If you’re looking for the best smokers for beginners then you’ve come to the perfect place. Your search ends here my friend, as you’ve come to the place where expert pitmasters have come together to pick out the best beginner smoker on the market.
Nothing works better than a dedicated smoker to help you prepare nice smoky brisket or ribs. But, how do you find the best smoker grill for beginners?
This guide is a good place to start. In addition to a list of smokers, we’ll provide you with helpful tips on what to look for and prioritize so that you can make an informed buying decision.
Best Smoker Grill for Beginners
We’ve spent a long time cooking, smoking, and grilling meat so we know how difficult it can be to find cooking appliances that are a great fit for one’s kitchen.
That’s why we’ve put together this guide of the best smokers. Read on for more!
1. Masterbuilt 20070910 Black Electric Digital Smoker
First, on our quest for the best smokers for beginners, we encountered the electrical digital smoker from Masterbuilt. It looks like a safe but that’s only because it’s built for portability and ease of use.
It comes with such features as a lock on the side which is meant to keep your ingredients safe while you travel or when you’re facing away from the smoker.
It also has a damper and control box at the top for even more convenience, and you can use it to smoke all kinds of stuff from fish and different kinds of meats to poultry.
As the name implies, it’s electrically powered so it’s safe for indoor use which means you can smoke your food in it all night long.
2. Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Offset Charcoal Smoker
Next on our list, we have a vertical offset charcoal smoker from Dyna Glo. If you’re on the market for a budget-friendly option, then this one’s for you. Although relatively cheap, it comes with a large working area that measures 1,176 square inches, six grates for cooking and a powder-coated steel body that can totally handle the elements.
Sure, it’s on the thinner side but at least it’s built to be rust-resistant and it can hold its own in most conditions. The great thing about this grill is that it cooks evenly every time and thanks to the flexible smokestack, it shouldn’t be hard to keep the heat level under control.
This grill also comes with two doors for even better temperature control that helps to keep the heat from escaping and they even included a charcoal basket to keep your coals safe while burning efficiently.
I tell you, they thought of everything when making this grill as it even comes with a dedicated grease management system and a huge steel ash pan for easy cleanup. This is what makes it one of the best smokers to buy for beginners.
3. Weber 18-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker
Here we have the Weber 18-inch cooker which offers enough cooking space to cater to multiple people.
You can smoke a pork shoulder and a full turkey at the same time on this and of course, the Weber brand is well known for making quality appliances including smokers.
The Weber Smokey Mountain cooker is especially legendary in BBQ circles and being a charcoal smoker, it leaves the meat with a nice smokey flavor. It’s made from tough porcelain-coated steel making it weatherproof and rust-resistant.
You’ll also be glad to know that this grill is well ventilated with a vented lid and a duo of aluminum dampers that work very well to facilitate proper airflow while enabling proper temperature control.
4. Kamado Joe KJ23RHCI-A Charcoal Grill
The best type of smoker for beginners is one that’s not only easy to use but versatile as well.
The Kamado Joe ticks all the right boxes in this regard. This stylish smoker can be used for outdoor smoking, baking, and roasting alike.
It’s made from hardy galvanized steel with a divider and a flexible cooking system. It also features a patented slow roller system for low and slow smoking purposes, while the flip-up side tables provide you with more cooking space.
There’s also a grate gripper tool that makes it easier to hold the hot grates and you’ll love its ceramic red finish.
5. Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Reverse Flow Smoker
Made from high-quality stainless steel, this smoker is a great introduction to traditional Texas smoking, especially for beginners.
It comes with all the features required for offset smoking including a reverse flow design that ensures even heat and smoke distribution. Its barrel shape design makes this possible because then all the smoke is able to flow within to infuse the meat with the most intense flavor possible.
This reverse flow smoker is the best one for beginners and for general home use and it offers professional quality results.
You’ll have 619 square inches of cooking space to work with here which is enough to smoke a rack of ribs, a pork butt, and maybe even a whole brisket at once. That’s enough to cater to a small party but if you want something larger you could always go for the bigger model whose main chamber has 751 square inches of smoking space.
6. Pit Boss Memphis Ultimate 4-in-1 LP Smoker
When good smokers are mentioned, this LP gas model from Pit Boss tends to come up. Despite its relatively daunting design, this smoker is actually pretty easy to use. As the name implies, this is a 4-in-1 model that offers an electric smoker, charcoal BBQ, and has BBQ in one.
It features 3 racks on 2.7 cubic feet of space, which is more than enough to grill and smoke to your heart’s content.
After all, there are 2,100 square inches of cooking space on this smoker in addition to a bottle opener, a preparation shelf, tool hooks, and two drawers. Then you’ve got locking caster wheels that make it easier for you to transport this beauty anywhere for on-the-go outdoor cooking.
So, you see, this smoker deserves a spot on the best smokers for beginners list. Whether you’re grilling steaks and burgers or smoking brisket, nothing works better than this smoker to enjoy effortless and versatile cooking.
7. Z Grills ZPG-7002ENC 2020 Upgrade Wood Pellet Grill
The Z Grills wood pellet grill is an affordably priced model made from stainless steel with cast iron cooking grids that are enameled with porcelain for added durability.
Not only is it made to last but it’s designed to retain heat and work efficiently. This is an 8-in-1 grill which means that you can use it for more than just smoking. We find that it’s particularly suitable for grilling, baking, smoking, char grilling, braising, and BBQ-ing.
This grill offers 504 square inches of cooking space and when you extend the warming rack this goes up to 700 square inches in total.
This is a fully portable smoker grill with heavy-duty caster wheels that can take you through all kinds of various environments. Other features include a fast-working automatic electrical ignition and a waste oil collector to keep your pellet grill clean.
8. Barrel House Cooker Smoker
We have Barrel House to thank for the best electric smoker for beginners.
Of course, Barrel House is known as one of the best electric appliance manufacturers in the US with over 60 years of experience. This is a drum-style smoker with lots of useful features such as non-abrasive stands and wire handles that can remain cool to the touch even as the smoker gets hot.
Speaking of high temperatures, this smoker offers high and fast smoking like no other, but if you like, low and slow cooking is also available to you when needed. The result is tasty, flavorful meat that falls off the bone, with the most succulent texture imaginable.
Not only can this smoker handle extremely high temperatures but it is built to last from 30-gauge metal. Thanks to its built-in thermometer, it’s relatively easy for you to control this smoker’s temperature which ranges from 275˚- 310˚F. What’s more, you can use this smoker for searing and grilling meat as well, which is great.
How to Pick the Best Smokers for Beginners
What’s a good smoker for a beginner? As you’ve seen there are many variables that make up a good smoker.
That’s why you need a tight checklist of important variables to go by when shopping for the best smokers for beginners. That way, you can make an informed decision that suits your needs.
Consider how much space you have, how many people you want to cater to as well as what’s more important between price and durability.
This is in addition to other important considerations such as the following:
When buying a smoker, consider how much space you have to put it in so you know how big or small it should be.
You wouldn’t want to purchase a large smoker if you only have a small space such as a balcony or a porch to store it in.
On the other hand, you should also consider how many people you plan to cater to because if you’re planning to use your smoker for large gatherings then a large size is a must.
You should also check your smoker’s heat retention abilities because certain foods require this.
This includes brisket which can take up to 12 hours to smoke and the smoker should be able to retain its heat throughout all that time.
To offer proper heat retention, a smoker should be well insulated, so make sure to look out for that.
Another important consideration to make when shopping for the best smokers is how versatile it is.
While most smokers are only suitable for a single purpose, some can be utilized for a myriad of uses.
For instance, the Masterbuilt Digital Smoker features a cold smoking accessory while other models can be used as a gas grill as well.
You also want to make sure that the manufacturer is proud of their product and this is typically indicated by a generous warranty.
Most people don’t know that smokers can be warranty backed so this is an important feature to look out for, especially if you plan to invest a considerable chunk of money into your smoker appliance.
After all, you want to get a lot of bang for your buck and this is one way to ensure that.
Basically, a good warranty is usually the mark of a high-quality smoker.
The next thing you must consider is your budget. How much are you willing to spend to find the ideal smoker? There are many options to choose from out there and price can be a great way to determine what the best option is.
Cheaper models are more affordable; they don’t come with nearly enough features and often have poor temperature control while high-end models are durably made and come with more features.
Some people start with a budget-friendly model at first in order to learn and then upgrade it later.
Types of Smokers for Beginners
As you may have noticed, there’s no shortage of variety when it comes to the different types of smokers available on the market. But, some models are better than others for beginners.
Here are some little-known pros and cons of different smokers:
First, you have the electric smoker which is mainly designed for low and slow cooking.
It’s perfect for things like brisket and ribs because it offers accurate temperature control at all times but it can be expensive to buy and to use.
Gas smokers are relatively easy to use, taking you that much closer to that smoky flavor that you love so much, even when cooking large meat cuts.
Charcoal smokers and charcoal grills are known for offering the smokiest flavor. But using them requires more trial and error than you’d expect.
You must pay special attention to detail when using a charcoal smoker to avoid errors.
Pellet smokers are also easy to use. Simply add some wood pellets of your choosing and let the rest fall into place. No need to worry about temperature control or anything like that.
However, this comes at a price because pellet smokers are on the pricey side.
If we were to pick just one option out of our selection of the best smokers for beginners it would be the Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Black Electric Digital Smoker.
Because it’s an electrical model, it’s relatively easy to use and can use wood chips or electricity if you like for low and slow cooking. It’s durably made to last and it’s very effective at infusing food with that woody smoky flavor.