8 Best Charcoal Smoker Reviews, Tips & Buying Guides
Charcoal is a fun and easy way to prepare food. For many people, it’s their favorite go-to for barbecuing because of the natural flavor it gives meat. But there are so many different brands on the market that it can be hard to find one that meets your needs. We’ve done all the work for you by reviewing eight great charcoal smokers. Read on to learn about each smoker and decide which best suits your needs!
[TOP 8] Best Charcoal Smoker Reviews in 2021
1. Weber 22-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker
The Weber 22-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker is the perfect way to get started smoking on your own. You can use it on your deck or patio, in a small cabin with no hookups, or even indoors if the weather isn’t nice enough for you outside.
This durable smoker comes with two cooking grates giving ample room for smoking more than one large item at a time, while moisture shutes make adding soaked wood easier during cooking hours. The hose through the top of the unit makes temperature control simpler by dampers that allow heat management throughout long cooks.
With these versatile features included in this affordable package smokers are looking forward to their next smoke midday just so they can use this cozy cooker!
2. Weber 18-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker
Something to savor and remember, the Weber 18-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker is a top notch BBQ smoker that helps you achieve an authentic smokehouse flavor at home.
Made of porcelain-enameled steel, this smoker comes with 2 nickel-plated 18-1/2-inch wide cooking grates and includes a water pan, thermometer, individual vents on bowl and lid to help maintain heat and adjustable air vents for smoking. Showcasing what’s possible in outdoor cooking and perfect for any backyard chef who cherishes authenticity when it comes to their barbecue options.
3. Dyna-Glo DGO1890BDC-D
Bring family and friends together for meals with a delicious barbecue. This Dyna-Glo DGO1890BDC features six height adjustable cooking grates that hold a total of 1890 square inches of space providing plenty of room to cook everything from hotdogs to slabs of ribs.
The porcelain enamel finished steel charcoal chamber is designed to keep briquettes stacked tightly for improved burn efficiency so you can get the most use out it. There is an ash management system in place with a charcoal chamber, grate and sliding, removable steel ash pan so you can easily manage ashes when done cooking.
Finally, this grill has been designed with a vertical design which lends itself naturally rising heat achieving greater efficiency and increased smoke flavor!
4. Char-Griller E06614 AKORN Jr. Portable Kamado Charcoal Grill
The Char-Griller E06614 AKORN is perfect for high heat grilling, cooking on the go, at home in the backyard, or camping. With just a few breaths you can work up an inferno to sear burgers and create crispy charred foods that have deep smoky flavor.
The heavy gauge steel construction with cast handles stands up to wear and tear while its insulated design traps smoke, heat, and moisture like expensive ceramic kamados – making it delicious to cook with less charcoal (so if there’s anything we hate its wasting resources!). This table top grill includes side shelves for grilling big portions or adding more surface area when needed!
The E06614 AKORN lets you enjoy traditional barbecue with ease and convenience in a compact, portable package that is great for tailgating and camping. Its 155-square-inch cooking area creates more than enough space to grill up your favorite meats, perfect for any BBQ enthusiast!
The E06614 features precise temperature controls which will allow you to sear steaks or smoke wings at higher temperatures without burning them. With the included Easy Dump Ash Pan, cleanup after grilling won’t be an issue!
5. Char-Griller E16620 Akorn Kamado Charcoal Grill
This Char-Griller Akorn Kamado Charcoal Grill is perfect for either high or low heat grilling. The design of this grill gives customers the opportunity to cook up to 27 burgers at once with its 447 square inches of cooking area.
This cooker has a triple-coated steel insulated containment system which helps maintain even cooking temperatures, plus it comes equipped with cast iron grates and locking lid so you can be confident that your foods are always safe from the elements. It includes 8″ Caster Wheels for ease in transporting around your backyard BBQ favorites any time!
The side shelf workstation also has hooks where you can attach your tools making it easy to always have your utensils on hand!
6. Cuisinart COS-118 Vertical 18″ Charcoal Smoker
A vertical smoker that lets you smoke turkey, ham, and anything else. It is made of stainless steel and has a water bowl (that’s porcelain enamel-cleaned and ready to live), dimensions that fit your countertop at 22 L x 24 W x 43 H inches, two 18″ racks for 510 square inches of space for cooking time so you can enjoy BBQing year round.
The top vent provides a dual air vent system which means the heating element will never run out. All this without being too big or bulky with 5.54 MC Cubic Feet of room- perfect if you have limited counter space. Feel smart about your purchase by grabbing one today!
7. Dyna-Glo DGX780BDC-D 36″ Vertical Charcoal Smoker
The Dyna-Glo Deluxe smoker is the perfect backyard grill for any connoisseur looking to go meatless. Made of durable stainless steel, this smoker has 4 cooking grates that allow you to smoke up to 784 sq. inches of total cooking area!
The charcoal management system includes a charcoal grate and removable ash pan, with an advanced design that makes it easy for poking air holes in your fuel without worrying about breathing in any debris or ashes. Plus, the temperature gauge will help you keep it at just the right spot–perfect if you’re looking to infuse some amazing flavor through smoky means!
When not doing all these awesome dishes with your smoker, make sure it’s safe by covering it up with our premium cover.
8. Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-D
The Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-D is an excellent choice for both home and professional chefs. This smoker offers the perfect cooking space on five chrome plated grates. With four racks of varying depths, this smoker will surely meet all of your cooking needs.
It also features a stainless steel temperature gauge with smoke zone to monitor ideal temperatures when infusing flavor into your food while smoking or barbecuing it! Smart handles allow easy access to hot coals even after you’re finished using the unit which comes with Cool Touch Spring Grip Handles that are designed to be cool during use.
Other wonderful features include heavy gauge steel construction; large front wheels that make mobility easier before and after cooking.
Above are Top 8 Best Charcoal Smoker Reviews. Now, let’s move to Some Tips and Guides on Buying Best Charcoal Smoker as below:
Tips and Guides on Buying Best Charcoal Smoker
1. What are benefits of Best Charcoal Smoker?
As compared to other grills Charcoal smoker lasts longer.
It holds the temperature well so you get to cook your food for a long time.
A charcoal smoker is easy to maintain and clean, and also environment friendly because no any harmful gas is released when it burns.
There is no need of buying fuel again and again in this you use only charcoal briquettes which can be easily obtained in market at cheap rates.
The process of smoking ruins the meat’s texture but when it comes to Best Charcoal Smoker grilling or searing becomes quite easy. You can sear the grill marks on your food using such smokers as they come with the facility of adjustable heat controls. Though if we talk about Electric Smoker than there is no need to sear the food as it is already cooked inside.
2. What are the types of Charcoal Smoker?
There are mainly three types of smokers available in market:
Vertical water smokers:
It contains vertical chamber where smoking chips are placed at bottom and meat is kept on top of it. The heat comes from below the food at first, then gradually penetrates into the deeper layers of your dish gradually cooking your dish evenly.
Offset firebox smoker:
In this both fire box and food chamber are separate which allows you to control heat according to requirement. This also helps you to give smoke flavor after searing the surface of meat for few minutes by closing one side door.
Bullet type smokers
They come with rounded shape where both food chamber and firebox are in same place. As compared to other types, it is easy to use as it is smaller in size yet powerful enough to cook your food evenly over low heat with the help of convectional airflow system.
3. How does Best Charcoal Smoker Work?
As we all know charcoal is an organic substance and when it burns due to chemical reaction heat is produced. You can prepare delicious dishes using this system in which the heat generated by charcoals is used for cooking purpose instead of gas or electricity.
This type comes with firebox and food chamber attached together which produces smoke and distributes evenly over meat surface through a fan base at bottom of smoker. If you are living in cold areas than electric smokers are best for you because they need less fuel as compared to other types. It has one plug so you do not require any kind of time to set up such type of smokers.
It works on the basis of propane gas tank having a smoker box attached with it. It easily maintains the temperature as there is no need to refill or ignite them frequently.
Charcoal Smokers work on the basis of fuel briquettes which are prepared by compressing sawdust and coal together. These things produce heat and smoke after burning that penetrates into food slowly providing smoky flavor in your dish .
As compared to other types, charcoal smokers take more time to heat up but once you achieved required temperature than you can cook your dish for a long time without disturbing its taste .
4. What are the factors you should consider before buying Best Charcoal Smoker?
You should set proper budget so that you do not regret later over price range purchased using discount coupon codes available online. Always prefer high quality smoker which also comes with better warranty period.
It should be according to the party you are planning to cook for. If it is small or large one both will serve your purpose but make sure of cooking space available inside it as some types do not give proper access to upper racks.
High power smokers can easily maintain required temperature but they need more fuel too on the other hand low powered ones cannot provide smoke flavor properly after searing meats on it .
You should choose such type of smokers which are easy to carry and move from one place to another so that you can also carry them while camping, picnic etc. If you are planning to buy one best charcoal smoker then Big easy smokers are better options for you because it comes with infrared light system which penetrates into the food faster giving fantastic smoky flavor.
You will get all accessories needed to cook your dish like poultry rack, cooking grate, heat shield etc along with it. It has oil drip pan where excess fat will fall down leaving healthier dishes. This type works on gas but if you want charcoal inside it than there is no need to worry as its manufacturer provide special adaptor tube for that purpose.
This type of smokers takes less time to heat up and maintain even temperature after heating up according to requirement. The only drawback of this type is that it comes with expensive price but if you need it for special occasions than its investment will pay off. It has a limited warranty period as compared to other types.
5. Steps by Steps on How to Use Best Charcoal Smoker
Step 1: You should start your smoker by turning on ignition, adjusting temperature knob and putting water pan inside. Add coal to fuel chamber and start adding briquettes in it.
Step 2: Now put cooking grate over the top of it then add meat or other ingredients that you want to cook slowly while applying sauce or marinade on them . You can also add wood chunks after covering lid so that smoky flavor penetrates into food easily.
Step 3: Keep checking foods every 45 minutes so that you can control its taste according to requirement. Apply more smoke if required using wood chunks later using tongs to avoid burning fingers due to excess heat coming out from oven’s vents.
6. How many of Best Charcoal Smoker do I need for Picnic?
If you are planning to cook for small number of people at least 3-4 best charcoal smokers will be good to serve your purpose. You can also buy such type of portable smokers which easily fit in car trunks and come with four legs so that it stands stable on ground while cooking food.
Big easy is the best type as it comes with two large grills inside where you can cook enough amount of meat first then keep them warm later after serving first round. This smoker only take 1/2 hour time to heat up according to requirement and no need to refill fuel frequently so it’s great choice for camping too if you have limited budgets.
7. What are common mistakes beginners while using Best Charcoal Smoker?
You should keep checking temperature regularly because over high temperature can burn your food while low temperature cannot give you required taste. It is better to avoid placing too much charcoal in it at a time as it will take more time to heat up according to requirement.
You should also turn off your smoker when you leave home or go for picnic so that fuel do not burn continuously till the time you return back. Always use gloves while handling hot grills/ trays without touching them .
8. Steps by Steps on How to clean Best Charcoal Smoker?
Step 1: You should unplug your smoker and let it cool down for at least half an hour.
Step 2: Now remove cooking grills from the oven using tongs to avoid burning hands due to excess heat coming out from vents.
Step 3: Place them on wooden surface then scrape off leftover food particles with help of wire brush.
Step 4: Put cooking grills inside dishwasher if it comes with removable trays so that you can clean them easily without touching hot parts directly. Keep checking its condition after completing one cycle as some dishwasher’s high temperature can burn their finish or paint job leaving rust marks behind which make your smoker look old quickly .
9. How I find my best charcoal smoker over internet?
Many websites and blogs are available on internet that help you to choose best charcoal smoker by comparing different types and brands for example: CHopshop614.com.
You can also find many videos on youtube if you keep searching related keywords like best offset smokers, vertical water smokers etc. using search engines like Google or Bing as they offer special discounts during festive seasons so don’t forget to take advantage of such offers if your budget is medium range.
Always check features carefully before buying any type of grill as there may be difference in warranty period and its material quality .
10. How to cook with Best Charcoal Smoker?
In this type, several types of cooking methods are used such as indirect heat method, direct heat method, smoke roasting method etc so you have a variety of options available. It is advised that never use gas or electricity for preparing smoky flavor because only charcoal is good for that purpose according to most users.
You should also place water or sand buckets below its vents using bricks so that heat does not damage your oven’s floor due to excess heat coming out from top.
I hope now you are clear about basics of best charcoal smoker along with all steps involved in preparing tasty smoked food at home without spending much time or energy.
Always take care of your smoker properly to avoid any damage due to rust .
11. Tips on using Best Charcoal Smoker
Never use water or any liquid to cool down hot charcoal after cooking as it may cause damage to your oven’s floor.
Keep checking its condition regularly so that you can catch rust issue before it becomes big problem.
Don’t forget to clean grill racks properly with soft detergent before storing them inside freezer bags .
Always use gloves when adjusting vents properly so that fingers don’t burn due to much heat coming out from top.
If possible, place smoker in open area where air circulation is less tough because hot air also rises up and spread smoke flavor evenly throughout the food without making its surface blackened.
Common Question Related with Best Charcoal Smoker – FAQs
1. Q- What is good brand of best charcoal smoker?
Answer: Weber, Big Green Egg and Brinkman are top most brands of this type. Their products may differ in price range so you can choose one according to your purchasing power.
2. Q- How long does it take to heat up food inside Best Charcoal Smoker?
Answer: It takes about 30 minutes to heat up food properly depending on quantity and weather condition.
3. Q- Is it necessary to keep checking temperature with every 20 minute while cooking?
Answer: Yes, if you want delicious smoked flavored food then you should check its temperature regularly because people tend to forget time after putting meat inside oven.
4. Q- Can I add more charcoal in between cooking process?
Answer: No, don’t do that as it may burn meat due to excess heat coming out from sides.
5. Q- What is difference between offset smoker and vertical water smoker?
Answer: Both are very efficient smokers but design and functionality of every type of grill differs. Offset one is bit complicated than other so you should learn its usage thoroughly before using it for smoking meat.
6. Q- Can I use Best Charcoal Smoker in winter season?
Answer: Don’t ever try this because cold air outside along with lack of humidity inside oven makes meat dry quickly during cooking process. So choose best electric or propane smoker if you want smoky flavored food during winter seasons.
7. Q- Why do people use Best Charcoal Smoker?
Answer: It is cheap in cost, durable and best meat smoker than propane or electric ones due to fresh smoked flavor which you will never get by using gas or electricity .
8. Q- What are advantages of Best Charcoal Smoker?
Answer: I don’t think any other type is better than this one according to its features because it doesn’t require electricity or gas to heat up food. Moreover, you can use it in open area without spending much money. Some people also claim that they get attractive discounts so check online offers before buying.
9. Q- How to choose Best Charcoal Smoker?
Answer: If you want to buy smoker than first of all check its material and cost. Its price must be reasonable because that’s why people go for it. Second, do not forget to check reviews of other users who have already bought this product.
You can get good idea about merits and demerits because every type of product has both sides (positives and negatives) due to which previous users give positive or negative feedbacks. Additionally, I would like to mention here one thing regarding price range.
It is better not to compromise on quality because if you will go for cheap quality oven then you may face many problems like heat coming out from sides, air leakage problem and so on. So, I think it is better to spend money once in a while than spending huge in repairing and maintaining smoker .
10. Q- What are the differences between Best Charcoal Smoker?
Answer: I have already mentioned above that charcoal smokers are available with different features but some of them are common so you should choose smoker which fulfills your requirements properly. For example, removable ash tray will be beneficial if you want to clean oven after using it for long times.
Additionally, price also matter because normal people can’t invest their whole savings just for purchasing one type of smoker . If possible then try to buy best one according to your needs because that’s what matters. However, I have tried my level best to discuss each type in short words so that it will be helpful for users.
11. Q- Can I use Best Charcoal Smoker at tailgating parties?
Answer: Yes, you can do anything as per your need and yes this oven is very light in weight so you can easily carry it from one place to another. You should remember however not to go out of line because people may ask you what type of smoker are you using . So, if possible than try to take permission before going for tailgating party because it depends on company policy as well .
We hope that our top 8 Best Charcoal Smoker Reviews in 2021 has helped you to make the right decision for your needs. It’s important to take into consideration pros and cons of any product before making a commitment, but we’ve done this work for you so you don’t have to!
Remember, if there are other features or factors about these products which could sway your opinion one way or another, let us know in the comments section below. Our team is always happy to help answer any questions from fellow buyers!