There’s nothing quite like the smell of meat slowly smoking in your backyard or at a large BBQ event. As the day goes on and the delicious aromas permeate the surround area you and your guests are teased throughout the day as your appetites for what’s going to ending being satisfied with the tender fall of the bone deliciousness grows stronger with every scent that passes by your nose.
Slow smoked BBQ has a unique smell, tenderness and flavor like no other method of cooking. Even a blind man could recognize the tantalizing process no matter where it is occurring.
In today’s grilling market backyard smokers have become much more common and extremely popular. The convenience of being able to slow cook in your backyard all day leaving you to enjoy other activities and leaving your neighbors envious as the amazing odors travel around the neighborhood.
This is just an example of why smokers have become so much more common in the retail space.
However, as with many new popular retail items there has been an increase in inexpensive equipment offered with the intention on drawing more consumers into the home smoker world.
You want to be cautious of these cheap renditions and make sure you are getting a top quality addition to your backyard cooking arsenal because in the long run it will be worth it.
When you purchase the right smoker it will provide you with years of delicious results and also be such a joy to cook with that you are more than likely to find yourself outside enjoying that mouthwatering rewards that come off your smoker more often.
Just as you don’t want to go too cheap when investing in your new smoker, it does not have to be bank breaking expensive either.
Below we are going to review the top 10 best BBQ smokers in 2018, the pros and cons of each and if you read to the very end we will provide you with our top pick of the group, why we like it best and where you can find it.
Table of Contents
- 10. Bradley Smoker Original Smoker
- 9. Smoke Hollow 30-Inch Electric Smoker
- 8. Masterbuilt Front Controller Smoker
- 7. Char-Broil Vertical Charcoal Smoker
- 6. Nordic Ware 36550 Indoor/Outdoor Kettle Smoker
- 5. Char-Broil American Gourmet Offset Smoker
- 4. Masterbuilt GS30D Propane 2-Door Smoker
- 3. Dyna-Glo Charcoal Offset Smoker
- 2. Weber 721001 Smokey Mountain Cooker
- 1. Masterbuilt 30-Inch Black Electric Digital Smoker
- Which BBQ Smoker Should You Buy?
10. Bradley Smoker Original Smoker
This modern design features a stainless steel interior and a well designed support for the 4 interior racks so they do not tip or lean when you pull them out. A very modern looking and cool design with a polished stainless steel exterior that will compliment your backyard, pool, patio etc…
It just has a really cool look to it and makes you want to use it. With a maximum temperature of 250 degrees the smoker can also act as a slow cooker and comes with an informative and handy Smoking Recipe Book.
- Very attractive design and good looking unit
- Easy to use and does not take up much space
- Stainless Steel interior
- If the motor does breakdown parts are available from the factory but repair can be complicated
9. Smoke Hollow 30-Inch Electric Smoker
This is a great unit with the lower budget smoker in mind. Available for around $150 it is a great bargain and has plenty of capability for the avid backyard BBQ lover.
Compact and convenient to transport with a painted steel wood chip box this sturdy smoker will work hard and efficient for you.
- We love the 2 side handles that allows for easy mobility either in your backyard or on the go
- Compact and easy to fit on even the smallest of back decks
- Easy to assemble and operate
- Needs to be watched closely since it uses wood chips that may need replenished during the smoking
- If left outside through winter months it may rust
8. Masterbuilt Front Controller Smoker
At just over $300.00 this unit is a winner we love. With nearly 1000 square inches of cooking space and wood chip loading system that is front end accessible, a 1200 watt heating element and comes with a viewing window for clear sight of all 4 interior racks.
Top that off with an RF remote control the bells and whistle you get with this unit for the price make it a fantastic value. The freestanding stainless steel exterior make it both pretty to look at and easy to clean. Smoking quality is 5 stars.
- Front Window view
- Easy to clean in and out
- Front loading
- 1200 watt heating element
- Digital with remote control
- The volume of smoke is a little low which may mean a longer smoking time than it could be
- Warranty of 90 days could be longer
7. Char-Broil Vertical Charcoal Smoker
This is a nice little small unit for that does the trick for about as little of an investment you can make in a new smoker coming in under $100.
All though it’s a small unit at 365 square inches it is built very durable and has very convenient front door access to the cooking area and drawer catch that both have cool touch handles. For the low volume casual BBQ lover that doesn’t want to spend much money this unit is the perfect fit.
- Very affordable
- Chrome plated cooking plates
- Easy front load access
- Good looking little unit
- It is small
- Airflow could be better
- Keep an eye on the internal temperature it tends to drop faster than it should
6. Nordic Ware 36550 Indoor/Outdoor Kettle Smoker
One of our favorite portable units that can be used inside or outside as well as easy to transport around for tailgating, a day at the beach or a BBQ in the park.
Priced at just over $50 you will get a lot of use out of this little guy for low volume small batch smoking at home or on the road, you can easily smoke your foods anywhere.
- Small and convenient to use in any circumstance
- High dome cover allows unit to be used as a roaster and even use the top on your grill as a cover
- Very reasonable price for this durable and versatile smoker
- Limited amount of space for larger meats like a full rack of ribs
- Limited food volume capacity available
5. Char-Broil American Gourmet Offset Smoker
This is a great grill smoker combination at a bargain for just over $60.00. The standard round top charcoal grill area provides 290 square inches of cooking surface for standard chargrill cooking and has a side unit smoker that provides 140 square inches of cooking surface for smoking.
The versatility is nice for the cook that enjoys BBQ grilling or smoking or both.
- Adjustable height steel fire grate
- Easy to clean built in damper
- Small cooking surfaces not suited for large volume batch cooking
- The design of this unit does not make it as transport or mobile as other units
4. Masterbuilt GS30D Propane 2-Door Smoker
This unit is not only designed well with a good amount of cooking space at 717 square inches, it always provides the convenience of being propane heated for you King of The Hill lovers.
A nice finished black steel exterior and tall slim design allow this unit to be set up just about anywhere in your backyard. A locking door with front view temperature gauge make it very easy to load, unload and monitor.
- Propane powered make it simple to heat up and monitor temperature levels
- Push button ignition for a simple fast startup
- Heat distribution is very even and balanced
- Propane smoking does not provide the pure natural flavors wood chip fire smoking do
3. Dyna-Glo Charcoal Offset Smoker
For the cost at just over $150.00 this is a very strong, durable and high volume smoking unit. Driven by a 15,000 BTU cast iron burner and providing 784 square inches of cooking space that can smoke up to 100 lbs of food at a time this unit comes in as more than expected for the price.
It has a very heavy duty design with high temperature powder exterior finish for long life and appearance.
- Large cooking space
- Built very strong and durable
- Electronic pulse ignition system for easy fire up
- Tends to leak smoke
- Nuts and bolts assembly require tightening now and then
2. Weber 721001 Smokey Mountain Cooker
For those familiar with the world of BBQ, smoking and grilling, Weber is a household name and one of the leading manufacturers of high quality BBQ equipment for years now.
A little more expensive than other units at around $300.00 but also brings with it the great Weber design and high quality product. This charcoal smoker provides an authentic smoked flavor and this compact 18 inch unit provides 481 square inches of cooking space.
Because Weber is such a reputable company this unit comes with a 10 year limited warranty.
- Great design and high quality
- Dome design results in a full even flavored smoked product
- 2 tiered cooking rack allows for cooking different types of meats and foods at the same time
- Round design can make it difficult to fit large sized meat and fish
- Assembly is easy but the instructions are not very thorough – check for videos online if you need help
1. Masterbuilt 30-Inch Black Electric Digital Smoker
This is our choice for those looking for an electric unit. A nice size stand up unit that can fit just about anywhere you have access to an electrical outlet, this smoker provides the user with another option from propane or charcoal and wood chip driven smokers.
Built strong with an easy front load stand up design makes it very convenient to use. At just over $170.00 this is a safe investment for the BBQ lover.
- Chrome coated racks that provide 730 square inches of cooking space
- Even cooking easily controlled temperature ranging from 100 to 275 degrees
- Easy to use smoker for beginners to masters
- Because it’s electric you need to be careful about the cord getting wet when stored outside
- As with any electric device, shortages are possible
- You need easy access to an outlet to operate
Which BBQ Smoker Should You Buy?
So there’s a wide variety of smokers in our top 10 list from electric units like the Smoke Hollow 30162E 30-Inch Electric Smoker and Masterbuilt 30-Inch Black Electric Digital Smoker.
The indoor outdoor portable convenience of the Nordic Ware 36550 Indoor/Outdoor Kettle Smoker along with a good variety of charcoal and propane smokers to choose from.
After careful consideration we decided on one favorite. The Masterbuilt Front Controller Smoker was a clear cut winner. The attractive design and generous amount of cooking space combined with the convenient and easy to view front door windows make this unit stand out.
If your looking for an easy to use efficient smoker for all level of cooks then we suggest you check out more on the Masterbuilt Front Controller Smoker here.