10 Best Charcoal Smokers (Updated in 2020)

Best Charcoal Smoker ReviewsCharcoal smokers are said to produce the best smoky flavor and personally can testify that this is true. I always love grilling my steaks with a smoker because of that smelly smoky delicious foods. I believe you too have realized that, or you’re replacing you old smoker, and that is why you’re here.

Getting the best smoker today is quite hard since there are lots of models and types to choose from, and you can be confused by the seller’s words, and you end up buying the wrong item. , and they end up crying later.

And because I want you to go home with a perfect model, I have prepared a review of the top best charcoal smoker, and its buyers guide to help you. Read it through, and before you even read the conclusion, you will have found that one model that will meet all your needs.

Top 10 Best Charcoal Smokers For 2020

Brand & Model NameBuilt-in Temp. Controlcooking surfacePrice
Weber Smokey MountainYes22 inchesCheck Price
Cuisinart COS-118Yes16 inchesCheck Price
Char-Broil Offset SmokerYes290 square inchesCheck Price
Weber Charcoal GrillYes22 inchesCheck Price
Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDCYes784 square inchesCheck Price
Char-Griller 06620Yes447 square inchesCheck Price
Char-Griller E22424No250 square inchesCheck Price
Old Smokey Charcoal GrillNo333 square inchesCheck Price
Masterbuilt 20060416Yes395 square inchesCheck Price
Char-Broil KamanderYes327 square inchesCheck Price

Weber Smokey Mountain – Charcoal or Wood While Smoking

Weber Smokey Mountain – Charcoal or Wood While SmokingWeber is not a new brand in the smoking industry. The brand has been linked to producing high performing grills, and the Weber Smokey Mounting Charcoal smoke is one of them.

The cooker is built with a porcelain coated lid and bowl which ensures that it retains heat while resisting rust. Additionally, the grill comes with two cooking grates which provide an ample room for smoking two different large food at a go.

With a more than 720 square inches cooking area, you will have no problem when grilling dozen of burgers, full-sized turkeys, ribs and hot dogs. Another thing that impressed me a lot on this model is the Silicone temperature grommet which monitors the internal temperature.

Temperature control is quite easy by using the rust-resistant dampers on this smoker. The fuel door is removable to make it easy to load more charcoals or wood while smoking.

“You will love to hear that the smoker comes with an ashtray and a drip tray which makes it easy to clean. Lastly, you can select the grill depending on your investment and size of smoker you need as it comes in three different sizes; 14 inches, 18 inches and 22 inches.”

Pros:

  • Porcelain-enameled bowl and lid
  • Heavy-gauge steel charcoal grate
  • Rust-resistant aluminum fuel door
  • Silicone temperature grommet
  • Plated steel cooking grates
  • Built-in lid thermometer

Cons:

  • Small problems with the lid
  • Inaccurate temperature gauge

Cuisinart COS-118 – Best Charcoal Smoker Review

Are you looking for a charcoal smoker ideal for smoking all kind of foods? If yes, I present to you the Cuisinart COS-118 charcoal grill. With this model, you can grill all your favorite foods like vegetables, cheese, and meats.Cuisinart COS-118 – Vertical Charcoal Smoker Review

It’s quite easy to set up and comes with everything you need to set it up except wood chunks and charcoal. I also noticed that the Cuisinart Smoker comes with two-tier steel wire racks which can be stacked in the 3.45 squares feet smoking chamber.

The grill comes with a porcelain-coated steel bowl which holds the water and also has a vertical side door which makes it easy to add water and fuel. For easy control of the amount of heat and smoke inside, the model comes with two vents.

There is a nylon coated handle which will ease lifting of the lid to access the food as they smoke. It’s quite simple to maintain, and clean-up is easy thanks to its drip pan and ash catcher.

Pros:

  • Two-tier 18-inch stainless steel rack
  • Provide 510-square-inch cooking space
  • Top and bottom double air vent system
  • Porcelain enamel water bowl
  • Vertically hinged door
  • Latching base

Cons:

  • Leaks like a sieve
  • Small Coal Ring

Char-Broil Offset Smoker – Combination Smoker, BBQ & Charcoal Grill

The Char-Boil American Gourmet is a beginner smoker ideal for a small family or for those that are just cooking for a small crowd of people. The smoker uses charcoal fuel and comes with a different design from the above two.Char-Broil Offset Smoker – Combination Smoker, BBQ & Charcoal Grill

The unit comes with a horizontal cooking chamber that covers a 288-square-inch porcelain wire cooking grate. Additionally, the model comes with an offset firebox that allows classic indirect cooking by transmission of slow heat, smoke, and flavor through the cooking chamber.

You will love to hear that the cooking grates are porcelain coated. The coating makes it easy to clean and also provide resistance to rust. I also liked the cool handles which are designed smartly to ensure you don’t burn your hands while opening the charcoal/wood firebox or the cooking chamber.

Additionally, I was impressed by the smokestack on this model, which is a vertical pipe that features an adjustable damper. The chimney and the damper make heat and smoke regulation a breeze. You will also love to hear that the unit comes with two wheels which make easy to move it around.

Pros:

  • Lid-mounted temperature gauge
  • Black durable coated Smokestack
  • Storage rack and a side shelf
  • Porcelain-coated grates
  • An easy-to-clean door
  • Easy mobility

Cons:

  • The firebox doesn’t have an ashtray
  • Quite heavy

Weber Charcoal Grill – One-Touch cleaning system

The Weber Original premium grill is a kettle charcoal smoker ideal for outdoor smoking. It comes with a portable, sturdy construction. The smoker comes with hinged, plated steel cooking grates with a cooking area of 363 square inches in total which allows you to cook 13 burgers at a go.Weber Charcoal Grill – One-Touch cleaning system

The hinging makes it easy to add the charcoals while you’re grilling. The dampers on this unit allow smooth and precise temperature control. Additionally, this grill comes with a heat shielded handle which makes it convenient to open the lid without burning your hands.

You will also love to hear that the unit comes with a comprehensive lid placement. The lid inside has a hook which allows convenient hanging of the grill lid on the model’s side. On the grill side handle, there are four hooks where you can hang your grilling tools for easy access and workspace organization.

The grill also comes with a one-touch cleaning system which provides a hassle-free cleanup of the ashes and food debris by swiping the content into the removable, high-capacity ash catcher. Moving the grill is quite easy since it comes with two wheels.

Pros:

  • Porcelain-enameled lid and bowl
  • Glass-reinforced nylon handles
  • One-Touch cleaning system
  • Holds up to 13 burgers
  • Hinged Cooking Grate
  • Aluminum vents

Cons:

  • Unstable three leg design

Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC – Best Charcoal Offset Smoker

Are you a charcoal enthusiast looking for a smoker sufficient smoking area? If so then you need to consider buying this Dyna-Glo vertical charcoal offset smoker. With this grill, you can now smoke your favorite foods with the best flavoring wood chips.Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC – Best Charcoal Offset Smoker

The smoker comes with heavy-duty steel body construction featuring high temp powder coat finish for sturdiness, durability and long life. It’s ideal for capturing the maximum smoke flavor and comes with six cooking grates with adjustable heights. The grides provides a cooking space totaling to 1,176 square inches.

I loved the offset functionality of this model as it works great at keeping direct heat away from the food thus preventing the foods on the bottom rack from cooking too fast or overcooking.

Additionally, the porcelain coated charcoal chamber is constructed to keep the charcoal briquettes stacked tightly for an improved burn efficiency. Cleaning up the unit is quite easy thanks to the removable, steel ash pan which is designed to hand large capacity of ash.

Pros:

  • Porcelain-enameled charcoal chamber
  • Six height-adjustable cooking grates
  • Steel wire, chrome-plated Grates
  • Stainless temperature gauge
  • Vertical cooking design

Cons:

  • No wheels – difficult to move it around
  • Inaccurate temperature gauge

Char-Griller 06620 – Charcoal Barbecue Grill and Smoker

The Charcoal smoker which we are discussing now is available in 3 different colors. It has a primary cooking space of 314 in². The warming rack has 133 in.² of the area. The total space of 447 in² makes it suitable for parties as well as family get-togethers.Char-Griller 06620 – Charcoal Barbecue Grill and Smoker

The wheels at the bottom will allow you to move it around without any issues. When you look at the construction, you will realize that it consists of insulated architecture. The advantage of insulated architecture is that it uses charcoal more efficiently. The heat loss is on the lower side.

When the heat loss is on the smaller side, the amount of fuel which you need to generate the same amount of heat is less. It means that it is more economical to use this Charcoal Smoker. The cooking surface uses cast iron construction. The overall body of the Charcoal smoker consists of 22 gauge steel.

The outer surface is powder coated. The powder coating protects it in any weather. The interior surface comprises of porcelain coated steel so that the wear and tear is minimum. The wheels are lockable which allow you to keep it in its place. Moreover, with the help of the lower shelf, you can easily store the condiments as well as utensils. The metal shelves on the side are foldable.

It comes along with the heat gauge which facilitates monitoring of the temperature. The damper allows you to control the temperature precisely. The lid is lockable so that you can trap the smoke inside to induce that smoky flavor. It consists of an ashtray which is easy to clean. Thus, it is effortless to use with adequate cooking space.

Pros:

  • Available in 3 colors
  • Adequate cooking space
  • Portable
  • Offers a temperature gauge
  • Lockable lid
  • Double-walled construction
  • Made from 22 gauge steel
  • Consists of a warming rack

Cons:

  • Assembling is not easy

Char-Griller E22424 – Table Top Charcoal Grill

The Charcoal smoker which we are discussing now has a cooking space of 250 in². It is good enough for personal usage. You can place it on the table directly or the ground as per your convenience.Char-Griller E22424 – Table Top Charcoal Grill

The heavy-duty lid allows you to trap the smoke inside which can help you induce that smoky flavor. The construction is done using heavy steel. It consists of cast-iron grates which allow you to cook efficiently.

The cast-iron grates minimize the wear and tear. It can last for a long time due to the materials used in the construction. The handle on the lid can remain cool even during cooking. You can use the handle to lift the cover without any issue.

It consists of a drawer which allows you to access the charcoal and the ash quite easily. If you’re looking for authentic smoky flavor in your food, you can consider this charcoal smoker.

Pros:

  • 250 in.² of grilling space
  • Heavy duty construction
  • Authentic smoky flavor
  • Easy to clean
  • Can be placed on any flat surface
  • Offers insulated handle

Cons:

  • Not entirely stable

Old Smokey Charcoal Grill – Jumbo or Bring

The cooking area on offer in this smoker is 333 in². The height is just 27 inches. It is a stand-alone smoker, and hence, you can place it on any surface without any problem.Old Smokey Charcoal Grill – Jumbo or Bring

It comes with three different handles so that carrying it around is not a problem at all. It is easy to assemble and comes along with the instructions which allow you to use it quickly. The aluminized steel material not only improves the aesthetics of the smoker but makes it highly durable.

The silver finish makes it aesthetically better as compared to the peers. It comes along with all the hardware which you will need to assemble and install it. It has a chrome finish. When it comes to construction, you will have no complaints at all.

The heavy-duty lid will keep the smoke inside which allows you to get that authentic smoky taste. When the sole aim of buying the Charcoal smoker is to induce smoky flavor, you should choose this option.

Pros:

  • Easy to assemble
  • Adequate cooking space
  • Portable
  • Comes along with the hardware
  • Silver finish
  • Aesthetically pleasing

Cons:

  • Consumes high amount of charcoal

Masterbuilt 20060416 – Charcoal Bullet Smoker

With 395.4 in.² of cooking space, this smoker is perfect for small family get-togethers. It is suitable for personal use, get-together, and parties. It comes along with the handles which allow you to move it around.Masterbuilt 20060416 – Charcoal Bullet Smoker

The smoking racks are porcelain coated. The advantage of porcelain coating is that it reduces wear and tear. There are two such racks to cook food. The door on the front allows you to place the charcoal and remove the residue easily. There is a water bowl incorporated into the design. You can use it during cooking.

The temperature gauge on the lid allows you to monitor the temperature. You can use the damper available to control the temperature. It will let you cook the food just at the temperature you prefer. The compact size of the smoker makes it perfect for a get-together and tailgate parties. The adequate cooking space with the slim frame makes it a winner.

Pros:

  • Adequate cooking space
  • Consists of 2 racks
  • Easy to add the charcoal and remove the residue
  • Offers a water bowl
  • Temperature gauge incorporated
  • Easy to control the temperature

Cons:

  • The charcoal compartment is on the smaller side

Char-Broil Kamander – Best Charcoal Grill

The first feature of this Charcoal smoker is the modern look. In terms of aesthetics, it is better than many of its peers. The cooking space on offer is 327 in².Char-Broil Kamander – Best Charcoal Grill

The secondary cooking area out of this space is 142 in². Since the cooking area has two different units, you can cook different foods. It can help you with not just smoking but also grilling and roasting. The wheels at the bottom allow you to move it around without any hassle.

The construction is done using double-walled steel. The double-walled steel increases its efficiency. With increased efficiency, you can reduce the consumption of charcoal. It is more economical to use. It consists of a side shelf as well which is foldable. You can prepare the food and recipes on the side shelf.

There is an easily accessible shelf at the bottom to store the condiments and utensils. The side shelf consists of racks to hang the pots and pans. The lid is lockable which allows you to induce that smoky flavor into your food.

The temperature gauge on the lid allows you to monitor the temperature precisely. It has a damper which facilitates temperature control. You can clean the smoker by removing the ash pan. The removal of the ash pan does not lead to any leakage.

If you want to refill the charcoal during cooking, it will not impact the efficiency of the smoker negatively. It is one of the best features of this smoker. The combination of all of these features makes it a versatile and efficient smoker.

Pros:

  • Adequate cooking space
  • Cooking area has two units
  • Easy temperature control
  • Double-walled construction
  • Facilitates three cooking techniques
  • Portable

Cons:

  • Packaging is not up to the mark

What to Look for in a Best Charcoal Smoker?

A charcoal smoker is one of the best ways to induce that smoky taste in your food. You can easily smoke & grill the food and get that authentic smoky flavor as well. The modern-day charcoal smoker is also easy to use which means that you will not have to follow a steep learning curve to use the smoker.

Best Charcoal Smoker

The appliance is elegant and often portable which helps you use it wherever you want. The ease of use has made it very popular which has resulted in a plethora of smokers being available in the market.

The number of options available while choosing the best smoker is plenty. You need to compare the different options and try to select the right one to get the authentic taste which you want. Today, we will help you out with the same. We will first start with the things to consider while buying a smoker and then progress to FAQs which consumers have when it comes to these smokers.

What is the charcoal smoker?

It is a perfect gadget to cook tender meat. It infuses the authentic smoky taste into the food. The smoking technique causes the food to cook with indirect heat rather than direct heat. It allows you to either completely dry the meat while cooking or keeps it moist by sprinkling water on it. The smoker uses the smoking technique to offer you delicious and tasty food.

Things to consider while selecting a charcoal smoker:

Now that you know the basics of the device let us delve into the guidelines which you should follow while choosing one.

• Cooking area:

Best Charcoal SmokerThe primary thing which you should consider while buying any smoker is the cooking area. You have to look at your requirements and after that make the buying decision. If you’re buying for personal use, anything between 200 in² to 350 in² is more than enough.

If you often host parties and are purchasing the smoker for the same purpose, you should go with the smokers with about 350 in² of cooking space. If you conduct large parties or want to cook food in bulk, you should go with smokers with an area of over 500 in². The exact smoker which you choose will always be dependent on the application for which you want to use it.

• Versatility:

Even though they are widely known as smokers, but many of them can grill as well. You should always aim to choose the one which can sear the food. When that is the case, you don’t need to buy two separate appliances. You can use the same device for both the purpose. It will allow you to save on buying the second appliance.

• Quality of the smoker:

You have to look at the construction quality before making a buying decision. Once you look at the construction quality, it is easier for you to understand whether it will last for a long time or not. You have to also take into account the portability of the smoker before deciding on the construction quality.

Another factor which you have to take into account is the material of the grate. Once you take into account the construction material of the grate/stove, it is easier for you to understand whether it will need frequent replacement or whether the wear and tear will be on the higher side. If you choose porcelain coating grates, it is easier for you to minimize wear and tear. You have to look at the construction before choosing the smoker.

Cleaning:

Charcoal smokers often have to deal with a significant quantity of ash. You have to choose the smoker which aids you with the cleaning process. It can either provide you with a pan which is easily removable or with the help of a fan; you can blow out the ash. You should choose a smoker which provides at least the primary cleaning mechanism. It will allow you to clean it and reuse it quite easily.

• Temperature monitoring:

Best Charcoal Smoker ReviewsA temperature gauge is essential when using the smoker. It will allow you to cook the food at the right temperature. If the temperature gauge is missing, it will be difficult for you to get that authentic smoky flavor and the right texture.

You always have to choose the smoker which comes along with a temperature gauge on the lid. By monitoring the temperature, you can easily add or remove the charcoal as per your requirement.

The best way to buy such smoker is to compare it on these few factors. When you do so, you can shortlist the right options. It will remove all the confusion while choosing such a smoker. The entire task will turn simple when you consider these few factors.

How to clean charcoal smoker?

The procedure to clean these smokers is pretty easy. You have to first look at the things which you will need to clean the charcoal grill. These are:

  • Grill brush
  • Aluminum foil
  • Plastic/Paper bags
  • Putty knife
  • Fork

Procedure to clean the charcoal grill:

  1. You have to first collect all the cleaning supplies in a single place.
  2. You have to clean the grill grate with the help of a grill brush. You have to do the same with the charcoal grate.
  3. You have to make a ball of aluminum foil and use it as a scrubber to remove the stubborn debris from the griller.
  4. You have to use a brush then to remove the debris from the grill bottom. You can empty the grill pan as well. Using the putty knife, you have to scrape off any black stuff or grease.
  5. You have to put the parts of the grill back together.

The entire procedure is pretty simple and accomplished with the help of supplies which are present at your home. You have to clean it after a couple of uses so that you can keep it hygienic and increase its lifespan.

How to season a charcoal smoker?

The procedure to season a smoker is pretty easy. You have to decide the oil which you want to use like grapeseed oil or canola oil. You have to apply the oil on the interior of the smoker then. You have to do so for the walls as well as lids. You need to use the same oil on the grate as well.

After that, you have to put in the charcoal and light the smoker. Within 10 minutes, you should see the smoke emanating from the smoker. It is time to cook food now. You can now get that smoky flavor as well as the seasoning flavor in your foodstuffs.

How to use a charcoal smoker?

The procedure to use the smoker is pretty easy. We will list down the steps which you need to follow to use the smoker.
  • Step 1: You first have to season the smoker with the right oil.
  • Step 2: You have to put the charcoal into the smoker.
  • Step 3: If it supports electrical ignition, you have to ignite the charcoal otherwise add hot charcoal to the smoker.
  • Step 4: You can enhance the smoky flavor by adding wood chunks.
  • Step 5: You should monitor the temperature from the gauge.
  • Step 6: After the right temperature and right time of preheating, you have to keep the food on the grate.
  • Step 7: You have to close the lid and control the temperature with the help of the damper.
  • Step 8: after cooking it at the desired temperature for a specific time, you have to open the lid and monitor the food.

In between, you can change the sides to get the texture which you want.

As you can see, the procedure to use a smoker is pretty easy. When you follow these few steps, you can quickly cook your food even if you have no prior experience in using a smoker.

Now that you very well know the basics of a smoker, it is time to get answers to the FAQ’s which consumers usually have while buying and using one.

Best Charcoal Smokers (FAQs)

Does charcoal smoker give flavor?

Best Charcoal Smoker flavorCharcoal smokers give the best smoky flavor. It does not interfere with the traditional southern barbecue technique. It uses the smoke to enhance the flavor of your meat. That is why, when comparing the different smokers, the charcoal one is the best option which you have.

What is the best charcoal smoker?

The best charcoal smoker is Cuisinart COS-118. It is a sturdy smoker which is highly efficient and allows you to monitor the temperature from the lid. It makes smoking the food quite easily. When you couple that with the adequate cooking space, you will have no problems at all when using this smoker. If you want to go with the best, you can certainly opt for this option.

How long does charcoal burn in a smoker?

The duration for which the charcoal burns will be dependent on the type of charcoal which you use. If you’re using briquette charcoal, a single bag can easily last for 1 hour. The charcoal will take approximately 30 minutes to generate the required heat to start cooking.

You have to control the airflow however and the vents to let the charcoal burn efficiently. The design of most of the smokers is in such a way that you can easily add more charcoal to them without any elaborate procedure.

What is the difference between a charcoal smoker and a charcoal grill?

Best Charcoal SmokerThe main difference between the smoker and the grill is in the working mechanism. When you look at the working of these smokers, it cooks the food at low temperature. The temperature range is usually 225°F to 250°F. The smoker aims to produce a high quantity of smoke so that the smoky flavor gets induced into the food.

The charcoal grill, on the other hand, cooks the foodstuffs at a much higher temperature. These days, however, there are appliances which can accomplish both of these functions. If you like to switch between the grilling cooking technique and the smoking cooking technique, you should opt for an appliance which can help you cook the food using both the methods.

What is the best way to keep a charcoal grill hot?

There are a few tips which you can follow to keep the charcoal grill hot. These include:

  • You have to add an ample quantity of charcoal.
  • You have to refill the charcoal at regular intervals like 30 minutes.
  • You have to circulate the air to help them burn.
  • You to remove the ashes periodically.

These four tips will allow you to keep the charcoal grill hot.

Can I use wood in a charcoal smoker?

Yes, you can add wood to smokers. You have to however keep in mind that the wood chips should only be added a few minutes before cooking the food. They will further enhance the smoky taste which you are looking for in your delicacies.

How long will charcoal burn in a smoker?

When you fill up the smoker entirely, it can typically burn out in a couple of hours. If you refill it periodically, you can make it last for even longer time. The working principle of the smoker is to burn low and slow to enhance the flavor of the food.

Among charcoal smoker and electric which one is better?

The smoker provides the most authentic smoky flavor. If you’re using the smoker specifically for that authentic taste, there is no better option than such smoker. If you want to buy an easy-to-use smoker, then you can go for the electric one. The smoky flavor is subtle when going with the electric one.

Thus, when you’re confused between Electric smoker and the charcoal one, you should go with the charcoal one. These days, the smokers also offer electrical ignition which makes the task of smoking your meat hassle-free.

Does charcoal smoker taste better than gas?

The advantage of the smoker is that it allows you to use charcoal as well as wood chunks. When you combine both of these few types, you can get the authentic smoky flavor.

On the other hand, when you’re looking at the gas-powered, the flavoring is mild and subtle. If you’re looking for the Southern barbecue style taste, you should go with the charcoal one. It offers you the most distinctive flavor.

How do I control heat in my smoker?

If the temperature in your smoker goes about 250°F, you need to close down the vents. It will reduce the amount of oxygen and therefore the heat will also go down. On the other hand, if it is below 225°F, you have to open up the vents to increase the oxygen and thereby the temperature. The procedure to control the temperature in the smoker is pretty easy. You have to follow this guideline, and you can do so easily.

How do you cool down a charcoal smoker?

The best way to cool down a smoker is to close the bottom vents to reduce the supply slowly. You have to close the vents by half an inch in every 3 to 5 minutes. It will reduce the temperature gradually.

You have to manually adjust the top vents as well to reduce the airflow and the fire intensity to cool down the smoker. It might take some time, but it allows you to cool down the smoker gradually which will increase its lifespan.

How do you keep the temperature at 225°F in a charcoal smoker?

Most of the grillers have a water pan. Using the water pan, you can reduce the intensity of the fire when the temperature rises close to 250°F. The best way to keep your smoker at 225°F is to add a bit of water every time the temperature rises.

How do I keep my charcoal smoker at 250°F?

You have to let the charcoal burn to do so. It is better to keep the vents open to provide proper air circulation. It will supply the charcoal with fresh oxygen which will help you increase the temperature to 250°F. In case, you want to reduce the heat you can start by closing off the vents to cut the oxygen supply.

Globo Grills Overview:

So, if you are a bit confused when it comes to a charcoal grill, you can go through our buying guide above and the FAQs which we have listed. It will allow you to gain more insights as to how smokers work and how can you choose the right smoker.

You can also refer to the best smokers listed to pick the right one without much of an effort. We have taken great efforts to curate this list and bring you the best charcoal smokers on offer.

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About the author

Sharif Miah

I'm Sharif Miah, is a Blogger and currently doing BBA program. At the weekends and vacations, I love to do Grilling & BBQ party alone with family and friends.

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