For a long time, smoking has been useful for food preservation purposes until the introduction of machines such as refrigerators and freezers. The best smoker 2021 helps to give your meals an excellent, flavorful taste at all times. If you are into grilling, then you ought to try out smoking as you will notice a huge difference.
We do not mean that grilling is not any better; it is just that the flavors and aroma are different. Food prepared in an oven or microwave tastes differently from the smoked one.
Smokers cook your steak or fish for a long time, thus ensuring you achieve maximum taste. Also, they still enhance food preservation by creating a barrier of smoke that inhibits the growth of bacteria hence keeping your food safe and tasty.
Materials such as maple, oak, hickory, and cherry burn to produce the smoke present in smokers. They are in different shapes, sizes, types, and designs, therefore it gets difficult to decide the most appropriate for you.
Worry not! This article takes an in-depth look into the best smokers 2021 available in the market, their pros and cons, the buyer’s guide, and FAQs.
- The Top Rated Best Smokers 2021: Picks And Reviewed
- Weber 18-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker, Charcoal Smoker
- Masterbuilt MB20073519 Bluetooth Digital Electrical Smoker with Broiler, 30 inches, Black
- Masterbuilt MB20070210 Analog Electric Smoker with 3 Smoking Racks, 30 Inch, Black
- Masterbuilt MB20071117 Digital Electric Smoker, 30 inches, Black
- Z Grills ZPG-450A Upgrade Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker
- Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-D Heavy-Duty Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker & Grill
- Smoke Hollow 26142E 26-Inch Electric Smoker with Adjustable Temperature Control
- Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker
- Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker
- Masterbuilt Smoke Hollow SH19079518 Digital Electrical Smoker, Black
- How Do I Choose A Perfect Smoker In 2021?
- FAQs on the Best Smoker 2021
What Is The Smoker?
A smoker is a piece of outdoor equipment that cooks by barbequing to allow you to cook food at low temperatures in a smoky environment that is well controlled. It acts to maintain a stable temperature of smoking of about 225 degrees.
For it to work correctly, there must be smoke oozing. It gets its power from wood, propane, natural gas, pellets or charcoal.
The smoker has a firebox that houses and ignites the fuel (charcoal, gas, or pellet) to allow it to burn continuously for slow cooking of the meat. Moreover, we have the smoking chamber where you place the meat chunks on the grates.
Heat and smoke from the firebox flow into this chamber, thus heating the water tray below the grates and creates steam which in turn cooks the meat.
However, cooking meat using a smoker takes a long time as compared to grilling. But this is an advantage since the meat turns out to have an improved flavor and great taste all in all. Also, it becomes very tender, thus easy to chew hence the best wood smokers 2021.
A smoker uses two methods to smoke the meat, either direct or indirect. Those that have a source of heat directly under the grates use direct heat, while those with offset smokers allow for indirect heating.
When using direct heat for smoking, ensure the space between the food and fire is big enough.
Types of Smokers
Besides being categorized based on their method of burning, either direct or indirect, they can be grouped according to their method of heat generation with other materials such as charcoal or gas. We look at the four main types commonly used.
These smokers get their heat from charcoal. They are simple to use as you only light the coal and adjust the temperature using the in-built dampers that also control the flow of air into the chamber. They rarely require much attention while smoking the meat.
Pellets come from sawdust. The pellet smokers use a digital thermostatic controller, which adjusts the number of pellets it releases from a hopper into the firepot depending on the set temperature.
Their upside is that they are hi-tech such that you can control the temperatures using your tablet or smartphone.
They use gas for smoking. But because there is no combustion so as to produce smoke, there is a need to add wood chips or chunks to improve the barbeque process.
If you need to cook for long hours, make sure there are enough gas tanks because a single container may not sustain you for long.
These are electrically modified such that you can easily set your temperature before starting the smoking process. Further, you do not need to monitor it as it smokes your meat. However, there will be a different taste as compared to those using wood or charcoal as no combustion is going on.
The Top Rated Best Smokers 2021: Picks And Reviewed
Weber 18-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker, Charcoal Smoker
Are you looking to give your meals extra flavor at a family or friends’ barbeque? You ought to try the Weber charcoal smoker. This is the best charcoal smoker available in the market. With its large cooking area of 418 inches, it allows you to smoke enough food for your family and friends that will last them a good number of days.
In addition to the big cooking area, it boasts of two sizeable nickel-plated cooking grates that allow you to smoke more than one item at the same time, thus saves on time. Besides, it has an in-built thermometer with a lid measuring between 200 and 275 degrees Fahrenheit that display internal temperature.
Moreover,it is easy to regulate and monitor temperature and heat with the air dampers and briquette adjustments. The 4 dampers are resistant to rust, thus durable. One is on the upper side, while three are on the lower side, each having four air vents.
Similarly, it boasts of a porcelain-enamel water pan that ensures high humidity during smoking to keep your meal moist, soft, juicy, and full of flavor. Further, both the lid and bowl have a porcelain-enamel construction to ensure that heat is retained at maximum and also improves durability.
You can easily add charcoal through its large aluminum fuel door. The heat resistant nylon handle ensures that you do not burn as you smoke the meat. This smoker is usually sturdy because of its rust-resistant metal legs that provide it does not fall off during the barbeque process.
- large cooking area
- rust-resistant metal legs
- built-in lid thermometer
- good damper system for controlling heat
- heat-resistant nylon handle
- double nickel-plated cooking grates
- hard to move from one place to another as it lacks side handles
Masterbuilt MB20073519 Bluetooth Digital Electrical Smoker with Broiler, 30 inches, Black
Due to the massive advance in technology, you are now able to smoke your meat comfortably using a digital Bluetooth controller. The Masterbuilt electrical smoker ensures that you achieve great taste with easy to chew meat after the barbeque. It also comes with a user-friendly appliance, making it the best smoker 2021 for beginners and pro.
It weighs about 61.7 pounds hence can be able to smoke a large capacity of meat, including 2 turkeys, 6 chicken, or 4 slabs of ribs. The four smoking racks coated with chrome also ensure that significantpositions of meat smoked if you want to get consistent smoking,then worry not as it has a thermostat temperature control that helps with this.
Moreover, its in-built meat probe thermometer makes sure you have an excellent outcome every time. It is easy to load and reload wood chips without opening the smoker’s door using the patented side wood chip loading system. This ensures that no heat lost during reloading.
Uniquely, the Bluetooth smart technology you are able to control the cooking temperature and time easily using your smart device or digital control panel. Besides, it also controls the temperature of the meat and lighting and also powers the smoker on and off conveniently.
- easy to use
- large capacity
- thermostat temperature control
- patented side wood chip loading system
- Bluetooth smart technology
- built-in meat probe thermometer
- grill and finish element
- limited to use with wood chips only
Masterbuilt MB20070210 Analog Electric Smoker with 3 Smoking Racks, 30 Inch, Black
The Masterbuilt analog smoker is 30 inches in height to give your meals a good and tasty finish over a long period of time. It is almost similar to the one above; the only difference is that it uses an analog system. For the best results, you should use it outside on open air. With its robust build exterior, it retains heat efficiently and is durable.
It has three smoking racks having a coat of chrome to allow you to smoke a large capacity of meat to feed your family or friends for some days. Unlike the MB20073519 electric model that has a patented side wood chip loading system, you have to open the door so as to add more chips to the smoker.
Moreover, it is easy to clean, and also the wood chip tray slides in and out quickly in case you need to add more chips or remove ash. The built-in temperature gauge helps to monitor the temperature inside the smoker. The analog dial makes it a simple task to control the temperature to ensure your meat smokes evenly.
- three smoking racks
- built-in temperature gauge
- front access grease tray
- easy to clean
- durable and sturdy
- easy dial temperature settings
- 1500 watt-heating element
- a bit difficult to load and offload wood chips
Masterbuilt MB20071117 Digital Electric Smoker, 30 inches, Black
No need to go through the hassle of charcoal or propane when using the Masterbuilt digital electric smoker. All you need to do is plug it into a power source and ensure you set all the digital controls correctly, and it starts working immediately. The controls allow you to power it on and off and set the cooking temperature and time conveniently.
With its large dimensions, you can be sure to smoke a large number of meat at the same time. Two turkeys, six chicken and four butts of pork can easily fit in at once. You are able to feed your friends and family with a hefty meal for a long time using this smoker.
Additionally, you do not have to open the smoker’s door so as to add wood chips. There is a patented side wood chip loading system that enables you to do this automatically. In this way, the smoker does not lose heat. Besides, the body is fully insulated to ensure maximum retention of heat during smoking.
Furthermore, the thermostat temperature control enhances the consistent smoking of meals to give you perfect results. The water bowl present helps to moisturize the food, thereby adding more flavor to it. You do not need to stress about the smoke as an air damper controls it. Ash removal is quite simple because the wood chip tray slides out easily.
- digital control panel
- thermostat control
- patented wood chip loading system
- four chrome-coated racks
- large capacity
- air damper controls smoke
- fully-insulated body
- limited to wood chips only
Z Grills ZPG-450A Upgrade Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker
As the name suggests, this is an upgrade of the previous models with more clear temperature control and pellet feed control system. The control board auto ignites the grill and allows you to set the cooking temperature from 180-450 degrees Fahrenheit. It is made by a well-made brand in the US to provide you with the perfect smoking results.
Uniquely, this smoker is highly versatile as it is a 6-in-1 having a barbeque, bake, roast, braise, smoke, and grill options. With this, you are able to cook your meat in whatever way you desire using one smoker. Besides this, the 450 inches grilling area is large enough to grill food in bulk.
Additionally, the pellet grill technology it boasts of ensures your food has a rich flavorful taste. You cannot compare the flavor with food smoked using a gas or charcoal grill. Also, the pellets cost cheap because, with this smoker, you can cook for almost 20 hours per 20lbs of pellets. So, this saves you money altogether.
Furthermore, you do not need to do a lot of monitoring during the process. The automated electric feed system does this for you by making sure the heat is always within 10 degrees of set temperature so as to produce the optimal amount of smoke. Durability is a sure thing because of its stainless steel built body that is highly resistant to corrosion.
- huge grilling area
- highly versatile
- easy to clean
- digital controller
- the automated pellet feed system
- wide temperature range of between 180-450 degrees
- heavy duty all-terrain wheels
- quite heavy
Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-D Heavy-Duty Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker & Grill
Get to barbeque your meats with the classic Dyna-Glo signature charcoal smoker at the comfort of your home garden to attain a tasty flavor. This smoker will surely serve you for the longest time possible as it has a heavy-gauge steel body construction that ensures its durability.
Furthermore, it comprises of five chrome-plated cooking grates that ensure you are able to smoke meat in bulk all at once. Besides, its large cooking area of 1382 square inches also allows you to cook a large serving enough for your family and friends for a long time.
No worries about getting a burn while checking out your food or fuel because of the cool to touch handles that enhance safety. Also, a cool-touch spring lid grip gives you safer access to the food.
The pre-installed sausage hooks allow you maximum flexibility as you cook. For quick disposal of ash and easy access of fuel, the removable offset charcoal grate and ash pan serves the purpose thus the best pallet smokers 2021
Furthermore, the analog temperature gauge has a grill and smoke zone indicator for keeping your cooking temperature in check at all times. With this multifunctional BBQ machine, you are able to expand your culinary horizons, making it the best bbq smokers 2021. Though you cannot carry it around, you can quickly move it using its oversized steel wheels.
- stainless temperature gauge
- durable and sturdy
- five chrome-plated cooking grates
- great mobility
- cool-touch spring handle
- removable ash pan
- easy to use
- paint may flake if you run the fire too hot
Smoke Hollow 26142E 26-Inch Electric Smoker with Adjustable Temperature Control
The Smoke hollow electric smoker is among the best electric smoker 2021 as it is part of the masterbuilt company that is known to manufacture nothing but the best. Its large cooking area makes it a perfect fit for use during social gatherings as it can fit different varieties of meats.
It features adjustable cooking grates and two chrome-plated cooking racks that can be easily adjusted to the height you prefer to make smoking convenient. The 1500-watt cooking element makes sure that the heat within the smoking chamber fully controlled.
Using a full range heat indicator present, you are able to tell when the meat has smoked to the right temperature you want. This gives perfect results all through the smoking process. The porcelain-coated water pan ensures to keep the meat moist for a flavorful taste. Besides, a porcelain coated tray eases the removal of ash from the smoker.
Furthermore, the fully –welded steel cabinet features side handles cool-touch spring wire handle with sure lock latch system and adjustable daft controls. The team handles help you to carry it around during or after use even when it is hot.
- easy to clean
- 1500-watt heat element
- user-friendly for both beginners and pros
- heat indicator
- adjustable cooking grids and plates
- large capacity
- easy mobility using the side handles
- prone to blow breakers
Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker
The Char-boil is known to be a quality brand throughout America and thus cannot disappoint when it comes to the smoking of meats. It helps to make good quality meals for both your family and friends. It does not matter whether you are a beginner or a pro as it offers user friendly options.
It features 544 square inches of cooking area that allows you to smoke different varieties of meat in bulk. Besides, three chrome-plated cooking grates house multiple slabs of meat during smoking. Moreover, the wood chip box is large enough to ensure continuous hours of smoke without the need for regular refilling.
Additionally, there is a need to monitor the internal temperature inside the smoker. The door-mounted temperature gauge does the monitoring to produce optimum results throughout. An aluminized steel water pan makes sure your meat stays juicy and does not dry out. Cleaning up is easy using a removable drip tray.
Usually, it involves tough constructed with quality material that enhances its durability and sturdiness. You can use it for as long as you like. The 1200-watt heating element ensures that heat is in control inside the smoker to ensure your meat cooks nice and slow. With the side carrying handles, mobility becomes a simple task.
- easy to clean up
- sturdy and durable
- door-mounted temperature gauge
- large wood chip box
- integrated water pan
- easy mobility
- three chrome-plated cooking grates
- needs you to open it up so as to refill
Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker
Using the offset design that incorporates indirect heating, the Dyna-Glo charcoal smoker makes it ideal for slow cooking and infusing smoke flavor to leave your meats with a perfect taste. Its vertical design helps to keep heat from directly smoking your food to provide optimum results.
Additionally, the six cooking grates can easily adjust to any height you prefer so as to handle different food sizes. With a large cooking area of 784 inches and 25 pounds capacity per grate, you are able to cook a large bulk of meats all at once, thus serving a large number of people. This makes it perfect for social gatherings.
Furthermore, a built-in stainless steel thermometer that indicates the smoke zone, which is perfect for infusing smoke flavor to your food. Besides, the gauge on the thermometer is easy to read by anyone, thus user-friendly. The smokestack allows you to cook your meats with maximum precision with the help of an adjustable flue for temperature control.
Moreover, you can increase the burning efficiency of your smoker because of the porcelain-enamelled steel charcoal chamber, which stacks the briquettes tightly throughout the process. The charcoal and ash management system is efficient with a removable steel ash pan to get rid of the ash. The tray is large enough to carry vast amounts of ash.
- built-in stainless steel thermometer
- reliable charcoal and ash management system
- six height-adjustable cooking grates
- offset indirect heating design
- increases burn efficiency
- side dampers that improve airflow
- adjustable smokestack
- does not have a water tray
Masterbuilt Smoke Hollow SH19079518 Digital Electrical Smoker, Black
The Masterbuilt digital electrical smoker is a way to go barbeque maker in your backyard. It is a deal-breaker for tasty and flavorful pieces of meat. With the digital control panels, you can simply power it on and off without a hassle. Also, you are able to monitor the temperature and time of cooking your meat.
Additionally, its exterior made of fully-insulated smoker material that ensures maximum heat retention. Besides, sturdy quality material enhances its sturdiness and durability. It features three chrome coated smoking racks that can cook multiple slabs of meat all at once, thus saving on time.
Furthermore, the 800-watt heating element works to ensure that your meat smokes at an even and consistent rate to produce excellent results. The smoke inside the smoke chamber is kept in check by an adjustable air damper on the side.
Similarly, it is easy to clean up your smoker because it comes with a drip pan removed quickly. To keep your meat moist and juicy all the time, there is a water bowl that makes sure of this. Thus, this improves the flavor of your meat.
- large cooking area
- digital panel controls
- integrated thermostat temperature control
- fully insulated smoker body
- easy to clean
- adjustable air damper
- removable water bowl
- does not have wheels hence makes mobility tricky
How Do I Choose A Perfect Smoker In 2021?
There are many smokers available in the market in different types, shapes, and designs. Of course, you would want to get the best of the smokers. But, first, you need to know what factors to consider before making a purchase decision so as not to regret later. We will discuss the essential points you need to know before you buy a smoker.
Temperature control is vital in the smoking process as you may not want your meat to overcook or burn or even not cook at all because of low temperatures. Therefore, it is good to get a thermostat controller to help with this. Before buying a smoker, always check that it has this.
For those that do not have, you can always buy a thermostat to add on to them. But again, it is a hassle to keep up checking the temperature of your meat every time. This is why we should get a smoker with a temperature control system.
Most pellet smokers boast of digital temperature control that eases your work. You can always buy them for consistent results.
We all want to be safe when operating smokers for barbeques. Usually, they operate with high temperatures, so you need to ensure safety from yourself and your kids or even pets. You do not want to burn as you adjust the controls or while refilling fuel.
Ensure you put it away from water if it is using electricity as a source of fuel to prevent shocks. The handles have to be cool to touch so that if you are to move your smoker around, you get to touch it without the fear of burning. A good smoker ought to have wheels that lock in automatically such that it does not move during use.
We all want hassle-free cleaning of our smokers. All the parts should be freely accessible for ease of cleaning.This means that the grates, grills, and water pans should be easily removable. Some of them give an option for easy cleaning, while others are just difficult to clean up like electric smokers.
Nevertheless, it is necessary to clean up the inside of your smoker as that is where you are preparing your food; therefore, it must always be clean at all times.
Some smokers have drip pans that are located just above the water pan to serve the purpose of holding oil and grease drippings during smoking. It is advisable to get a smoker with a removable drip pan because you can easily clean off the drippings, unlike a pan that cannot.
Heat convection means that your smoker can be able to insulate heat appropriately to give perfect results. This ensures that less heat exits to the outside during the barbeque process. It is essential to maintain a cooking chamber that is well insulated and at a constant temperature too.
Heat convection is basically measured using the heat elements. Most smokers have a heating element of 1500-watts to between 800 watts depending on their pricing and brands. Heat elements ensure that the meat is cooked evenly and conveniently. Electric smokers have the best heat convection features.
Materials and Durability
If you want your smoker to last long, then you really should be keen to check the materials used to build it as you shop. You ought to invest in a good quality smoker and not go for a cheap one that will break down after a few attempts of using it.
Smoking, of course, uses heat; thus, you need to get highly durable materials, considerably steel or aluminum. They will ensure that you can smoke a large quantity of meats into the smoker without the fear of it wobbling and falling off during the barbeque process.
Also, it is essential to check that the grates and ashtrays also have solid materials to help them endure any harsh temperatures. The handles on the doors of the smoker should be well fixed, and the rivets pinned well enough for optimum results.
However, steel may easily rust, and thus you need to consider stainless steel, which can be quite expensive, but if you look at value for the money, then you would not hesitate to get stainless steel. Aluminum rarely rusts and is lightweight and a bit easy to clean.
You do not want your meat to burn during smoking. This is why there is a need for a thermometer to help control the temperatures for perfect results.
As you go shopping, ensure your smoker has a digital thermometer, at least. This is when your smoker does not come with a built-in thermometer. Usually, we prefer the in-built thermometers because they help to monitor the internal temperature. However, digital thermometers work just right.
You should be able to read and master the readings on your thermometer correctly for correct results. It is essential to maintain a constant temperature throughout the smoking process, so learning to operate your meat thermometer is vital.
Work Surfaces and Storage
Having a smoker with a working surface and enough storage space is an added advantage. Work surfaces help you cut out your meats or even marinade them before putting them inside a smoking chamber. This is convenient as you don’t have to use a kitchen surface to prepare your chickens for the barbeque.
Some smokers come with enough storage spaces to store your meats for later use after smoking them. Also, there are others that come with sausage hooks for extra convenience.
How many people are you serving? How much meat do you plan on smoking? These are the type of questions that should linger on your mind when considering the capacity of the smoker you want to buy. If you plan on holding barbeques for friends and family, then you should get a smoker large enough o to handle large capacities of meat.
Besides hosting barbeque parties, you may want to store smoked food in bulk, so, yes, you need a smoker with a large cooking area. You may smoke the meats and store them in your freezer for later use.
Wheels on a smoker? Sounds weird, right? But this is important must have for a smoker. Of course, at some point, you will need to move it from one location to another after or during use. And because of its exposure to high temperatures, it may not be easy to carry around.
Therefore, you will need your smoker to have wheels to allow you to push it around conveniently. At the same time, others have wheels that lock safely in place to prevent the smoker from moving while barbequing. Also, they tend to improve the height of your smoker to give you maximum performance.
Easy to Use
Buy a smoker that is user friendly by all means and can be operated by both a pro and a beginner with ease. It should be easy to move around during and after use and also easy to store away.
The thermometer should be easy to read, and also the power on and off of the smoker should not be a hassle. You should be able to plug in with ease to start operation. Furthermore, cleaning should not be an issue, and refilling of fuel must be simple to handle.
There is a need for your smoker to have a water pan. In order to keep your meat juicy, moist, tender, and flavorful, a water pan comes in handy. Not all smokers come with a water pan, but if you are looking for excellent results, then ensure to have a water pan in your smoker.
It also helps to diffuse heat to give your meat a slow and consistent smoke throughout.
It is essential to check that the shelves of your smokers are easy to remove. First and foremost, they ensure the easy cleaning of your smoker without a hassle. Removable drip pans help to catch excess oil and grease, and you can easily clean them after use.
Secondly, removable grates are great because you can easily adjust them to any height you want, depending on the food you are smoking or your preference mostly. This helps to give the best results.
The budget entirely depends on how much you are willing to spend on your smoker.Some smokers cost as low as 50 dollars, and as high as 1000 dollars. How much do you have? What is your budget? You should get a smoker that is good value for the money to avoid many disappointments.
You might be tempted to get a cheap smoker, but I would not advise you to do so. You will regret it as it may break down quickly after using it a few times.
Moreover, if you are new into meat smoking, then there is no need to get a big or expensive smoker. Try a less expensive one but that which offers quality results. A vertical smoker works perfectly for you if you are a beginner.
FAQs on the Best Smoker 2021
Which smokers give the best flavors?
- Many smokers give the best of flavors, depending on your preference and quality of the brand. You should consider the 10 of the best smokers that we have listed above to get the best flavors.
Is smoked meat bad for you?
- Smoked meat may be bad for you as it contains harmful chemical contaminants that may cause damage to your health and lead to dangerous diseases such as cancer and heart problems in the long run. However, to be safe, ensure you do not take it regularly.
Why is my smoked chicken skin rubbery?
- This is because it has been slow-smoked at low temperatures, thus making the skin hardened and rubbery. To prevent this, all you need to do is to cook the chicken at a higher temperature for part of the cooking time.
Are smokers worth the money?
- Yes, they are worth the money because their meat tastes better than that which is grilled. Moreover, the flavor of the meat is more robust as a smoker captures, holds, and circulates the smoke more efficiently.
What is the best smoker for beginners?
- Most of the smokers listed in this article are designed for both beginners and pros; hence you can never go wrong with any of the above if you are a beginner.
Having gone through the article above, we are quite confident that you can choose the best smokers 2021 that is appropriate for you without any difficulties. Any of the smokers in this article will give you excellent results.
The most common brands of smokers include Masterbuilt, Dyna-Glo, and Char-broil. They work to provide rich and flavorful tastes to your meats.
Always ensure to check the capacity, safety, temperature control, and ease of cleaning of your smoker before purchase. They are the most important factors to consider. We can conclude that electric and pellet grill smokers are the best so far. If you are thinking of getting a smoker, then you should find the two types.
We hope that you find this article helpful enough to make a purchase decision that you would not regret.