Best Smokers for Beginners – Review & Buyer’s Guide

Ready to try out your first-ever smoked recipe? Of course, you are! No doubt, the tastiest smoked meat dishes are the perfect way to treat your friends and family on a weekend night. Not only are they delicious, but smoked meat is a much healthier alternative to fried meats.

However, to make sure to cook the perfect dish, you must have the ideal appliances other than just having the best ingredients and recipe, and this is where I come in!

To make sure you don’t have to fret about finding the perfect smoker for your first-time experience, I have tried and tested various brands so that you don’t have to! Here is a list of the ten best smokers for beginners that are sure to do the trick for you. These will help your first-time cooking experience become much easier and help ensure rich taste and flavor in your meat.

Best Smokers for Beginners Overview

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
Best Overall Best Overall Masterbuilt 20072115 Bluetooth Smart Digital Electric Smoker
  • Weight: 53.7 lbs.
  • Power Source: Corded Electric
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Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker
  • Weight: 50.2 lbs.
  • Power Source: Electrical
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Editor’s Choice Editor’s Choice Masterbuilt 20051311 GS30D 2-Door Propane Smoker
  • Weight: 49.86 lbs.
  • Power Source: Corded Electric
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Top Pick Top Pick Weber 711001 Smokey Mountain 14-inch Charcoal Smoker
  • Weight: 23 lbs.
  • Power Source: Charcoal
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Dyna-Glo DGX780BDC-D 36″ Vertical Charcoal Smoker
  • Weight: 56 lbs.
  • Power Source: Charcoal
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Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Char-Broil Offset Smoker
  • Weight: 69.4 lbs.
  • Power Source: Charcoal
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Premium Pick Premium Pick Z Grills ZPG-450A Smoker
  • Weight: 84 lbs.
  • Power Source: Wood Pellet
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Pit Barrel Cooker Smoker
  • Weight: 57 lbs.
  • Power Source: Charcoal
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Heavy Duty Heavy Duty Green Mountain Grills Davy Crocket Smoker
  • Weight: 71 lbs.
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Oklahoma Joe Combo Grill Smoker
  • Weight: 204.6 lbs.
  • Power Source: Propane
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10 Best Smokers for Beginners Review

Best Smokers for Beginners

1. Masterbuilt 20072115 Bluetooth Smart Digital Electric Smoker – Easiest Smoker To Use

Specifications:

  • Item weight: 53.7 pounds
  • Cooking space: 721 square inches
  • Color: Silver
  • Power source: Electrical (800-watt heating element)

Topping off the list with its outclass design and an outstanding 800-watt heating element is none other than the Masterbuilt 20072115 Bluetooth Smart Digital Electric Smoker.

Thanks to its spacious cooking area of exactly 721 square inches, you can feed a significant number of people with no problems at all! Also, the ability of this smoker to maintain 275 degrees Fahrenheit of temperature allows you to cook your dishes in no time thoroughly!

The Bluetooth feature of this smoker is what brings us to the smart part of this machine. Using this technology, you can literally convert your phone into a remote for the smoker. This lets you have access to controlling the device without having to go up to it every time. Temperature changing, managing settings, turning on and off make everything so simple!

Not to forget the viewing window, which is such a simple feature, yet it has such importance. Being a beginner, you may want to check up on your meat, but opening the door, again and again, can let out the smoke every time. This window lets you keep a check without having to do so hence giving you the perfect smoke every time.

What do we like?

  • Easy to clean
  • Portable
  • Easy transport
  • Easy start-up
  • Flat top
  • Adjustable heat

What don’t we like?

  • Cannot go beyond 275 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Small wood chip tray

Bottom Line

Thanks to the high-tech features of this smoker, it’s fantastic for use by amateurs who want to try out the smoking technique. The cool design and reasonable prices add to the attraction of the customer. I also noticed that the consistent heating technique helps ensure thorough and even cooking of the meat, giving it perfect juiciness and flavor every single time.


2. Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker – Best Beginner Smoker

Specifications:

  • Item weight: 50.2 pounds
  • Cooking space: 725 square inch capacity
  • Cooking racks: 4 adjustable racks.
  • Power source: Electrical

Next on the list of some of the most amazing beginner-friendly smokers is none other than the Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker.

Once again, it comes with this spacious cooking area of 725 square inches. So feeding several people at once isn’t going to be a problem.

With an 800 watts heating capacity, you are sure to get amazing smoked meat with the perfect taste and texture.

Other than that, the 4 adjustable cooking racks and viewing window help add to the convenience of this device. What makes this smoker stand out is its added wheels. So the weight of this appliance won’t really be a problem anymore as you can easily carry the appliance from one place to another.

Similarly, this smoker comes with a strong build with its stainless steel double-walled construction. This helps maintain temperatures for even cooking of the meat. So with the Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker, you can turn up that heat all you want. After all, that’s what will give your meat the ultimate smoky flavor you’re looking for!

What do we like?

  • It comes with a grease tray
  • Durable built
  • Removable Food thermometer
  • Wheels add portability

What don’t we like?

  • The water pan is small
  • The remote control is inconsistent

Bottom Line

The Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker is one of the most convenient smokers with its easy-to-adjust temperature controls. Not only does the strong build make it durable and long-lasting, but the additional features like the viewing window and wheels add all the more value to this product. Also, I found the grease tray very helpful for keeping the appliance clean and manageable.


3. Masterbuilt 20051311 GS30D 2-Door Propane Smoker – Best Type Of Smoker For Beginners

Specifications:

  • Item weight: 49.86 Pounds
  • Cooking area: 717 square inches
  • Cooking racks: : 3 chrome-coated racks
  • Power source: Corded Electric
  • Dimensions: ‎ 20 x 21.69 x 40.15 inches

Master built is no doubt one of the top manufacturers when it comes to high-quality smokers. Hence it’s no surprise that another one of its models makes it some of the best smokers for beginners.

The Masterbuilt 2-Door Propane Smoker comes with a 1500 watt heating element, making it excellent for some heavy-duty smoking action.

This smoker comes with various features adding to the convenience of this appliance for all the newbies. The built-in temperature gauge helps control extreme temperatures to ensure easy and even cooking of meat. Similarly, the wood chip tray allows easy removal of ash. Also, the three different racks provide ample space to ensure multiple smoking activities at once. So you can feed many people all without having them wait for long.

Last but not least, of course, you don’t want to make a mess while cooking your favorite foods. This is why the Masterbuilt  2-Door Propane Smoker comes with a grease tray that helps keep the smoker tidy by collecting all the residue. It ensures you enjoy the meat smoking experience instead of worrying about all the fuss that comes with other outdoor smokers.

What do we like?

  • Easy cleaning
  • Quick heating
  • Extreme temperature endurance
  • High-quality build

What don’t we like?

  • Temperature gauge can be unreliable
  • Can’t operate on low temperatures

Bottom Line

When looking for a heavy-duty smoker, the Masterbuilt 20051311 GS30D 2-Door Propane Smoker can be the perfect option. Despite being ideal for beginner use, at the same time, its heavy-duty features make it excellent for some extreme cooking. With its ability to handle high temperatures and its efficient design, you might even become a pro at smoking meat in no time!


4. Weber 711001 Smokey Mountain 14-inch Charcoal Smoker – Best Starter Smoker

Specifications:

  • Item weight: 23 Pounds
  • Cooking area: 286 Square Inches
  • Power source: charcoal
  • Color: black
  • Dimensions: ‎ 14.7″ W x 14.7″ D x 31.4″
  • Color: Black

The Weber 711001 Smokey Mountain tops the list among the best ones for beginners when it comes to charcoal smokers.

What makes this smoker stand out is the excellent construction that makes it superb for high-temperature cooking.

With the rust-resistant body and the plated grates, it’s sure to last you a long time even if you are no expert at your techniques.

Moreover, all these minor parts of the appliance are porcelain coated. This makes them not only durable but also extremely easy to clean. And trust me, using a charcoal smoker can get very messy, so this feature is way more necessary than it seems to be. Apart from this, the huge water pan saves you the time and effort from refilling the pan now and then.

Moving on, it is effortless to assemble, and the Online 3D instructions are all the more convenient. The slow cooking process may be a downside for some users. However, slow cooking does ensure more taste and better smoking, so definitely give it a try if that’s what you’re looking for.

What do we like?

  • Rust-resistant body
  • Easy cleaning process
  • Huge water pan
  • Highly accurate Temperature gauge

What don’t we like?

  • Not suitable for cold places
  • Inconvenient placement of the charcoal tray

Bottom Line

This appliance is perfect for those looking for their first charcoal smoker. It has a durable body that makes it excellent for first-time users with their rough and amateur use. Despite being a charcoal smoker, this machine makes it seem extremely easy to clean and handle. If all the instructions are properly followed, with this new smoker, you’re bound to get that fantastic Smoky taste that you’re looking for.


5. Dyna-Glo DGX780BDC-D 36″ Vertical Charcoal Smoker – Best Entry Level Smoker

Specifications:

  • Item weight: 56 pounds
  • Cooking area: 784 square inches
  • Cooking grates: 4 adjustable grates
  • Dimensions: ‎ 20.83 x 21.45 x 49.73 inches

If you are looking for the perfect smoker to start your food smoking journey but also want to stay on budget, this is the product for you.

The Dyna-Glo DGX780BDC-D Charcoal Smoker comes with all the best features without having a price tag that’s going to pierce through your wallets.

Moreover, what’s best about using this product is that it comes in a vertical design. Unlike the other smokers, this makes it easier to fit into smaller places, so you don’t have to worry about having sufficient space.

My favorite part about this product is the built-in ash and charcoal management system. With this easy-to-clean technology, yet again, you won’t be worrying about the mess that the charcoal from the smoker is bound to make. Having a charcoal chamber, grate, and ash pan, it has all you would need to get the device squeaky clean in no time!

Moreover, the Dyna-Glo DGX780BDC-D Charcoal Smoker has remarkable temperature controlling technology. It gives sufficient heating to ensure even cooking, yet it maintains a consistent temperature to prevent drying out the meat. Hence with such efficient performance, clearly, the lighter price tag does not seem to impact the product quality at all!

What We Like?

  • Easy cleaning system
  • Convenient design
  • Easy temperature controlling
  • Reasonable price

What We Don’t Like?

  • Construction not very durable
  • Insulation needs improvement

Bottom Line

This smoker is perfect for those who need compact appliances that won’t take as much space in their homes. Not only is this sure to fit in easily, but the effortless cleaning process helps keep maintenance accessible as well. Lastly, the ample cooking space also makes it a favorite for heavy-duty barbecue nights.


6. Char-Broil Offset Smoker

Specifications:

  • Item weight: 69.4 Pounds
  • Cooking area: 605 square inches
  • Cooking grates: 3 Porcelain-coated grates
  • Dimensions: ‎ 54.3 in w x 43.9 in H x 22.7 in D
  • Color: Black

With a cooking surface so big, the Char-Broil Offset Smoker is the perfect smoker for feeding a bigger crowd.

With rust-resistant cooking grates and a strong steel body, this machine is meant to last! The one-year warranty that comes with this machine is how you can be sure of that.

Moreover, the firebox features make it super easy to clean up after use. So you don’t have to worry about spending hours servicing it after every use. What is impressive about this device is the overall design. Along with an all-black super chic build, it comes with this attached compartment to easily store and prep items.

Similarly, the attached wheels add to the convenience of moving the appliance wherever you want. Hence the heavyweight of the machine is not much of an issue. And guess what the best part is, you get all these amazing features in an extremely affordable price range. So you don’t have to worry about investing much in your very first smoker.

What We Like?

  • Affordable price range
  • Ample cooking space
  • Convenient design
  • Perfect insulation

What We Don’t Like?

  • Heavy-duty requires better construction
  • Air can escape from the firebox

Bottom Line

This smoker comes with a fantastic design. It’s convenient in its design, easy to clean and the price range is perfect for someone ready to get their first-ever smoker. It also gives excellent insulation to ensure even and thorough cooking. If none of the top smokers is your favorite yet, this one has got to be the winner!


7. Z Grills ZPG-450A Smoker

Specifications:

  • Item weight: 84 Pounds
  • Cooking area: 694 to 1060 square inches
  • Power Source: Wood Pellet
  • Hopper capacity: 20-pounds
  • BTU’s /hour: 25,000

If you’re someone looking for the perfect blend between traditional smoking techniques and modern methods, this is the smoker for you.

The Z Grills ZPG-450A comes with an ultimate 8 in 1 package. This lets you incorporate so many different techniques to get the perfect piece of smoked meat at your table.

Despite such a variety of options, I noticed no compromise in the quality of smoking operation, i.e., temperature accuracy, sufficient area, durably built, and easy access; everything is spot on! Also, although it may seem like a complicated device with so much going on at once, the straightforward instructions make it incredibly easy to operate.

Moreover, the affordable price tag is another attraction for the customers that are making their first buy. Along with all the high-quality features, the company offers a warranty of 3 years with this product. This leaves you absolutely no room to doubt the incredible smoke that is the Z Grills ZPG-450A!

What We Like?

  • Precise temperature control
  • Sufficient warranty
  • Easy to operate
  • Reasonable price

What We Don’t Like?

  • Hopper could use bigger capacity
  • Frequent Pellet refilling needed

Bottom Line

This smoker comes with some of the most amazing user-friendly features like automatic ignition and led temperature dials. High tech features like these make it a favorite among many of the newbie chefs. Similarly, the modern upgrades that help keep a check on the heat and smoke production are also beneficial when smoking meat for the very first time.


8. Pit Barrel Cooker Smoker

Specifications:

  • Item weight: 57 Pounds
  • Dimensions: ‎ 21 x 21 x 31.1 inches
  • Power Source: Charcoal
  • Color: Black Porcelain enamel coating

Looking for the smoker that not only gets you good taste but also good looks? Well, this one for you then! The Pit Barrel Cooker is definitely going to catch your guests’ attention both for taste and aesthetics.

Its black manly appearance adds that wow factor to your backyard, making it the perfect addition to your weekend barbecue nights

With no complicated technology, this product comes with a simple yet classic design. The vents are easily adjustable that helps control the airflow to your liking. Also, the instructions are easy to understand and follow. This makes it perfect for beginners requiring no effort to set up and operate this device.

What’s amazing about this smoker is that it pays great attention to consistency and even cooking. This helps ensure that the smoked meat will turn out delicious as well as tender and juicy in texture. Nonetheless, it is portable, making it ideal for carrying around on trips for camping, etc.

What We Like?

  • Easy setup
  • Simple and minimalist design
  • Elegant looks
  • Instructions are easy to follow

What We Don’t Like?

  • Limited temperature range
  • Cleaning can be a fuss

Bottom line

Suppose you are someone looking for the most basic smoker design. You have come to your best pick. With minimum effort requirements, this device is easy to set up and easier to use. All you need to do is follow the instructions, and your good to go. Besides, it will definitely add to your home aesthetics wherever you place it nonetheless.


9. Green Mountain Grills Davy Crocket Smoker

Specifications:

  • Item weight: 71 Pounds
  • Dimensions: ‎ 28 x 20 x 14 inches

The Green Mountain Grills Davy Crocket may not seem like it, but it comes in a strong build that is good enough to give you a long-lasting life.

The stainless steel ensures lasting quality, and its tilted design makes it easy to clean regularly. This means you can spend less time worrying about cleaning up the smoker from time to time.

This smoker provides a wide range of temperature options for you to opt for the perfect smoking technique according to your liking. Moreover, it comes in a compact design. This means you can carry it in your car to places like camping spots to have a lovely barbecue night out with your family.

What’s most interesting about this device is the Wi-Fi technology that connects the owner to the smoker and lets them control it remotely. Personally, I found this feature extremely helpful because it makes cooking easier and much more fun!

What We Like?

  • Easy cleaning
  • Built-in wi-fi technology
  • Portable machine

What We Don’t Like?

  • Not water resistant

Bottom line

This machine is the perfect portable smoker. It’s small, and the foldable legs make it easier to pack and pop in the car trunk. In fact, it can also be charged with the car’s battery itself, making it all the more perfect. Its easy-to-use features and minimalist design make it perfect for trying out even for the first time.


10. Oklahoma Joe Combo Grill Smoker

Specifications:

  • Item weight: 204.6 Pounds
  • Cooking grates: 6 cast-iron grates
  • BTU: 36000
  • Item Weight: 204.6 Pounds
  • Power Source: propane

No doubt the Oklahoma Joe Combo Grill Smoker machine, being a commercial use machine, can be intimidating for an amateur at first.

However, it has straightforward instructions regarding the operation, so it isn’t complicated to control, even if you’re new to using a smoker.

The machine has a well-built body that ensures a durable structure. So if you’re getting this smoker, know that it’s going to last you a decent time. What I love about this smoker is the dual-chamber component. This allows you to smoke more batches of meat simultaneously, making quick and uninterrupted food service possible.

You would expect a heavy-duty smoker like this to get messy real quick; however, that’s not the case with the Oklahoma Joe Combo Grill Smoker. The efficient cleaning system ensures you have a tidy station at all times. The prominent downside of this smoker is that it may be a little heavier than similar designs. However, it comes with wheels to support it, which helps make movement easier.

What We Like?

  • Three temperature gauges
  • Porcelain-coated grates
  • Easy cleaning
  • Solid-body

What We Don’t Like?

  • Weak wheels
  • Temperature gauge unreliable

Bottom Line

Be it propane or charcoal; this smoker does a pretty good job in both the smoker categories. You can use either form depending on your preference, and either way, it’s sure to give you that perfect smoky taste and tender meat texture that you’ve been looking for.

Things to consider while choosing Entry-Level Smokers

There are a couple of things you must consider before buying your first smoker. One of these is identifying and selecting the right type of smoker for your use. There are various types of smokers, but the ones that I think work best are the electric, pellets, and then charcoal smokers.

Types of Smokers

1. Electric Smokers

Electric smokers are generally easier to use. They have straightforward buttons with basic instructions, and most of the operations are automatic. Hence electric smokers make the whole process much less complicated and hence more favorable for beginners.

2. Charcoal Smokers

Charcoal smokers are ideal for those who prefer the original Smokey flavor in their food. The real taste of the coal can only come from the coal itself. So if that’s what you are looking for, then a charcoal smoker is definitely the pick for you. Also, I noticed most of these have a smaller size, so they are easier to manage and accommodate.

3. Pellet Smokers

Pellet smokers are once again easier in their operation. They come with their own element of versatility that allows you to experiment with your food. However, this is a bigger investment, and one must look at several features before buying a heavy-duty pellet smoker intended for longer use.

Build quality of Smoker

The quality of the construction is something that requires great consideration. This includes looking for things like porcelain coating and stainless steel construction in your smoker of choice. However, if you’re unaware of how to ensure such specifications, you can always look for reputable brands as these companies ensure product quality and strong built.

Cooking Capacity of Smoker

Cooking capacity is highly prioritized when buying your smoker of choice. Especially when the guest count is generally higher, you may want to look for a smoker that can cater to a large volume of foods at once. The cooking capacity usually depends on the number of grills or racks. Generally, the more the racks, the more are the smoker’s capacity, so the number of grates should be considered during the purchase.

Versatile Efficiency of Smoker for Beginner

As time is changing, different companies are coming up with newer and improved versions of smokers. Each company keeps coming up with some innovation and keeps adding to the features of the smoker. These features include adding a better temperature control device or introducing smoke detection or automatic ignition, and much more. Depending on what technology is most necessary to you, you can select your perfect pick!

Price of Smoker

Depending on the number and quality of features each smoker offers, they all charge different prices. Some are more expensive than others, but the smarter choice is to buy a more reasonable one when it’s your first time. Being a beginner means several incidents of trial and error; hence it’s smart to practice in a low costing machine before you can polish your skill on a professionals expert version later on.

FAQs about Entry Level Smokers

Are vertical or horizontal smokers better?

Horizontal smokers can grill roast bake and whatnot, but the vertical smokers are definitely the superiors when it comes down to specifically smoking.

How do I choose a smoker?

Looking for good insulation, temperature control, and an efficient heat source are key points that can help you choose the perfect smoker for yourself.

What is the easiest thing for beginner to smoke?

Smoker sausages, smoked pork chops, and smoked chicken are some of the ways you can cook easily using a smoker.

Wrapping Up Good Smokers for Beginners Review

Undoubtedly, buying your first smoker can be a challenge and even a risk in terms of money. But I’m sure that after having gone through this list, you’re very well aware of some of the things you’re looking for and the smoker that is best for your first smoker dish. Here are some of my personal top picks

So what are you waiting for? Don’t hold back any longer. You know those barbecue nights are coming up soon, so get your top pick right now and get ready to make some of the most amazing smoked dishes that are gonna leave your friends and family in awe!

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