Best Smokers For Beginners Consumer Ratings & Reports 2021
Finding the right smoker is definitely not easy, and it becomes even more difficult if someone is buying it for the first time. If you too are in a dilemma as to which brand of smoker you should be buying, then you will get answers to all your questions today. By the end of this guide, you will be enlightened about the best smokers for beginners. Smokers come in all shapes, sizes, and prices, so it is up to you to decide as to which smoker fits in your requirements in the best way. You need to outline the tasks that you’ll be doing on the smoker and based on those, you can select the one that you are fully satisfied with. Now, in this guide, you will find five smokers that I believe are the best smokers for beginners. If you are looking to buy a smoker, then you can surely take a look at the ones given below.
Reviews Of 5 Best Smokers for Beginners Consumer Ratings & Reports
1. Weber 721001 Smokey Mountain Cooker 18-Inch Charcoal Smoker - "Best Charcoal Smoker for Beginners"
This smoker is all about an incredible design and high-quality material. The first thing that you’ll notice about this smoker is its bullet shape, which is quite unique and helps circulate the heat in a better way. This smoker makes use of charcoal as its fuel, which makes it a user-friendly unit. This smoker is perfect for low and slow barbecue cooking as the temperature ranges between 225 degrees Fahrenheit to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
The smoker is porcelain enameled, which makes the unit durable and long lasting. This is a simple machine, which is why it is on our list of the best smokers for beginners. A value for money smoker, you should definitely take a look at this one when searching for smokers on the market.
Reasons To Buy Weber 721001 Smokey Mountain Cooker 18-Inch Charcoal Smoker
Rust-Resistant Aluminium Heat Shield
The build quality of a smoker is of paramount importance because if the material used in the smoker is not good, then it won’t last long, plus it will have all sorts of problems. Fortunately, this smoker from Weber is shielded with rust-resistant aluminum, which will not give any of those issues. Along with that, porcelain-enameled steel on the unit ensures the heat in the cooking area.
Heat-Resistant Nylon Handles and Two Nickel-Plated Cooking Grates
Moreover, the inclusion of nylon handle allows you to touch the unit as it becomes resistant to heat. There are two nickel plated cooking grates as well, which are 18.5 inches wide to make sure that enough food is cooked at a time.
Large Cooking Space
This smoker is going to allow you to cook more than a couple of slabs of steak at a time. All thanks to the big cooking space of the smoker, i.e., 481 square inches. With more food being cooked at a time, you will have to spend less time on the smoker.
Plenty Of Accessories
With this smoker, you are getting a built-in thermometer, a water pan, a storage cover, vents on the lid and bowl. What these accessories will do is that they make smoking your favorite meals a lot easier. The role of the water pan is to create an indirect cooking environment, which is crucial when smoking steaks. Drippings from the meat are also caught by the water pan, which otherwise would hit the coals and result in unintentional flare-ups.
To measure the temperature of the food, the company has provided a built-in thermometer, so you can use that thermometer in order to get the exact idea as to how much the food has been cooked and how much more time it requires. The two vents in the unit balance the temperature when cooking the food, with the top vent being used for fire tuning and the bottom one as a crude regulator. The storage cover protects the smoker from dirt and unwanted particles that may harm the machine and reduce its life.
2. Camp Chef SmokePro DLX 24 Wood Pellet Grill Smoker - "Best Pellet Smoker for Beginners"
This smoker is also immensely popular on the market. This high-quality product consists of multiple features that make cooking easy and convenient. Whether we talk about the large cooking space of the smoker or the auto-start ignition system, everything in this smoker is just incredible. Let’s go through some of the reasons to consider this smoker.
Reasons To Buy Camp Chef SmokePro DLX 24 Wood Pellet Grill Smoker
Design & Build
The design of the unit clearly indicates that the smoker is built to last. The body of this smoker is made of a top-quality material, which doesn’t just make the unit durable, but also elegant.
I can’t stress enough on the importance of having a temperature probe, so the company has added a digital temperature, which will let you know as to what the temperature of the food at different times. With this, you get more control over the food that is being cooked on the grates.
Power Failure Restart
One of the major highlights of the product is its ability to restart the process, which stopped due to power failure. You don’t have to manually light up the fire or press any button, as the machine is smart enough to begin the process.
Dashing LED Panel
You will be attracted towards the LED panel of the unit because it is damn beautiful, but at the same time, it displays all vital info including auto-start ignition and temperature display, which makes cooking a whole lot easy.
Ease Of Use
This unit heats up quickly and allows you to set a temperature between 160 degrees Fahrenheit to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Moreover, you don’t have to stay close to the unit in order to add pellets or check the temperature, thus making the operation user-friendly.
Easy To Clean
With the majority of pellet smokers having a drawback of ash being accumulated at the bottom, it makes the cleaning process of the smoker a bit tedious. However, the designers of this smoker have diligently thought about that drawback and came up with a feature that doesn’t let that happen. This smoker has an advanced ash cleaning mechanism, which is also patented by the company because nobody else has the same. Therefore, you can imagine how easy and convenient it is to clean the ash after you are done cooking the food.
Simple Temperature Controls
The smoker constitutes a dial system that offers two pre-set temperatures along with varied modes using which you can cook any type of food. There is a ‘Cooldown Function’ in the unit that lowers the temperature automatically in case you leave the food inside the smoker and forget.
3. Masterbuilt 20075315 Front Controller Smoker - "Best Electric Smoker for Beginners"
Not just an ideal smoker for beginners, but a very useful one for experts as well. This electric smoker has got a perfect blend of features to make cooking easier and more exciting. This is a medium-sized unit that you can easily move from one part of the house to another. The smoker sports heavy duty wheels that help the unit move easily even on rough and uneven surfaces.
It can easily fit average sized kitchens and patios, so dramas in terms of where the smoker should be kept. For those who are looking for a smoker with large cooking space, this smoker will definitely not disappoint them, as it consists of 975 square inch of cooking area that ensures a large amount of food being cooked at a time.
Top Reasons To Buy Masterbuilt 20075315 Front Controller Smoker
Full Foam Insulation
You will see the inclusion of full foam insulation technology in this amazing unit. The exterior of the smoker is thickly insulated, which helps it hold heat in a much better way.
A digital control panel has been installed on the unit that makes smoking much easier. You can control cooking time, meat temperature, cooking temperature, power and internal light of the unit.
RF Remote Control
This has become a norm these days, so I’m not surprised seeing it with this smoker. With this remote, you can change the power, timer, cooking temperature and internal light, etc.
Front Access Drip Pan
While cooking, it becomes important that you check up the drip pan, so the company has installed a door to the drip pan, which you can open to check the pan. This also makes cleaning the drippings easier.
A large cooking area is definitely a top reason to buy this smoker. You will get 975 square inches of cooking space that can fit approximately 50 lbs of meat a time. There are four adjustable cooking racks, which you can remove if you have bigger slabs of meat to cook.
Built-In Meat Probe
Besides an internal thermometer, you will get a meat probe in this unit, which will help you measure the temperature of the food that is being smoked.
A sturdy handle and heavy-duty rear wheels make the smoker easy to move from one place to another.
By versatility I mean, the ability of the smoker to use any wood chips, and not the ones that are sold or referred by the company. This smoker uses any type of wood chips, so no need to waste hours and hours in the market finding a specific brand or type of wood chips.
Cleaning, Maintenance & Storage
This unit can fit in a medium-sized kitchen or patio, so no need to worry about the storage. Moreover, cleaning and maintaining this smoker is also easier compared with a number of other smokers.
4. Weber Spirit II E-310 LP Outdoor Gas Grill - "Best Gas Grill for Beginners"
Weber has launched Spirit II E-310 gas grill a few years ago, but there has been a new version launched by the company that is significantly different from the previous model.
However, the cooking space is the same, i.e., 529 square inches, which is divided into two parts, i.e., main cooking area (429 square inches) and heated rack (105 square inches. A perfect smoker for the beginners who like to cook for 4-6 people Some other highlights of the product include GS4 Grilling System or iGrill3, which is going to make cooking a lot easier.
Moreover, a 10-year warranty on all parts of the grill is a big plus because if you’re a beginner, then you may damage a part or two, but you now will not have to worry about the repair or replacement cost. The warranty period is way more than any other company.
Top Reasons To Buy Weber Spirit II E-310 LP Outdoor Gas Grill
GS4 Grilling System
Although this system is similar to the previous model, there is a difference in the firebox. In this model, you will see a cast aluminum firebox with a funnel-shaped bottom compared to cast aluminum firebox with a large, slide out grease tray in the previous model. The heat radiates even more evenly in this unit, plus it is easier to clean as well.
Reversible Porcelain Enamelled Cast Iron Grates
Though these are not unusual, the grates used in Weber Spirit II E-310 are a bit different. These grates will transform dull and tan meat into a scrumptious delight because of Maillard reaction. The flat side of the grate is made of half cast iron that ensures better heat conduction and searing. The other half is open for convention and radiant cooking.
iGrill3 Digital Thermometers
These incredible thermometers give accurate readings of the temperature at which the meat is being cooked. You can download the iGrill3 app in order to check the temperature of the food on your mobile device as well. You just need to place a digital probe on the cooking surface and dial up the right temperature of the oven with the other probe inserted into the food to monitor the internal meat temperature.
Even the previous ignition was good, but this new ‘Infinity Ignition’ is even better. You will find it to be more robust and consistent. You will definitely be impressed with the impeccable performance of this new ignition system.
Racks & Shelves
This smoker includes a fold-down left side shelf and a warming rack. Both left and right side shelves come with integrated tool hooks. This allows you to hang a few cooking tools for fast access.
5. Char-Broil Gas2Coal 3-Burner Liquid Propane And Charcoal Hybrid Grill - "Best Propane Grill for Beginners"
This smoker from Char-Broil is an interesting choice because it runs on both, charcoal and liquid propane. It is a hybrid grill, so you can easily convert it from a charcoal grill to a gas grill without using any tools. If you are comfortable with charcoal grilling, then you can use it that way, but if you think, you’ll do better on a gas grill, then connect a liquid propane tank along with the smoker.
Regarding the cooking surface that you’ll be getting in this machine, then that’s 540 square inches out of which, 420 square inch is the main cooking area and the other 120 square inch is the warming rack. It has got three stainless steel main burners that have a heat capacity of 40,000 BTUs. Moreover, there is a side burner as well, which is also made of stainless steel but has a capacity of 12,000 BTUs.
Grates are made of cast iron but coated with porcelain. Therefore, the look and the feel of this smoker gives the impression that it is a robust unit, which is going to last for years. When using this smoker with LP, you can stow the charcoal tray underneath the unit.
Top Reasons To Buy Char-Broil Gas2Coal 3-Burner Liquid Propane and Charcoal Hybrid Grill
Uniquely Designed Charcoal Tray
In order to ensure that there are hardly any flare-ups, the company has designed a special charcoal tray. Therefore, when using the smoker in charcoal mode, this tray will come in handy.
Large Cooking Space
This smoker will feed half a dozen people at a time quite easily. The total cooking area of the unit is 540 square inches, out of which, 420 square inches is the main cooking area and 120 square inches is warming rack.
Storage For Charcoal Tray
If using the smoker on liquid propane, then you can store the charcoal tray in a compartment right below the ‘Gas2Coal’ logo.
With electronic ignition system, you don’t have to worry about how to light the fire to begin the cooking process. Just push the button and the fire will light up.
Lid-Mounted Temperature Gauge
Seeing the importance of determining the temperature inside the grill, the company has provided a lid-mounted temperature gauge, which will also allow you to keep a track of the pre-heat status.
Large Side Shelf
If you want to prepare for the meals on the smoker only, then you can make use of the side shelf, which is quite large and offers a great deal of work.
What Qualifies For The Best Smokers For Beginners?
A smoker needs to have the following features in order to be called the best smoker for beginners. These are;
Ease Of Use
For entry-level users, an easy to use smoker will not just make them familiarize with the machine, but also inject a sense of confidence in their minds.
As beginners are buying a smoker for the first time, it is important that they open their hands on a machine that is less pricey. This way, if they damage any part, they will not have to pay a hefty price on repairs and replacements.
Source Of Heat
Smokers these days come in various fuel types such as charcoal, pellet, electric and gas (natural gas and propane), but the easiest ones to use are propane or electric smokers. Reason being, the familiarization of the users with electric or gas cookers. But, this is a personal choice, so whatever an individual is comfortable with, he/she should go with that.
Buying a smoker that just smokes the meat is no fun at all. A smoker should be able to BBQ, braise, sear, smoke, and bake as well. It’s a learning experience for users, so if they are able to learn a few other types of cooking styles, then there is no harm it that, right!
Size And Build Quality
While it is better to go for a small smoker, but a smoker that fits in the space that you have designated for it will be fine. However, users must not go for the biggest machines that are available on the market because those will further confuse them. Regarding the build quality, you should only buy the smoker that is made of cast iron and/or stainless steel with a coating of porcelain. These materials will ensure that the smoker stays intact for a long time.
A smoker that is easy to move from one place to another is always better. You need to check in the shortlisted smoker when it has got a pair of sturdy wheels and handles for easy maneuvering or not.
Cooking is all about playing with temperature, so a smoker that has easy temperature controls is the one you should be considering. Check if the smoker has got a digital thermometer in its list of accessories, and if it does, then that’s the smoker you need to go for.
Like I said above, it is not going to be easy to find the best smokers for beginners, but then, the information provided in this guide will make your task significantly easier. Five products that I have discussed are the best that are available on the market, so you need not have to look beyond these products. Just go through the info of each product and then, make your decision as to which smoker you want to go with.
Last Updated on May 11, 2021