Top 5 Best Smoker for Beginners

Read our best smokers for beginners reviews to find the ideal product for a novice like you. When it comes to preparing meats, smoking is definitely a great approach. It can optimize the taste of food without overpowering the original flavor. This is the reason why many people are looking for charcoal smokers, electric smokers, or gas smokers. By having them in the garage, you can smoke any delicacy any time you want.

But for people who are new to this method of cooking, I recommend that you get the best smoker for beginners. It would be great if you know how a smoker operates before buying one. That’s not only a wise decision but also a practical move on your part.

There are different types of smokers to choose from. Let’s exclude smokers that have a complex operation. Those might complicate your weekend picnics and gatherings. Instead, we will review the five best smokers for beginners. Go check them out!

Best Smoker for Beginners

Bradley Digital 4-Rack Smoker – Alternative Pick

 Camp Chef PG24 Deluxe Pellet Grill and Smoker – High-End Option

Smoker Comparison Chart

Rank #1. Editor’s Choice #2.Alternative Pick #3. Budget-Friendly Option #4. High-End Choice #5. Best Smoker for Beginners Under 200
Name Weber 721001 Smokey Mountain Cooker Bradley Digital 4-Rack Smoker Masterbuilt 20070910 Black Electric Digital Smoker Camp Chef PG24 Deluxe Pellet Grill and Smoker Char-Broil Vertical Gas Smoker
Imgage best smokers for beginners Bradley Digital 4-Rack Smoker - best smokers for beginners best smokers for beginners best smokers for beginners best smokers for beginners
Fuel Type Charcoal Electric Electric Electric Gas
Cooking Space 481 square inches 520 square inches 730 square inches 429 square inches 595 square inches
Cooking Capabilities Smoking only Smoking only Smoking only Smoking and grilling Smoking only
Score 97/100 96/100 95/100 97/100 94/100
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Best Smoker for Beginners

1. Weber 721001 Smokey Mountain Cooker – The Best Overall Smoker for Beginner

Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker 18 Inch Smoker - best smokers for beginners

Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker 18 Inch Smoker

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This vertical smoker has impressive quality and features. The Weber Smokey Mountain 721001 charcoal smoker will allow you to cook genuine smokehouse delicacies in your own home. It has a built-in thermometer and is easy to use. There are many reasons why this charcoal smoker is one of the highest rated and bestselling smokers on the market today.

Sleek looking and beautiful to look at, this smoker is crafted from porcelain-enameled steel. It comes with a nylon handle that is heat-resistant. Even if you’re new to smokers, this device won’t burn or scorch your hands. It comes with nickel-plated cooking grates which offer 480 square inches of cooking space. Other essential features like water pan, storage cover, and vents are also integrated into this smoker. The Weber Smokey Mountain is definitely one of the best BBQ smokers for beginners.

Pros:

  • Large cooking space
  • Built-in thermometer
  • Commercial-grade cooking grates
  • Handle is heat-resistant
  • Comes with a storage cover

Cons:

  • No particular drawbacks noticed

2.Bradley Digital 4-Rack Smoker

Bradley Digital 4-Rack Smoker - best smokers for beginners

One of the technologically advanced smokers you can find on the market is this unit from Bradley Smokers. This electric smoker provides precise control over your smoking. It generates heat up to 280 degrees Fahrenheit, which is more than enough to smoke your favorite meats and delicacies. Additionally, this smoker can operate for 8 straight hours, a necessary feature if you’re smoking meat items for a large number of guests.

Another nice thing about this outdoor barbecue smoker is that it offers full digital control for time, smoke, and temperature. This Bradley Smoker provides 520 square inches of cooking space. It has 4 cooking racks. Hence, it’s a great choice if you’re planning to smoke large cuts of meat, pork, fish, or chicken.

Moreover, this product has incorporated the heat control component to the smoke generator. In this way, you don’t have to worry about electrical damage caused by moisture. Noticeably, this unit has a wide base, which is good for stability. Strong gusts of wind will not blow away this electric smoker.

Pros:

  • Easy to clean
  • Comes with 4 removable racks
  • Temperature control
  • Can be used as a slow cooker or slow roaster
  • Durable and rugged construction

Cons:

  • Temperature is difficult to increase, especially during cold weather

3. Masterbuilt 20070910 Black Electric Digital Smoker

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71aklkR52tL._SL1500_.jpg - best smokers for beginners

Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Black Electric Digital Smoker, Top Controller

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The Masterbuilt 20070910 digital electric smoker features a whopping 730-square inch of cooking space, which is significantly larger than most of its counterparts. It has 4 racks that have been chrome-coated, so it is immune to heat damage. This unit comes with an 800-watt heating element, superb for its price level.

All the essential features to make the smoking process easier are present. Temperature and timer controls are integrated into the system and are easy to access. This device has a built-in thermostat. Aside from these components, this electric smoker has an air damper and a removable drip pan. Even if you’re a beginner, this smoker won’t give you a hard time.

Pros:

  • Large cooking space
  • High heating capacity
  • Durable construction
  • Digital controls
  • Comes with an air damper

Cons:

  • Cleaning can be quite difficult

4. Camp Chef PG24DLX Deluxe Pellet Grill and Smoker

Roll over image to zoom inCamp Chef PG24DLX Deluxe Pellet Grill and Smoker BBQ with Digital Controls and Stainless Temp Probe - best smokers for beginners

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Camp Chef PG24DLX Deluxe Pellet Grill and Smoker BBQ with Digital Controls and Stainless Temp Probe

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This pellet grill and smoker is a bit pricey. That said, it can also be a great investment. The Camp Chef PG24 is a 2 in 1 device. You can use it as a grill or a smoker, allowing you to cook a wide variety of foods. Like other electric smokers and pellet smokers available on the market, the controls on this unit are very advanced.

The digital temperature control regulates heat automatically. You don’t have to babysit this device to attain the right amount of smoke. Thus, achieving a smoky flavor for your favorite meats such as brisket, hamburgers, jerky, ribs, and chicken is easier and hassle-free.

Since it a versatile tool, you can cook various smoked meat recipes. You can also use it to grill, braise, and roast. With a single touch, this unit can cook from 160 degrees to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. The cooking space is pretty generous, too. It offers a total of 570 square inches of surface cooking area. That is more than enough to serve a large number of people. If you’re searching for horizontal smokers that can also be used as a grill, this is a good option.

Pros:

  • Smart control and features
  • Versatile (Can be used as grill and smoker)
  • Can cook a wide variety of recipes
  • Top-tier portability
  • Easy to clean

Cons:

  • A little pricey

5. Char-Broil Vertical Liquid Propane Gas Smoker

Char-Broil Vertical Liquid Propane Gas Smoker - best smokers for beginners

Char-Broil Vertical Liquid Propane Gas Smoker

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The Char-Broil Vertical Gas Smoker is a budget-friendly option. Albeit this fact, this propane smoker has decent features and components. The extended leg design and wide base provide stability. The construction of this gas smoker is not that flimsy either.

This Char-Broil gas smoker has a double-drawer design. It enables you to access wood and water without losing heat in the cooking chamber. Meat smoking is made easy, thanks to its 595 square inches of cooking surface which is pretty spacious if you ask me. It has 3 chrome plated cooking grates that have vertical adjustments so you can cook large chunks of food!

Pros:

  • Temperature control
  • Consistent heat delivery
  • Comes with a warming rack
  • Wood tray and water pan
  • Stable and durable

Cons:

  • The water container is small

Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Smoker for Beginners

The best smoker for beginners is ideal both for home and amateur applications. High-end and complex smokers have various features and mechanisms that make usage a bit complex. On the other hand, meat smokers for beginners will allow you to smoke foods without worrying too much.

The question is: how do you choose a smoker that will meet your needs? Here are some factors that you should consider:

Size

Weber 721001 Smokey Mountain Cooker 18-Inch Charcoal Smoker, Black - best smokers for beginners

People who are new to food smoking should consider starting on small and compact smokers. We don’t usually recommend large smokers for beginners because they might be too bulky. Besides, you probably won’t be preparing large servings of food while you’re still learning how to cook smoked meat recipes.

But, you can also buy huge smokers from the beginning if you intend to feed a large number of people on a regular basis. At the end of the day, size doesn’t always translate to complexity. Simply put, you’re the best person to decide how big the smoker should be.

Versatility

Weber 721001 Smokey Mountain Cooker 18-Inch Charcoal Smoker, Black - best smokers for beginners

Having a versatile smoker will allow you to prepare different types of food. However, it’s not really necessary when you’re new to smoking. Good smokers for beginners will do just fine.

An all-around versatile smoker will enable you to do other cooking methods aside from smoking such as grill, braise, or roast. Before buying, determine what you’ll be using the smoker for.

Price

best smokers for beginners

Usually, you can buy basic smokers at an affordable price. Since you’re looking for a simple unit, the price shouldn’t break the bank. As long as the build quality is decent and the necessary features are there, an entry-level smoker would suffice. But does this mean you shouldn’t buy high-end models? Absolutely not. If your budget allows it, you can shop for smokers in the medium price range.

What Is a Smoker?

A smoker is an apparatus for low-temperature cooking in a controlled, smoky environment. There are different types of smokers, such as charcoal smokers, gas smokers, pellet smokers, and electric smokers. Some are small, perfect for small gatherings, while others are big enough to feed a huge number of people.

Smokers are powered by a variety of fuels, including charcoal, wood pellets, electricity, or propane. Regardless of the fuel, the main function of a smoker is to maintain a stable smoking temperature (around 225 degrees Fahrenheit) to cook food.

What Type of Smoker Will Suit Your Needs?

There are four main types of smokers: charcoal smokers, propane or gas smokers, pellet smokers, and electric smokers. Let’s take a closer look at each one.

Charcoal Smoker

A charcoal smoker provides the most authentic smoky flavor to your food. With this apparatus, you can add flavor by burning charcoal and wood chips. You can also mix and match wood chips to create amazing flavors. Charcoal smokers are preferred many gourmet smoking enthusiasts. The only downside is that you have to start, stoke, and dispose of the charcoal.

Propane Smoker

Compared to a charcoal smoker, a propane smoker is more convenient to use. Instead of charcoal, you’re going to need a propane tank for this type of smoker. It has a push button ignition system and usually comes with a built-in temperature gauge. But which is better propane or charcoal smoker? It depends on your personal preference. If a smoky flavor is more important to you, choose a charcoal smoker. But if you want convenience, you can consider buying a propane smoker.

Electric Smoker

Electric smokers can be analog or digital. An analog electric smoker comes with a thermostat dial to set the temperature, while a digital electric smoker has a digital screen with buttons to set the temperature. Electric smokers can cook food faster than propane smokers, but don’t always give the richest smoky flavor. Since you have to plug it into an outlet, an electric smoker is not as portable as other smokers.

Pellet Smoker

The pellet smoker combines the convenience of electric and propane smokers with the flavor produced by a charcoal smoker. A pellet smoker has a dial to set the temperature and let you cook food while doing other things (set and forget). You just have to make sure that there are enough wood pellets. You can mix and match wood flavors according to your taste. However, the smoky flavor isn’t quite as rich as you would get from a charcoal smoker.

Final Review of the Best Smoker for Beginners

All the smokers featured here are ideal for beginners. They can all deliver a satisfying smoking experience for first-timers out there. But for me, the performance of the Weber Smokey Mountain 721001 Cooker is on a different level. It is very convenient and easy to use. It’s compact, but you can use it to cook great tasting food for a large number of people. These are the reasons why the Weber 721001 is the best smoker for beginners.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t consider the other models listed here. They are all great. Buy based on your own personal taste and preference.

Have a different brand in mind? Or want to share your smoking experience? Comment below.

See also: 

Best Gas Smoker Reviews – Comparison Table & Price List

The Best Tailgate Grills For The Tailgate Party

Top 10 Best Charcoal Smoker Reviews