What Are The Best Meat Smokers For Beginners? Top For 2018

Oh, the delicious succulence of smoked salmon. Alternatively, the robust flavor of a smoked turkey at Thanksgiving. Alternatively, a slice of beef jerky for a power snack at work.

All of these things are made possible by meat smokers.

Owning a meat smoker opens up a world of new possibilities of culinary delights for the food aficionado. But what if you are a beginner? Where do you start?

Our team of writers and researchers set out to answer the question of what is the best meat smoker for beginners. We asked the experts, listened to buyers, and put the smokers to the test, which was such a tedious chore. (Do you believe that?)

So here is the results of all our efforts. We hope that this article helps you start your meat smoking journey.

Our Top 3 Meat Smoker Picks For You In 2018

Scroll down to see more great meat smokers

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How We Chose These Meat Smokers For You

Why You Should Trust Us When Choosing A Meat Smoker

We spent over 40 hours researching and writing this list of meat smokers for beginners so you wouldn’t have to spend your time doing the research. We consulted with the top experts in the industry and coupled that with our own personal experience to bring you this list.  We do not accept free products or incentives when we review products in order to keep our opinions unbiased and helpful to our readers.

In making this list of the top meat smokers, we kept three things in mind: Features, price, and customer satisfaction.

Meat Smoker Features

One of the most important things about purchasing a new meat smoker is the features that the smoker has. How hot does it get? Is it a gas, charcoal, or electric smoker? Is it just a smoker or is it a grill/smoker combo? Does it have multiple racks and good temperature control? Is it large enough to smoke all the meat you want to smoke in one setting?

All of these things are important in choosing your new meat smoker, or deciding which one will be an excellent gift for a friend or loved one. So that is what we looked for in a meat smoker. We only picked smokers that had one or more of these options.

Price Of The Meat Smoker

We kept the price range around $200.00 or less so that anyone can afford a top quality meat smoker. When starting out learning how to smoke meat you do not want to buy the most expensive one. You want to learn on a beginner smoker then upgrade later if you feel that you need to.

Most people buy a meat smoker to make their job of cooking great food easier and their quality of life better. We made sure that we only listed the meat smokers that will accomplish that goal.

Customer Satisfaction With The Smoker

Every smoker that we have listed are rated by customers at 80% or higher depending on the rating system used on different websites.

We also read all the individual customer reviews to see how well the manufacturer responded to customer issues and how well people recommended these smokers. We only took into account customers with a verified purchase. They are real buyers reviewing the product.

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Which Are The Best Meat Smokers?

Picking the best meat smoker for a beginner depends upon your needs.

  • Do you need to cook much meat at once?
  • Are you going to smoke other food besides meat?
  • Do you need the ability grill and smoke at the same time?
  • How much space do you have for your smoker?
  • Do you need the smoker to heat quickly or keep the food warm after being smoked?

These are the type of questions you need to think about when buying a smoker. Not all of the smokers will fit your need.

Here is our list of beginner meat smokers that we think you should consider.

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Best Electric Meat Smokers For Beginners

There are five different type of smokers. They are pellet smokers, gas smokers, charcoal smokers, electric smokers and infrared smokers. We are only recommending three of these types of smokers for new users.

Here are two electric smokers that we recommend for beginners

8.4/10 Read review
84 %
Last Amazon price update was: December 11, 2018 11:12 am
× Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com (Amazon.in, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, etc) at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
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Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker, 1000 Square Inch

The char-broil digital electric smoker is the perfect smoker for the smoker enthusiast with the space to cook for large groups. Char-Broil digital electric smoker gives the outdoor chef complete control over their smoked food via fire access...

Usually ships in 24 hours
Last update was on: December 11, 2018 9:11 am

$355.99 $399.00

8.3/10 Read review
83 %
Price history
×
Price history for Smoke Hollow Outdoor Barbecue 30" Digital Electric BBQ Meat Smoker Grill, Black
Latest updates:
  • $155.09 - November 22, 2018
  • $153.99 - August 31, 2018
Since: August 31, 2018
  • Highest Price: $155.09 - November 22, 2018
  • Lowest Price: $153.99 - August 31, 2018
Last Amazon price update was: December 11, 2018 1:12 pm
× Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com (Amazon.in, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, etc) at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

Smoke Hollow 30162E 30-Inch Electric Smoker with Adjustable Temperature Control

Outdoor Leisure Smoke Hollow Electric Smoker comes equipped with a fully adjustable electric heating element with three chrome plated cooking grids with multiple adjustment levels and a porcelain coated steel water pan.

Usually ships in 24 hours & Free shipping
Last update was on: December 11, 2018 9:11 am

$199.79 $219.99

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The Best Gas Meat Smoker For Beginners

Some people prefer the convenience of a gas smoker. If you have a bbq pit that is away from the house, then a gas smoker is might be a better choice because there is no need for electicity.

Here is the gas smoker that we recommend for those that are just starting to learn how to smoke meat.

50 %
Price history
×
Price history for Smoke Hollow SH36GW Gas Smoker with Window, 36"
Latest updates:
  • $189.95 - December 9, 2018
  • $190.20 - December 2, 2018
  • $190.33 - November 30, 2018
  • $198.98 - November 29, 2018
  • $190.20 - November 28, 2018
  • $150.75 - November 16, 2018
  • $129.00 - November 1, 2018
  • $150.75 - October 25, 2018
Since: June 14, 2018
  • Highest Price: $201.49 - June 14, 2018
  • Lowest Price: $129.00 - November 1, 2018
Last Amazon price update was: December 11, 2018 12:11 pm
× Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com (Amazon.in, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, etc) at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
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Smoke Hollow SH36GW

At the affordable price of around $200, this smoker is a must have for anyone who enjoys making good quality smoked meat.

Usually ships in 24 hours & Free shipping
Last update was on: December 11, 2018 9:11 am

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The Best Grill Smoker Combo For Beginners

Some people want more than a smoker. They want a grill, roaster, and smoker combined. This makes sense if you want one device that will meet all your bbq needs. Many people have limited space and this solves the problem of what choice do you make. You can get all 3 in 1.

Here is the combo grill/smoker combo that we recommend for you to start out your meat smoking journey.

8.9/10 Read review
89 %
Price history
×
Price history for Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Smoker Roaster & Grill
Latest updates:
  • $209.98 - November 10, 2018
  • $500.00 - September 4, 2018
  • $200.20 - August 26, 2018
  • $195.48 - August 17, 2018
  • $199.63 - August 9, 2018
  • $197.88 - July 19, 2018
  • $200.72 - July 9, 2018
  • $199.18 - July 9, 2018
Since: June 24, 2018
  • Highest Price: $500.00 - September 4, 2018
  • Lowest Price: $195.48 - August 17, 2018
Last Amazon price update was: December 11, 2018 1:13 pm
× Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com (Amazon.in, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, etc) at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
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  • Photos

Char-Broil The Big Easy

If you are a fan of smoking, grilling, and roasting, the Char-Broil Big Easy Smoker Roaster & Grill is the perfect product for you.

Usually ships in 24 hours
Last update was on: December 11, 2018 9:11 am

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Other Inexpensive Beginner Smokers

Maybe you want to smoke meat occasionally. Alternatively, maybe you don’t want to invest much money in your new meat smoker. These models, while not the “best” may do the job for you all the same. Check out these good meat smoker choices for those just starting to learn to smoke meat.

  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker, 1000 Square Inch

The char-broil digital electric smoker is the perfect smoker for the smoker enthusiast with the space to cook for large groups. Char-Broil digital electric smoker gives the outdoor chef complete control over their smoked food via fire access...

Usually ships in 24 hours
Last update was on: December 11, 2018 9:11 am

$355.99 $399.00

  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

Smoke Hollow 30162E 30-Inch Electric Smoker with Adjustable Temperature Control

Outdoor Leisure Smoke Hollow Electric Smoker comes equipped with a fully adjustable electric heating element with three chrome plated cooking grids with multiple adjustment levels and a porcelain coated steel water pan.

Usually ships in 24 hours & Free shipping
Last update was on: December 11, 2018 9:11 am

$199.79 $219.99

  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

Smoke Hollow SH36GW

At the affordable price of around $200, this smoker is a must have for anyone who enjoys making good quality smoked meat.

Usually ships in 24 hours & Free shipping
Last update was on: December 11, 2018 9:11 am
  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

Char-Broil The Big Easy

If you are a fan of smoking, grilling, and roasting, the Char-Broil Big Easy Smoker Roaster & Grill is the perfect product for you.

Usually ships in 24 hours
Last update was on: December 11, 2018 9:11 am
  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

Cuisinart COS-118 Vertical 18"

Usually ships in 24 hours & Free shipping
Last update was on: December 11, 2018 9:11 am

$139.09 $199.99

  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

Little Chief Front Load

Usually ships in 24 hours & Free shipping
Last update was on: December 11, 2018 9:11 am

$92.19 $93.27

  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

Smoke Hollow 26142E 26-Inch

Usually ships in 24 hours & Free shipping
Last update was on: December 11, 2018 9:11 am

$114.39 $115.12

  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

Nordic Ware 36556 Stovetop Kettle Smoker, One, Red

Introducing 365 indoor/outdoor products designed to inspire culinary creativity indoors and out, 365 days a year. Discover the versatility in our line that brings outdoor flavors to indoor cooking, and indoor convenience to outdoor grilling....

Usually ships in 24 hours & Free shipping
Last update was on: December 11, 2018 9:11 am
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Masterbuilt 20060416 Charcoal Bullet

Usually ships in 24 hours & Free shipping
Last update was on: December 11, 2018 9:11 am

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Factors to Consider When Buying a Smoker

When you take time to research potential smokers, then you will be better prepared to make a purchase. Besides, this will ensure that you are happy with your decision in the future and that you won’t regret the smoker that you buy.

Horizontal vs. Vertical:

This is one of the central decisions that you will have to make when choosing a smoker. Vertical smokers take up much less space than horizontal ones do and are great for allowing the smoke to circulate around your meat. They are generally much less expensive than horizontal smokers are. Unfortunately, they aren’t the best option if you need to smoke a lot of meat at one time since they are smaller in size.

Horizontal smokers, on the other hand, are more stable and much more significant than their vertical counterparts. They are great for smoking large quantities of meat at once and can usually be pulled behind a truck but aren’t ideal if you are going to be smoking just a little meat for your family.

Temperature Range:

Not all smokers will be able to get hot enough to sear a steak or to caramelize the sauce. Generally, smokers aren’t as hot as other appliances such as a grill but having the option to turn them really hot is always a benefit.

Your Budget:

While you don’t want to have to make your final decision based solely on what you can afford, smokers tend to get very pricey, so it’s vital that you have a thought-out budget before you go shopping.

Also, some smokers, such as pellet smokers and ones that use propane, will have regular costs associated with being able to use them. By knowing what your budget is, you can be sure that you can afford the smoker not only when you buy it but also when you want to use it.

Durability:

If you are going to be taking your smoker with you when you travel, then its strength is especially important. Even if you are not going to be moving your smoker on a regular basis, it’s crucial that you are sure that it has been built to last and won’t fall apart.

Make sure to check the welding, how sturdy the wheels and legs are, and the quality of the hinges as well as the latches. If there is a lot of plastic, then you need to make sure that the smoker can handle high heat, and any exposed metal or screws can rust if the smoker is left out in the rain.

Size:

From small to huge, there are smokers for every person. Remember to plan in case you decide that you need a more massive smoker in the future but not to overbuy a smoker that you can’t move or easily store.

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Features to Look for in a Smoker

Different smokers will have various features that you can choose from. Remember that all optional features will likely add to the final cost of the smoker that you want so you will have to weigh your desired features against the budget that you have set for yourself.

  • Moveable Shelves: Not all smokers offer moveable shelves in them, but these make it much easier to smoke all different sizes and shapes of meat without hassle. You won’t have to cut your meat into portions to smoke it when you can quickly adjust the shelves and being able to remove them makes cleaning your smoker a lot easier.
  • High-Quality Thermometer: Unfortunately, a lot of smokers come with cheaper thermometers that won’t work very reliably. This makes it very difficult to keep an eye on your meat and to make sure that it’s at the right temperature. A higher-quality thermometer will allow you to keep an eye on your smoker without worrying about if it is too hot or too cold.
  • Water Pan: A water pan is useful for filling with herbs, water, wine, or beer. It doesn’t just help to flavor the meat but also to regulate any fluctuations in temperature. It’s smart to look for a model that has a large water pan; more than that, you want to make sure that you can easily access it. If you can’t get to the water pan while the smoker is full, then you will have a lot of problems trying to add more liquid to it or check to see what’s left.
  • Drip Pan: While you may want to let your drippings fall directly into the fire for more flavor and a better aroma, it is nice to be able to collect the drippings if you want to. These can make an excellent sauce.

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Putting it All Together

With some information about choosing a smoker, you will be better prepared when it comes time to make your purchase.

Your first step is to decide on your budget and how much money you feel comfortable spending before you even go to look at a smoker. After you have come up with a firm budget, then it’s time to decide what type of smoker you want. Choosing between the four categories can be tricky, and you may need to do more research to see what kind is really right for you. Once you have narrowed down your choice to the perfect type of smoker for you, then you will be able to consider manufacturers and features.

If you have an ideal manufacturer that you want to buy from, that’s great! It’s okay if you don’t as you can still get a great smoker. By knowing what type you want and your budget, you can look at available models from different manufacturers. You will need to consider the size of the smoker and if you can readily place it at your home.

Finally, you can think about the additional features that you are interested in and see if any of them are available on the model that you’re considering. Remember that you may not be able to find a smoker with all of the features that you want without going over budget so you may have to prioritize.

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Starting Your New Meat Smoking Journey

Are you prepared for friends and relatives stopping buy at dinnertime? Everybody loves smoked meat. You just might become the popular family to visit once word gets out you are smoking meat.

There are many ways to smoke meat and many sauces you can use to add extra flavor.

Here are a few resources for you to start your meat smoking journey.

Do YOU Love Smoked Meat? Do YOU Want To LEARN To Smoke Your Own Meat? Explore All The Benefits Of Owning Your Own Meat Smoker. COMPARE The Prices And Features Of The Best Meat Smokers For Beginners In This Informative Article. #food #cooking #cookingtips #Smokedmeat #meatsmokers #TabersBestReviews

Duke Taber is the owner of 3 successful websites and is now taking his skill as a writer and using it to help non-profit organizations and leaders around the world.

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