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Perhaps you have thought about buying a smoker but aren’t sure what type to get. There are electric ones on the market, as well as gas smokers and charcoal, but we are here today to convince you that a vertical wood pellet smoker has plenty of advantages. We will also give you our top choices of vertical wood pellet smokers.
Table of Contents
- What to Look for When you’re Buying a Vertical Pellet Smoker
- Pros and Cons of Vertical Pellet Smokers
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Thoughts
In a hurry? This is our winner!
- NEW Camp Chef XXL Vertical Wood Pellet Grill Smoker (PGVXXL)
- Includes: 4 Smoking Grill Grates, 3 Jerky Racks, 2 Temp Read Probes, 1 Hanging Rack w/ 12 Sausage Hooks
- Sports a Digital Display, Grease Mgmt System, Pellet Hopper Purge, Smart Smoke Technology, Ash Cleanout System
- Compatible with Deluxe Collapsible Side Shelf (PGXXLSH)
- Unparalleled Camp Chef Quality
Best Vertical Pellet Smokers – Runner Up
- Double Walled Insulation 2,059 sq.in.Total Cooking Area 60lb Hopper Capacity Heavy Duty Caster Wheels Cover Included
Best Vertical Pellet Smokers – Comparison Table
Best Vertical Pellet Smokers – Reviews
This pellet smoker has a side box for the pellets, so you don’t need to open the door to add extra pellets (great for meat smoker beginners). Opening the door lets out heat and is a waste of fuel. The hopper will take up to 18 pounds of pellets so it will smoke for 9 – 10 hours before needing a refill.
It has a temperature range of between 150F and 350F and there is a digital temperature display. It has a built-in sensor gauge that reads the temperature and the unit comes with 2 meat probes which are useful if you want to check the temperature on different levels of the smoker.
This smoker has masses of room. There are 2,400 square inches of cooking space, with 4 grill grates, 3 jerky racks (being a jerky smoker), and a hanging rack with 12 sausage hooks. Each cooking rack measures 21.5” x 14”.
It is easy to clean out the ash as there is an ash container. All you have to do is turn the knob and out comes the container.
You can use any wood pellets you like. The smoke flavor is great if you get high-quality pellets. Why not experiment with different flavors? There are some great woods out there like hickory, mesquite apple, cherry, and a whole lot more. For a different experience, why not try blending a couple of the woods (to get a perfect smoked turkey)?
- Side hopper
- Built-in sensor gauge
- 2.400 square inches of cooking space
- Ash container
- One customer complained that the door didn’t shut easily
- A couple of customers complained that it was hot to the touch when being used
If you often smoke for a crowd, this vertical pellet smoker is just the thing for you (even if you plan to smoke a fish). It has a massive 2,059 square inches of cooking space. There is a total of 6 racks, all of which have been made from a porcelain-coated grid construction. The hopper, which is on the side, is massive. It will hold 60 pounds of wood pellets which gives up to 35 hours of smoking time meaning you can go as slow and as low as you want. The temperature range of this smoker is from 150F to 450F.
It has 2 meat probes so you can check on the temperature of the food inside the smoker. There are a 300-watt auto ignitor and a digital control board. The viewing window means that you can keep an eye on the food without opening the door and letting the heat out.
The walls and door are insulated, and it has heavy-duty caster wheels, enabling you to move the smoker easily.
- 2,059 square inches of cooking space
- 6 racks for maximum food capacity
- Includes 2 meat probes
- Viewing window
- Holds temperature even in cold or windy weather
- One customer complained that it took a long time to get replacement parts
- Another customer complained that you had to keep adding water to the water pan
This smoker is big. It has 6 chrome-coated racks each of which is 26.36″ wide and 330 square inches giving you a total cooking space of 1980 square inches. The hopper, which is on the side, holds 17 pounds of pellets which will give you around 10 hours of cooking time before you have to refill it.
It comes with 2 temperature probes. The auger speed is automatically adjusted so it stays at what temperature you want. It also has an easy-to-use control knob.
The smoker has a dual-door design which means that it will be difficult for heat to escape. The handle remains cook throughout the smoking process, so you won’t have to worry about burning your hands.
There is an integrated flavor tray into which you can put any liquids to get an amazing flavor. Why not make a mixture of herbs and spices in olive oil to give your meat a delicious herby and smoky flavor?
Cleaning is easy. The smoker has an ash catcher and a grease pan, both of which can be removed from the unit without opening the door.
- 6 chrome-coated grates
- Easy to clean
- Handle remains cool
- Holds the temperature well
- Easy to read display
- Doors are tight
- Easy to assemble
- Small grease pan
- One customer complained that it took too long to smoke
This pellet smoker is big, giving you 10 cubic feet of cooking area. There are 4 cooking grates, each of which is 21″ x 20″ and is made of steel. In total, you will have 1680 square inches of cooking surface. There is 7 ½” of clearance between each grate which gives plenty of room for the air to flow.
The structure of this smoker is tough and durable. It is an 18-gauge double-walled steel construction that will last for years. It has heat resistant door seals with 2 heavy-duty latches. This means that the heat won’t escape during smoking. There is a convection fan that keeps air moving around the smoker.
It comes with 3 temperature gauges so you can keep an eye on what is going on in different parts of the smoker. There is a PID controller which maintains the temperature between 5F and 10F of what you have set it as. It comes with a divider so you can have 2 separate cooking areas. Why not cook your vegetables in one area and meat in the other? In addition, there are 2 meat probes so you can check the temperature of your food. There are 2 access holes for the probes, so you don’t have to open the door and let out heat.
There is an adjustable top vent and a reverse flow side vent so you can regulate the airflow. The hopper takes 35 pounds of wood pellets so it will take a while before you have to add more pellets. Look at a good 20 hours of leaving your food to smoke without you having to do much.
Other benefits of this vertical pellet smoker are an automatic relight if the temperature falls below 150F and heat resistant doors. You won’t burn your hands when you come to open the smoker door.
- 10 cubic feet of cooking space
- 18-gauge double-walled steel construction
- 3 temperature gauges and 2 meat probes with access holes
- Easy access grease pan
- 4 heavy-duty casters
- The control; sits low to the ground
Best Vertical Pellet Smokers – Buyers Guide
If you buy a grill you will want to have food cooked reasonably quickly, but if you smoke you are looking at low temperatures that cook your food slowly and imparts a delicious smoky flavor to your food (consider finding the best smoker grill combo to fulfill all needs).
A vertical smoker will have the wood pellet pan at the bottom or to the side. The side hopper is a better choice as you don’t have to open the smoker door which lets out the heat. You can also encounter this problem when you open the door to check on your meat. A solution is to have a digital thermometer.
Quite a few people swear by a charcoal smoker and yes, you might get a slightly more barbecued flavor to your food, but the temperature of a wood pellet grill is much easier to control.
What to Look for When you’re Buying a Vertical Pellet Smoker
Ease of Use
If it’s your first time using a pellet smoker it is advisable to choose a simple one until you get used to it and then upgrade. There are complex smokers out there which are probably best for experienced smokers.
If you on a budget, don’t worry. Cheap doesn’t mean that your smoker is going to fall apart. It just means that it is simpler to use and doesn’t have the advanced functionality of more expensive smokers. You should look for a smoker that will fulfill your needs without overpaying.
Online Reviews and Ratings
It’s a good idea to read reviews from past customers of the smokers you are looking at. If there are a lot of reviews, all the better as you’ll get a more rounded picture. Quite often there will be one or two people who give bad reviews while the rest are complimentary. There will usually be someone who finds fault. However, if most of the reviews are bad, steer clear of the product.
Pros and Cons of Vertical Pellet Smokers
- Pellet smokers heat up quickly
- You won’t get uneven cooking or overcooking because they work like ovens
- By using different woods you can get a variety of tastes like maple, hickory, pecan, or cherry
- Some brands offer a cold smoker accessory which you can use for such things as cheese, salmon, and whiskey
- Pellet smokers can be more expensive than other types of smokers
- If the temperature goes too high, it won’t produce as much smoke
Frequently Asked Questions
You may have some questions about vertical pellet smokers so feel free to contact us. We have tried to answer a few of the most popular questions here.
Are Pellet Smokers Better than Gas or Charcoal?
To some extent, they are although all have their advantages and disadvantages. Gas doesn’t give much of a smoky flavor, but it is easy to use (the same goes for propane smokers). Charcoal is not as environmentally friendly as wood pellets.
How Long does it Take to Heat Up a Pellet Smoker?
It doesn’t take long at all, about 5 – 10 minutes.
What are Pellets Made Of?
They are made from different materials, including biomass, sawdust, wood chips, and bark.
We hope that you have enjoyed reading about vertical pellet grills and have perhaps found one to suit you from our choices. We stand by our top choice of the Camp Chef XXL Vertical Pellet Grill and Smoker. It has a temperature range from 150F to 350F which is exactly right for a smoker. It has a digital temperature gauge and a sensor so that you can check that your food is cooking at the right temperature. You get 2,400 square inches of smoking space, with 4 grill racks, 3 jerky racks, and 12 sausage hooks so you will be able to cook for a crowd. It doesn’t matter if there are just a few of you as the smoker will still produce excellent food. We hope that you have a great summer smoking lots of different foods.
We will help you with tips and projects for smokers anyone can build if you are considering this option.