Best Smokers For Beginners

Published Categorized as Grills and Outdoor Cooking, Appliances, Guide

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The best smokers for beginners allow you to take a deep dive into the tasty world of real, low, and slow barbecue. Just the thought of indulging yourself in a chunk of brisket or fish that melts in your mouth is enough to get your belly to rumble, right?

No doubt, smoking is not only delicious but immensely rewarding. But if you’re new to it, there are certain mistakes that you want to avoid to ensure you always get the best possible results (when smoking turkey or even smoking jerky for example). And this is especially true in terms of choosing the right equipment.

Table of Contents

Most smoker newbies make the mistake of buying the first barbecue smoker they see without doing their research first. So to make your life easier, we did all the digging for you to help narrow down your decision:

  • Our Pick: Classic Pit Barrel Cooker Package
  • Runner Up: Weber Smokey Mountain Charcoal Smoker
  • Weber Original Kettle 22-Inch Charcoal Grill
  • Camp Chef SmokePro Pellet Grill
  • Dyna-Glo Charcoal Offset Smoker
  • Masterbuilt 30-Inch Digital Electric Smoker

These smokers for beginners are not only convenient but easy to use and simple to assemble.

In a hurry? This is our winner!

Runner Up

Best Smokers For Beginners – Comparison Table

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Best Smokers For Beginners – Reviews

Our Pick


Pit Barrel Cooker Classic Package - 18.5 Inch Drum Smoker | Porcelain Coated Steel BBQ Grill | Includes 8 Hooks, 2 Hanging Rods, Grill Grate and More
Our rating:

The Classic Pit Barrel Cooker is your usual kind of set it and leave it best smokers for beginners. Hence, you don’t have to worry about continuously making adjustments to ensure your food is cooked to perfection.

This award-winning smoker has a simple barrel design with a couple of hanging rods and 8 stainless hooks. These enable you to hang your food and leave it to cook. Likewise, it includes a charcoal basket, wooden hook, grill grate, and a 3-point barrel stand. 

What’s great about the Pit Barrel smoker is that it comes with a design that makes it extremely easy for anyone to use. Its 30-gallon porcelain-coated steel drum has a solid construction that can last for many years. This alone makes it one of the most sought-after smokers today. 

Moreover, the cooker is created with a Hook-and-Hang system, where it positions your meat at the heart of the smoke and heat. This allows for even and shorter cooking and smoking, as well as stable temperatures.  

Thereby, you can expect your meal to be perfectly cooked with amazing flavors. Meanwhile, its standard grill grate provides you the option to combine it with hooks you can make meals for 12 or more people at the same time. 

What’s more, this charcoal smoker for newbies portable. You can easily move it around anywhere you want. And since it has a vertical style, you’ll be saving on space as well.

Pit Barrel Cooker Classic Package - 18.5 Inch Drum Smoker | Porcelain Coated Steel BBQ Grill | Includes 8 Hooks, 2 Hanging Rods, Grill Grate and More
  • EFFORTLESS: Whether you’re new to outdoor cooking or an expert trying to perfect your craft, cook perfectly every time with the Pit Barrel's 360º All-Round Heat Dynamics. Our vertical barrel cooker technology produces consistently great-tasting, flawlessly cooked meat, veggies, and more
  • VERSATILE: The cooking possibilities are endless. For the perfect smoked meat, grill or hang ribs and brisket using the hooks and steel grill grate or use our custom GrillGrate for sear-marks and to smoke everything from burgers to desserts
  • DURABLE: Each Pit Barrel Cooker is made with a superior-grade porcelain enamel finish that looks great and is designed to withstand everything from the internal heat to weather conditions
  • PORTABLE: Our cookers are made to be lightweight and compact to fit in most vans, SUVs, and truck beds. Use the handles on the side to easily lift and transport to wherever your grilling skills are in demand. Easily fits 8 Racks of Ribs, 2-3 Pork Butts/Shoulders, Turkey Hangers allow for 2 16 lb Turkeys
  • THE COMPLETE SMOKER STARTER: Everything you will need to get started: The barrel (33” tall, including the lid and stand, and 21.25” wide, including the side handles), 2 Hanging Rods, 8 Stainless Steel Hooks, Standard Grill Grate, Charcoal Basket, and Hook Remover Tool (Seasonings Not Included)


  • Its unique design allows for simple operation and produces perfectly cooked meat every time
  • Minimal assembly required to get cooking
  • Combines the best qualities of smokers and slow cookers
  • It is designed to allow shorter cooking times without the need to regulate temperature or smoke.
  • Simple to use, portable, and built to last
  • The price may be a bit steep for first-time smokers, but it does offer value for money
  • You need to life the entire barrel to get rid of the ashes


Weber 18-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker, Charcoal Smoker,Black
Our rating:

In the barbecue world, the Weber Smokey Mountain is already considered as a classic. Our second place pick in the best smokers for beginners will give your favorite meat a smokey flavor similar to what you can get from professional models. 

The Smokey Mountain has a very simple vertical design that will leave a small footprint in your patio or any outdoor space. This capsule-like charcoal smoker offers you with ample cooking space. You can grill enough burgers, chicken breasts, sausages, and vegetables to satisfy up to 10 hungry people in one run. 

In comparison to an electric smoker, this Weber smoker grill utilizes charcoal, giving you that chargrill flavor in your meals. And even if you’re a beginner to smoking, you’ll be able to blow away your guests with tasty meats oozing with flavors.

And check this out, this unit also has a water pain so that you’ll be able to produce moisture while cooking. This is a vital element when smoking since it helps prevent the food from drying.

In terms of built, this one comes with a rust-resistant aluminum heat shield that can withstand rust, which locks in heat pretty well. Likewise, the Smokey Mountain is entirely porcelain-coated that can withstand everyday wear and tear. Plus, it also has heat-resistant nylon handles and sits in two nickel-plated cooking grates.

Weber 18-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker, Charcoal Smoker,Black
  • 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


  • A big cooking surface that lets you easily cook a large roast that’ll feed your family for days
  • The combination of charcoal and wood produces that deep, authentic smokey flavor
  • Retains heat well for superior grilling
  • Has two cooking grates for smoking multiple items at once
  • Dampers are easy to adjust for precision heat control
  • It needs a lot of charcoal
  • You’ll have to reach down long into the put when pulling up the bottom rack
Weber Original Kettle 22-Inch Charcoal Grill
Our rating:

When you’re low on budget, this is the best smokers for beginners to get. The Weber Original Kettle st that will make your smoking food experience even more authentic. 

This kettle-style charcoal stays true to the modern version. It is well-loved by new and pro smokers across the globe for many good reasons. 

First, its ultra-durable, porcelain-enameled lid and bowl retain heat very well. Then, its grates are made of plated steel, so there’s a low chance that you’ll encounter rusting issues with it. 

Furthermore, it has dampers that you can adjust easily for accurate temp control. On the other hand, the temperature vents of this Weber grill are also designed to resist rust, while its handles are built with glass-reinforced nylon.

The Original Kettle is superb at retaining heat. It will lock in a good amount of heat within the grill as you cook your food. Thus, there’s no need to stress yourself by checking the fire constantly to make sure all aspects are covered. 

One more good feature of the smoker is its One-Touch cleaning system for easy cleanup after a long day of smoking and grilling. The system comes with an easy-to-remove aluminum ash catcher for collecting ash. 

So if you want a grill built for everyone and hates cleaning up, this one is a good option.

Weber Original Kettle 22-Inch Charcoal Grill
  • Stay true to the modern version of the kettle that started it all—the Original Kettle, invented by Weber’s founder, and loved around the world. Its ultra-durable, porcelain-enameled lid and bowl retain heat, while the damperseasily adjust for precise temperature control. With a One-Touch cleaning system for easy cleanup after a long day of grilling, the Original Kettle will always be the grill built for everyone
  • Holds up to 13 burgers made with a Weber burger press
  • One-Touch cleaning system provides hassle-free ash cleanup.Removable, aluminum ash catcher
  • Porcelain-enameled lid and bowl Retain heat, and won’t rust or peel
  • Use the lid hook to avoid placing the lid on the ground while grilling


  • The One-Touch cleaning system provides hassle-free cleanup of charcoal ash and debris
  • Simply adjusting the dampers allow you to control the temperature of your grill without lifting the lid
  • Durable, easy-to-clean, plated steel cooking grates
  • Porcelain-enameled lid and bowl retain heat for consistent temperature and even cooking
  • Durable wheels allow you to easily move your charcoal smoker
  • Its lid has no open hinge support
  • It doesn’t come with any side tables for extra working space
Camp Chef SmokePro DLX PG24 Pellet Grill with Patio Cover - Bundle (Full Cover)
Our rating:

If you’re looking for a premium smoker for beginners, Camp Chef’s SmokePro should definitely the one to consider. This is a pellet grill and smoker, meaning it utilizes wood pellets to generate heat.

The smoker is built with an auger that supplies the hopper with pellets into a firepot area. Thereby, the unit is fantastic for both traditional grilling and low and slow cooking. 

The reason for this is because the SmokePro can maintain temps ranging from 175 to 500F. You only need to set the dial with your preferred temperature and the smoker will do all the hard work for you. 

Another attractive feature of this Camp Chef’s unit is its ash clean-out system. This lets you get rid of pellet bits and ash with a quick pull of its lever. Hence, you don’t have to take your vacuum out to clean just like you would with other smokers out there.

The SmokePro a premium full-feature pellet grill smoker, so you’re getting a killer deal here. It is packed with plenty of functionality and features that can match even the most expensive smokers on the market.

Camp Chef SmokePro DLX PG24 Pellet Grill with Patio Cover - Bundle (Full Cover)
  • Camp Chef SmokePro DLX PG24 (Full-Length Cover, $55 Value)
  • Best Value Full-Feature Pellet Grill and Smoker in the Industry 2017
  • Patented Ash Clean-out System, Pellet Purge, and Grease Management System
  • Cooking Temps Up To 500 Degrees (vs. Top Competitor at 400) and 25,000 BTU/hr
  • 570 Square Inch Cooking Space, Hopper Cleanout, Meat Temperature Probe, and Auto-Igniter


  • 429 square-inch cooking area with and additional 141 square-inch second rack
  • Cooking temperature is up to 500F while others are only up to 400F
  • It’s a set it and forget it smoker that controls temperatures by burning wood pellets as needed
  • Includes and internal meat temperature probe
  • You can use it for grilling and low smoking cooking methods
  • It doesn’t get as hot as propane or charcoal, but it works great as a smoker
  • The temperature may fluctuate a bit
Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker
Our rating:

At a budget-friendly price tag, the Dyna-Glo Offset Charcoal Offset Smoker packs in plenty of features. This best smokers for beginners is ideal for anyone looking to start their smoking journey but on a tight budget.

The vertical smoker offers a massive 1,176 square inches of cooking surface spread across 6 grates. That means that you’ll have plenty of room to smoke a bit just about anything to satisfy everyone’s craving. Or you can simply craft some mouthwatering, melts-in-your mouth racks of ribs.

This charcoal offset smoker is made from powder-coated steel. Although thinner than others, it’s still strong enough to withstand heat and prevent rust buildup. Likewise, it can provide you the temperature you need to achieve wonderful results all the time.  

And of course, Dyna-Glo’s vertical offset design does a nice job of providing your food with an even cooking environment throughout. With its adjustable smokestack, you won’t have any problems controlling its temperature.

Thanks to the dual-door design of this smoker, heat loss is minimized. Additionally, it includes a charcoal basket where you store your coats packed tightly, which increases the burning efficiency. 

Clean-up is made easy, thanks to how effective its grease management system is at collecting drippings. Also, the offset smoker has a large steel pan made of steel, making it a breeze to dump out ash once it has cooled down. 

Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker
  • Vertical design lends itself to naturally rising heat, achieving greater efficiency and improved smoke flavor. Offset design keeps direct heat away from the food, allowing for slow cooking.
  • Six height-adjustable cooking grates accommodate various sizes of food. 784 square Inch of total smoking area; 1176 square inches of total cooking space with 25-pounds capacity per grate.
  • Porcelain-enameled steel charcoal chamber is designed to keep briquettes stacked tightly for improved burn efficiency.
  • Charcoal & ash management system with the charcoal chamber, grate, and sliding, removable steel ash pan. Designed to handle large amounts of ash for hours of maintenance-free cooking.
  • Smoke stack features an adjustable flue for additional flavor and temperature control.


  • It is built with a heavy-duty steel body construction and comes with a heavy gauge porcelain-enameled steel wood chip box
  • Electronic pulse ignition system ensures quick and reliable ignition
  • Features a dual door to help minimize heat loss while you’re adding wood chips while smoking
  • Smokes up to 100lbs of food at a time
  • The offset design optimizes indirect heat flow, ideal for slow-cooking and infusing smoke flavor
  • The metal material is a little thinner compared to other smokers
  • You may experience some smoke leakage between its cooking chamber and firebox

Best Smokers For Beginners – Buyers Guide

The Most Common Types Of Best Smokers For Beginners

Charcoal Smokers

These are considered by a lot of smoking enthusiasts as the most excellent approach for flavoring smoked foods. Nonetheless, it can be quite challenging to master its fire management methods, timing, airflow, and wood choices. Still, the end result will be worth all the headaches at first.

Gas Smokers

This type uses natural gas or propane. Hence, it doesn’t come with the dangers of not so pleasant chemicals mixing in with the smoke and marring your food’s flavor. Gas smokers are a good option if you’re in a hurry to smoke your meat. It’s also a great smoker for beginners because of their simple operation.

Pellet Smokers

As the name implies, pellet smokers use pellets to produce heat and smoke. Pellets are comprised of compacted sawdust and other components and some even include added flavoring. However, the best pellet to use for smoking is natural hardwood. It’s probably the easiest smokers to use. Not only can it smoke, but you can also use it to barbecue, braise, bake, roast, and even grill.

Electric Smokers

If you want to skip the learning process, this is the perfect best smokers for beginners to buy. This type of smoker is a hassle-free way to achieve as closest to fool-proof smoking as you could possibly get. They work similarly to your kitchen oven where the temperature is consistent and regulated throughout the process of cooking.

Things To Consider When Buying The Best Smokers For Beginners

Type of Smoker

The types of smokers we listed above has its own set of pros and cons. So when looking for the right type, consider factors like your budget, learning curve, fuel source availability, and available space. And of course, do not forget to think about the amount of food you’ll cook often and what cooking you want.

Fuel Source

Charcoal is one of the most available fuel sources. In fact, you can even buy one in the most convenient stores. Pellet smokers, on the other hand, are the most costly to run. 

You may also want to consider a gas smoker if your home runs on gas since you can connect your unit to the gas line. Likewise, an electric model is an easy choice, especially if you don’t have little to no outdoor space.

Size or Capacity

When deciding on this factor, think about how often you’ll cook and for how many people.

Quality Of Construction

The best smokers for beginners balance price and build quality. Units that are well-insulated and sealed can save you money in terms of fuel. Meanwhile, those made with thin materials tend to leak smoke and fail to maintain the heat.


The best smokers for beginners offer convenience and ease of use while still giving you that delicious smoky flavor every time. Additionally, they are durable, efficient, and will serve you and your family for many years to come.

Find the best smoking and grilling combo for a full barbecue pleasure, or decide to DIY a smoker or search for the best offset smoker