How to Choose the Best Outdoor Smoker For Beginners?

19 minutes read

When choosing the best outdoor smoker for beginners, it is important to consider a few key factors. First, think about the type of fuel you want to use - whether it be charcoal, wood, electric, or gas. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, so select one that best suits your preferences and needs.


Next, consider the size of the smoker. For beginners, a smaller, more compact smoker is usually easier to manage and control. Look for a smoker with adjustable vents and temperature gauges for easier monitoring and control of the cooking process.


Also, think about the construction and materials of the smoker. Opt for a sturdy and durable smoker that is built to last, preferably made of high-quality materials like stainless steel or thick cast iron.


Additionally, consider the extra features and accessories that come with the smoker, such as shelves, racks, and built-in thermometers. These can make the smoking process easier and more convenient for beginners.


Finally, take into account your budget and choose a smoker that offers good value for the price. It's okay to start with a simpler and more affordable model as a beginner, and you can always upgrade to a more advanced smoker in the future as you gain more experience.

Best Outdoor Smokers of July 2024

1
Masterbuilt® 30-inch Digital Electric Vertical BBQ Smoker with Leg Kit, Side Wood Chip Loader and 710 Cooking Square Inches in Black, Model MB20070421

Rating is 5 out of 5

Masterbuilt® 30-inch Digital Electric Vertical BBQ Smoker with Leg Kit, Side Wood Chip Loader and 710 Cooking Square Inches in Black, Model MB20070421

  • Vertical digital electric smoker with 710 square inches of cooking space
  • Digital controls to easily set cooking time and temperature up to 275°F
  • Four chrome-coated smoking racks
  • Removable water bowl to add moisture and catch food drippings
2
EAST OAK 30" Digital Electric Smoker, Outdoor Smoker with Glass Door and Meat Thermometer, 725 Sq Inches of Cooking with Remote, 4 Detachable Racks Smoker Grill for Party, Home BBQ, Night Blue

Rating is 4.9 out of 5

EAST OAK 30" Digital Electric Smoker, Outdoor Smoker with Glass Door and Meat Thermometer, 725 Sq Inches of Cooking with Remote, 4 Detachable Racks Smoker Grill for Party, Home BBQ, Night Blue

  • 𝗕𝗲𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝗦𝗺𝗼𝗸𝗲𝗿 𝗙𝗹𝗮𝘃𝗼𝗿: The smoker features a side wood chip loader for continuous smoking for 2-3 hours without opening the door and adding chips, preserving the internal heat, and locking in the smoked flavors
  • 𝗧𝗲𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗿 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗝𝘂𝗶𝗰𝘆 𝗧𝗮𝘀𝘁𝗲: The 800W power heating tube in the electric smoker creates consistent smoke from wood chips, guaranteeing tender, juicy meats through low and slow cooking. Follow EAST OAK's website for more delectable recipes
  • 𝗣𝗿𝗲𝗰𝗶𝘀𝗲 𝗢𝗯𝘀𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗳 𝗙𝗼𝗼𝗱: The visual glass door allows you to directly observe the food in the smoker, and the internal light also aids in illumination. The meat probe detects food temperature and keeps track of smoking progress and heat in real-time
  • 𝗘𝘅𝗰𝗲𝗹𝗹𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗗𝘂𝗿𝗮𝗯𝗶𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘆: The digital smoker features a casing made of three layers of high-quality materials. Additionally, aluminum plating along the edges reduces deformation and damage, ensuring long-lasting durability for outdoor use
3
Ninja OG951 Woodfire Pro Connect Premium XL Outdoor Grill & Smoker, Bluetooth, App Enabled, 7-in-1 Master Grill, BBQ Smoker, Outdoor Air Fryer, Woodfire Technology, 2 Built-In Thermometers, Black

Rating is 4.8 out of 5

Ninja OG951 Woodfire Pro Connect Premium XL Outdoor Grill & Smoker, Bluetooth, App Enabled, 7-in-1 Master Grill, BBQ Smoker, Outdoor Air Fryer, Woodfire Technology, 2 Built-In Thermometers, Black

  • 7-IN-1 FUNCTIONALITY: Grill, BBQ smoke, Air Fry, Roast, Bake, Broil, and Dehydrate with 100% real woodfire flavors​ all in one place.
  • WOODFIRE TECHNOLOGY: Powered by electricity, flavored by real wood burning pellets for all the flavor and none of the flame. Add woodfire flavor you can see and taste. ​
  • FOOLPROOF BBQ SMOKER: Authentic BBQ bark and flavor—fast and easy with just ½ cup of pellets.
  • DUAL THERMOMETER COOKING: Includes 2 built-in thermometers so you can cook 2 different protein types to 2 different doneness settings from rare to well.
4
Ninja OG701 7-in-1 Outdoor Electric Grill & Smoker - Grill, BBQ, Air Fry, Bake, Roast, Dehydrate & Broil - Uses Woodfire Pellets - Portable & Weather Resistant

Rating is 4.7 out of 5

Ninja OG701 7-in-1 Outdoor Electric Grill & Smoker - Grill, BBQ, Air Fry, Bake, Roast, Dehydrate & Broil - Uses Woodfire Pellets - Portable & Weather Resistant

  • MASTER GRILL, BBQ SMOKER, & AIR FRYER: All in one with 100% real smoky flavor..Voltage: ‎120 volts
  • MASTER GRILL: Get all the performance of a full-size propane grill with the same char and searing.
  • FOOLPROOF BBQ SMOKER: Create authentic BBQ bark and flavor fast and easy with just 1/2 cup of pellets.
  • OUTDOOR AIR FRYER: Add smoky flavor to your air fried favorites and cook all your side dishes outdoors.
  • WEATHER-RESISTANT: Cook and store outdoors year-round.
  • 1760-WATT ELECTRIC POWER: No charcoal, propane, or flareups. Balcony & apartment friendly.
5
Cuisinart COS-244 Vertical Propane Smoker with Temperature & Smoke Control, Four Removable Shelves, 36", Black

Rating is 4.6 out of 5

Cuisinart COS-244 Vertical Propane Smoker with Temperature & Smoke Control, Four Removable Shelves, 36", Black

  • Product Dimensions: 19.3" L x 18.1" W x 38.6" H | Weight: 69.5 lb
  • FOUR 14 X 14-INCH REMOVABLE STAINLESS STEEL SHELVES: Four stainless steel racks can be easily removed for smoking whole birds or large cuts of meat. Racks are dishwasher safe, making cleanup easy.
  • BUILT-IN THERMOMETER: Features easy-to-read thermometer on the front door for accessible monitoring of the internal temperature.
  • SEAL-TIGHT TWIST-LOCK DOOR AND HANDLE: The door stays tightly sealed with a twist of the handle.
6
Masterbuilt® 40-inch ThermoTemp Propane Gas Vertical BBQ Smoker with Analog Temperature Control and 960 Cooking Square Inches in Black, Model MB20051316

Rating is 4.5 out of 5

Masterbuilt® 40-inch ThermoTemp Propane Gas Vertical BBQ Smoker with Analog Temperature Control and 960 Cooking Square Inches in Black, Model MB20051316

  • Vertical propane smoker with 960 square inches of cooking space
  • Ignition button to easily light fuel with the push of a button
  • Four chrome-coated smoking racks
  • Woodchip tray to add delicious smoky-flavor to food
  • Adjustable air damper for smoke control
7
Royal Gourmet SE2805 28-Inch Analog Electric Smoker with 3 Cooking Grates, 454 sq inches Cooking Area in Total, 1350W Output, Outdoor BBQ Smoker with Adjustable Temperature Control, Black

Rating is 4.4 out of 5

Royal Gourmet SE2805 28-Inch Analog Electric Smoker with 3 Cooking Grates, 454 sq inches Cooking Area in Total, 1350W Output, Outdoor BBQ Smoker with Adjustable Temperature Control, Black

  • Better Smoked Flavor: The bottom heating tube works with a removable stainless steel water pan and a chip box to add smoked flavor and make it more tender.
  • Outstanding Heating Performance: 1350-watt heating power and an insulated chamber provide an even and consistent heating experience.
8
Vertical Propane Smoker with Temperature Control, BBQ Smoker Grill Outdoor Heavy Duty Three Removable Smoking Shelves, Black

Rating is 4.3 out of 5

Vertical Propane Smoker with Temperature Control, BBQ Smoker Grill Outdoor Heavy Duty Three Removable Smoking Shelves, Black

  • With its simple design and a large smoking chamber, this vertical gas Smoker is the perfect choice for any enthusiast of smoked food, its compact design fits nicely on most patios or decks.
  • Incredibly solid and well-built, this sturdy smoker’s door seals in the smoke. The extra wide racks allow for ample airflow around the meat. Both the water bowl and wood chip tray are easy to access.
  • Smokers with wider racks to allow for larger-format smoking or big cuts of meat. The door of the cooking chamber can seal tightly shut, to trap smoke inside with minimal leaks.
9
Masterbuilt® 30-inch Electric Vertical BBQ Smoker with Analog Temperature Control, Chrome Smoking Racks and 535 Cooking Square Inches in Black, Model MB20070210

Rating is 4.2 out of 5

Masterbuilt® 30-inch Electric Vertical BBQ Smoker with Analog Temperature Control, Chrome Smoking Racks and 535 Cooking Square Inches in Black, Model MB20070210

  • SPACIOUS VERTICLE DESIGN with 535 cooking square inches that fits up to 3 chickens, 2 turkeys or 3 racks of ribs
  • REMOVABLE WOOD CHIP TRAY – Add rich smoky flavor to your food and experiment with different wood chip types.
  • THREE chrome coated smoking racks included


How to choose a smoker with durable construction?

  1. Look for smokers made with heavy-duty materials such as stainless steel, cast iron, or thick gauge steel. These materials are more likely to withstand the elements and resist corrosion over time.
  2. Check for welded seams and solid construction. Smokers that are put together with sturdy welds and without any loose parts are more likely to last longer and withstand high temperatures.
  3. Consider the design and overall build of the smoker. Look for features such as reinforced legs, sturdy handles, and a solid lid that will contribute to the durability of the smoker.
  4. Read reviews and check for ratings from other customers who have purchased and used the smoker. They can provide valuable insight into the quality and durability of the product.
  5. Look for smokers from reputable brands known for their quality and durability. These brands are more likely to use high-quality materials and construction techniques to ensure a long-lasting product.
  6. Consider the warranty offered by the manufacturer. A longer warranty may indicate that the manufacturer has confidence in the durability of their product.
  7. If possible, inspect the smoker in person before purchasing to check for any signs of flimsy construction or weak spots that may indicate a lack of durability.


How to choose a smoker with consistent temperature control?

When choosing a smoker with consistent temperature control, consider the following factors:

  1. Quality of construction: Look for a smoker that is built with high-quality materials and is well-insulated. This will help maintain a consistent temperature throughout the cooking process.
  2. Type of fuel: Different types of smokers use different fuels, such as charcoal, wood pellets, or electric. Choose a fuel type that you are comfortable with and that will provide consistent temperature control.
  3. Temperature control features: Look for smokers that have features such as adjustable dampers, vents, or thermostats that allow you to easily regulate the temperature. Some smokers also come with built-in temperature probes or controllers that help maintain a consistent temperature.
  4. Size of the smoker: Consider the size of the smoker and how much cooking space you need. Larger smokers may have more difficulty maintaining a consistent temperature, so choose a size that fits your needs without sacrificing temperature control.
  5. Reviews and recommendations: Read reviews from other users to see how well a particular smoker maintains temperature control. Look for recommendations from experienced smokers or professional chefs who have tested the product in various cooking scenarios.


By considering these factors, you can choose a smoker with consistent temperature control that will help you achieve the best results in your smoking adventures.


How to select a smoker with good heat retention?

  1. Material: Choose a smoker made of heavy-gauge steel or cast iron, as these materials have good heat retention properties. Avoid smokers made of thin metal or other materials that may not retain heat well.
  2. Insulation: Look for smokers with good insulation, such as a double-walled construction or a thick layer of insulation material. This will help to retain heat more effectively and maintain a consistent cooking temperature.
  3. Seals: Check for tight seals on the doors and vents of the smoker to prevent heat from escaping. A good seal will also help to maintain a consistent temperature inside the smoker.
  4. Size and Shape: Consider the size and shape of the smoker, as these factors can affect heat retention. Smokers with a smaller cooking chamber or a more compact design may retain heat better than larger, more open smokers.
  5. Reviews and Recommendations: Read reviews and seek recommendations from other users to find smokers that are known for their good heat retention. Look for feedback on how well the smoker maintains temperature during long cooking sessions.
  6. Price: While price is not always an indicator of quality, be wary of extremely cheap smokers that may not have good heat retention properties. Invest in a smoker from a reputable brand known for producing high-quality products.


What is the best type of smoker for smoking poultry?

The best type of smoker for smoking poultry is typically a wood pellet smoker or a charcoal smoker. Both types of smokers can provide a consistent and even heat source, which is important for cooking poultry to the proper temperature without drying it out. Additionally, using wood chips or chunks in these types of smokers can add delicious smoky flavor to the poultry. Electric smokers can also work well for smoking poultry, as they are easy to use and provide a consistent temperature control. Ultimately, the best type of smoker for smoking poultry will depend on personal preference and experience level.


How to select a smoker within your budget?

  1. Determine your budget: Before starting your search for a smoker, set a realistic budget that you are comfortable spending. This will help you narrow down your options and focus on smokers that are within your price range.
  2. Consider the type of smoker: There are different types of smokers available, such as charcoal smokers, pellet smokers, electric smokers, and gas smokers. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, so consider which type would best fit your needs and cooking preferences.
  3. Look for sales and discounts: Keep an eye out for sales, promotions, and discounts on smokers. Many retailers offer sales during holidays or special events, which can help you save money on your purchase.
  4. Compare prices: Once you have a budget in mind, compare prices of different smokers from various brands and retailers. Look for models that offer the features you need at a price point that fits your budget.
  5. Read reviews and ratings: Before making a decision, read reviews and ratings from other customers who have purchased the smoker you are considering. This can help you determine the quality and performance of the smoker, as well as any potential drawbacks.
  6. Consider used or refurbished options: If you are on a tight budget, consider looking for used or refurbished smokers. These options can be more affordable than purchasing a brand new smoker, but make sure to thoroughly inspect the item before making a purchase.
  7. Look for additional features: Some smokers come with additional features, such as built-in thermometers, temperature control systems, and extra cooking racks. Consider whether these features are important to you and if they are worth the extra cost.
  8. Measure the size and capacity: Make sure to consider the size and capacity of the smoker to ensure it can accommodate the amount of food you plan to cook. A larger smoker may be more expensive, so consider your cooking needs when selecting a size.
  9. Consider the cost of accessories and maintenance: In addition to the cost of the smoker itself, factor in the cost of accessories such as wood chips, pellets, and cleaning supplies. Also, consider the maintenance requirements of the smoker and any additional costs associated with upkeep.
  10. Prioritize quality and durability: While it may be tempting to opt for the cheapest smoker available, investing in a high-quality and durable smoker may save you money in the long run. Choose a smoker that is built to last and will provide consistent results for years to come.


What is the ideal smoking time for beginners?

There is no ideal smoking time for beginners, as it ultimately depends on the individual's tolerance and preferences. However, it is recommended for beginners to start with a small amount and take their time to gauge the effects before smoking more. It is also important to smoke in a safe and comfortable environment. Beginners should experiment with different amounts and timing to find what works best for them.

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