The following smokers are ones that I own or have cooked on and found to be ones that I would like to recommend. There is not one smoker that is perfect for everyone.. this decision is based purely on preference, lifestyle, and what type of dwelling you live in.

For instance, apartment dwellers are probably going to be looking at electric smokers due to possible restraints on open fires and the use of charcoal while folks who live in a house with a backyard may opt for a charcoal smoker.

Regardless of where you live, if you have a really busy lifestyle, you will probably be most happy with a pellet grill or electric smoker due to their ease of use. If you like using REAL wood smoke flavor, you might opt for a pellet grill such as the Camp Chef Woodwind due to the all wood pellets that create the heat that cooks your food and the smoke that flavors it. Take a look at the smokers I have listed and see if one of them fits you perfectly.

About the Author

Long time Industrial Engineer turned self-proclaimed fire poker, pitmaster and smoke whisperer and loving every minute of it!

20 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Bill Richardson December 24, 2017 at 12:08 am - Reply

    Hey Jeff. I had smoked many years ago, but it was crazy.
    Then about 5 years ago I read your newsletter and jumped back in. I brought a Bradley. Unfortunately I could use it in the winter, It could not keep a decent temp.
    So After much checking I purchased a Grilla Grill SilverBack. WOW I am a smoking fool. I would love you to review the grill. No Blanket needed in below freezing temps. Did our Thanksgiving Turkey delicious. You might notice I am very happy with Grilla.

  2. Ben December 21, 2017 at 3:20 pm - Reply

    Hi Jeff,
    Any thoughts on Rec-Tec?

    • Alan January 5, 2018 at 4:56 pm - Reply

      I have a Rec Tec, been extremely happy with it. Nice long, 6 year I believe warranty, I have had 2 warranty claims (hot rod and computer module) in the almost 4 years I have had it and replacement parts were to me in just a few days. Excellent customer service, you even get the owners cell phone numbers that you can call when you need help. I highly recommend them.

  3. joe meehan December 13, 2017 at 12:36 pm - Reply

    my camp chef dlx pro arrived today,looking forward to trying it out this weekend for the game,go pats

  4. CaptTurbo December 13, 2017 at 9:32 am - Reply

    I have three Masterbuilt 30″ units and my favorite smoker of all time, the KBQ C-60. The KBQ was a top rated smoker here until suddenly it’s not even mentioned? Why is Bill Karau’s fabulous machine missing?

    • Jeff Phillips December 13, 2017 at 12:54 pm - Reply

      I only recommend smokers that I have used and/or own.. unfortunately, I do not have the KBQ. I have considered adding a customer recommended section for things like this. I appreciate the feedback!

  5. Jeff Davis December 12, 2017 at 4:19 pm - Reply

    Jeff, have you heard of Horizon smokers? They are heavy duty real wood offset smokers, made by same guy who used to own Oklahoma Joes before the sale to CharGrille. Just wondering if you had any pointers or heard from anyone in it.

  6. Ruthanne November 2, 2017 at 9:22 am - Reply

    Hi Jeff, long time visitor, first time poster. This is Re: the A-Maze-N smoker tray… Do you use the tray instead of the tray provided with the masterbuilt electric smoker? What happens to the ashes? I guess I’m just a little confused on where you would put it. I’m assuming over the heating element, but would it fit? I love the idea of not having to add wood chips every 15 minutes.

  7. Rick October 19, 2017 at 5:15 pm - Reply

    Have you heard of the Orion brand? The one I’m using is a combination smoker and pressure cooker

  8. Rick October 14, 2017 at 3:07 pm - Reply

    Jeff, I have been using a Bradley now for about 10 years. Am thinking of upgrading to a Vault/Safe smoker. Pitmaker out of Houston has a small unit on a cart and it is just about the same size as my Bradley.

    I love to smoke in the winter and the Bradley just cant keep up…At the ranch I had it in my equipment shed that was heated and I plumbed the exhaust out the side of the wall. We have since sold the ranch and I do not have the luxury of a building I can use to smoke in….

    Have you had any experience with these type of smokers? And are they worth the money?

  9. Mike September 20, 2017 at 1:32 pm - Reply

    Hi
    I was wondering what your thoughts are on the Green Mountain Grills, smoking, quality… . They seems to provide decent suppor.

    Mike

    • Jeff Phillips September 20, 2017 at 1:57 pm - Reply

      Mike, I do not have a GMG at this time but I have heard good things about the product and the customer service. I can’t vouch for them personally.

    • justin October 1, 2017 at 12:59 pm - Reply

      I purchased the Daniel Boone GMG last year. I love it. I personally think the smoker is very well built and I have no regrets. If you plan on doing any smoking in the fall or winter,I would recommend you getting the thermal blanket for it.

      • David November 23, 2017 at 5:22 pm - Reply

        I also bought a Daniel Boone GMG after a co-worker purchased one. My old gas grill crapped out so I was looking for an alternative I had over a cord of Maple wood so I made a makeshift fire pit & grilled a T-bone. It was the best steak I ever had. I cooked burgers, chicken, & salmon over the Maple until I used up all of my Maple. I was looking at converting my SS gas grill to a pellet grill use the Smoke Daddy Hopper kit but with everything that I would had to rebuild it would had cost too much. What I like about the Daniel Boone GMG is that it’s portable because it runs on 12VDC it also runs from your smartphone using WiFi which can setup multi step profile using temp & time or temp to meat temp..
        My first burger was using Cherry wood I only put Sea Salt on it, iy tasted like bacon raped steak. At the moment I have a Turkey on it. It sure helps having a meat probe.which I can monitor as I type this.

  10. Toni Hight September 14, 2017 at 12:32 pm - Reply

    Hi Jeff, I came across the new Z-Grill Elite Pellet Smoker on a start up website I follow. It is also a multi function, 7 in 1 grill tjat grills, smokes, bakes, roasts, braises, sears or BBQs. The grates/grills porcelain and it has an auto feed hopper for the pellets, it also includes a 3 yr warranty. I was wondering if anyone has used one if these yet or heard any feedback. I finally got it put together but havent used it yet. I’m completely new to using amokers, I’ve only used a regular charcoal/wood chunk grill once before, it came out decent, but took forever and i had to constantly check on it and add additional charcoal or wood chunks several times. So I’m looking forward to the ease of use on my new one. I will probably the nut bag outside during the dead of winter trying to cook with it, after I feel more confident about using it.

    Love reading your emails/articles all the time. You ate very much appreciated!

    Sincerely,

    Toni Hight

    • Jeff Phillips September 14, 2017 at 4:43 pm - Reply

      Toni, I haven’t heard of the Z-grill brand. I did look it up and it looks good and seems to have decent reviews so far but I am always a little careful about dealing with company’s that are brand new. They are all new at some point but when you are spending upwards of $500 you just hope they have what it takes to stay in business and offer good customer support. There’s quite a few good pellet grills out there and I hope this is one of them. Once you use it, let us know how it works for you. If anyone else has used this one, I’d love to hear your thoughts as well.

  11. Cary Prater September 14, 2017 at 12:27 pm - Reply

    Jeff, I’ve heard you recommend the Bradley smokers many times throughout the last few years I’ve received your newsletter. What do you think about the Masterbuilt brand and their products? I’ve heard more cons about the Bradleys than I have the Masterbuilds. What is your feedback from your experience?

    Thank you,
    Prater

    • Jeff Phillips September 14, 2017 at 4:52 pm - Reply

      Cary, I don’t have a Masterbuilt right now but I have used them in the past. They are good, inexpensive electric smokers and I do recommend them. The one complaint that I hear a lot is the chore of adding wood chips so often and then you may or may not get smoke. A better option for the Masterbuilt is the A-Maze-N smoker tray which is less than $25 and provides smoke for 8-11 hours straight. Truly turns the Masterbuilt type smokers into a true set-it-and-forget-it smoker.

      I also recommend the Bradley for many applications. I think they work best in milder climates.. not that great in areas where it gets really cold as the heating element struggles to maintain the heat. Having said that, here in Oklahoma, I have created some amazing food in the 4-Rack Bradley smoker as well as the new Bradley Smart Smoker.

    • Paul Javins December 16, 2017 at 1:21 pm - Reply

      I have had one for about 4 years really like it cooking a turkey as we speak. the price has come down a lot. in the last year seen them as low as 129 Paul

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