The best smokers for beginners of 2023

Buying guide: BBQ smokers for beginners

When purchasing a barbecue smoker, there are many important factors to consider that can affect the quality and enjoyment of your cooking experience. To help you make an informed decision when shopping, we’ve put together this comprehensive buying guide for choosing a smoker for beginners.

Type of smoker

There are several types of smokers available – offset smokers, upright smokers, cabinet smokers, kamado cookers, pellet smokers and electric smokers – each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Consider which type would best suit your grilling needs before making a decision. For example, if you’re looking for an easy-to-use option, an electric smoker might be a good choice. On the other hand, offset smokers and vertical smokers can provide a more authentic smoked flavor.

Grill capacity

Think about how much food you want to cook at once and choose a smoker accordingly. Some smokers are small enough for two or three racks of ribs, while others are much larger and can be used to smoke large cuts of meat like pork belly or shoulders. If you’re a seasoned grill master who plans to cook meals for a large crowd, go for a larger option. For those who only plan to smoke meat occasionally for friends and family, a smaller model will suffice.

Height and weight

You also need to consider how much space you have for your smoker. Offset smokers and upright smokers take up less space than cabinet smokers or kamado cookers, but they may not be able to hold as much food. Always measure the area where you plan to put the smoker before you start shopping. This will ensure that you select a product that fits the available space without overwhelming your outdoor installation. If you want something easy to move, pay close attention to the weight of the smoker and whether or not it has wheels.

Fuel type

There are several types of fuels used for smoking: charcoal, electric, gas, pellets and wood. Each has its own pros and cons, so consider which type would be best for you based on your cooking needs. Charcoal smokers can be great if you want an authentic smoky flavor, but they may require more maintenance than electric or gas smokers. Pellet smokers are handy if you don’t want to bother with charcoal, but they may not give you as much control over the temperature. Generally speaking, electric and gas smokers provide more consistent temperatures than charcoal or wood smokers, but may not infuse the same smoke flavor.

Temperature difference

The temperature range provided by the smoker is one of the most important factors to consider. If you’re looking for a smoker with consistent temperatures and high-temperature control, you should get a model that has digital thermostats or thermometers. Different types of food require different temperatures and some require higher temperatures than most smokers can provide. Consider the temperature range the smoker can withstand and whether it is sufficient for the type of food you want to cook.

Temperature control

Make sure the smoker grill you choose has a thermostat or other temperature control mechanism, such as adjustable vents or dampers. This will allow you to precisely regulate the interior temperature for best smoking results. Not all barbecue smokers have this feature, so be sure to pay attention to it when shopping.

Construction materials

Choose a grill smoker made from quality materials like stainless steel or aluminum that can withstand high temperatures and frequent use without deteriorating over time. Look for features like double-wall insulation so heat is retained inside the chamber for longer periods of time. Also consider the durability of the grates, as they will regularly come into contact with hot food.

Safety devices

Safety should always be a top priority when it comes to cooking with fire. To make sure your smoking experience is worry-free, look for features like auto shut-off and insulated handles or lids that can protect you from burns and other accidents.

Ease of use

Smoking should be a pleasant experience, so be sure to choose a product that is easy to use and requires minimal effort to work. Look for features like easy setup and preheat cycles that make it easy to start smoking and minimize the time it takes to get the job done right.


It is also necessary to consider the appearance of the smokehouse, as it will probably be part of your outdoor decor with other patio furniture or accessories. Your barbecue smoker should be a central piece of your outdoor cooking space that fits comfortably into the space without overwhelming it.


Price is always an important consideration when making any purchase, so be sure to consider both quality and value when deciding which smoker is right for you. Of course, spending more money on a higher quality product usually means better results, but sometimes you can also find a lot of money on a cheaper product if you know where to look. When choosing a smoker, it is also important to consider not only the cost of the smoker itself, but also any additional accessories such as charcoal, wood chips, grates, lids, etc that will be needed to use it correctly. Be sure to factor in these additional costs when calculating your budget.

Warranty Options

Last but not least, consider whether or not the manufacturer offers a warranty or guarantee on the product in case any faults arise with the smoker while using it. Most reputable companies offer some sort of insurance when it comes to their products, so be sure to check what kind of coverage they offer before choosing a smoker. This will give you peace of mind knowing that if something goes down the line, you can get it fixed without worrying about additional costs incurred due to repairs or replacement parts.


Learning to smoke meat is a great way for any budding grill master to up their cooking game. For beginners, it’s important to know exactly what features to look for before investing in a smoker. By considering factors such as temperature range, size, capacity, fuel type, and durability, you should be able to choose one that suits your cooking needs perfectly. So take the next step on your grilling journey and start smoking delicious meat today!

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