Best smoker for beginners of 2021 – Buyers Guide and Expert Recommendations

Best smoker for beginners

Deciding to buy your first smoker, but your head starts to spin with all the options out there. This guide is designed to help you find the best beginner smoker for your needs. If you are a beginner or new to smoking, we have got something for you. We have trawled the internet and narrowed a list of the Best smokers for beginners. These smokers are efficient and easy to use, and designed for easy cleanup and maintenance. 
You will also learn about the different types of smokers and their pros and cons. So read on to avoid the frustration of buying an inferior smoker.

We all enjoy getting together with family and friends, sharing great food always completes the party. Grilling is tremendous and normally takes center stage, but smoked foods are out of this world. Getting yourself a smoker is undoubtedly an excellent investment.

The unique method of smoking allows for the infusion of flavors and makes it worth the investment and the effort. However, not all smokers are going to yield the same results. You need to find the right smoker that will cook you delicious and tender meat.

They are designed using the latest technology while keeping the classic appeal in mind. Let’s have a look at some of the best smokers available.

The 5 Best Smokers for beginners | Top Picks

NO.CHOICEPRODUCT NAMES
01Best for beginnersMasterbuilt MB20070210 Analog Electric Smoker
02Best PortableWeber 14-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker
03Best value for moneyDyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker 
04Best OverallZ Grills ZPG-7002E
05Best temperature controlCamp Chef PG24MZG SmokePro Slide Smoker

Best for beginners  – Masterbuilt MB20070210 Analog Electric Smoker

Design

This 30-inch Masterbuilt electric smoker has plenty of space to cook for a home barbeque party—the 536-sq. inch cooking surface is enough to cook two whole turkeys, two briskets, or three ribs. It has enough space to cook for 3 to 4 people at the same time. It is ideal for small parties and family gatherings.

Temperature 

The smoker is equipped with a 1500-watt heating element that provides consistent heating for even cooking and flavor. The smoker offers a max temperature of 275 degrees, which is enough to cook anything on a low, slow, smoke-infusing heat.

Performance

The electric heating element is very efficient and heats the smoker quickly and then keeps it at the required temperature. A knob on the side allows you to easily control the temperature. The two features allow for optimum control of the temperature and will ensure you cook tender and juicier meat.

There is a front loader bowl for moisture and a wood chip tray for flavoring. A front drip/grease tray is also present to catch any drippings that may disturb the smoker’s function. These allow for optimum functioning of the smoker and allow for easy maintenance and clean-up. 

Cleaning and Maintenance

This model of Masterbuilt smokers is the easiest to clean. The ash can be managed efficiently, and the cooking racks can be cleaned using soapy water. You can place some aluminum foil over the drip tray and remove it after you’re done cooking.

Pros

  • Easy to access and replace the grease tray.
  • Adjustable air damper to control smoke.
  • Durable steel body that heats up quickly.
  • Powerful heating element for even cooking.
  • Built-in temperature gauge.
  • Ideal for beginners.
  • Large enough to cook multiple types of meat at the same time.

Cons

  • Doesn’t have much insulation.
  • No number labels in the analog dial.
  • Doesn’t get as hot in cold weather.
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Masterbuilt MB20070210 Analog Electric Smoker with 3 Smoking Racks, 30 inch, Black
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Masterbuilt MB20070210 Analog Electric Smoker with 3 Smoking Racks, 30 inch, Black
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Best Portable – Weber 14-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker

Design

Weber Smokey Mountain is one of the most famous smokers due to its popularity and portability. The new Weber smokey cooker can feed a small family despite its compact size. It is excellent for a personal barbeque. The smoker has a cooking area of 286 sq. inches with two 14.5 inch steel-plated grates. 

This has exceptional ventilation to allow the smoke to circulate and flavor to infuse into the meat. There is one top air vent and a three-button vent. There is also a fuel door on the side that helps you add in wooden chunks when needed.

Construction

What makes this smoker amazing is its construction and durability. The lid, along with the body and water pan, is all porcelain-coated to protect from grease. The enamel prevents the smoker from getting rusty or the paint chipping off. It improves the durability of the whole unit. The shiny finish will compliment your patio or backyard and also withstand outdoor elements.

Temperature

The built-in temperature gauge allows you to monitor the temperature easily. This will help you maintain the desired temperature for a perfectly cooked cut of meat. The temperature probe is located on the side of the smoker while the indicator is on the top. The coal smoker heats up quickly and gets to a maximum temperature of 275 degrees- Fahrenheit.

Pros

  • Versatile.
  • Comes with a cover.
  • Built-in thermometer.
  • Light and portable for camping.
  • Very easy to use.
  • Two grates set up increases the space for cooking.
  • Has a warranty.

Cons

  • Only top loading of the smoker.
  • No ash clean out the system.
  • Difficult to look at the water level when in use.
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Weber 14-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker, Charcoal Smoker
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Weber 14-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker, Charcoal Smoker
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Best value for money – Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker

Construction

The smoker is designed vertically to offset heat and smoke flow. 14-gauge powder-coated steel is thin enough to make it lightweight and portable. The 1,176 square inches of space is enough to cook a variety of meat.

Ease of Cleaning

The smoker is very easy to clean if you line it with aluminum foil at the bottom. You can then place the dripping pan over it. The pull-out ash draw allows you to dispose of the ash quickly. However, the grates don’t have a protective layer, these require cleaning after each use.

Grilling Performance

For moderate weather conditions, this charcoal smoker works pretty well. It is excellent for any meat. If you want to put in larger cuts of meat, you can remove the grates from in-between. The racks can handle up to 25 pounds of meat, whether it’s hanging from the grate or placed on it., 

To maintain a suitable temperature inside the smoker you can manage the amount of fuel that is added. Wooden blocks are preferred rather than chips to achieve a longer smoke. The grill has plenty of capacity to cater to a total of 25 pounds per grate. You can rotate the grates for more consistent and flavorful cooking.

Warranty

Dyna-Glo offers one year’s limited warranty, which is a little lacking in comparison to its competitors. However, any smoker is likely to show problems within the first year of use.

Pros

  • Removable ash pans and drip trays are easy to clean.
  • Offset design to give a great smokey flavor.
  • The temperature gauge is very accurate.
  • The gauge has smoke zone markings for beginners.
  • Efficient and easy handling of charcoal.
  • Great value for money.
  • Large cooking capacity.

Cons

  • Leaks a reasonable amount of smoke.
  • The paint chips over time
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Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker
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Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker
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Best Overall – Z Grills ZPG-7002E

Construction

The Z Grills smoker is built from sturdy, solid metal. The steel ensures that the grill stays hot even when it’s cold outside. It has eight different cooking options. The convection fan cooking allows for even and consistent cooking, locking the flavors in the meat. With an upgraded temperature and pellet feeding system, the smoker is much more efficient than its competitors.

The 700 sq. inch grilling area offers a generous space to cook any meat.

Versatility

The 7002E smoker is very versatile. The temperature ranges from 180 degrees to 450 degrees Fahrenheit making it perfect to roast, broil, braise, bake, smoke, grill, and sear. You can make anything in this smoker from pizza to a berry cobbler.

Warranty

Z Grills offers a fantastic warranty of 3 years on its 7002E model. They also offer a 30 days replacement and refund policy. This shows the manufacturers are confident in their products.

Other Features

The grill now comes with an upgraded digital control system that makes it very easy to use. The temperature, as well as the pellet system, is more efficient than ever. It is quick to assemble and cleans easily. The smoker is designed to drain the grease efficiently and for easy cleaning.

Pros

  • Three years warranty.
  • Eight different cooking options.
  • Fan convection cooking.
  • Very versatile.
  • Great value for money.
  • Easy to clean.

Cons

  • Tricky to clean ash and pellets waste.
  • Not ideal for searing
Preview
Z GRILLS ZPG-7002E 2020 Upgrade Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker, 8 in 1 BBQ Grill Auto Temperature Controls, inch Cooking Area, 700 sq, Silver
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Z GRILLS ZPG-7002E 2020 Upgrade Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker, 8 in 1 BBQ Grill Auto Temperature Controls, inch Cooking Area, 700 sq, Silver
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Best temperature control  – Camp Chef PG24MZG SmokePro Slide Smoker

Grilling Performance

The slide and grill is an upgrade from the conventional pellet grill. The mobile deflector pellet in the smoker allows you to adjust and control the flame. You can easily change from a direct to an indirect flame. By moving the adjustable knob to the left side of the grill pellet, you will be able to switch to direct heating and switch back when needed.

Convection Cooking

The smoker’s convection cooking style allows you to separate the racks for cooking, which doubles the cooking space. You will be able to cook with consistent, even heat. The racks are double coated for durability. They are dishwasher safe as well, making it easier to clean them afterward.

Controls

Now you don’t have to stand near the smoker at all times to keep a check on your meat. You can use the digital temperature control which uses the probe and the gauge. The stainless temperature probes allow you to sit back and relax. You can set the temperature and not worry about the meat.

Cleaning and Assembly

The cleanup with this smoker is straightforward. The efficient ash cleanout system allows you to quickly and efficiently evacuate the ash so you can enjoy your food without worrying about the smoker.

Its assembly is also pretty straightforward. You can check the assembly video on the CampChef site, which will guide you step by step to set up your grill. The recipe manual along with this smoker will undoubtedly help you create delicious meals.

Pros

  • Very easy to assemble.
  • Recipe ideas in the manual.
  • Dishwasher-proof racks.
  • Adjustable smoke settings from 1 to 10.
  • Folding front shelf.
  • Easy to use menu dial.

Cons

  • The smoker might leak if grease builds up in the lid.
  • Thermometers are not accurate.
Preview
Camp Chef PG24MZG SmokePro Slide Smoker with Fold Down Front Shelf Wood Pellet Grill, Pack of 1, Black
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Camp Chef PG24MZG SmokePro Slide Smoker with Fold Down Front Shelf Wood Pellet Grill, Pack of 1, Black
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Key Considerations

 

Build Quality

The most important thing to consider is the build quality of a smoker. Look for a charcoal smoker made using porcelain coatings, chrome, and stainless steel. These tend to have a longer lifespan and significant durability. Check the product specifications and ensure you purchase a smoker from a reputable company so that your smoker last’s a long time.


Cooking Capacity

The cooking capacity is the second vital priority. The capacity of the charcoal smoker is determined by the number of racks it has inside. 
This will ensure you have sufficient space inside the smoker for your meat. You need to identify the volume of meat and the number of guests you plan to cook for before you make a decision. Generally, a smoker has a vertical cabinet of 1,00 square inches.


Smoker Types

Generally, there are four types of charcoal smokers in the current market. Those are Kamodo, Kettle Grill, Horizontal offset, and Vertical cabinet. You need to find which one will best suit your lifestyle and requirements.


Versatility & Fuel Efficiency

Modern smokers are more versatile than their predecessors. It has an accurate temperature controlling option, which is rare in older versions. Choosing a  smoker with a modern technology base will deliver better results without the fuss. A larger hopper will allow the smoker to hold more fuel, delivering constant heat and better fuel efficiency.

Frequently Asked Questions – The Best Smoker For Beginners

Is it possible to use the smoker inside the house or the garage?

While using a smoker, you need to ensure that the space has enough ventilation. Usually, it is best to use a smoker outside the house not to cause any breathing issues. However, if it’s raining outside, you can place it in a garage, given that the room has enough ventilation to remove the smoke as quickly as it is produced.

How to do Cheese in a smoker without melting it away quickly?

If you want to do Cheese in a smoker, the trick is to keep the temperature below 90 F. You can use small wood chips and light them; that will help keep the temperature low.

What type of fuel should you use?

The type of fuel you use will heavily impact the flavoring of your food. Most people use charcoal briquettes. They are cheap, easy to use, and readily available.
Lump charcoal is a level up from briquettes. They add a distinct flavoring to your food. The organic wood adds pure, clean, and delicious flavor.
Some people also add wood for exciting flavors for their meat. Hickory is an excellent choice for adding a distinct flavor than charcoal.

To Wrap It Up

Enjoy delicious barbecued meat that is juicy, tender, and well-cooked. Getting yourself a smoker is an excellent investment. You can indulge in restaurant-quality food at home with backyard barbecues and family and friends.

We hope that these reviews will narrow down your choices and assist you with choosing the best smoker that suits your needs. Happy smoking.

Last update on 2021-05-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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