Looking for the perfect BBQ Smoker for you but don’t know where to turn? Stuck deciding between an upright or a drum? Have no fear because we have put together all the best BBQ Smokers to help you narrow down the choice, without losing out on any quality.
Table of Contents
Picking The Best BBQ Smoker Is Perplexing…
But luckily we have years of expert experience in the world of BBQ and know exactly what we are talking about – and we have some idea of what constitutes a great Smoker. We also know what you should avoid in terms of materials, over pricing, fuel sources and smoking techniques. When it comes to finding the best BBQ Smoker for you we really do know our stuff.
If you are truly struggling to decide which BBQ Smoker is the right one for you then you can get some further help in our “Everything About the Smoker Oven” page. If wood smoking is your desired end result then we even have a section dedicated to Smoking Wood, too.
In fact, we have information on just about every single aspect of BBQ; from charcoal prices to the differences between smoke boxes. No matter how new to BBQ you are, you can learn all you need to know just by browsing our website!
The Best BBQ Smokers: We Narrowed Down The Choices
With so many options on the market how do you know you are about to invest in a good product? A first time BBQ Smoker buyer could easily fall into the trap of paying too much money for all the wrong things. So, to stop our readers from falling into the same trap we put together our BBQ Smoker top picks to help you make an informed decision.
We therefore searched high and low for all the information we could find. We scoured internet reviews, consulted with our pro-BBQ team and measured all the specs to find the very best in BBQ Smokers. Confused over which smoker to buy?
Look no further. We have all the information you will ever need, right here within these pages. So read on to take those final few steps to BBQ Smoker Success…
…and also don’t forget to come back next time you need BBQ help!
The Best Vertical Smokers
Vertical Smokers often resemble a cabinet shape and as a result can come with lots of storage and multiple fuel source types. We picked the best of the best and placed them into one easy section, just for you!
BBQ Chiefs Top Pick Vertical Smoker First Place: Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker 22 Inch Smoker (click to check current price on Amazon)
OK, so this is a bit of ‘go big or go home’ for us, so before we begin we’d like to point out that the Weber Smokey Mountain is actually a series. We rate them all as first place worthy vertical smokers, but we reviewed the biggest one because, well, wouldn’t you?
The Weber Smokey Mountain 22in comes in suave black and looks like a space age pod suspended on chrome legs. Its legs are actually rust resistant metal with the rust resistant theme continued in their placement of aluminum dampers. That sleek silver handle is actually glass reinforced nylon and the fuel door is also cast in silver. It also features an outer lock to ensure it doesn’t fall open and burn anyone.
On the inside the Weber Smokey Mountains have a heavy gauge steel fuel grate and a porcelain enameled water pan. As you may be starting to realize, Weber have spared no expense with materials in this product.
Everything on it is coated or lined to improve the quality and use. It even has plated steel cooking grates for slick cooking and rust prevention. The water pan is also extra large so you can smoke all day long if you want to.
In terms of space this charcoal smoker will handle enough meat to feed a large family gathering, ad maybe a few neighbors if you feel like inviting them. There is a thermometer in the grill lid so you can keep track of the temperatures and it comes with its very own ten year warranty. Weber do caution that different parts of the BBQ will be covered for differing lengths of time though, so if you do buy be sure to read the warranty information carefully… that being said, there aren’t a lot of BBQ manufacturers out there that will give you a warranty in the first place…
The Smokey Mountain 22in stands at 123 cm in height by 58 cm wide and 61 cm deep. The diameter of the cooking space is a full 57 cm, which is just over 22 inches, also all of the handles are that same strong glass-reinforced nylon and it contains four dampers. Bare in mind that these are the specs for the larger model, and if you go for a slightly more conservative member of the Smokey Mountain family the dimensions will differ, although the features will be very similar.
Pros of the Weber Smokey Mountain 22in:
- It’s big enough to feed everyone, possibly twice
- It has some nice safety features and also the bonus of that warranty
- It’s built to last, durable and sturdy
- It can smoke all day long
- Comes with cover, rust resistance, measuring cup, and built-in thermometer
- Free delivery, free returns, and home delivery available
Cons of the Weber Smokey Mountain 22in:
- A little on the pricey side, but there is less need to buy extras
- Difficult to maneuver, not made for portability
- It gets hot! So make sure you pick up some gloves
BBQ Chiefs Top Pick Vertical Smoker Second Place: The Dyna-Glo DGX780BDC-D 36-Inch Vertical Charcoal Smoker (click to check current price on Amazon)
Although Dyna-Glo aren’t in the top three names in BBQ Grills they are a name known in the top 10. Dyna-Glo frequently produce BBQ equipment similar in style to what you might find in a commercial kitchen, but for less of a price and in smaller sizes. We like their tip-of-the-hat towards the true essence of BBQ; fine dining done outdoors. The Vertical Charcoal Smoker is no exception to this rule.
This smoker comes with a massive four separate cooking rack grates and a grand total of 784 inches squared of cooking space. This echoes the size of a commercial smoker but in a more neat, compact way so that it doesn’t look out of place in your back yard. It is cast in black, comes with a charcoal chamber on the bottom to allow the smoke to flow upwards and has a central chimney (which is great for ventilation, off-center chimneys look better but airflow is slightly different). It also has a removable ash pan for ease of cleaning and its own in-built ash management system.
There is a temperature gauge on this stainless steel model that indicates smoke zones within and gives good control over whatever you are cooking. Each grate can hold 25 pounds of weight so you can fill it full, and the smoke stack has an additional flue so that you can more effectively trap smoke and heat it up.
This model weighs about 56 pounds and stands on four solid legs but does require some assembly. But what we loved most was the price. This is a great value smoker for all the high-end features it has.
We think that mimicry of the professional catering world is exactly the right way to go with BBQ. Just because the cooking equipment we are using is outdoors and not indoors doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be just as easy to clean, manage and avoid contamination in. The Dyna-Glo Vertical Charcoal Smoker ticks all the same boxes that the top three brands are producing, but for a little less of a price.
As a result, all these cool additions together plus the whopping amount of cooking space you have with this product are what has earned it our second place in our top picks for vertical smokers.
Pros of the Dyna-Glo Vertical Charcoal Smoker:
- Great value for money for all of the nice features it has
- Fantastic cooking space that lets you cook up to 100 pounds of meat in one sitting
- Metal, solid, durable, well made, similar to what you would find in a professional kitchen
- Everything is removable and easy to clean
- This model can double as an oven if you remove the wood tray and water pan. Consumers have reportedly managed to bake with it and used it as extra oven space over Thanksgiving!
Cons of the Dyna-Glo Vertical Charcoal Smoker:
- Opening the door seriously impacts heat, so you need to keep it closed
- Can be difficult to assemble to the untrained eye
- Doesn’t perform as well in cold climates as other smokers might
The Best Offset Smokers
Offset Smokers are generally referred to as ‘normal’ smokers. You may have seen this design while browsing; they look like a normal BBQ grill but they have a box attached to one side. Smoke travels from the firebox out into the grill and thus produces that lovely flavor. The smoke then emerges from a chimney on the opposite end of the grill to the firebox, encouraging the smoke to travel around the meat.
BBQ Chiefs Top Pick Offset Smoker First Place: The Char-Griller E1224 Smokin’ Pro (click to check current price on Amazon)
When looking for the best BBQ smoker, the Char-Griller is widely regarded as the best offset smoker that you can buy for your backyard! Char-Griller is one of the top 3 names in BBQ so you can tell it is going to be good without even reading much more about it! It comes in black with beautiful wood fittings on the handle, firebox and even on the side shelf. It even has a storage rack between the four legs for extra storage space.
The Char-Griller is loved by just about everyone. It is great for those new to smoking because it simplifies the process and operates on a scale just large enough to make you feel powerful without being large enough to make you feel overwhelmed. It also has an adjustable fire grate, comes with its own heat gauge and sports a double bottom to keep flare ups down. The cooking grates are cast iron – so no rust here – and the ash pan has its own dump system to make cleaning simple.
This is an affordable Offset Smoker that is perfect for both family and big party use. It has been made with longevity in mind, as are all Char-Griller BBQ’s, and runs with either wood or charcoal as its fuel source. As an example of how durable this grill is, one reviewer owned it for five years before having to buy a single replacement part. If you buy a good cover and treat it well this might be the first and last Smoker you ever need to buy, and we call that fantastic value for money.
The powder coated finish and elegant wood really make this smoker one you are proud to display in your backyard – and definitely one that will make the neighbors jealous… just keep that reasonable price a secret! This is an offset with great air flow but users have reported it can take a little finesse for the best meats. Just like everything else in life we have found that practice makes perfect!
We love this smoker. On top of a great grill you can register to join ‘Team Char-Griller’ and be on to some discounted prices and special deal updates. Adding a fan club like this gives an extra layer of exclusivity and allure to this product… but it doesn’t need it, because it stands very well all on its own.
Pros of the Char-Griller Offset Smoker:
- Very well made, might never need a replacement
- Exclusive registration service
- Heavier steel than most other models, easy to clean, looks good
- Large capacity cooking with good flavor and efficient cooking
- Scores highly in reviews, many customers have had theirs for years
Cons of the Char-Griller Offset Smoker:
- There is however a rust issue on the ash pan
- Grill needs to be kept covered in humid or wet conditions
- Can be tricky to set up initially
- Wooden fixtures can crack in the heat
BBQ Chiefs Top Pick Offset Smoker Second Place: The Oklahoma Joe’s Charcoal/LP Gas/Smoker Combo (click to check current price on Amazon)
Oklahoma Joe’s sport a full range of BBQ grills and smokers and are a bit of a legend in the industry. First established in the 80’s they want to spread the love of BBQ across America, and we fully support their cause! This particular smoker is one of their best reviewed products and a very quick glance at it tells you why. It is a huge, double-barreled offset that combines dual fuel grilling with optimal smoking. It’s awesome, and there’s not much about it to find fault with.
The Oklahoma gives an astounding 1,060 square inches of cooking space combined, with the main area (that’s the three-burner gas part) being 750 square inches. This offset smoker is a beast in terms of size because you also get another burner on the side, a rack underneath and a shelf for storage between the legs.
It’s just huge… this is the offset for the smoking pro. There is even cooking space in the firebox chamber for direct smoking or searing. As a result, it’s perfect for big events, big groups of friends and big celebrations!
There are 6 porcelain coated cooking grates which are all made of cast iron. This prevents rust and stops meat sticking but has the added bonus of being a long-life material. It has multiple dampers for heat control, gives all the storage you could want and also has separate temperature gauges on each department.
Perhaps best of all is the option of flicking on the gas to quickly BBQ on a weeknight just because you can. As an added bonus Oklahoma Joe’s have their own patented Cool Touch handles that not only serve their function but look pretty cool while doing it.
At 205 pounds this is a heavy offset smoker, but it does have two wheel to help move it around. The manufacturer behind Oklahoma Joe’s is actually the fabled Char-Broil in disguise, so you know that quality won’t be an issue. The Oklahoma is 31.5 x74 x 50.6 inches, so you can tell that it is a longer product than it is any other dimension. It’s a genuinely good grill that we really like, partially because of that versatility, and partially because of the longevity. The price isn’t all that bad either, a great all-rounder! Be warned that if you are looking for a pure and simple offset then this might be on the big side for you, but we love it because of its size.
Pros of the Oklahoma Joe Offset Smoker:
- Highly versatile, can cook with gas, with charcoal, smoke or grill
- Great offset smoker for a first timer, easy assembly
- Solid construction that has been made to last
- Separate gauges for each section allowing more control
- Excellent temperature control with multiple options and electronic ignition
Cons of the Oklahoma Joe Offset Smoker:
- Can have rust issues so make sure you cover it
- Side burner isn’t as sturdy as the rest
- Wheels aren’t sturdy enough to be of much use
The Best Box Smokers
Box Smokers are an easy way to turn your regular BBQ grill into a smoker without too much extra cost, and without having to buy a whole new machine altogether. A box smoker is usually small enough to fit into your grill. It is filled with pellets, wood chips or some other flavor enhancer and thus will produce smokey flavor as your grill heats up.
BBQ Chiefs Top Pick Box Smoker: The Mockins Stainless Steel BBQ Smoker Box (click to check current price on Amazon)
Mockins aren’t a name you would perhaps expect to find on this list; they do a small range of outdoor grills but tend to be a supplier of home and garden ware as a more regular theme. That being said however, their answer to the Box Smoker is one of the few products of its type capable of earning the full five stars in any given situation. Why? It’s sturdy design has been specially tailored to fit into most sizes and shapes of grill.
This particular smoker box is cast in stainless steel. Once your desired fuel source has been placed inside that steel heats to the same temperature as your grill, releasing the smokey goodness through small holes in the lid of the box. Other boxes tend to have many more holes than the Mockins model does, perhaps this is something to do with their success? At any rate the addition of a hinged lid has made this model almost incomparable to their many happy customers.
As well as being perfectly fit for purpose and very hard wearing, these little boxes come with a lifetime replacement of refund warranty just to seal the deal. With such an affordable price to begin with, this might just be the answer for those who are familiar with BBQ grilling but who want to experiment a little with smoking before they commit to a full smoker.
This little box smoker only weighs 0.8 lbs but is made from 430 gauge stainless steel, which is a little thicker to protect against the high temperatures of your grill. It’s dimensions are 8.8 L x 1.5 W x 3.5 D, so as you can see it should fit most square or rectangular grills. If the diameter of your round BBQ grill is greater than 8.8 inches then it should be compatible with that, too. It’s not even reserved just for BBQ grills either, if you want more smoke in your offset, vertical or drum smoker, or even in your kamado grill, then a box smoker could be for you.
We love this product, it is easy to use, simple and effective. That warranty and also Mockins’ reputation for great home-ware are just two more reasons to buy one.
Pros of the Mockins Box Smoker:
- Highly versatile and fits in most grills, turning even an oven into a smoker
- Strong and tough, it has to be to withstand the heat of the BBQ
- Lifetime warranty for a very affordable price
- Opens up the luxury of smokey flavored meats to everyone
- Snug lid that doesn’t let out the heat or the smoke
Cons of the Mockins Box Smoker:
- The few holes in the bottom make it dangerous to move when smoking
- It gets exceptionally hot, handle with care
- Will rust if left in the rain, keep your grill lid closed when not in use and invest in a good BBQ grill cover wherever possible
The Best Drum Smokers
Drum Smokers, or Barrel Smokers, are thus called because they are the most easily home made BBQ grill type. In making one of these, the body of the grill is created using a 55 gallon drum and a little inventive engineering. We say why make your own when you can buy a predesigned one with a warranty and lessen the risk of singing your eyebrows?
BBQ Chiefs Top Pick Drum Smoker First Place: The Pit Barrel Cooker (click to check current price on Amazon)
With five stars in both reviews and our hearts; nothing can take the top spot for our favorite drum smoker than the Pit Barrel Cooker. This sleek model in black can be used for all sorts of things, it makes a great BBQ grill, a perfect smoker, a wonderful oven and a fantastic portable grill. However, where most drum smokers are rigid this one comes apart into 3 different pieces to make transportation (and multiple functions) easier.
When you choose the Pit Barrel Smoker you get a high quality porcelain enamel coated steel drum capable of heat retention that you wouldn’t believe. This product has multiple great reviews from the likes of Steve Raichen, who voted it the top best value BBQ grill and drum smoker money can buy… and we certainly don’t disagree.
The Pit Barrel weighs fifty pounds and has dimensions of 21 H x 21 W x 21 D, thus making it a fairly substantial model. As well as that lovely heat retaining barrel you also receive a specially designed and easily removable grill rack which sports its own handle for better safety whilst moving. As well as this you get a standard grill plate of a much larger size cast in stainless steel.
To add extra smoking space you are encouraged to hang your meat in the barrel with the use of 8 stainless steel meat hooks which are also supplied. Three rods that run the length of the smoker come with the package, allowing you to suspend all eight hooks at once for maximum capacity… so you can get a whole lot of meat in this drum smoker.
As well as being big enough to fit two whole chickens in back to back, this smoker allows you to combine both the grill racks and the hooks, has great temperature control and its own heat gauge. The package above also includes a 1-3 point barrel stand and a wooden hook remover to make your life that little bit easier. A charcoal basket makes the addition of fuel simple.
We love the Pit Barrel all around, whether you choose the package or the stand alone model. The reduction in size from 55 gallon to 30 gallon makes it more sophisticated and as a result, it’s definitely easier to cover and store. In all honesty this model leaves very little room for fault indeed.
Pros of the Pit Barrel Smoker:
- Lots of extras, hooks make for up to eight times normal storage, plenty of room
- Sturdy stand, good quality and well made, particularly the porcelain enameled drum itself
- Multiple awards and highly recommended, five star reviews on most sites.
- Great for Smoke Rings
- Works perfectly in lower temperatures due to good insulation
- Can smoke all day long, good for setting and forgetting’
Cons of a Pit Barrel Smoker:
- Thicker meats however take a very long time to smoke through
- Can be difficult for the untrained to maintain a steady temperature – but practice is key!
- There is an ash pan sold separately and we feel including this in the product itself would be more in keeping with the brands reputation and the industry standard
BBQ Chiefs Top Pick Drum Smoker Second Place: The EasyGo EGP-Fire Big Bad Barrel (click to check current price on Amazon)
EasyGo are a popular BBQ brand on Amazon who make consistently high quality items for reasonable prices. Unfortunately their product range is very limited so they don’t creep up often. When they do though, it is always to make an impact… just like they do with the Big Bad Barrel Charcoal BBQ. This is a drum smoker with a difference. It is a smoker, a BBQ grill, a pizza oven, a fire pit and can even be used as a table. Advertised as a five-in-one, we placed it in second position because it doesn’t exclusively focus on drum smoking.
This barrel can be taken apart into two sections to allow for easier transportation than your average drum smoker. This one can even fit into your car and go wherever you do. You can also adjust the height of the barrel for added safety.
The cooking rack also is adjustable so you can slow smoke all day long or blast cook on a high heat with a low rack. Also each part of the barrel has its own two sturdy handles for easy movement.
The Big Bad Barrel has a lot of features, including 3 free utensils, a stainless steel grilling rack as standard and 6 stainless steel hooks for added storage. It cooks to an even heat consistently throughout the chamber and can smoke for an easy six hours.
There is an adjustable upper vent for added temperature control and a heat gauge on front so you can monitor it accurately. The Big Bad weighs in at 45 pounds and stands 20.2 inches high. It is 18.2 inches wide and 20.2 inches deep, allowing ample space for all the meat you could ask for.
What makes this a special drum smoker is the multi-purpose aspect. You don’t just get a drum smoker with this product, you get four other cooking methods and also an extra table for you Friday night garden drinks. You get a fire pit to sit around on cozy summer evenings, and a fully operational pizza oven to aid you at Thanksgiving when you need space to cook the turkey.
We see the fact that it comes apart and can be easily transported as a double bonus, since drum smokers usually have to live where they are erected until the day they go to the scrap yard.
Pros of the EasyGo Big Bad Barrel Smoker:
- Five-in-1 feature gives you a table, a fire pit, a pizza oven, a BBQ grill and a drum smoker all in one machine
- Easily moved from one place to another once it has been assembled
- Extra storage with hooks and free utensils
- Consistent temperature, great smokiness, good flavor and all the quality you would expect from a specifically designed barrel smoker
- Stainless steel construction of thick gauge that should last a long time
Cons of the EasyGo Big Bad Barrel Smoker:
- Easy assembly that takes some time, manufacturer advises up to 1.5 hours for assembly
- Doesn’t come with electronic ignition so you may need to pick up some firelighters
- Free utensils do not include sturdy tongs
- Not a lot of high technology used (as is common with adaptations of the ‘ugly’ drum smokers made at home)
The Best Smoker Ovens
Smoker Ovens tend to look like real ovens and come in both outdoor and indoor varieties. They look like professional kitchen cabinets, usually cast in chrome or black. The pan of water and a smoker box on the bottom allow smoke to travel upwards through the racks and out the chimney on top.
BBQ Chiefs Top Pick Smoker Oven First Place: The Cookshack SM025 Smokette Elite Electric Smoker Oven (click to check current price on Amazon)
The Cookshack is the ultimate in BBQ finesse, with every professional detail you could possibly expect to find built in. Ideally the Elite should be kept as an indoor smoker so if you do choose to place it outside make sure you have a good cable and a better BBQ cover to keep it waterproofed.
What we can tell you is that if you are setting up your own pro steakhouse and you want the smoker that is the best of the best; then pay attention, this is the one you have been looking for!
The Smokette Elite might be electric but it comes with an in-built smoke box on the bottom for you to add your own pellets, flavored wood or charcoal for real authentic BBQ taste. This machine is made from a double walled layer of stainless steel specifically built to keep the heat in and can hold up to 25 lbs of meat at any given time. It has two removable stainless steel shelve and a digital control panel on top which allows you to monitor both temperature and timing at a glance from across the room. This panel also allows full control over everything going on inside the grill.
As well as the smoker oven itself, this product comes with 5 lbs of hickory wood so that you can start using it immediately. They also throw in a decent quality meat probe and an aluminum drip pan that won’t rust and wipes clean. It has four removable wheels thus allowing for easy maneuverability. Assembly is easy, everything inside is removable and easy to clean and above all it comes highly recommended from just about every verified purchaser.
We love how professional this model is. The price is absolutely horrendous but if you buy through Amazon it is instantly almost $900 cheaper than buying directly from the supplier, so bare that in mind the next time you are setting up a professional working kitchen. If you have the money to spend then buy it, we can’t recommend it enough and neither can their other customers!
Pros of the Cookshack Smokette Elite:
- It is a professional model that won’t take up your full kitchen
- It combines the cheap efficiency of electricity with the smokey flavor of a box smoker
- Lots of space, so can easily fit a turkey
- Can be set digitally and monitored with the digital probe, time can even be set
- Well made, hardy, tough, insulated, well sealed, so it won’t leak smoke
- Once you buy one you will probably never need or want to buy a different make or model
Cons of the Cookshack Smokette Elite:
- It costs more than your monthly rent, perhaps twice depending on where you live
- Once you remove the wheels it is very heavy and difficult to move
- Could however be a little wider for better cooking space and fitting longer trays/foods
- Porcelain enamel might have held the heat better but we are nit-picking
BBQ Chiefs Top Pick Smoker Oven Second Place: The Smokin-It Model Number 1 (click to check current price on Amazon)
While Smokin-It have a few other models under their belt this is arguably their most popular, and their best reviewed. This model earned our second place because, although similar in design to the first place winner (the Cookshack Smokette Elite) this product has less cooking space, coming in at 22lbs… which is close, but not a winning amount of rack!
Similarly to the Cookshack the Smokin-It has a 4oo watt heating element that doesn’t take much power to operate. So you can run this all day long and it won’t use much power. Unlike the above model it has double the shelf space, with four stainless steel and removable shelves instead of two.
The whole product itself is cast in 201, 18 ga stainless steel and has been NSF certified especially for restaurant use. Where it lacks that digital, at-a-glance control panel on the top, it does have the required certification if you are still planning on building that smokehouse!
It has four very sturdy casters with brakes that are all removable. Again, the product may be heavy and cumbersome when wheel-less. There is a drip pan that slides in and out of place underneath and the solid, well sealed door has a lock for safety.
It also has two handles on either side to make it slightly better for moving than the CookShack is. As per design it has an in-built smoke box that runs the length of the product, with a small opening in the top for regulated and controlled release of smoke.
With dimensions of 15 x 19 x 20 inches this smoker oven has been insulated with fiberglass for greater heat retention and safety. It comes with an LED indicator light and arrives fully assembled, so there is no need to worry about constructing it. The casters are heavy duty three inch thick ones, so they do add a little in height. The whole product weights 58 pounds when empty so be sure to lift it between two people if you want to remove those casters for washing.
What we love most about this smoker oven are the nods towards safety they built in. When working in a busy kitchen things can go wrong in the blink of an eye. Laying your hand on hot metal is prevented with the insulation in this product. So burning yourself as you brush past it becomes impossible.
The safety handles mean it can be lifted without cause for alarm or leverage, and also the casters can be removed to keep them clean and up to code. They also made sure to put locking brakes on those casters to stop the product rolling while in operation… there’s not much better when it comes to pro equipment.
Pros of the Smokin-It Smoker Oven:
- Beautiful smoke bark, smoke rings and all day smoking possible
- Four shelves – although less total cooking space, you do have more surface area
- Makes an amateur smoke like a veteran (best customer review comment we found)
- Fully made in the USA, so saving on carbon emissions
- Simple to set up, simple to fill, simple to use
- Fully assembled, no parts to worry about
Cons of the Smokin-It Smoker Oven:
- Very heavy for one person to move – so get help
- Lacking a digital display
- No electronic temperature control – which is great for a busy kitchen but not great for home use and fire safety
The Best Kamado Grills
The Kamado grill is a fully ceramic model of combined grill, smoker and oven which can cook with style no matter how you want to burn. It is for that reason, it’s becoming increasingly popular and we foresee it to be a big hit in the coming seasons.
BBQ Chiefs Top Pick Kamado Grill First Place: The Medium Big Green Egg
The Big Green Egg in all sizes is a favorite among BBQ enthusiasts everywhere. Exclusive to the designers and unavailable through Amazon; the Big Green Egg is a Kamado style grill that caters to every aspect you can think of. Whether it is the appealing green color that ties in nicely to your backyard surroundings, the intricately designed shape or the ease of maneuverability we are not sure, but the Egg scores higher than 4.5 out of 5 stars in just about all the reviews we could find.
First of all, the website for this product has exactly the right amount of egg puns to keep you amused. Secondly, the whole bowl and lid are ceramic, allowing for even heat spread and good heat retention.
Included with this model you also receive the ring and fire grate for protection and safety, a dual function metal top, a ceramic snuffer cap lid which aids in extinguishing oxygen should you wish to safely put out your BBQ, a Tel-True heat thermometer gauge and comes with standard shipping free… although we wouldn’t blame you if you wanted to pay the extra to rush delivery a little.
When you buy a Big Green Egg you also get to buy into the rather exclusive members club. As well as the member’s only area on the site they have their own line of specialized fuels, accessories and bases for you to accentuate your Egg with. This is a BBQ for those who have a little cash to splash – but if you can afford it you might never need another grill or smoker ever again because the Egg does it all. With enough space to feed 6-8 people at once the Medium size is advertised as perfect for a young couple or small family who want to grill at the weekends – but we know more than a few pro barbecuers who swear by their Egg.
So if you’re looking for the best BBQ smoker – this is an all round (excuse the pun) excellent buy. It is excellent value for money and it also has a very high durability rating.
The Medium Egg stands at 74 cm tall and 47 cm across with a stainless steel cooking grid. It weighs about 51kg which makes it quite heavy, but if you can we recommend picking up the wheeled stand just to make it easier to move around. If not it is a good buy nonetheless.
Pros of the Big Green Egg:
- Colored to tie in with your garden
- Can smoke, grill and also be used as an oven for extra space at Christmas
- Very well made, highly durable, built to last.
- Easy to assemble but pre-assembly and even a lesson on how to use your new Egg are available for a little extra
- Loads of specialized accessories, covers and gadgets to choose from
Cons of the Big Green Egg:
- There are no other color options
- The stainless steel cooking grate has no anti-stick coating
- Accessories and gadgets not necessarily interchangeable with other BBQ grills
BBQ Chiefs Kamado Grill Top Pick Second Place: The Broil King Keg 5000
BBQ masters Broil King have a range of different grills for different occasions but the Keg is generally considered their masterpiece. We not only love the stylish presentation of this kamado style grill, we also love all the innovative little features and the fantastic attention to detail they have put into this product. So why only second place? With 480 square inches of cooking space the Egg just trumps it…
The Keg is packed with some really nice features. To start with, they use fully adjustable Roto-Draft Dampers made from a heavy duty cast aluminum that won’t rust and that should last for years. They also installed a Deluxe Accu-Temp Thermometer to make doubly sure that you have full control and awareness of temperature. It’s final contribution to temperature finesse is a cast iron upper damper that gives top-air flow to the firebox giving the options of both fast and slow cooking.
The keg is coated with a powder finish designed to be all-weather while the locking lid has a thick seal to keep heat from escaping. Underneath they have a removable ash pan in steel. It slides in and out for accessibility.
The cooking grate is made from heavy duty cast iron making it both tough and long lasting. You will want to keep them dry in order to prevent rusting, though.
As if that weren’t enough it has a secondary cooking rack that can spin out the way to be used as a heating or cooling rack. This is a chrome coated rack that doubles your cooking space.
As well as all these features the Keg comes with two sturdy wheels and one large third leg that ensures maximum stability. In fact, we much prefer the leg design on the Keg to the Egg, and even to other smokers. This leg is solid, powder coated and conjoined, rather than the two wheels and two rubber ended legs we commonly see. This allows for more stability but also takes a lot more strength to dent. If leg strength is what you are looking for then the Keg is one of the best out there. As well as this perk you also get a shelf on each side of the Keg 5000, although it doesn’t have the storage space underneath you might expect.
The Keg is a charcoal kamado grill that stands at 47 inches x 27.5 H x 41 W and has a ton of other features. Resin side shelves, epoxy finishing, insulated dual wall steel construction and a porcelain enamel coated cooking bowl are only a few of these. So this one is definitely worth an in-depth look and a bit of consideration from any kamado grill lover.
Pros of the Broil King Keg 5000:
- Very well made with fantastic attention to the small stuff
- Durable, hard wearing and long-lasting – including the stand and sturdy wheels
- High heat retention, heavy duty handles, racks and shelving
- Double rack, thermometer, 40 sq. in. cooking space and a rust resistant cooking chamber
- Great value for all the features you get plus 10 years warranty on the body and two years warranty on the parts
Cons of the Broil King Keg 5000:
- You need to remove the cooking grates to add charcoal
- Many ways to adjust temperature however mean many ways you can accidentally undercook
- A little spot-rusting has been reported in some reviews – that 2 year warranty also covers paint so don’t hesitate to report it as soon as you see it and get it fixed
The Best Pellet Grills
Sometimes called a Pellet Grill, sometimes called a Pellet Smoker, these BBQ grills rely upon condensed ‘pellets’ of wood as their fuel source. These pellets have been specially compacted and treated for maximum burn time and thus can give a lot more bang for your buck in terms of fuel savings.
BBQ Chiefs Top Pick Pellet Smoker: The Camp Chef SmokePro DLX 24 Pellet Grill With Sear Box (click to check current price on Amazon)
One of the very few BBQ Grills to receive an array of immaculate 5 star reviews, the Camp Chef SmokePro combines the best in pellet grills with its own smoker box and then goes the extra mile by throwing in a sear box. The sear box operates almost like a toaster oven. You put the meat in, clamp down and wait a couple of minutes. When you take it out you will have perfectly seared meat on both sides. The perfect way to get great, tenderized meat every time.
Voted the Best Bang-For-Your-Buck Pellet Grill and Smoker of 2018; the Camp Chef is from a newer brand which seems to have a dedicated love of BBQ combined with a touch of professional manliness. If ever there was a ‘man’s’ grill then this is it. That’s not to say it wouldn’t suit your female griller just fine; just that it looks like the BBQ version of a D10 digger. It’s bulky, it’s black, its branded, it has a cool little chimney, it has the handle, sear box and a few other features picked out in chrome so that it looks eye-catching – make no mistake; there is nothing delicate about this pellet grill.
This model has a patented ash clean out system from a brand that seems particularly predisposed towards large scale research and development. We love this type of firm as they tend to be the ones that make the innovations and inventions needed to keep making better and better grills. This machine has a pellet purge, a grease management system, and can cook at temperatures up to 500 degrees… although our in-house chef tells us there is nothing on Earth that could be cooked at that temperature and still be edible… it’s nice to know you have the option of using it as a clay oven should you feel the need.
The Camp Chef has a massive 570 square inches of cooking space, plus the sear box, plus the smoke box attachment on the side. It has two large wheels for maneuverability and two additional rubber-ended legs for stability. It sports auto ignition, has a meat temperature probe included and uses EZ Hopper Release. This pellet grill and smoker has literally everything, As far as we can tell, the only thing it doesn’t have is a storage space underneath.
Pros of the Camp Chef SmokePro:
- It is an oven, a sear box, a pellet grill and a smoker, all in one spectacular model
- Massive cooking space, massive amounts of temperature, massive choice in cooking methods
- Easy to clean, easy to empty, easy to fill
- Compatible with other accessories (BBQ covers, unbranded pellets, etc.)
- Side shelf, two racks, portable (though heavy)
Cons of the Camp Chef SmokePro:
- No Hinged or Sliding Grate
- Propane needed as well as pellets and sold separately
- Hot spots in the smoker, be careful to find them or risk burning your meat
Still Haven’t Found Your Perfect BBQ Smoker or Grill?
We have all sorts of useful information that will help you narrow down your options and find you the best BBQ smoker. If you are feeling a little lost then have no fear, simply pop on over to our article on buying a BBQ grill for a little further guidance. Once you’re done there don’t forget to bookmark us and return in future for your daily dose of BBQ greatness… and remember: it’s never to early to shop for a new grill. It’s always BBQ season somewhere, right?