Best BBQ Smokers To Buy in 2020: Cheap and Budget Friendly
We're all familiar with it; the juicy texture, the hearty taste, and the salivating flavor of smoked meat. However, the golden rule of culinary art states that if it tastes this good, it has to be hard to make too.
Consequently, smoking isn't accessible; especially if you don't have the right equipment for the job. This is true whether or not you're a beginner or a seasoned smoking veteran.
So, to help you get that dream barbeque, we've prepared this comprehensive guide giving you the best smoker reviews to get the best barbeque in town.
Without further ado, let’s get grillin’.
Surface (sq in)
22 x 19 x 37.5
18.5 x 18.2 x 33.4
21 x 21 x 31.1
60.2 x 50.5 x 28.2
29.5 x 20 x 14.5
52 x 50 x 25
27 x 19.2 x 46.5
21.1 x 21.4 x 43.5
61.7 x 46.2 x 29.3
32.79 x 66.46 x 52.89
Top 10 Best Smokers for the Money Reviews
When it comes to ease of use, electric smokers can’t be beaten. This type is mostly recommended if you're a beginner or if you want to smoke without worrying too much. Here are our top two picks for this type.
Read and learn more about all of them in our best electric smoker article.
When dealing with an electric smoker, there are two things they must have; space and simplicity. Without it, there wouldn't be a point in picking up this type rather than charcoal or offset smoker. Thankfully, this spectacular Cuisinart unit delivers both aspects in spades.
Firstly, let’s discuss its superb size. You get 30 inches of grill space to load this guy up with all the meat you could need. It also comes with three racks to fill this up with everything you got. The top department also gives you some extra space to place more significant pieces like whole chickens.
As we said, you can't have a great electric smoker without simplicity. As such, this model does everything it can to make your life much more comfortable. For one, it gives you a thermometer right on the door to let you continuously keep track of the temperature.
However, it goes a step further and helps you stop worrying about maintaining the temperature in the first place. This is because the smoker does all the work for you. It uses its superb heating capabilities to automatically maintain any heat within 100 degrees to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
All you have actually to do is set it up. The unit does the rest for you while you can comfortably relax or get some other work done. It also gives you the option to add wood chips for added flavor.
All in all, it’s hard to look past this model. It’s so easy to move, set up, and use without any hassles. With the wonderful price tag on top of all this, it can easily be the best cheap smoker on this list.
We simply could not complete this list without introducing you to this fantastic smoker. It takes its electric nature and elevates it to entirely new heights. The general build and its outstanding digital interface make it extremely easy to use and a strong contender for best home smoker out there.
So, we already mentioned how excellent the interface is, but let's get a bit more in-depth on just how superb it is. This smoker gives you a digital control panel; staying true to its electric nature. It lets you power on the device and also lets you change temperatures with relative ease.
You can also find the timer setting here so it can turn itself off the moment it's done; keeping you tension free at all times. The smoker also does an excellent job of just doing everything for you. All of this together makes it perfect if you're looking for the top smoker in terms of ease of use.
From all of this, it’s pretty evident that this is meant for beginners. It’s easy to use and consistent in its convenience. You’ll find yourself quickly becoming a barbeque enthusiast. On top of that, it’s extremely cheap to get as well; making it quite possibly the best smoker for the money.
On top of its simplicity, it’s got plenty of space to spare. This guy can hold up to 9 chickens each time. You can count on hosting huge barbeques with this on your side.
It also manages to stay compact while offering so many additional benefits. All you need is a power outlet and it’s ready to go. In case you want to save up on space, this is easily a top contender for the best backyard smoker out there.
After going through the electric options, we are now approaching more professional territory. These smokers are the best if you want to add some extra flavor to your BBQ.
Learn more about details of them in our best charcoal smoker article.
This smoker may look simple, basic, and nothing out of the ordinary to a beginner. However, who can blame you? It just looks like a big bucket with handles sticking out.
However, a seasoned expert should know exactly why this masterclass smoker is on our list. Everything from its design to its superb storage system gives it the best smoking experience possible. Let us start by discussing the apparent cylindrical design.
This shape lets the heat spread evenly around the meat; heating every side evenly for the perfect smoke. They don't just stop there; the hook and hang system boost this even further. Each and every piece gets the kind of treatment it needs to get the most taste.
The results are simply mouthwatering; you won’t believe us unless you try it for yourself. This kind of system also streamlines the process of smoking as well, making it much easier than it would be otherwise.
You won’t have to fiddle about with the charcoal and worry about temperatures nearly as much even if you still need to pay some attention.
Speaking of charcoal, this unit gives you a precisely designed charcoal basket to keep the right amount for smoking. This grants you some reference material for beginners to figure out the kind of coal they'll need. It also keeps you away from over or underloading your smoker.
With all this, it's pretty hard to look past this superb model. It came with all hooks needed to hang your meat. With easy assembly to boot, it has earned its spot as a top-rated smoker.
The previous pit barrel entry is a superb choice if you are looking for the best affordable smoker. However, there is no denying that if you're willing to invest more, you can get something better, like the Dyna-Glow Premium Charcoal Grill.
Right away, you might be asking, "The title calls it a grill. How is this a smoker?" Of course, such questions are justified since you can't use grills and smokers interchangeably. That is unless they have the level of temperature control needed to become an excellent smoker itself.
When it comes to this feature, this grill elevates itself as a strong contender for the best bbq smoker out there. The unit gives you a massive range of options to control the temperature to the exact amount you could need. In the center, it has a steel door where you get access to the coal.
This allows you to stoke the flames without interfering with the meat, but it doesn’t just stop there. Next to the door, there is a crank that adjusts the positioning of the coal tray. Set it higher to increase the temperature and set it lower to decrease it.
You can easily keep track of the temperature with its accurate thermometer located right on the main compartment. If you’re not satisfied with the crank, you also have access to a sliding side damper.
All of this lets you control the temperature to its most minute details; placing it among the most high-end smokers in the market.
We haven’t even begun talking about the superb heavy-duty surface, smartly placed cooking space, and its massive 816 square inch cooking space. There’s a lot to love about this unit. It’s easily one of the best barbecue smokers in the market.
If you want a convenient hands-off approach to smoking, then you got to invest in a pellet smoker. These guys do bulk of the work for you, so you can wake up in the morning after a 12-hour smoke to find your food done for you.
Read about our best pellet smoker article here to gather some more tips.
The main reason anyone gets a pellet smoker is because of just how easy to use they are. They allow you just to set it and forget it, giving you time to do other work instead of fussing over the smoker all day.
Although some might not like that, a plethora of people get to make delicious BBQ without having to invest too much into the process.
In case that appeals to you, then it’s hard to find a better smoker than this Green Mountain unit. This acts as both a grill and a smoker to give you extra utility whenever you need it.
However, what truly sets this apart from others is its superb portability and easy installation, making it one of the best outdoor smokers out there.
Seriously, it’s so compact that you can easily load it up into your car and take it out for a nice camping trip. There’s a good reason why all the best outdoor smoker reviews include this model as an entry. However, its utility doesn’t just end there.
As the title states, this guy is Wi-Fi enabled. This allows you to remotely check on the temperature of your smoker while sitting on your couch and watching TV. You won't have to invest in expensive wireless thermometers.
Not enough for you? Well, when you're out in the wilderness for a nice camping trip with this grill, you can connect directly to the smoker with your phone; giving you access to the service while out in the wild. It even boasts its convenience even further with three different powering options.
The food itself is excellently cooked, giving you a nice blend of texture and taste. You’ll find it hard to believe food this good was made so easily. So, if you’re looking for a good smoker that doesn’t ask you to invest too much effort, this is the model for you.
For this entry, we’re introducing another outstanding grill and smoker combo that puts most other quality smokers to shame. There is just so much to talk about with this masterpiece that this segment might not cover all the individual benefits that come with it. From its pellet hopper to its sear box, it's truly a work of art.
For starters, let's start at its aforementioned amazing pellet hopper. It utilizes a gorgeous and accurate interface that's both easy and pleasant to use. All you have to do is input the temperature you want on a dial and watch as the smoker does the rest.
Like other pellet smokers, it inputs just how many pellets you need for your desired temperature. Also, this hopper has a window to show you just how much pellets you have in there so that you have no risk of running out mid smoke.
It evenly distributes heat all over the meat to get the juiciest and perfect results, making it one of the top-rated meat smokers the market has to offer.
The hopper even allows you to eject pellets mid smoke and insert new pellets if you ever want to diversify the taste. Now, let us move on to smoking itself. Once you cook something in its 570-square inch cooking area, the salivating results are so good that it can compete with top-rated competition bbq smokers.
Let’s not forget that it isn’t just a smoker but a grill as well. The hopper’s temperature dial lets you heat up enough to get a nice grill on top of your smoked food. To complement this, this model has a sear box that reaches 900 degrees Fahrenheit to its left.
This allows you to sear and smoke simultaneously to give you so unfathomable versatility. There's just so much to get out of this amazing smoker, and we haven't even begun to talk about its convenient ash and grease clean out system and more. So, if you want something that can directly compete with the best competition bbq smokers, then you’ve found the one.
Propane smokers are quite similar to electric smokers in use, but its power source makes it vastly different from them. They are more power-efficient, and you should be able to get a good 15 hours of smoking with a single tank. Now let's see the best-rated smokers for this type.
We added from two of the best propane smokers in the article here.
We are starting strong with another wonderful model by the people behind the Premium Charcoal Grill. The fact that it's a propane smoker doesn't mean that they slacked off; it's got a lot to offer for newbies and professionals alike.
It employs a bunch of extra features that help it earn its spot as one of the top 10 best smokers on our list.
Starting, we have to talk about its massive outright space. This gives you a whopping 36 inches of space to fill up with meat. Although you get four steel racks, it can easily fit a lot more.
All the trays can also be adjusted and reorganized so that you can put in all your food exactly how your food wants them to go. If you want to fit larger pieces, get rid of a tray to give it all the space it needs. With this kind of space, it becomes one of the best meat smokers on the market when cooking large pieces.
With space out of the way, let’s talk about its dual door design. The upper door is where you place the food, and the lower door is where you manage the flames and wood chips.
Since they are segmented, you can easily tend to the flames and manage the wood chips without interrupting the flow of your smoking in the slightest.
At the very bottom, you get the options for temperature control. The dial is similar to other gas cookers but is enlarged for your convenience. Push the ignition button to get the fire started and get smoking. With a cheap price tag on top of all this, it’s easily a superb cheap meat smoker.
You also get more control over the temperature with its sliding air dampers. Use the thermometer on the upper door to monitor its heat and get the perfect temperature for your pork butts. It’s hard to find this kind of control in other high-quality smokers.
As the brand name suggests, this unit is masterfully built with smart design choices and generous features to make your life and barbeque much better.
Starting, we got an incredible dial system to adjust the temperature as we please. The dial is made larger, so you get more control over the minute details on just how hot you want it.
To power this up, all you have to do is push the ignition button and watch the flame burn. It’s easy to manage and the easier to set up. The smoker even comes with a highly reliable regulator hose.
When getting a propane smoker, the regulator hose must be of the highest quality. Thankfully, this MasterBuilt model gives you an extremely sturdy and strong hose to connect to your gas tank. Moreover, it's easy to connect.
Next up, we’ll be looking at its massive storage capacity. While we’ve been talking about 30-inch space in a lot of our bbq smokers reviews, you cannot underestimate its size. You'll be able to cook for all of your family and friends in a single go.
Each of the doors is lined up with wires. This is to keep your hands safe from the piping hot smoker door without the need for gloves. Speaking of doors, this unit segments the doors to let you maintain the fire and smoke your food separately.
You might still be on the fence whether or not you should get this unit. However, this unit can easily be the best budget smoker on this list. It's a great option, especially if you are a starter and want to cook big batches fast.
The offset smoker is the most advanced and hard to use smoker out there. However, that is exactly what makes them the best rated smokers out there. They give the greatest taste and a more fun smoking experience since you need to be more involved.
Learn more about all of them in our best offset smoker article.
A common stigma in smoking is that you got to invest major banks in getting an extremely high-end offset smoker. Of course, the highest-rated smokers are indeed going to cost you a lot of money, especially offset ones.
However, when looking for the best value smoker, you cannot escape the allure of the Char-Broil Deluxe.
We just can't ignore the smart and gorgeous design this smoker has. Right in front of the lid, you get a small table to prepare your ingredients or keep materials in arms reach. Aside from that, the quality of smoking itself is jaw-dropping.
You can get salivating bark and smoke rings when you put this guy in action. The taste is on par with the best commercial smokers out there. In case you want to get some grilling done too, it’s got a charcoal grill option to its right.
This offers great grilling even though this is a dedicated smoker. As you can grill and smoke at the same time, it’s one of the best smokers for home use. On that note, just how much can this smoke anyway?
Well, quite a lot. This has a massive 895 square feet storage space. This kind of space is perfect if you love barbeque parties.
You get a very simple option to control the temperature as well. Adjust the top damper and monitor the built-in thermometer to get just the right temperature. There is no doubt that this is one of the best food smokers you can get.
We are finishing off our best smoker reviews list with an astounding offset smoker that will get you flavor as you've never had before. From its unbeatable capacity to its state of the art firebox, with this on your side, competitions will become extremely easy.
So, let us explain how this manages to be one of the best competition bbq smokers the world has ever seen. Let's talk about its spectacular firebox. Its shape is perfect for regulating temperature and evenly distributing heat throughout the main compartment.
On that note, did we mention that this gives you 1091 square inches of space? Well, now, you know. Baffled? So were we. You can cook for an entire banquet with this kind of space on your side.
The texture is simply on a whole other level. It’s not one of the best competition smokers for nothing. Once you’ve mastered the art of offset smoking, your cooking will be the talk of the town.
Like the previous entry, it has a small table in its front to give you space to prep your food. This is vital for competitions. On its bottom, it has another spot to keep your charcoal and wood.
By now, you should get why we chose this to end our list. It has left us enchanted with its spectacular taste and ease of use. This unit is a must-buy if you are planning on getting into competitions in the future.
Things to Consider Before Buying
Now that you have your options, here are a few things you need to keep in mind before you get the best smoker for you.
1. Temperature Control
You might be asking, “what is the best smoker to buy?". The answer is simple; a smoker with temperature control. A lot of smoking hinges on how you manage the temperature for your meat. Remember, different pieces require different temperatures to cook properly.
Getting this wrong with most likely ruin the taste entirely. As such, the best smokers for the money can get you exactly the temperature you need. The more control it gives you the better.
2. Cooking Space
There’s no point in getting a smoker if it can't store the amount of food you need. However, space often varies. Even the best Smokers have inconsistent spacing.
As such, you need to calculate just how much space you need. If you are cooking for big parties, go for large capacities. If you want a damn good smoked beef for yourself, allocate more of your funds on smoking quality over space.
You want a smoker to be a near lifelong investment. Top smokers won’t be any good if they don’t last long enough. So, take notes on the kind of material these are using.
Just make sure that you can rely on the smoker to have your back for as long as you need it before you pick out the best smokers to buy.
A lot of us want to take our smoker with us for camping trips and such. It’s just a whole new exquisite experience. However, not all smokers are easy to take places. So, if portability is a priority, make sure your choice has got that covered.
On another note, sometimes you need to move around your smoker now and then. That becomes difficult if you have a heavier model. In those cases, make sure it has wheels.
There are a lot of small features you can look out for. For example, you should check whether the model is easy to clean.
You could also try to get smokers with unique features like Wi-Fi connection to make everything much easier and convenient.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q1. What is the best Smoker?
There is no definitive answer for the best smoker. Each unit offers its unique benefits. Pick out which suits you the best and go for it.
Q2. Where to buy a smoker?
You can get a smoker from a plethora of options. You can go to a local outlet or even order online.
Q3. What smoker should I get as a beginner?
You should go for a pellet smoker because it automatically does most of the work for you. Electric types are also a viable option.
Q4. Can I take a smoker to camp?
It hinges on how portable it is. Units like Pit Barrel is perfect for camping while you won’t be able to take the Dyna-Glo Premium Charcoal grill anywhere without stress.
Q5. Do I have to get a cover?
It depends on the unit. Some can last in the rain, but others can't handle them without a cover. So get one accordingly.
Conclusion: That was one long guide. Nonetheless, with the help of our best smoker reviews, you are now completely prepared to get the best option for you. Your dream barbeque awaits.