Smoke and barbecue go together like fresh low-and-slow brisket and your plate. Load up the best charcoal around, stoke that fire, and watch it roar! For many backyard champions, the charcoal smoker sets the bar — but how do you know you’ve picked a winner for dinner? Luckily, you’ve got us, and our friends at BBQGuys, to steer your supper straight. Here’s what we consider the best charcoal smoker grills on the market, based on these three gold standards:
Quality — A great charcoal smoker is a tool you’ll come back to, season after season. With some models boasting premium stainless steel or even hand-welded construction, you can depend on solid endurance. Invest in your smoker. Let it last you many delicious, savory years to come.
Performance — Ask any barbeque boss around! The best results count on wider heat ranges, even cooking, high fuel efficiency, and tight seals. You’ve worked hard to get that blaze burning. Don’t you want your smoker making the most of it?
Features — Once upon a time, charcoal smoking was an earthen pit, the elements, and you. We’re not knocking old-school, but those bells and whistles get better every year. Nowadays, outdoor chefs can count on serious quality-of-life bonuses to churning out that smoky, tender grub.
Texas Original Pits Luling Smoker
The Texas Original Pits Luling single lid offset smoker is hand-forged in the USA to meet your smoking needs. Its 1/4-inch steel construction guarantees a completely stable and flat cooking surface of 1,080 square inches. Leak-free double-weld construction ensures maximum airflow efficiency and heat retention, meaning you burn less wood for longer.
Each Texas Original Pits smoker has hand-welded flanges on the doors to form a seal to keep in the heat and smoke. The dimensions in the name signify that this Luling smoker has 20-inch diameter chambers, a 42-inch-long main chamber, and a 22-inch-long firebox. The main cooking chamber comes equipped with one 19 3/4 x 36 1/2-inch slide-out cooking grate while the offset firebox contains one 19 x 18-inch cooking grate and a heavy-duty log grate.
The offset firebox, by design, gives you the option to cook directly over the flame, if you need a nice sear. On top of the firebox sits a built-in pot warmer, good for keeping your sauces and sides warm. Dual airflow dampers allow for optimal temperature control and longer life for your fuel. Attached to the lid is the chrome stay-cool spring handle that keeps your hands cool while your smoker is piping hot. Adding to the rustic design, two 16-inch steel wagon wheels give this smoker mobility, allowing you to please a hungry crowd anywhere. With expert craftsmanship, maximum efficiency, and ease of use, the Luling Offset Smoker is sure to make you the neighborhood pitmaster.
Backwoods Chubby Vertical Smoker
The Backwoods Chubby 3400 vertical charcoal smoker brings competition quality BBQ to your backyard! With four nickel plated racks, the Chubby 3400 has a total 1,023 square inches of cooking area. An extra slider on the stainless-steel interior walls allows the height of the racks to be adjusted for a more flexible meat arrangement.
A heat diverter plate keeps the heat indirect, which allows for low and slow smoking at temperatures between 180- and 300-degrees Fahrenheit. The stainless-steel water pan can be used to keep food moist while cooking, or it can be removed to use the Chubby 3400 as an effective grill. The charcoal tray can hold up to approximately 10 pounds of charcoal at a time.
As the charcoal burns, ash falls into a removable ash tray for easy cleanup. Between the stainless-steel interior and the powder coated steel exterior is a 1-inch layer of insulation, which assures better fuel efficiency and temperature control. Both the firebox and the cooking compartment have slam latch doors, keeping them tightly closed so heat and smoke are not lost. A thermometer on the cooking compartment door lets you keep an eye on the internal ambient temperature. Weighing only 130 pounds, two people can easily lift and move the Chubby 3400 using the convenient side handles.
Weber Smokey Mountain
You are going to want to take your time to enjoy every bite of deliciousness prepared in this massive slow-cooking marvel. The Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker features two 21-inch diameter steel-plated cooking grates for a whopping 726 square inches of cooking area, ideal for smoking everything from pork to chicken to a full-sized turkey.
A rust-resistant aluminum fuel door allows you to adjust or add charcoal while cooking and the adjustable airflow vent allows for controlling the temperature. The silicone thermometer probe grommet lets you monitor your food temperature without losing any heat. A porcelain-enameled water pan adds steam to the smoking process, so meat stays moist and tender. The smoker is constructed of premium-grade steel coated with porcelain enamel inside and out. Also included is a cover to protect your smoker while not in use.