The 5 Best Smokers of 2020

Add smokey flavor to your meat with these top picks

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Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Masterbuilt MB20074719 Bluetooth Digital Electric Smoker at Amazon

"Everything you need for easy smoking at an affordable price."

Best for Beginners: Weber 721001 Smokey Mountain Cooker at Amazon

"A great introduction to smoking for people who just want something basic that does the job."

Best Portable: Green Mountain Davy Crockett at Amazon

"The legs fold to make it more compact for storage, or to tuck it into the trunk."

Best Budget: Char-Broil Bullet Charcoal Smoker at Amazon

"A temperature gauge on the lid makes it easy to monitor the smoker’s internal temperature for perfect cooking every time."

Best Indoor/Outdoor: Camerons Products Stovetop Smoker at Amazon

"The handle makes it easy to move the smoker, but it folds away for neat storage."

Grilling is great, but smoking takes outdoor cooking to a whole new level. From pork roasts to chicken to ribs, smoke flavor penetrates the meat during long, slow cooking. The meat emerges fully cooked, tender, and juicy. If a smoker is on your wishlist, check out our list of top picks.

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    Best Overall: Masterbuilt MB20074719 Bluetooth Digital Electric Smoker

    Masterbuilt MB20074719 Bluetooth Digital Electric Smoker

    Courtesy of Amazon

    When it comes to smokers, this one has everything you need for easy smoking at an affordable price. Since it’s electric, there’s no need to fuss with lighting charcoal, and the design is sleek, modern, and attractive. This uses Bluetooth to connect to your smart device, so you don’t have to keep track of a separate remote control. When you’re cooking, there’s no need to leave your comfy lawn chair to check the temperature or turn the cooker on or off.

    This smoker has four chrome-plated racks that can handle up to 16 chickens, four turkeys, or eight racks of ribs. There’s no need to open the door to load more wood chips during cooking, since they load from the side of the smoker. When you’re done smoking and you want to crisp the chicken or finish ribs with sticky sauce, there’s a broiling element that can handle that for you, so there’s no need to fire up a separate grill or heat the oven to complete the cooking process. If smoking continues after dark, an interior light turns on when the door is open for easy visibility.

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    Best for Beginners: Weber 721001 Smokey Mountain Cooker

    okThis user-friendly smoker doesn’t have dials or controls to worry about and works much like a familiar charcoal grill, so it can be a great introduction to smoking for people who just want something basic that does the job making tasty barbecue. Heat and smoke are controlled by adjusting the vents, and a water pan collects drips and keeps the interior humid for juicy results.

    This uses charcoal for the heat source and has two cooking grates so you can fit plenty of food for the family or for a backyard party. A thermometer on the top lets you monitor the interior temperature, while a silicone plug in the side allows standard remote meat thermometers to slide through into the meat for perfect cooking every time. For additional versatility, this smoker can be configured to be used as a standard grill, as well.

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    Best Portable: Green Mountain Davy Crockett WiFi Control Portable Wood Pellet Grill

    Just because this smoker is designed to be portable, it doesn’t mean it’s less capable. It even includes Wi-Fi control so you don’t need to hover near the smoker to monitor the cooking. This uses pellets as a heat source, so all you need to do is fill the hopper and let the grill do the rest.

    This smoker weighs 68 pounds, so it’s sturdy but still liftable. The legs fold to make it more compact for storage, or to tuck it into the trunk or the back of the pickup for a tailgate party. It runs on standard house current when it’s available, and it comes with three adapters so it can plug into your car for use on the road.

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    Best Budget: Char-Broil Bullet Charcoal Smoker

    A smoker doesn’t have to break the budget, and this 16-inch bullet smoker from Char-Broil is the perfect example. It has two porcelain-coated cooking grates that offer a total of 370 square inches of cooking space. A temperature gauge on the lid makes it easy to monitor the smoker’s internal temperature for perfect cooking every time.

    The dampers are numbered to make it easy to remember the best settings for heat and smoke, and the ash pan is removable for easy cleanup when cooking is done and the fire is out. For those who need more cooking space, there’s also a 20-inch version of this model.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
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    Best Indoor/Outdoor: Camerons Products Stovetop Smoker

    Not everyone has outdoor space for smoking, and that’s where this little stainless steel smoker box comes to the rescue since it can be used on the stovetop. Of course, it can also travel outdoors to cook on the grill and it can also be used on a campfire. This includes the 11 x 15-inch smoker box, a cooking rack, a drip pan, a lid, and three pints of wood chips, so it’s ready to use when it arrives.

    The handle makes it easy to move the smoker, but it folds away for neat storage. When smoking is done, this is completely dishwasher safe. Even better, the smoker can be used as a steamer or roasting pan when there’s no smoking on the menu.

Why Trust The Spruce Eats?

From smoking guns for cocktails to a stovetop smoker to an electric smoker, Donna Currie has been experimenting with home-smoked food for a long time. She’s smoked cocktails, salt, cheese, and even her own home-cured and smoked bacon. When it comes to lighting things on fire and creating billows of smoke, she knows what she likes.

What to Look for in a Smoker

Smoking capacity: Smokers come in a variety of sizes, so think about what types of foods you plan to smoke—from a plate of wings for a party to a whole turkey or something larger. Also, consider if you plan on smoking larger batches of food ahead of time and freezing them for later.

Portability: Portability isn’t just about tossing your smoker in the trunk to take it to a party—it’s also about the ease of moving it out of storage to the yard and back again. Especially if you don't have a permanent outdoor space for a large smoker, think about portability as you shop.

Heat source: Electric smokers are easy to use—just plug them in and add wood, water, and food Their heat is also easy to regulate since it’s much like a stove. On the other hand, smokers that use propane are more portable, since you don’t need a power outlet, but you need to watch its propane levels to make sure you don’t run out in the middle of smoking that brisket.

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