There are many ways to cook meat, and one of the all-time favorites is smoking with charcoal. But what’s the best charcoal smoker for you?
In this roundup, we review 6 smokers to find the best charcoal smoker on the market for you.
Find out what smoker is best for home use?
Is charcoal smoke healthy?
What is the healthiest charcoal to use?
In a rush? The table below has our best picks.
Top 6 Charcoal Smokers
Looking for the best charcoal smokers to buy online? Here are my top 6 picks! Continue reading to learn more about buying a charcoal smoker online without getting ripped off.
- Material Type: Steel
- The Weber Smokey Mountain charcoal smoker helps you achieve an authentic smokehouse flavor at home
- It can accommodate a whole turkey and an entire ham at the same time. Item weight- 39.1 pounds
- Made of porcelain-enameled steel, this smoker comes with 2 nickel-plated 18-1/2-inch-wide cooking grates
- Includes a water pan, thermometer, individual vents on bowl and lid, and heat-resistant nylon handle
First off, it's perfect for slow-grilling your meat cuts (particularly roasts) into a delicious, tender heap of meat that falls off from the bones. Because you can cook your meat at the recommended temperature with precision with the built-in thermometer.
Plus, you have dampers to conveniently have precise control of the heat, to go along with your thermometer readings.
Aside from being easy to use, it's easy to assemble with straightforward instructions in the user's guide.
All in all, it's an amazing smoker, that's user friendly with one load of charcoal let's you smoke for 6 hours without reloading. Plus, the water bowl makes it effortless to sustain 225-250°F all day with very little complaint.
You can get this smoker in 3 different sizes the 14,18, and 22-inch making it great for most BBQ occasions. However, for the average backyard enthusiast the 22 might be a little to large and I woul recommend the 18 or 14inch.
Weber is a manufacturer of all kinds of grills, from charcoal to gas and electricity. The designs of their products are all based on their extensive, 65-year culinary experience of grilling. It is a household name company when it comes to BBQ grills and accessories.
- Holds up to 13 burgers made with a Weber burger press; Built-in lid thermometer. Rust-resistant aluminum dampers
- One-Touch cleaning system with high-capacity ash catcher provides hassle-free ash cleanup
- Porcelain-enameled lid and bowl retain heat, and won’t rust or peel
- Use the lid hook to avoid placing the lid on the ground while grilling
- Cooking grate is hinged for easily adding charcoal while grilling
Another Weber product is taking up the top spots on this list. It’s straightforward to use and effortless to clean for a good reason, and affordable.
The original kettle has a built-in one-touch charcoal removal system, which you can clean the charcoal ashes by dumping them into an ash catcher.
Moreover, you can refill the charcoals without disturbing your grill and adjust the temperature by adjusting the dampers without moving the lid. You can also choose the grilling method (direct or indirect) by merely arranging the principal's position on the grate.
A cool feature is that the lid has a stopper, preventing heat from transferring, so when you close the top, you won’t get burnt from the hot metal.
This Weber charcoal grill is made for the weekend enthusiast. You have hooks to hang your grilling tools and durable wheels for mobility. Overall, for the price it’s an excellent smoker and it’s our best budget charcoal smoker.
Satisfied User Takeaway: “I chose to go old school and get a Weber charcoal grill. When I ordered it I worried I would regret it instead of getting another propane grill. Not the case! I love my Weber charcoal grill! Also, I bought the Weber chimney, which I highly recommend.”
- Vertical design lends itself to naturally rising heat, achieving greater efficiency and improved smoke flavor. Offset design keeps direct heat away from the food, allowing for slow cooking.
- Six height-adjustable cooking grates accommodate various sizes of food. 784 square Inch of total smoking area; 1176 square inches of total cooking space with 25-pounds capacity per grate.
- Porcelain-enameled steel charcoal chamber is designed to keep briquettes stacked tightly for improved burn efficiency.
- Charcoal & ash management system with the charcoal chamber, grate, and sliding, removable steel ash pan. Designed to handle large amounts of ash for hours of maintenance-free cooking.
- Smoke stack features an adjustable flue for additional flavor and temperature control.
The vertical offset charcoal smoker by Dyna-Glo has a heavy-gauge porcelain enamel with a high-temp powder coat finish for increased durability, and the burner is a 15,000 BTU heavy-duty cast iron.
We love the double opening doors to minimize heat loss when you add wood chips, and the large temperature gauge making temperature control easier after a few BBQ beers.
The offset style of heat distribution is ideal for slow cooking and smoky flavor infusion. There are 6 racks for your food, so you can choose your smoke zone depending on your desired final taste and aroma.
With this durable, high-quality, and multifunctional box smoker, you will undoubtedly be getting the most out of your purchase. Plus you can make some interesting mods to this product.
Customer Review: “Impressed with this smoker. For the past 15 years i’ve been in the meat business and i’ve smoked thousands pounds of sausage and meats. This little smoker retained the temperature in freezing weather and smoked great. I would recommend this to my friends.”
- 314 square inches of primary cooking space, warming rack 133 square inches for a total of 447 square inches
- Assembled Dimensions: 45" L x 31" W x 47" H | Weight: 97.0 lb
- Insulated design means more heat uses less charcoal and less airflow means insulated heat for juicy meat and folding side shelves
- Cooking surface is cast iron, Body is constructed of 22 gauge steel, Exterior finish is powder coated steel, Interior finish is porcelain coated steel
- Cart is constructed of tubular steel w/rubber wheels, locking caster on front, Indexed damper is numbered so you can note the position of the damper
The main feature of this charcoal grill is that it utilizes a kamado-style of cooking. "Kamado" is a Japanese term for stove or cooking within a range. Americans adopted a movable "kamado" (stove) during World War II. The design has been modified but is still alive as a Kamado-style BBQ grill, like this Char-Griller charcoal grill.
It has a triple-walled 22 gauge steel with the exterior coated with a powder finish. The steel is built to be durable and to last a long time. There is a built-in temperature gauge for precision while cooking, 314-inch cast iron cooking surface, 133-inch warming rack that is removable, and an easy-to-remove ash pan.
Top and bottom dampers can be adjusted to allow the passage of oxygen into the grill system. The Char-Griller charcoal grill's triple walling is also meant to keep temperatures within 200 to 700 degrees Fahrenheit.
The versatile design is also further reinforced by the folding side shelves that can temporarily hold your grilling tools for you and large, 8-inch lock-in wheels for mobility and convenience.
Satisfied User Takeaway: “… I already paired Bluetooth and am smoking chicken and a beef roast. Paired easily, the app is fantastic. The smoker itself is great. It holds a lot of variety, produces a great amount of smoke, and most importantly, is working properly! Our last smoker was a Masterbuilt, we still have it, and it still works, actually, but we needed something a little smaller because we moved and didn’t have as large a patio. Absolutely happy with this purchase, love Masterbuilt!” – Holly
- Removable ash pan for easy coal clean up
- Offset for Texas style smoking
- Attaches to all Char-Griller barrel grills (#2123, #2828, #2137 and the #5050 Duo Gas and Charcoal Grill)
- Use as a table top grill or horizontal Texas style smoker
- You can go from a grill to a side fire box, once done you cannot go back to the grill
Plus, you can use the grill as a side firebox. However, the main drawback is that you cannot go back to using the grill. The side firebox can fit multiple smokers, like the Chargriller Pro Deluxe, Wrangler, Outlaw, and Duo.
Moreover, It has cast-iron cooking gates, 250-square inch cooking space, and it’s portable. This smoker is great for camping or cooking in remote locations.
Even though it’s small, you still get great features like two adjustable dampers to make temperature control manageable. Also, a pull-out ash pan can be dumped for a fast and easy cleaning process.
Customer Review: “Nice little grill! I was a bit concerned when reading the reviews about the paint. I also have the Char-Griller 5050 unit, and in the directions on the 5050, it says to put a lite coat of cooking oil on it before use. I used Crisco. I also used it on the 2-2424 and have not had a problem at all. ”
- Divide & Conquer Flexible Cooking System transforms the humble grill grate into the most powerful cooking tool in your arsenal. The revolutionary multi-level, half-moon design frees you to cook different foods in different styles at different temperatures.
- Control Tower Top Vent lets you control air flow for precise temperature control. Perfect for smoking from 225F all the way to searing at 750F.
- With a slide-out drawer, cleanup is easy. Unlike other Kamado style grills, you no longer must remove the inside components from the grill to clean out the ashes. Simply remove the Patented Ash Drawer, dump your ashes and keep on grilling!
- Stainless Steel Cooking Grates
- Built-in Thermometer
Kamado Joe is a leading company for Kamado-style grills so expect all the bells and whistles when it comes to this smoker. You get a built-in gauge thermometer, adjustable top vents for airflow and temperature control, and a grilling system that can sustain and keep temperatures from 225 to 750 degrees Fahrenheit.
So you don’t lose any heat when cooking, there is a felt gasket, so the lid rests tightly while cooking, and the premium firebox stops any breakage and keeps the constant temperatures.
If you want more information on this, check out our Kamado smoker review
Review: “Expensive but worth every cent. This grill/oven/smoker takes barbecuing to a whole new level. So far, I’ve cooked delicious pulled pork an 18-hour low smoke. Tender brisket; the moistest, most delicate roast chicken ever; and superb pizza. Even relatively mundane dishes like pork chops and steak are elevated by the Kamado’s fierce but controllable charcoal grill.”
What to consider when buying a charcoal smoker
Before you set out on your journey scouring the internet and your local stores of the best charcoal smoker of your life, it is best first to take a look at the things to consider when deciding on this purchase.
Invest in a high-quality smoker
Smokers aren't cheap, but they are meant to be used over a long time. That's why it's best to invest in a high-quality smoker that will certainly last you for a very long time, instead of low-quality ones that only last you for a few months before you have to repurchase a new one.
Another plus for buying long-lasting smoker grills is that you have a long time to get used to them, instead of adjusting to new ones every time.
Buy a smoker that has built-in temperature gauges
While charcoal (and other wood-burning) smokers are the classic choice for backyard BBQs, there are quite a few disadvantages. Charcoal smokers make use of direct, uncontrolled fire, unlike electric and gas smokers. In which case, the fire is easily influenced by other outside factors, and if you are not watching carefully, your meat might get undercooked or overcooked over different areas.
An excellent way to combat this is to buy a smoker that already has a built-in temperature gauge/thermometer. Also, make sure that your smoker has easily adjustable dampers for a more straightforward way of controlling the temperature.
Consider buying according to your lifestyle
The capacity and size of your smoker depend on how you plan to use it. Do you have a relatively large family, and BBQ Fridays are always big? Do you ever have your friends over for a BBQ? Do you just BBQ for your small family of five?
These are all matters that should be considered. Obviously, with larger families and parties, it warrants a larger grill with high capacity so that you can do multiple batches at a time without standing in front of the grill waiting for the burgers to cook in small quantities.
Consider the features of the smoker
Different smokers have different features and use. When it comes to smoker features, your preference is what matters. If you have a set grilling station in your home, with ample shade and accessibility, it would be okay for you to ditch movable wheeled smokers for the more heavy-duty sets.
Or do you want multifunctional ones that can serve as different types of grills for an other method and result of cooking?
Also, consider your skills when working with charcoal grills. If you're more experienced, you can get away with more technical and more challenging to use grills. Otherwise, it's best to stick with more user-friendly grills with more straightforward features.
However, the features that you should never compromise on are the ones that control the temperature and airflow, as previously discussed above.