If you have just stepped into the smoking and BBQing world, it’s quite challenging to figure out an ideal smoker. Based on the fuel type- there are pellet smokers, charcoal smokers, electric smokers, and so on.
But which fuel type is the most appropriate for absolute beginners? Moreover, it must be well equipped and easy to maintain.
On that note, we handpicked the 10 best smokers for beginners below based on their performances, ease of use, value-for-money, etc. Most importantly, the list includes products that make sure to bless your barbecued food with a flavorful aroma at any cost.
So, here we go with the top-quality smokers available for starters!
10 Best Smokers For Beginners To Spice Up The Smoking Game
Best Smoker for Beginners in a Video Review
Review of Best Smoker for Beginners
1. Easiest to Use- Masterbuilt 30″ Digital Electric Smoker for Beginners
If you prefer an electric smoker as a starter, no way you miss out on this digital electric one from Masterbuilt. Let’s check out its prime specifications below!
- Consistent cooking due to the thermostat temperature control
- Entirely insulated body for heat retention
- Side wood chip loading facility
- Four racks of ribs enhance the smoking capacity
- Easy on/off with the digital control panel
What if you use an electric smoker but you don’t need to open the door for loading wood chips? Wouldn’t it be great?
That’s what this irresistible digital electric smoker offers. There’s a patented wood chip loader by which you can thrash the chips inside.
Aside from that, we would like to praise the leg kit the smoker comes with. The kit includes wheels as well which makes the smoker mobile. And if you want to increase its height, that’s also possible.
Whether you want to smoke fish, meat, veggies, or something else- you will get a smoking mat with the package. Moreover, the heat-resistant hand gloves are truly praiseworthy for your safety.
Talking about the cooking capacity, you can smoke two turkeys, four pork butts, four racks of ribs, and six chickens at a time. That’s pretty convenient for a digital smoker with 45.9 pounds weight.
As an electric smoking kit, it’s quite easy to start by pressing the button. And the price is pretty reasonable as well!
However, it would be better if the makers included some handles to carry it comfortably. Apart from that, we highly recommend it for beginners, thanks to its super-efficient digital control panel.
2. Best Overall-Weber 14-inch Charcoal Smoker
While looking for smokers, affordability is an issue, be it for beginners or pros. On that note, Weber presents a cost-effective charcoal smoker to save your bucks. The core specifications are-
- Very easy to assemble
- Quite lightweight to be carried
- Includes user guide with detailed instructions
- A black charcoal smoker that comes with a mountain cooker and a cover
- 286 Sq. Inches grilling surface in total
If you want to smoke several items at a time, this charcoal smoker should be your first destination. It literally outplays any other contemporary cooker from different fuel ranges with its low and slow cooking performance.
Well, the first thing to notice about this Smokey Mountain Cooker is the consistent temperature. Furthermore, it is architectured with a porcelain-enameled finish which fights back rust, crack, and corrosion.
On the same note, it offers amazing heat control by adjusting the dampers. And the 14-inch cooker is a perfect size for most family BBQ events.
Most of all, there is no room for complaint of the food flavor as the smoker produces sufficient smoke.
Having the dimensions of 14.7″×14.7″×31.4″, the smoker is lightweight and easily portable. To add more, it comes with two cooking grates which is a great convenience.
Thanks to the removable door, you can adjust the heat whenever you need it. Weber outperforms other manufacturers by making this smoking grill in three different sizes- 14″, 18″, and 22″. So, pick the one you think is suitable for you.
Another great advantage of this smoking kit is that it can reach up to 190°F in terms of internal temperature. That means on one side, it’s perfect for low and slow cooking. On the other hand, your food will be well cooked with a savory smack with high heat retention.
The only disappointing fact is the water pan. If it were a bit smaller or placed a bit higher, the charcoal chamber could be more accessible.
Honestly, though that does not make this super serviceable smoker a deal-breaker!
3. Best Value for Money- Masterbuilt 30 Inch Analog Electric Smoker
Already met a digital smoker from Masterbuilt? Now, we have an analog one. Let’s check out what core amenities it has to offer.
- Three chrome-coated smoking racks for rust resistance
- Easy temperature control
- Built-in temperature gauge for heat measurement
- The polyurethane-coated cover is super durable
- Plenty of cooking surface
Who doesn’t want a hassle-free smoking experience while preparing their favorite BBQ items? That’s when this analog electric smoker from Masterbuilt comes in handy.
With all the advantageous features, you can consider it one of the best electric smokers for beginners, thanks to the easily explorable analog control panel.
In fact, temperature control is easier than ever with the analog dial. And the built-in temperature gauge makes sure you cook the food exactly how much cooking it needs.
Being powered by a corded electric source, you don’t need to struggle with charcoal or propane to start the fire. Just plug in it with the power source and it does the rest.
As there are three smoking racks, you can smoke multiple racks of ribs at once without any difficulty. That’s surely a big deal for a smoker under $200.
However, the temperature gauge doesn’t always show the exact result. Apart from this minor flaw, it’s a great value for money.
4. Most Versatile- Char-Broil Digital Electric Smoker for Beginners
Fourth on the list, let’s meet another digital smoker from one of the leading smoker makers, Char-Broil. The key features are as follows-
- Comes with a removable food thermometer
- The control panel is quite easy to read
- Suitable for cooking both on a small and large scale
- 725 square inches internal cooking space
- Very well-made with double-wall construction
Anyone looking for an extraordinary smoker for outdoor grilling? Consider yourself lucky as you get to know this super convenient, beginner-friendly appliance.
The most notable benefit of this smoker is the wide internal surface that allows smoking a versatile range of meat together. On top of that, you can set the required temp quite easily with the removable thermometer.
Another big amenity is the glass door. Isn’t it great to look at what’s happening inside while waiting for your desired grilled items?
And above all, you cannot but ignore the out if the ordinary smokey smack it delivers to the food. All credit goes to the smoke-tight seal due to the locking latch.
Similar to the z, it too has a grease tray to remove excess food grease.
Speaking of the negatives, it takes a long time to be preheated. Other than that, it can be a decent deal though!
5. Most Stylish- Pit Boss 2 Series Gas Vertical Smoker
Next on the lineup, we have an exclusive has smoker from Pit Boss, the uncrowned king of cooking and outdoor appliances. The key amenities are-
- Super stylish finish with a red semi-gloss outlook
- Adjustable 100°-350° temperature range
- Four porcelain coated cooking grids
- Hassle-free food transferring with the elevated frame
- 540 sq. inches cooking space inside
Upon exploring the prime specs it is designed with, everybody will agree that this smoker from the Pit Boss Red Rock series is the real boss as a smoking appliance.
On the bright side, it uses liquefied petroleum gas as fuel. And thanks to the dual burner system, it can cooperate with a versatile temperature range.
Do you know the most beneficial fact about this gas-powered smoker? It gives you external access to the wood chip drawer. So, refilling it with chips becomes a breeze.
Best of all, the wood chip tray is high in capacity. And between the dual valve burners, one is a wood chip burner of 3500 BTU and the other is for cabinet temperature of 10000 BTU.
To add more, we cannot but praise the push-button piezo ignition. It is responsible for fast and facile lighting.
That being said, both the valves are well-maintained with a single knob system. Besides, the high-temperature glass viewing window is a great inclusion on this high-performance smoker.
On a different note, one annoying issue is the heat control knob. We hope it was less touchy.
Keeping this minor flaw aside, we cannot but include it on the top ten list of best smokers for beginners.
6. Best Travel-Friendly- Traeger Grills Ranger Portable Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker
Sixth on the list, let’s meet one of the best pellet smokers for beginners. It’s a wood pellet smoker from Traeger in the color, black. The prime features are as follow-
- A convenient cook timer to monitor the procedure
- Cast iron griddles are durable and rust protective
- Porcelain-coated grill grates are easy to clean
- The digital Atlrc controller allows precise temperature control
- Very well-built to travel outside
Suppose, you are an avid traveler and always on the road. Besides, you love smoking and grilling more than anything. If that’s the situation, what could be your friend on the go other than this great Ranger from Traeger?
Using wood pellets as a heat source, the smoker makes sure to cook your food deliciously. Furthermore, it’s particularly made for the road as a portable package.
Although you can find the heavyweight ergonomics as an issue, actually it’s not. Rather, the sturdy architecture makes it safer to travel.
You can reach up to 450° temperature based on your necessity. And as the grill is blessed with 8 lbs pellet hopper capacity, rest assured your meal will bestrew the best smoky aroma ever!
Despite the positives, the expensive price tag might disappoint you. But don’t worry as it does justice to every penny you spend on it.
7. Most Innovative- Pit Boss 3 Series Digital Vertical Electric Wood Smoker
Do you want to take your backyard barbecue to the next level? Then try this Pit Boss Vertical Electric Smoker from their 3 Series Digital collection.
The key ergonomics it’s engineered with are-
- Five cooking racks with porcelain coating
- Large viewing window for monitoring the cooking process
- Easy to operate digital control panel
- Oversized front-load wood chip tray
- Elevated stand to load and unload things easily
Honestly speaking, you can smoke anything to your stomach’s desire with this multipurpose smoking appliance. Being engineered with advanced technology, it offers enough cooking room to smoke, grill, and barbecue with ultimate perfection.
Aside from that, the large wood chip tray is easy to refill as you have external access to it. Moreover, you can smoke for up to two hours with a single load. Isn’t that great?
Well, the most exciting inclusion is the five porcelain-coated racks that are pretty sturdy as well. Also, you can monitor the internal temperature with the programmable meat probe.
What is even more exciting is the digital control panel with push-button access. Besides, the operating temperature ranges from 100 to 400 that cooks fish, meat, vegetable, and anything you are craving.
As it includes a stand with rolling wheels, we highly recommend it if you are looking for a portable smoker.
Nevertheless, the only disappointment is that it doesn’t hold the temperature steady. In that regard, the Weber 14-inch Charcoal Smoker is a better buy.
8. Most Inexpensive- Cuisinart 16″ Charcoal Vertical Smoker
Looking for a decent smoker for your next family gathering? You can consider this small charcoal smoker from Cuisinart, the name that needs no introduction in the cooking appliance industry.
The core amenities are-
- Vertically hinged door for easy loading and unloading
- Two 16″ stainless steel racks for rust-free use
- Porcelain-coated steel water bowl
- Two air vents to control heat and smoke better
- 402 square inches adequate cooking space
Although the smoker is featured for professional chefs, beginners can easily operate it for user-friendly ergonomic design.
Living up to the reputation, this charcoal smoker can smoke meat, veggies, cheese, and any other food with an enchanting fragrance. Most importantly, you have complete control over the amount of heat and smoke, thanks to the air vents.
In fact, the vertical barrels make cooking a breeze by distributing heat evenly. You just need to light the charcoal and add some wood chunks. Two stainless steel racks let you place fresh foods evenly. You can even smoke a whole chicken at once.
Another big plus for this smoker is the vertical side door. It allows easy access to both water bowls and fuel.
Best of all, the lightweight design lets you carry it anywhere.
However, it would be great if the makers include a larger charcoal ring. Otherwise, adding fuel after every 4 to 5 hours seems annoying.
9. Best Multifunctional- Z Grills Portable Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker for Beginners
On the ninth spot, let us introduce a wood pellet grill that can turn your smoking game on. Let’s discover what it has in store!
- Engineered to last long with sturdy steel construction
- Digital temperature control system to maintain consistency
- 8-in-1 functionality to smoke, grill, roast, BBQ, and anything in between
- 202 sq. inches huge cooking surface
- Portable design makes it transport-friendly
Z Grills is a true giant in producing cooking and outdoor appliances. They prove it once again with this multipurpose wood pellet smoker.
To begin with the benefits, it comes with a rust-proof cover and racks to last longer than ever. You can smoke, grill, bake, roast, braise, sear, barbecue, and char-grill with an enchanting woody aroma that’s quite rare in a charcoal or gas grill.
Another noticeable feature is the digital temperature controller. Though the cooking surface is wide enough, you can maintain steady heat flow across it.
Therefore, you can cook anything to your heart’s content with the authentic hardwood flavor. Besides, the 180° to 375° temperature range is pretty good for a portable pellet grill like this.
Pretty similar to the Traeger Grills Ranger Portable Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker, it too has 8 pounds of pellet hopper capacity to smoke wide varieties of flavorful foods.
On the negative side, it’s a bit tricky to set it up. Other than that, the user experience is great!
10. Best All-Around- Masterbuilt 30″ Black Propane Smoker
Lastly, meet an exclusive propane smoker from Masterbuilt that exactly suits the beginners. Let’s check out what prime features it comes with.
- Four smoking racks with chrome coating
- Very easy to light the burner
- Two doors for easy access inside
- 30 inches propane smokers with stainless steel burner
- A built-in temperature gauge for precise temperature control
If you want an elegant smoker with classic design, go with this black one from Masterbuilt.
Living up to the expectations, it is facilitated with four premium smoking racks coated with chrome. Therefore, they are rust-proof and long-lasting.
At the same time, they avail enough room for smoking varieties of foods altogether.
On the same note, we are really satisfied with the stainless steel burner with 15,400 BTU output. And thanks to the push-button ignition, the burner lights up effortlessly.
Talking about the cooking capacity, you can smoke up to eight chickens, two turkeys, four pork butts, and four racks of ribs at once.
Although it requires a little bit of assembly, it wouldn’t take more than half an hour. Moreover, it comes with detailed instructions on how to set it up.
To add more, you will love the chip tray which is large enough. All you need to do is to set the smoker at a high temperature to produce good smoke.
However, it’s hard to get the racks in and out. Apart from that, it makes a great purchase though!
What Are the Different Types of Smokers for Beginners?
Basically, there are five different types of smokers a beginner can check out. They are-
If you want to create the best smoke ring, check out a charcoal smoker. Especially if you are an outdoor person, charcoal smokers work great to help in beginner’s BBQ parties.
With a pellet smoker, temperature control becomes a breeze as it has an auto temperature control system. You can literally set the fire and then directly dig in the meal once it’s prepared.
The only drawback is that they are more expensive compared to other types.
Compared to a charcoal one, a propane smoker is much easier to manage. Moreover, they are cost-effective as one propane tank lasts up to 15 hours.
If you prefer cooking for long hours with slow heat, electric smokers should be your first pick. As there’s no fire management, it’s more beginner-friendly than other smokers types.
Although people always look for the best beginner offset smoker when they think of barbecuing for the very first time, it’s not that beginner-friendly.
In fact, you’ll get frustrated after trying to do so many things traditionally. Be it wood or charcoal, we recommend avoiding reverse flow offset smokers for beginners.
Charcoal vs Wood Smoker
While comparing charcoal and wood smokers, we must say that both are incredible in their own way.
On one hand, the wood smoker is the most ancient type with a wide cooking space. Also, they are quite easy to clean and maintain.
On the other hand, charcoal smokers are messy. But they deliver the most distinct flavor when it comes to the final outcome.
In terms of wood smokers, you can add variation to the flavor by mixing different wood chips together. Aside from adding fuel once in a while, there’s no need to sit beside the smoker.
Besides, wood smokers produce little to no ash and grease which is a great convenience.
On the contrary, charcoal ones produce tons of ashes. So, it will give you a hard time while cleaning.
Therefore, if you prefer the ease of use and less clean-up, go for wood smokers. But if budget is an issue, charcoal ones save a lot as they are very affordable.
Tips for Your First Smoke
Before starting your first smoking, the following tips could save you from creating a mess-
- Be prepared to wait as smoking or BBQing will take time.
- If you are using wood pellets, go for oak, cherry, hickory, etc. Avoid using mesquite at the beginning.
- Make it low and slow. Only then the meat will have the traditional texture of barbecue.
- While cooking, don’t touch the meat at all. You don’t need to flip it.
- Make sure to maintain temperature consistency.
- The heat range should be somewhere between 200-250 degrees.
- Marinate the meat before putting it on the smoker.
Frequently Asked Questions of 10 Best Smokers For Beginners
On the final note, we would like to know whether you have overcome the fear of giving your very first smoker a try or not. Hope this guide helped you to decide on the best smoker for beginners.
So, why waste time. Go for the one that suits your needs and start experimenting right away!
For a budget-friendly pick, we highly recommend the Cuisinart 16″ Charcoal Vertical Smoker. If you are a travel buddy then go for the Traeger Grills Ranger Portable Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker. And for all-around performance, Masterbuilt 30″ Black Propane Smoker is a great deal.