If you’re fond of going outside and having a great time with friends and family, then you probably love BBQ gatherings. After all, nobody can resist some juicy and delicious grilled food, whether you eat meat or go only for the vegan options. And of course, these tasty foods are courtesy of a good grill – the better it is the better your food will be.
But what if we’d tell you that there is a way to make your food even more luscious? How? – With the help of some of the best vertical smokers.
Thanks to its design, it allows the food to be even more juicy and yummy. That is because the vertical smoker allows the heat to rise naturally, and thus it gives the food a more smoky taste and cooks your veggies, cheese, or meat a lot better.
Plenty of vertical smokers claim to be the best. However, action speaks louder than words. Thus, we’ve decided to conduct more detailed research, ask a lot of chefs and experienced users, to help you find only the best vertical smoker 2023. Most importantly, we wish to teach you what should be most important about a good vertical grill, and what you need to pay attention to for the best choice.
Top 7 Best Vertical Smokers: Comparison Chart
|Number of Racks
|1890 sq. in.
|21 x 43.3 x 50.2 inches
|830 sq. in.
|20 x 17 x 33.5 inches
|784 sq. in.
|20 x 20 x 46 inches
|636 sq. in.
|24.8 x 20.67 x 41.34 inches
|481 sq. in.
|21 x 19 x 41 inches
|PIT BOSS 77435
|800 sq. in.
|21.5 x 23 x 47 inches
|595 sq. in.
|19.5 x 21.5 x 45.5 inches
Vertical Vs Horizontal Smoker
Before jumping to our vertical smokers guide, it’s important to understand the how it is different from a regular, horizontal one. Well, as you can guess from the names alone, the biggest difference is the design.
Vertical smokers are oval-shaped and have a fire tray that is situated at the bottom of the device. The water tray is placed above the fire tray and then comes to the fire chamber located at the top.
Moreover, vertical smokers with side fire boxes have a separate door that is used to put the fuel inside; it offers higher levels of heat retention. The build of these smokers is such that it accumulates a minimal amount of oxygen, making it more fuel-efficient.
On the other hand, a horizontal smoker has an entire firebox that stands separate from the cooking unit. The heat is directed from the firebox to the racks and chimney. The significant difference between vertical vs horizontal smoker is the mode of usage of heat, and the way it is dispensed.
Overall, horizontal smokers are more effective if you need to grill, meanwhile all the best vertical models are a great option for smoking, and it also gives your food a smoky taste – something a lot of BBQ enthusiasts love.
Choosing the Best Vertical Smoker
Now that we’ve determined the difference between vertical and horizontal smokers, it’s time to get to the main point of today’s vertical smoker reviews – what you need to pay attention to choose only the best vertical smoker.
Vertical Smokers Types Overview
First things first you must do is determine which type of vertical smokers would be the best option for you. The major difference between these types is what fuel these vertical smokers use.
Here are some of the basic types of vertical smokers that you can easily find in the market:
- Charcoal vertical smoker
- Wood vertical smoker
- Electric vertical smoker
- Propane and natural vertical smokers
- Pellet vertical smoker
- Gas vertical smoker
Size & Portability
All the best vertical smokers must be easy to use and should come with a manual that can be referred to for help. But in some cases, it can be quite a tricky task to master the art of setting up all its parts and mastering the barbeque.
Thus it’s better to choose a vertical smoker that is portable, low-maintenance, and is easy to use. A set-and-forget smoker is your best bet to place on to get some flavored smoked meat for all those party cravings.
Cooking Area & Number of Racks
The number of racks is the count of the shelves that can be stacked effectively inside the box. Usually, the cheaper vertical smokers will have three to four racks that directly stand as a deciding factor on the amount of meat that can be smoked at once.
An expensive smoker usually has eight shelves, which hikes up the volume of food that can be cooked at one go. It is best suited when you are having a gathering or are hosting a party.
Temperature Range & Settings
While creating our vertical smoker reviews, we have found out that the temperature range is directly proportional to the portability factor of vertical smokers. So if you wish to sear a steak, then a vertical smoker with 500 degrees Fahrenheit temperature is a perfect option.
On the other hand, if you’re cooking poultry and turkey, 400 degrees Fahrenheit temperature is enough to cater to the heating process. If you are looking for slow and low meat heating, the temperature is not a significant parameter to consider.
Some of the best vertical smokers also have additional accessories and features such as gloves, grid mat, hangers, starter, thermometer probes, cover, vertical smoker grill combo, etc. These are always great to have around, however, do keep in mind that the more features your smoker has, the pricier it will be.
Get the Most Out Of Vertical Smoker: Useful Tips
Here is how you can make the most out of your vertical smokers:
- Eject out all the loose components from the racks, especially if you have an electric vertical smoker, and thoroughly rinse them. Make sure that you scrub off all the grease and oil traces with soap and water to enhance the smokers’ effectiveness. Any such greasy deposits can decrease the area of cooking and can also ruin down the food that will be cooked on it.
- While placing the racks inside the smoker after rinsing them, dry them with a cloth and oil them thoroughly before placing them inside. The rinsed racks can have moisture on them which can cause rusting and deterioration. Use a brush or spray some oil over it to allow your smoker to serve you extended services and to prove themselves as the best vertical smoker for the money.
- Always light the charcoal that is present in the bottom section. This is suggested to assure that the oil sprayed has been dried out, creating an anti-corrode layer to prevent your smokers from corroding.
How Does Vertical Smoker Work?
The vertical smoker has three important parts, namely the bottom, cooking chamber, and a water pan. The water chamber can be opened to add fuel or water inside it to maintain the required amount of heat in the device.
At the bottom, the heating source is present, which heats the smoker in an upward direction. Traversing upwards, it heats the water pan giving its users an easy and efficient way out to start with the smoke heating process.
Does Fuel Type Make a Difference in a Vertical Smoker?
Yes, the type of fuel you’re using can make a big difference in the results. Whether it may be propane, charcoal, or wood chunks, each fuel can give you a different flavor for your smoked meat.
Also, the fuel type brings a difference in the time consumed for cooking, ease of usability, cost, portability, etc.
Are Vertical Smokers Easy to Assemble and Clean?
Yes. You can easily assemble a smoker by reading the manual that comes along with the vertical smoker.
Conclusion and Final Thoughts
So all and all, what are some of the most important things you need to keep in mind when you want to choose only the best vertical smoker? Of course, the first thing you must do is to determine which type works the best for you. From that point on, you need to pay attention to other aspects: mainly the size and how many smoking areas the vertical smoker has.
And that’s pretty much it. As you can see, as long as you know what to look for, you should have no problem finding the best vertical smoker 2023. It can fulfill all your desires of treating yourself to some hot and smoked delicacies that can give your heart a spicy and tasty feeling of contentment.
So best of luck, and feel free to share with us your tips for finding the best vertical smoker! We would be happy to learn from you too!