Even though there’s a wide variety of different smokers available, more and more consumers seem to be turning towards vertical smokers. Why? It seems to us that people are beginning to see the benefits of these smokers and why they might harness their power to create some of the best tasty BBQ and smoked meats that they could make. After all, vertical smokers take advantage of smoke’s natural inclination to rise to impart meat with smoky goodness that has to be tasted to be believed.
After learning everything that we could learn about smokers and the smoking process, we knew that we had to take it upon ourselves to review some of the vertical models that now existed. That’s why we’d like to present to our readers the models that we have reviewed and felt are the best ones available. So let us delay no further, but instead present to all of our readers some of the best vertical smokers currently available.
Best Vertical Smokers
4Dyna-Glo Signature Series Offset Smoker/Grill
A vertical smoker that we’ve reviewed before and has captured our imagination is this one from Dyna-Glo. This model is the Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-D, a model that not only has a vertical smoker but also has an offset smoke box that can serve as a grill. This model weighs around 125-pounds approximately, and it’s about 45.5-inches by 24.9-inches by 58.8-inches.
It’s a model whose vertical smoker section contains five chrome-plated cooking grates that give the consumer approximately 1,382 square-inches of smoking space. That’s more than enough space for the average household to smoke delectable meats such as burgers, brats, chops, and steaks.
The smoker box on this model has a pull-out drawer that makes it easy for the consumer to add charcoal to it and do it without having to add charcoal to the box. This drawer also makes it a lot easier to dump out the spent charcoal’s ashes after all of the smoking has been done. Another thing that we’d like to mention about this smoker is that it’s made from high-quality steel that’s designed to last many, many years. This smoker isn’t the easiest model to move from one location to another—due to its large size and weight—but it does have a set of wheels that makes it a little easier.
Additional features that we’d like to tell our readers about this product include its sausage hooks that increase its smoking capacity and allow the consumer to smoke delicious sausages, its cool-touch handles that allow the consumer to open the smoker easily, and its analog temperature gauge with the “Grill Zone” and the “Smoke Zone” temperatures clearly delineated on it.
3Masterbuilt Analog Electric 30-Inch Smoker
Another vertical smoker that tickled our fancy was this model from Masterbuilt. This is an analog electric smoker that’s approximately 20-inches by 21.69-inches by 30.15-inches in size and weighs just around 50-pounds. That makes it a smoker that’s large enough to handle just about anyone’s smoking needs, but not so large as to be unwieldy.
Inside of this smoker are three smoking racks that are approximately 14.62-inches wide and 12.25-inches long. That’s large enough for this electrical vertical smoker to hold approximately three pork butts (also known as Boston Butt), three racks of ribs, three whole chickens, or two whole turkeys. That’s plenty of smoked meats for everyone.
Something else that we liked about this model is that it’s made out of black cast iron—a material that makes it sturdy and allows it to last for possibly thousands of meat smoking sessions. It’s also a model that has a built-in meat thermometer so the cooks can keep their meats in the perfect smoke zone.
This vertical smoker also has a 6-foot plug that can be plugged into any standard 120-volt outdoor outlet. On the plug is a variable temperature control that allows the consumer to set the smoker to the precise temperature they need to set it. That gives the consumer amazing control over the entire smoking process from start to finish.
The last feature we’d like to discuss is the grease tray that’s equipped on it. The tray catches excess food drippings and helps to keep the inside of the smoker clean. This grease tray can be easily accessed from the front and pulled out for convenience. Just another reason why we’ve placed this vertical smoker on our list.
2Cuisinart COS-244 36-Inch Propane Smoker
The next vertical smoker to be found on our list is this one from Cuisinart. This model is approximately 38.6-inches high, 18.1-inches wide, and 19.3-inches long. It weighs around 70-pounds, which is small enough to be easily moved from one location to the next but large enough to get some serious smoking done. This is a smoker that has four 14×14-inch stainless-steel racks inside of it. Racks that can easily be moved around the smoker or removed entirely if the consumer so desires. These racks are also extremely easy to clean and the consumer can throw them in the dishwasher if they’ve been dirtied.
The inside of this smoker offers up to 45 square-foot of space, which gives the consumer plenty of options when it comes to smoking their meats, veggies, and seafood. A decent smoking size isn’t all that this product delivers, however. It also has several features that make it a lot easier to use. We’ll examine some of the most important features in closer detail.
This product is also equipped with a seal-tight door that holds in smoke and temperature, a porcelain-enameled tray for holding wood chips and water, and a 40-inch propane hose with a built-in regulator that allows it to be easily used with any 20-pound propane tank. Additional features that can be found on this smoker include a built-in thermometer on the front door, a twist-lock handle, and a stay-cool handle. This is everything the home smoking aficionado needs to smoke their meats, veggies, and seafood to perfection.
1Realcook 17-Inch Heavy-Duty Charcoal BBQ Smoker
The last vertical smoker on our list isn’t as large as some of the other ones we’ve reviewed, nor does it have as many features as some of the other models. What it does have, however, we’ve found to be quite sufficient for most people’s needs and it’s available for a price that’s quite reasonable when compared against high-end models. That’s why we couldn’t resist placing this on our list of the best vertical smokers. Its compact size conceals its great versatility—a versatility that consumers might want to put to work in their own backyard.
This smoker is approximately 35-inches high, 17-inches deep, and 22-inches wide. It’s made using black painted steel that’s resistant to high temperatures, and it’s equipped with bakelite handles that stay cool to the touch. This model also has two access doors that allow the consumer to check on their food by opening the top door or to check on the wood or charcoal by opening the bottom door.
Inside of this vertical smoker, the consumer will discover 453 square-inches of smoking space. This smoker can be separated into different pieces as well, so the consumer can use it for more than just a smoker. This product can be used as a fire pit, two separate BBQ grills, or as a single BBQ grill.
Additional features that we should mention before we conclude this review include a built-in thermometer, a chrome-plated cooking grid, extra-strong legs for added durability, and an adjustable air vent. This is a product ready to give the average person the ability to grill, BBQ, and smoke to their heart’s content.
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A Short Guide To Vertical Smokers
When we first started reviewing the best vertical smokers, we intended to showcase some of the models that we think would work best for our readers. We wanted to leave the most expensive models to the side and concentrate on the smokers that delivered performance, versatility, and above all, a pleasant smoking experience to the consumer. We hope that we’ve achieved our goal well enough to satisfy our reader’s needs.
Since we’ve taken the time to show all of our readers some of the vertical smokers we’ve liked, it’s now time to turn our attention to educating our readers on how to choose the one that most suits their needs. Although the above models are what we consider to be the best smokers, it’s up to the consumer to determine which model might be best for their needs. Now that we’ve said that, let’s turn our attention to some of the details that our readers are going to want to think about before purchasing a new vertical smoker.
Choose How It’s Powered
One of the first things that consumers are going to want to do before purchasing a new vertical smoker is to decide what type of smoker they want. They come in one of several different varieties including charcoal, wood, electric, or gas-powered models. The model the consumer chooses for themselves will depend on how they like to smoke their meat. Many people consider charcoal or wood smokers to be the superior smoker models, but other people like the convenience of using propane or electric smokers. In all actuality, it depends on what the consumer prefers and nothing else.
Figure Out How Much Smoking Space Is Needed
The next thing the aspiring smoke-master is going to want to think about is the size of the smoker they’re going to need. Some people want to be able to cook large amounts of food, and in that case, they’re probably going to need a smoker that delivers 1,000+ square-inches of smoking space. Other people only need to smoke a few items, so they can probably make do with a model that’s 500 square-inches or smaller.
How The Smoker Is Constructed
It’s also a good idea to think about how the smoker is constructed. Some models are made of cast-iron and that makes them quite durable, if not a little heavy. Cheaper models tend to be made out of stainless steel—which is still a durable material but not quite as durable as cast iron. The cheapest of all smokers are made out of rolled steel. While those are certainly the cheapest of all of the vertical smokers, they’re not as durable, and as such, they should be avoided.
How Many Racks Does The Smoker Hold?
It’s also a good idea for the consumer to think about how many racks the smoker might hold. Smaller models tend to have fewer racks, while larger models can have a lot more, so it really depends on how much smoking space the consumer needs. Some of the small models only have one or two racks, while some of the larger models can have five or six of them. The consumer should purchase the one that best suits their needs.
Look For An Airtight Model
It’s also a good idea for the consumer to double-check and make sure that the smoker holds in smoke and heat well. Some models do a better job at this than others—trust us, we know. The models that always seemed to do the best were the ones that had some sort of locking device, either on the body of the unit or the model’s handle and had durable door seals. Those models held in the smoke and heat quite well.
Check To See The Number Of Air Dampers It Holds
It’s also a good idea for the consumer to check to make sure that the vertical smoker has at least one air damper on it. Air dampers allow the cook to control the smoke and heat levels of the smoker and can even determine how quickly the fuel in the smoker burns. The more dampers the smoker has, the more control the cook has over what is happening inside of the unit.
Some Final Features To Ponder
Okay, as we cruise to the end of this insightful guide, we want to go over some of the final features that the consumer might want to think about before running out or shopping online for their next vertical smoker. Even though we’d consider the above features to be the ones that are the most important, the following features are also important as well. So, let’s take a quick look at them before we part ways, shall we?
- Built-In Thermometers
- Analog Or Digital Controls
- Built-In Ash Trays (Not Applicable To Some Models)
- Included Grease Trays
- Built-In Sausage Hooks
- Stay-Cool Handles