Buying A Smoker: Top 10 List



Which fuel is right for you? Advantages and disadvantages of logs, wood pellets, charcoal, gas and electric.

Smoker of charcoal and wood. Tip-top flavors, some are very easy to use and others are painful.

Eggs, ceramics and other smokers in Kamado style. Heavily isolated, these are very efficient smokers. Not ideal for steaks.

Pellet smoker. Thermostat control and you cook with wood. Amazing tools, but not good for burning.

Gas smoker. No messy charcoal, consistent temperatures, good flavor and cheap.


Electric smoker. Set it and forget the simplicity. Unfortunately, the taste is inferior.

Smoker on the stove Smoke indoors or on camping trips.

Digital thermometer guide. You can not trust the meter thermometers on any grill or smoker.

With a high-quality, modern barbecue smoker, you no longer have to spend hours hovering over your machine, constantly monitoring the temperature, fiddling with the dampers, shoveling coal, adding wood chips and spraying your meat with a secret moisture spray. A good smoker means you can win the fight against creosote, soot and ashes. With a good smoker you can bring your meal to the table on time and you do not have to worry about overcooking or undercooking.

At, Max Good and I have created a huge equipment rating section with a searchable database of hundreds of reviews and reviews of smokers and grills. Here is our list of our top ten smokers under $ 2,000. There are an unprecedented number of great cookers, and some categories such as ceramic and pellet smokers are growing fast. In our selection we have tried to cover a wide range of designs and prices and select the best breeds. Although this was not a criterion for our selection process, most of the top 10 are made in the USA.

2013 Top 10 Backyard Smokers Under $ 2,000

smokerSmokenator $ 70. This simple piece of bent metal, which is overpriced for $ 70, is still a staggering value if you already own a 22.5-inch Weber kettle that grills for only $ 89 is. Put the two components together and work as a standalone smoker for twice the price: Even if you do not have a kettle, the combo offers you the best of both worlds, barbecues and smoking. On the one hand, it is better for the charcoal than the Weber charcoal basket, it offers more charcoal. The solid metal surface is an extremely efficient indirect heater. We know a competition team in Texas that makes money from their money. The best part is that the aroma is excellent.


Char-Broil Vertical Gas Smoker. Yes, it’s cheap and if you do not care about it, it will probably disintegrate in five years, but then you can save yourself for a really good smoker. It’s tight, so you’ll have to cut ribbed plates in half, but it can absorb a lot of food. Once you get the hang of it, it can keep the temps pretty stable and no care is needed. Be sure to replace the temperature gauge (no thermometer, whatever you call it) with a good digital thermometer. Food prepared on a Gasser tastes wonderful, although slightly different from charcoal or wood, and far better than food prepared on an electric smoker.


Big Poppas Drum Smoker Kit $ 140. We know you’re in the mood for one of those machos looking for sideways barrels of smokers for under $ 200 in the big box store. Please do not do it. It is an incredible pain to operate, you will spend hours trying to modify it, and at the end of the summer it will be in the trash. If you need to chew, build a “Ugly Drum Smoker” with this thoughtful kit. Food grade drums can be easily found for as little as $ 20, so you can have a good smoker for over $ 200. This kit significantly reduces the cost, time, and probability of error. And the results can cook competitive meat. Really.

listWeber Smokey Mountain Cooker $ 18.5 “$ 349. The good old Weber has fired this indestructible charcoal” bullet “and made only minor changes, though minor changes need to be made (eg, the thermometer is not accurate) The body is the same enamelled steel as the Weber Kettle and mine is 15 years old and strong, there is also a larger model, but we prefer this model because it’s easier to keep the temperature down, and that’s crucial for a good smoker one full plate with ribs hardly fits, but can also be used as a grill, but you have to go to your knees, as most of this smoker’s parts are made in the USA.

smokerPrimo Oval Junior $ 832. Ceramic smokers based on an old Japanese “Kamado” design are in vogue, with the Big Green Egg being the most popular of the breed. Ceramic is very efficient, keeps heat and uses very little charcoal. They can also be used as a grill, but the cone shape of most of them does not make them ideal for two-zone cooking, a technique we consider essential for barbecuing. However, there are two exceptions, the two Primo models, which are oval shaped and can easily be set up with two zones for grilling. There is even a larger model, the XL. We like her better than the egg. Made in the USA.


Backwoods Smoker Chubby $ 970. This little baby looks like a fridge in a dorm and has many things in common with it. The walls are well insulated, the door snaps firmly in place, there is a clever return flow system for countercurrent heat and smoke delivery, the temperature control is incredibly simple and can accommodate conventional hotel pans. A water pan between charcoal and food keeps the cooking space moist. There are larger sizes that are popular with professional competition teams. I have the next size, the party, and it’s really impressive. Made in the USA.

smokerREC TEC pays $ 995. We love the new generation of pellet smokers. These sophisticated designs burn wood pellets that look like pencils that are broken in 1/2-inch pieces. The pellets are made from hardwood sawdust from sawmills and furniture manufacturers. A digital thermostat system controls the better models by controlling the flow of pellets and air into the chamber. They are really easy to set up and hold the temp rock tight. They cook with hot air and circulating smoke so most pellet burners can not heat directly. Pellet grills need electricity to operate the controller so you will not bring them to the beach, and the smoke flavor is tender and elegant, but not as aggressive and deep as charcoal and wood. We know that a model of Traeger is by far the more popular and widespread, but we think that’s a lot better, especially because we like the controller better, and it looks a lot better, especially with the metal horns.

smokerMAK 1 Star General Pellet Grill $ 1,299. Another pellet grill like the REC TEC above, but the slightly higher price brings a range of bells and whistles, including our favorite digital controller. It was completely built in the US and is solid with a strong powder coating. The bonnet is a roll-top, which means that unlike many of its competitors, it does not require a lot of space behind it, and there is plenty of space inside. We recommend that you purchase the optional high shelves. My only criticism is that it looks like a WWI tank. Made in the USA.

good smokerFast Eddy’s of Cookshack PG500 $ 1,595. The innovation here is that the cooking surface is divided into two sections, one is like all other pellet smokers, strictly indirect hot air cooking, but the other, smaller section exposes the meat to direct radiant heat, so you get a good dark fry when you want a grill with high heat. And there is a 30-day money back guarantee! Made in the USA.


listHorizon 20 “RD Special $ 1,825 If you’re into Jonesing for the pro look, if you want to burn logs and / or charcoal, you’ll have to spend that money if you want quality as well, as explained above, the Cheapo resembles the hardware stores But the Horizon is built for cooking and for eternity Made of 1/4 “thick steel, the mass retains heat and temperature. You still need to practice to get control of the vents to control the heat. It’s a good idea to sit around to look at them. If you get one, make sure the convection plate is present. It helps to distribute the heat more evenly. The spacious cooking space can be loaded with charcoal when the entire little league passes by and you have to grill 43 burgers at once. Made in the USA.

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