ample room for cooking
  • The lid is hinged, which makes it easier to use
  • It has wheels on the bottom so you can move it around quickly
  • It has a thermometer on top, so you can check the temperature of your food without having to open the lid

Cons

  • The thermometer is not 100% accurate

Our Verdict

The Weber 18-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker is an excellent charcoal smoker that will bring out the best in your meats. This smoker is composed of high-quality materials and is designed to offer constant smoke and heat to your meal, allowing you to make wonderful smoked meats every time. The Smokey Mountain Cooker also has a number of user-friendly features, making it the ideal smoker for anyone new to smoking meats.

Tips For Smoking As A Beginner 

It can appear to be a daunting task if you are new to smoking. Anyone, with the correct tools and basic knowledge, can learn how to smoke meats and other things. Whether you use a smoker or a grill, a few pointers can help you get started and generate great, smoky flavors every time.

Here are some tips for smoking as a beginner: 

1. Choose the right equipment

  • Purchase a high-quality smoker as well as charcoal or wood chips.
  • Purchase a meat thermometer to ensure proper cooking temperature.
  • Invest in a good set of tongs and a meat injector for added flavor.

2. Understand the different types of smoke

  • Hot smoke: This is when the smoker’s temperature is around 225-275°F and is used for cooking meats.
  • Cold smoke: This is when the smoker’s temperature is around 90-100°F and is used to add flavor to meats, cheese, and other foods.

3. Prepare the meat properly

  • Trim excess fat from the meat to prevent flare-ups.
  • Use a marinade or rub to add flavor to the meat.
  • Preheat the smoker before adding the meat.

4. Maintain proper temperature and smoke levels

  • Use a meat thermometer to ensure the meat is cooked to the proper temperature.
  • Monitor the smoke levels and add more wood chips or charcoal as needed.

5. Be patient

  • Smoking can take several hours, so be prepared to wait.
  • Avoid opening the smoker too frequently, as this can affect the temperature and smoke levels.

6. Practice makes perfect

  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with different woods, marinades, and rubs to find your perfect flavor combination.
  • Practice smoking different types of meat to learn how to achieve the best results.

What Are The Things To Consider When Buying A Smoker For Beginners?

When buying a smoker for the first time, several factors must be considered to make an informed decision. These factors include the type of smoker, the size and capacity, the materials used, the ease of use and maintenance, and the price. 

Here are some of the essential factors to consider: 

Type of smoker

There are various types of smokers available on the market, such as electric smokers, propane smokers, wood pellet smokers, and charcoal smokers. Each type has its pros and cons, and it’s essential to consider which one is the best fit for your needs and preferences.

Size of the smoker

The size of the smoker is essential to consider, as it will determine how much food you can cook at once. If you plan on cooking for a large group, you’ll want a giant smoker, while a smaller smoker will be sufficient for smaller gatherings.

Fuel source

Different types of smokers use other fuel sources, such as electricity, propane, wood pellets, or charcoal. Consider which fuel source is most convenient for you and your cooking needs.

Price

The price of a smoker can vary significantly, depending on the type, size, and features. Determine your budget and look for a smoker that fits within it while still offering the features you need.

Brand

There are numerous brands of smokers on the market, and it’s essential to do some research on the various brands to determine which ones have a good reputation and offer good quality products.

Features

Smokers can come with various features, such as built-in temperature gauges, digital controls, and wheels for easy movement. Consider which features are essential to you, and look for a smoker that offers those.

Warranty

Check the warranty offered by the manufacturer. A more extended warranty may indicate a higher-quality product and provide peace of mind in case of any issues.

Customer reviews

Read customer reviews to get a sense of what other people think of the smoker you’re considering. This can give you a good idea of any potential issues or problems you may encounter.

Ease of use

Consider the ease of use of the smoker, especially if you’re a beginner. Look for a smoker that is easy to operate and doesn’t require too much maintenance.

Cleaning and maintenance

Consider the cleaning and maintenance required for the smoker. Some smokers may require more frequent cleaning and maintenance than others, so choose one that fits your needs and preferences.

Temperature control

Temperature control is crucial when smoking food, as it determines the quality and taste of the final product. Look for a smoker with reasonable temperature control, so you can easily adjust and maintain the desired temperature.

Portability

If you plan on taking your smoker to events or camping trips, consider the portability of the smoker. Look for one that is lightweight and easy to transport.

Customer support

Consider the customer support offered by the manufacturer. Look for a company that provides helpful resources and responsive customer service in case you have any questions or concerns.

Overall Thoughts

My recommendations for best smokers for beginners here are based on a mix of my own personal experience, user reviews and comments I’ve read, and the advice of more experienced smokers. Of course, tastes can vary, and what may be suitable for a beginner may not be ideal for an experienced smoker, so if you have any questions or comments, please let me know in the comment section below!

Author

  • Troy Miller

    Hi! My name is Troy, and I'm the founder of Grill Taster. I have a lot of experience in grilling because I've been testing out products for over a decade. With almost ten years as a professional griller and help to thousands of aspiring BBQ masters, you can trust me to help you find the best grills and accessories on the market so that you don't have to waste time or money on junk. With my family enjoying some summertime fun just outside Carolina, we're all looking forward to your comments and questions!

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