What Is The Best Smoker – 2016 Detailed Review

weber-721001-smokey-mountain-cooker-18-inch-charcoal-smokerSmoking food is one of the healthiest methods used to make food as compared to deep frying food as most of the fats are drained out of the meaty foods. It can also be used to cook, flavor and even preserve the food through exposing it to smoke. In this post I have featured 5 best brands on the market and these include: Weber, Master-built, Smoke Hollow, Nordic Ware and Char-Broil – Some models use charcoal while others use electricity, However a charcoal based smoker saves money and it bakes very well though it is not as fast as an electric smoker. Charcoal smokers can be used outdoor yet electric smokers have to be indoor / under a shelter. Check out my list of the ”Best Smokers” – 2016

TOP 5 CONTENDERS – 2016

  1. markWeber 721001 Smokey Mountain Cooker 18-Inch Charcoal Smoker – Check Price on Amazon *****is popular for its built in thermometer and the porcelain-enameled steel that are all powered using charcoal
  2. markMasterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Black Electric Digital Smoker – Check Price on Amazon *****constructed with a digital temperature control and a 24 hour timer with an auto shut off feature
  3. markSmoke Hollow 38202G LPG 2-Door Smoker – Check Price on Amazon *****best known for its upper and lower vent controls alongside with a push-button ignition control system
  4. markNordic Ware 365 Indoor/Outdoor Kettle Smoker – Check Price on Amazon *****contains a nonstick smoking rack and a high dome cover
  5. markChar-Broil American Gourmet Offset Smoker – Check Price on Amazon ****popular for its two wheels and an adjustable built-in damper

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WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING A SMOKER (INDOOR/OUTDOOR)?

  • Thermometer; most of the smokers today are constructed with built in thermometers but not all of them are constructed using high quality. At the same time you should also be aware that if you choose a barrel shaped smoker that contains a separate firebox hanging on the side then you have require two of them at grate level but not high in the dome simply because the temperature that is found on one side is usually different from the other side. Remember a thermometer is responsible for measuring the internal temperature of the meat or food that is being cooked or smoked letting you monitor the amount at which your food is being prepared at. Another advantage of this thermometer that makes it stand out is its ability to indicate when the food is ready through the temperature. All the smokers in this category has this feature but the ones that stood out for me mainly was: Weber 721001 Charcoal Smoker, Masterbuilt 20070910 Electric Digital Smoker and Nordic Ware 365 Indoor/Outdoor Kettle Smoker
  • Capacity; before buying a smoker you also need to determine the kind of cooking capacity that you would require depending on your household size, events and so much more. like for example if you usually cook for few people between 1-4 then there is no need for a big sized smoker, mid-sized people then an average cooker and then larger families or guests will require a bigger smoker. The capacity of the smoker also has a lot to do with how much it can contain like for a turkey or big chicken you will require more space. For a many guests I recommend the Masterbuilt 20070910 Electric Digital Smoker with 730 square inch cooking surface and then for fewer people I recommend the Char-Broil American Gourmet Offset Smoker.
  • Water pan; the majority of smokers contains a pan that is located right above the heat source and below the cooking surface that is filled with water. Some people go ahead and fill it other things like bear, herbs, wine and so on. this liquid placed on the water pan is used to moderate the temperature fluctuations inside the smoker and this way the moisture will be able to raise the humidify inside and then also keep the meat from becoming dry as the aromatics enter deep inside it providing the best flavor. This water pan for some instances is also used to collect all the drippings from the food that you can use to make some source. If your water pan is bigger then you are at a more advantage as compared to the smaller once so make sure to check out its size before buying. Most standard bowls come with a capacity of 5-6 quarts in their smokers so make sure to choose wisely as you buy one.

 

5 BEST SMOKERS – 2016 SELECTION & REVIEWS:

 

  1. Weber 721001 Smokey Mountain Cooker 18-Inch Charcoal Smoker

weber-721001-smokey-mountain-cooker-18-inch-charcoal-smoker

 

SPECS:

  • Built-in thermometer
  • Porcelain-enameled steel
  • 2 nickel-plated 18-1/2-inch-wide cooking grates
  • Charcoal smoker
  • Heat-resistant nylon handle
  • Water pan
  • Vented bowl and lid
  • 18 inches
  • 07 pounds in weight
  • 41 x 19 x 21 inches in dimensions
  • Aluminum door and legs
  • Premium grade cover
  • 10-year limited warranty

PERFORMANCE:

If you desire an authentic smoke house flavor in your roasted or grilled food like extensive meals or basic burgers then look not beyond this Weber 721001 Charcoal Smoker. This is because this smoker has been constructed to provide every user with the best performance at all times. It has the ability to cool very juicy and moist meat that is ready both inside and out through its two Smokey Mountain in a low and slow way. Now first this Weber 721001 Charcoal Smoker is fully equipped with two nickel plated 18-1/2 inch grates for cooking that is wide enough to allow you place in food that will be enough for the entire family and even some guests.  These two cooking grates are by the way made using heavy duty plated steel that will not easily burn or rust but rather deliver the best performance with non stick materials. This is because it has a total of 481 square inches of the space used for cooking. What makes this smoker different from the traditional ones is the built in thermometer feature that is clearly placed at the top so you easily monitor the temperature of the smoker while you are cooking.  Now another great feature is the porcelain enameled water pan is that created with the role of being able to add steam to the entire smoking process so that the meat that you are smoking or grilling will remain tender and very moist. On the bowl and the lid, you will find individual vents that are designed on it while the nylon handle is constructed using heat resistant material. At 21 by 19 by 41 inches only in measurements, this smoker will be very easy to store.

PROS:

  • Built in thermometer; now this Weber 721001 Charcoal Smoker has been constructed with this amazing feature that is very important when you are cooking meat and also this will save you from purchasing your own independently. This thermometer is actually used to help measure the internal temperature of the meat especially while you are roasting or smoking the food and this way you will know whether it’s too high or low for the food. Also another important fact about this thermometer is that will also indicate if the meat is ready fully as you will like through its reading indicated on it.
  • Charcoal smoker; it’s wonderful that this Weber 721001 Charcoal Smoker has been constructed to work with charcoal which makes it very affordable as compared to the smokers that operate using electric or battery power. Most of the appliances that operate on electric power do use a lot of power that is really quite expensive as compared to charcoal. Another advantage of the charcoal usage e is that it will provide the meat with that natural woody scent or rather an authentic smoke house flavor. The charcoal smoker also has the advantage that you won’t have any limitations on where you smoke your meat outdoors as you can even go camping with it because it doesn’t require any sockets to connect but rather just stock charcoal and you are good to enjoy.
  • Water pan; there is a porcelain enameled water pan that is created on this Weber 721001 Charcoal Smoker. Now this water pan is very important because it will constantly keep producing steam that will make sure that the meat you are cooking will remain very tender and moist and not hard and dry like in the cases of smokers that don’t contain the water pan. It is also made of quality material that will ensure that it doesn’t burn out from excessive heating or rust from water exposure.
  • Two cooking grates; there are two cooking grated that are built on this Weber 721001 Charcoal Smoker and each of them has been built with material of heavy duty plated steel. Now the main role of these grates is to ensure that you have enough room for both smoking ribs and then roast all at the same time. You can place the delicate ribs on the upper plate and then the roast at the lower one and food will be ready to serve at the same time saving you from having to smoke each of them at a time.

CONS:

  • Single power source; this Weber 721001 Charcoal Smoker is constructed with only a single power source which is the charcoal power source which means that when you run out of charcoal, you won’t be able to use any other power source till you get the charcoal. This puts a limitation to using this smoker.

 

2.   Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Black Electric Digital Smoker

masterbuilt-20070910-30-inch-black-electric-digital-smoker

SPECS:

  • Electric smoker
  • Digital temperature and timer controls
  • 730 sq. inches of cooking space
  • A powder coated steel outer material
  • Thermostat temperature control
  • 4 chrome-coated racks
  • An auto shut-off.
  • A top air damper
  • A removable drip pan and water pan
  • Weight of 45.9 pounds
  • An 800 watt heating element
  • side loading wood chips
  • 20 x 17 x 33.5 inches

PERFORMANCE:

Masterbuilt 20070910 Electric Digital Smoker for so many years now is well known for its innovation and quality when it comes to cooking providing you with deliciously cooked food inside and out. First of all its performance features 4 smoking racks in it that are created to provide plenty of room to cook foods like turkey, pork, beef, chicken, fish, ham and so much more.  These racks provide up to 730 square inches of space for cooking which as you can see is much larger than the space in the first reviewed smoker. What impressed me more is the digital temperature settings that allows you be able to set the temperature between 100degrees F to 275degrees F depending on what you are cooking and you can easily control it through the thermostat. Another feature that works along this is the timer control feature with a 0 to 24 digital timer that allows you be able to set the amount of time for cooking specific foods and then with an auto shutoff going off after a period that is set so that your food won’t have to be overcooked or dry when you serve. All these can be accessed through staring with the push button precision digital control that is placed clearly on the Masterbuilt 20070910 Electric Digital Smoker. Now the walls of this smoker that have a beautiful design have been constructed with 100% of insulation so that it is more energy efficient and can also provide even cooking on the food on every corner. You will also find a very convenient and safe side loading of wood on its tray that is provided. If you would like your food to be mildly favored then you can make use of the adjustable air damper so that you can minimize the smoke level and if you like a healthy flavor then you can leave the air damper closed so that the smoke levels are intensified.

PROS:

  • Temperature settings; this powerful and reliable Masterbuilt 20070910 Electric Digital Smoker is constructed with an allowance in the temperature settings that lets you be able to easily set the temperatures between 100 degrees F up to 275 degrees F after you have started it up using the pushbutton digital control. This temperature that you have set will be very consistent throughout the cooking and this way the meat or food your smoking will come out in the same exact way like you like it. This feature also coordinates with the digital timer that can be set and then it will automatically go off after the set period preventing the food from overly cooking or drying.
  • Four racks; the total amount of racks inside this Masterbuilt 20070910 Electric Digital Smoker amount of four and each of them chrome coated in material. This number of racks means that you will have a wide and spacious cooking space of up to more than 730 square inches of all of them out together. This way there will be enough room to prepare a number of foods like chicken, pork, fish, ram, sausages and so much more which will be enough especially when you have additional guests for any occasion.
  • 100% insulated walls; the walls of this Masterbuilt 20070910 Electric Digital Smoker have been entirely insulated while the outer walls have been constructed with a powder coated steel material that will make sure that the heat inside will not be able to escape at any point while cooking. This walls have been insulates so that you obtain an energy efficient and even cooking so that the food won’t be overly cooked on one side and half raw on the other side like in the cased of smokers without this feature.
  • Side wood chip loader; using this Masterbuilt 20070910 Electric Digital Smoker just got much simpler through its wood chip loader that is found on the side of it. this feature add more convenience as you don’t have to open the door when you have to add in more wood chips but rather just easily fill the loader with any cooking wood of your choice and thereafter slide it into the side of the smoker and relax as it smokes to cook your food.

CONS:

  • Heavy; this Masterbuilt 20070910 Electric Digital Smoker weighs up to 45.9 pounds in overall weight which makes it quiet really hard to move around especially when you don’t have any other person to assist you. So if you constantly put it to use it means you should find a place where it will be store most of the times and also put to use without you having to move it.

 

3.   Smoke Hollow 38202G LPG 2-Door Smoker

smoke-hollow-38202g-lpg-2-door-smoker

 

SPECS:

  • Welded steel cabinet
  • LP gas of Fuel type
  • Upper and lower vent controls
  • Push-button ignition system
  • Double doors
  • 4 cubic feet of cabinet capacity
  • External temperature gauge
  • Output at 20,000 BTUs
  • Technical dimensions of 47 x 19 x 28 inches
  • 68 pounds
  • 38 inch
  • A cast brass gas control system

PERFORMANCE:

Smoke Hollow 38202G LPG Smoker is the kind that prioritizes its performance to the very best at all times.  Basically it is best described as a 38 inch cabinet that features double doors and does provide one of the best cooking capacities especially in the smoke hollow smoker category. First of all, its double door system lets you be able to simply feed the water and the wood pans to the smoker without having to first open the top doors and then releasing the smoke and heat which leads to heat loss. Remember it uses LP gas fuel type and so you have to maintain the temperature inside and not lose it by opening the doors. This is why its doors are constructed to lock on tightly and if you want to access the wood chips and the water pans then you will have to separate the doors. This way you will be able to control the heat and moisture internally and have an even cooking on all sides and the inside as well. It is also able to produce up to 20,000 BTUs of heat while turned on through the push-button ignition system which makes it able to cook food quickly. Its cast brass gas control system is designed and will provide the user with ultimate control of the smoker and it also allows you be able to increase the temperature range from low to high. Its cooking capacity is determined by the 3.4 cubic feet of cabinet capacity that allows you place in just as much food to feed mid-sized crowds. Finally this Smoke Hollow 38202G LPG Smoker features a solid steel construction which is very sturdy and not flimsy with screws that are welded tight so that you own it for many years ahead in a good working condition.

PROS:

  • Maintains even temperature; this Smoke Hollow 38202G LPG Smoker is able to maintain the temperature evenly that is smoking the food so that its prepared well just like you would like it. this is helped by the external temperature gauge that makes sure that regardless of the current temperature that is externally, the temperature inside will not be affected so that the smoking temperature inside the smoker is maintain throughout from the beginning till the point when the food is ready to be served.
  • Double locking doors; this Smoke Hollow 38202G LPG Smoker is constructed with double door locking technology that is very important when you are using gas to smoke the food because it will assist you not to lose as much temperature and spend less fuel to cook. These doors also allow you be able to feed the wood pans and the water pan easily without having to first open the top door and in the process let the heat and smoke out. This doors that lock on tight makes it very easy to control the internal temperature for a much even and thorough cooking,
  • Output at 20,000 BTUs; now first the term BTU represents British Thermal Unit and it is used to depict the power of heating in this case of a smoker every single hour. So in this case of this Smoke Hollow 38202G LPG Smoker, it is built with an output capacity at 22,000 BTUs which is very high and able to cook every kind of food including a whole turkey as well. This is because this higher BTU allows it be able to reach a high heating capacity that will get the food ready both inside and out.
  • A cast brass gas control ; this Smoke Hollow 38202G LPG Smoker is also constructed with a cast brass gas control technology that is created to perform through providing the user with ultimate control of the cooking and then also be able to increase the temperature from low to high. This way you will be able to set the amount of temperature that is very appropriate for cooling a certain type of food.

CONS:

  • No drip pan; the only downside to this Smoke Hollow 38202G LPG Smoker is that it isn’t constructed with a drip pan that is supposed to collect all the fatting that is from the food while its being smoked or grilled. This means that all that fatting will just go to wastage and yet some people love to use them on cooking other meals.

4.   Nordic Ware 365 Indoor/Outdoor Kettle Smoker

nordic-ware-365-indoor-outdoor-kettle-smoker

SPECS:

  • High dome cover
  • Built in Thermometer
  • Comfortable Handles
  • Base and water pan
  • Nonstick smoking rack
  • Built in vent
  • 9 x 13 x 13.5 inches in technical specs
  • Light weight of 9.6 pounds

PERFORMANCE:

Away from the usually boring designed smokers is the exceptionally unique and gorgeous Nordic Ware 365 Indoor/Outdoor Kettle Smoker that is definitely going to match every single kitchen appliance in your household and then if you choose to place it outdoors…it will stand unique and eye catching among all the rest. It is a 365 kettle smoker that has some exceptional features that make it perform above the rest in any kind of environment like the outdoors and indoors without the temperature inside being affected. It has the ability to work using an indoor gas, ceramic, electric and induction burners or even outdoor grills as well. This smoker is designed with a water drip pan and base that are removable plus a smocking rack that is used to place whichever kind of food that you would like to prepare. This smoking rack is made using nonstick material so that the food isn’t easily burnt. Most importantly is the thermometer that it comes attached with that is used as a smoking temperature gauge and at the same time also a food thermometer that you assist you monitor the temperature of the cooking food simply without opening to check it out and this way when it is fully prepared you will know and then serve. Its superfine wood chips feature lets you have a fast and clean burn. This Nordic Ware 365 Indoor/Outdoor Kettle Smoker is also constructed with a high dome cover that will keep all the food closed inside allowing you prepare large foods like chicken or any other roasts. Finally let’s look at the built in vent feature that performs outstandingly through allowing the user be able to control the cook temperature and the air or the smoke mixture inside while it’s cooking.

PROS:

  • Built in vent; if you want to smoke the best kind of food like the ones the professional chefs do then you will have to know the important of the vent. This is because a vent like the one found on this Nordic Ware 365 Indoor/Outdoor Kettle Smoker allows you easily control the amount of cooking temperature that is inside. This way you will have just the right amount of temperature inside and it will fully prepare you food. Another pro to this built in vent is that it also allows you control the amount of smoke that is inside like do you want it to be low or full smoke to bring out the kind of taste in food you would like.
  • Thermometer; this Nordic Ware 365 Indoor/Outdoor Kettle Smoker will saving you from having to purchase your own thermometer independently because it comes with one to help you monitor the temperature inside and then when you set the temperature it will be able to maintain it. This thermometer is used as a smoking temperature gauge and also the food thermometer to help you be informed about the progress of what is being smoked. Once the food has been fully prepared you will know and then switch off the smoker so that the food won’t have to overly cook or burn.
  • High dome cover; this Nordic Ware 365 Indoor/Outdoor Kettle Smoker has been created with a larger capacity dome cover that not all covers the food but provides an allowance for you to be able to cook a lot more food that will be enough for your family and additional guests. With such a high dome cover, you will be able to fully cook in chicken and other larger amount of roasts without it feeling small or without you having to cook each at a time.
  • Oven safe; this is so far the only and the first smoker in this category that is oven safe among all the ones we have reviewed so far. In other words this Nordic Ware 365 Indoor/Outdoor Kettle Smoker is actually a multipurpose kitchen appliance that can be used both outdoors and indoors as well. When using it indoors inside the oven, make sure that you first take out the water pan and the smoking rack because they are not needed in this case and now you can insert it inside the oven and cook your favorite meals.

CONS:

  • Hard to find the wood chips; this Nordic Ware 365 Indoor/Outdoor Kettle Smoker is constructed to work with superfine wood chips that is if you choose to smoke your food or use it outdoors. But now the challenge is that these chips are not easy to come across especially in the local brick and mortars. Even when you find in other stores, they won’t be a different kind and not the ground type that is best for smokers.

 

5.   Char-Broil American Gourmet Offset Smoker

char-broil-american-gourmet-offset-smoker

SPECS:

  • BBQ and Charcoal Grill
  • Firebox chamber with a 40 square inch cooking surface
  • Main chamber with a 290 square inch cooking surface
  • Bi-metal thermometer
  • Clean out door
  • Porcelain wire grates
  • Two plastic wheels
  • Adjustable height steel fire grate
  • An adjustable built-in damper
  • 75 x 46.25 x 17.5 inches
  • 24 pounds
  • Steel construction

PERFORMANCE:

This Char-Broil American Gourmet Offset Smoker is constructed mainly first times smokers of people that need to cook for very few people and not an army of people. It performs by allowing you have a classic indirect smoking through the transmission of flavor, smoke and minimal heat through the chamber for cooking or cooking chamber. So this cooking chamber is divided into two which is the firebox chamber that contains a 40 square inch surface of cooking surface and the main chamber that contains a 290 square inch of cooking surface. Each of them is constructed using porcelain wire cooking grates. In order to remove the ashes from the smoker you will use the simple door and then it also has a convenient side shelf for storage. This is strictly a BBQ and charcoal grill that allows you enjoy the most out of grilled, roasted or smoked delicious meals. It is constructed with a bi-metal thermometer that is used to help you maintain and monitor the temperature that is used to heat the food internally and also its constructed using quality steel material that endeavors the heat is not easily lost. This thermometer is helped using the adjustable built in damper found on it. Two of the stable stands are plastic wheels constructed on them that allows for easy movement without having to carry the entire 24 pounds. The fire grate can also be simply adjusted so that you determine the level of fire needed to smoke the food.

PROS:

  • Maintains temperature; this Char-Broil American Gourmet Offset Smoker is able to properly maintain the temperature that is internally so that your food gets to be cooked well. This temperature is maintain throughout the entire inside allowing the food to get fully prepared on every side and not just ready on one side and then half cooked on the other side. This temperature consistency is very important at making food get prepares quickly and it comes out just like it’s supposed to be
  • Two plastic wheels; this is the only smoker in this category that is constructed with wheels and it’s the best of this kind that is why we choose it among out top best. These plastic wheels are first of all made with quality materials so that they will be able to accommodate the weight of the entire Char-Broil American Gourmet Offset Smoker and they won’t scratch your floor nor easily dig deep into the ground. But importantly they are created to ease movement so that you easily shift it from place to place making it the best commercial smoker you will find as you won’t have to put up with the heavy weight but just roll it from one place to the other.
  • Two cooking chambers; this Char-Broil American Gourmet Offset Smoker is constructed with up to two cooking chambers so that you can cook enough food to serve you family or your guests. First it has the firebox chamber that measures 40 square inch of cooking surface allowing you place in just enough then the main chamber where most of the cooking is performed and it measures up to 290 square inch of cooking surface letting have enough room to cook larger food like chicken and so on.
  • Easy ash removal; this Char-Broil American Gourmet Offset Smoker is constructed with a door that helps it assist the user be able to easily remove ashes out of it. When the ash is accumulated then the smoker will not be as effective as if it’s not full. So this door allows you easily get it out as it is larger enough as compared to the other smokers with ash doors that are very small that you will require a long larger spoon or something similar to obtain the ash out.

CONS:

  • Low quality finishing; the finishing of this Char-Broil American Gourmet Offset Smoker is really made of low quality considering the fact that top most layer will easily scrape off leaving the inner steel material that will eventually start rusting as well. This will leave the smoker look very terrible and unhealthy to place in food. This low quality finishing is the reason it will smell terribly once you have just started using it as many of the clients have complained about it.

****OUR BEST CHOICE****

Weber 721001 Smokey Mountain Cooker 18-Inch Charcoal Smoker

weber-721001-smokey-mountain-cooker-18-inch-charcoal-smoker

[markSee price on Amazon….]

 

WHAT MAKES Weber 721001 OUR BEST CHOICE?

  • Provides authentic smokehouse flavor
  • Contains a thermometer
  • Handle made of heat resistant nylon material
  • A storage cover
  • Constructed with porcelain-enameled steel
  • Individual vents on the lid and bowl
  • Two 18-1/2-inch-wide cooking grates
  • Sturdy built
  • Non slippery stand
  • 10 year limited warranty
  • Premium cover
  • Stainless steel construction

best-smoker

This marks the end of this detailed review on the ‘’Best Smokers’’ – 2016. Bookmark this post for quick reference.