Best Commercial Smokers Review of 2020 [Top 7 Picks with Buyer’s Guide]
There lies a big difference between choosing, buying, and settling for a commercial smoker and a smoker for home.
The great revolution in the cooking industry has given us commercial smokers, for which we are all grateful. These are bought for heavy industry use in restaurants, for example.
Profitability and durability are the two key factors that differentiate smokers from home. Hence, you must do thorough research on them before investing in one of these.
This article has all the details that you will ever need to make the right pick of the best commercial smokers for your purpose.
730 sq in
Electric 800 watts
20.3 x 19.7 x 32.1
27" x 25" x 18"
25.6 x 19.3 x 41.7
15" x 15" x 20"
Electric 800 watts
24 x 30 x 22
17" x 13" x 16"
22.5 x 21 x 31.5
21.5" x 14"
24 x 36 x 15.5
682 sq in
22.8 x 23.7 x 16.8
2849.25 sq in
36 x 48 x 63
Top 7 Picks for the Best Commercial BBQ Smokers
There are a lot of commercial smokers available in the market. All have almost similar features as to the competitors’ models. The seven best smokers are selected and carefully picked out in this review to help you make the right decision.
This commercial smoker, one could call it the best model for its price. It comes with 730 square inches of cooking space, which means you don't have to be cooking in many batches.
Another feature that adds on to this point would be the smoker's racks. The rack is coated with chrome, and there are four of these chrome-coated racks, which makes the batches bigger and reduces the number of batches.
Also, the heating element provided on this system comes with full-foam insulation, which can heat up to 800 watts. That means this smoker will be heating up at a speedy rate without dispersing off as much heat as other smokers. Its blue LED display makes it easier to read off the cooking temperature of this awesome gadget.
Not only does it display the temperature readings, but it also tells you the cooking period, both the minute cooked and left to cook the food. ¬For its blue display, you will have no sun-glare problems if your machine is placed outdoors. Another feature is its all-in-one remote control that it comes with.
It is an RF all-in-one remote control. With the remote, you will be able to control and also monitor various variables with just a few clicks. The temperature of the smoker, for example, can be raised or dropped with the controller.
Other variables, like the temperature of the meat inside the smoker, can be checked. You can use this control as a cooking timer, as well. The remote can also be used to turn the internal light of the smoker on and off.
Moreover, the design of this model is sleek. It comes with rear wheels and handles, which makes this heavy piece of great equipment to be easily repositioned. The equipment's available drip pan has been redesigned for smoother operation.
Overall, it has a smooth operation with a wood chip loading system and a side and top air damper.
The smoker pit is told to be the most innovative smoker of the world! It claims that the quality of food that comes out of this cooking equipment is "astonishing." Let us find out more about the smoker pit, and what makes it so amazing.
This model has been cited by the James Beard Foundation Award winners three times in a row. Alongside this award, it is also the winner of the Hearth & Home's Vesta Award in the category of "best innovative kitchen equipment." To have been able to win so many prestigious awards, they must have made an exclusive smoker.
It is not like any other smoker, and it does not run on gas, charcoal, or pellet. You must be thinking it is electrically heated. Well, that's not quite close to the real wood fire! Yes, that's right. The smoker prepares food on a wood fire. Imagine the flavor that it must leave behind on the meat that you will be cooking in it.
Moreover, the entire body of this award winner is made from laser-cut, stainless steel, which was initially invented and designed in Texas, and it is patent protected. That means you will get this feature only on this smoker. This makes it quite an exclusive smoker.
Furthermore, it gets more mind-blowing to find out that it can automatically control and maintain the cooking temperatures internally with its control box mechanism. The firebox produces the thinnest blue flames to cook the food faster. It’s all done automatically with its trademarked inverted flame device.
The interior and the exterior construction is entirely made from stainless steel. This ensures the device's longevity and durability. You will be able to use this smoker for a long time, which makes it a significant investment.
Another reason why you should invest in this model is that this cooker can contain the heat trapped in for an extended period. This decreases the cooking time and also keeps the cooked food warm. It is possible because of the thick insulation layer that this product has.
Moreover, the heating element of the smoker is easily replaceable, and it is also easily available in the market. However, that does not mean that it wears out easily. The element can heat up to 800 watts, and it is an upgraded, better version of the previous heating element.
Furthermore, this smoker has gained the NSF certification that says that it is safe to be used in restaurants. It is the perfect restaurant-size fitted with four good wheels and two handles, which makes it very easy to be moved around the kitchen.
With the new side handle version, you can just as easily lift the compact smoker from one location to another. It has a 3' diameter rubber caster. On the inside, there are four shelves. The shelves are not fixed inside the smoker.
These shelves swiftly and efficiently slide in and out of the smoker, making things a lot easier for the cook or chef.
This smoker is known to be fuel-efficient because of its double insulation mechanism. That way, you will be saving on fuel expenses and making more profits in the long run of your business. This point also adds to why this machine would be a good investment for your company.
The interior and the exterior of the smoker is made with durability in mind. And the exterior body is fully coated with a special kind of powder, which prevents wear and tear of the body after small period usage. The interior of the cooking chamber is made from the best kind of stainless steel.
Moreover, the exterior body is also double-walled. The double-wall design has been tested and proven to reserve flow. Also, the smoker is also fully insulated. This makes it more fuel-efficient and safer to work with. The fuel-efficient cooker will save you a lot of operating expenses over the business's long run.
Additionally, this feature, along with the double insulation mechanism, adds to the rate of cost-saving that this smoker is.
Here is the best part. The drip pan slides in and out smoothly. It is easy to clean up after cooking with this smoker. The door has a temperature gauge fitted on it, which reads out the internal temperature at which the smoker is cooking the food.
Lastly, once you have the cooker delivered to your restaurant, you will not have to worry about hiring a mechanic to set up the smoker. The smoker is already fully assembled and ready to be used!
This smoker is most comfortable to use for many reasons. The temperature controls on this smoker are simply great. It comes with a simple temperature selection system and an LED temperature reader. The LED is no ordinary one.
And the dual LED temperature readouts the internal cooking temperature, and also it gives the reading on the temperatures of the food that's being cooked.
It comes with a large-capacity pellet hopper, which means more space. The add on bonus is the design of the exclusive ash clean-out system. The design makes it cleaning the system so much easier and faster.
Moreover, the usage of this system is so easy that it has to be emphasized once again. It comes with an auto-start technology. To ignite the smoker, all you have to do is press the electronic auto-start ignition button. You do not have to go through the whole series of process overtime before opening your restaurant's kitchen.
Also, this smoker is very efficient. It has an automatic auger dispenser pellet to enhance and improve the efficiency of the smoker. More the efficiency in your restaurant's kitchen, the faster the food will be served to your customers. It will add to your restaurant's profit in this way as well.
The cooking space on this kitchen equipment is enormous. It comes with a grilling space and smoking or a warming rack. The grilling space has a total area of 19.5’’ by 22’’ inches. The smoking/warming area itself is 570 square inches.
They say that cooking with this smoker is fun. It makes cooking an adventure for you. This smoker is built with technology that enhances the flavor of food that's being cooked. At the same time, technological advancements make sure that you can cook with ease. I guess that is what makes cooking with this smoker fun!
This machine claims to be heavy duty. It cooks fast with great precision. And it has heavy layers of thick insulation that traps the heat and maintains an even distribution of heat throughout the smoker. It works as a smoker, grill, and an oven, and it is a 3-in-1.
Moreover, it can keep the food warm once it's cooked, and at the same time, you can use it to heat the food that's been cooked earlier and serve your customer's hot food. The material used to make this smoker is heavy and durable. It is fully constructed out of 304-grade stainless steel.
So, there is no doubt that you will have to replace this smoker anytime soon. The smoker is also easy to assemble and disassemble, which means that if you buy this smoker for home use, you can easily travel with it too! It will fit perfectly in your backyard and your car trunk at the same time.
The BBQ taste that you will get from this smoker is the authentic taste. Smoking up food is the most ancient way of cooking. This smoker has an open bottom design, which means you can switch from smoker to griller just by lifting the top part of the cooker.
It's easy and hassle-free to do as well. You will be enjoying nutrient-rich foods with three different types of styles of cooking experience this model.
The Marshall smoker is the best luxurious smoker, and it is also available within an affordable price range. If you take a look at it, the smoker will speak for itself. It has eleven-gauge steel to lock and contain the heat of the system.
There is an internal damper machine inside the smoker that ensures even distribution that there will be no hot and cold spots on the food.
When you are buying the Gen 3, you will be investing in a smoker with a 2849 square inches of grilling area. That is a lot of grill space for your burgers and steaks. The flames will be touching the food at the right angle, which will be leaving behind the traditional grill flavor and the grill marks.
Cleaning will seem like a piece of cake once you have used this commercial smoker. Both the drip pan and the ash pan are easily removable and very easy to clean as well. Besides cleaning, moving around the smoker is pretty easy too. They come with a large wheel with casters.
With a little precision and practice, you can prepare the best food with this. It is, after all, a heavy-duty smoker. You can tell that just by looking at the structure of the smoker. On one side, you have four racks that have 2124 square inches of smoking space.
And on the other end of the smoker, there is the grilling space with a firebox with 609 square inches of grilling area that has a 14-inch long lid. To your surprise, they can both be used simultaneously for grilling and for smoking food at the same time. One might call it an efficient 2-in-1 smoker.
Before You Buy What to Look for
Here is a buying guide for you if you are new to the commercial smokers’ market. The things that you must keep an eye for are all listed below.
1. Power Source
There are three typical energy sources for smokers. They are charcoal, gas, and electricity. The ones that run on gas are mostly propane. Some can operate on natural gas but are a little bit expensive than the propane-based ones.
Some companies were successful in coming up with models of smokers that can run on both propane gas and natural gas. That can come of advantage if you run out of propane at home or if you are looking to save gas.
Traditionally used by most people are the charcoal-based ones since they provide the most flavor to grill, and they were the first type of smokers available. Recently, the market's demand for electrical smokers is booming. It may be due to the infrared technology that they use in heating that cooks the food faster.
2. Cooking Area
The cooking area of smokers, as you have read in the review section, is mostly expressed in cubic or square inches. And the cooking area should be the first aspect that you should consider since it will vary as per your requirement.
If you want the smoker for your home, then there will be no point in buying a large smoker. It will just take up a lot of room. The cooking space area that most customers of smokers prefer is 700 to 750 square inches.
However, if you are purchasing a commercial smoker for your restaurant, you must make sure that the cooking space exceeds 750 square inches. It should be no less than 500 square inches.
3. Number and Sizes of Grates
Do not forget, the size of the rack matters too! You have to pick a size that will satisfy your requirements. Most smokers come with four racks. There are smaller models of smokers who are not for purposes that have 2 or 3 racks. The size of the grates will vary with the size of the smoker you pick.
Keep an eye out for this. There are a few smokers with big external bodies and comparative smaller racks. Since we are talking about commercial smokers, they almost all the time, come with four racks. With the variation of the smoker's size, the area of the racks will vary from 500 square inches to 700 square inches.
If you go for commercial smokers that are available on a lower cost budget, you will find three racked-smokers. Keep in mind that sometimes, the rack's space can be measured by the quantity of food it can cook. Some smokers can cook faster than others.
Big smokers have the maximum capacity of cooking 23 kilograms of fish or 11.5 kilograms of meat at the same time. This quantity of food will be able to make a feast, such as a wedding.
The size of a commercial smoker is relatively large. Remember that a large smoker is not always heavy smokers. Do not mistake a lightweight smoker for a less durable one. Also, keep in mind that heavy smokers guarantee more durability. You have to be smart about buying a commercial smoker to get the best deal.
A heavy, industrial smoker model will weigh somewhere between forty to sixty pounds. As big as they may be, they often are known to take up less space on a patio then that of a regular grill.
This is high because of the engineering of smokers. They are constructed with comparted grill racks, one above the other. Whereas grills traditionally have a horizontal cooking plate.
We know a product has two essentials parts. First is the physical product itself, and the second is the service benefits that the product comes with. Checking if the smoker comes with a warranty service is also necessary. However, companies often frequently change their warranty schemes.
So, you have to prepare to grab the best scheme. Many people, however, tend to pay less attention to this detail of any product. It is an essential, long term product benefit that will help you in the future.
Another thing to keep in mind is the best smokers, or the best smoker brands, will most often provide better warranty schemes. This could be an additional handy tool to judge the smoker's quality.
Usually, if you settle for a commercial that provides you a warranty scheme in between three to five years, you can call it a good deal. Three to five years of warranty is the average of this market's warranties. With a good warranty, you will have peace of mind.
6. Extra Features
What extra features should one be looking for or provided my brands for commercial smokers? Here are several features, for example, temperature gauge, wheels, casters, ease of assembling, the material of the smoker's body, etc.
These features will not have any direct influence on the smoker’s performance in cooking food. They will come to help the users of the device and make it more convenient for them. Hence, a few of those examples mentioned above may be ignorable or compensable.
Let's say, for example, you have come across a model of smoker that has wheels with casters, which is more worth to you than a smoker with ease of assembling. You are free to choose the combination of extra features that you would like to opt for.
The price will always be an essential factor in investments and spending. You do not want to be too cheap when buying a device that will be a long term investment in your company or home. However, we all have budget constraints also. So, we need to make clever and smart decisions.
Hence, first, the important thing is to decide your investment budget for the smoker, which will narrow down your choices. The price range for these smokers will begin at $170, which can go on up to $1000. The model additional features the model comes with, the more luxurious and expensive it will be.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here we have some of the most commonly asked queries regarding the top commercial smokers:
Q1. Which power source is the best for commercial smokers?
In terms of time effectiveness, market demand for electrical smokers is booming.
Q2. Which power source is for the best flavors?
Charcoal cooks the food slowly but leaves the best flavors.
Q3. What is a side wood-chip loader?
A feature that allows you to add more flavors and refuel the smoker without having to open the smoker and preserving the heat, smoke, and flavor.
Q4. How many racked- smoker should I get for commercial purposes?
A heavy-duty, four racked smoker will be your best option.
Q5. How can I convert from propane to natural gas?
If the smoker is convertible, you will need a natural gas orifice at the burner.
Final Words: In summary, the number of options in the kitchen equipment industry is growing and competing with that, the smoker production industry has come up with a lot of variations and models. This provides you with a lot of options, but at the same time makes it difficult for you to choose.
We hope our seven picks of the best commercial smokers will help you make the right choice.