The Best Charcoal Smokers for Flavorful Barbecue

Infuse meats, cheeses, and vegetables with outstanding flavor in these backyard charcoal-fueled chambers.

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The Best Charcoal Smoker Options

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Many home chefs fall into the trap of thinking that smoking is just like grilling, but they’re wrong: an investment in a charcoal smoker opens a whole new world of culinary possibilities. Smoking infuses food with wonderful flavor, keeping it incredibly moist. A smoker adds exciting options to everyday cooking, infusing fun and flavor to backyard parties and camping trips.

The best charcoal smokers have a temperature gauge so cooks can monitor the smoking process. They also include easy access to add more charcoal and water, along with appropriate cooking space and an easy-access ash removal tray for cleanup. Charcoal smokers come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes: experienced users have definite preferences for shape and control, but for cooks new to smoking, we’ve combed the market and selected the best charcoal smoker options available.

Our Top Picks

For a weekend of flavorful smoking on the patio or a freshly smoked catch on your next fishing trip, these are the best charcoal smokers on the market.

The Best Charcoal Smoker Option: Weber Smokey Mountain Charcoal Smoker

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BEST OVERALL: Weber Smokey Mountain Charcoal Smoker

A reliable and durable smoker from a trusted brand, the Weber Smokey Mountain Charcoal Smoker cooks foods for long periods at low temperature. The Weber smoker is available in three sizes, featuring a porcelain-enameled lid and bowl. It has great heat retention and is resistant to peeling and rust. The fuel door is removable and makes it easier to add charcoal or wood. Inside, the Weber has two cooking grates and enough room to smoke two large food items. The silicone temperature grommet allows users to monitor the internal temperature and control the heat by adjusting the damper system.

The Best Charcoal Smoker Option: Dyna-Glo Signature Series Charcoal Smoker & Grill

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BEST COMBINATION: Dyna-Glo Signature Series Charcoal Smoker & Grill

Dyna-Glo’s Signature Series includes a sizable combined smoker and grill, allowing experienced cooks to experiment with different cooking styles. The Dyna-Glo has a durable heavy-gauge steel construction and a massive total cooking area of 1382 square inches. There are five chrome plated cooking grids so users can spread the food out evenly. Separate sausage hooks allow for links to be smoked without taking up valuable grate space. All of the cooking space is easily accessible thanks to cool-touch handles and spring-loaded doors. Dyna-Glo’s signature Smoke Zone indicator helps users maintain the right temperature for the best flavor. On this combination unit, the dial also includes a Grill Zone indicator. The large wheels make this unit portable despite its large size, rendering this combination grill-smoker ideal for barbecue parties.

The Best Charcoal Smoker Option: Cuisinart Charcoal Smoker

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BEST PORTABLE: Cuisinart Charcoal Smoker

Need a smoker for a tailgate, camping, or family picnic? The Cuisinart Charcoal smoker is a transportable yet sturdy device that smokes anything from cheese to meat and vegetables. All users have to do is add charcoal and fill the porcelain-enameled steel water bowl near the side access door. Inside the 510 square inch capacity chamber, there are two 18-inch steel wire racks. The two vents give cooks increased control over the smoke and the heat levels inside. Weighing in at 32 pounds, the Cuisinart smoker is surprisingly spacious yet extremely portable for friends and family gatherings.

The Best Charcoal Smoker Option: Masterbuilt Charcoal Bullet Smoker

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BEST COMPACT: Masterbuilt Charcoal Bullet Smoker

The Masterbuilt Charcoal Bullet Smoker is shiny, black, and bullet-shaped, offering 395.4 square inches of smoking space. The smoker includes two porcelain-coated smoking racks on which to arrange food. Charcoal and water are easily added through the front-access door, and the built-in lid thermometer helps cooks keep an eye on the temperature. The air damper allows cooks to control the moisture and the temperature to maintain ideal smoking conditions. Great for smaller patios or travel, the Masterbuilt does not compromise on quality or features.