Some people prefer vertical smokers over traditional ones for different reasons. Either if you are looking for a vertical smoker due to the lack of space, cost or cooking efficiency you need to know one thing, a vertical smoker can’t be used as a grill. Also, the cooking capacity may be smaller than a traditional one, however, most of the times vertical smokers are cheaper. Thus, I prepared for you our top recommendation of vertical smokers.
Top vertical smokers
- Top vertical smokers
- Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker
- Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-D Heavy-Duty Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker
- Sunlifer Vertical Smoker
- Cuisinart COS-118 Vertical Smoker
- Giantex Vertical Smoker
- Char-Broil Bullet Charcoal Smoker
- Realcook Charcoal Smoker
- How to choose the right smoker for you
- Which fuel is the best for vertical smokers?
- Is a vertical smoker better than a classic one?
- Can vertical smokers be used for large-sized foods?
- Are vertical smokers better for camping?
Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker
If you are looking for a compact smoker that has a generous smoking chamber, Dyna-Glo Vertical Offset Charcoal smoker may be the right fit for you. Its offset design keeps the heat away from the food while offering the ability to slow cook the food while enhancing the flavours. Due to its 1176 square inches of cooking space, you will be able to cook various sizes of food. The smoker has an improved burn efficiency due to its porcelain-coated steel firebox chamber. Using Dyna Glo Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker you have better control of smoke and temperature as it has multiple smoke-stack features. Also, the smoker ensures you, even more, customizability with the six height-adjustable cooking grates.
Customizable for various foods.
Generously sized cooking chamber.
Durable and sturdy built.
Great quality-price ratio.
Can run on charcoal and wood.
Hard to move as it does not have wheels.
May be difficult to cook big sized food.
Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-D Heavy-Duty Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker
As a compact and low space consuming smoker, Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-D ensures you a great cooking chamber capacity as it has more than 1300 squares inches. The smoker has a heavy-gauge steel body construction that ensures increased usage durability. Moreover, the smoker is equipped with cool to touch handles that will let you experience a risk-free check on your food. Also, the smoker comes with a grill chamber over the firebox chamber which allows you to prepare an even wider variety of foods. Due to its big sized wheels, the smoker has increased mobility.
Large cooking chamber.
Easy to move, high mobility.
Sturdy and durable built.
The firebox is quite small.
May seem a bit pricey compared to other vertical smokers.
Sunlifer Vertical Smoker
Sunlifer Vertical Smoker is the perfect choice for you if you are looking for a camping smoker. It can be used both as a smoker and as a grill and it uses charcoal and wood as fuel. As it measures 41.34’’ Height x 24.8’’ Width with a 20.67’’ Diagonal, you can be assured that the transportation won’t be bothersome at all. Moreover, it has a cooking area of 969 square inches which allows you to prepare various sized foods, however, big sized foods may be quite hard to prepare.
Also, you don’t have to worry about damages over time as the smoker is designed to last and it is made of heavy-duty steel. The cooking area contains two chrome-plated cooking grates that will ensure a stick-free experience. Also, it contains 4 hooks and crossbar to ease the process of cooking big sized foods. Sunlifer Vertical Smoker is equipped with two air vents which grant you better control over the temperature. The firebox area is quite big, and it allows you to load a large quantity of fuel providing a long smoking time without the need of reloading, therefore you don’t need to worry about heat loss due to the reloading process.
Easy to transport.
Can be used as both smoker and grill.
Sturdy heavy-gauge steel built.
Large firebox chamber which ensures long smoking time.
Easy to control the heat.
Quite hard to prepare big foods.
Cuisinart COS-118 Vertical Smoker
If you love camping and trips in nature while you also love delicious food then, Cuisinart COS-118 Vertical Smoker may be the perfect smoker for you. Due to its dimensions, it is really convenient when it comes to transportation, the smoker is 45 inches tall and it weighs only 32 lbs. However, compared to other smokers, its cooking space is smaller as it has 510 square inches available for cooking, however, this is a consequence of its increased portability. By keeping the smoker smaller than the majority, it is way easier to take it along for camping. Its dual vent air system allows a better smoke flow which leads to astonishing foods. The smoker is equipped with a vertically hinged door that allows you to perform a proper check on the food.
Sturdy and durable built.
Easy to transport.
Easy access to food and fire.
Great price-quality ratio.
Small cooking space.
Often checks through the vertical door can cause huge heat loss.
Giantex Vertical Smoker
When it comes to choosing a smoker with great overall quality and budget-friendly as well, you can bet that Giantex Vertical Smoker is the best option. Not only that the smoker has a generously sized cooking chamber that ensures you the ability to cook various sized foods, and it also has two doors that can be used to access the cooking space. The smoker makes it easy for you as you can find a thermometer on the door which allows you to cook everything at the best temperature possible. In terms of durability, the smoker is made of corrosive-resistant materials which easily extend the smoker life. Moreover, it is equipped with metal side handles which allow you to easily move the smoker to the perfect space before starting cooking. Also, the handles are galvanized heat resistant to ensure a risk-free experience.
Big sized cooking chamber.
Heat resistant handles.
Two doors to access the food.
Thermometer attached on the door.
Sturdy corrosive-resistant built.
Great price, budget-friendly.
May be troublesome to transport.
The fire pot is quite small and may require refuelling mid-cooking.
Char-Broil Bullet Charcoal Smoker
Char-Broil Bullet is a portable vertical smoker that may be one of the top choices for the ones that are looking for a camping smoker. It is available in two sizes, 16” or 20”, however, both of them are easily transportable and can be easily carried for outdoor trips. It has porcelain-coated grates that ensure a stick-free experience. Unfortunately, the cooking area is quite small, measuring only 370 square inches for the 16’’ one and 584 square inches for the 20’’ one. It has an innovative airflow control that ensures proper heat control, also it has numbered damper settings. The body is porcelain coated which ensures good durability. The smoker is easy to maintain, and the ashes can be easily removed as it has a removable ash pan. Moreover, the smoker comes with a 1-year warranty (which may not be needed given its durability).
Easy to transport.
Innovative airflow control.
Equipped with removable ash pan.
Equipped with a thermometer.
May be a bit pricey.
The cooking chamber can be a bit small for larger batches of food and may not fit big sized pieces.
Realcook Charcoal Smoker
If you are looking for a budget-friendly smoker, then Realcook Charcoal Smoker may be your best choice. It is a perfect camping smoker as it weights less than 20 pounds and measures 22 x 17 x 35 inches which makes it easily transportable. Moreover, it can be both a smoker and a grill, giving you way more options to expose your culinary talents. The cooking area measures 453 square inches and it comes with a built-in thermometer which allows you to easily check the heat whenever you need.
Also, you can easily control the temperature due to the adjustable air supply located on the lid. And if you need to check on the food you don’t have to worry about burning your hand as the smoker is equipped with heat resistant bakelite handles. In order to reduce the heat loss caused by refuelling, Realcook charcoal smoker is equipped with two doors, one for the cooking chamber which can be used for checking the food and a door on the lower part which can be used to add more fuel.
Can be used as a smoker or grill.
Easy to be transported.
Generously sized firebox chamber.
Cooking chamber quite small.
It has only two layers of grates.
Removing the top to check the food can cause huge heat loss.
How to choose the right smoker for you
Sometimes it is quite complicated to choose something that perfectly fits your needs, and smokers are no exceptions. Some may say that “it’s just a smoker”, but the ones with fine tastes definitely expect the best dishes possible and for this, we all know that we need a proper smoker in order to achieve such dishes. Thus, I prepared a list of things that may worth checking before buying a smoker.
As you may already know, you can choose from a wide variety of types of smokers. Either electrics, propane, charcoal and wood. Most of the times, if you opt for a charcoal smoker you can also use wood as fuel, but if you want a propane or electric smoker you won’t be able to use any other fuels and you won’t benefit from the genuine flavour created by wood and charcoal. Therefore, our recommendation is to opt for a smoker which uses charcoal/wood as fuel. Moreover, electric and propane smokers can prove quite inconvenient when it comes to camping and using it in nature.
It is really important to make sure that its size won’t prove troublesome. If you are looking for a smoker suitable for camping you must look for something quite small and at the same time, you need to be sure that the cooking chamber capacity won’t affect your needs. Therefore, it can be quite complicated to find a smoker that is easy to transport yet with a huge cooking chamber. Most of the times, smokers that are suitable for camping and easy to transport rarely offers enough space for big sized foods and may require multiple cooking sessions if you are going to cook for a large group of people.
You always have to be sure of the durability of almost any item you want to buy. And in particular, for smokers, durability is quite important, and you have to take into consideration a lot of factors such as where are you going to deposit it, how often are you going to use it. If you plan to keep the smoker outside in your garden, then you should focus on purchasing a smoker made with sturdy materials such as heavy-duty steel as it can withstand the weather better compared with other lighter materials.
While this is not a crucial feature, it may be quite helpful to be able to have some extra control of the smoke and head which have a direct impact on the way your food is cooked. Also, when you are able to customize the cooking chamber of the smoker, it will be easier to cook various sizes of foods and it may be the perfect choice if you are often cooking for larger groups of people. Moreover, with a properly customised cooking chamber, you may even achieve flavours beyond your expectations.
Firebox chamber is one of the most important components of a smoker (the ones which uses charcoal and wood). It is essential for the smoker to not lose any heat while in use. However, sometimes you may be required to refuel the smoker in order to achieve properly cooked foods, and by refuelling your smoker will lose some heat inevitably, however the chances of the need to refuel can be diminished by using a smoker with a larger firebox chamber. Larger firebox chambers have a high chance of performing an uninterrupted cooking session without heat loss caused by refuelling.
Which fuel is the best for vertical smokers?
Wood and charcoal is without a doubt the best fuel possible for a smoker as by using charcoal and wood you will achieve genuine flavours. However, sometimes is more convenient to opt for propane or electric smoker as your smoker won’t suffer from heat loss caused by refuelling as it may happen when you are using charcoal and wood as fuel. While this can be a matter of preference, most people prefer and clearly affirm that food cooked with charcoal and wood as fuel tastes way better.
Is a vertical smoker better than a classic one?
No, it is basically the same thing. The main difference is the way that the cooking chamber and firebox are designed. The classic ones have a wider space for cooking and may not have multiple layers of grates while the vertical ones are designed to use more grates stacked one over the other and in the same time the width of the grates is smaller. However, the vertical smokers are better for people that don’t have a lot of space available or are looking to save as much space as possible. Also, the flow of smoke is a bit different as the vertical smokers, obviously, have a vertical smoke flow, while the classic ones have a more diagonally smoke flow which may result in a slightly different cooking temperature (almost unnoticeable as the food closer to the firebox may benefit of a bit more heat than the food closer to the vent).
Can vertical smokers be used for large-sized foods?
It depends on the size of the smoker, but you should be able to cook large-sized foods in vertical smokers, especially if the smoker is equipped with hooks. If the food won’t fit on the grates, using hooks to hang the food will allow you to use the height of the smoker in your favour instead of trying to split the food into smaller pieces. So, the answer is yes you can cook large-sized foods as long as you can fit them in the smoker using hooks. However, even if you are not able to fit them in the smoker using hooks, or your smoker doesn’t have hooks, you should try to split the food into as fewer pieces as possible and you can use the grates, you may be able to cook all the pieces in the same time as most of the vertical smokers has big cooking chambers with multiple grates.
Are vertical smokers better for camping?
Most of the times, yes, but it strictly depends on your ability to transport the smoker. If you are lacking space then absolutely, vertical smokers are better for camping as the size of a vertical smoker is considerably smaller than a classic smoker. However, if you are not lacking space and you are not bothered by the extra work that is required when you transport a classic smoker then you can consider them both on the same level. In terms of cooking, you won’t notice a big difference and the only major difference is the size. Both vertical smokers and classic ones are suitable for camping and as long as there is no bother transporting them then it is strictly up to you which one you prefer.