Best Smokers Under 500

The Best Smokers Under 500 Reviewed in Detail

Getting the best bbq flavor for your meat can be a huge problem. However, with the right meat smoker, you can take a backseat and let the magic happen. In this post, we show you the best smoker under $500. If you have your eyes and buds set on the richest flavors, we will teach you how to best use your smoker under $500 to get that rich flavor you only get in luxurious and award-winning hotels and restaurants. While most people prefer the more expensive and high-end bbq smokers, with the right brand choices, you can achieve even more with a cheap smoker. This article will also highlight the pros and cons of various smoker brands to ensure that you make an informed purchase decision.

Top 7 Best Smokers Under $500: Comparison Chart

Power SourceCooking AreaNumber of RacksMax TemperatureDimensionsWeight
Masterbuilt MB20071117Electric730 sq. in.4275 °F19.88 x 20.47 x 33.26 inches45.9 pounds
Dyna-Glo DGO1890BDC-DCharcoal/Wood1890 sq. in.6n/a21 x 43.3 x 50.2 inches83 pounds
Weber 711001Charcoal286 sq. in.2275 °F31.4 x 14.75 x 14.75 inches23 pounds
Char-Broil 19202101Electric725 sq. in.4275 °F32.5 x 18.1 x 16.5 inches58.7 pounds
RealcookCharcoal453 sq. in.2325 °F22 x 17 x 35 inches18.6 pounds
Char-Broil 14101550Propane1200 sq. in., 180 sq. in. grilling surface2450 °F23.1 x 23.4 x 36.2 inches22.7 pounds
PIT BOSS 77425 2.5Propane884 sq. in.3350 °F21.5 x 23 x 41 inches48.5 pounds

Smoker Under $500: What to Expect?

While most buyers would brush aside buying a bbq smoker for less than $500 as being inefficient and of lower quality, we’d like to assure the reader otherwise. The working mechanism of smokers is the same, and the difference between a $200 and a $3000 unit is merely the material or a few fancy adjustments that drive up its cost.

Considering a Smoker Under 500 Type

When purchasing the smokers that you are interested in, you must consider several factors. Fuel is a huge determinant in making this decision as each bbq smoker uses different fuel sources. 

The ease of use is also a big factor in making this decision. The best smokers for beginners should be electric and not charcoal smokers. 

If you wish to do other things with the smoker, for instance, baking pizza, you should consider a smoker with baking features. Alternatively, if you already have a grill, you should consider purchasing a standalone smoker. If you follow all these considerations, you will definitely end up with the best smoker under 500 2021. 

Charcoal Smoker

Charcoal smoker

A Charcoal smoker under 500 is arguably one of the most popular ways of grilling food. And while charcoal briquettes are the primary fuel source, some people add wood chips or lumps to achieve a strong smoky flavor to the meat.


  • They achieve higher temperatures, which gives the meat better flavor
  • The kettle can also serve as a grill
  • Charcoal smokers are relatively cheaper


  • Charcoal takes longer to heat up
  • Controlling and maintaining desired temperatures is hard
  • Charcoal grills have less food space
  • Cleaning up after a charcoal smoker is more cumbersome

Gas/Propane Smokers

Gas/Propane Smokers

Can you get a gas smoker under 500? Of course, yes. Gas grills have been getting more popular in recent times due to their convenience. Compared with other types of smokers, they are easy to start up and achieve cooking temperatures. Besides, their ease in temperature control makes them more favorable for outdoor bbq.


  • Come in a variety of sizes
  • Very easy to use and control the temperature
  • Have a small footprint hence take less space in your house
  • Environmental friendly


  • Can only be used for smoking
  • Propane tanks are a safety hazard
  • Cheaper units are poorly made and designed

Pellet Smokers

Pellet smokers

While pellet smokers have been with us for decades, they keep on getting better with the years. The best pellet smoker under 500 has combined the technology of electric and wood smokers to smoke food in a controlled and smoky environment. Nevertheless, you can pick one side of the aisle by settling for the best wood smoker under 500. 


  • Easy to use. Pellet smokers have an automated system hence does not require babysitting
  • Easy to fire up and reach the desired temperature
  • Pellet smokers maintain a steady and constant temperature far much easier


  • Good pellets smokers are expensive
  • The meat smoker can run out of fuel mid-cook, especially when in use in harsh weather conditions.

Electric Smokers

Electric smokers

The best electric smokers under 300 offer excellent entry points for beginner smokers. Before you can learn how to build and manage the traditional fire, it is prudent to familiarize yourself with the smoking process using an electric smoker. But what makes them so popular with beginner smokers?


  • Simple to use as everything is digitized
  • Small footprint, therefore takes less space in the house
  • Come in different sizes
  • Eliminates babysitting as you can set your preferences and do other chores


  • Electric smokers need protection from harsh weather conditions and rain as they are not waterproof
  • The units suffer from heat loss and smoke leaks, which reduce their efficiency
  • Can only be used as smokers

What to Look for in Smokers Under 500

Before buying your food smoker, you should keep these in mind:

Weight & Portability

While most home smokers ought to be lightweight for easy transportation, you shouldn’t think of weight as a priority. Wheels are a great way to secure this portability and improve the mobility of your smoker.

Size & Capacity

You probably wish for a large meat smoker. That notwithstanding, you should make the decision on size based on your needs. There are also numerous ways to play around with the size and capacity of smokers by checking on the versatility of the rack area.

Temperature Range & Settings

A good smoker should have an extensive temperature range. This is more so useful when you are working or cooking meat and sizzle dishes. Your bbq smoker should also have a good temperature gauge to let you monitor or set your temperature as per your preferences.

Extra Features

We recommend a smoker whose fuel box mechanism is kept separate from the cooking chamber to cut on heat loss. You should also ensure that you purchase a food smoker that has favorable warranty terms. 

Safety Tips

Smoking meat is not dangerous. All the same, you should protect yourself from any kind of accident. For your heads up, these safety tips will come in handy:

  • Be aware of cancer-causing substances: Cooking meat in high temperatures can result in the release of cancer-causing substances. To reduce this, it is advisable not to overcook foods and maintain lower temperatures.
  • Alcohol safety around the grill: it is advisable that alcohol, being a highly flammable liquid, is kept away from the bbq area. Additionally, you should not bbq while under the influence.
  • Do not use indoors: The grill and smoker should be kept in an open area in case of any fire or accident.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts

Choosing the best smokers under 500 can be tricky. Therefore, we recommend reading and going through as many smoker reviews as possible before making your decision. While there is no definitively superior smoker, it is prudent that the information we have given in this article will help you get the best smoker under 500 2021. Ensure you do enough research on the most suitable smoker for you before setting up your mind on what you are buying.

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