Smoke rises, so it’s not surprising that vertical smokers do an amazing job of forcing that smoke into meat that’s placed into it. As the smoke rises, it’s capable of touching every inch of meat as it makes it journey. Of course, how effectively that works depends a lot on the type and model of smoker the person chooses. Because we know that choosing any grill or smoker can be a pain, we’ve decided to go ahead and not only review some of the best vertical smokers currently being manufactured, but also write a guide on buying and using these remarkable smokers.
Quick Summary of Best Vertical Smokers
Editor’s Choice: Dyna-Glo Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker
This product is made using high-quality steel that’s very durable and should hold up to heavy smoking use for years to come. Inside this smoker, the consumer will find six height-adjustable cooking grates that provide the user with 784 square-inches of smoking area and 1,176 square inches of total cooking space. Since each grate can hold 25-pounds, larger cuts of meat can be quickly and efficiently smoked in this vertical smoker. And it also features a porcelain-enameled steel charcoal chamber that allows the consumer to stack briquettes into it tightly. This improves burn efficiency and prevents the consumer from having to constantly fill the smoker while it’s in use.
Another key aspect of the smoking process is properly maintaining temperature and fortunately, this smoker gives the consumer plenty of tools to help with that. This smoker has a built-in thermometer with the “smoke zone” clearly marked, and a steel smoke stack with an adjustable flue that helps the consumer control temperatures quickly and efficiently. Thanks to this product, no one has to second guess how their smoking is going or figure out how they’re going to adjust the temperature inside the box. That makes this simple-to-use product a good choice for people who are just starting to smoke their foods or seasoned professionals alike.
- This smoker is very reasonably priced.
- It has 784 square inches of smoking space.
- It’s built to last a long time.
Also Recommended: Pit Boss Vertical LP Gas Smoker
This smoker is approximately 21.5 inches by 23-inches and is 47-inches tall. This product is made from high-quality steel and weighs approximately 52-pounds. This means that while it’s durable, it’s also light enough to move as needed. This product is equipped with a wood chip drawer that allows the consumer to add the real smoke taste of wood to their smoked food, and a grease tray for easy cleanup.
What we especially liked about this smoker was that it had a dual valve and burner system that allowed the consumer to set the temperature range from 100 degrees to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. These stainless steel burners are capable of providing up to 12,500 total BTUs of heating and are controlled by an easy to use dial. Starting the system is also a lot easier than starting a wood or charcoal smoker thanks to its electric ignition system that has the consumer up and smoking in no time flat.
The last thing that we’d like to discuss this product is this smoker’s total cooking area. This smoker has three porcelain-enameled cooking grates that provide the consumer with 800 square inches of cooking space. More than enough cooking space for the average person smoking for their friends and family.
- It has a cooking area of 884 square inches.
- Temperatures are adjustable.
- It costs more than some other vertical smokers.
Also Consider: Cuisinart Vertical Propane Smoker
Because this is a propane vertical smoker, it’s easy to start and use, although we were a little bit surprised that it didn’t hold its temperature as well as some other propane smokers. We’re not sure why because this product does seem to be airtight and it has a twist-lock door that seals tightly. It also has a built-in thermometer and a 40-inch propane hose and regulator that allows it to be quickly and easily hooked up to 20-pound propane tanks.
This unit also has a porcelain-coated steel tray that holds water and wood to add that authentic smoked flavor to ribs, pork butts, and chops. All of these features, along with a more than reasonable price, makes this a smoker that some consumers are going to appreciate and want to use. Despite its less than stellar performance in the area of maintaining its temperature, we still think that it’s a great product that some people are going to get good use out of. It might not be suitable for professional master smokers, but for the average person, it will work more than well enough to achieve good smoking results.
- It’s a reasonably-priced smoker.
- It’s made from alloy steel.
- It can be difficult to maintain temperature.
A Guide To Vertical Smokers
For people who’ve been paying attention, vertical smokers aren’t just the ones that rise up from the ground and look like a gun safe. No, it also includes offset smokers that keep the firebox off to one side, but still allow the smoke to rise over the meat. Not only do consumers have to figure out which of these two types suit them best, but there are also quite a few other things that consumers are going to want to think about before settling on a new vertical smoker.
In this guide, we’re going to go over some of the features that the consumer should think about before he or she decides on the best vertical smoker for their home. Although some of the following features are more important to smoke masters than to the average consumer, all of them should be at least considered before the consumer decides to dismiss them. With that being said, let’s get this article rolling and spend some time talking about these smokers.
Choose Between A Vertical Offset Or True Vertical Smoker
The first decision that the consumer is going to want to make is whether they want a vertical offset smoker or if they want a true vertical smoker. Each of these different types works slightly differently, although each of them can still perform a great smoking job. Below are some things to think about when choosing between these two types of smokers.
Vertical Offset Smoker
These models have a firebox that’s situated on the side of the unit instead of directly below the smoking chamber. For the most part, only charcoal or wood-fired smokers are vertical offset smokers, so if the consumer is looking for propane, electric, or natural gas model in this configuration then they’re out of luck. The main advantage of these types of smokers is that the fire can be easily tended separately and without the consumer having to open the smokebox.
True Vertical Smokers
The main advantage of these types of smokers is that they tend to cook faster than offset models. That’s because the heat is directly under the meat, and as all of you know, heat rises. This allows the heat to roll over the meat along with the smoke. These type of fuel these models use depends on the type and manufacturer and consumers can choose between electric, propane, natural gas, or wood/charcoal models. They also tend to come in a wider variety of different styles, so the consumer does have plenty of options when choosing a true vertical smoker.
Choose A Fuel Type
Unless the consumer has already chosen a vertical offset cooker, which probably only uses wood or charcoal as its fuel source, then they’re going to have to figure out the fuel source they want their smoker to use. In this category of smokers, consumers generally have three options available to them: Charcoal/Wood Smokers, Electric Smokers, and Gas Smokers. Let’s examine each of these subtypes and examine the differences between them more closely.
According to most smoke masters, hardwood and charcoal smokers provide the most authentic smoking experiences. They give the meat a taste that can’t be replicated by any other smoking method. And because all they require for fuel is either wood or charcoal, and maybe some lighter fluid, they’re easy to start and run.
Electric smokers use heating elements to heat up sawdust, wood pellets, or shavings to give off smoke. These models are generally easy to run, but they do need close proximity to an outlet, so the consumer needs to think about that before buying one.
Another popular option for consumers is the gas smoker. These models either use natural gas or propane and they’re generally pretty easy to run. They maintain a constant temperature through the entire cooking process, and because they don’t burn carbon sources, they’re easier to clean up.
While natural gas models will have to be permanently installed near a natural gas line, making them less than portable, propane models can be taken virtually anywhere.
Other Features To Consider
Once a person has figured out the type of vertical smoker they want and what fuel that smoker is going to use, it’s time for them to consider a few other options. Below are some things that consumers might want to consider before purchasing their next smoker.
- Built-In Thermometer
- Locking Door
- Pull-Out Wood/Charcoal Chamber
- Pull-Out Ash Pan
- Total Cooking Area
- Electric Ignition Systems
- Number Of Smoking Racks And/Or Hooks
- Built-In Temperature Controls
- Number Of Dampers/Smoke Flues