Smokers prioritize a low and slow method of cooking meat that makes for tender results, while grills are hot and fast, ideal for getting burgers, fish, and other foods done in a jiffy. A smoker grill combo offers the best of both worlds, letting you perform both cooking tasks on a single outdoor cooking appliance. These devices suit folks who rely on quick meals during hectic weekdays yet also like to devote leisure time to slowly smoking certain cuts of meat to perfection.
This combo appliance saves money and space in the yard. It’s also a great way for amateur grill cooks to try their hand at smoking. To start the search for the best smoker grill combo for your yard or patio, take a look at the top products below, and read on to find out about important product features to consider, including fuel type, the size of the cooking surface, and the temperature controls.
- BEST OVERALL: Masterbuilt MB20040220 Gravity Series 560 Digital
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Royal Gourmet BBQ Charcoal Grill and Offset Smoker
- UPGRADE PICK: Traeger TFB57GZEO Pro Series 575 Grill, Smoker
- BEST KAMADO: Kamado Joe KJ23RHC Classic II Charcoal Grill, 18 inch
- BEST PORTABLE: Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Smoker
- BEST PELLET: Z GRILLS ZPG-550A 2020 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker
- BEST CHARCOAL: Dyna-Glo Signature Series Heavy-Duty Vertical Offset
- BEST GRAVITY-FED: Camp Chef PG24MZG SmokePro Slide Smoker
What to Consider When Choosing Best Smoker Grill Combo
When shopping for a high-quality smoker grill combo, factor in the appliance type, size, materials, cooking surface, and other important features detailed below.
- Kamado grills, also known as ceramic grills or egg-shaped cookers, take longer to heat up but will hold and radiate heat longer than a standard steel grill. They have a narrow egg shape that reduces airflow on food so steaks stay moist while cooking.
- Drum smokers, which resemble an oil drum in shape, can be either vertical or horizontal. Vertical drum smokers typically have multiple grates at varying heights, while a horizontal drum smoker allows users to grill and smoke at the same time.
- Pellet smokers—the ultimate in set-it-and-forget-it smoking—use compressed flavored wood pellets instead of charcoal or gas. The wood pellets are loaded through a gravity-fed hopper, while a digitally controlled auger automates temperature control.
- Gravity-fed smokers, which may use either pellets or charcoal, have an automatic feed function that adds pellets or charcoal when more fuel is needed. The hopper can be filled with pellets or charcoal so that it needn’t be refilled every time the smoker is in use.
- Charcoal grills, which rely on charcoal to produce heat and smoke, are the most common type because they produce more smoke than gas grills and are more affordable than pellet models.
- Gas grills use liquid propane or natural gas to provide low, slow cooking heat as well as a quick, hot flame. They typically have a built-in ignition switch for ease of use, and the continuous supply of gas from an attached tank can be slowly increased or decreased to adjust the temperature as needed.
The size of the smoker grill combo is an important consideration, especially for smaller outdoor spaces. Measure the area where the smoker grill will be used and compare the measurement to the dimensions of potential products. The size should also be considered for storage and winterizing.
A lightweight smoker grill with wheels will be much easier to stow should winter months call a temporary halt to grilling. Portable smoker grill combos are compact and feature handles for easy lifting and packing into a vehicle, making them a great choice for camping or tailgate parties.
Smoker grill combos can be made with a variety of metals, including stainless steel, powder-coated steel, and ceramic.
- Stainless steel is a high-durability material that is usually the best option for the exterior of a grill. It is resistant to water, UV radiation, and impact damage, despite being lightweight and easy to maneuver.
- Powder-coated steel is nearly as durable as stainless steel and is even more resistant to water damage, corrosion, and rusting. This makes it a good choice for unsheltered outdoor spaces.
- Ceramics are the best option for high humidity, rain-prone locations because these grills cannot rust. Ceramic also heats up slowly and cools down slowly, making them ideal for long, slow cooks. However, ceramic is fragile and can chip easily, so these grills must be handled with care.
Cooking Surface Size
The cooking surface may be all on one level or have multiple tiers that allow for simultaneous smoking and grilling. A top tier can also be used for keeping food warm while other items cook.
Cooking surface size is directly linked to the amount of food typically prepared on the smoker grill. Smoker grills range in size from portable products with a 150-square-inch cooking surface to full-size products with one or more cooking surfaces and a combined size of over 800 square inches. If you typically entertain crowds of eight or more, look for a cooking surface of at least 600 square inches.
Temperature Range and Control
The temperature of a smoker grill combo can be controlled in a variety of ways, depending on the type of appliance. Some grills have simple dials to control the flow of gas and the heat, while charcoal smoker grills require the use of adjustable vents or dampers to adjust the oxygen flow through the cooking chamber to achieve the desired smoky consistency.
Gravity-fed pellet smoker grills have an automatic feed that ensures the temperature remains constant according to the setting entered in the digital control. Smokers have temperature ranges from 100 degrees to 300 degrees Fahrenheit, while grills can exceed 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Because a combined smoker grill must produce temperatures for both cooking techniques in one appliance, it will have a higher minimum temperature than a smoker and a lower maximum temperature than a grill.
Smoker grills can weigh from about 20 pounds to over 200 pounds. Folks who’ll be storing the appliance or toting it to different locations may be best off with a more lightweight model, even if it means sacrificing cooking surface size.
However, downsizing isn’t the only solution to portability. Many smoker grills come with two wheels on one side and two feet on the other or with wheels at the base of each leg that can be locked in place when the smoker grill is in use. With wheels and possibly one or more handles, even a large combination smoker grill can be moved around on the patio easily.
Smoker grill combos can have a few bells and whistles that are worth considering.
- Temperature gauges range from simple analog dials to digital displays with temperature controls for presetting auto-feed smoker grills. Temperature gauges are a good addition for grilling, but they are a necessity for maintaining constant heat while smoking meat over several hours.
- Meat probe thermometers are used for taking the internal temperature of the steak, roast, or other meat so the cook can serve food at the ideal temperature inside and out.
- Wireless connectivity allows the cook to monitor temperature remotely. Just connect to the smoker grill through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi using an app.
Our Top Picks
The top products below were chosen for quality, price, customer satisfaction, and in accordance with the key considerations and shopping tips presented above. Take a look to find the best smoker grill combo to help make your next backyard barbecue a success.
If the convenience of connectivity and the smoky taste of charcoal is appealing, this Masterbuilt model is worth checking out. Connect this digital smoker grill combo through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth using a smartphone or tablet to control temperature and cook time. There’s also a built-in temperature gauge and meat probe thermometer to ensure that food is prepared just right.
The sleekly designed smoker grill weighs 147 pounds but sits on four lockable wheels so it can be moved around with ease. The hopper holds up to 10 pounds of lump charcoal or 16 pounds of charcoal briquettes, enough for the smoker grill to cook for up to 15 hours before refilling. It has two porcelain-coated smoking racks for a total cooking surface of about 560 square inches. Once the temperature is set, the digital fan and gravity-fed hopper will work in unison to increase or decrease the temperature rapidly to the desired setting, taking the guesswork out of the next backyard barbecue.
Take manual control of the heat like a true grill master and save money with this Royal Gourmet smoker grill combo. The large smoker features a 183-square-inch grill surface in the external firebox and 438 square inches of porcelain-coated surface in the cooking chamber. A 179-square-inch, chrome-plated warming rack keeps cooked foods at the right temperature until ready to serve.
Instead of an electronic thermometer or digital controls, this manual model relies on a basic, effective design of intake and exhaust dampers to control the flow of the heat and smoke. This Royal Gourmet is compatible with both charcoal and flavored wood pellets; as a bonus, it includes a package of premium apple barbecue wood pellets. The 54-pound smoker includes a set of wheels for portability.
Forget standing over a hot flame. This premium smoker grill combo features wireless technology that connects to a mobile device through Wi-Fi and the Traeger app. The app lets the cook monitor and change temperature as well as set timers—no more worrying about checking on the food. This smoker grill can also be controlled using voice commands through a compatible Amazon Alexa smart home device.
While this model does feature an electronic ignition, it uses hardwood pellets for fuel, giving the food an authentic wood-fired taste. There’s also a built-in meat probe to ensure food is ready to serve. The cooking surface on the Traeger Pro Series measures 575 square inches.
This Kamado Joe ceramic charcoal smoker grill combo has a 254-square-inch cooking surface split between two staggered grill grates, allowing thinner cuts to be placed higher in the grill so both thick and thin meats are ready to serve at approximately the same time. Control the ceramic smoker grill with a top vent for grilling or smoking, and monitor the temperature with the built-in temperature gauge. Its porcelain-coated 22-gauge steel body is built for durability. Four wheels on the bottom of the stand can be unlocked to move the 250-pound unit around as needed.
When portability is key, this lightweight smoker grill could be just the ticket. It has two side-mounted carrying handles for toting and an elevated base that allows it to be placed on most flat, heat-resistant surfaces.
This 22-pound smoker grill uses infrared heating elements to grill on a 180-square-inch surface or roast in the included roasting basket. A portable propane tank can also be connected for quick, high-temperature grilling. A side-mounted smoker box allows wood pellets to be used to provide slow, steady heat for smoking. Monitor the temperature with the meat thermometer, then clean up quickly and efficiently, thanks to the removable shelves and grease tray.
Grilling beginners and anyone that prefers a hands-off approach to grilling or smoking may find the Z Grills ZPG-550A a great choice. It does everything from controlling the ignition to setting and maintaining consistent temperatures. This offset smoker grill combo holds up to 16 pounds of wood pellets, which are added gradually by the gravity-fed hopper and auger based on selected temperature settings to maintain the ideal temperature.
The electronic ignition switch means there’s no need to mess with matches or a lighter: Just push the ignition button, set the temperature between 180 and 450 degrees Fahrenheit, and let the smoker go to work. There is a 423-square-inch cooking surface and a 167-square-inch warming rack for a full 590 square inches of space for food. The unit weighs about 100 pounds and has two wheels for mobility.
The powder-coated steel exterior of this smoker grill combo is highly resistant to moisture and corrosion for durability. The vertical smoker and offset grill have a combined cooking surface of 1,382 square inches. Five chrome-plated grates in the vertical smoker sit at different levels, allowing a variety of foods to be prepared at the same time.
This Dyna-Glo smoker grill combo can run on either charcoal or wood pellets. The vertical design provides for good air and smoke flow throughout the cooking chamber. Indicated cooking zones help determine ideal temperatures for smoking, barbecuing, and grilling (a plus for newbies), and cooks can monitor heat with the built-in temperature gauge. The entire 125-pound smoker grill sits on two sturdy steel legs and two heavy-duty wheels for easy moving around the patio or to the shed for storage.
Don’t feel like fussing with vents to get the ideal temperature? This pellet smoker grill combo has a gravity-fed hopper that can maintain consistent temperatures to within ± 20 degrees Fahrenheit. This precision control provides dependable results when smoking meat at a low, slow pace. It also has several different presets for grilling and smoking consistency.
The smoker grill combo has a temperature range of 175 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and offers 811 square inches of cooking space split between a lower and a higher cooking surface. The smoker grill weighs 145 pounds and comes with a 20-pound bag of hardwood pellets. It also has a folding shelf at the front of the grill and a pair of wheels on one side to make it easier to move and store.
FAQs About Smoker Grill Combos
If you still want more info on using a smoker grill combo to get the best-tasting food, peruse the answers to these frequently asked questions.
Q. Can you smoke and grill at the same time?
Yes, you can smoke and grill at the same time. However, you need to monitor the temperature throughout the entire smoker grill combo to be certain that food is cooked all the way through.
Q. How do I season my smoker?
Seasoning a smoker refers to creating an oil barrier on the metal. While this isn’t a necessary step, it can help protect the grill grates from rusting. You can season your smoker by spraying the inside with cooking oil, like grapeseed or canola, and heating it to a high temperature for three to four hours prior to initial use.
Q. How long should I smoke meat?
Ideal smoke time depends on the type of meat, the thickness of the cut, and the temperature of the smoker. On average, smoking a cut of meat like ribs or tenderloin will take six to eight hours, but thicker cuts like brisket can take over 24 hours.
Q. Is smoked meat bad for you?
In moderation, there is little risk in eating smoked meat. However, smoked meat, like other types of processed meats, can be harmful to your health if it is consumed in high enough quantities. According to the American Cancer Society, the smoking process can involve carcinogens that can increase the risk of cancer. Charred pieces that appear black and flaky should not be eaten because they can contain carcinogens.