A charcoal smoker is a type of barbecue grill that uses wood or coal to heat the grill. It cooks food by exposing it to smoke from these heated fuels, which imparts flavor and aroma. Many people use charcoal smokers for backyard cooking because they are inexpensive and easy to use.
The best way to find the best charcoal smoker is through researching brands on sites like Amazon, Consumer Reports, and Best Buy. Once you have narrowed down your search to three or four models that meet your needs, go ahead and take them out for a test drive! Check out customer reviews on these products too before making your final decision!
What is a Charcoal Smoker?
A charcoal smoker is a device designed to allow heat and smoke from smoldering coals of fuel, wood or propane gas to infuse food being cooked. The delight that comes with cooking on an open fire has not been lost through the ages. Modern-day devices have made it possible for people who enjoy outdoor cooking to use charcoal smokers. Charcoal is used as fuel for this smoker, and it starts up with the help of starter fluid or lit by firewood.
Charcoal Smokers are available in different sizes, shapes, designs, and brands. Some have electric heaters that can be regulated at various levels while others require you to adjust the vents on the units depending on how much heat you would like to generate inside them. There are also some designed with offset smoke boxes where food is placed over smoldering coals instead of directly under them so they remain free from any direct contact with hot charcoals or flames. This way there is no risk of getting burned when cooking meats such as poultry which take longer time to cook than vegetables do.
Benefits Of Using Charcoal Smoker
Charcoal smokers come with several benefits. It is possible to regulate the heat and maintain it at a constant level if you have an electric smoker as opposed to those that use firewood or charcoal for fuel. The wood chips can also be replaced by using flavored ones so your food tastes like what you want them to taste like. Further, some of these appliances allow smoking meats up 24 hours which ensures no one has to stay awake overnight just in case something happens with the meat on its way through the cooking process.
Top 14 Best Charcoal Smoker Reviews
Kamado Joe BJ24RHC Big Joe II Charcoal Grill, 24 inch
Developed with the grilling community in mind, Kamado Joe Big Joe II Charcoal Grill is a breakthrough that offers all of the features necessary for unparalleled cook quality and temperature control.
A revolutionary air Lift hinge lowers the weight of the dome by 96% while dividing and conquering space with a unique flexible cooking system’s multilevel, half-rack design.
This patented, all-aluminum, corrosion-resistant, rainproof wire mesh fiberglass gasket provides an airtight seal with 10x longevity when sealing seams on your grill or smoker!
Easily maintain constant airflow to deliver accurate heat management for better grilling every time.
Char-Broil 15202029 Oklahoma Joe’s Charcoal/LP Gas/Smoker Combo
America’s favorite BBQ brand, Char-Broil’s Oklahoma Joe’s smoker, is a perfect blend of convenience and taste. A stunning main chamber with four grates for going big on meat cuts, plus a smaller firebox for à la minute dishes. Platinum porcelain coated cast iron grates ensure easy clean up.
12000 BTU side burner accommodates all your gas needs—from starting the blooming hot charcoal to warming sauces to boiling pots of delicious pasta from scratch! The handy thermometer guarantees food safety in both cooking chambers while an air damper keeps a tight seal when it comes to the door leading into the fire box
Masterbuilt MB20060321 40-inch Digital Charcoal Smoker
Masterbuilt’s innovative digital technology allows for a much hotter and evenly cooked meat, with much less hassle. No need to worry about food being overdone because the smoker automatically adjusts according to your settings – it will never put out more heat than you want.
Other high-end features include dual exterior doors that seal tightly for juicy, tender meat and an ultra quiet sound system that makes whatever smoked delicacies you’re cooking up almost whisper quietly from within.
With 1,320 square inches of total cooking space inside thanks to four racks, this smokin’ hot grill is fantastic for gracious gatherings where friends meet over succulent ribs or golden flank steak.
Primo 774 Ceramic Charcoal Smoker Grill
Primo’s 774 Ceramic Charcoal Smoker Grill is the best choice for anyone who enjoys spending time outdoors feasting with friends and family.
The Oval shape offers a versatility not offered by rectangular models, which helps to cater to all your grilling needs– perfect for satiating appetites during any occasion! Ceramic of the highest grade keeps heat evenly distributed so even cooking becomes a breeze.
In addition, this grill features 24 inches of headroom on one side within its 16-inch depth, giving you more space to work with as you’re smoking or barbecuing. With 210 square inches of cooking surface area standard and an option up to 360 square inches, if using extensions that can attach at either end, Primo 774 will help make mouths water!
Char-Broil Bullet Charcoal Smoker, 20″
Prepare barbecue like pro with the Char-Broil Bullet Charcoal Smoker. With 584 square feet to work with, this smoker provides ample space for cooking a variety of meats and vegetables without having to worry about taking up too much time on the task. It also includes a temperature gauge so you know when it’s ready to be sampled!
The porcelain coated body ensures longevity and assures that there is no need for seasoning it until after use, enhancing flavor after each outing. In addition, users can monitor food from an outside area as long as they don’t want any smoke coming in contact with their hands or hair because of its removable ash pan features.
Royal Gourmet 30″ BBQ Charcoal Grill with Offset Smoker
Resting at 42 inches high, the Royal Gourmet BBQ Charcoal Grill and Offset Smoker is part of a long line of quality grills for people who expect no less than absolute perfection. This particular model includes 443 square inches of porcelain-enameled steel wire cooking grates, 169 square inches of chrome-plated warming rack, and 189 square inches of offset smoker.
Featuring solidly built construction to accommodate even more weight on its grill top griddles or whatever else you can imagine placing there, this unit comes with air vents that are designed to keep your fire burning during all hours without too much trouble.
Comes with a temperature monitor to always keep an eye on cooking temperature, as well as space for storing spices and grilling utensils so that your ingredients are prepared before they even hit the grill – it’s like taking care of business before wearing your pants!
Plus, you can store up to 20 lbs. of tasty accessories in this baby during those long breaks waiting for food. Just because we all have dirty minds doesn’t mean we should talk about it at dinner time.
Giantex Vertical Charcoal Smoker, 2-Tier Outdoor Smoker with Detachable Smoking Racks
This is a professional-grade charcoal smoker. It has a large cooking capacity and dual grill nettings for grilling meat, veggies, or even a whole bird. Switch from indirect to direct heat sources on the fly thanks to strategically positioned vents on both sides of the product.
The massive digital thermometer on this has advanced functionality including an integrated flashback feature preventing over advances in processing meats with dry regions without compromising flavor.
With an innovative design and platinum construction materials, this barbecue will give you tender juicy breakneck bacon. Thanks to two doors that open at different times for quick access to coal or meat, the Giantex Vertical Charcoal Smoker minimizes contact between its fire and air inside, providing more food-safety benefits than most smokers out there.
With four custom-designed horizontal cooking racks made especially for effortless cooking of whole chickens or ribs that rack up all kinds of accolades from friends and family. The high-temperature resistant plastic coated iron frame won’t weigh you down while it provides a lifetime warranty against warping and corrosion.
Weber 18-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker, Charcoal Smoker
The Weber 18-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker, Charcoal Smoker turns your home into a real smokehouse. This cooker can hold a full turkey and a whole ham simultaneously for an abundance of smoked flavor.
Constructed with porcelain-enameled steel and nickel-plated grates, this smoker is sure to deliver that true taste you crave to the table every time. It also includes two vents that are heat resistant so you don’t have to worry about flipping them open.
With ample space—the 39 1/2 pound tank holds plenty of your favorite meats at once—this smoker will be cooking up memories all year long.
Cuisinart COS-118 Vertical 18″ Charcoal Smoker
At over 500 square inches of cooking space, the Cuisinart vertical charcoal smoker has just as many features as its taller counterpart. In addition to a porcelain water dish and opposite-directional vents, it also includes latches on the base for superior portability between smoke sessions. Great for pros at large outdoor events or folks with hungry households near their home – the 18 inch vertical is definitely up to any task you throw it’s way!
Designed to use all natural methods of cooking, this Cuisinart 18-inch Charcoal Smoker is the perfect addition to your kitchen. You can smoke cheese, veggies, or meat in it with ease. The smoker comes equipped with everything except wood chunks for hot coals and charcoal so you can get started right away.
With two vents that may be opened or closed to control the heat and smoke production, you are sure to get just the right smoked taste you desire. As foods cook inside the smoker, it will produce just enough warmth for even cooking while preserving tenderness in meats by sealing them together against moistures too easily lost at higher temps.
Char-Griller E1224 Smokin Pro 830 Square Inch Charcoal Grill with Side Fire Box
The Char-Griller E1224 Smokin Pro 830 Square Inch Charcoal Grill with Side Fire Box is a traditional charcoal grill with bayou style. There are three burners, two charcoal drawers for easy ash disposal, and a temperature gauge. The steel frame gives the grilling experience enhanced stability and the heavy gauge powder coated surface resists rusting over time!
This smoker easily cooks up to 580 square inches of delicious food at one time. Priced reasonably enough to allow your whole backyard barbecue crew to assemble some classic cajun fare all in one place without leaving any spots hungry or requiring a second shift of cooking whilst entertaining new friends!
Royal Gourmet CC1830SC Charcoal Grill Offset Smoker with Cover
The Royal Gourmet CC1830SC Charcoal Grill Offset Smoker with Cover is the ideal blend of handsome design, excellent usability, and heady performance. With low price tags to boot! This stylish charcoal grill raises the bar in both form and function. The black porcelain-coated steel wire grates are low maintenance yet highly durable against wear over time–however the beautiful texture will catch on fire as it does not melt or produce toxic fumes when heated up.
Simplicity is key for this model as well: simply open the side door and add one’s favorite briquettes, remove ashes from a simple pan below, slide away meat servings through an offset smoker with chrome plating to keep things even hotter and cut out the possibility of flare-ups.
Realcook Vertical 17 Inch Steel Charcoal Smoker
The genuine Realcook vertical 17 inch steel charcoal smoker is perfect for every occasion, from summer picnics to winter get togethers. Outdoor cooking enthusiasts are sure to love the unit’s versatile design, superior craftsmanship, and extensive features. The included thermometer makes monitoring your cooking easy so you can give it just the right amount of attention without interruption–whether you’re smoking up juicy pork tenderloins or slow-roasting corn on the cob. With its big enough height to hold an entire corned beef brisket, this durable cooker will have even hardcore barbecue fanatics looking forward to cookouts all year round!
Cooking the best meat you’ve ever had is easier than ever. Whether you’re a master of barbecuing or new to smoking, the Realcook Vertical 17 Inch Steel Charcoal Smoker makes it possible for anyone to produce mouth-watering meals with ease. This grill has two access doors so that you can fully control how much heat your food gets and make adjustments while cooking on-the-fly.
Keep an eye on what’s happening inside by opening up the top door, or add charcoal or more wood through one of its side doors when needed. The temperature range is 450 degrees Fahrenheit to 600 degrees Fahrenheit, which provides flexibility in how tough your meat needs to be cooked. With this grilling system, you’ll find yourself putting together a spectacular meal for your family or friends.
Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-D Heavy-Duty Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker & Grill
With 1382 square inches of cooking space, the Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-D Heavy-Duty Vertical Offset Charcoal Smok is easy to access with its five chrome-plated grilling grids. The body is constructed of heavy gauge steel to ensure durability for everyday use. It has a cool touch spring lid grip so not only can you securely hold onto your food, but gasoline as well!
Its temperature gauge includes a ‘Smoky Zone’ that lets you know what’s the optimal temperatures for smoking flavor without having to fiddle around with meat thermometers. The stainless steel metal monitor keeps an eye on all internal dimensions and thanks to its extra wide steels wheels it will be transformed into your favorite outdoor cooking companion.
Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker
The Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D vertical offset charcoal smoker is a feat in engineering and innovation, providing you with the best flavor possible. Due to its unique design, this smoker will save you time and money when cooking your food; heat rises naturally throughout the unit.
The porcelain-enameled steel keeps your briquettes from falling apart while they burn, giving you more control wisely utilizing your fuel source. Six adjustable grates allow for all different sizes of meals and ensures that no matter what size dish you’re making, we’ve got room for it here at Dyna-Glo!
This unit comes with a built-in charcoal chamber and grate as well as an adjustable flue on the smoke stack for added flavor control to those seeking optimal processes, making it perfect for serious competition barbecue cooking.
A stainless steel thermometer is also included so you can perfectly cook things like pork chops to temp without having to open up your smoker every hour or so! The entire smoker itself features “Smoke Zone” temperature indicator that shows the best smoking temperatures for fish, fowl and meats of all varieties – making this counter top grill apt not only for novice but seasoned grillers.
Best Charcoal Smoker Buying Guide
Before buying any charcoal smoker, you need to consider the following factors:
This is especially important if there are many mouths to feed. While smaller units can cook two chickens at once, bigger ones are able to handle up to eight whole turkeys! You should make sure that your unit has enough space inside it for cooking more than one item of food. The size of the coal grill or fire box will tell you how much food can be placed in them without taking too long before they get cooked. It’s also good practice not only check the number but also the dimension of items that the unit is capable off holding so that none runs out of room while being grilled.
Most of these smokers are made with metal or some sort of ceramic material, but there are also those that have glass doors so you can check out how your food is doing without opening the unit. Others come with shelves where you place meat for grilling . If the smoker has a shelf, it’s best to choose one that comes in coated steel instead of stainless steel which tends to react badly under high heat and rusts easily.
There are round units designed like oil drums while others look like small houses! Some charcoal smokers even include side tables attached on them so more than just basic tools could be placed inside them when they’re not being used for cooking outdoors. Of course if all you need is a unit that is simple and easy to use, then there’s no need for you to purchase a smoker with lots of bells and whistles.
As always, price should be one of the major factors in choosing any product including smokers. When buying anything on the Internet, it’s important not only to check out its specs but also read through user reviews which will tell you how well or badly they have been designed as well as what problems their previous users had experienced when using them. The more positive feedbacks from customers who’ve bought the same item before indicate that this unit has really stood up against consumer expectations so it can definitely work well for you!
The design of the smoker should be such that there is no contact between hot coal and food being cooked so it stays free from any risk of getting burnt. You should also check for a handle or knob on top of the unit especially if you want to carry it outdoors while grilling.
Charcoal Smoker FAQs
What is the most popular charcoal smoker?
A: The Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker 18-Inch Smoker and Grill is currently considered as the most popular charcoal cooker out in the market today. It’s also one of those smokers that have been around since 1982! Back then it was called “The Ultimate Charcoal Cooking Experience”. And until now many people believe this to be true because there are more than four hundred user reviews on Amazon about how awesome their food tastes when cooked using a WSM.
What tools do I need for cooking with my new smoker?
A: You will require basic grilling tools such as tongs, spatulas or forks and some long handled spoons depending on what you’re going to cook. You will also need basting mops or brushes for applying marinades to your food while they are being grilled.
How should I maintain my smoker?
A: After using your unit, you need to clean it right away before the ashes or dirt burn into any crevices. If there are lots of burnt on food pieces then this could be a real chore so what you can do is wet down everything with water first and wait for about half an hour until they cool enough to touch. Using steel wool pads will help in cleaning up dirty spots easily while wire brushes can remove bits of carbon stuck at hard-to-reach places which cannot also be removed by the scouring pad alone. Be careful not to scratch anything though as these parts may become rusty when exposed under moisture for too long! You might want to consider lining them inside such as bottom tray if you’re going to place a lot of wet items inside your smoker.
What is the difference between a vertical and horizontal smoker?
A: Vertical smokers are often preferred by many because they tend to have a larger capacity than most horizontal smokers. A bigger cooking space means more room for meat so you can expect it not to take too long before your food will be ready! They also come with racks at different levels which makes them ideal when smoking meats that require different heat intensities or added flavors from various wood chips such as hickory, applewood, mesquite, etc.
Horizontal units on the other hand don’t need quite as much attention in maintaining their temperature level throughout all areas where there’s smoke being released into. This is because the smoke and heat come from different intakes which are located at either end.
So, what’s the best charcoal smoker on the market? That depends. If you want a really well-made smoker that doesn’t cost too much but still produces great food and flavor, we recommend looking for models in the $200-$300 range. These units are designed to be durable with high-quality parts and materials while not breaking your bank account. And don’t forget about brands like Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker or Char-Broil Bullet Charcoal Smoker!