The 6 Best Smokers for Beginners in 2020: Charcoal, Pellet, Electric and Offset Smokers
A great smoker ensures delicious meals, but it is important that you can use the features. With the best smoker to buy for beginners, it will take little time to learn everything and start preparing a wide variety of meats and other items.
After searching extensively and reading numerous reviews and specifications, we have compiled a list of the best options. These smokers are not only simple to use for people of all experience levels, but they also are high in quality and have all of the features that you need. The next step is to dive in.
- 1 6 Best Beginner Smokers on the Market:
- 1.1 1. Best Charcoal for Beginners-Classic Pit Barrel Cooker Package
- 1.2 2. Best Budget Charcoal for Beginners-Smokey Mountain Charcoal Smoker
- 1.3 3. Best Pellet for Beginners-Camp Chef SmokePro Smoker
- 1.4 4. Best Budget Pellet for Beginners – Z Grills Pellet Grill and Smoker
- 1.5 5. Best Electric for Beginners – Masterbuilt Bluetooth Electric Smoker
- 1.6 6. Best Budget Electric for Beginners – Masterbuilt MES 35 Electric Smoker
- 2 Types of Smokers
- 3 Factors to Consider When Buying Beginner Smokers
- 4 Best Smokers for Beginners FAQ
- 5 Conclusion
Our Top Recommended Smokers for Beginners
- Our Rating
- 18 inch Smoker
Weight: 57 Pounds
Warranty: 1 Year
- Our Rating
- 14 inch Smoker
Weight: 23 Pounds
Warranty: 10 Years
As you search for the best meat smokers for beginners, it helps to compare the top ones on the market. This helps you to see how they stack up against one another so that you can make the best decision.
- The Classic Put Barrel Cooker Package has everything that you need to get started. It is made from durable materials and you can hang meats inside the barrel to help to ensure even cooking.
- The Smokey Mountain Charcoal Smoker is compact in size and has a temperature monitor to make it easy to cook at a specific heat level. With two racks, it is fast and easy to smoke different items at the same time.
- The Camp Chef SmokePro Smoker has a large pellet hopper that allows you to smoke foods for an extended period of time. Move it around with ease and use the shelf to hold your important smoking tools.
6 Best Beginner Smokers on the Market:
The Classic Pit Barrel Cooker Package has eight hooks so that you can hang several types or cuts of meat at the same time. The grate is made from stainless steel so that you can ensure even heat distribution and longevity.
This smoker has all of the accessories that you need to get started. It is easy to assemble so that you will not have to wait long to start preparing a variety of meats.
There is a charcoal basket so that it is simple to fill it up and get the coals lit. When you are using this smoker, you will notice that the smoke stays inside well. Because of this, your foods are getting smoked evenly and you do not have to worry about losing any heat as you are preparing foods.
- You can fit larger cuts of meat
- This is a good smoker for ribs
- It is easy to set up
- The temperature management could be better
The Smokey Mountain Charcoal Smoker has several components that feature porcelain enamel to stop rusting and keep the heat inside the smoker. You will have to cooking grates to work with so that you can prepare large cuts of meat, or different types of meat, at the same time.
Always know the temperature that you are working with thanks to the thermometer on the outside of the smoker. This smoker has dampers so that you can make adjustments to the internal temperature as needed without actually needing to open the lid.
This smoker has a fuel door so that it is easy to add more wood or charcoal. You can even do this while you are smoking foods so that you never have to worry about the flame going out due to not having adequate fuel.
- It has a thermometer
- Putting it together is fast and easy
- You can use this for thick cuts of meat
- Parts may melt prematurely
The Camp Chef SmokePro Smoker slides around so that it is easy to put into place. Take advantage of the shelf on the side to hold your tools and the foods after they are finished smoking.
This smoker features digital control, allowing you to keep an eye on the temperature of your meats by just pushing a single button.
The auger works automatically to keep the pellets constantly fed, allowing you to maintain a steady temperature level. You will not have to constantly monitor the fuel source like you do on other smokers.
Once the ash accumulates, a simple pull of a level is all that it takes to remove it so that your smoker is clean and ready for the next use.
- There is a lot of cooking space
- It has a shelf on the side
- Assembly is easy
- The temperature may not be as consistent at higher levels
The Z Grills Pellet Grill and Smoker can hold up to 20 pounds of pellets, for up to 20 hours of cooking. You can easily set and maintain a consistent temperature, even when you are cooking for hours.
Since this smoker uses wood pellets, you always get an authentic smokey flavor. You can also use flavored pellets to achieve a unique taste.
With 324 square inches of cooking space, you can use this smoker for large cuts of meat. Since it operates at 25,000 BTUs, you always have plenty of power to prepare your foods.
- The temperature is easy to control
- This is ideal for racks of ribs
- The smoker is easy to keep clean
- The ignition may stop working prematurely
The Masterbuilt Bluetooth Electric Smoker is easy to control due to its digital functionality. You can easily keep an eye on the temperature of meats while they are cooking.
There is a sunshade that makes it easier to see the controls. This is removable if you prefer not to use it.
There are four cooking racks that are coated with chrome. This ensures that your foods are cooking evenly no matter where they are sitting on the racks.
You do not have to open the door to add more wood chips. This smoker has a side loading system that does it automatically.
- It has a remote
- The temperature is easy to control
- There is a lot of internal space
- The Bluetooth functionality could be better
The Masterbuilt MES 35 Electric Smoker has three racks that are made of chrome. They retain heat well and ensure that the level is even throughout the entire rack.
You can easily control the flavor and moisture due to the water bowl that is removable. The smoker’s tray for wood chips is also removable so that you can clean up ash with ease.
Use the dial to get to the right temperature. Always have control over the smoke due to the adjustable air damper.
- There are dampers
- The heat level of consistent
- Maintenance is easy
- The materials could be more durable
Types of Smokers
What is the best smoker for beginners? Many features will come down to your personal preference. It is important to remember what you are cooking. For example, will an offset smoker be the best, or do you want the best type of smoker for ribs? There are also the best propane smokers to think about.
You should look at more than just the price when it comes to choosing a smoker. Inexpensive smokers are not automatically inferior because they cost less money.
By looking at the different types of smokers, it gives you a clearer picture about what each of them is capable of. Use this information to see which one will be the easiest for you to use.
Many also have programming so that you can set your features and make it much easier to maintain control over what you are cooking.
However, the smokey flavor tends to be less intense with this type of smoker. This is especially true compared to charcoal and pellet smokers.
These are among the easiest smokers to use. All you have to do is keep an eye on the propane level and replace the tank when your fuel starts to get low. You still get a good smokey flavor on your foods and you do not have to deal with ash once you are done using it.
These use wood pellets for a strong smokey flavor. You can often choose pellets that are flavored, making it easy to get the precise flavor that you want.
If you choose a smoker with an automatic auger, it will feed the pellets into the proper area while you are using the smoker. This allows you to save time when you are smoking foods because you will not have to worry about constantly checking the fuel level.
These smokers may also be customizable, allowing you to make changes that ensure ease of use when you are ready to start smoking foods.
You can choose charcoal or wood that has added flavoring. This allows you to add to your foods so that they come out with a unique taste.
Now, this type can be a bit more difficult to light, especially if it is windy outside. You also need to make sure that the coals are lit evenly so that the heat is even across the smoker.
While charcoal is relatively easy to use, it does take more time and effort. The cleanup process can also take longer compared to other fuel options. This is because you have to empty the ash and clean out the ash area before you add fresh charcoal.
This type of smoker has a horizontal chamber that is long. On the side is a firebox where you keep your fuel source. This type tends to be larger, making it an ideal choice when you are smoking a lot of foods, or things like big racks of ribs. They get very smokey and tend to have excellent heat distribution.
This type of smoker typically uses at least two fuel sources.
It is best for those who do have some experience using a smoker because it can be more difficult to understand the intricacies of the different fuel types.
When you learn how to use a smoker and are comfortable with different fuel sources, however, this can be a good choice.
This is because it will give you a lot of flexibility regarding the foods that you are preparing.
Switching between fuel sources can also give you more smoking time before you need to worry about refilling a fuel source.
Ultimately, charcoal and pellet smokers are both really good choices when you are new to smoking foods. They are easy to use, cleanup does not take a lot of time and they are generally simple to assemble.
These two options also generally impart the most unique flavors on your foods. You can even find pellets and charcoal that has seasoning and flavor to ensure that everything comes out unique.
Factors to Consider When Buying Beginner Smokers
To get the best meat smoker, you need to consider all the important factors such as fuel type, portability, cooking area and more.
Newer smokers have a variety of controls that allow you to adjust the smoking time and the temperature.
While electric smokers tend to have the most of these features, you can find them on other types now too.
If you want to have a lot of control over your foods, this adjustment is necessary.
Should your smoker not have this feature, you can use a meat probe to help to keep an eye on the temperature of your meats when you are cooking them.
Shape and Design
Think about where you are going to put the smoker.
You want to ensure that you have plenty of space and that you do not have to put it up against a structure since this could be a fire hazard.
If you plan on smoking larger cuts of meat, consider a barrel smoker. It can be easier to hang bigger meat cuts in this than setting them on a cooking grate.
It is imperative that you get even heat distribution in your smoker. This will ensure that your foods are cooking evenly on all sides.
If your smoker does have some hot zones, you can often manage this by doing things like ensuring the charcoal or wood is all burning and not just the center where the most heat is.
Best Smokers for Beginners FAQ
After reading a variety of barbecue smoker reviews, you may still have some questions before you go out and buy your first smoker. Here you will get some answers to common questions to help to make your shopping experience easier.
Do All Smokers Need to Be Airtight?
While a little air can escape, it is imperative that you are keeping as much smoke inside the barrel or chamber as possible. If there are too many gaps, this could result in the temperature levels fluctuating, causing it to take a lot longer to smoke your foods.
When you are smoking something, it is not uncommon to see some smoke flowing out from where the lid attaches. This is normal, but if you start to see the smoke level increasing over time, you should check the seals to see if they need to be replaced.
Is Water Needed for a Smoker?
When you get a smoker, you will see a drip pan where you can add water. Just make sure to check the owner’s manual to see how much water is necessary. They do differ in how much they can hold and how much is needed to produce adequate smoke when you are using your smoker.
Does the Shape of the Smoker Matter?
This essentially comes down to your personal preference. Some people prefer a barrel smoker where they can hang their meats inside. However, some prefer to have grates so that they can layer the foods. Think about which will make it easier for you and choose that type.
With all of this information, you can now make the decision as to which smoker is the best choice for you. One smoker stands out above the rest, making it the best smoker grill for beginners.
The Classic Pit Barrel Cooker Package is not just a smoker, but it has all of the tools and accessories needed to start smoking meats as soon as you assemble it. You can hang the meats inside the barrel, ensuring that all sides are getting the same level of smoke.
You will not have to perform a lot of assembly, so that you can start using it almost immediately. The design of this smoker is simple and compact, allowing you to place it almost anywhere. Now, it is time to make your decision so that you can start smoking meats and other foods right away.
When you pick the best smoker for beginners, you will notice a fast difference in the flavor of your foods and the cooking times.