Smokers

Check the best smokers tips, reviews and deals from our experts.

BEST DEALS

We are constantly checking for the best deals and offers to ensure you can find the best one directly to your backyard.

COOKING PERFORMANCE

Slow-cooking low-temperature means getting the best tasty tender smoked flavor. Wood chips or pellets add the authentic  natural smoke flavor.

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FUEL TYPES

  • Electric: cheap and clean.
  • Gas: easy and clean.
  • Charcoal: authentic but needs attention.
  • Pellets: automatic great flavor.

COOKING SURFACE

There´s a good range on sizes to cover your needs. As it takes time is always worth it to smoke and preserve it.

TOPBBQs best tips to choose your smoker

What about the fuel, consider this:

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Gas Smokers

Gas smokers, generally use standard propane cylinders, for instance 1 pound (16oz) propane tank will allow you to grill for over 3 hours with burners on high.

Easy as using the hose regulator included with the smoker, simply attach the propane tank, and start enjoying.

Pellets Smokers

A pellet smoker offers the best of both worlds — electric controls with the authentic taste that wood pellets offer. They’re heated with wood pellets fed from a hopper and offer temperature control for long, slow smoking.

Wood pellets are available in a variety of wood types to impart unique flavors to food.

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Charcoal Smokers

A charcoal smoker is the most traditional option and provides the authentic flavor many grillers prefer. Charcoal smokers are typically more affordable than other smoker types, but there are some pricier charcoal smokers on the market.

Above all, heat control requires more attention as you have to work with the vents to control the oxygen flow.

Electric Smokers

Electric smokers are plug and play and very easy to control through a digital board.

You just have to provide water and wood chips and the electric element will add heat enough for a good result. It takes a bit more time with the ones with flames.

They are very easy to clean and have a great cooking surface with lots of racks.

Fuel types for smokers or ahumadores, tips and recommendations.

  • Pellets
  • Charcoal
  • Gas
  • Electric

Pellet Smokers or Ahumador

Here we are going to talk about the Pellet Grills since they actually combine elements of grills and smokers into one very good built cooking device.

This kind of smokers/grill has really become a hot trend into the BBQ world since they unify a lot of technology in a compact, useful, and versatile device. To use one at full potential, try to understand how they work.

First, understand you will use a combination of a smoker, charcoal or gas-fueled grill, and an oven into one apparatus that lifts up by using 100% natural wood pellets. These pellets are very popular nowadays since they are made using scents and flavors that get absorbed by the food, adding to it some special characteristics.

So, wood pellets are to be poured into a special container called a hopper. The pellets are then fed into a cooking chamber by an auger that is powered by an electric system.

Through combustion, the wood pellets ignite, heating the cooking chamber. Air is then brought in by intake fans. Heat and smoke are then dispersed throughout the cooking area. Much like an oven, pellet grills give you precise temperature control digitally or with a dial, usually ranging from 180°F to 500°F. So, you can cook using the low and slow method.

As a special feature, some pellet grills have a meat probe, which can be connected to the central temperature system to control the meats’ temperature.

Well now, as you can see, a pellet grill is absolutely a great choice regarding the BBQ world experience. These devices combine everything you need into one, you will be able to smoke food and grill it at the same time. We strongly recommend buying one of these if you have enough space and budget.

Gas Smokers or Ahumador

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Now, pay attention to the following words of advice: If you are looking for a smoker with simplicity and good flavor, on a modest budget, go buy a gas smoker.

Gas smokers are those devices that use a direct intake of gas (propane is the most used type of gas) as a heat source. This type of smoker is really well-received thanks to some features: produce a lot of clean heat, as well as you can control the amount of gas that comes into the smoking chamber, then controlling the cooking temperature inside the smoking system.

They are also sold in so many models and designs that everyone has a perfect match; you can find large smokers for big meals or restaurants as well as smaller ones to own at home. Let’s talk quickly about one of the most popular gas smokers in the market, the cabinet style smoker.

They have a burner at the bottom, usually made of brass or cast aluminum. This is very durable and has numerous jets (these jets can be opened or closed whenever you want to adjust inside temperature). Above the burner is a shelf for a pan for the wood you will use to smoke the food. Then above the wood, you will have to set up four or more shelves for the food.

The bottom vents cannot be adjusted to make sure the gas gets enough oxygen. At the top, there is either a chimney or a damper or two. You should always leave the top vent open all the way to prevent soot buildup on your meat.

Another advantage you will enjoy while using a gas smoker is that it is much easier to control the temperature of a gasser than a charcoal or wood-fueled smoker.

Also, propane smokers don’t require access to electricity as do pellets and electric smokers. This makes them more portable. And they are lightweight, although the cylinder tanks might weigh up to 20 pounds.

By the way, before using your gas smoker, always be sure to have 2 or 3 more propane cylinders to prevent running out of fuel in the middle of the smoking process.

Charcoal Smokers or Ahumador

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Those smokers in which you need to burn charcoal as a heat source are very common around the world. They are the first type of smoker ever built and their functioning is really simple. Nowadays there exist a lot of brands manufacturing a variety of models and designs of charcoal smokers, we are going now to review an example.

Vertical water Smokers like the Brinkmann Gourmet Charcoal Smoker are very popular amongst professionals and amateurs all around the world. The market for this kind of smokers is very large and moves very quickly since they are very useful, versatile, and less expensive than other types of smokers.

How does a vertical water smoker work?  That’s a really good question, let’s get it answered.

Every vertical water smoker is divided into three compartments, the bottom one is built to hold the fuel (in smokers like this one we are talking about, the fuel is charcoal) which is, of course, the heat source.

Above the heat source, you will find a water pan. Actually, this water pan is responsible for making the whole system work. How’s that? Well, this water pan we mentioned, stores and regulates the heat of the smoker, meanwhile deflects the direct heat from the source, as well as also provides a moist cooking environment that prevents the meats from drying out.  At last, over the water pan, we can find the smoking chamber itself.

To operate this system, all you need to do is build a fire using charcoal, fill the water pan, and throw on the meat.

This type of smokers have some advantages for you, advantages like a small size that fits every space you own, so they don’t take up a lot of space outdoors.

Because of their diminutive size, they tend to be more efficient than larger smokers, so they won’t need as much fuel or power to accomplish their tasks. Charcoal smokers are also among the least expensive smokers on the market since their working system is actually very simple, which means that charcoal smokers are very efficient, at low prices.

All of this makes a vertical water smoker the perfect starter smoker for the person who wants to give it a try but doesn’t want to make a big investment or does not have much space available for large smokers.

Electric Smokers or Ahumador

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We’ve been talking about a few types of smokers now, all of them use some kind of flammable intakes like charcoal or gas to produce heat but not all smokers use these. Now let’s introduce you to Electric Smokers.

Electric smokers use electric energy to produce heat and so, elevate the temperature to a cooking level to smoke or even grill (in some models) food.

Some have low, medium, and high settings which are really cool for your cooking desires and your pocket too since these settings can keep the electricity budget really low.

Now, we have to say that some electric smokers have thermostats that have a temperature probe inside the cooking chamber, and the probe turns the juice on and off to hold it at the desired temp. You can get pretty precise about the temp and the timing.

Important: Remember that as we mentioned before, heat in gas, pellet, and charcoal cookers comes from combustion which, when mixed with wood, produces gases that impart a distinct flavor to the food you are smoking.

In the case of electric smokers, heat comes from a glowing metal rod and, to produce smoke you need to add some wood or wooden pellets above the heat source (most electric smokers have a pan or any other device meant to hold the wood or the pellets).

Like a resume, after reading how does this type of smoker works, we could say that it is a very good choice for those who can’t have charcoal or gas as a heat source for any reason since all they need is the electrical intake to work.

Electric smokers are also very attractive thanks to their electric panels that allow you to control temperature and cooking time so, by acquiring an electric smoker you won’t have to worry about fire, checking the temperature of the fuel every hour and, of course, you won’t have ashes to clean after cooking.

We really hope you found this article useful and find the smoker that better suits you. Remember, smoking is a perfect way to grill and, there’s always the right smoker for you and your plans.

Smokers shape and operation

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Vertical Barrel Smoker

With 3 compartments, the bottom one holds the heat source, charcoal, then the body acts like a grill and could include racks and the cup helps circulating the heat. These are the cheapest.

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Barrel Grill Smokers

The cooking chamber is a long grated, metal barrel or box with a lift door and a smokestack. Attached to one end of the chamber is the firebox which has an access door and an adjustable vent. Work with pellets or charcoal.

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Box Smokers

Chamber insulation is the key in this kind of smokers and where the money is. They are quite easy to manage or even programme, usually electric or gas propane ones.

Kamado Smokers

Made of ceramic, these charcoal-fired grills need a plate setter to block direct heat. Adjusting the vents gives both high-temperature grilling and low and slow barbecue capabilities.

Vertical barrel smokers

How are they working?

A vertical water smoker is broken into three compartments, the bottom one holding the heat source. In smokers like the Brinkmann and Weber, that heat source is charcoal; other smokers have gas burners or an electric heating element. Above the heat source is a water pan—it is this water pan that makes the system work. The water pan stores and regulates the heat of the smoker, while deflecting the direct heat from the source and providing a moist cooking environment that keeps the meats from drying out. Above the water pan is the smoking chamber. To operate this, all you need to do is build a fire, fill the water pan, and throw on the meat.

Advantages or Pros.

Vertical water smokers are small so they don’t take up a lot of space. Because of their diminutive size, they tend to be more efficient than larger smokers, so they won’t need as much fuel or power to run them. They are also among the least expensive smokers on the market. All of this makes a vertical water smoker the perfect starter smoker for the person who wants to give it a try but doesn’t want to make a big investment.

Not that good.

There are a few negatives to a vertical water smoker, such as limited temperature control and its small size. The Brinkmann, for example, has no adjustable vents; it is designed to work in the ideal smoking temperature range, but it can be difficult to control until you really get the hang of it. The small size of the unit can also be limiting—most of these smokers come with two racks, one in the middle of the barrel and one on top, but to access the lower rack you have to remove the top one. If that rack has food on it, this can be tricky. And because they are generally small, vertical water smokers cannot smoke a lot of food at once. A couple of racks of ribs, maybe two briskets, or a pair of pork roasts. While this will certainly serve most families, it doesn’t provide for a lot of barbecues considering that you may be cooking all day and plan on leftovers.

One of the biggest disadvantages of the vertical smoker is that every time you lift the lid you lose almost all of the heat in the smoker. While the water pan can store heat, it does take time for the temperature to recover.

Barrel Grill Smokers

How do they work?

An offset smoker (commonly called an offset) is a two-part smoker. The main cooking chamber is typically a long grated, metal barrel or box with a lift door and a smokestack. Attached to one end of the cooking chamber is the firebox which has a top or side access door and an adjustable vent. Heat and smoke created in the firebox enter the cooking chamber through a small hole between the two spaces. Smoke then travels out through the smokestack, typically on the other end of the cooking chamber.

When people think of offset smokers, they typically think of a round, barrel design. It can be argued, however, that the Good-One Smoker, like the Good-One Open Range, are offset smokers even though they are shaped more like a toolbox. You have a separate cooking chamber and firebox and the same airflow, but the Good-One has a square firebox that runs parallel to the cooking chamber. Good-One Smokers also have the key ingredient that makes a great offset: thick metal. Thin metal smokers cannot hold heat.

The best quality

A better offset smoker model has doors and seams that seal tightly. This not only keeps the smoke where you need it but also improves the airflow of the smoker making it more efficient. A better offset also uses reverse flow to solve the problem of uneven heating and eliminate that nasty radiant (infrared) heat from the firebox. This modifies the basic design by placing a sheet of metal in the bottom of the cooking chamber. Now heat and smoke travel from the firebox under this sheet to the opposite side of the cooking chamber before rising to the food and traveling back toward the firebox where the smokestack should be placed. Reverse flow heats the cooking chamber indirectly and allows a cooler smoke to flavor the meat. Look for an offset smoker with the smokestack near the firebox.

Pros and Cons

Unfortunately, for the consumer, the best way to tell a good offset smoker from a bad one is to fire it up, which means you’ve probably already made the purchase at that point. A bad offset leaks smoke through the doors and the connection between the firebox and the smoking chamber. The only place smoke should be seen coming out from an offset smoker is from the smokestack. The second problem with offset smokers is uneven heating. Temperatures near the firebox in poorly designed offsets can be 100 F (38 C) more than the temperature on the other end. Some inexpensive offsets are also constructed of thin metal, which does not retain heat well.

The simple truth is that there are a number of inexpensive offset smokers on the market that are not engineered well enough to be classified in the good category and need to be modified to work effectively. This has led some people to dismiss the offset smoker entirely, which would be a shame since some of the best smokers on the market are offset smokers.

Box Smokers

How are they working?

There are few things in this world simpler than a box. Box smokers (also known as vault smokers, cabinet smokers, block smokers) are basically a box with a heat source in the bottom and cooking chamber on the top. Because the heat source is directly below, like in a vertical water smoker, the heat is conserved. The one issue that separates good box smokers from bad ones (like the Camp Chef Smoke Vault, on the low end of the scale) is the insulation. While all box smokers have a lot of similarities, if you set a Pitmaker Vault next to a Stumps Vertical next to an FEC-100, you have smokers that look alike but operate very differently. 

Advantages or Pros.

The better box smokers cost a lot more, but they do produce large amounts of great barbecue in a highly controllable environment. If you need to smoke barbecue for a competition, catering, or a restaurant, these smokers can be the most dependable and easiest-to-use smokers on the market.

The Stumps Vertical Smoker is, like the other good box smokers, highly insulated. The standout feature on this smoker is the gravity feed charcoal system. Charcoal loaded into the back feeds down into the combustion chamber allowing for long smoking times. It is the level of oxygen inside the smoker that regulates charcoal consumption. Simple and brilliant. Stumps smokers, like the FEC, are popular with barbecue champions.

Not that good.

There are a number of box smokers sold in big box stores that are simply worse than less expensive vertical water smokers. This is because they have no insulation, thin metal, and a poorly fitting door. Typically gas or electric, this type of box smoker is nothing more than a burner or heating element inside a metal box that you can put meat in, with wood chips held over the heat to smolder. A little breeze or light rain and these smokers lose heat. You would do better with the more efficient shape of a round smoker.

Kamado Smokers

Made of ceramic, these charcoal-fired grills need a plate setter to block direct heat

How are they working?

Before you can effectively smoke in most of these grills, you need something to block the direct heat. Big Green Egg calls this a plate setter (other Kamado makers have similar products). This indirect baffle blocks the radiant heat of the burning charcoal and lets you cook indirectly. Adjust the vents to hold a low and slow temperature and you have a smoker worthy of use in any barbecue competition.

Advantages or Pros.

Because Kamado grills are capable of hitting temperatures over 750 F (400 C), they are excellent grills. Add to this the low and slow capabilities and you have the most versatile outdoor cooker on the market. Kamado grills tend to be very durable (unless you drop them) and are rather attractive.

When compared with other charcoal grills, Kamado grills are considerably more expensive. Of course, when balanced with the advantages they can be worth the investment if you are a heavy user. The other disadvantage can be the size. While perfect for a backyard barbecue, the space limitations of most Kamado grills doesn’t give you the area to do a lot of barbecues, so while you will see these at barbecue competitions, the competitors typically bring several to gain enough surface area.

In short Kamado Smokers ( or ahumador) and grills

If you want a single unit that gives both high-temperature grilling and low and slow barbecue capabilities, then the Kamado grill is the best bet. There are a number of manufacturers on the market, but it is best to purchase one of these from a reputable and specialized dealer who can provide assembly and delivery, as well as support and accessories.

Choosing the right smoker.

There are many kinds of smokers in the market, find the one for you.

Smokers come in a range of sizes. You can either shop smokers by the number of cooking racks or the total smoking area (in square inches) that best suits your needs.

Small smokers can provide enough food for a family, while some larger options can cook enough to feed an entire party. If you’re busy and can’t be home to watch your smoker all day, you may want to choose a meat smoker with smart technology that will allow you to turn the smoker on and off and monitor the temperature from away. 

Digital controls, temperature and fuel gauges, meat probes and viewing windows are other features that make smoking fail-proof.

Top Smokers Brand

Take your bbq party to the next level

Make your barbacue party top with a smoker, slow cooking for a unique flavour.

Smokers cook food at a low temperature and create an unmistakably smoky flavor. The key with smokers is to cook food — ribs, brisket, chicken, fish and even veggies — low and slow for optimal taste. There are several types of smoker grills available, including electric smokers, wood and charcoal smokers and pellet smokers. Not sure which one is right for you? Read more about our different smokers for sale to help you decide.

Types of BBQ Smokers

Electric Smokers:

An electric smoker requires an electrical outlet for power, so it’s not a good option if portability is important to you. But one benefit of an electric smoker is that you’ll never need to have propane handy. Want to control the temperature and monitor your smoker from a smartphone or device? The Masterbuilt Electric Smoker (John McLemore Signature Series) is equipped with Bluetooth smart technology to help you achieve perfect results, wherever you are.


Charcoal Smokers:

A charcoal smoker is the most traditional option and provides the authentic flavor many grillers prefer. Charcoal smokers are typically more affordable than other smoker types, but there are some pricier charcoal smokers on the market.


Pellet Smokers:

A pellet smoker offers the best of both worlds — electric power with the authentic taste that wood pellets offer. They’re heated with wood pellets fed from a hopper and offer temperature control for long, slow smoking. Wood pellets are available in a variety of wood types to impart unique flavors to food.


Propane Smokers:

A propane smoker uses either a propane tank or natural gas as fuel. It offers great heat control and can reach an ideal temperature relatively quickly. One benefit of a propane smoker is that it can be placed anywhere outside

Smokers, take your BBQ to the next level

A smoker, in the context of the BBQ world, is an outdoor cooking appliance built to keep low cooking temperatures for extended periods, while producing smoke and holding it around the meats for its absorption. Like a resume, a good smoker has a single task: Accomplish that process efficiently while providing enough space to produce the amount of barbecue needed.

It is no secret at all that barbecue food tastes incredible, and eating smoked or grilled food is for sure an exquisite experience. We would like to introduce you to the amazing world of Smokers through some paragraphs.

First, we will talk about some different types of Smokers while explaining some of their characteristics. Then we’ll find ourselves talking about some advantages you will enjoy when using them and, at last, a quick explanation of how they work. Let’s get it started.Why do I want to have a smoker?

Smokers are exactly what they sound like, what does that mean? Well, that means that they represent a low temperature way to grill food, willing to cook it to end up fully of smoky flavor. Sounds delicious, huh?

You really want to have a smoker because it will help you to cook lovely and delicious barbeque at low temperatures in a controlled (some smokers provide more control over these features than others) smoky environment and cooking temperature.

In case you want to compare smokers to grills, you have to know that just like the second ones, smokers have been evolving to provide the greatest cooking experience. They also started using wood to produce smoke, and now they use pellets and wood chips to produce such a variety of exquisite flavors and scents.

Nowadays you’ll find a large variety of smokers, to accomplish the expectations of every single person who wants to go into the smoking way of grilling. Some smokers are large and meant to cook for a crowd outdoors, producing a lot of smoke and heat. But, there are even small smokers, nearly smokeless electric units on the consumer market today, built for those people who wish to cook something nice and warm inside the house or apartment.

How does smoking work on food?

The popular term for smoking meat among experts is low and slow and that can give you an idea of what’s this about. This name means that when you smoke meat you have to set the temperature near to the lowest amount of degrees that work for cooking, and you smoke the meat for days or sometimes it may even take weeks to cook it.

Essentially what happens inside the smoker grill is a thermophysical process in which you put either wood or charcoal in a box (a part of the smoker). Then, ignite the fuel and allow it to burn continuously.

It takes a few days to weeks to accomplish the smoking process, but the tradeoff is that the barbecue will taste great, and will be so soft to chew compared to other methods of grilling meat that you’ll thank forever that day in which you decided to buy a smoker.

FEATURES & BENEFITS:

  • produces smoke for up to 11 hours on 15 oz of A-MAZE-N-PELLETS.
  • Smoke Generator creates clean smoke!
  • Cold Smoke Meat, Fish, Cheese, Nuts and More!
  • Hot Smoke your favorite foods – See FAQ’s for more information
  • Constructed of Stainless Steel – Durable and will not rust
  • Small, light and portable
  • Can be used in a smoker or grill
  • No holes to drill
  • No cords to plug in
  • AMNPS 5 x 8 Pellet Smoker Burns Pellets or Sawdust
  • Produces very little heat
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to clean – NO “GOOEY MESS”!

Burns Pellets or Sawdust