Shopping for a new smoker can be a daunting task to say the least! There’s a tonne of different types out there, at a heap of different price points. So, how do you know if you’re getting something that’s good quality and will turn out results that you’re proud of? Well, that’s what we’re trying to make easy for you. In this article we’ve rounded up the best smokers on the market in 2021.
We’ve broken them down into categories based on the type of smoker you’re after. Feel free to read down the list and see which one suits your needs best.
Or, if you want more information about each type of smoker, check out our article on what’s the best type of smoker?
These top smokers have been all been chosen to be featured on this list based on their results, affordability, quality, cooking capacity and durability. So, whatever you choose, you really can’t go wrong!
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The 8 Best Smokers on the Market in 2021
Kamado Joe Classic II - Best Kamado
Pit Barrel Cooker - Best Drum
Oklahoma Joe's Highland Reverse - Best Offset
Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker - Best Vertical Charcoal
Bradley Digital Electric Smoker - Best Electric
Masterbuilt ThermoTemp - Best Propane
Weber Performer Deluxe - Best Kettle
Oklahoma Joe's Combo - Best Combo
Best Pellet Smoker for 2021:
Recteq RT-700 Bull
The recteq RT-700 is one value-packed smoker! It’s not one of the cheapest models on the market, but, what you get for the money is darn right impressive.
Recteq have been around for a few years now and they wanted to design smokers that you wouldn’t need to replace after a few seasons. So, they took it upon themselves to build pellet smokers that are so solid and so durable that handing them down to your kids isn’t an insane thought.
The RT-700 is their mid-size pellet smoker and like the rest of their range, about 20% of this grill is made from rust-resistant stainless steel.
For such a reasonable price you get a stainless cooking chamber, stainless grates, stainless firepot and stainless heat deflectors, just to name a few. The ignitor rod is ceramic and will last for about 300 years of very regular use. There’s a huge 40 pound pellet hopper, WiFi, 2 meat probes, and, an internal light to make life easy. The construction is second to none!
In terms of performance, temperature regulation is pretty spot on thanks to the PID-style temperature controller. Simply set your target on the LED panel and the RT-700 will do all the work for you to keep it within about 5°F of your target at all times.
On it’s 702 square inches of cooking space (optional second grate available), you can smoke, bake, roast and dehydrate. There’s a FULL function that takes this grill hotter than it’s max 500°F so you can grill and sear easily and effectively.
To top it off, the recteq RT-700 comes with an industry-leading 6 year warranty that covers every single component of this top rated smoker.
So, if easy, unbeatable results is what you’re looking for, the RT-700 simply won’t disappoint!
Specs for the recteq RT-700
Barbecue type: Wood pellet grill and smoker
Barbecue material: Stainless steel and powder-coated steel
Grate material: Stainless steel
Cooking capacity: 702 sq. in., or 1,054 sq. in. with optional extra rack
Pellet hopper capacity: 40 lbs
Heat range: 200 – 500°F +
Fuel type: Wood pellet
Price guide: $$$$
Dimensions: 54″(W) x 36″(D) x 50″(H)
Weight: 195 lbs
Warranty: 6 years
Pros of the recteq RT-700:
- Premium build
- PID temperature controller keeps cooking temperature steady at all times
- Wide temperature range lets you smoke, grill, sear, bake and dehydrate
- Huge pellet hopper gives up to 40 hours of unassisted smoke time
- WiFi connectivity lets you control it remotely from your smartphone
- Comes with 2 meat probes for accurate feedback on exactly when your meat is perfectly cooked
- Washable interior light
- Shutdown mode is self-cleaning, minimizing the need to clean the firepot
- 6 year bumper to bumper warranty
Cons of the recteq RT-700:
- There’s no easy way to empty unused pellets from the hopper. Recteq did this on purpose because, as they’ve explained, adding a door makes it easier for moisture to get into the hopper and ruin the pellets. But, you can actually store unused pellets in the hopper for a few weeks
- There’s no open flame grilling. But, you can get an optional sear kit for even better results
Best Kamado Smoker:
Kamado Joe Classic II
Having to choose just one kamado as the best smoker on the market isn’t a hard task because the Kamado Joe Classic II is miles above the competition!
Mixing this traditional style of barbecuing with innovative features, the Classic Joe is an absolute pleasure to use and comes in at a very reasonable cost. Whether you want to grill, smoke, bake, braise or sear, everything is possible on this one unit.
But, what makes it such a clear winner?
To start with, this kamado not only comes with a stainless steel latch to hold the good stuff in, it’s also got an industry leading, fiberglass gasket that’ll keep the seal tight for 10 times longer than any other competitor. Then, there’s also the Air Lift Hinge which makes opening the heavy ceramic lid as easy as enjoying the pie you can bake on it. The nifty little Kontrol Tower that sits on top won’t just satisfy the perfectionists who are after precise temperature control. It’ll also keep the weather out so you can fire up the ‘cue for just as good results even when the sun’s not shining.
But, that’s not all. The Classic Joe also gives you access to the handy Divide and Conquer cooking system. This feature overcomes the typical kamado issue of not having much cooking space. With Kamado Joe, you can mix and match different cooking surfaces split over two layers for the ultimate flexibility to cook things that require different heat exposure at the same time.
And, if the lack of technological input has put you off using a kamado grill before, try to iKamand. This handy add-on keeps an eye on the exact cooking temperature, sending updates to your phone while also letting you save programmable cook settings so you won’t forget exactly how you got that brisket so darn good!
Last but not least, there’s the unique six-piece firebox design that reduces the chance of this all important part of the unit from cracking if you accidentally run it too hot.
Specs for the Kamado Joe Classic II
Fuel type: Charcoal
Barbecue material: Glazed ceramic
Grate material: 304 stainless steel
Cooking capacity: 256 sq. in. in basic setup, 407 sq. in. with grill expander, 508 sq. in. with 2 sets of grates or 660 sq. in. with 2 sets of grates and expander
Heat Range: 225°F-750°F
Model: Classic II
Assembled size (in): 46.5″ W x 48″ H x 28″ D
Warranty: Lifetime on ceramics, 5 years on metal parts, 3 years on heat deflector and pizza stone, 1 year on thermometer and gasket
Pros of the Kamado Joe Classic II:
- Versatile barbecue that can cook everything – grill, smoke, sear, bake, braise
- Quality ceramic shell mixed with industry leading gasket is ideal for cooking in cold climates
- Stainless steel cooking grates for durability
- Air Lift Hinge makes it effortless to open the heavy lid
- Kontrol Tower allows for precise temperature control in all weather conditions
- Divide and Conquer cooking system gives total flexibility to cook what you want how you want to
- Six-piece firebox design minimizes chances of cracking due to being run too hot
- Slide out ash drawer makes it easy to clean
- Excellent warranty
- Available with or without a stand for stand-alone use or integration into outdoor kitchen
Cons of the Kamado Joe Classic II:
- Even with the Divide and Conquer cooking system, the cooking capacity is limited compared to other types of barbecues
Best Drum Smoker:
Pit Barrel Cooker Classic
If the idea of very easy to use, super affordable and durable sounds good to you then the Pit Barrel Cooker might be your match!
This smoker was carefully designed by a US Veteran and has since earned it’s top reviews because it’s pretty much a set and forget solution that’s also cheap and turns out amazing results faster than most other smokers.
The drum itself is porcelain-enameled, making it really durable but light enough to transport easily. Inside, you can stack your meat on the standard grill grate. But, it’s really designed to take advantage of the natural convectional movement of heat to cook food quickly while it’s hanging vertically. It also means it can hold a heap of meat without taking up much ground space.
There’s no vents and no temperature gauge because the Pit Barrel Cooker is a fixed temperature smoker. You literally load the charcoal down the bottom, add your meat, put the lid on and walk away. All the moisture is held in leaving you with really moist meat that’s amazingly cooked evenly from one end to the other.
It’s the real deal! Very consistent and pretty much foolproof. The Pit Barrel Cooker is ideal for beginners but also suits the seasoned pro who’s over having to babysit their cook but still wants that real charcoal smoked flavor.
Specs for the Pit Barrel Cooker
Fuel type: Charcoal
Barbecue material: Porcelain-enameled, 18-gauge steel
Grate material: Stainless steel or regular steel depending on accessory
Cooking capacity: Varies depending on accessories used
Model: Pit Barrel Cooker Classic Package
Assembled size (in): 21″ W x 31.1″ H x 21″ D
Warranty: 1 year
Pros of the Pit Barrel Cooker:
- One of the most affordable, top rated smokers out there
- No moving parts to break coupled with the durable shell means it’ll last years and years
- So easy to use
- Comes with all the accessories you need to get started
- You’re supporting a US-based, family business
- Holds a huge amount of meat
- Cooks faster than most smokers
Cons of the Pit Barrel Cooker:
- Can be used as a grill, but, it’s not what it’s primarily designed for
- Easier to get the meat out without burning yourself if you’ve got quality barbecue gloves
Best Offset Smoker:
Oklahoma Joe's Highland Reverse Flow Smoker
How could we possibly start reviewing the best smokers on the market in 2021 without talking about the great traditional option, the Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Reverse Offset Smoker? This barbecue is solid, reliable and will last you a very, very long time if you look after it right.
Fire it up with your mix of charcoal and/or wood to enjoy that true barbecue flavor right in your own backyard. If you’re a beginner, it’ll take you a few runs to find this ‘cues sweet spot but once you do, it’ll hands-down give you some of the most legit smoked meat you can dream of.
With a decent capacity that’s more than enough to cater for a large family with leftovers, smoke away in the main chamber while you grill up some sausages in the firebox. The quality dampers make setting the temperature easy while the addition of a baffle plate in this reverse flow design means you’ll get even heat and smoke distribution throughout and won’t have to worry about turning the meat to avoid having under and over-cooked bits.
The Highland Reverse also comes with a sturdy cart with wheels, built-in thermometer and enough storage space that this barbecue is all you’ll need for grilling or smoking for years to come.
Stats for the Oklahoma Joe's Highland Reverse Offset Smoker
Fuel type: Charcoal or wood
Barbecue material: Painted steel
Grate material: Porcelain-coated wire
Cooking capacity: 619 sq. in. primary, 281 sq. in. secondary
Assembled size (in): 53(H) x 57(W) x 33.5(D)
Warranty: 2 years
Pros of the Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Reverse Flow Offset Smoker:
- Durable smoker that can last a lifetime with proper care
- Creates that true charcoal and/or wood fired barbecue flavor
- Large cooking capacity
- Reverse flow design means even heat and smoke distribution for an even cook
- Can be set up as a traditional offset smoker
- Can be set up as a dedicated charcoal grill
- Offers grilling space over the fire while smoking
- Cart is sturdy and makes moving it by yourself easy
- Storage racks give plenty of space for leaving supplies
- Comes with a reasonably accurate temperature gauge, but, there’s another bung if you want to throw another in
Cons of the Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Reverse Offset Charcoal Smoker:
- Expect it to leak a bit of smoke around the doors and possibly the join between the firebox and cooking chamber. We still get great results despite the smoke loss but you could always install a gasket and seal with high-heat silicon if you want a leak-proof box
- Running it too hot will cause the paint to peel. But, it’s an easy fix by lightly sanding and respraying with high-heat barbecue paint
Best Vertical Charcoal Smoker:
Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker
The bestseller, the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker knows that basic can be so darn good! And, by keeping it simple, this unit consistently turns out competition-quality meats with that unbeatable, authentic charcoal, wood smoked flavor.
As you’d expect from Weber, the Smokey Mountain Cooker is exceptionally crafted. Made from the same durable, porcelain-enameled shell that they use in all of their charcoal ‘cues, this unit is easy to clean and can last way longer than it’s impressive 10 year warranty. It’s also got good quality dampers that make adjusting the temperature and smoke levels easy, an accurate built-in thermometer and a removable fuel door so you don’t need to move all that meat just to add some more charcoal.
Available in 3 sizes, you can choose to have up to 726 square inches of cooking space to play with. And, because of it’s vertical design, it’ll only take up a fraction of that on the ground. Additionally, because it’s a charcoal based smoker, it’s portable too.
Add in Weber’s iGrill 2 meat thermometers if you want even greater control of your cook. The Smokey Mountain Cooker has a port to feed the wires through for real-time updates sent to your phone. This will give you an accurate reading on how done your meat is so under and over-cooked barbecue can be a thing of the past.
Stats for the Weber Smokey Mountain Charcoal Cooker 22"
Fuel type: Charocal
Barbecue material: Porcelain-enameled steel
Grate material: Plated steel
Cooking capacity: 726 sq. in.
Dimensions: 48.5(H) x 23(W) x 24(D)
Warranty: 10 years on bowl and lid, 5 years on plastics and cleaning system, 2 years on remaining parts
Pros of the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker:
- Dedicated Weber smoker that comes with the same excellent quality that the brand is known for
- Large cooking capacity in a space-saving vertical deisgn
- Competition-quality smoker
- Removable fuel door means you can add charcoal and wood without moving the meat
- Quality damper with accurate temperature gauge make it easy to control your cook
- Compatible with Weber’s internal meat probes, the iGrill 2 for real-time updates that you can send to your phone
- Industry leading warranty
- Available in three sizes depending on your needs
Cons of the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker:
- There’s no awesome side hook to hang the lid. But, being a smoker, you shouldn’t need to take it off much
- Some smoke leaks around the door but this shouldn’t stop you from getting incredible results
Best Electric Smoker:
Bradley Digital Electric Smoker
For the meat lover who lives in a condo or doesn’t want to worry about stocking up on fuel, the Bradley Digital Electric Smoker is our favorite in this category.
This electric vertical smoker is a true set and forget unit. Not only does it run straight from your regular power, but, unlike most on the market, it’s automatic wood briquette feeding feature means that once it’s on, you seriously don’t need to touch a thing. Also unique to this model, there’s two separate heating elements, one for the temperature and one for smoke creation, giving you more control over the smoking process.
And, if you’re always busy around the house or want to keep your eyes on the game, hook the Bradley Digital up to your phone so you can see how your cook is going and change the temperature if required. You can even set a timer to turn this smoker off when it’s done.
Just one thing to note, the Bradley Digital Electric Smoker is just that, a smoker! The heating element isn’t powerful enough to crank it up for grilling. But, if low and slow is your thing, this is an exceptional unit.
Stats for the Bradley Digital Electric 4-Rack Smoker
Barbecue material: Stainless steel
Grate material: Coated wire
Cooking capacity: 520 sq. in.
Fuel type: Digital electric
Wattage: 500 watt cooking element + 125 watt smoking element
Temperature range: Up to 320F
Assembled size (in): 17(W) x 14(D) x 31(H)
Warranty: 1 year
Pros of the Bradley Digital Electric Smoker:
- Total set and forget smoking experience that’s electric powered and has an automatic feeding wood smoke system
- Two heating elements for greater control over heat level and smoke level
- Use the Bradley app for control straight from your smartphone
- Auto-off feature to avoid overdone, dry meat
- Quality build
- Removable ash catcher for easy cleanup
- Bradley bisquettes are available in more than 16 flavors giving you plenty of options for flavor
Cons of the Bradley Digital Electric Smoker:
- Dedicated smoker! It only does low and slow
- You’re also committing to buying the Bradley bisquettes. But, they’re good and a decent price
Best Propane Smoker:
Masterbuilt ThermoTemp Propane Smoker
If propane is your fuel of choice, you’ve got to grab this temperature regulating gas smoker from the industry leaders, Masterbuilt. And, yes, you read that right, it’s a self-temperature regulating propane smoker where you don’t need to touch your supply at all during your cook.
Thanks to Masterbuilt’s patent-pending ThermoTemp technology, this baby has a sensor that controls the burner to turn the heat up or down as is needed to keep the internal temperature steady. And, if the wind happens to blow the flame out, the safety mechanism will automatically shut off the gas supply so your backyard isn’t being pumped full of propane.
In terms of the Masterbuilt ThermoTemp’s cook, there’s over 700 square inches of space to play with. Or, if that’s not enough, size up to the 40-inch model and you’ll be feeding a crowd. A heat diffuser helps to keep the temperature of the cooking chamber even throughout so you don’t need to worry too much about meat placement and cook times.
As is standard with Masterbuilt, the ThermoTemp also has a second door so you can add water and wood without letting all the heat out.
Oh, and, there’s also a fuel level gauge so you can easily see how much is in your tank to get an idea of when it’ll need to be swapped out.
Stats for the Masterbuilt ThermoTemp Propane Smoker 30"
Fuel type: Propane gas
Barbecue material: Powder-coated steel
Grate material: Chrome-plated wire
Cooking capacity: 713 sq. in.
Number of burners: 1
Total burner BTU-per-hour-input: 15,750
Model: MPS 340|G
Assembled size (in): 43.11 (H) x 23.42 (W) x 20.03 (D)
Warranty: 1 year
Pros of the Masterbuilt ThermoTemp Propane Smoker:
- Unique automatic temperature control that adjusts the gas supply as needed to maintain an even internal temperature without you having to adjust the propane bottle
- Even heat distribution throughout thanks to a heat diffuser
- Choice of two sizes to suit your needs
- Accurate gauge shows how much propane is left in your bottle
- Unique safety feature that automatically shuts off the propane if the flame goes out
- Double door design so you can add water and wood without letting the heat out
Cons of the Masterbuilt ThermoTemp Propane Smoker:
- Glass door will fog up quite quickly so it’s not very practical to use to see how your meat is going
Best Kettle Barbecue:
Performer Deluxe Charcoal Grill 22"
This barbecue has all the telltale quality of the industry’s leading brand and adds a few modern extras to kit it out. Instead of having to manually light the coals, simply hit the instant ignition on the Performer Deluxe and let the grill heat up on it’s own while you prep the goods. Then, there’s the removable LCD timer that’s super useful for anyone like myself who gets carried away talking to friends or deeply immersed in the game. If that’s not enough feedback to appeal to your inner geek, the Performer Deluxe is also compatible with the Weber iGrill 2 meat probes for real-time updates that’ll mean you never have to eat overcooked meat again.
Perfect for a family or medium-sized gatherings, there’s 363 square inches of cooking space. Plus, this model also comes with the handy and sturdy table cart. Built into that is a plastic charcoal storage bucket so you can keep your fuel nearby without worrying about the weather getting to it.
But, what always gets us (apart from the exceptional Weber quality and extra long warranties), is that on a Weber, you can mix and match it with any of their handy accessories. So, if you love barbecued chicken, grab a rotisserie, or, a must-have stone for pizza fanatics. The options of what you can cook on one of these ‘cues is almost endless!
Stats for the Weber Performer Deluxe Charcoal 22" Grill
Fuel type: Charcoal
Barbecue material: Porcelain-enameled
Grate material: Plated steel
Cooking capacity: 363 sq.
Dimensions: 48″ W x 43.5″ H x 30″ D
Warranty: 10 years on bowl and lid, 5 years on plastics and cleaning system, 2 years on remaining parts
Pros of the Weber Performer Deluxe 22″ Charcoal Grill:
- Versatile barbecue that’s great for grilling, searing, smoking and cooking pizzas
- Durable, porcelain-coated shell will last for years
- Instant start ignition makes lighting charcoal easy
- Removable LCD timer makes it easy to keep an eye on how long anything’s been cooking for
- Easy to use, rust-resistant dampers offer excellent heat control
- Tuck away lid holder means there’s always somewhere for the hot lid
- Large, removable ash catcher makes cleanup easy
- Comes with quality cart for plenty space to work
- Includes a plastic charcoal bin to keep your fuel try
- Compatible with the iGrill 2 meat probes
- Compatible with Weber gourmet bbq accessories
Cons of the Weber Performer Deluxe 22″ Charcoal Grill:
- Having the built-in cart means that this barbecue isn’t as portable as the Original Kettle. But, the built-in cart provides valuable storage and extra work space
Best Combo Smoker:
Oklahoma Joe’s Combo Charcoal & Gas Offset Smoker
Can’t make up your mind which type of smoker you’d like? Well, choose the Oklahoma Joe’s Combo and you don’t need to settle for just one. This fan favorite barbecue is a gas grill and offset smoker. But, you can also use the smoker section as a charcoal grill and get a bonus side sear station that’s great for reverse searing or extra gas grilling space.
Totaling over 1,000 square inches of cooking space mixed across the different barbecuing zones, even the most experimental pit masters shouldn’t get bored of the Oklahoma Joe Combo.
And, as the top of the line range from Char Broil, you can expect decent quality, heavy-gauge steel and a sturdy cart with plenty of built-in storage for your propane bottle too. There’s also two temperature gauges for accurate monitoring of your cook plus quality dampers that make it easy to dial in that low and slow perfection.
Stats for the Oklahoma Joe Combo Grill and Smoker
Barbecue material: Painted 2.5mm steel
Grate material: Porcelain-coated cast-iron
Fuel type: Charcoal, wood and gas
Cooking capacity: 325 sq. in. smoking, 325 sq. in. gas grill + 310 sq. in. shared between firebox grill and additional gas side grill
Assembled size (in): 50.6(H) x 74(W) x 31.5(D)
Warranty: 2 years
Pros of the Oklahoma Joe’s Combo:
- Immensely versatile all-in-one barbecue that lets you grill and smoke with gas, charcoal or even real wood
- Large cooking capacity
- Heavy-gauge steel that is long lasting if you look after it right
- Rust-resistant porcelain-coated cast iron grates that are easy to clean
- Professional-quality temperature gauges that give accurate readings
- Sturdy cart with space to store your propane bottle
- Large, easy to clean firebox
Cons of the Oklahoma Joe’s Combo:
- Having split fuel types means that although the total capacity is really large, you can’t exclusively smoke or grill that much at once
- Expect some smoke to leak around the door of the smoking cook box. But, we’ve used it and didn’t find that it affected the quality of the results. If this is going to bother you though, grab yourself some inexpensive LavaLock gasket tape