Best Charcoal Smoker

Best Charcoal Smokers 2022: Deliciously Smoky

Last Updated on February 18, 2022

If you are a backyard grilling guru who is looking to extend your repertoire and push your culinary skills, you need to invest in a charcoal smoker.

Smoking food slowly over charcoal is just about as authentic a cooking style as you can get in the garden, and the results are tender, succulent, and deliciously smoky.

But, if you’ve never ventured into the world of smokers before, you could be forgiven for not knowing where to begin.

That’s where we come in. We’ve put together a list of the best charcoal smokers, so that you can follow in our footsteps, and become as passionate about smoking as we are.

So sit back, relax and get ready to take a tour of the best charcoal smokers money can buy!

Char-Broil American Gourmet Offset Smoker

Best for versatility:

Char-Broil American Gourmet Offset Smoker
BrandChar-Broil
Model12201570
Dimensions (L x W x H)17.5 x 46.25 x 44.75 inches
Weight46.5 pounds
Cooking Capacity430 square inches

This combination grill, barbecue, and smoker, by Char-Broil, will allow you to get the most out of all three cooking disciplines and help you to effortlessly master them all. 

Its built-in dampers also provide all of the straightforward tools that you’ll need to control the flow of smoke and heat, and its hood-mounted temperature gauge ensures that you’ll always know exactly how hot it is inside the main chamber.

Made to be versatile and easy to use, this offset smoker has 290 inches of smoking and grilling space in its main chamber and another 140 inches of additional smoking space in its firebox.

It is perfect for parties of between 2-5 people. 

Its firebox has an easy cleanout system and the grates are porcelain-coated, so you’ll never have to struggle to clean up the Gourmet Offset Smoker when you’ve finished cooking.

Char-Broil even installed a side shelf on their smoker, to make it easier to get your barbecue from the smoker to your plate.

There’s a reason why Char-Broil claims to be America’s favorite grilling brand, and that’s because they’ve been in the game for seven decades. 

Pros

  • Versatile cooking capability – The offset smoker means you can smoke, grill and barbecue on this single unit.
  • It’s All About The Control – The multiple dampener system that Char-Broil uses makes it easy to control the amount of heat and smoke that their offset smoker creates. 
  • Easy Clean – The straightforward and simple empty firebox and porcelain-coated grates (that are also height adjustable) make this smoker easy to clean. 
  • Built-In Gauge – The hood-mounted temperature gauge makes it easy to monitor and control the amount of heat inside the main chamber. 

Cons

  • Quality Control – Some grillers have concerns that this smoker isn’t quite as durable as Char-Broil claims it is. 

Check Out Availability & Today’s Price:
Char-Broil American Gourmet Offset Smoker


Dyna-Glo 36″ Vertical Charcoal Smoker

Best for small yards:

Dyna-Glo 36" Vertical Charcoal Smoker
BrandDyna-Glo
ModelDGX780BDC-D
Dimensions (L x W x H)20.83 x 21.45 x 49.73 inches
Weight56 pounds
Cooking Capacity784 square inches


Made to fit every yard and every budget, Dyna-Glo’s smokers are built to make smoking simple and fun, regardless of how much space you have or how well versed you are in the art of smoking.  

With four separate cooking grates that provide a staggering 784 square inches of smoking space and a door-mounted, stainless steel temperature gauge.

All you have to do is load the racks with whatever you want to smoke, light the charcoal, close the door, set your watch and let the Dyna-Glo do all your smoking for you. 

And when you’ve finished smoking? Its patented, removable steel ash pan and easy to wipe-down interior make cleaning the Dyna Glo a breeze.

It’s also easy to control and maintain the heat inside the cabinet with the dampeners that are mounted on both sides, and with a little patience and practice, you’ll be smoking like a professional in next to no time. 

Pros 

  • It’s A Size Thing – Standing just 50 inches tall and 20 inches deep, Dyna-Glo’s vertical smoker was made to fit, and smoke, in any yard, regardless of how big or small it is.  
  • Smoking Space – 784 square inches of smoking space is an astonishing amount of room. If you’re looking for a way to smoke and cook for your entire neighborhood, then you don’t need to look any further.
  • Smoke And Go – With its easy-to-use dampeners, door-mounted gauge, wipe-down interior, and removable ash pan, the Dyna-Glo puts you in charge of the cook at every stage of the process.  

Cons 

  • Some Assembly Required – Even though Dyna-Glo claims that it’s ready to go straight out of the box, this smoker does require some assembly.
    And if you don’t think that you’re up to the task, they’ll supply one of their technicians to do it for you. But it’ll cost you another hundred bucks if you do take them up on that offer.  

Check Out Availability &Today’s Price:
Dyna-Glo 36″ Vertical Charcoal Smoker


Cuisinart Vertical 18″ Charcoal Smoker

Best for portability:

Cuisinart Vertical 18" Charcoal Smoker
BrandCuisinart
ModelCOS-118
Dimensions (L x W x H)20.5 x 20.5 x 22.8 inches
Weight37 Pounds
Cooking Capacity510 square inches

This 22-inch tall charcoal smoker is designed to be portable and fit in with your busy schedule and life.

Cuisinart’s smoker can fit into any space you have available in your yard, and can also fit in the trunk of your car too.  

It has two 18-inch separate stainless steel racks which provide a total of 510 inches of cooking and smoking space.

With two separate vents, one at the top and one at the bottom of the smoker, you’ll easily be able to control the amount of smoke and heat that you can use to grill, barbecue, and smoke whatever it is you’ve decided to prepare and infuse with layers of charcoal imbued flavor. 

Its hinged side door is engineered to not only make it easy to add fuel to its smoking fire, but it also makes it straightforward and simple to clean.

Whether you’re looking for a smoker that can cater to all of your backyard barbecuing needs or to serve as a stand-in, all-in-one grill and smoker to use when you hit the road in your RV, then the Cuisinart could be the answer to all of your smoking prayers.

Pros

  • Portable – Thanks to its compact size and low weight, this smoker can fit in the backyard or in the car.
  • Smoking Space – With a combined smoking area of 510 inches provided by two stainless steel racks, the Cuisinart has more than enough cooking space to smoke food for parties of up to 6 people. 
  • Affordability – At a price point that’s roughly half as much as the rest of the smokers in its class, the Cuisinart is astonishing value
  • Warranty – It comes with Cuisinart’s bulletproof three-year warranty.

Cons

  • Instruction Free – Cuisinart doesn’t supply any instructions with their smoker, so you’ll have to get to grips with it, and figure it out, by yourself. But it’s pretty simple, so you shouldn’t have any problems setting it up and using it.

Check Out Availability &Today’s Price:
Cuisinart Vertical 18″ Charcoal Smoker


Weber 22-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker, Charcoal Smoker

Best premium smoker:

Weber 22-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker, Charcoal Smoker
BrandWeber
Model731001
Dimensions (L x W x H)24 x 23 x 48.5 inches
Weight68 pounds
Cooking Capacity726 square inches


Weber smokers don’t come cheap, but if you have the cash, then you can be sure you’re getting premium-quality with their Smokey Mountain Cooker.

It really is an incredibly efficient, precise, and conveniently compact bit of kit.

At just forty-nine inches high and twenty-three inches wide, it might seem small when placed side by side with some of the monstrous smokers that dominate the backyard barbecuing scene.

Don’t let its size fool you.  There are 726 square inches of grilling space packed inside this smoker! 

Thanks to its conveniently located side door, it’s easy to add charcoal to increase the smoking time, and just as easy to clean it after you’ve finished smoking for all of your family and friends. 

And it’d be remiss of us not to mention how easy it is to control the amount of heat and smoke that Weber’s Mountain Grill makes and uses.

A single twist of the damper dial will grant you total mastery of this unit, and of your cook.

Pros 

  • Premium Design – It might be 49 inches high and 23 inches wide, but what the Weber lacks in size it more than makes up for in cooking space, with 726 square inches of smoking power onboard.  
  • Easy To Use, Even Easier To Clean – That just about covers it. It’s simple to use, straightforward to clean, and will help you to smoke like a champion.   
  • Weber Warranty – Like all Weber barbecues, the Smoky Mountain Grill comes with a ten-year warranty that’ll cover any design and manufacturing error.
    That’s one hundred and twenty months of bliss-filled, happy smoking time.  

Cons 

  • Expensive – Like every grill that wears the Weber name, the Smoky Mountain isn’t exactly cheap and if you decide that it needs to find a new home in your backyard, then your pocketbook will have to bear the financial burden of that decision.  

Check Out Availability &Today’s Price:
Weber 22-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker, Charcoal Smoker

Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker

Best for big parties:

Oklahoma Joe's Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker
BrandOklahoma Joe
Model17202053
Dimensions (L x W x H)35.5 x 64.25 x 55.5 inches
Weight226 Pounds
Cooking Capacity1060 square inches

Wow, this smoker is big! And if you love throwing big barbecuing bonanzas, this is most certainly the unit for you!

A reverse flow smoker that channels all of the heat that it makes from its simple to fill and even easier to clean firebox into its main chamber. 

It uses four grates to ensure even dispersal of heat and smoke throughout its 1060 combined square inches of smoking space. 

And thanks to the ingenious system of baffles that the smoker uses, and its lid-mounted temperature gauge, you’ll be able to fully control your cook from beginning to end.  

Just like the natives of the state that this smoker takes its name from, it’s hardy, durable, and made to last. 

And, in all likelihood, this smoker will outlast you and end up being passed down to the next generation of your family who can keep on smoking the way that you, and Oklahoma Joe, taught them to.  

Pros 

  • That’s A Lot Of Smoking Space – With a combined cooking area of over 1000 square inches, you’ll be able to feed an entire village or small town with this reverse flow smoker.  
  • Dampening Down The Heat  And Cleaning Up – The dampeners make it easy to control the amount of heat and smoke that you use to cook with and the even easier to clean and empty firebox means that it’ll never be a chore to get the cleaning done.  

Cons 

  • Big And Heavy – All that cooking space comes at a cost, and while there’s a considerable financial cost involved in the purchase of this charcoal smoker, it also weighs more than the average family car.  

Check Out Availability &Today’s Price:
Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker

Buyers guide

Regardless of the size, shape, or degree of fanciness, if you’re looking to buy a quality charcoal smoker, keep an eye out for these features:

Heavy gauge metal 

For greater heat retention and a more even cooking environment, choose a thicker metal. ¼ inch is generally considered to be the gold standard when it comes to smokers. It’s less likely to warp and isn’t as affected by adverse weather conditions.

Cover 

If you don’t have the space to store your barbecue undercover, you’ll need a waterproof cover to keep it dry and prevent rust

Warranty 

A quality smoker should last a lifetime with a bit of love and care. Nevertheless, buying an offset smoker with a warranty will give you peace of mind when it comes to potential manufacturer faults.

Firebox size 

Whether you’re using charcoal with wood chips, logs, or split wood, make sure that the firebox is large enough to fit your chosen fuel source.

Cooking chamber size 

You don’t want to upgrade your barbecue because of lack of space so, carefully consider how much you’re planning on cooking when you’re first buying an offset smoker.

Select an offset smoker that has plenty of space, racks, and/or hooks to cook a reasonable quantity of food at a time. Moveable racks offer additional flexibility.

Footprint 

How much room will your new offset smoker take up? Don’t forget to take into account the need for ventilation space around it.

Ease of cleaning 

Are the cooking plates removable to allow for easy cleaning? Is there a drain or plug that means you can simply hose out the inside of your barbecue? Does it come with an ash clean-out tool?

It’s more than likely that you won’t want to move your offset smoker to clean it, so features that make scrubbing easy are a lifesaver.

Portability 

Will you need to move your barbecue? If so, how heavy is it? Does it have handles and/or wheels that will help you to move it?

Quality seals and dampers 

Quality seals are essential to create greater temperature control, improve smoke retention and reduce fuel usage. Inspect the seals to check that there aren’t any gaps. Also, make sure that the dampers seal well but are easy enough to slide open and closed.

Temperature gauges 

Being able to measure the internal temperature of your offset smoker without having to open the lid is essential to create perfectly smoked meats. Look for a quality brand that’s going to give you an accurate reading for greater control.

We’ve been using a digital thermometer that records the internal temperature of the food not just the cooking chamber.

It’s useful to have 2 thermometers at grate level on either end of an offset smoker so you can see if there’s any temperature difference and adjust accordingly.

Sturdiness

How strong are the legs and wheels? Does it have strong hinges and latches? It’s important that your new smoker is durable so it can handle normal wear and tear.

Accessories 

Does the barbecue come with accessories? And, what accessories are available? You might want to buy extra racks, rib hooks, tools, or a weather guard down the track.

Frequently asked questions  

What is a charcoal smoker?  

A charcoal smoker is a grill that’s been specifically designed to smoke food slowly, over low heat, using charcoal as its fuel source.

Cooking food on a charcoal smoker imbues it with a rich, smoky flavor, and results in succulent, juicy meat.  

Which charcoal smoker is the right one for me? 

If you have limited space in your yard and a limited budget, then you should look at the Dyna-Glo Vertical Smoker.

If you’re not hampered by either budget or space, the charcoal smoker that you should consider is Oklahoma Joe’s Reverse Flow Smoker. 

How do you control temperature on an offset smoker?

To control the temperature on an offset smoker, you simply adjust the air intake and exhaust vents (called dampers).

When the vents are more open, the increased oxygen allows the fire to burn faster and hotter.

Conclusion

Investing in a quality, charcoal smoker will take your backyard barbecuing skills to a new level.

The succulent, smoky taste of food that has been smoked low and slow over charcoal is second to none, and your friends and family will be so impressed with the culinary results, they’ll all be wanting a smoker of their own!

Please contact us if you have any questions, comments, or concerns we are only too pleased to help.

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