Best Vertical Smokers: Top Picks for 2023

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Vertical smokers are a popular choice for barbecue enthusiasts who want to achieve that smoky, mouthwatering flavor in their meats and vegetables. As opposed to horizontal smokers, vertical smokers have a more compact design, making them an ideal option for those with limited outdoor space. Additionally, they provide better heat distribution and retention, allowing for more efficient cooking.

These specialized cooking devices are available in various sizes and materials, including steel, ceramic, and cast iron. When choosing a vertical smoker, it’s essential to consider its durability, fuel type, and temperature control. Thermometers are often built-in, but you should also look for adjustable vents and dampers to control the heat level.

Fuel options for vertical smokers include charcoal, wood, propane, and electric, each offering its unique advantages. While charcoal and wood smokers may deliver the most authentic smoky flavor, propane and electric smokers provide more accurate and convenient temperature control. The size of the smoker should align with your cooking requirements, whether you’re cooking for a small family or entertaining large groups.

With numerous options on the market, selecting the best vertical smoker can be an overwhelming task. We spent countless hours researching and testing various models to determine the top vertical smokers that combine performance, ease of use, and durability. Let us guide you through our findings to make an informed decision and elevate your barbecuing experience.

Best Vertical Smokers

Discover your perfect vertical smoker from our carefully curated list of top-rated products. Enhance your outdoor cooking experience and impress your guests with mouthwatering, smoky flavors.

PIT BOSS PB7000SP Wood Pellet Smoker, 7 Series Vertical

The Pit Boss PB7000SP Wood Pellet Smoker is a versatile option for outdoor enthusiasts looking to cook a variety of foods with authentic wood-smoked flavor.

Pros

  • Broad temperature range from 150°F to 420°F
  • Spacious 1,853 sq.in of cooking capacity with six adjustable racks
  • Sturdy stainless steel construction and 55 lb. hopper capacity

Cons

  • Might be challenging to assemble for some users
  • Shipping damages reported in some cases
  • Can be considered bulky and heavy

The PIT BOSS PB7000SP Wood Pellet Smoker offers an exceptional cooking experience for those who love the great outdoors and enjoy the taste of real hardwood pellet flavor. You’ll find that smoking fish, game, jerky, and more is a breeze with this reliable smoker.

Not only is the temperature range versatile, allowing you to smoke slow and low, roast, and even braise, but the digital control board also works seamlessly with Pit Boss meat probes. This makes monitoring your food’s doneness without opening the smoker door much easier. Additionally, you’ll appreciate the four locking caster wheels, making it simpler to move the smoker around your outdoor cooking area.

Of course, it’s worth noting that this smoker is on the heavier side – weighing in at 142 pounds. While some users might find this challenging, it’s essential to remember that its solid stainless steel construction is designed for durability, which adds to the overall weight. There have also been reports of shipping damages, but these instances seem to be isolated.

In conclusion, if you’re seeking a powerful and versatile smoker to enhance your outdoor culinary game, the PIT BOSS PB7000SP Wood Pellet Smoker is undoubtedly a top choice to consider. Its myriad features and impressive capacity provide an enjoyable smoking experience that is perfect for any avid cook.

Cuisinart COS-330 Vertical Electric Smoker

The Cuisinart COS-330 is an ideal choice for those looking to start smoking food with a user-friendly and efficient electric smoker.

Pros

  • Spacious 548 square inches of cooking space
  • Easy-to-read built-in thermometer
  • Convenient stainless steel trays for wood and water

Cons

  • May struggle to maintain consistent temperature
  • Requires wood chips when grilling
  • 1500-watt heating element may limit high-temperature performance

The Cuisinart COS-330 Vertical Electric Smoker is designed for casual or first-time smokers who want a user-friendly experience. It boasts a generous 548 square inches of cooking space with three removable, dishwasher-safe, chrome-coated racks. This spacious interior allows you to smoke a variety of meats and vegetables for a large group of people.

One of the hallmark features of this electric smoker is its built-in thermometer on the front door, which provides easy monitoring of the internal temperature. This, in combination with the 1500-watt heating element, allows you to control the temperature within the range of 100°F to 400°F easily. Moreover, the stainless steel trays for wood chips and water make for easy clean-up and quick start-ups.

While the Cuisinart COS-330 has many great features, it does have a few drawbacks. Some users have reported difficulty in maintaining a consistent temperature, which can affect the quality of the smoked food. Additionally, the smoker requires the use of wood chips when grilling, adding an extra step to the process. Finally, the 1500-watt heating element may not be sufficient for some high-temperature smoking tasks.

Overall, the Cuisinart COS-330 Electric Smoker is a great option for those just starting in the world of smoked food. Its user-friendly design and spacious interior make it perfect for casual smokers and backyard barbecues. While it may have some limitations in temperature consistency and heating power, it still offers an enjoyable and convenient smoking experience.

Char-Broil Vertical Liquid Propane Gas Smoker

The Char-Broil Vertical Propane Smoker delivers a consistent smoking experience and a versatile design, perfect for both beginners and experienced smokers.

Pros

  • Large cooking chamber with multiple rack positions
  • Double drawer design for easy access to wood and water
  • Consistent heat delivery with propane burner

Cons

  • Can consume more water due to single bowl design
  • Door thermometer may not be accurate
  • Accessing the water/wood drawer when hot can be challenging

The Char-Broil Vertical Propane Smoker offers a spacious 595 square-inch cooking surface, featuring 3 chrome-plated cooking grates. With 7,566 cubic inches of cooking space, you will have plenty of room for your favorite smoked foods. The warming rack on top of the smoker chamber provides a convenient space for sauces and marinades.

The gas feature of this smoker allows for consistent heat, ensuring a better smoke experience. The propane burner has a separate temperature control, while the cooking chamber’s temperature is monitored with an additional temperature gauge.

One of the standout features of this smoker is its double-drawer design. This allows you to easily tend to the wood and water without losing heat within the cooking chamber. However, some users have found this smoker to consume more water because of its single bowl design, requiring constant refills. Additionally, accessing the water and wood drawer when hot can be a bit tricky.

In conclusion, the Char-Broil Vertical Liquid Propane Gas Smoker is an excellent choice for those looking for a vertical smoker with a large cooking capacity and consistent heat delivery. The unique double-drawer design offers convenience, but you may need to keep an eye on water consumption and handle the drawers carefully when hot.

Realcook Vertical 17 Inch Steel Charcoal Smoker

This versatile Realcook smoker offers a great outdoor cooking experience for both smoking and grilling enthusiasts.

Pros

  • Quality protection features such as a built-in thermometer and adjustable air supply
  • 453 square inches of cooking space with crossbar and hangers for various meat sizes and shapes
  • Multi-functional design for smoking, grilling, steaming, baking, braising, and roasting

Cons

  • Assembly can be time-consuming and instructions may lack clarity
  • May feel slightly flimsy due to its lightweight design
  • Requires some practice for temperature control and venting

Since you just unpacked your new Realcook Vertical 17 Inch Steel Charcoal Smoker, you’re probably eager to put it to the test. You’ll notice the quality protection features such as the built-in thermometer and adjustable air supply, making this smoker ideal for maintaining the perfect temperature.

With a total of 453 square inches of cooking space, you can easily smoke different sizes and shapes of meat using the crossbar and four hangers inside the lid. The multi-functional design also allows you to not only smoke but also grill, steam, bake, braise, and roast to your heart’s content. This smoker becomes a versatile addition to your outdoor cooking arsenal.

However, be prepared to spend some time assembling this smoker. The instructions might not be as clear as you’d like and could cause some frustration during assembly. In addition, the lightweight design might make the smoker feel somewhat flimsy, but it should hold up well for regular use. Remember, patience is key when learning to control the temperature and venting system, so don’t be discouraged if it takes some trial and error to master those aspects.

Overall, the Realcook Vertical 17 Inch Steel Charcoal Smoker offers great value for its price. Its versatile design and quality protection features make it an enjoyable experience for both smoking and grilling enthusiasts alike.

Masterbuilt Gravity Series 1050 Digital Charcoal Grill and Smoker

The Masterbuilt Gravity Series 1050 is an excellent choice for those seeking a versatile and user-friendly charcoal grill and smoker combo.

Pros

  • Rapid heating time: 225°F in 10 minutes, 700°F in 15 minutes
  • Digital control panel and smart device compatibility for temperature and cook time
  • Large hopper capacity for extended use

Cons

  • Heavy, weighing in at 203 pounds
  • May arrive with dents or damage from shipping
  • Requires a compatible smart device for full functionality

The Masterbuilt Gravity Series 1050 Digital Charcoal Grill and Smoker Combo offers an impressive heating time, reaching 225°F in just 10 minutes and 700°F in 15 minutes, allowing you to start grilling and smoking faster. The digital control panel, as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth compatibility, provides convenient control over temperature and cooking time, so you always achieve the perfect results.

This grill and smoker combo is designed with a GravityFed hopper that can hold up to 10 lbs. of lump charcoal or 16 lbs. of briquettes, providing up to 8 hours of continuous use. You’ll also appreciate the extra preparation space offered by the folding stainless steel shelf and side shelf.

However, the Masterbuilt Gravity Series 1050 does have some drawbacks. It’s quite heavy, weighing over 200 pounds, which can make it challenging to move around your outdoor space. Additionally, some users have received units with dents or shipping damage, so you may need to keep an eye out for quality control issues. Lastly, to make full use of the digital control panel and smart device compatibility, a compatible smart device is required.

Overall, the Masterbuilt Gravity Series 1050 Digital Charcoal Grill and Smoker Combo is a fantastic option for grill enthusiasts seeking a versatile and user-friendly experience. With its rapid heating time, precise temperature control, and large hopper capacity, you’ll have no problem enjoying deliciously grilled and smoked dishes anytime you like.

Buying Guide

When choosing the best vertical smoker, you should take into account several factors. In this guide, we’ll discuss some of the key aspects you need to consider while making your decision.

Firstly, consider the size and capacity of the smoker. Think about how much food you will usually need to smoke and the available space in your backyard or designated smoking area. Select a smoker with enough cooking racks and surface area that can accommodate your needs. Keep in mind, larger smokers generally require more fuel, so factor this into your decision as well.

Next, think about the type of cooking fuel you prefer. Vertical smokers can be powered by charcoal, propane, or electric power. Each fuel source has its own advantages and drawbacks:

  • Charcoal smokers provide an authentic smoky flavor but may require more attention and time to maintain a consistent temperature.
  • Propane-powered smokers offer convenience and easy temperature control, but the flavor may not be as strong as charcoal smokers.
  • Electric smokers are the easiest to use but may lack the smoky flavor experienced with other fuel types.

Another important factor to consider is the build quality and durability of the smoker. Ensure that your choice has a sturdy, well-made frame as well as high-quality materials that will provide long-lasting performance. Look for features such as thick gauge steel and well-sealed doors to help maintain consistent temperatures and minimize heat loss.

Temperature control is crucial for a successful smoking experience. Vertical smokers should have a reliable built-in thermometer or a probe port for use with an external thermometer. Additionally, it is beneficial to have adjustable vents that enable you to fine-tune the airflow inside the smoker, ultimately controlling the temperature more effectively.

Lastly, consider the ease of cleaning and maintenance. Opt for a smoker with removable grates and an accessible grease management system or drip pan. This will make the cleaning process much simpler and help maintain your smoker’s quality over time.

By taking these factors into consideration, you can confidently choose the best vertical smoker to meet your needs and deliver delicious, perfectly smoked food.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top vertical smokers for beginners?

When starting out with vertical smokers, you can’t go wrong with the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker or the Masterbuilt Digital Electric Smoker. Both of these models are user-friendly and provide consistent results, making them ideal for beginners.

Which vertical smokers offer the best value for money?

Looking for a vertical smoker with impressive performance and reasonable price? Check out the Char-Broil Vertical Smoker and the Pit Barrel Cooker. These models offer a great balance between price and quality, giving you fantastic results without breaking the bank.

What is the best vertical pellet smoker?

If you’re a fan of pellet smokers, the Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett and the Traeger Pro 575 are top choices. Both of these smokers deliver excellent performance and are known for their reliability and durability.

What is the best vertical offset smoker?

For those interested in offset smokers, the Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Reverse Flow Smoker and the Dyna-Glo Vertical Offset Smoker stand out as top choices. These smokers provide consistent temperatures and even heat distribution, making them ideal for aficionados of low and slow cooking.

Which smokers do BBQ Pitmasters prefer?

Many BBQ Pitmasters favor the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker and the Kamado Joe Classic III. These smokers are known for their versatility, with the ability to smoke, roast, and grill, making them a valuable addition to any Pitmaster’s arsenal.

What smoker has the highest ratings and reviews?

While opinions may vary, the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker and the Masterbuilt Digital Electric Smoker have consistently received high ratings and rave reviews from both users and experts in the field. Their performance, ease of use, and durability make them standout choices in the world of vertical smokers.

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