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

Best smoker for beginners

Table of Contents

If you are a beginner or new to smoking, we have got something for you. We have trawled the web and narrowed the list of best smokers for beginners. These smokers are efficient and easy to use. You don’t need to fess a lot to clean them up. You can enjoy a relaxed afternoon, lounging in your backyard, enjoying delicious home-cooked meals. A way to make this scenario better is by adding a barbecued meal in it. You can unwind yourself from stress and work this way.

Getting yourself a smoker is undoubtedly an excellent investment. You can have a barbecue party with your colleagues or an intimate family dinner. Great food makes everything a thousand times better. Grilling is tremendous, but smoking is something out of this world. 

The infusion of flavors makes it worth the money and the effort. However, not all smokers are going to yield the same results. It would be best if you found the right smoker that will cook you delicious and tender meat.

With the latest technology and keeping the classic appeal in mind, they are a perfect choice. Let’s have a look at some of the best smokers available.

Things To Consider Before Buying a Smoker

 

Build Quality

 

The most important and primary thing to consider is the build quality of a charcoal smoker. If the smoker is made of long-lasting porcelain and chrome coating, you can feel it as a durable charcoal smoker. So, make sure of the build quality first before going to buy this device.

Cooking Capacity

 

The cooking capacity is the second & vital priority. The capacity depends on the number of racks the charcoal smoker has. You need to identify the number of frames when you are going to buy it. Generally, a charcoal smoker has a vertical cabinet of 1,00 square inches.

Smoker Types

 

Generally, there are four types of charcoal smokers in the current market right now. Those are Kamodo, Kettle Grill, Horizontal offset, and vertical cabinet. You need to find out the best one that suits your lifestyle and purpose.

Versatility & Fuel Efficiency

 

Modern charcoal smokers are versatile than before. It has a super temperature controlling option, which is rare in the old version. So make sure you buy the modern technology-based charcoal smoker. On the other hand, you need to find the hopper size. Cause the fuel efficiency depends on a large hopper size.

 

Best for beginners  – Masterbuilt MB20070210 Analog Electric Smoker

 

Design

This 30-inch Masterbuilt electric smoker has plenty of space to cook for a whole barbeque party—the 536-sq. Inch cooking surface is enough to cook two whole turkeys or 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 preset level. You can also adjust the temperature using the knob on the side. Having this much control over temperature will help you cook tender and juicier meat.
There is a front loader bowl for moisture and a wood chip tray for flavoring. A front drip tray is also present to catch any drippings that may disturb the smoker’s function.

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.

 

Best Portable   – Weber 14-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker

 

Design

 Weber Smokey Mountain is one of the most famous smokers due to its reliability and portability. The new Weber smokey cooker is so small that it can feed a small family. It is excellent for a personal barbeque. The cooker 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 escape and flavor to infuse into the meat. There are one top air vent and three button vents. 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 longevity of the whole unit. The shiny finish withstands the weather as well as time.

Temperature

You can keep an eye on the temperature with the temperature gauge. This will help you cook it to the right temperature with the right juiciness. The temperature probe is on the side of the smoker while the indicator is on the top. The smoker heats up quickly and gets the maximum temperature of 190 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

  • You will have to bend to reach the smoker.
  • No ash clean out the system.
  • Difficult to look at the water level when in use.

 

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 all sorts of meat.

Ease of Cleaning

The smoker is very easy to clean if you put the aluminum foil at the bottom of it. You can place the dripping pan over it. The ash pan is pull-out, so you can quickly dispose of the ash. However, the grates don’t have any protective layer, which might take some of your time to clean and maintain.

Grilling Performance

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

To maintain a suitable temperature inside the smoker, you need to be cautious with the fuel. It would help if you used wooden blocks rather than chips for a more efficient burn. 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 than its competitors, which offers much more. However, the smoker is unlikely to show any problems in the first year of its 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.

 

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 fan convection cooking allows even and consistent cooking. This locks in all 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 of grilling area offers much space to cook any meat.

Versatility

The 7002E smoker is very versatile. The 180 degrees to 450 degrees Fahrenheit temperature makes 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 product.

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 drains the grease, and it can be then wiped clean.

Pros

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

Cons

  • Unable to clean ash and pellets waste.
  • Not ideal for searing.

 

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 change the flame. You can change from direct to an indirect flame. If you pull the knob on 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 tracks for cooking, which doubles the cooking space. You will be able to cook everything with consistent heating evenly. 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 using 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 for some time.

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 this smoker will undoubtedly help you create delicious meals.

Pros

  • Very easy to assemble.
  • Recipe ideas in 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.

 

Comparison Chart- The Best Smoker for Beginners

 

Product

Dimensions

Weight

Max Temperature

Material

1. Masterbuilt MB20070210 Analog Electric Smoker

20 x 21.69 x 40.15 inches

49.86 Pounds

275°F

Cast Iron

2. Weber 14-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker

31.4 x 14.75 x 14.75 inches

23 Pounds

190°F

Steel

3. Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker

20.2 x 34.52 x 47.03 inches

57 Pounds

Steel

4. Z Grills ZPG-7002E

48 x 22 x 51 inches

84 Pounds

450°F

Stainless Steel, Metal

5. Camp Chef PG24MZG SmokePro Slide Smoker

40.5 x 25 x 22 inches

144.7 Pounds

500°F

Steel

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 room has enough ventilation. Usually, it is best to use a smoker outside the house, so it does not 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 affect 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 different 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 home-made dinners, arrange backyard barbecues, and have some restaurant-quality food.

We hope you will narrow down your choices with the help of the information above and find the best smoker that suits your needs.

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