Love the smoky taste of barbecue? Charcoal smokers are a favorite among foodies who savor this flavor. With a myriad of shapes and sizes to choose from, these smokers consistently utilize charcoal as their fuel. Ideal for slow-cooking meats to perfection, they imbibe a unique smoky richness that’s difficult to replicate with other cooking techniques.
When looking for the best charcoal smoker, there are a few critical things to consider. First, you’ll want to think about the size of the smoker. If you’re cooking for a large group of people, you’ll need a smoker that can accommodate a lot of food. On the other hand, if you’re cooking for just a few people, a smaller smoker may be more appropriate.
Another thing to consider is the material of the smoker. Some smokers are made from steel, while others are made from ceramic. Ceramic smokers are generally more expensive, but they are better at retaining heat, which can make for more consistent cooking.
Finally, you’ll want to consider the features of the smoker. Some smokers come with built-in thermometers, while others have adjustable vents that allow you to control the temperature more precisely. These features can make a big difference in the quality of your cooking.
We spent hours researching and testing ten charcoal smokers to identify the ones that deliver the best flavor and performance. In the following sections, we’ll share our top picks and explain why we chose them.
Top 3 Best Charcoal Smokers
- Royal Gourmet CC1830S 30″ BBQ Charcoal Grill and Offset Smoker
- Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Charcoal Smoker
- Dyna-Glo Wide Body Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker
Looking for the perfect charcoal smoker to add to your outdoor cooking setup? Look no further than our roundup of the best charcoal smokers on the market. We’ve tested and researched a variety of models to bring you the top picks for delivering that classic smoky flavor to your meats, veggies, and more. Whether you’re a seasoned pitmaster or a beginner just starting out, we’ve got a smoker that’s sure to meet your needs. Check out our top picks below.
If you’re looking for a versatile charcoal smoker that offers a large cooking surface, the Royal Gourmet CC1830S is a great option.
- The offset smoker allows for good circulation of heat and smoke, resulting in tasty smoke flavors.
- The adjustable charcoal pan creates better heat control and holds up to 4.4 lbs. of coal.
- The lid-mounted thermometer gauge helps check and monitor the cooking temperature, allowing you to cook with great confidence.
- The metal is thin, which may make the product less durable over time.
- The paint on the inside of the grill may chip away after several uses.
- The product may not be as sturdy as some other options on the market.
We recently had the opportunity to test out the Royal Gourmet CC1830S, and we were impressed with its features and performance. The offset smoker is firmly attached to the grill, which ensures good circulation of heat and smoke. We found that the side door was easy to open, which made it simple to add charcoal and remove ashes. The air vent also stokes the fire instantly, which is a great feature.
The adjustable charcoal pan is another standout feature of this product. We loved that it created better heat control, which made it easier to cook food to perfection. The pan also holds up to 4.4 lbs. of coal, which is more than enough for most grilling and smoking sessions.
The lid-mounted thermometer gauge is also a great addition to this product. We found that it helped us check and monitor the cooking temperature, which allowed us to cook with great confidence. We also appreciated the ample space provided by the front and side tables, which offered workspace for seasonings and grilling tools. The bottom shelf also provided extra storage space, which was a nice touch.
Overall, we think that the Royal Gourmet CC1830S is a great option for anyone looking for a versatile charcoal smoker. While it may not be the most durable option on the market, its features and performance make it a great value for the price.
If you’re looking for a reliable and easy-to-use charcoal smoker, the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker is a great choice.
- Easy to assemble
- Two cooking grates for smoking multiple items at once
- Dampers are easy to adjust for heat control
- May require frequent refilling of charcoal
- Smaller cooking area than some other smokers
- Cover may not be as durable as expected
We found the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker to be a breeze to assemble, with clear instructions provided. The two cooking grates allow you to smoke multiple items at once, which is great for larger gatherings. The dampers are easy to adjust, giving you control over the heat and ensuring that your food is cooked to perfection.
One downside of this smoker is that it may require frequent refilling of charcoal, especially if you’re smoking for an extended period of time. The cooking area is also smaller than some other smokers on the market, which may be a consideration if you’re planning to smoke large cuts of meat. Finally, while the included cover is a nice touch, it may not be as durable as some users would like.
Overall, we think the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker is a great choice for anyone looking for a reliable and easy-to-use charcoal smoker. Its compact size and ease of use make it a great option for beginners, while its excellent performance will satisfy even experienced pitmasters.
If you’re looking for a versatile and high-quality charcoal smoker, the Dyna-Glo Wide Body Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker is an excellent choice.
- The six height-adjustable cooking grates can accommodate various sizes of food, giving you 1,890 square inches of total cooking space with 25-pound capacity per grate.
- The vertical design lends itself to naturally rising heat, achieving greater efficiency and improved smoke flavor. The offset design keeps direct heat away from the food, allowing for slow cooking.
- The built-in, stainless steel thermometer and ‘Smoke Zone’ indicator make it easy to achieve perfectly smoked foods.
- The smoker can be difficult to assemble and may require some modifications for optimal performance.
- The charcoal and ash management system may not be as efficient as some users would like, requiring frequent cleaning during extended cooking sessions.
- The smoker’s large size and weight may make it difficult to move or store for some users.
We’ve been using the Dyna-Glo Wide Body Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker for several months now and have been consistently impressed with its performance. The six height-adjustable cooking grates offer plenty of space for all types of food, and the vertical design ensures that heat and smoke are evenly distributed throughout the smoker. The built-in thermometer and ‘Smoke Zone’ indicator make it easy to monitor the temperature and adjust as needed.
One potential downside of the smoker is that it can be challenging to assemble, and some users may need to make modifications to get the best performance. Additionally, the charcoal and ash management system may require frequent cleaning during extended cooking sessions, which can be time-consuming.
Overall, we would highly recommend the Dyna-Glo Wide Body Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker to anyone looking for a high-quality and versatile charcoal smoker. With its large cooking capacity, efficient design, and easy-to-use features, it’s an excellent choice for both beginners and experienced smokers alike.
If you’re looking for a versatile charcoal smoker that can grill and smoke, the Royal Gourmet CC1830SC is a great option.
- With 811 square inches of cooking space, you’ll have plenty of room to cook for a crowd.
- The offset smoker is attached to the grill for good heat and smoke circulation, and the side door makes it easy to add charcoal and remove ashes.
- The adjustable charcoal pan allows for better heat control and can hold up to 4.4 lbs of coal.
- The wire shelf on the grill doesn’t hold meat well and can slide forward.
- Assembly can take up to 3 hours.
- The paint quality is not the best.
We recently tried out the Royal Gourmet CC1830SC and were impressed with its performance. The cooking grates are porcelain-enameled steel wire, which makes them durable and easy to clean. The warming rack and offset smoker provide additional cooking space.
The adjustable charcoal pan is a standout feature, allowing for better heat control and making it easy to add more charcoal as needed. The lid-mounted thermometer gauge is also helpful for monitoring the cooking temperature.
The front and side tables are convenient for holding seasonings and grilling tools, and the bottom shelf provides extra storage space. The included cover is a nice touch, keeping the grill protected from the elements.
Overall, if you’re in the market for a charcoal smoker that can grill and smoke, the Royal Gourmet CC1830SC is a solid choice.
If you’re looking for a versatile and portable charcoal smoker, the SUNLIFER Portable Charcoal BBQ Grill is a great option that won’t break the bank.
- The multi-functional design allows you to use it as a smoker or a charcoal grill for a variety of cooking options.
- The adjustable air vent and porcelain-enameled steel water pan give you control over the amount of smoke, moisture, and flavor your meats receive.
- The removable charcoal pan makes it easy to dump ashes and clean up in seconds.
- The assembly process can be a bit challenging, so be prepared to spend some time putting it together.
- The thermometer is not the most accurate, so you may want to invest in a separate thermometer for more precise …
We recently had the opportunity to try out the SUNLIFER Portable Charcoal BBQ Grill, and we were impressed with its performance. The heavy-duty steel construction and heat-resistant bake-lite handles make it durable and easy to transport, while the adjustable air vent and porcelain-enameled steel water pan put you in control of the smoke and flavor.
One of the standout features of this smoker is its multi-functional design. It can be used as a smoker or a charcoal grill, making it a versatile option for a variety of cooking needs. The 8-in-1 design allows you to smoke, grill, steam, bake, braise, roast, sear, and cook outdoors, making it a great option for backyard, garden, patio, lawn, tailgating, porch, party, beach, camp, picnic, RV, and other outdoor activities.
The smoker also features two access doors, one on the lower layer for easy access to the fire, and one on the upper layer for quick food checking without losing heat. The removable charcoal pan makes it easy to clean up and dump ashes in seconds.
While the assembly process can be a bit challenging, once it’s put together, the smoker is easy to use and produces flavorful and juicy meats. The only downside we found was that the thermometer is not the most accurate, so you may want to invest in a separate thermometer for more precise temperature monitoring.
Overall, if you’re looking for an affordable and versatile charcoal smoker that can handle a variety of cooking needs, the SUNLIFER Portable Charcoal BBQ Grill is a great option that won’t disappoint.
If you’re looking for a charcoal grill that can handle all cooking techniques and cook large cuts of meat with falling-off-the-bone tenderness, the Royal Gourmet CC1830M Barrel Charcoal Grill with Offset Smoker is a great choice.
- Spacious cooking space for feeding a crowd during game-day parties and family reunions.
- Offset smoker for getting tasty and authentic smoky flavors in the main chamber.
- Lid-mounted thermometer gauge helps monitor heat fluctuations and minimizes your hands-on time.
- Requires more hands-on time and temperature monitoring than gas grills.
- Assembly can be time-consuming.
- The door on the box may not align properly.
We were impressed with the Royal Gourmet CC1830M’s spacious cooking space, which includes 443 sq. in. porcelain-enameled steel wire cooking grates, 184 sq. in. chrome-plated steel wire warming rack, and 184 sq. in. offset smoker. The side fire box allows you to get tasty and authentic smoky flavors in the main chamber, and you can choose between smoking, grilling, or searing. The 2-level height-adjustable charcoal pan ensures better heat control and holds up to 4.4 lb. of coal while the offset smoker can accommodate 1.5 lb. of coal.
While the Royal Gourmet CC1830M requires more hands-on time and temperature monitoring than gas grills, the results are quite satisfying. The adjustable pan allows for more precise heat control, and the lid-mounted thermometer gauge helps monitor heat fluctuations and minimizes your hands-on time. However, assembly can be time-consuming, and the door on the box may not align properly.
Overall, we would recommend the Royal Gourmet CC1830M Barrel Charcoal Grill with Offset Smoker for those looking for a versatile charcoal grill that can handle all cooking techniques and cook large cuts of meat with falling-off-the-bone tenderness.
If you’re looking for a charcoal smoker with a large cooking space for your backyard gatherings, the Royal Gourmet CC2036F is a great option.
- The 668 sq. in. cooking grates, 260 sq. in. warming rack, and 272 sq. in. offset smoker provide ample cooking space for large events.
- The offset smoker is firmly attached to the main body, allowing for good circulation of heat and smoke. It can also provide additional grilling or smoking cooking space for small side dishes.
- The 3-level height adjustable charcoal pan creates better heat control and energy efficiency. It can hold up to 3.5kg/7.7 lb. of coal which is enough for large events.
- The heavy duty handle on the offset smoker is great for tending the charcoal, but the side charcoal door is small and can be difficult to access.
- The grill is made of heavy gauge porcelain-enameled steel wire, but it can rust if not properly maintained.
- The assembly instructions can be confusing and time-consuming.
We recently used the Royal Gourmet CC2036F for a backyard BBQ and were impressed with its cooking space and ability to maintain heat. The adjustable charcoal pan allowed us to control the temperature and cook our food evenly. However, the small side charcoal door made it difficult to add more charcoal during the cooking process. The grill was easy to clean thanks to the removable grease drip cup and charcoal pan. Overall, if you’re looking for a charcoal smoker with a large cooking space, the Royal Gourmet CC2036F is a great option.
If you’re looking for a versatile charcoal smoker that can also function as a grill and oven, the HUMOS Outdoor Vertical Charcoal Smoker 3 in 1 is a great option.
- The smoker offers incredible versatility, allowing you to smoke, grill, steam, bake, braise, and roast all in one unit.
- With two 18″ stainless steel racks, you get plenty of cooking space – 510 square inches, to be exact.
- The unique airflow system simplifies the lighting process and ensures even cooking across both the upper and lower cooking grids.
- The door can be difficult to open when the smoker is hot, which can make it challenging to add more smoke wood.
- Some users have reported missing hardware or weak bottom clamps upon delivery.
- The temperature may be difficult to regulate, especially if you’re new to smoking.
Overall, we think the HUMOS Outdoor Vertical Charcoal Smoker 3 in 1 is a great investment for anyone who wants a versatile cooking tool that can handle a wide variety of meats, vegetables, and more. While there are a few minor drawbacks, we believe the pros outweigh the cons. With its sturdy stainless steel construction and unique airflow system, this smoker is built to last and will help you achieve delicious, smoky flavors every time you use it.
If you’re looking for a large charcoal smoker that can serve a party of 10-15 people, the Sophia & William Heavy-Duty Charcoal Smoker Grills is a great option.
- The one-piece smoker chamber ensures that nothing is leaked, and the temperature can be controlled easily.
- The heavy-duty steel construction makes it durable and stable enough to resist strong winds.
- The standing temperature gauge indicates temperature changes instantly, and the adjustable dampers on the side firebox enhance airflow maximally for efficient burning and temperature control.
- The assembly process can be time-consuming.
- The thermometer can be clouded up with moisture, making it hard to read.
- The shipping box may arrive damaged, and there may be missing hardware.
We recently used the Sophia & William Heavy-Duty Charcoal Smoker Grills for a large gathering, and we were impressed with its performance. The cooking grates and warming rack are made of durable, easy-to-clean porcelain-enameled iron and chrome-plated material, which cooks evenly and relatively fast. The offset smoker is a great addition to the cooking area and can be used to smoke meats, fish, and vegetables.
The smoker chamber is one-piece, ensuring that nothing is leaked, and the temperature can be controlled easily. The heavy-duty steel construction makes it durable and stable enough to resist strong winds, and the large 10″ heavy-duty steel wheels ensure that it can be moved around easily. The standing temperature gauge indicates temperature changes instantly, and the adjustable dampers on the side firebox enhance airflow maximally for efficient burning and temperature control.
The warming tray and push-out ash tray are convenient additions, and the integrated S hooks and large bottom shelf keep your multiple grill accessories within arm’s reach. The only downside is that the assembly process can be time-consuming, and the thermometer can be clouded up with moisture, making it hard to read. Additionally, the shipping box may arrive damaged, and there may be missing hardware.
Overall, if you’re looking for a large charcoal smoker that can serve a party of 10-15 people, the Sophia & William Heavy-Duty Charcoal Smoker Grills is a great option. The unique design, heavy-duty construction, and convenient features make it a great addition to any outdoor gathering.
When it comes to buying a charcoal smoker, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that you get the best product for your needs. Here are some key features to consider:
The size of the smoker is an important consideration. You want to make sure that it is large enough to accommodate the amount of food you want to smoke. If you plan on smoking large cuts of meat, such as brisket or pork shoulder, you will need a larger smoker. On the other hand, if you only plan on smoking small items, such as chicken or fish, a smaller smoker may be sufficient.
The material of the smoker is also important. Look for a smoker that is made of high-quality materials, such as stainless steel or cast iron. These materials are durable and will last longer than cheaper materials. Additionally, they will retain heat better, which is important for smoking meats.
Temperature control is another important feature to consider. Look for a smoker that has adjustable vents or dampers that allow you to control the airflow and temperature. This will give you greater control over the smoking process and ensure that your food is cooked to perfection.
Ease of Use
Finally, consider the ease of use of the smoker. Look for a smoker that is easy to assemble and use. Additionally, look for one that is easy to clean, as this will save you time and effort in the long run.
In summary, when choosing a charcoal smoker, consider the size, material, temperature control, and ease of use. By keeping these factors in mind, you can ensure that you get the best product for your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some of the top-rated vertical charcoal smokers?
When it comes to vertical charcoal smokers, some of the top-rated options include the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker, Pit Barrel Cooker, and Dyna-Glo Vertical Offset Smoker. These smokers are known for their durability, ease of use, and ability to produce delicious, smoky flavor.
What are the pros and cons of using a Weber charcoal smoker?
One of the biggest pros of using a Weber charcoal smoker is its reputation for quality and reliability. Weber is a trusted brand in the grilling and smoking community, and their charcoal smokers are no exception. However, some cons of using a Weber charcoal smoker include its relatively high cost compared to other options and the fact that it may require more maintenance than some other types of smokers.
How do you properly use a digital charcoal smoker?
When using a digital charcoal smoker, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Generally, you’ll need to fill the smoker’s charcoal chamber with the appropriate amount of charcoal, add wood chips or chunks for flavor, and set the desired temperature using the digital controls. It’s also important to monitor the smoker’s temperature throughout the cooking process to ensure that it stays at a consistent level.
What are the benefits of using a charcoal grill smoker combo?
One of the biggest benefits of using a charcoal grill smoker combo is its versatility. With a combo unit, you can use the charcoal grill for direct heat grilling, while also having the option to smoke meats and other foods using the smoker component. This can save space and money compared to purchasing separate grilling and smoking units.
Is it worth investing in a charcoal smoker?
Whether or not it’s worth investing in a charcoal smoker depends on your individual needs and preferences. If you enjoy the flavor of smoked meats and other foods and are willing to put in the time and effort required to use a charcoal smoker, it can be a worthwhile investment. However, if you’re looking for a more convenient and low-maintenance option, a gas or electric smoker may be a better choice.
What are some recommended charcoal brands for smoking?
Some recommended charcoal brands for smoking include Royal Oak, Weber, and Cowboy Charcoal. These brands are known for producing high-quality charcoal that burns evenly and produces a consistent level of heat. It’s important to choose a charcoal that is free of chemicals and additives for the best flavor and health benefits.