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The Best Vertical Smokers for 2021 – Buyer’s Guide and Reviews

5 of our favorite classic Vertical Smokers: Offset, Charcoal, Electric, and even Pellet options to choose from!

a vertical smoker full of food
Vertical smokers offer maximum cooking area while taking up the least amount of space.

If you’ve spent any time at all researching smokers, you have seen they come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

From throwing a small smoker box on a gas grill, to making your own custom oil tank barrel smoker, there is something for everyone in between.

We’ve spent time talking about the benefits of cooking with charcoal, as well as comparing propane and electric smokers, but today we are going to look at another category all together: the vertical smoker.

Vertical smokers come in various sizes and can use multiple fuel sources from offset charcoal smokers, to ones that use propane, electricity, or even wood pellets.

But they all have one benefit in common: they save you space while maximizing your cooking area.

So if you’re looking for a great smoker that won’t take up your whole patio and is easy to store, then a vertical smoker is probably right for you.

Let’s take a look at some of our favorite classics!

In a Hurry? – Check out our Top 5 Vertical Smokers :

or skip ahead to read about each individually.

5 Best Vertical Smokers to Consider

1. Weber Smokey Mountain

Weber is one of the more prominent brands in outdoor cooking and is best known for their iconic kettle shaped charcoal grill as well as their high quality gas grills.

But they have not only grills, but they also have a line of classic vertical charcoal smokers known as the Smokey Mountain series

Built with high-quality and durability in mind, this 22-inch smoker won’t create a storage issue as it creates a small footprint, with a TON of cooking space on their two rack system.

If 22 inches is too big, they also have 18 inch and 14 inch models as well.

It works with both coal and wood pellets that can be easily added using its removable fuel door with ease.

Pros:

  • It comes with a removable fuel door
  • It has a full size water pan to help create a moist smoking environment and stabilize your cooking temperature.
  • 2 cooking grates offer plenty of cooking surface area without creating a storage issue
  • It is ideal for beginners as well as advanced users
  • It comes with a 10-year warranty
  • It is available in different sizes

Cons:

  • It does not have a lid hinge
  • Its smoke door does not provide a perfect seal
  • It is not insulated so you will need to take advantage of the water pan to control your temperatures.

 

2. PIT BOSS PBV3P1 Vertical Pellet Smoker

Pit Boss produces one of the best electric pellet smokers in the food industry.

With a great design, this pellet smoker has a 4-star rating on Amazon and is known to deliver the best results.

It comes with 4 racks and a spacious interior that lets you cook several batches of meat at once without taking up much space on your patio.

The double-walled insulation maintains temperature consistency without the need for a water bath.

According to customer reviews, even the internal temperature remains consistent in all weather conditions, including rain and snow.

Pros:

  • It has beautiful aesthetics with a glass-door feature
  • It provides consistent heat with double-wall insulation
  • It has a spacious interior with 901 square inches
  • It comes with a built-in meat probe that monitors the internal temperature

Cons:

  • It is hard to reassemble
  • It is difficult to find its spare parts

 

3. Pit Boss Grills 77550 Vertical Pellet Smoker

Another great Pit Boss vertical pellet smoker.

The 77550 is the big brother to our previous smoker, with over 50% more cooking area for only a slightly higher price.

This vertical smoker is also quite modern in terms of design and features.

It has a rectangular and upright shape and comes with a large glass panel on the front. You can have an uninterrupted view of your food being smoked.

It also offers you advanced cooking temperature controls with a digital LED display, so you can check the temperature whenever required.

Pros:

  • It has a large cooking area with 1,548 sq inches of cooking space
  • It comes with a programmable temperature range
  • It features an internal meat thermometer
  • It has an automatic shut-off system
  • It works from 150 to 450 Fahrenheit
  • Digital temperature control

Cons:

  • It fails to maintain a consistent temperature in certain cases
  • The LED display is not bright enough
  • The smoker may not have enough ventilation to reduce the humidity inside when using the water tray.

 

4. Dyna-Glo Offset Vertical Charcoal Smoker

Here is an example of a classic offset vertical charcoal smoker, at a VERY affordable entry level price.

With the Dynaglo Vertical Offset Smoker, you are almost guaranteed to get that smokehouse style flavor if used correctly.

It is made from heavy-duty steel for maximum durability. The dual-door design minimizes the heat loss, and the adjustable flue and handy temperature gauge provide control and versatility.

The build of this smoker is a bit thinner than the other more expensive models. But, if you’re smoking in warmer weather or don’t mind adding more fuel to the fire, this model is for you.

Pros:

  • It is an entry-level model and inexpensive
  • Its offset design provides you with a conventional-style smoked meat
  • It has a great cooking capacity
  • It is made from heavy-duty steel that can last a long time
  • It comes with a charcoal burner box that keeps the coals tight for better efficiency
  • It can control the temperature with adjustable flue height
  • It comes with a built-in thermometer that has ‘smoke zone’ markings, which further states when the fire is just right
  • It has a large, removable ash pan so; you don’t need to clean up while cooking

Cons:

  • The steel box is thinner than other expensive smoker models, so there can be a greater heat loss comparatively
  • It is not an ultra-tight build

 

5. Pit Barrel Co. Classic Vertical Barrel Smoker

If you’re looking for unparalleled cooking at an unbeatable value, go for a Pit Barrel Co. Cooker.

You can have a classic vertical pit barrel style smoker, without having to build one yourself from an oil drum.

Like the Weber Smokey Mountain, the vertical design creates from the ground up a vertical channel of heat, smoke, moisture and then food.

Like all charcoal smokers, you will have to monitor the cooking progress and temperature stability more than their electric and pellet wood brethren, but hey, isn’t that half the fun of using a smoker?

Pros:

  • It has the potential to cook quality meats
  • Great value for the money
  • It is one of the top-rated smokers on Amazon
  • It comes with a long-lasting porcelain-coated shell
  • It does not take a lot of storage space but at the same time can hold a large batch of meat with a large grilling space
  • It can be used to smoke as well as grill your meat
  • It is fairly easy to use

Cons:

  • It may be difficult for you to get the meat out without extra-long barbecue gloves
  • May require more frequent temperature monitoring

 

The Best Vertical Smokers: The Verdict

Smoking is indeed one of America’s favorite ways to cook and spend time outdoors. It makes your meat tender while adding that smoky flavor that your guests will be talking about for days.

So, consider the best vertical smoker for your backyard from our selections above.

Make sure to choose something according to your preference and budget and get going with cooking some amazing food for your family and friends!

 

Vertical Smoker Recipes

Looking for some inspiration?

Check out some of our favorite recipes below that can easily modified to be done in a vertical smoker.

Trash Can Turkey – OK, technically not made in what you would call a “conventional smoker”…but one of the most fun ways there is to cook a Turkey…

…at over 700 degrees in only 2 hours!  You’ve got to check it out!

 

 

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