A vertical smoker provides a unique method of smoking meats. Unlike traditional horizontal grills, cooking your meats vertically can give a more flavorful and authentic taste since it is designed for low and slow cooking. There is also a higher temperature range, ensuring that you can cook various meats with the right heat.
There is often a debate between purchasing a vertical smoker and a horizontal. Most horizontal smokers can smoke and grill, while vertical ones can mainly smoke. Besides this, there is not much of a difference in the overall taste, but there is a significant change in cooking space. In other words, a vertical pellet smoker provides a higher total cooking area than a horizontal one for about the same price. Therefore, you can cook more for the exact cost.
Searching for a vertical smoker does not have to be difficult. Sure, different components need to be considered for quality, but we have provided our top eight suggestions for the best vertical smokers.
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Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker
Our top pick is from Weber, the renowned grilling brand that produces authentic flavor in your very own backyard or patio. Given its reputation for high-quality grills and smokers, it is no wonder that Weber tops this list. Using charcoal as its power source, the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker gives you a real flavor that electric or gas-powered smokers cannot provide.
We think that this smoker is as heavy-duty as it gets. It is made of stainless steel which traps and retains heat perfectly so that your food gets cooked properly. Additionally, with chrome-plated smoking racks and a removable ash pan, smoking your meats becomes as flavorful and as easy as ever.
If you are just starting out smoking your meats, this device is perfect too. It has all the components you need a temperature gauge, a water pan, two vents, and a heat-resistant handle. Even if you are not a beginner, you can surely find much ease-of-use with this Weber smoker.
Camp Chef Smoke Vault 24″
The Camp Chef Smoke Vault is great for beginners because it offers easily accessible valves, dampers, and a thermometer. There are three dampers one on the top and one on either side. It gives you great temperature control of the internal heat and allows you to adjust it accordingly.
As a propane smoker, it is easy to use and easy to clean. There are no charcoal ashes that require pain-staking scooping and cleaning. However, just because it is a gas smoker does not mean you miss out on flavor. There is a wood chip tray for adding extra flavors. Plus, there is a water pan which can be used to increase the humidity in the cooking chamber or can be used for adding more flavor like apple juice or bourbon.
Additionally, this Camp Chef has a stainless steel door, which is perfect for retaining heat. You can purchase a Camp Chef XXL cover to perfectly store and protect it. Make sure that it is the Camp Chef XXL, or else it won’t fit. Overall, the Smoke Vault can range between 160 degrees Fahrenheit to 350 degrees and is perfect for those who want a bit of cooking simplicity.
Pit Boss Grills 77550
The best vertical pellet smoker is this Pit Boss Grills. It combines the elements of different cooking devices like charcoal smokers and gas grills. To function, the smoker uses fuel, but when it runs low, it switches to using wood chips from a pellet hopper found above the cooking chamber. This pellet smoker has a hopper capacity of over 40 pounds, which means you have over 24 hours’ worth of use.
This smoker is great for meats that require up to 450 degrees-worth of heat because of its five porcelain-coated cooking racks. There is lots of space for cooking as there are five smoking racks and 1548 square inches of cooking space. It also includes a heat deflector for optimal temperature control.
If you are tech-savvy even outside the kitchen, then this Masterbuilt is for you. With Bluetooth technology, you control the smoker with any smart device. This includes the overall temperature. For a quality smoker, Masterbuilt always has you covered, but this smoker goes above and beyond traditional expectations.
With this steel smoker, you get up to 721 square inches of cooking area to make your meats. The four chrome-plated cooking shelves make it easy to cook more and keep foods separated. An 800-watt heating element controls the internal temperature, making the max temperature 275 degrees perfect for low and slow cooking.
Smoker Dyna Glo DGO1890BDC-D
The Dyna Glo smoker is the epitome of a heavy-duty vertical offset smoker. As a vertical offset charcoal smoker, this Dyna Glo has a chamber located on its side powered by charcoal. This is where the smoker gets its heat and humidity. Be advised, an offset smoker often requires lots of prior knowledge, as it can be difficult to power and heat the offset chamber.
There are six cooking grates found within this Dyna Glo, each one height-adjustable. With them, you have up to 1890 square inches for cooking and up to 25-pounds worth of cooking capacity. The charcoal smoker chamber is porcelain-enameled, which retains the heat most efficiently.
An offset smoker is great if you want to prioritize low and slow cooking. Since the heat source does not directly contact the food or the cooking shelves, the smoker uses indirect heat. Through this, there is an emphasis on humidity and smoke, which not only influences the meat’s texture but also its smoky flavor.
Realcook Vertical 17-inch Steel
Another great charcoal smoker featured on this list is the Realcook Vertical. Though it is powered by charcoal which can make for a challenging cleanup it comes with a porcelain-coated water and charcoal pan for easy cleaning. There is also a built-in thermometer and a detailed temperature scale for better control of the heat.
The Realcook Vertical cooks both cool and hot foods, making it one of the more versatile devices on this list. The downside is that it does not provide as much space as other smokers on this list. Two cooking grids give a total of 453 square inches. The plus side is that this smoker includes a crossbar and four hangars for smoking different shaped meats.
As the best vertical charcoal smoker for its versatility, this Realcook is not limited to smoking foods. You can also use it for grilling, steaming, baking, roasting, and more. As many people who shop for vertical smokers are limited to only smoking foods, this one stands out and offers more than what is expected.
Cuisinart COS-244 Vertical 36″
As a propane smoker, this Cuisinart uses gas to power up and smoke your meats. It features four cooking shelves and plenty of square footage for cooking up tasty foods like whole birds and cut up meats. The stainless steel racks are great for heat control and attracting higher temperatures. Plus, they are dishwasher-safe a huge perk for those chefs who hate the cleanup.
Included in this smoker is a twist-lock door handle that tightly seals the opening every time. When it comes to smoking meats, heat retention is key. This Cuisinart understands that and has an efficient seal with the twist of a handle. There is also an easy-to-read thermometer attached to the front of the smoker. It stays in your eye-sight while you cook so that you do not have to risk losing any heat by opening the door.
Masterbuilt MB 20071117 Digital Electric Smoker
Vertical pellet smokers get a lot of hype for having a unique heat source, but a lot of people overlook the power of electric smokers. This Masterbuilt the second one on this list is an electric smoker that has all you need to smoke your meats and any other foods efficiently.
Included with this smoker is a complete digital panel for easy control. Using this panel, you have access to adjusting the on/off switch, the temperature, and the cook timer. All four racks are chrome-coated and specifically made for keeping the cleaning process as simple as possible.
One of the standout features of this smoker is the side wood chip loading system. You can easily add wood chips and other flavorings to the smoker from its side. That way, you do not even have to open the main door. You can continue to retain heat while intensifying the flavors.
Not all smokers are made the same. There are different components, ways to heat the device, and varying sizes. Heat retention, as you can tell, is the most important aspect. All eight smokers we featured have great heating properties and do an excellent job of smoking your foods.
If you are looking for the best quality, we recommend the Webber found at the top of our list. However, if you prefer something better for beginners, the Smoke Vault or the Masterbuilt Electric are also excellent choices.