Best time to buy a Smoker

Buying a smoker is a big deal to many of us. And if there’s one thing we like, it knows what makes a good deal. In line with our readers’ requests, today we’ll share insights on when to buy a smoker and what to consider then. 

When is the best time to buy a smoker?

When we talk about the best ‘time,’ it can mean a few things here. First, there’s an ideal time of the year to buy a smoker. Then, there are particular circumstances under which you do the shopping. Finally, if there’s a good time to do the buying, it also means there’s a time when you should not go shopping for a smoker. We’ll answer all of these questions and add some crucial tips too.

In short, the best time of the year is sometime during late summer or through the fall season. We’ll explain below why that’s the case. As far as circumstances go, you should get some basic knowledge on what type of smoker you want and remember the tips we mention here. Barbeque season usually peaks around May. So the summer season and the preceding month or so aren’t the best times to buy smokers.  

Tips and groundwork

  • Like everything else in life, knowledge is indeed power when it comes to smoker-shopping too. Make sure you accumulate enough knowledge on the kind of smoker and features that you’d want. Check out your local stores to see what’s available. And browse for products and features on online marketplaces like Amazon

The online route is an excellent way to check what’s available. Use our handy guides to match your preferences. You’ll find everything from flat tops and gas smokers to pellet and charcoal smokers

  • Fall is always the ideal time. Don’t rush the process or delay the purchase either. Wait until the 4th of July celebrations for the season to wind up. Labor day weekend is a good starting point if you’re at a loss for dates. If you wait too long, both online and offline stores will clear their stocks and move on to holiday goods and merchandise. 
  • Be on the lookout for floor models that suit your needs. Stores are usually willing to clear these items so that they can restock with more holiday-relevant appliances. So, you stand a better chance of getting a good deal if you’re observant and lucky. 
  • If you’re looking through online sources, examine the reviews and ratings provided by previous buyers. Smokers can look good on paper, but the real test comes during use. And the best way to get this info is from people who’ve bought and used the products.

Best time of the year: Late summer to fall

As already mentioned, the time after summer and during Fall is usually an ideal window. Barbeque equipment will usually cost more during the summer months because the demand is more. This trend slowly decreases by the end of July. By the end of summer, you’re unofficially in the off-season for smoker-shopping. So, the range of barbeque products will decrease in the stores. But the ones that remain will likely come with a lower price-tag. 

Stores have to clear stocks on summer goods so that they can move on to more winter-leaning equipment and appliances. So, the remaining grills and smokers on their shelves are either floor models or the last of the stocks. The chances of walking into a store with a clearance sale on smokers are much higher in this period. Even if there’s no sale, there’s more room for negotiation when the stores also want to eliminate items.

Consider getting a used smoker

Be on the lookout for thrift sales, garage sales, or online buy & sell forums. Most people choose the late summer season for moving to a new home or city. Fall can also create more opportunities for these types of sales. So, it’s a time when used-goods also tend to see a bigger market.  

Some of the best smokers can come at budget-friendly rates and still be durable. This means you stand a chance of getting a quality smoker that’s only been used a few times. Even if the condition is always excellent, a used-smoker will have to come down to a used-price. So, as a buyer, it’s a win-win if you get the right deal.  

This, of course, does not mean you look only for used products. But keeping an eye out in the ‘used’ market will give you much broader options. That way, you can still go for a brand new item, but you’ll know what alternatives are available. 

When NOT to buy a smoker

No fixed time counts as a wrong time to buy a smoker. But we advise you to avoid the late spring and peak summer. These are those seasons when barbeques and backyard grilling picks up. So, the most profitable deals for the stores (not you) are during this period. That doesn’t mean you can’t buy one during the summer. It just means that you might get a better deal if you wait a month or so.

To be fair, the peak season also implies that there will be a much more comprehensive collection of smokers in the stores. If budget isn’t an issue for you and you want those in-season options, you can always consider buying it during this period.

Final Note

Buying a smoker during peak summer usually means you’ll be spending more if you include the wood and meat for each session; that adds up quickly. So, if you can save some money on the primary appliance, you’re just better off for the rest of the year.  

The fall season brings that ideal window of opportunity every year. And if you invest some time researching smokers, you’ll know precisely what you’ll need. So, use the summer months to lay the groundwork and seize the opportunity come Fall! 


James is the editor at Best Barbecue Wood, he loves BBQ wood and spends his free time cooking outside on his grill. He's always trying the different types of wood to perfect the perfect ribs.

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