Top Outdoor Smokers - Updated August 2017

Our experts reviewed hundreds of outdoor smokers and have picked the best 5 available on the market.

Best of the Best

Weber 721001 Smokey Mountain Cooker


Nordic Ware 365 Indoor/Outdoor Kettle Smoker


Best Value

Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Black Electric Digital Smoker


Bradley Smokers Original Smoker


Char-Broil Offset Smoker American Gourmet Grill


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A self-sustaining smoker that runs entirely on charcoal and wood. No outside power source is needed. It can be used indoors while still providing you with and outdoor experience of smokey meat. It has 4 racks which allow you to smoke up to 30 pounds of various meat at a time. A large outdoor smoker with an impressive capacity and ability to do cold smoking, which is great for smoking cheese. It's highly versatile as it can be used for BBQ and grilling, not just for smoking.
Some parts, made of plastic, tend to wear off fast due to high heat. It needs to be used on a stove or some other source of heat which might prove problematic if you plan to use it outdoors. It has a very short electrical cable so it has to be really close to an outlet. If you use an extension cord, it struggles with keeping the heat up when it's full. It has a sensitive heater that often breaks. It's very modest, with almost none of the features that other models in this review have.
Quite expensive, but high-quality​ smoker that will last you for years. This a great, very affordable smoker, perfect for backyards with some kind of a stove. A decent outdoor smoker with a reasonable price, capable of feeding large crowds. Powerful, but slightly complicated outdoor smoker that won't disappoint you. It's a decent entry-level smoker for complete beginners who want to try smoking meat without having to spend too much money.

Contenders


Outdoor smokers can be a great addition to every backyard, especially if you often have family and friends at your place. A good outdoor smoker should be user-friendly, portable, and easy to maintain. The end result of every outdoor smoker should be perfectly cooked, succulent meat, with a smokey flavor.

We feel that the 5 outdoor smokers reviewed here fit those criteria the best. Some of them are suited for beginners while others are more complicated and suited for more experienced users. Whether you need to feed an army or just a couple of friends, here you will find an ideal outdoor smoker for yourself.

Considerations


Price

There are some extremely expensive outdoor smokers meant to be used by professionals. But we think you can get a great outdoor smoker for a decent price while still getting great results. Cheaper models are simpler to use and have a smaller surface, which means it will take you much longer to prepare enough food for a big crowd. More expensive models offer a bigger surface, durability, and more features.

Features

Some outdoor smokers come with built-in digital thermometers, timers, and extra racks. All that requires learning and patience to master. From our review, you will be able to determine whether you need all those features for your needs.

Fuel Type & Smoking Control

Most outdoor smokers are fueled with wood pellets or charcoal and our picks are no different. However, some of them require electricity to operate. Smoking control is managed with various vents and air dampers.

Size & Construction

Our top 5 outdoor smokers vary in size as well as in weight. All of them are portable (some more than others) but with some of them, you will have a hard time fitting them in your car, in case you want to use them to somewhere else, other than your backyard.

Price


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Weber 721001 Smokey Mountain Cooker

Weber 721001 is currently offered at a price of $299. This makes him, by far, the most expensive outdoor smoker in this review. And that's not even his full price, which is usually $349. However, for this price you get a reliable, self-sustaining outdoor smoker. And, it doesn't hurt to mention that it's made in the US, which might justify its price.

Nordic Ware 365 Indoor/Outdoor Kettle Smoker

Nordic Ware is currently on offer at $67.99, which is a great deal, considering its regular price is $100. Compared to some other smokers, Nordic Ware is very affordable while offering great quality. It is affordable mostly because it is rather small compared to some other models so it's not suitable for large gatherings. But also, it is very simple to use and spends only a handful of wooden chips per session, which makes this indoor/outdoor smoker highly economical. Great for small family dinners at home.

Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Black Electric Digital Smoker

With its price of little under $200, Masterbuilt 20070910 is much cheaper than some of other smokers of the same type. One of the reason that it's cheaper could be the fact that it's manufactured in China. But don't let that stop you from buying as this outdoor smoker is as durable as they come. If you want value for your money, look no further. Masterbuilt is a perfect combination of affordable price, capacity, and functionality.

Bradley Smokers Original Smoker

At $246 dollars, Bradley Smoker is not exactly the cheapest model you can find. It is more expensive than Masterbuilt, for example. But, it still costs less than some other outdoor smokers of the same type. And it includes features that Masterbuilt doesn't have. For this price, you can expect a decent outdoor smoker that will serve you for years.

Char-Broil Offset Smoker American Gourmet Grill

Char-Broil Offset Smoker is currently sold for $95. For that price, you get an acceptable outdoor smoker for inexperienced users. It's made from a cheap steel, but for this price you can't expect more. It still beats some other outdoor smokers in the same price range. Suitable for users who want to spend as little money as possible, while still getting a worthy outdoor smoker.

Features


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Weber 721001 Smokey Mountain Cooker

Since it doesn't use electricity, nothing on Weber 721001 is digital. That's the main difference between Weber and Masterbuilt or Bradley Smoker. That means you will have to take special care while smoking the meat. But, it does with individual aluminum vents on bowl and on the lid, built-in thermometer and two nickel-plated grates. You get a storage cover as well, so you don't have to move it from your backyard when it's raining.

Nordic Ware 365 Indoor/Outdoor Kettle Smoker

It has a very high dome to allow as much capacity as possible. It is also very versatile since you are able to make pizza in it, for example, and not just meat. Two different types of wood chips are included so you don't have to buy your own for a while. A kitchen thermometer that allows you to control the way our food is cooked is also included in the package. It is made from steel, for high durability, while the inside is coated with a non-stick coating. Drip tray allows you choose between dry and moist smoking.

Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Black Electric Digital Smoker

The best feature of Masterbuilt is that it has side doors for wood pellets. That means you don't have to open the part where the meat is cooking. This saves you energy as well as loading pellets as safe as possible. It has for racks for maximum capacity suitable for large gatherings or family reunions. Its insulation is superb which further saves the energy and excludes any effect of the outside weather.

Bradley Smokers Original Smoker

Bradley Smoker comes with 4 racks that will allow you smoking a huge amount of meat at the same time. Unlike Masterbuilt, it has an option for cold smoking for cheeses and anything that doesn't need to be heated. You can use it for slow cooking or slow roasting as well. This makes Bradley Smoker versatile and suitable for various types of feasts. With improved electronic parts, Bradley Smoker guarantees evenly cooked meat every time.

Char-Broil Offset Smoker American Gourmet Grill

Unfortunately, Char-Broil Offset Smoker is rather modest when it comes to features. It doesn't have any kind of thermometer, for example. But it does offer a total of 430 square inches of cooking surface. A convenient clean-out doors are added for ash removal. The best feature of Char-Broil Offset Smoker is that it can be used for BBQ and grilling and not just for smoking.

Fuel Type & Smoking Control


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Weber 721001 Smokey Mountain Cooker

Weber runs solely on charcoal. No electricity or gas is needed. That means you don't have to worry where to connect it or if your extension cable is long enough. Along with charcoal, wood chunks can be added for superb smokey flavor. Smoke is controlled with aluminum vents placed separately on the lid and on the bowl.

Nordic Ware 365 Indoor/Outdoor Kettle Smoker

It uses finely chopped wood and you only need to use a small amount of it is not a primary source of heat. For Nordic Ware to work, you need to put it on a cooking stove of any kind. Electric or gas, it will do just fine. Pellets are there just for the smokey flavor. Nordic Ware has vents you can open or close to maintain a perfect temperature. Food tray with perforations adds to perfect ventilation as well.

Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Black Electric Digital Smoker

Masterbuilt uses wood chips as a source of smoking. You can use any type of wood you want so you can get the preferred flavor of smoke. It requires electricity for maintaining heat and digital parts of the smoker. For proper ventilation, it uses an air damper on the top which is more than capable of handling the smoke. Most users agree that Masterbuilt lets out very little smoke, but it is definitely not recommended for an indoor use.

Bradley Smokers Original Smoker

Bradley Smoker is rather picky when it comes to fueling it. It only uses specially designed briquettes. But you don't get any included with the smoker so you have to buy them separately. Of course, it needs electricity for maintaining heat and its digital parts. Controlling​ smoke is easy and user-friendly.

Char-Broil Offset Smoker American Gourmet Grill

Char-Broil Offset Smoker runs on charcoal. No outside source of power is needed which makes it easier for you as you don't need to think about extension cords. Smoke is controlled through an air damper, which you can adjust as you wish, depending how much of smoke do you prefer.

Size & Construction


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Weber 721001 Smokey Mountain Cooker

It's made of American steel and enameled with ceramic. This makes Weber 721001 extremely durable and reliable. Despite that, it's far from being the heaviest outdoor smoker in this review. With its elegant 39 pounds, Weber is easily moved. Due to its round shape, one person can easily carry it which makes it practical, as opposed to Masterbuilt or Bradley Smoker.

Nordic Ware 365 Indoor/Outdoor Kettle Smoker

Nordic Ware is by far the smallest and lightest outdoor smoker. Even though it's made of steel, it weighs only one pound so you can easily move it anywhere you want. With its dimensions of 13.5 inches x 6.88 inches x 13 inches, Nordic Ware can fit pretty much anywhere. No other outdoor smoker is as portable as Nordic Ware. The fact that it's constructed in the US, with only handles being imported, is also a big plus.

Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Black Electric Digital Smoker

Weighing 45.9 pounds, Masterbuilt is pretty heavy. One person could be able to move it if it wasn't so robust, so at least two persons are needed. Due to its size, you will have a hard time transporting it in a car. With a completely insulated interior, Masterbuilt guarantees evenly cooked meat with as little energy as possible. However, even though it's insulated, it will still be hot on the outside so touching it is not recommended.

Bradley Smokers Original Smoker

Bradley Smoker is made completely out of stainless steel. So it's no wonder that it weighs 55 pounds. Along with its robust measures, this makes it pretty challenging transport. For extra stability, large front legs are added. Users find this outdoor smoker extremely durable, even when left outside during harsh weather.

Char-Broil Offset Smoker American Gourmet Grill

Weighing only 5 pounds, this outdoor smoker, made from rather thin steel, is very easy to move around. It even has a set of wheels, making it's transportation even easier. You might even be able to dismantle it and put it in a car to go smoke or grill somewhere else.

Best of the Best


We have considered 5 different outdoor smokers in this review and took into account their price, features, and cooking surface. In the end, it all comes down to what do you expect from your outdoor smoker.

We concluded that Weber 721001 is the best outdoor smoker on the market. It's the most expensive of them all, but for that price you get a quality, durable product that will last you for years. Its cooking surface is enough to feed larger gatherings and his independence from electricity or gas makes this outdoor smoker very practical.

It might not be suited for complete beginners, but if you know what you are looking for and you like what Weber 721001 is offering, this might be an ideal outdoor smoker for you.

Best Value


If you never owned an outdoor smoker before, it can be hard to determine which one is the best. There are numerous models out there with various prices and attributes. Ultimately, the biggest factor is how much people do you want to be able to feed.

Taking everything into consideration, we feel that Masterbuilt 20070910 has the best value and gives you the best experience for your money. It has a very good rating among users while still being cheaper than many other models of the same type.

With this model of Masterbuilt, you will be able to cook up to 30 pounds of meat at the same time, which means you can have lots of guest in your backyard, without worrying that anyone will go hungry. With its convenient wood loader on the side, you won't have to worry about losing heat while loading chunks of wood. It might not be the best outdoor smoker on the market, but for this price, you certainly won't be sorry you bought it.