If you’ve decided to enter the BBQ world, it is a wonderful idea that allows you to cook finger-licking meals with a delightful smoky touch. Also, it is an exciting outdoor adventure that lets you spend quality time with your loved ones.
But to get started, you’ll need the right smoker with essential features required for beginners, such as quick and simple ignition, easy temperature control, and heat regulation.
To minimize your confusion and make the buying decision hassle-free, I have come up with a list of the best smokers for beginners, which includes smokers of different types, like electric, propane, charcoal, and pellets.
So, get ready to bring the perfect smoker into your backyard for a remarkable outdoor cooking journey.
Our Top Picks
Before initiating the detailed reviews, let me provide a brief overview of the top 7 smokers I’ve researched for beginners so that if you are in a hurry, you can find a suitable product by comparing each option I’ve enlisted.
7 Best Smokers for Beginners Reviews
So, let’s move forward and start reviewing the most suitable smokers for beginners. I am going to start with an electric smoker because such smokers tend to be more user-friendly than other options.
1. Camp Chef Smoke Vault 24 Inch – Best Propane Smoker For Beginners
You might have heard that gas-powered smokers are a perfect outdoor cooking appliance for those who’ve just entered the world of smoking and grilling.
Among the impressive lineup of gas smokers, the Camp Chef Smoke Vault 24-inch stands out as the best propane smoker for beginners.
First of all, it comes in a vertical shape and has an attractive design that makes your outdoor cooking area look charming. Its dimensions are 16″D x 24″ W x 44″H, ensuring that I won’t require a huge amount of space to accommodate it.
Its outer parts, such as the door and legs, are alloy steel and strong enough to last for years. Similarly, the manufacturer has built its cooking racks with heavy-duty stainless steel material to assure durability.
One of my favorite features about this best beginner smoker is its cooking area. It allows you to smoke a variety of meats to perfection in its 900 sq in cooking space. Perfect for hosting gatherings, isn’t it?
Speaking of the cooking area, you get three adjustable racks that can help you smoke different kinds of meat and food at once, such as ribs and chicken or brisket with your favorite veggies.
I believe this Camp Chef Vertical Smoker is ideal for smoking, but it may not be suitable for grilling because of its limited temperature range.
It allows you to cook between 150 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, which is perfect for achieving optimal smoking results, but you need higher temperatures for grilling.
I like its overall smoking performance, but the absence of a gasket around its door lacks a bit of smoke retention. As a result, a lot of smoke escapes during the cooking session.
Furthermore, its 18,000 BTU heating system allows this propane smoker to quickly and accurately reach and maintain desired smoking temperatures throughout the cooking procedure.
Its temperature setting and controlling system is what makes it the best propane smoker for beginners. For example, you can easily set and regulate the cooking temperature using adjustable heat control dials.
For adjusting the airflow and smoke production inside the smoker, you get three damper valves (one on each side and one at the top).
Of course, you don’t get the desired smoky flavor from propane. To eliminate this issue, this smoker comes with a wood chip tray that you can fill with your favorite wood chip flavor to infuse your meats with that authentic smoky taste.
Lastly, it also includes a water pan in its structure that you can use to keep the temperature constant and prevent the meat from drying out.
What Do I Like The Most?
- Spacious Cooking Space: It has an ample cooking area that makes it a perfect outdoor cooking appliance for those who often cook for large gatherings.
- Lightweight: It weighs only 75 pounds, which is less than other smokers on our list, allowing you to take it with you when going on a picnic.
- Perfect For Smoking: Its temperature range is limited, but it is advantageous for those looking for an outdoor cooking appliance specified for food smoking.
What Do I Dislike?
- Unsuitable For Grilling: Its limited temperature range disallows you to achieve your regular grilling tasks on this cooking appliance.
- Smoke Escape: During the cooking process, there are chances that smoke will escape through the door outside the cooking area because it has no gasket.
Who Should Buy This Camp Chef Vertical Smoker?
If you are a beginner looking for a lightweight vertical smoker that is specified for smoking purposes, I believe it is an ideal choice for your outdoor cooking adventure.
Can You Use It Indoor?
No, it is only suitable for outdoor use because during the cooking process, it produces smoke and heat that needs proper ventilation, and if not, it can pose health and safety risks due to the buildup of carbon monoxide.
Is The Temperature Variation Inside The Smoker Normal?
Yes, the temperature can fluctuate during cooking, especially when adding wood chips or opening the smoker’s door, because it allows the heat to escape and wind to enter the cooking chamber.
2. Masterbuilt MB20071117 – Best Electric Smoker For Beginners
Electric and propane smokers are evenly suitable choices for beginners due to their simplicity and ease of use. Therefore, the next product on the list is the best beginner electric smoker manufactured by the popular Masterbuilt brand.
First and foremost, it is available in different deals where you pay extra for additional features and accessories, such as a smoker cover, a smoker with digital control, etc.
If I talk about this product’s design, dimensions, and weight, it comes in a vertical shape, has a box-shaped structure, measures 19.88″D x 20.47″ W x 33.26″H, and weighs around 46 pounds.
As a result, moving this thing from one place to another becomes pretty easy, and it won’t take up too much space in your outdoor cooking area.
It tends to be a long-lasting cooking appliance because the manufacturer uses heavy-duty aluminum material for its outer part and stainless steel to construct its inner parts.
Let’s move forward and explore its cooking performance, ease of use, etc.
Firstly, you will love smoking different kinds of meat on this smoker, including ribs and brisket, because its temperature range is 100 to 275 degrees Fahrenheit, perfect for low and slow smoking and cold smoking.
It is essential to mention here that you can cook your meat to its recommended internal temperature, but you won’t get to infuse smoke flavor into it unless you burn wood chips during the cooking session.
To add chips, this smoker has a moveable tray on the side that goes right above the heating system. So, simply add wood chips of your favorite flavor and infuse your food with a delicious smoky aroma.
Sorry to say, but it might not be ideal for you if you prefer smoking and grilling on the same device because it can’t reach the required grilling temperature. Instead, I would recommend you look after the best smoker grill combo.
Moreover, it has less cooking area than the previous Camp Chef propane smoker. It has four smoking racks that offer 710 square inches in a vertical shape to cook six chickens, two turkeys, four pork butts, or four racks of ribs at once.
I admire this electric smoker a lot when it comes to ease of use. It’s designed with beginners in mind, featuring straightforward controls and a hassle-free operation.
Using it is as simple as plugging it in, setting the desired temperature and time on its digital control, loading your wood chips, and letting the smoker do the rest.
For heat regulation, press the plus or minus buttons on the digital control panel at the top of the smoker.
After that, all you need to do is insert the thermometer into the meat you’re cooking and monitor it until it reaches the desired internal temperature.
Another admirable feature of this beginner smoker is its quick and straightforward cleaning system. It does not use pellets, which means there will be no ash to clean.
Just clean the racks after each use and empty the drip tray, and you’re all set for the next smoking adventure, saving you time and effort in maintenance.
What Do I Like Most About This Electric Smoker?
- Ease Of Use: Using this smoker is a breeze as its digital control system lets you set cooking time and temperature and regulate it when required.
- Budget-Friendly: Compared to other smokers on the list, it costs you relatively less, making it a beginner- and budget-friendly option.
- Heat-Retention: Its ability to retain heat inside the smoker is better than the previous propane smoker. Also, you don’t need to open the door whenever you need to add chips to the tray because its tray is on the side.
- Easy To Move: Due to its lightweight, you can move this product easily and use it on a picnic if you’ve set up an electric outlet there.
What Do I Dislike?
- Limited Temperature Range: The temperature range of this smoker makes it a suitable appliance for low and slow smoking and cold smoking, but you can’t use it for grilling and roasting.
- No Meat Thermometer Provided: You need to invest in a separate meat thermometer to monitor your food’s internal temperature.
Who Should Invest In This Smoker?
If you are new to the smoking game, currently on a budget, and looking for a smoking-specified outdoor cooking appliance, you won’t get a better option than this Masterbuilt smoker.
What Is The Best Way To Clean This Smoker?
For cleaning this Masterbuilt smoker, mix up apple cider vinegar with hot water, apply it to the racks or other parts, and raise them well with a soft sponge.
Can You Use It Inside The Garage?
To ensure maximum safety, I recommend you do not use it inside your garage or any other covered area. Make sure to place and cook in a well-ventilated outdoor space.
3. Char-Broil 17202004 – Best Digital Electric Smoker For Beginners
Next, we have another digital electric smoker on the list with many notable features to enhance the smoking game of beginner BBQ enthusiasts.
Design, dimensions, and weight-wise, this smoker is pretty similar to the previous Masterbuilt smoker. It also has a vertical box-shaped design with around 50-pound weight and 16.5″D x 18.1″ W x 32.5″H dimensions.
I assure you that its transportation isn’t that difficult if done with technique and it won’t require much space in your cooking area.
But a noticeable advantage is that its front door uses glass, which means you can conveniently monitor the smoking process without opening it, allowing for better heat and smoke retention.
Its digital control system on top of the smoker makes it a beginner-friendly smoker. It has a simple layout lets you easily set the cooking temperature and time. Also, you can press the up and down arrows to regulate the heat when required.
Similar to the Masterbuilt electric smoker, its maximum temperature range is 275 degrees Fahrenheit, making it a top-notch device for smoking a variety of meats, including different kinds of ribs and beef brisket.
The feature that enhances the smoking abilities of this Char-Broil smoker is its insulated, double-wall construction that allows for better heat and smoke retention while you cook.
Furthermore, its wood chips tray (with the capacity to hold around 8 cups) is located on the side of the smoker, another admirable feature for keeping the temperature consistent inside the cooking chamber without any interruption.
In short, its features like a well-insulated wall and chips tray on the side help me achieve extraordinary smoking results and let me finish the cooking session within the expected duration.
It has a total cooking area of 725 square inches, which means it has an extra 15 square inches than the previous electric smoker. Now, it can easily accommodate different kinds of meat, including turkey, chicken, ribs, etc.
But you may not easily fit a beef brisket inside, not because it has less cooking space, but because the cooking chamber is vertical. So, the solution to this problem is to smoke the brisket by splitting it into two pieces.
A helpful tip to keep in mind is that cooking on this smoker can be tiring due to its relatively lower height. To get rid of this issue, consider investing in its stand, which will set it to a comfortable cooking height.
Lastly, you will love this smoker for its easy cleaning properties as much as I do because the drippings during cooking go into the water pan, making the whole cleaning process a breeze.
What Do I Like The Most About This Smoker?
- Easy To Use: Using this smoker is simple. Just plug it in, press the turn-on button on the digital control panel, set the cooking temperature, and begin smoking.
- Excellent Heat And Smoke Retention: The double wall construction and chips tray on the side allow for a well-insulated cooking chamber, resulting in superior retention of heat and smoke for a long time.
- Compact And Portable Design: Its size and weight make it easy to transport and fit into outdoor cooking spaces without taking up too much room.
What Do I Dislike?
- Limited Temperature Range: The maximum temperature of 275 degrees Fahrenheit is unsuitable for those looking to achieve extremely high-heat grilling or searing.
- Difficult To Fit Brisket: Due to its vertical-shaped cooking area, it can be challenging to fit a large meat cut like a brisket.
- Additional Stand Cost: To achieve a more comfortable cooking height, you’ll need to invest separately in the optional stand, which comes at an extra cost.
Who’s the Ideal Buyer Of This Char-Broil Smoker?
The ideal buyer of the Char-Broil electric smoker is a beginner who values ease of use, precise temperature control, and convenience. Also, it’s perfect for those looking to enjoy flavorful smoked dishes without the complexity of traditional smoking methods.
How long does it take a char broil electric smoker to heat up?
It can take 30 to 40 minutes to preheat to the ideal smoking temperature of 225 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. But I must say that its preheating duration is a bit more than usual.
How do you set the temperature on this smoker?
To set your desired smoking temperature on this smoker, you need to use its digital control system provided on top of the smoker. You press the up and down arrows to adjust the temperature for heat regulation.
4. Dyna-Glo Vertical DGO1890BDC-D – Best Offset Smoker For Beginners
Including me, many BBQ professionals believe that an offset smoker isn’t the ideal choice for beginners, and to some extent, it is true.
But among numerous offset smokers, I have brought this Dyna-Glo Vertical Offset Smoker to your attention. Thanks to its user-friendly design, it stands out as the best offset smoker for beginners.
In its design, there are two major components or boxes you can say. The small one is used for igniting charcoal, and the bigger one is specified for perfectly placing and cooking different kinds of foods.
You will love this smoker for low and slow smoking as I do, and the primary reason behind this is the way heat travels inside its cooking chamber. It comes from the side and goes above, maintaining the optimal distance between meat and fuel source.
It has a huge 1890 square inches of cooking space divided into six adjustable cooking grates, allowing you to smoke multiple food items at once, especially when holding a large gathering.
Most importantly, the porcelain-enameled steel charcoal chamber creates an optimal environment for efficient and consistent charcoal combustion, leading to better heat retention and distribution, which is essential for a successful smoking session.
To cut it short, it is one of the best outdoor cooking appliances for achieving perfect low and slow smoking results.
Furthermore, the temperature range of this smoker isn’t fixed because, in such smokers, it depends on how much charcoal and wood you use.
A notable difference between this and previous smokers is that it can help you cook at a relatively higher temperature by placing the food on the lowest grate near the burning charcoal.
The temperature gauge outside the smoker’s door adds plenty of convenience during smoking by telling you the current internal temperature without needing to open the door.
Let me be very clear: This offset smoker might not be as straightforward to use as the previous two electric smokers unless you become comfortable with how to light the charcoal and how to control the temperature using the vents on the side of the smoker.
It might take more practice to start using it like a pro, but the smoky flavors you achieve through it are worth the effort.
The charcoal and ash management system in the Dyna-Glo Vertical DGO1890BDC-D is designed to make cleaning up after your smoking sessions easier and faster. You just slide out the steel ash pan, dispose of the ashes, and you’re done.
What Do I Like The Most About This Smoker?
- Authentic Smoking Experience: This smoker is ideal for those BBQ lovers who appreciate the traditional, time-honored smoking process using charcoal and wood chips to infuse their dishes with rich, smoky flavors.
- Ample Of Area To Cook: It offers you with a huge cooking space with multiple grates, making it a perfect appliance for smoking large quantities of food at once.
- Affordable: Are you currently on a budget but prefer a traditional smoking experience? Well, it is a suitable option to get your hands on. It costs you relatively less than the conventional offset and other smokers.
- Long-Lasting: The manufacturer has built it with robust stainless steel material, ensuring it serves you well in the long run.
What Do I Dislike?
- Learning Curve: Compared to the previous smokers on our list, it requires a bit more time to get familiar with the working techniques of this product.
- Preheating Duration: Because it has a larger cooking area than usual, it can take longer to preheat the whole cooking chamber to the desired cooking temperature.
When To Consider Buying This Dyna-Glo Smoker?
It can be an ideal choice for those who are short on budget, often cook for larger gatherings, prefer a traditional smoking experience, and already have a bit of experience using charcoal or offset smokers.
How many briskets can its cooking area hold?
The cooking area of this Dyna-Glo Vertical Offset Smoker can typically hold around 4 to 6 briskets, but the exact amount depends on their size and how do you position them on the grates.
How much space between the racks, and will it be enough for the whole chicken?
The distance between the racks is around 4 inches, and it can fit a whole chicken, depending on the size. However, if it does not fit, simply remove one of the cooking grates to create more space.
5. Weber 18-inch Smokey Mountain – Best Charcoal Smoker For Beginners
Usually, charcoal smokers don’t have this kind of structure. They often come in a bowl shape, whereas the Weber 18-inch Smokey Mountain smoker’s unique vertical design sets it apart.
Firstly, it has two other versions as well. One has a 22-inch size and another smaller version with a 14-inch size. They basically differ in terms of cooking space and dimensions, but their working techniques and the rest of the parts are the same.
It is made of high-quality steel and alloy steel materials that can resist rust as well as high heat, making it a durable and reliable cooking appliance for smoking.
One of my favorite features about this smoker is its weight. It weighs only 39 pounds, which makes its portability a breeze. So, it is a perfect choice whether you want to take it on a camping trip or move it around your backyard.
Another noticeable feature I noticed while testing this product is its generous charcoal holding capacity, which can hold around 90 briquettes. This ample space allows for extended smoking sessions without the need for frequent refilling.
If I talk about its cooking space, you get to smoke your food on a 481 sq in the smoking area, which is divided into two steel grates. It can easily fit up to 10 chicken wings and a whole ribs rack at once.
But it might not allow me to smoke larger cuts of meat, like brisket and turkey, due to its vertical design. However, I can accomplish this task by either splitting the meat into two pieces or by removing one of its grates.
The ignition process of charcoal takes place in the bottom part of the smoker. Here, you’ll also find the bottom vents, which play a crucial role in controlling the airflow and regulating the temperature inside the smoker.
You need to follow a simple rule when learning the mechanism of these vents: opening them means more air goes in, increasing the temperature inside the smoker, while closing them reduces the airflow, lowering the temperature.
To get an idea about at what temperature you are cooking, use the temperature gauge on its forehead. It gives me pretty accurate results because it has to manage a smaller cooking space.
Lastly, its cleaning is pretty straightforward; I just have to scrub its cooking grates using a grill brush and get rid of the charcoal ash by simply disposing of it, much like putting out a charcoal grill.
What Do I Like The Most About This Smoker?
- Portable: It is pretty easy to move this item from one place to another or when you want to take it on a picnic because it weighs only 39 pounds.
- Charcoal Holding Capacity: On average, it can hold around 90 charcoal briquettes, allowing me to cook for extended periods without frequent refilling.
- Authentic Smoking Experience: As it uses charcoal as a fuel source to cook food and you can also burn wood chips or chunks in it, it promises to deliver rich, smoky flavors and an authentic barbecue experience.
What Do I Dislike?
- Expensive: It might not affect its cooking performance, but I think it costs you more than it should because it has a simple design.
- Skills Required: If you are a complete newbie, you will first need to learn the mechanism of how to adjust the temperature and airflow through the top and bottom vents.
Who Would Find The Weber Smokey Mountain More Suitable?
Those who prefer a traditional charcoal smoking experience, already have experience with a charcoal smoker, and seek a portable outdoor cooking appliance must consider the Weber Smokey Mountain.
How long does it take Weber Smokey Mountain to heat up?
It can take between 30 to 40 minutes to reach the optimal smoking temperature of 225 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. This duration might seem longer, but it is usual in charcoal smokers.
Can you use Weber Smokey Mountain in winter?
You can use it in winter, but you may struggle to achieve the desired temperature because of colder external temperatures and cold air that goes into your smoker. However, you can tackle it by burning more charcoal.
Next, we have another charcoal smoker to review, which also features a distinctive and unique design that sets it apart from traditional smokers.
It comes in a drum shape and offers two other variations. The first is an extra-large model with a higher price point and increased cooking space, while the second is a junior model with a smaller cooking area and a more affordable price.
I believe its portability isn’t too challenging because it weighs 57 pounds, and the presence of handles on each side contributes to easy transportation.
Its working is simple. The bottom part of the drum or smoker serves as a charcoal chamber or a firebox, where you ignite the required amount of charcoal.
What makes this product stand out from other smokers is that, instead of grates, it utilizes a unique hanging method. Its cooking chamber includes eight hooks, two hanging Rods, and a grill grate.
During testing, I was amazed that you could easily fit almost eight racks of ribs, especially because of the efficient use of the hanging method.
So, the heat and smoke from burning charcoal and wood go upward, surrounding the hanging meat and other foods, cooking evenly and infusing them with smoke flavor at a 360-degree angle.
The temperature-controlling system in this smoker is the same as many other charcoal smokers, in which you have to play with its vents to reach and maintain the desired cooking temperature. The vents in this smoker are located at the bottom part.
The significant difference I noticed between this drum and previously reviewed smokers is that it brings versatility to your cooking methods.
For example, rather than smoking, you can also use it for high-heat grilling by reducing the distance between charcoal and the food you want to grill.
From a cleaning point of view, it requires less effort and maintenance than some other smokers because the direct contact between food and grates is less, reducing the need for frequent cleaning.
However, keep in mind that you must dispose of the ash produced by wood and charcoal after each smoking or grilling session.
What Do I Like The Most About This Barrel Smoker?
- Forgiving for Beginners: The cooking nature of this smoker is forgiving for beginners because its unique hanging method and design simplify the smoking process.
- Increased Cooking Capacity: The hook system also helps in expanding the cooking space because, in this technique, the meats are hung vertically instead of lying horizontally.
- Moveable: It weighs less and has handles as well for lifting, which means you can move it around easily or take it on a road trip.
What Do I Dislike?
- Temperature Swings: It can struggle in bad weather. For example, water collects on top when it rains, making it cooler inside. Wind can also make it cooler, and cooking takes longer than usual in the snow.
- Smoke Escape: The smoke produced by the wood finds its way out of the smoker through the side wall, which isn’t properly sealed.
Who Should Buy This Pit Barrel Cooker?
It can be an ideal outdoor cooking appliance if you’re eager to elevate your food smoking skills by trying something different. You might also consider it if you prioritize even cooking with smooth and deep flavor infusion.
How many times do you have to refill or add charcoal?
If your smoking session ends within 6 hours, you don’t need to refill this smoker with charcoal. For the wood, it depends on the intensity of the smoke you prefer in your meal.
Any flare-up on charcoal when fat drips on hot charcoal?
As long as the lid is securely in place, the chances of flare-ups are less. Also, there is a noticeable difference between the hanging meat and burning coals, which means if the flare-ups occur, they won’t directly affect the food.
7. Z GRILLS 7002C – Best Pellet Smoker For Beginners
After extensive research, I have realized that pellet smokers are just as suitable for newbies as electric or propane ones, and this Z Grills product is an excellent example.
Firstly, I will take you through the features that make it an outstanding smoker for beginner BBQ lovers.
I often say that the ignition process of a smoker or grill, setting up its temperature, and regulating it are crucial factors in determining how easy it is to use.
In these aspects, the Z Grills 7002C excels, making it an ideal choice for those new to BBQ and outdoor smoking.
Using it is as simple as inserting the smoker’s switch into an electric outlet, filling the hopper with pellets, pressing the On button on the PID controller, setting your desired cooking temperature and time, and letting the smoker cook your food perfectly.
While smoking, you just need to adjust the temperature (when required) using the LED screen and see if the hopper requires more pellets, which usually rarely happens because its hopper can hold around 25 lbs of pellets.
Furthermore, it has a wide temperature range of 180 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, which allows me to smoke, grill, and roast on the same cooking appliance.
It can also be a suitable option for those who like cooking multiple food items or often cook for larger gatherings because it has an ample cooking space of 697 square inches divided into two racks.
The upper rack comprises 193 square inches, while the lower rack offers 504 square inches of cooking space, so you must use these racks accordingly.
A pro tip I’d like to add here is to use your upper rack when low and slow smoking because it is away from the heat source and your lower rack when grilling or roasting because it is near the heat source.
Though it weighs (113 pounds) more than the previous smokers, but it also has two rugged wheels in its structure that can help you move this thing around.
The cleaning process of the racks after each use is easy, but when it comes to cleaning the firepot and ash collection tray, it requires additional effort and time because you have to vacuum the whole mess.
What Do I Like The Most About This Product?
- Convenience: From igniting the pellets to regulating the temperature, it is all just one step away.
- Meat Probes: It has two meat probes that become handy when you want to monitor the internal temperature of your meat while it’s smoking, ensuring perfectly cooked dishes every time.
- Hopper Cleanout: This feature allows for quick and effortless removal or replacement of pellets, making flavor changes and maintenance a breeze.
- Hopper Viewable Window: The viewable window on its hopper lets you check pellet levels, ensuring you never run out of fuel source during cooking.
What Do I Dislike?
- Limited Space On Upper Rack: The upper rack of this smoker, primarily suitable for smoking, provides only 193 square inches of space, limiting its capacity to accommodate larger cuts or quantities of meat.
- Inaccurate Temperature: You may need to use a separate thermometer to monitor the temperature inside the cooking chamber because the built-in thermometer shows incorrect results sometimes.
Who’s The Ideal Buyer Of This Smoker?
The ideal buyer of this smoker is someone who looks after convenience and enjoys controlling the whole cooking session through a PID controller. Also, it can be suitable for you if you prefer versatility in cooking methods.
Best Beginner Smokers – An Ultimate Buying Guide
When buying a beginner smoker, you will come across different types, each with its own advantages and learning curves.
So, first, I will take you through a quick overview of these types, highlighting how easy they are to use and what will suit you as a beginner.
Electric Smokers: Undoubtedly, these are the easiest to use as their ignition is automated, setting and maintaining the temperature is quick via a digital control panel, and they are good at providing consistent heat levels throughout the cooking process.
Propane Smokers: They are also beginner-friendly because their ignition requires minimal effort. By adjusting the knob at the bottom, you can easily set the required temp. These features make them an excellent choice for those new to smoking meat.
Pellet Smokers: They are popular among BBQ lovers for their convenience. From turning on the smoker and igniting it to setting and regulating the temperature, everything is effortless, thanks to their advanced PID controller.
Charcoal Smokers: They require more attention and practice to achieve authentic smoking results. So, they can be suitable for those willing to invest time in enhancing their smoking skills and prefer the hands-on approach to cooking.
So, it was a quick overview of the different types of smokers and their suitability for beginners. Now, let’s move forward and explore the other crucial factors to keep in mind when searching for the best beginner smoker.
Type Of Smoker
One of the most important factors to consider is the type of smoker, such as vertical, cabinet, pellet, or offset, as each type has its own advantages and learning curves.
As you are here to find a beginner-friendly smoker, I would suggest you go with an electric or propane smoker for hassle-free use. These types are known for their simplicity and convenience, making them ideal for those new to smoking.
The fuel type of any smoker plays a vital role in determining how easy it is to use.
For beginners, I recommend choosing one that uses electric, propane, or pellets as smokers with these fuels offer automated ignition, simplifying the smoking process and making it more accessible for those new to smoking meat.
The reason I did not mention charcoal smokers here is that they typically require manual ignition and constant attention to keep them lit, which can be less convenient for beginners.
Another critical aspect to consider when choosing a beginner smoker is temperature control, as maintaining the right cooking temperature is essential for achieving delicious smoking results.
Again, I would suggest you either go with an electric, pellet, or propane smoker because electric and pellet ones usually allow you to set and regulate the temp through a digital control panel.
In contrast, a propane one comes with a knob to adjust the heat.
On the other hand, a charcoal smoker has top and bottom vents that you constantly need to adjust manually to keep the temperature consistent.
So, if you’ve been familiar with such smokers before, you can go with them. Otherwise, it is recommended for beginners to choose an electric, pellet, or propane smoker for their ease of temperature control.
It might not impact beginner smokers significantly, but it’s wise to consider the cooking capacity based on your use.
I believe there is no need to mention here that larger smokers can accommodate more food, making them suitable for larger gatherings, while smaller ones are ideal for personal use or small groups.
Size & Weight
This factor directly impacts the portability and storage of your smoker, and it does not affect the ease of use or the quality of smoked food. It’s primarily a matter of convenience and space management.
So, if you have limited space in your backyard and plan to cook on picnics, investing in a compact and lightweight smoker is better.
It might seem a bit confusing to you. Still, I recommend looking for a smoker with a straightforward cleaning process because if you don’t clean it properly, it can lead to maintenance issues and affect its performance over time.
In this case, electric and propane smokers often have easier cleaning processes compared to charcoal or pellet smokers, mainly because of their fuel source.
Lastly, the price of the smoker you are willing to buy is an important consideration. While it’s important to stick to your budget, I recommend not compromising on essential features.
Look for a beginner smoker that offers the right balance between affordability and functionality to ensure you get the best value for your money.
This is where I’d suggest you deeply analyze each smoker I’ve reviewed and see how much they cost you. This is how you can come across your dream product.
The market has many kinds of smokers, but not all of them are suitable for beginners. Also, finding the best smoker for beginners can be challenging, especially if you are new to the BBQ field.
However, I have made things easier for you by sorting out some top-notch smokers with all the necessary features that must be in a beginner-friendly smoker.
So, go through all the products and find one that fits your budget, cooking needs, and smoking experience.
I wish you a happy and successful smoking experience!
Frequently Asked Questions
As a beginner, what meats should you smoke?
Beginners should start by smoking chicken and turkey parts, short ribs, lamb chops, salmon, and other smaller meat cuts that don’t require longer smoking time.
Should you season a new smoker?
Yes, seasoning a new smoker before first use can be helpful in preventing the food stickiness issue, reducing the potential for rust and corrosion, and improving the overall flavor and taste of the smoked dishes.
What is the ideal smoking temperature for various meats?
The ideal smoking temperature ranges from 225 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. When smoking at this temperature, you achieve the perfect balance of flavor infusion and tender meat without the risk of overcooking or drying out your food.
Robert Gill, a BBQ enthusiast, and Senior Author at FaveGrills.com bring his extensive knowledge of BBQ equipment and exciting recipes to the team. With his outgoing personality and love for BBQ, Robert plays an essential role in the FaveGrills community, sharing his passion and expertise through informative articles and gear reviews.