Grilling and smoking meats and veggies at home is fun, and for that, you obviously need a smoker or a grill that can also smoke. Traditionally, grills and smokers were fueled by hardwood charcoal, but with changing times, we now have gas and electric variants, which work in the same way but can hardly replicate the smoky flavors of a charcoal smoker/grill.
There are varied charcoal variants in the market today, and before you choose one, it is essential to keep in mind that grilling and smoking require considerable time, so you have to keep adding charcoal to the grill, especially for meats that need more time to get ready. However, the best part of charcoal smokers is the fact that these are easily affordable. In this post, we will talk about buying the best inexpensive charcoal smoker.
In a hurry? WE GET IT, dudes. See our top pick below!
Weber 721001 Smokey Mountain Cooker 18-Inch Charcoal Smoker
Reviewing the best five options in charcoal smokers
- Weber 721001 Smokey Mountain Cooker 18-Inch Charcoal Smoker. If you don’t mind spending more on a smoker from a good brand, this one from Weber is a steal. It is made of porcelain-enameled steel and comes with a heat-resistant handle, with two nickel-plated cooking grates. The cooking area measures 481 square inches, which is huge for parties and events at home. Not to forget, you get a 10-year limited warranty on the product.
- Masterbuilt 20060416 Charcoal Bullet Smoker. Masterbuilt is one brand that doesn’t get grills and smokers wrong, and this is one of the most inexpensive smokers on the market. You get 395 square inches of cooking area, which is still huge, spread over two porcelain coated smoking racks. It offers front door access, which makes it simple to add charcoal, and the product also has a built-in lid thermometer.
- Cuisinart COS-116 16″ Vertical Charcoal Smoker. This product also has a bigger variant, but we recommend this for home use within a budget. You get the cooking area of 402 square inches spread over two 16-inch stainless steel racks, with dual air vent system for better smoking. The package comes with a porcelain enamel water bowl.
- Char-Broil Bullet Charcoal Smoker. This smoker from Char-Broil comes with two porcelain-coated cooking grates, which offer around 370 square inches of cooking space. It also features what’s called the airflow control system, which helps in better temp control. The ash pan is easily removable, while the porcelain-coated body is meant to be durable. It also has a front fire access door for ensuring effective smoking.
- Dyna-Glo DGX780BDC-D 36″ Vertical Charcoal Smoker. The last product on our list is one of the most efficient ones we found for a budget. A budget smoker, this one comes with four cooking grates, which offer 784 square Inch of cooking surface. For assured smoking results, you have a removable ash pan and charcoal grate separately. It also includes a temperature gauge for easy control.
Things to consider for buying a charcoal smoker
As mentioned at the start of the post, charcoal smokers have one small disadvantage – You have to keep adding charcoal to keep the smoking process on. This, in fact, can affect the smoking process. With that in mind, here’s what you will need to check.
- A separate chamber for adding charcoal. This minimizes the effect on the smoking process, which is usually the first concern that buyers have.
- Cooking space. With any smoker, you need to have adequate cooking space, which should be spread over two racks at the very least.
- Ash management. Another practical issue with charcoal smokers is the management and cleanup of ash, and some products have a separate system for that.
- Ideally, go for something that’s easy to use and isn’t too small. You also need to check the size of the water pan.
- Brand and warranty. Selected brands, especially the ones we mentioned above are great for the long run. Warranty on the product is also another reason to choose a product.
Lastly, make sure that the product is not wobbly. Durability is a factor that matters more than anything else for smokers. Also, you need to consider if the charcoal smoker comes with an add-on temperature gauge that just simplifies the whole process of cooking meats, especially if you are doing other things at the same time.
Get your charcoal smoker now!