The Best Smoker For Beginners In 2021

Expert smokers and grill masters might already know all there is to know about a smoker. However, many beginners might be overwhelmed by all the choices available on the market today.

A smoker is one of the best tools one can use to make the meat fall off the bone and to ensure that it tastes almost perfect. However, the best smoker for beginners can take this to a new level and offer you a variety of additional features.

With such multiple different options, one can easily get lost. You will need to experiment with different smokers and find the one that suits your needs the best.

We have done all the work and found many of the top smokers currently available today. This can help beginners and intermediates in finding the best smoker.

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Top 3 Recommendations
Editor's Choices
Weber 18-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker, Charcoal Smoker*
Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker*
Best Selling
Cuisinart COS-330 Smoker, 30" Electric*
Cooking Surface
481-square inches
784-square inches
548-square inches
Starter
Standard
Electric
Electric
Warranty
10-years
3-years
3-years
Price
$329.80
$239.90
$199.00
Prime
-
Customer's Rating
Editor's Choices
Weber 18-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker, Charcoal Smoker*
Cooking Surface
481-square inches
Starter
Standard
Warranty
10-years
Price
$329.80
Prime
Customer's Rating
Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker*
Cooking Surface
784-square inches
Starter
Electric
Warranty
3-years
Price
$239.90
Prime
-
Customer's Rating
Best Selling
Cuisinart COS-330 Smoker, 30" Electric*
Cooking Surface
548-square inches
Starter
Electric
Warranty
3-years
Price
$199.00
Prime
Customer's Rating

Best Smoker for Beginners on the Market Today

Unfortunately, you cannot merely stroll up to the store and pick any smoker that looks nice. There are a couple of key features to keep in mind, which will ensure that the options you choose are the best.

Since we have studied these features, we could narrow down the multitude of different options to only 11 for easy selection.

Weber Smokey Mountain Smoker – Best Overall Smoker

When it comes to brand superiority, few brands can compete with someone like Weber. They have been designing some of the grill equipment for many years. The Weber Smokey Mountain smoker is a durable steel smoker with a low-profile design to give it more stability on the ground.

The smoker contains two cooking grates, and this will expand the available cooking surface to around 481 square inches. A large cooking surface like this can comfortably accommodate the meals of a family or up to 12 different people.

Since almost the whole smoker is porcelain coated, cleaning it is easy, and you only need to wipe it off when done.

One of the unique features is the water bowl that has been added close to the coals. This might not make sense to many beginners, but the addition of the water gives you much better control over the temperatures. This heat sink design will automatically serve as something that could add some humidity to the chamber.

Weber might be considered an expensive brand by many, but when you look at some of the top smoking competitions, you can find massive, costly smokers. The Weber Smokey Mountain smoker is actually the affordable one, and it can compete with some of the very best.

It also includes a limited 10-year warranty.

Pros
  • Easy to clean after use
  • The water bowl makes temperature control easier
  • It has a surface area of 481 square inches
  • Accurate temperature grommet
  • 10-year limited warranty included
Cons
  • On the larger models, the door might not seal properly

Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker – Best Family Smoker

When it comes to size, it can be hard to match the size of the Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D charcoal offset smoker. This large unit has been constructed from heavy-duty steel, while also being powder coated.

The powder coating not only makes it look more rugged but can also protect the unit from damages caused by the elements.

It has a massive 784 square inch cooking area, and according to the manufacturer, you can use this unit for smoking up to 100-pounds of food.

It also features an electronic ignition system that will ensure that you always get a fire going. At its peak, the unit should reach around 15,000 BTU of power output each time it is used.

One of the other great features is the fact that it has a dual door system.

This double door system will help with heat control to an extent. Instead of losing all that heat through the main door, you can still keep the heat inside with the smaller door. This feature helps out a lot when you find that you are running out of wooden chips.

When we compare it to some of the top brands like Weber, it is much larger and also much more affordable. This is one of the ultimate family smokers and should not cost you an arm or a leg.

The Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D unit might be a little too heavy for many people to move around on their own, but it offers a lot of value. You should also note that it comes with a limited 3-year warranty.

Pros
  • Features a dual door system
  • Reaches 15,000 BTU power output
  • Easy to use electronic ignition
  • Massive 784 square inch surface
  • Includes a limited 3-year warranty
Cons
  • It is cumbersome to move around
  • Burns through a lot of wood chips

Cuisinart COS-330 Smoker – Best Budget Smoker

The Cuisinart COS-330 electric smoker is the perfect smoker for those strapped to a tight budget. It looks spectacular, and the fact that it has been designed for stability will give you a lot of value for your money.

Since the smoker is electrical, it does make starting and maintaining a fire much easier for beginners.

Once you have it opened and you place all of the grates on the inside, you will find that it has a larger inner space for cooking than the traditional Weber. The cooking surface available is around 548 square inches, which makes it ideal for large families. You should be able to serve about 15 people with this unit comfortably.

Another top feature is the design of the door.

Unlike some of the competitors, especially those in this price range, it does not lose a lot of heat. Yes, you might lose some heat when you open it up. However, with electric ignition, you can quickly spike the temperature to 400-degrees Fahrenheit if you want to get it going.

As we have mentioned, the Cuisinart COS-330 Electric Smoker is one of the most affordable units on the market today, and it does not have many downfalls. One of the massive downsides is the ventilation ports that feel a little frustrating. These ports need to be cleaned often for the best results.

Fortunately, you have peace of mind with the 3-year limited warranty.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Has a cooking space of 548n square inches
  • Easy to heat up with an electric starter
  • Comes with a 3-year warranty
Cons
  • The vents can pile up with ash and need to be cleaned often

Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill Smoker – The Smoker Grill Combo

The Z Grills Wood Pellet grill & smoker is an excellent choice for anyone who enjoys making BBQ.

It’s a smoker grill combo with pellets and comes with an electric feed system which serves to ensure optimal temperature regulation of between 180 – 450-degree Fahrenheit. Furthermore, it comes with a smart digital controller engineered to keep the temperatures within +/- 20ºF, making the setup process easy.

The Z Grills Wood Pellet grill & smoker comes with a hopper capacity and wide grilling area. This is a cooking surface more than enough for tailgating or a party in your backyard. The capacity this smoker has is huge; you can easily grill 20 hamburgers at once. 

This smoker also comes with a 6-in-1 grilling equipment which allows you to barbecue, roast, bake, and smoke – everything you need on a single pellet grill. That’s why it’s convenient for beginners.

The Z Grills Wood Pellet grill & smoker is powered 100% by premium hardwood pellets. They are high-quality and produce the best smoke and heat.

The best feature is that it comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you do not love it for whatever reasons, you can ask for a refund

Pros
  • Smart digital controller
  • Sturdy construction
  • Huge grilling area
  • Lifetime guarantee
Cons
  • Limited smoke

Masterbuilt MB20071117 Digital Electric Smoker – Best Insulated Smoker For Beginners

It can be grueling to cook all of your meals without having a decent ignition system. However, the Masterbuilt 20071117 digital electric smoker makes it much easier to get this consistency when you are cooking. The unit features solid steel construction, and for once, the doors close correctly to keep the heat inside.

The unit also has multiple grates on the inside that will expand your cooking experience. These grates can be changed and replaced as you wish, but when all of them have been placed inside, you have a massive 730 square inches of cooking surface.

The unit is entirely digital, giving you complete control over the temperature that ranges between 100 and 275-degrees Fahrenheit.

Even with all of these features, Masterbuilt did not stop here. The company has been designing a whole host of different accessories that you can add. The cover for the unit is a must, and we do recommend it as well. This is because your smoker might be a little prone to rust buildup when left in the elements.

In terms of the price, the Masterbuilt 20071117 unit still does not compare to a brand like Weber when it comes to high costs. Since this unit is slightly larger, it might even get the edge, but you can pick it up for an affordable price.

Unfortunately, the warranty only keeps you covered for 90 days.

Pros
  • Solid steel construction
  • Perfect insulation and heat retention
  • Looks rugged and stylish
  • Easy to control the temperatures
Cons
  • The warranty period is not long

Masterbuilt MB20070210 Analog Electric Smoker - Best for an Even Temperature Delivery

Every beginner griller deserves to know the benefits of the Masterbuilt electric smoker! Why? Well, because this one is designed to offer you tension-free smoking even if this is your first time embarking on a culinary adventure.

To begin with, the Masterbuilt MB20070210 smoker offers convenience to those who need it the most. Many customers commended how easy it is to use this smoker since its features are accustomed for beginners.

Starting with the removable drip tray, water tray, and chip tray, they are super easy to take out and clean and refill when there is a need for such a task.

This smoker includes a temperature gauge which makes monitoring a lot easier! Plus, one reason beginners love the smoker can reach the temperature faster and hold it!

It even features a handy knob on the side, allowing you to control the temperature as you like! This kind of intelligent design will let you smoke the meat for as long as you want, without feeling time-pressured.

However, you should pay attention to the wood chips since the tray does not hold too much, so it might need to be refilled often.

The 1,500W heating element is just right to keep a high temperature constant. The cleaning of the Masterbuilt MB20070210 smoker is also relatively easy! The grates will only need a soapy wash while all of the trays are removable.

Pros
  • Large smoking capacity
  • Holds temperature well
  • Three chrome-plated grates
Cons
  • Small wood chip tray capacity

Char-Broil 19202101 Deluxe Black Digital Electric Smoker - Best Double-Walled Design

Char-Broil is a name you often see in our grill & smokers reviews! This is because this brand is one of America’s most favorite when it comes to quality smokers and other grilling equipment.

If you are an absolute beginner or know your way around cooking, you should check out this smoker! It offers multiple benefits and some of the most impressive features to make this the best investment for your upcoming culinary skills.

With the Char-Broil 19202101, you will get 725 square inches of cooking space. Along with that, the four racks make sure you fit produce with ease! This kind of capacity is excellent whether you are cooking for a small or large friend group!

One of the best features of this Char-Broil 19202101 smoker is the capacity of the smokebox. You will get between four to seven hours of smoking before there is a need for a refill! After that, the only thing you can do in between is to sit back and relax!

This Char-Broil 19202101 smoker is superb in retaining heat! It has a double-walled design which has excellent thermal insulation, plus it has a glass door so you can check on the process.

Since we are on the topic of heat, the integrated food thermometer is removable, so you can just as quickly set the desired internal temperature. Plus, the LED display makes sure all the controls are one click away! Talk about beginner-friendly!

Pros
  • Double-walled design
  • The large cooking space area
  • Large fuel box capacity
  • Warming feature
Cons
  • The digital control unit is often faulty

Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-D Vertical Offset Smoker & Grill - Best Heavy-Duty Smoker

The Dyna-Glo is another famous name you will find in our reviews! The brand has a wide selection of excellent grills and smokers, so it’s time to see what is so special about this one!

To begin with, the Dyna-Glo DGSS1382VCS-D smoker has excellent built quality! Many of the satisfied customers were amazed at the building of this smoker as it’s made out of heavy-gauge steel construction.

As it is made from these kinds of materials, you won’t have to worry about rust anytime soon! With these types of products, it’s always good to know your money will be well-invested.

Moreover, the Dyna-Glo DGSS1382VCS-D smoker includes five chrome-plated grates, which are easy to clean and remove if you need a bit more space. Speaking of space, the smoker has a total of 1382 square inches of the smoking area! It’s fantastic if you have larger batches of meat to smoke.

Even a temperature gauge with a smoke zone determines the perfect temperature you need for that smoky aroma.

Plus, the handles are always cool-to-touch, so you will never experience any burning accidents. Not only that, but they will allow you to access fuel and food safely.

Along with the cool handles, the lid also does not hold any heat to it, so you can just as safely access everything.

Lastly, the Dyna-Glo DGSS1382VCS-D smoker includes big wheels, so the mobility is effortless!

Pros
  • Heavy-gauge steel body
  • Includes five grates
  • Cool to touch handles and lid
  • Wheels for easy mobility
Cons
  • It can leak sometimes

Traeger Grills TFB88PZBO Pro Series 34 Pellet Grill and Smoker – Best Pellet Smoker And Grill

Whether in doubt-go for Traeger! They are a brand you cannot mistake since they have been on the market for years now, delivering high-quality items! All of their grills and smokers work on wood pellets.

With the Traeger Grills TFB88PZBO smokers and grills, you will never again have to go through the hassle of charcoal and gas fuel. Plus, once you experience the delicious flavor of the smokey and woody aroma, you will never go back to the old ways.

The Traeger Grills TFB88PZBO smoker and grill are highly versatile, so that beginners will love it! You don’t need to purchase a separate unit when you have everything you need right here in the Traeger smoker and grill.

The 6-in-1 function allows you to smoke, grill, bake, roast, braise, and BBQ, all while using the same unit! Plus, you can enjoy the low and slow or the fast heating version of the smoker.

The Traeger Grills TFB88PZBO smoker also includes a precision temperature control which maintains a plus/minus 15-degree temperature so you can achieve a perfect smoking temperature every time!

Moreover, what makes Traeger truly special is its quality build! This particular smoker and grill combo are made out of solid steel construction with a durable powder-coat finish, so it does not develop rust or corrosion.

Finally, this grill and smoker have a large cooking area capacity of 884 square inches which is perfect for planning a big dinner!

Pros
  • Durable design
  • Precise temperature control
  • 6-in-1 cooking function
  • Porcelain grill grates
Cons
  • The auger is faulty

PIT BOSS 77435 Vertical Lp Gas Smoker - Best Vertical Smoker

The list is getting hotter and hotter now that we have another excellent name in the review! The PIT BOSS 77435 vertical smoker comes in an attractive bright red design that will make it a show star in your backyard!

When it comes to the assembly of this smoker, we find it relatively easy as it comes with a detailed and beginner-friendly instruction manual. Of course, you might need a helping hand from your buddy as this is a cumbersome design, but other than that, installation won’t give you too much hassle.

Pit Boss smokers are known for their spacious cooking capacity. This one measures out in 800 square inches with four porcelain-coated grates. If you want to take a quick peek inside, you can do so through the tempered glass window on the main door.

For the temperature, you can always check it through the heat indicators. It has a high-temperature range of 100-350 degrees.

As this is a significant construction, it may take a lot of space in your backyard. Luckily it comes with rear wheels that make transport and mobility so much easier!

For a long-lasting service, the PIT BOSS 77435 smoker has a protective coating that prevents rust and corrosion.

Most of the customers value this smoker for its incredible heavy-duty design. Overall, it’s an excellent value for money since it allows absolute beginners to enjoy the cooking process fully.

Pros
  • Great built-quality
  • Retains heat well
  • Spacious smoking area
  • Heat indicators
  • Dual valve burning system
Cons
  • It can sometimes leak if you don’t close it properly

ASMOKE AS300 Electric Tabletop Grill and Smoker - Best Portable Smoker

We are closing off this review with one more incredible pellet smoker!

This is the ASMOKE AS300 electric wood pellet that is an excellent pick for the home smoking process, but you can also take it along one of your camping trips. The portability makes this smoker that much more valuable and helpful!

For starters, the ASMOKE AS300 smoker uses only applewood pellets that will deliver the most delicious food! You can create the best woody aroma to the meat while keeping all the juices and tender texture.

What makes this pellet smoker a favorite of many is the 8-in-1 versatile function. If you are looking to invest smartly but don’t want to purchase a separate unit for grill or searing, then this is the unit you should get!

You can BBQ, smoke, grill, braise, roast, sear, bake, or chargrill with it. How amazing is that? This is a pick that all beginners will get to enjoy fully!

It even has two tiers of porcelain-coated grill grates and a space capacity of 256 square inches, so you can get a lot of cooking done when you are on the go.

The temperature control makes every one of these cooking functions a whole lot easier! You can try the low and slow or the fast and hot by turning the dial from 180 to 500 degrees!

Pros
  • Portable
  • Great temperature range
  • 8-in-1 cooking options
  • Lightweight
  • Two tiers of cooking grates
  • 5-year warranty
  • Temperature control
Cons
  • Fluctuating temperature
  • Poor customer service

Key Features to Look For In the Best Smokers

When it comes to a smoker, the features are plentiful. However, it does not have as many essential elements as some of the best grills. We have managed to narrow it down to only a couple of features to keep in mind.

Here are the most important for picking the best smoker.

1. Cooking Surface

best pellet smoker for beginners

The cooking surface is one of the most important aspects to consider. It enables you to cook for larger or smaller groups of people.

If you have a large family, or you plan to use the smoker for industrial purposes, you might want to consider a cooking surface of more than 500 square inches. This can be ideal to ensure everyone is fed.


2. Starter System

With a smoker, you get multiple different methods of starting the unit. The most common is to use firelighters to get it going, but this is slowly fading out in the modern era.

Now, you can choose between the Piezo starter that works with propane gas, or you can choose to use an electric starter. The electric starter is much easier to use by beginners.


3. Warranty

good smoker for beginners

Lastly, the warranty is another essential feature to consider, and with it, you will get some peace of mind. As you might notice, many of these smokers tend to be a little expensive, but a decent warranty will keep you protected.

The standard warranty to look for in some of the smokers will be around 3-years.

FAQs

What is the easiest thing to smoke?

If you are a complete beginner in smoking, the most accessible meat to smoke is the one that has a high-collagen percentage, such as pork, beef briskets, beef, or ribs.

Meats like pulled pork are the easiest to start with. Since they are well-marinated, they will allow for a more straightforward smoking process. Plus, they are relatively cheap, so you can experiment with them a couple of times till you get the proper technique.

Also, you can never go wrong with the basic whole chicken! You can go crazy with the seasoning as the options are limitless!


How do you use a beginner smoker?

Beginners may encounter a smoker for the first time and find it intimidating! Although it takes a while to get used to it, the results pay off every time.

Using a smoker as a beginner is not that much different than using it like a pro. You first need to test it out and know what you are working with. Start with the low-and-slow function, then work your way up to the hotter temperatures.

Remember not to open the top of the chamber during the smoking process! Just let the smoker do its thing.

best charcoal smoker for beginners

What is the best smoker for home use?

The best smoker for home use is the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker. This one offers a lot of space capacity, which you can benefit from whether you are cooking for a large or smaller friend group.

Although it’s rather cumbersome, it won’t take up too much space in your backyard. Furthermore, it’s pretty easy to use if you follow all the instructions and tips, so even beginners can enjoy the smoking process fully.


When should you season a smoker for the first time?

You should first run the smoker with no food inside to get rid of the metal residue and get the hang of using it. Although smaller smokers do not require much seasoning, larger ones do!

Think of a metal smoker as a cooking pan. Season it with a generous amount of cooking oil but make sure it has a high burning degree point. Turn the heat on to around 250 degrees Fahrenheit to create a perfect barrier. Finally, open the chimney for optimal airflow.


Should I oil the outside of my smoker?

No, it would be best if you only oiled the inside of the smoker. Coat the entire surface of the smoker with the oil of your choice. You can use various kinds, but they don’t make a difference.

Next, you should set the temperature to get rid of the metal taste if you are oiling a brand new smoker. Use a standard temperature of 250 degrees Fahrenheit. In this way, you are creating a protective barrier that will prevent your smoker from rusting.

Which Smoker Is The Best?

All of these smokers are good for beginners. However, the Weber Smoky Mountain Cooker does take the reigns as one of the very best. It might be a bit expensive, but the 10-year limited Weber warranty still backs you.

I recommend it for the quality features and the overall durability while providing a natural taste.

Sale
Weber 18-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker, Charcoal Smoker*
  • Material Type: Steel
  • The Weber Smokey Mountain charcoal smoker helps you achieve an authentic smokehouse flavor at home
  • It can accommodate a whole turkey and an entire ham at the same time. Item weight- 39.1 pounds
  • Made of porcelain-enameled steel, this smoker comes with 2 nickel-plated 18-1/2-inch-wide cooking grates
  • Includes a water pan, thermometer, individual vents on bowl and lid, and heat-resistant nylon handle

Conclusion

With this all being said, you should be ready to buy the best smoker for beginners. There are a few great features that will make your life easier when you are cooking your favorite meals.

I hope that some of these smokers appeal to you and would love to see any of your ideal smokers that we might have missed in the comment section.

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