If you’re a cooking enthusiast, chances are you are already in love with charcoal smoking. Using charcoal for smoking is another level of cooking. The smell from charcoal smoking grants your food a taste that all meat lovers crave strongly. With the right smoker, charcoal smoking gets easier than expected. A good charcoal smoker can retain a steady temperature for a long time, assuring you with the best flavors.
If you want to get into charcoal smoking for the first time or look for a replacement for your old smoker, this guide is for you. We aim to answer all questions you might have about charcoal smoking right here. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about charcoal smoking.
- 1 10 Best Charcoal Smoker
- 1.1 Weber 22-inch Smokey Mountain Charcoal Smoker
- 1.2 Royal Gourmet 30” BBQ Charcoal Grill and Offset Smoker
- 1.3 Sapphire Blue Portable Charcoal Grill
- 1.4 Char-Griller E16620 Akorn Kamado Charcoal Grill
- 1.5 Realcook Charcoal BBQ Smoker Grill
- 1.6 Cuisinart COS-118 Vertical Charcoal Smoker
- 1.7 Masterbuilt Gravity Series 1050 Digital Charcoal Grill and Smoker
- 1.8 Char-Broil Bullet Charcoal Smoker
- 1.9 Masterbuilt 20060416 Charcoal Bullet Smoker
- 1.10 Giantex Vertical Charcoal Smoker 2-Tier Outdoor Barbeque Grill with Thermometer
- 2 Types of smokers
- 3 Difference between a smoker and standard grill
- 4 Charcoal smoker and wood-burning smoker, which one is the best?
- 5 How to choose the best charcoal smoker?
- 6 FAQs
- 7 Bottom Line
10 Best Charcoal Smoker
Among so many options loaded with features, it’s tough to pick the one smoker best for you. We assembled a list of ’10 best charcoal smokers’ for you to determine the best one suited to your needs.
Weber 22-inch Smokey Mountain Charcoal Smoker
Given the immense popularity of Weber Smokey Mountain (WSM) smokers, Weber has moved forward with this oversized version. With a 726 square inches cooking area, this machine is perfect for a competing chef or anyone who wants to produce up to 60 pounds of barbecue. This appliance works like its smallest predecessor with excellent temperature control, long unassisted cooking time, and ease of use.
WSM made an addition to this model. There’s a lid-mounted thermostat, which is an excellent update because many people go through a lot of trouble only to install a thermostat. And it’s understandable because charcoal smoking requires adequate temperature supervision.
The accuracy of the thermostat is another feature to be satisfied with. There’s a 5-degree division mark that ensures the highest level of accuracy. A bottom shield underneath the smoker protects the surface where you place the smoker. This shield also reflects the heat upward, making the smoker more efficient.
Royal Gourmet 30” BBQ Charcoal Grill and Offset Smoker
This one is of the best charcoal grill and smoker combos. It merges a traditional charcoal grill with an offset smoker for a perfect dual style barbeque. If you want to get the best result with this smoker, it’s suggested to use lump charcoal or briquet along with wood chips for added flavor. A modern and versatile design makes it perfect for any backyard, porch, or balcony.
The structure is quite sturdy; you can’t complain about that.
Many people worry about the ability of a smoker to shift with the temperature. This one keeps you in peace in this regard. Besides, if you want the best charcoal smoker grill combo at an affordable price, there can’t be a better choice than this.
To sum up, the smoker gets heated quickly and can retain the temperature evenly, easy to use, and move around because of the wheels beneath, provides good quality smoked food experience, and is durable.
Sapphire Blue Portable Charcoal Grill
Perfect for any couple or small family, this small-sized kamado from Char-griller comes with everything you want in your smoker. Its compact feature makes it perfect for any table, small porch, or balcony. The cooking area isn’t the smallest one in the market. It features a 14-inch cooking surface, 25-inch height, and 40 lbs weight.
You can easily carry it to any campsite or tailgate to make your experience more memorable for you and your friends. Unlike the majority of the kamados that are made with ceramic, Char-griller features triple wall steel. This material makes the kamado more durable yet lightweight. The exterior is powder-coated for durability, where the interior is porcelain-coated.
There’s a center grate hole to add charcoal without having to remove all of your food. Cast iron grates on the smoker are removable and feature the signature quality of the Char-griller.
A round damper on the top and slide vent at the bottom can swiftly hold any temperature between 200 degrees and 700 degrees. To sum up, it’s the best charcoal grill smoker, you can get in this price range.
Char-Griller E16620 Akorn Kamado Charcoal Grill
The taste you get with a traditional kamado is hard to get when you are using modern lightweight materials like steel. Char-griller introduces a perfect match between modernity and taste with this kamado. If anyone asks what’s the best charcoal grillat an affordable price is, it’s almost certain that the name Char-griller would come up.
An attractive feature of this kamado is it’s lightweight and easy to carry because of its material. Like the Akornjr, it’s also powder-coated on the out and porcelain-coated on the inside. The ash pan and bottom damper are securely attached to the grill.
This grill features an easy-to-assemble design and comes with a generous grilling space. The side shelves provide you with a place to keep your accessories needed for grilling.
The warming racks on this grill are removable, and the ash pan also offers ease of use. Triple-walled insulation makes this grill one of the most durable and lightweight at the same time.
Realcook Charcoal BBQ Smoker Grill
If you are looking for a vertical charcoal smoker, Realcook offers one of the best charcoal smoker grills. Realcook took the concept of a smoker and broke it down to versatile uses. You can use this model as a firepit, a double-chambered charcoal smoker, or a direct heat grill. The unit is 41 inches tall when fully assembled.
The handles on the smoker’s body are heat-resistant. There’s door access on both sides, making it unique from most other smokers. This feature lets you add wood chips or extra charcoal to the lower part without causing drastic changes to the cooking area temperature.
Another different feature that comes with this charcoal smoker is sausage hooks under the lid. It’s a very convenient feature for people who love versatile cooking. It also introduces a more spacious area for accomodating meat.
Cuisinart COS-118 Vertical Charcoal Smoker
With a thermometer on the lid, this vertical charcoal smoker from Cuisinart features all the things you can expect from the best smoker grill. There is an access door and separated chambers for the fuel and the food. You can add charcoal and wood chips without disturbing your food.
Two adjustable racks will easily let you cook a large amount of food at once. This is an essential feature provided that smokers take a long time to cook food. It’s pretty simple to assemble too, so you don’t have to go through a lot of confusions.
This is one of the best charcoal grill and smoker you can find to talk about the cooking performance. It’s primarily made to be used as a smoker, but you can easily use it as a grill using the lower rack because it produces enough high heat for grilling.
Day by day, vertical smokers are getting popular. If you wish to get one for yourself too, you should definitely consider this one.
Masterbuilt Gravity Series 1050 Digital Charcoal Grill and Smoker
Masterbuilt is always a place of trust among users. Keeping its image intact, this digital charcoal grill and smoker is as good as it gets. Compared to other smokers, it’s more user-oriented. You can end your entire cooking process using a small amount of charcoal, which ensures minimum charcoal wastage.The amount of heat it can produce using so little charcoal is astonishing.
The design is also very protected to avoid causing you any injury. Precise temperature control and a digital fan give you full control over your meal.
A warming rack made with porcelain-coated stainless steel is another mentionable feature of this model. There’s Bluetooth connectivity, so you can use your mobile to control the settings on the smoker.
To sum up all its perks, the Masterbuilt gravity series provides you digital features, minimal wastage, and a smart structure for well-cooked delicious meat.
Char-Broil Bullet Charcoal Smoker
ThisChar-Broil bullet smoker introduced some innovations to the concept of capsule smokers. You can easily operate the lower damper by using a slide handle. There’s no water tray inside, but you can use the dripping tray whenever you need extra steam.
The lower ash pan is removable, making it easier for you to clean it up. There’s a nonstick porcelain coating on the grates to remove any food residue from them effortlessly.
A hinged side access door will allow you to add any wood chips or charcoal whenever you need it. You can also use this door to check your meat progress. The door seals perfectly, which is a great feature given that most competitors cannot offer this feature.
The lid features a built-in thermometer to help you monitor your food temperature. But the temperature is not as precise as you might expect, so bear that in mind when buying.
Another downside of this smoker is the gap between the two racks is not very spacious. So, if you want to cook foods tall in size, you may face some trouble.
Masterbuilt 20060416 Charcoal Bullet Smoker
This might be the best charcoal smoker for beginners. Compact in size and easy to use, this smoker combines a vast array of features for all users. You can effortlessly move this smoker around and use it without anyone’s help. Besides, if you are trying charcoal smoking for the first time, this bullet smoker is a smart investment because the price is within a reasonable limit.
The compact feature of this smoker doesn’t limit its capability to cook various types of meat. The interior is spacious enough to accommodate diverse meat sizes. There’s an external thermometer that is pretty easy to read to keep track of the temperature without any hassle.
Even though you are getting this smoker at a low price doesn’t mean it’s not worth it. In fact, you are getting everything you want in a smoker; performance, affordable price, ease of use, and portability.
Giantex Vertical Charcoal Smoker 2-Tier Outdoor Barbeque Grill with Thermometer
If you are into vertical smokers, Giantex is another smart choice for you. This model features an external thermometer placed on the door so you can keep track of the temperature without opening the door. Both sides feature four vents, so you can open and close them to control the airflow according to your need. This gives your precise control over your food.
Spacious cooking space will grant you a diverse cooking option. You can cook any meat using this 2-tier smoker for an excellent flavor and perfect cooking experience. There’s a double door feature, meaning that the fuel and the food stay separated.
Unlike most other smokers, the structure is made of temperature-resistant plastic-sprayed iron. The grills and brackets, on the other hand, are chrome plated and high heat-conductive.
A great combination of smoking and roasting, this charcoal smoker has everything you need in a midrange smoker.
Types of smokers
There are a few types of smokers categorized based on their basic features. The most common ones are-
Also referred to as propane smokers, gas smokers use gas as a fuel to heat up and smoke foods. Gas smokers provide an affordable option, but they have limitations when it comes to flavors. The maintenance and cleaning process also provides an advantage for gas or propane smokers.
Charcoal smokers require more effort and maintenance, but the flavors they offer have no equivalent. It can take a bit of experience and patience to be able to execute charcoal smoking. If you combine charcoal with wood pellets in a charcoal smoker, you will get the best flavor than any other smoker.
The fundamental thing to love about an offset smoker is they provide a spacious cooking option to cook for a large group of people. The downside is it takes quite some time to start up an offset smoker. Besides, you have to invest a fair amount of money if you want a good offset smoker because cheap ones are a waste of money.
Pellet smokers combine electric smoker benefits with traditional smoking. You will get the convenience of an electric smoker merged with the flavors of traditionally smoked foods. But pellet smokers don’t come cheap, and wood pellets aren’t as available as gas or charcoal.
Electric smokers are easy to use, perfect for urban settings, and require almost no attention. You can do your own thing while keeping your meat to be smoked inside an electric smoker. But you won’t get the same flavors you get with actual combustion when you are using an electric smoker.
Difference between a smoker and standard grill
The primary difference between a smoker and a standard grill lies within three factors; cooking time, temperature, and flavor.
Many people prefer grills to smokers because they produce quick results. You are cooking on direct heat while using the grill. That means your food will cook quickly. On the contrary, there’s a very good chance of burning your food too.
Smoking can take hours. The intention of smoking your food is to infuse the flavors into the food, which takes a long time. If you compare both, a grill is perfect for entertaining a large group of guests because a grill will cook more meat in less time.
If you are looking for strong flavor in heavy meat, smoking is your better option.
A grill temperature can rise up to 400 degrees F, where a smoker reaches a much lower temperature range. This is one of the major differences between a grill and a smoker.
You will get an authentic barbeque flavor when using a charcoal or wood grill. Even though smokers use a long time to prepare meat, it’s well worth the wait. A grill, on the other hand, will result in a different taste. The meat will be moist and flavorful but not smoky.
Charcoal smoker and wood-burning smoker, which one is the best?
People often wonder which option is better when it comes to smoking; wood-burning smokers or charcoal smokers? By comparing all features, we’ve created a comparison for you to judge for yourself.
Ease of Use
Wood-burning smokers are comparatively easier to use than charcoal smokers. Starting up the fire is relatively easy. And then you just adjust how frequently and how much wood you add to the fire to control the temperature.
Charcoal smokers, on the other hand, requires experience. You may need about 20 minutes only to light up the charcoal, depending on your experience level. Controlling the temperature is even more challenging. You need to have good knowledge about handling the airflow to adjust the temperature.
Wood smokers don’t offer you that much versatility. They’re usually more appropriate for cooking meat at a low temperature because you can’t reach very high heat with them.
Charcoal smokers offer more variety in this field. You can adjust the temperature from low to medium to high and cook versatile meat.
Most people will agree that charcoal smokers offer more great flavors than wood-burning smokers.
Wood-burning smokers are easy to clean and requires less maintenance than charcoal smokers. You can do general cleaning with wood-burning smokers, where charcoal smokers may require regular cleaning because of the produced ashes during smoking.
It comes down to you in the end which features you look for in your smoked food. If you want easy maintenance and an easy-to-use smoker, you should go for a wood-burning one. If you are looking for strong flavors and versatile cooking, charcoal is a better choice for you. There’s no loser in this argument. And if you want to take your cooking game to the next level, you can combine them and get the best of both of them.
How to choose the best charcoal smoker?
Before getting a charcoal smoker, consider a few things. Evaluating your option before buying anything is a much better option because it offers you the best alternative and leaves you with no regret.
Your budget is important
The amount you can or want to spend will determine what type of smoker you should buy.If your budget is less than a standard rate, you may wish to avoid charcoal smokers, as everything in your budget will be cheap and difficult to work with.
An improper budget range will also result in a smoker where the quality will not be very satisfactory. If you have a low budget, you might want to consider gas, electricity, or other smokers that suits your budget. Finally, if you can get your budget higher, your options will open up right away, and you can look for high-quality tech-savvy smokers of famous brands.
Type of fuel
Your budget determines your options, but you still have to choose which fuel source or type of smoker to choose within your budget. Usually, We recommend smoking charcoal to anyone who wants to learn the art of barbecuing.A pellet smoker is for someone who just wants a good meal and can spend money on it. And a propane smoker is suitablefor someone who doesn’t have much to spend but wants to prepare and forget with a pellet smoker convenience.
Kamado is a worthy option if you have a fair budget and want a combination of barbecue and smokers.
Number of people you will cook for
All types of smokers come in various sizes, although some, such as electric and propane, usually work in large sizes.You can usually compare the cooking area’s size in square inches, and many manufacturers will provide a helpful guide to how many chickens or burgers you can place.
Remember that a smoker has a certain number of square inches does not mean that You will really fit what you plan to cook.Many people are disappointed to learn that their “huge” electric smoker cannot place a full brisket or rack of ribs without dividing them into pieces.
Do you want it to be portable?
Smokers are not usually the most portable device. However, some manufacturers make decent units that are can be moved to a campsite.
They are almost always compact and fit comfortably in your trunk.
If you’re ready to spend a fair amount of money, consider buying something that comes with a strong brand image. Famous brands will offer you longevity, so you don’t regret your decision. A good-quality smoker should last long enough to be well worth your money.
Do you need a sole smoker or a combo?
Another crucial thing to consider is what you’re expecting from your smoker. Do you want it to be solely dedicated to smoking, or do you want it to grill for you too? Each of them will result in different options.
What is the healthiest charcoal to use for a charcoal smoker?
Briquettes will offer you the cleanest version possible if you are looking for healthy charcoal. These normally use a sugar-based natural binding agent that burns clean.
How Do I Smoke Meat with a Charcoal Smoker?
To be short and precise, prepare your fuel, fill your water pan with cold water, light the coal using a charcoal chimney, add your meat to the cooking area, control the temperature, add the wood chunks, and then let your food cook long and slow.
There’s no reason not to love charcoal smoking. If we are talking about flavors, no way there’s anything better than charcoal smoking. It takes patience and time, but the outcome it brings is just outstanding.
But selecting the right charcoal for your smoking isn’t a piece of cake. If you are getting into charcoal smoking for the first time, the entire experience may hang to the smoker you are using. Be smart before spending a whole lot of money out of enthusiasm. Take your time and filter through the best charcoal smoker for yourself.