Camping and trips in nature are one of the most common ways to relax, and to fully enjoy your trips you need a good smoker. What can be better than a nice meal in nature? But this can prove a bit troublesome when it comes to space management, therefore the best option for you is to pick a portable smoker. By doing so you will easily lift a burden from your shoulders. Sometimes, big smokers not only prove difficult to transport, depending on the situation it may be impossible to fit a big smoker in your trailer. Thus, I prepared a top recommendation for best portable smokers suitable for outdoor trips and camping sessions.
Our top recommendations for portable smokers
- Our top recommendations for portable smokers
- Choosing right
Z Grills ZPG-7002E
If you are not a fan of vertical smokers which are specially designed for better space management, then Z Grills ZPG-7002E may be the best fit for you. It has a generous cooking area which measures about 700 square inches which easily allows you to cook various sizes of foods without the need of splitting them into smaller pieces. Moreover, it can be used either as a smoker or as a grill which surely increases the variety of foods which can be prepared using Z Grills ZPG-7002E.
The smoker benefits of an electronic auto-start ignition, it also benefits of digital auto temperature control and LED temperature readout which allows you to cook the foods at the perfect temperature without breaking a sweat. It uses wood pellets as fuel which guarantee that the foods cooked with this smoker will have genuine flavours. Also, the smoker is easy to maintain as it is equipped with a specially designed waste oil collector that can be easily removed to reduce the cleaning time. Regarding the portability, the smoker has a set of caster wheels, therefore you won’t have to carry it all the way from your trailer to its spot. Z Grills ZPG-7002E is built with corrosive resistant stainless steel to boost its lifetime.
Easy to maintain.
Auto-start ignition system.
Sturdy and durable built.
Large cooking area.
Can be used as a grill.
Temperature control system.
May be a bit pricey.
Compared with other portable smokers, it can be fairly larger.
Weber 18-inches Smokey Mountain
Weber Smokey Mountain can be the best smoker for a camping trip. As a vertical smoker, it uses charcoal as fuel. The smoker weighs 39.1 pounds which includes its porcelain-enamelled steel body, and the two nickel-plated 18-1/2 inches wide cooking grates. Also, it includes a water pan and thermometer and it is as well equipped with air vents for better heat control and smoke flow. You can also opt for a smaller or bigger Weber Smokey Mountain as you can select from 3 different sizes (14 inches, 18 inches and 22 inches). Moreover, it has a specially designed heat resistant nylon handle to ensure a risk-free cooking experience. The plated steel grates facilitate the cleaning process as you won’t be bothered by traces of food due to the non-stick feature.
Easy to transport and maintain.
A generous cooking chamber that can fit medium to large foods.
It may be a bit pricey.
Compared with other similar smokers it may lack in terms of durability.
A bit heavy.
Cuisinart COS-118 Vertical 18” Charcoal Smoker
With Cuisinart COS-118 you will be able to bring the food’s flavour to its maximum while keeping the headache of space management away. The smoker is quite compact with a height of only 45 inches and a width about 25 inches, and you can easily fit it in your trailer. Also, its maintenance won’t take too much time as the smoker is equipped with only two grates which can be used in a fairly large cooking chamber (about 510 square inches). Also, the firebox can be easily removed for proper cleaning. The smoker benefits of a dual air vent system for a better airflow which allows you to create dishes full of flavour. Moreover, the smoker is made of heavy-duty steel with a porcelain enamelled steel water bowl.
Sturdy and compact design.
The cooking chamber can easily fit medium to large foods.
Can be used as a grill.
Grates may prove a bit sticky.
Does not have hooks to hang very large pieces of food.
Checking the food through the lid cause a huge heat loss.
Realcook Vertical Smoker 17 inch
Realcook Vertical Smoker is a budget-friendly smoker that can make any camping trip into an unforgettable moment with unforgettable tastes. You can fully benefit from genuine flavours as it can use as fuel either charcoal or wood. The smoker is equipped with a thermometer on the lid which can be a great help for keeping the heat within a certain range. While measuring 22 x 17 x 35 inches, the smoker weighs almost 20 pounds. Moreover, the body is built with steel which provides high durability. Realcook Vertical Smoker can be used as both a smoker and a grill. While using as a smoker you can easily use the two doors to access either the food or the fire. The portability is increased by the two layers design which allows you to split the smoker into multiple parts to easily transport it.
Really easy to transport, you can take the layers apart.
Easy to clean.
450 square inches of cooking area.
Compact and sturdy design.
Can be used as a smoker or a grill.
Equipped with a thermometer.
Lid equipped with hanger hooks.
May not be able to fit large foods.
Checking food status through the door/lid may cause big heat loss.
Dyna-Glo Signature Series
Dyna-Glo Signature Series is a rather big smoker that has some features that increase its mobility. With Dyna Glo SS you benefit of almost 1400 square inches of cooking space which will allow you to cook even large-sized foods but unfortunately, the transportation process will become more difficult. As for the firebox chamber, you don’t have to worry about refuelling the smoker to often as it will easily fit enough charcoal or wood for longer cooking sessions. As well, the smoker is equipped with a pair of wheels which will ease the process of carrying it. As long as you have enough space in your truck, Dyna-Glo Signature Series may be one of the best choices. It has a heavy gauge steel body construction which makes it really durable but at the same time quite heavy weighing about 124 lbs. The smoker is equipped with thermometer for an easy temperature check, hooks for longer pieces of foods, cool-touch spring handles. The cooking grates are chrome plated which ensures a stick-free experience.
Large cooking chamber.
Long smoking sessions without a refuel.
Sturdy and durable built.
Can be customized to fit various sizes of foods.
Thermometer and heat resistant handles.
Really heavy and may be difficult to lift.
Quite big compared with other vertical smokers.
The cleaning process can take a bit of time.
Royal Gourmet CC1830F
For the ones that prefer offset smokers instead on the vertical ones and yet still opt for a portable solution, Royal Gourmet CC1830F offers a solution. The smoker measures 45 x 28 x 48 inches while weighing about 57 pounds. It is equipped with a set of wheels which will allow you to easily move the smoker around, so you won’t have to worry too much about lifting it. Moreover, the smoker is made of stainless steel and it has ¼” diameter porcelain-coated steel grates. The total cooking surface measures around 800 square inches which easily allow you to cook different sizes of foods. Also, the smoker is equipped with heat resistant handles and thermometer which greatly enhance the cooking experience. The air vents along with the adjustable damper provide better airflow for an even more professional experience.
Sturdy and durable built.
Equipped with wheels.
Cooking chamber quite generous sized.
Porcelain-coated grates for the stick-free experience.
Equipped with a thermometer.
Firebox chamber quite big (can fit 5lbs).
Quite heavy compared to other smokers.
Space consuming compared with vertical smokers.
With so many options available on the market, picking the right portable smoker may be quite troublesome. As even the smallest difference can have a certain impact on your trip experience, it is important to choose a smoker that suits your needs. Even if you already know what you expect from the smoker, it is worth checking the following list I prepared.
Depending on the situation, fuel type can have a huge impact on your experience. Either if it’s regarding the food quality, you can easily feel the difference between foods cooked in a wooden fuelled smoker and an electric one. Also, it is way more convenient to use charcoal or wood as fuel while camping as you won’t be dependent on any energy supply, and you won’t have to carry any propane barrels.
Classic or vertical
Most of the times, classic smokers prove themselves quite bothersome to transport. Therefore, it would be wiser to opt for a vertical smoker as this type of smoker is less space-consuming and it is really easy to transport. However, it does not mean that classic smokers can’t be portable, when it may be true that it won’t be transported as easy as a vertical one, some have a couple of features that will facilitate the transportation process (such as lightly built, smaller cooking chamber, wheels).
Cooking chamber size
When you want a smoker with a large cooking chamber you must expect that the smoker size will cause some troubles when you want to transport it. Eventually, you may find a smoker with a pretty large cooking chamber and an overall size that may not trouble you that much when it comes to transportation, however, it may have the firebox chamber quite small and you may have to refuel it several times when you are cooking large amounts of foods.
Some smokers may present features such as wheels, which easily ease the burden of carrying the smoker for long distances. Also, some smokers may allow you to disassemble it in multiple parts and carry them separately, with a feature such this one you won’t have to save a large spot on your truck solely for the smoker. Thus, some smoker presents multiple features that can easily transform the burden of transporting it into a pleasure.
Are smaller smokers worse than bigger smokers?
No, the main difference between them is the capacity, while in a big smoker you can easily fit a large piece of food, in a small smoker you may need to split the piece into multiple pieces in order to fit it. Also, when using a smaller smoker, you may need to refuel it multiple times, especially for longer cooking sessions. But, in terms of quality, you won’t notice a difference as the cooking process is exactly the same. A smaller smoker is lacking capacity while gaining mobility as it is designed for less space-consuming, and a bigger smoker is lacking mobility while gaining the ability to cook large amounts of food in one go.
Can I use camping smoker at home?
Yes, absolutely yes. There is no point in buying separate smokers such as one for home and one for camping trips. You can make the same foods you make during a camping trip at home as well. Obviously, if you prefer to have two different smokers, a compact one for camping and a big one that allows you to make everything in one go for home would be the most comfortable option. But, if you are budget orientated, you will be fine using a smoker for both camping and at home.
In conclusion, the most portable smokers are the vertical ones, however, it does not mean that offset smokers are much worse. You can still find some offset smokers that still present a certain degree of portability. Thus, if you want a portable smoker you should opt for vertical ones, however, if you don’t like vertical smokers, don’t worry, you will be fine with a smaller offset one.