Outdoor cooking lovers know that a way to get rich and flavorful BBQ is to cook your meat with a vertical smoker (also called upright smoker). It is one of the most ingenious things to add to your kitchen appliances.
As the name states, this kind of smoker draws the heat and smoke it makes in a vertically upward direction towards the meat. This method produces a smoky flavor for your barbeque.
It is possible to make your own steel drum version of it, but it will save you time and sweat if you buy one that suits your budget. A plus is that it’s a high-quality smoker, too. So if you like delicious meat so much, it would be a good idea to invest in the best vertical smoker.
Top Recommended Vertical Smokers 2020
Here is a handy guide to excellent vertical smokers available in the market. If you’re in a hurry, read our summary table below.
|Product name||Cooking space||Dimensions (inches)||Fuel||Warranty|
|Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Charcoal Offset Smoker||1176 sq in||20 x 35 x 47||Charcoal, wood||1 year|
|Weber Smokey Mountain||481 sq inch||21 x 29 x 41||Charcoal||10 years|
|Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-D||1382 sq in||25 x 46 x 59||Charcoal, wood||1 year|
|Pit Boss 77550 Vertical Smoker||1830 sq in||28 x 29 x 53||Pellet||5 years|
|Camp Chef XXL Vertical Smoker||2408 sq in||18 x 38 x 55||Pellet||3 years|
|Smoke Hollow PS40B||502 sq in||21 x 29 x 44||Gas||1 year|
|Camp Chef 18in Smoke Vault||630 sq in||30 x 19 x 17||Gas||3 years|
|Masterbuilt 20051311 GS30D||717 sq inch||21 x 21 x 44||Gas||90 days|
|Cuisinart COS-330 Electric Smoker||548 sq in||22 x 19 x 38||Electric||3 years|
|Masterbuilt MB20073519 MES 130P||730 sq in||20 x 21 x 33||Electric||90 days|
1. Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Charcoal Offset Smoker
The Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Charcoal Offset Smoker tops our list with its ample cooking space, durable build, and affordable price; this offset smoker is an excellent value for your money.
This offset smoker comes with six adjustable cooking grates that are stacked above one another, giving a generous total of 1176 square inches of cooking area.
Cleaning is not that hard with this smoker because of its removable ash pan and grease cup that put in a hand in terms of cleanup.
It also features a removable firebox, built-in temperature gauge, steel porcelain-enameled charcoal and wood tray, and quick release dual door for easy access and minimal heat loss.
This easy to assemble powder coated design can easily turn from a smoker to a grill giving it another plus point above other smokers in the market.
However, despite its heavy duty steel, the Dyna-Glo Charcoal Offset Smoker still gets complaints about its supposedly weak retention that makes it hard for temperature control during the cold winter season. Also, you will have to spend a few bucks more because you have to buy its cover separately. But it’s worth it for the long haul. You have to do some self-teaching to know more about how to use an offset smoker so that you use Dyna-Glo to its full potential.
The warranty isn’t as long as most smokers: Dyna-Glo only offers a one-year warranty for its products.
2. Weber Smokey Mountain
The Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker has three models in the market today, differing in size: 14.5 inches, 18.5 inches, and 22.5 inches.
All three models are high quality bullet shaped smokers with excellent built and long lasting porcelain and chrome coatings. However, the fan favorite is the 18-inch model, as it is not too small and not too big.
The 18-inch Weber Smokey Mountain cooker is a portable and compact smoker that can be easily turned into a griller at the same time. It only weighs 39 pounds making it the lightest in the category. With its weight, you can keep it in your backyard or bring it to your camping, beach, or any outdoor trips.
It may not be as spacious as the previously mentioned Dyna-Glo Charcoal Offset Smoker, but you can still cook a good enough amount of meat for your family dinner.
Packed with the unit are two steel plated cooking grates, a protective cover, a rust resistant aluminum dual door, and a rust-resistant, bowl-shaped, aluminum heat shield. There are so many accessories included with it, see! It might be pricey but you’ll be getting a lot for your money. Wait, there’s more.
This vertical charcoal smoker also comes with a built-in thermometer, but you can also buy the famous Weber wireless thermometer that can make your smoking experience even more convenient.
Another plus point that is given to Weber is its 10-wear warranty. This may only be for the bowl, lid, and center ring. However, plastic components are still provided a 5-year warranty and other parts, 2-year warranty, making this the longest warranty among other smokers.
3. Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-D Heavy-Duty
The Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-D Heavy-Duty Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker and Grill gives you a spacious cooking area of 1382 square inches with its five removable chrome plated cooking grates.
It is an upright smoker with a heavy steel construction body that weighs 124 pounds. But despite its heavyweight, you can still move the smoker quickly because of its wheels.
A good thing about the Dyna-Glo is that, like the Weber Smokey Mountain, this offset charcoal smoker functions both as a smoker and griller too.
The Dyna-Glo features a stainless built-in temperature gauge with a smoke zone indicator so users can reach the perfect temperature for a smoky flavored barbeque.
The Dyna-Glo heavy-duty vertical smoker also comes with a heat resistant door and lid handle, making it cool to touch even when in use.
Cleanup after use becomes easy with its removable cooking grates plus a removable ash pan that makes ash disposal convenient.
4. Pit Boss 77550 Vertical Pellet Smoker
What makes the Pit Boss Grills 77550 Vertical Pellet Smoker is its large glass door view that allows you to check on your barbeque without opening and closing the door several times. At the same time, this ensures temperature stability.
It is also easy to monitor the internal temperature with its up to date digital LED readout display next to the built-in temperature control knob.
The wood pellet smoker with double walled insulation easily reaches higher range of temperatures up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. It also comes with five porcelain coated cooking grates, a porcelain coated water pan, and a heat deflector.
Another noticeable feature is its vast cooking chamber with a huge space of 1830 square inches that allows you to cook as much meat as you want for family and friends.
With its large cooking area comes its heavyweight at 131 lbs. You might think that this would be hard to move, but fear not, the Pit Boss 77550 smoker comes with wheels.
The price of this smoker may hurt your wallets, but a 5-year guaranteed warranty will keep your mind at peace.
5. Camp Chef XXL Vertical Pellet Smoker
Being true to its name, the Camp Chef XXL Vertical Pellet Smoker is an ‘XXL’ smoker with a weight of 149 pounds and a generous cooking area of 2408 square inches. You can never run out of space!
This Camp Chef smoker comes with four standard smoking racks, three jerky smoking racks, and one hanging rack with 12 sausage hooks. You can easily remove and rearrange these racks to whatever cooking style you need.
This smoker comes with a built-in temperature gauge with a digital temperature display. It also has a digital controller to maintain the cooking temperature easily.
Aside from its modern features, the smoker is also extremely easy to clean because of its grease and ash management system.
With all that benefits, the Camp Chef XXL smoker is sure pricey, but you get what you pay for.
6. Smoke Hollow PS40B Propane Smoker
One of the lightest and cheapest vertical propane smokers is the Smoke Hollow PS40B Propane Smoker. Like the Smoke Hollow electrical smokers, the brand’s line of propane smokers is of excellent quality too.
Despite its affordable price, this propane smoker comes with four chrome-plated smoking racks, a built-in door thermometer, a matchless push-button ignition, and two external wood chip trays for perfect smoke flavors.
The Smoke Hollow PS40B also features two operating knobs for temperature control and two doors where one is for the adding wood. Having separate doors means less heat leak expected.
But with its low price, a propane tank and a gas regulator are not included in the package and are sold separately. You also only get a small cooking space of only 501 square inches and a 1-year warranty.
7. Camp Chef 18-inch Smoke Vault
With its appealing vault-like stainless steel design, the Camp Chef 18in Smoke Vault offers two adjustable smoking racks and one jerky smoking rack.
It’s designed with sturdy stainless doors, and the cleanup process is quick because it is a gas-only smoker, meaning there are no ashes left after use.
This vertical gas smoker features a built-in thermometer, a removable porcelain base tray for easy cleanups, a matchless ignition system, and three adjustable dampers. It also comes with a steel wood chip tray and water pan for a better flavored barbeque.
It gives you a generous cooking space of 630 square inches and a manageable weight of 63.5 lbs. Being able to switch from an LP to a stand alone gas tank makes this convenient and portable enough to bring along your outdoor trips; however, you shouldn’t lift this alone if you don’t want to hurt your back.
The downside of this gas smoker is that its body lacks the capability to keep its heating element in control during the cold winter season.
8. Masterbuilt 20051311 GS30D
A cooking space of 717 square inches and four pieces of chrome coated racks by Masterbuilt 20051311 GS30D 2-Door Propane Vertical Smoker may not be a lot, but it still lets you cook enough food for the average occasion.
As its name states, this model of Masterbuilt smoker comes with two doors; the upper door allows you to access its main smoking chamber, while the lower door gives you access to your fuel giving you minimal heat and smoke loss.
It features a built-in temperature gauge for you to check and make adjustments conveniently and an air damper for you to control how much smoke you want inside the chamber. Along with this, it also has a removable porcelain coated wood chip tray and water pan for easy cleaning, and a push button ignition to quickly start the fire.
The Masterbuilt 20051311 GS30D presents itself in two sizes; 30-inch and 40-inch. With its lightweight of 58 pounds and its affordable price, the 30-inch model is more popular with BBQ lovers.
The biggest downside of this vertical smoker is the very minimal 90-days warranty which, is far from what other brands can offer.
9. Cuisinart COS-330 Electric Smoker
Among the other competitors mentioned in the list, the Cuisinart COS-330 Electric Smoker is the cheapest of them all. It weighs only 54.8 pounds, making it one of the lightest.
But, with the low price and the light weight comes its small cooking space of 548 square inches. Despite the small area, Cuisinart provides you with three chrome plated racks to do your smoking.
It comes with a built-in thermometer at the door of the smoker and a removable water pan and wood chip for easy cleaning. Along with the lightweight, this smoker also has two side handles that allow you to lift and move the unit around easily.
As it is an vertical electric smoker, it is effortless to use. All you have to do it plug it in, place your meat, and you are on the way to your exceptional smoking experience.
10. Masterbuilt MB20073519 MES 130P Bluetooth Digital Electric Smoker
Another electric smoker that has made a name in the market is the Masterbuilt MB20073519 MES 130P Bluetooth Digital Electric Smoker. With its Bluetooth and digital features, this one is technologically advanced.
Its Bluetooth control system allows you to control the cooking temperature through your smart devices easily. This means you don’t have to tend to the barbeque as much.
Along with this smart unit, you get four chrome plated smoking racks that give you enough cooking space for your food. You can also buy additional accessories from Masterbuilt to enhance this digital electric smoker.
It weighs 61.8 pounds- not too heavy and not too light. You get a reasonable cooking area of 730 square inches.
2 Tips on How to Pick Good-quality Upright Smoker
We’ll give you a quick-read, since these are the two most essential things that make a vertical smoker outstanding.
You’re looking for a vertical smoker that would last for the years to come! Beware of unrealistically cheap smokers in the marketplace. Nobody wants frequent parts replacement or even buying new ones every couple of years. Aside from your part, which is proper maintenance of your vertical smoker, the company should also do its part in giving you their best when it comes to construction.
High-tech features in a vertically standing smoker or grill are awesome. Perhaps count the number of grill racks. If you are the type to pack a ton of food at once, you need more of those to maximize the space inside your smoker. Meanwhile, if you don’t like tending to your BBQ as much, get a vertical smoker with wireless, smart features. Things like that and accessibility of equipment help a ton in ease of use. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t get the same authentic flavor of BBQ that the old-school method can provide.
You can use your vertical smoker for dinner or for big parties. You could even get a portable smoker that you can easily pack and bring with you to the beach, picnic, or campsite.
There is no doubt that having a vertical smoker will change your BBQ game. The ten listed smokers only differ in price, fuel source, portability, and cooking space so all you have to do is to choose which features are super essential to you. And you’re good to go!
I spent most of my life fascinated by food, and the outdoors. I can’t think of a more fitting combo that leads to mastering the art of BBQ one day. I ended up decent enough to grill the perfect burger and choose the best equipment after years of improvement. I create this website for outdoor cooking enthusiasts, who are fueled by interest but lacking in help, feel educated when they leave because I see my past clueless self in them.