The Best Charcoal Smokers for 2021

Jason Webster
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When you’re trying to find that perfect smoker to put out consistently great food, think about what you want to get out of it. Consider where you’re going to use it.

How expensive of a model do you want? How often? Will you overfill it with food, or use it for a bunch of little things?

As with any grill or smoker, there are all sorts of different features available and it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the different brands out there.

NameCategoryProduct
Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal GrillBest OverallWeber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill
SMOKEWARE High-Temp Replacement GasketBudget PickSMOKEWARE High-Temp Replacement Gasket
Kamado Joe KJ23RHC Classic II Charcoal GrillUpgrade PickKamado Joe KJ23RHC Classic II Charcoal Grill

1. Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill

Our rating: 9 / 10

Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill

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Pros:

  • Simple yet efficient design
  • Rugged and reliable
  • Easy to use and maintain
  • Low-Cost
  • Simple assembly

The Weber Original Kettle Premium is a classic in the world of charcoal grills. It can be described as a simple grill done right. This grill is budget friendly, easy to use, and is good enough to be in any backyard.

Despite the fact that this grill is simple, it provides a very wide surface area to grill on. The construction uses a zink plated steel which is resistant to rust and corrosion. It also offers adjustable vents to regulate heat in the grill.

The Weber Original Kettle Premium comes with a quality cover which can be used to protect your grill in storage and during bad weather. One of the real highlight features of this grill is the SimpleStart ignition which allows you to light your charcoal quickly and efficiently.

2. Weber 14-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker

Our rating: 9 / 10

Weber 14-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker

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Pros:

  • Fairly easy to assemble
  • Easy to maintain
  • Large cooking surface
  • Fire management is made easy with lid handles
  • Spacious grilling area
  • Comes with cooking accessories

Cons:

  • The unit is sold in several separate pieces, so you have to put it together which can be time consuming
  • The metal used for the lid feels a bit cheap and flimsy
  • The doors are difficult to take off by hand and can also feel flimsy

The Weber 14-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker, Charcoal Smoker is an amazing option for the smoke enthusiast who wants to jump into the world of smoking.

It comes in just two pieces that are held together with only a handful of bolts which makes it extremely easy to assemble. They use a simple locking design which makes it really easy to take apart and clean.

The Weber 14-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker, Charcoal Smoker uses a large cooking surface that is ideal for large parties.

3. Weber 18-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker

Our rating: 9 / 10

Weber 18-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker

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Pros:

  • Dimensions: 18H x 26W x 18.5D
  • Includes 4 cooking grates
  • Available in different colors
  • Nonstick finish

Cons:

  • No wheels
  • Cannot use wood chips and charcoals at the same time

The Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker may be small in stature but don’t let it fool you. It is big on performance, it has a huge cooking capacity due to the two flavored wood chunks that can be placed on the left and right side of the charcoal grate.

With a cooking area of 150 square inches, enough space for a dozen pork butts or 3 to 4 slabs of ribs. It’s true that this cooking machine sports “only” one cooking grate, but the secondary charcoal grate provides ample space for adding charcoal, wood chunks, or both.

This cooker rocks a porcelain-enameled water reservoir which can hold up to 5.5 cups of liquid. Spray the entire unit down with a hose to clean so you can hit the road with a clean cooker.

4. SMOKEWARE High-Temp Replacement Gasket

Our rating: 9 / 10

SMOKEWARE High-Temp Replacement Gasket

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Pros:

  • Available in different sizes
  • Sturdy construction
  • Fits the needs of both novice and professional bbq'ers
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Designed to fit Big Green Egg models

Coated, + Gaguey Clamps.

There's no doubt that the smoker is one of the most important tool for barbecuers and grill masters, so they have mainly invested in this type of ovens. The SmokerWare ⅝-inch charcoal gasket is designed specifically for Big Green Eggs—even better, it's designed and made in the USA. That's something genuinely rare nowadays.

Big Green Egg is a famous brand that makes quality smokers, and this gasket is one of the most popular replacement parts among the users. After all, having the proper seal on your smoker is critical for the function. You don't want air leaking on your grill and losing heat.

5. Char-Griller Box Charcoal Grill

Our rating: 9 / 10

Char-Griller Box Charcoal Grill

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Pros:

  • Can be used in a vertical or horizontal position
  • Sleek and compact design
  • Smoke and grill capabilities
  • User-friendly and easy to assemble
  • Great customer service

Cons:

  • Quite heavy
  • 8-foot ash clean out can be cumbersome

The Char-Griller BOX is a Vertical Charcoal Grill measuring: 22-inches by 5-inches by 16-inches. The grill has 496 square inches of cooking space. Constructed from steel and to help it retain heat, coupled with the black powder coating. It’s designed for use in both horizontal and vertical positions allowing for some versatility.

It also comes with 4 caster wheels to make transporting much easier, it also comes with a carrying handle for pickup and go convenience.

As a vertical charcoal grill it holds up to 6 standard charcoal briquettes or up to 5 lbs of lump charcoal and with a weight of 13 lbs is not the greatest thing to be toting around.

6. Kingkong 7149 Premium Grill Cover

Our rating: 9 / 10

Kingkong 7149 Premium Grill Cover

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Pros:

  • Fit Weber charcoal grills
  • Easy to clean up
  • Weatherproof

Cons:

  • A bit pricey
  • Not as durable as other covers

One of the reasons charcoal smokers are so popular is the material they're made of. They're made of metal, which is usually heavy duty. So, if you ever want to take your smoker to a camping trip or a barbecue competition you will not have to worry that it's going to be too weak to carry.

Of course, no one is going to take anything with them to a competition, but it's good to know there's a sturdy option out there for backyard barbecues. That's why we've included a cover in our reviews. This material and construction is also the reason you can leave it outside, uncovered. It's very weatherproof.

7. LavaLock Gasket Kit

Our rating: 9 / 10

LavaLock Gasket Kit

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Pros:

  • Validation that your smoker will last for a VERY long time
  • No more leaks
  • Very easy to install
  • Free shipping

Ant for Smokey Mountain Cookers.

8. Weber 22-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker

Our rating: 9 / 10

Weber 22-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker

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Pros:

  • It has a massive cooking space
  • There are three cooking grates
  • It has a removable ash catcher
  • It has a front access basket
  • Well-made and sturdy
  • Cooks food very fast

Cons:

  • Getting the product out of the box is a big problem
  • It's hard to clean the ashes

This smoker is one of the most popular on the market because it is extremely versatile. This smoker is designed for charcoal and is great for smoking and grilling. The Weber 22-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker is an old-style model in the Weber line, but most agree that it’s the best smoker you can buy for the money.

It has three cooking grates for a total of 984 square inches of cooking space. That's almost 1,000 sq. inches of cooking space.

The one-touch cleaning ash removal system ensures minimum ashes on your floor and uses a large chimney for easy temperature management. It also has one-touch clean-up and a porcelain-coated grates.

9. Char-Griller E16620 Akorn Kamado Charcoal Grill

Our rating: 9 / 10

Char-Griller E16620 Akorn Kamado Charcoal Grill

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Pros:

  • Durable build
  • Two hinged doors for efficient heat control
  • Seven year warranty
  • Grills much more than just meat

Cons:

  • Tends to break down after several years of use
  • Small in size for meats bigger than chickens

Everyone should have a BBQ in their backyard. There is nothing more fulfilling than cooking and spending time with your friends and family.

There are so many different models to choose from, but we highly recommend the charcoal smokers from Char-Griller.

The Char-Griller E16620 Akorn Kamado Charcoal Grill comes in a durable build measuring 32.5 x 26 x 19 inches and can hold up to 300 pounds.

10. Weber 6605 Original Rib Rack

Our rating: 8 / 10

Weber 6605 Original Rib Rack

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Pros:

  • Holds up to six slabs of ribs
  • Easy to clean
  • Sturdy rack
  • Provides enough space for grilling up multiple foods

Are you one of the millions of people who smoke your food inside a simple grill? If so, then the Weber 6605 Original Rib Rack for Grilling is for you. This multi-purpose Weber product holds up to 6 slabs of ribs and has slotted trays to smoke up an entire meal for you. The Weber 6605 Rib Rack is an essential for BBQ loving grill masters everywhere.

The Weber 6605 Rib Rack allows you to grill up three different foods at the same time. The Rib Rack is easy to use and to clean, even when those juices have dripped down the sides of your grill. This rack will give you perfectly cooked ribs every time as well as save you time and effort during those busy summer days. The Weber 6605 Rib Rack allows you to be a BBQ wizard inside your beloved grill.

11. Kamado Joe KJ-HDP Classic Joe Heat Deflector Plates

Our rating: 8 / 10

Kamado Joe KJ-HDP Classic Joe Heat Deflector Plates

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Pros:

  • Works great, no need to remove the grates
  • Heat deflector plates
  • Easy to use and assemble
  • Take little-to-no time to start
  • Easy to maintain
  • Wide temperature range
  • Made in the USA
  • Comes in many different color styles
  • Ultra-durable
  • Grilled

Cons:

  • Assembly is required
  • Need a cover (sold separately) if you have rain and strong winds

The Kamado Joe is a portable grill. It stays cool to the touch on the outside and remain incredibly hot on the inside. It works great as an outdoor as well as indoor grill. The design is durable and made with high-quality ceramics.

Closer to the Kamado Joe is the Signature Jr. KJ-SJ2 Kamado Joe Jr. Grill. It’s the perfect introduction to Kamado grilling at a more affordable price. It’s made of a thick ceramic, made in the USA with a durable stainless-steel body.

Next, we have the KJ Grill Cart. It has a lower profile and stacks 2 additional Kamado Joe grills on top. Both grills are portable and can be used individually or taken to a tailgate party.

12. Fogo Super Premium Hardwood Lump Charcoal 17.6-pound Bag

Our rating: 8 / 10

Fogo Super Premium Hardwood Lump Charcoal 17.6-pound Bag

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Pros:

  • Made with 100% natural hardwood lump charcoal
  • It can be used in all types of grills
  • Environment-friendly, made in Brazil, and certified by the Rainforest Alliance
  • Comes with a 10-year warranty
  • Blocks are safe to handle, store, and use
  • Lasts 3x longer than most charcoal brands
  • Burns hotter than most charcoal brands
  • EPA-certified quality and meets all clean air act requirements
  • No additional chemicals
  • Water resistant

Cons:

  • To light the charcoal, a fire starter is needed
  • It’s only available in a bag
  • Not as easy to light as briquettes

Fogo Premium Hardwood Lump Charcoal is perfect for getting the most out of your cooking experience. Its all natural formulation means it’s safe to use in your home.

13. Broil King 923610 Vertical Charcoal Smoker

Our rating: 8 / 10

Broil King 923610 Vertical Charcoal Smoker

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Pros:

  • Solid construction
  • Large cooking surface and durable
  • Adjustable vents for easier temperature control
  • Efficient smoke management
  • Perfect for long overnight smokes

Cons:

  • Not the best for indirect smoking
  • Difficult to wait for it to reach the desired temperature

The Broil King 923610 Vertical Charcoal Smoker is a charcoal smoker with a 360-degree lid and a patented air management system. The smoke flows freely throughout the smoker thanks to the spacious bottom vents.

The bottom vents transfer the heat from the charcoal for a consistent smoking temperature throughout the smoker. It also allows for constant airflow for more efficient fuel consumption and a sustained heat source for longer smokes.

Broil King equipped the smoker with durable cast iron grates. This allows for maximum smoke coverage and regulated heat direction. The smoker has a total of 1250 square inches of cooking space that’s enough for a large family barbecue for about 40 hours.

14. Cuisinart COS-118 Vertical 18" Charcoal Smoker

Our rating: 8 / 10

Cuisinart COS-118 Vertical 18" Charcoal Smoker

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Pros:

  • Vertical style charcoal smoker
  • 18.5" x 14.5" x 36.25" assembled
  • Commercial-grade steel construction
  • Smoker box for wood or charcoal
  • Includes chip box

Cons:

  • Hard to set up
  • Not that user-friendly

Here’s another Cuisinart product on our list. The Cuisinart COS-118 is a vertical style charcoal smoker that can handle your entire backyard party.

It measures 18.5" x 14.5" x 36.25" when fully assembled. It has a commercial grade steel construction and boasts a powerful 1225 watt heating element.

It is a charcoal smoker, so there are two options when smoking your food. The first is with the smoker box. You can either fill it with wood for an aromatic smoke or feed it charcoal.

15. Kingsford Original Charcoal Briquettes

Our rating: 7 / 10

Kingsford Original Charcoal Briquettes

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Pros:

  • Highly affordable
  • One of the most famous brands for a reason
  • Excellent burning time
  • Toxins & chemicals are eliminated

Cons:

  • Not able to be smoked in completely
  • Smoke chamber and cover are one functioning part
  • Not super consistent in intensity
  • Not just one variety

The Kingsford Original is one of the most famous brands in the world. It's just that good. It is made with all natural ingredients and is additive-free. This is one of the reasons why it's one of the most top-selling smoker charcoal briquettes in the world.

With a special recipe, you get the same intense, smoky flavor every time. Just light up the charcoal briquette and you're ready to smoke your food for an excellent delicious taste.

It burns clean, and the flavor is as intense as a hickory-wood fire. It's stocked in grocery stores worldwide, so you can find it in your local store. Or you can order it online and have it delivered to your door.

16. Char-Broil 12201570-A1 American Gourmet Offset Smoker

Our rating: 7 / 10

Char-Broil 12201570-A1 American Gourmet Offset Smoker

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Pros:

  • Easy to assemble.
  • The cast-iron grates allow for even and even temperature.
  • Well-built and durable.

Cons:

  • The grease catcher is virtually useless.
  • The heat seems to fix only in the center of the oven, and leaves the edges cool and burnt.

The Char-Broil Offset Smoker is a great smoker to get for a brand newbie. It’s a relatively cheap option with a great design that allows for excellent results regardless of your novice status.

The Char-Broil Offset smoker has a cast iron smoking chamber which dissipates heat evenly without burning the edges. It has a 600-square-inch covered cooking area which is large enough to fit a decent size brisket.

The Char-Broil Offset Smoker comes with a stainless steel water pan that traps the heat under a layer of steel and glass. The smoke travels through the chamber and infuses it into the smoking chamber.

17. Masterbuilt 20060416 Charcoal Bullet Smoker

Our rating: 7 / 10

Masterbuilt 20060416 Charcoal Bullet Smoker

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Pros:

  • Indoor and outdoor use
  • Features a built-in temperature gauge
  • Durable construction
  • Easy to clean

18. Oklahoma Joe's Highland Reverse Flow Smoker

Our rating: 7 / 10

Oklahoma Joe's Highland Reverse Flow Smoker

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Pros:

  • Very affordable
  • Possibility to purchase modifications
  • Comes with an excellent customer support
  • Meat-smoking expert for over two decades
  • Easy to setup and use

Oklahoma Joe's Highland Reverse Flow Smoker packed with 900+ square inches of cooking space and has a 3-chamber design which helps to reduce firebox temps.

With the 500+ sq. inches of primary smoking chamber and 175+ sq. inches of secondary smoking chamber, it's sure to be an excellent addition to your backyard.

The smoker is prepackaged with an electronic ignition, a long-lasting bale of Kraft gasket paper for drip tray, and a meat thermometer.

19. KettlePizza Basic 22.5

Our rating: 6 / 10

KettlePizza Basic 22.5

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Pros:

  • Everything you need is included in the pizza kit
  • Available in different colors and sizes
  • Easy to assemble and clean

Cons:

  • Small coal smoker
  • The flue is not adjustable

This smoker is totally awesome. It is a perfect all-in-one package for anyone looking for an easy to transport and easy to use smoker. The KettlePizza Basic 22.5 – Pizza Oven Kit for 22.5 Inch Kettle Grills is a versatile way to cook pizza, bread, baked beans and many other dishes.

It installs in about an hour and works right out of the box. The 22.5 inches Kettle Pizza Kit for the 22.5 inches diameter Weber Grill can cook pizzas as quick as 7 minutes and as high as 750… to 900… degrees.

The kit installs onto your grill with a simple one-step process and includes everything that you need including a baking stone, grill rack, tool holder, and your own pizza peel. It has a heavy-duty cast iron side damper to control the temperature with a wood handle knob to pull off the pizza stone.

20. Dyna-Glo DGX780BDC-D 36" Vertical Charcoal Smoker

Our rating: 6 / 10

Dyna-Glo DGX780BDC-D 36" Vertical Charcoal Smoker

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The Dyna-Glo Vertical Charcoal Smoker is a very good quality vertical charcoal smoker.

It is brought to you by the same brand behind the excellent Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D and Dyna-Glo DGU505BDC-D gas grills.

The Dyna-Glo Vertical Charcoal Smoker is very roomy and has a great amount of space to easily fit 25 lbs of your favorite meat without any issues. We also like how easy it is to manage the design and flexibility of the grill.

21. Old Smokey Charcoal Grill #22

Our rating: 6 / 10

Old Smokey Charcoal Grill #22

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Pros:

  • Massive grill space
  • Easy to assemble
  • Solid steel construction
  • Available in different sizes
  • Open design allows for air flow
  • Easy to clean
  • Adjustable charcoal grate height

Cons:

  • You have to handle the charcoal manually
  • Some parts are a bit flimsy

If you are in need of a large, reliable grill to cook the biggest amounts of food at once, then the Old Smokey Large Charcoal Grill is the one you want. It comes in 10 sizes ranging from the Baby Grill (38x13x9") to the jumbo (44x19x23") model. TheBaby Grill features a cooking area of over 800 square inches and the Jumbo Grill features over 2200 square inches of cooking space to prepare plenty of food for the whole family.

The Old Smokey Large Charcoal Grill features a premium design that is made of heavy-duty steel with no less than four cooking grates for tantalizing low-and-slow cooking. It boasts of enameled steel construction for heat retention and durability. It is also easy to set up and clean making it hassle-free for you.

This smoker also allows for plenty of air giving you great grill marks. It also features a built-in thermometer on the lid so you don’t have to keep constantly checking the temperature of your barbecue.

22. Kamado Joe KJ23RHC Classic II Charcoal Grill

Our rating: 6 / 10

Kamado Joe KJ23RHC Classic II Charcoal Grill

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Pros:

  • Self-basting ceramic filter
  • 13in. wheels
  • Optional coal tray for increased heat during cold smoking
  • Gauge thickness for tough outdoor conditions
  • Grease management system

If you're looking for a charcoal alternative, this smoker meets the needs you were expecting from a smoker. The KJ23RHC Classic II from Kimado Joe is an 18in round charcoal smoker with an offset firebox. This design allows for a more potent heat source, and also provides for easier temperature control.

First of all, the name of the brand lets you know what you're getting. You know that the company was created and designed by a high-end Kamado Joe enthusiast. One feature that they bring to the table is the optional coal tray. This little feature allows for easy temperature regulation.

The grease management system one of the best features of this unit. If you're smoking a lot of meat, this will make clean-up a breeze.

23. Char-Broil Vertical Charcoal Smoker

Our rating: 5 / 10

Char-Broil Vertical Charcoal Smoker

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Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Affordable priced
  • Heat stays consistent
  • Comes with 2 chrome plated grills
  • Easy to assemble

Cons:

  • The main door leaks smoke when in use
  • No adjustable dampers

The Char-Broil Vertical Charcoal Smoker includes two separate grills, allowing you to cook for two separate parties if needed. It comes with a cooking thermometer attached to the lid to make the process even easier.

The water pan is removed by simply pulling it out thanks to a convenient handle. Char-Broil has constructed the smoker from heavy-gauge steel. It’s sturdy enough to support even the heaviest meats without buckling.

The smoker boasts of a whopping 700-sq-in cooking area. The grills are made from cast iron and include adjustable grates to ensure your meat is cooked just the way you like it.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best charcoal smoker?

We’ll discuss several factors that will help you choose the best charcoal smoker out there today including budget, size, fuel, and design.

How to find:

You have to be sure to find the best one for your money. If you are planning to smoke your own meat, you have to make sure to have a proper model to render a meat with that perfect smoky flavor we all know and love. There are several points you have to be aware of. You have to know the type of wood and what wood, where it comes from and how the whole process is done. Even the accessories for smoking should be on your shopping list. There are several possible areas for a charcoal smoker:

  • Cooking barbecue at home
  • For competitions
  • For outdoor gatherings

What are the best smokers on the market?

The best charcoal smoker is the Camp Chef. It features two strong, telescopic, locking cooking grates, for indirect cooking. The stackable trays are a nice feature to control hot and cold air. They include a water pan, three cooking grates, a lid and a door. It comes with a 6 foot hose pipe, and a large tray for added convenience. There is also a lifting tool and a thermometer which helps cooking become much more fun.

The Masterbuilt smoker is another great smoker. It comes with a government funded, two year warranty. It has two adjustable cooking racks which help in easy storage. It has a foldable assembly and four wheels for easier moving. Its cooking lid includes a temperature gauge and a food thermometer. It also includes integrated wireless remote for monitoring.

What is the best smoker electric gas or charcoal?

As long as you choose a high-quality smoker, the type of fuel you need for it is not very important. Of course, it all comes down to personal preference. Different types of grills will be more suitable for certain types of cooking or smoking so in a way, your fuel source can affect the type of grilling you can do. In the end, you have to choose which fuel source is most convenient and natural to you.

Charcoal, gas, wood pellet, electric, or propane smokers, either way, it is an excellent wood-smoke flavored smoked meat with lots of tenderness. Though not all have the capacity to produce barbecue ribs and steaks, and this is the most important aspect in smoking meats. Also, many have unique shapes and can be used for different things.

What are the top 10 smokers?

This grill/smoker is cast iron with a hardwood ease, side loading firebox, and nickel plated grates. The Joe Weber is built to fit four full-sized steaks and it’s also got an adjustable grate that’s got two different levels and three adjustable dampers. Some other wonderful features are the adjustable grill and the sliding leg that makes it compact enough to store in the garage.

Conclusion

The latest charcoal smokers come with many bells and whistles, but when it comes down to it, the more functions, the more things that can go wrong. The best smoker for you should have a bare-bone design that is sturdy and simple. It should generate a heat that isn’t too high or too low and the searing grate should be large enough to accommodate what you’re cooking without having to use multiple pieces of meat.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal GrillBest OverallWeber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill
SMOKEWARE High-Temp Replacement GasketBudget PickSMOKEWARE High-Temp Replacement Gasket
Kamado Joe KJ23RHC Classic II Charcoal GrillUpgrade PickKamado Joe KJ23RHC Classic II Charcoal Grill