Best Smokers for Beginners 2021

It is intimidating to select a model of a smoker, as a beginner. This article has 7 best beginner-friendly smokers that you can pick from.
Owning a smoker is truly a joy for every barbecue enthusiast. However, it gets terrifying when you purchase a model, and it arrives with 100 pieces that you need to put together to bring it to life. Being a beginner and having no prior experience with smokers, either you end up with a stubborn machine that will not come to life, or you can’t figure out how to operate it and end up returning it to the company.

Best Smokers for Beginners list

  • Analog Electric Smoker for Beginner: Masterbuilt MB20070210
  • Easiest Smoker To Use for Beginner: Weber 14-inch
  • Digital Electric Meat Smoker For Beginner: Char-Broil 17202004
  • Vertical Charcoal Smoker For Beginner: Dyna-Glo DGX780BDC-D 36″
  • Top Rated Smoker For Beginner: Z GRILLS ZPG-7002E
  • Best Smoker Grill For Beginner: Classic Pit Barrel Cooker Package
  • Best Electric Smoker For Beginners: Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Black

Best 5 Type of Smoker for Beginners

We get it, “Choosing the right type of smoker when you are just a beginner could seem a little struggling.”

That said, we are here to guide you about the 5 most popular and the best type of smokers currently available in 2021.

Give this guide a thorough read and at the end of it, you will surely have enough knowledge to make the right decision.

Take a look:

Comparison of 5 Best Type of Smoker for Beginners

Smoker TypeFuel Source
Charcoal SmokerCharcoal
Propane SmokerPropane/Gas
Electric SmokerElectricity
Offset SmokerCharcoal/Wood
Pellet SmokerWood Pellets/Sawdust

Charcoal Smokers

Charcoal smokers are currently trending among households who want to cook flavorful and seasoned BBQ items with ease and convenience.

As the name itself suggests, such types of smokers use charcoal as primary fuel to add flavor and taste to different food items.

You will mostly find charcoal smokers combined with grills to improve the way you smoke meat, hotdogs, or vegetables, etc.

Such type, however, could take a considerable amount of time to cook different stuff and you have to be patient enough to utilize it properly.

From a beginner perspective, you should take start with a charcoal smoking appliance to get started with cooking flavorful recipes without any hassle.

Propane Smokers

Commonly known as a “Gas Smoker”, this type of appliance uses propane to smoke a variety of food items including beef, mutton, pork, fish, and chicken.

Available at a relatively cheaper price tag compared to charcoal smokers, you will find a plethora of propane smoker brands in the market.

A propane smoker although uses gas, you still have to put wood inside it to get the natural taste and smoky flavor while cooking different recipes.

Most of the propane smoker models available in 2021 have a vertical design. Besides, they will mostly feature an analog thermostat.

Homeowners who want to enjoy preparing delicious recipes with a touch of natural flavor should invest some bucks to get the best propane smokers in 2021.

Electric Smokers

Getting quite popular in the market currently, electric smokers rely on electricity as main source for cooking different food items.

In case you wonder how will it produce smoke, then know that a special compartment is included with such smokers where you can put wood chips to add a smoky flavor.

Brands like Masterbuilt and Char-Broil are quite reliable when it comes to electrical smoking appliances. However, you could also rely on Cuisinart for smoking multiple food items electrically.

Compared to other types, electric appliances offer ease of use and affordability. That’s what we recommend to those who live in small households and want mess-free smoking.

Offset Smokers

An offset smoker is a typical appliance that uses fuel like charcoal or firewood to smoke multiple food items in a single go.

Available in a combination with smoker grill mostly, such appliances require a large space to get adjusted properly.

That’s because they mostly have a large horizontal design where you can put several food items and smoke them naturally.

Not so suitable for beginners, we would still suggest them in case you want to have a go at smoking beef, mutton, and pork naturally.

Pellet Smokers

Using wood pellets or sawdust as main fuel source, pellet smokers are perfect for newbies who are new to smoking food products.

Along with offering digital features to control temperature and other options, users could easily fill them up with wood pellets.

The taste and flavor of a pellet smoker could be compared to the likes of charcoal and gas smokers. However, these appliances are a bit expensive. Plus, you will have to spend extra money while getting pellet bags every once in a while.

7 Best Smokers for Beginners in 2021

Due to these reasons, investing your bucks in a smoker can be very intimidating, especially as a beginner. Say goodbye to all your worries because, in this article, I have listed 7 different models of smokers that a beginner can operate effortlessly. Each model has features that are bound to make the user’s life easy. Give it a read, and then decide which one meets your needs the best.

1. Masterbuilt MB20070210: Analog Electric Smoker for Beginner

Best Beginner Smoker
Analog Electric Smoker with 3 Smoking Racks, 30 inch, Black

Available at amazon.com

If you are a beginner looking to invest in a good quality smoker, then an electric smoker is one of your best options. This electric smoker has an easy-to-operate design which is why cooking food in it and controlling the machine is child’s play, even for novices. All you need to do is get it connected to a switchboard, and voila! With its 3 chrome-plated racks, you get a total of 536 square inches of cooking area, perfect to cook a meal for small gatherings.

Moreover, the built-in temperature gauge and the temperature control knob on the side make the tiring job of controlling the temperature a piece of cake. The efficient heating element installed in the model is the key that heats the smoker and then holds the preset temperature. This model’s temperature goes up to 275°F, which is perfect for slow cooking ribs and briskets.

Masterbuilt MB20070210 Analog

Other handy features include the slide-out ashtray that eases the cleaning job. If you are thinking about how an electric smoker will give your meal the delectable flavor of burnt charcoal, then worry not. There is a wood chip tray that burns wood and infuses the delicious aroma of barbecue in your food.

PROS
  • Easy-to-operate
  • 536 square inches cooking area
  • Affordable
  • Temperature control knob
  • Chrome plates grates
  • Slide-out ashtray
CONS
  • Doesn’t get hot enough in cold weather

The fuss-free, easy-to-use design of this electric smoker is the reason you are going to enjoy making food in it thoroughly. Along with that, its amazing features make it capable of delivering top-notch performance at a meager price tag.

2. Weber 14-inch: Easiest Smoker To Use for Beginner

Easiest Smoker To Use
Outdoor Smokers by Weber

Available at amazon.com

The small size of this model makes it one of the best smokers for beginners. However, do not underestimate its performance; this boy comes with a cooking space of 286 square inches. It is ideal for taking up road trips or hikes and have a delicious meal in the mountains.

The body of this model is constructed from heavy steel, which further has a porcelain coating, in order to keep it safe and gleaming even after multiple uses. There is porcelain coating on grates, too, that keeps them safe from rust. It has a remarkable ventilation system that helps evenly distribute the smoker inside the body and infuse it into your food. There is one air vent on top and three at the bottom. Along with that, it also has an access door for you to refuel the machine easily.

Weber 14-inch Smokey

With the help of the temperature probe on the side of the smoker, you can easily control and set the temperature on the inside of the machine. There is an indicator at the top that shows you the temperature. The highest temperature this boy reaches is 275°F.

PROS
  • Small size
  • Low price tag
  • Access door
  • Porcelain-coated body
  • Multiple air vents
CONS
  • Low cooking area
Weber 14-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker

In this price and size, you are not going to find a model better than this, believe me. It may seem like a small machine, but this small machine is so easy to use, and it can cook delicious meals for you in no time. The best part is that it requires a small amount of investment, so what are you waiting for?

3. Char-Broil 17202004: Digital Electric Meat Smoker For Beginner

Best Meat Smoker For Beginner
Digital Electric Smoker, Deluxe, Silver

Available at amazon.com

This Char-Broil electric smoker is the best model to opt for if you are new to the game of cooking food in a smoker. With the insulated, double-wall construction of this beast, you will not have to worry about the temperature on the inside of the smoker dropping in cold weather. The glass door at the front will give you a mouth-watering view of your meal being prepared, eliminating the need to open the door and check the food.

The cherry on top of its sturdy construction is the 725 square inches of the cooking area this boy brings. With that amount of cooking space, you will effortlessly prepare a delicious meal for the entire family in a single go. The four racks have high-quality steel construction, which, combined with the porcelain enamel, causes even heat distribution.

Char-Broil 17202004 Digital

In addition to that, this model is equipped with an advanced control panel that has a power button, temperature buttons, and time buttons. Operating this boy is like a piece of cake. Plug it in, and then use the buttons, and just like that, your job is done, the smoker will take care of the rest. The removable water pan will ensure that your food comes moist and tender out of the smoker.

PROS
  • Perfect for beginners
  • Double-wall insulation
  • Removable water pan
  • Large cooking space
  • Advanced control panel
  • Slide-out grease tray
CONS
  • Temperature fluctuates a little

Investing your bucks in this Char-Broil digital smoker will get you an extremely beginner-friendly machine that will start cooking your food with just a touch of a few buttons. Forget about spending hours standing next to a grill flipping meat.

4. Dyna-Glo DGX780BDC-D 36″: Vertical Charcoal Smoker For Beginner

Good Smokers For Beginner

Available at amazon.com

As fun as using an electric smoker is, charcoal smokers have their own charm. This Dyna-Glo vertical charcoal smoker is ideal for beginners as it has a fuss-free design which even a novice can manage effortlessly. There are two doors at the front; the top one is for your food, and the one at the bottom is for you to access the fuel area.

With the four grates, this boy is capable of providing 784 square inches of total cooking area. Therefore, you can cook a number of juicy meaty dishes for your family in a single go. The grates, as well as the body of this model, are constructed from high-quality steel that will have your back for many years. The damper on both sides allows you to control the temperature of the smoker, which you can check on the pre-installed thermostat at the front door.

Dyna-Glo DGX780BDC-D 36

Furthermore, Dyna-Glo has added an advanced cleaning system in this model to make sure you don’t spend hours wiping the smoker’s interior after every use. There is a charcoal grate and an easily removable ash pan, which will let you dump the ash in a few minutes after every use.

PROS
  • Steel construction
  • Double access doors
  • 784 square inches cooking area
  • Pre-installed thermostat
  • Cleaning system
  • Low price range
CONS
  • Temperature fluctuates in cold weather
Dyna-Glo DGX780BDC-D 36

Whether you are a professional or a beginner trying a smoker for the first time, you will thoroughly enjoy using this model. Its easy-to-use design and user-friendly features are going to ensure that you do not stumble upon any unwanted difficulties while using the machine.

5. Z GRILLS ZPG-7002E: Top Rated Smoker For Beginner

Top Rated Smoker
8 in 1 BBQ Grill Auto Temperature Controls, inch Cooking Area, 700 sq, Silver

Available at amazon.com

If, as a beginner, you get intimidated by a charcoal smoker, then I have another option for you; a pellet smoker. It will give your food the same delicious aroma and has a less challenging design. This model comes with the classic design of a smoker, a sturdy solid steel exterior, and a spacious interior. The steel body keeps the inside hot even in cold weather. The machine comes to life with just a push of a button.

The cooking section gives you almost 700 square inches, which is more than enough for you to pop in a couple of meat dishes in the smoker at the same time. With the 20-pound pellet capacity in the hopper, you can run it for more than 20 hours straight without refilling. In addition to that, it comes with an upgraded digital control system, enabling its user to monitor and regulate the temperature with ease.

Z-GRILLS-ZPG-7002E

The temperature of this beast goes as low as 180°F and rises to 450°F, providing just the perfect temperature for any type of food. The versatility of this model is the reason it has received fame; you can use it for grilling, smoking, baking, and braising your food. Last but not least, sturdy wheels have been added to ensure easy mobility of this boy in and out of the garage.

PROS
  • Versatile design
  • Large cooking area
  • Easy mobility
  • Advanced digital control system
  • 20 lb pellet capacity
  • Sturdy body
CONS
  • High price range
  • Cleaning takes time

If you are a first-time user of a smoker and are looking for a one-in-all type of smoker, this is the perfect model for you. It may cost a bit more than its competitors, but if we look at the functions it provides, then this beast is totally worth each penny.

6. Classic Pit Barrel Cooker Package: Best Smoker Grill For Beginner

Best Smoker Grill For Beginner

Available at amazon.com

The easy assembling of this model is one of the reasons it has gained fame among first-time users. It has a drum-like body that is constructed from heavy-duty steel, providing remarkable insulation of heat. There is a lid that goes on top of the drum, and with the help of latches on the sides of the drum, you get an air-tight cooking area for your food when the lid is on.

The vertical design of this smoker eliminates the need to flip the meat constantly. On top of the smoker are 8 hooks for you to hang the meat. Once you have hung your food in its place and shut the lid, the heat will evenly circulate in the smoker, and your food will be cooked to perfection.

18-1 2 inch Classic Pit Barrel

That is not all; it also comes with a grate for you to sear and grill your food. Bringing it to life is an easy task; fill the charcoal basket and just light it up. The charcoal basket has the capacity to hold enough fuel to run the smoker for 8 hours straight. Once you have filled it up, sit back and enjoy your day, the smoker will take care of your food.

PROS
  • Requires minimal assembling
  • Robust body
  • 8 hooks
  • Easy to operate
  • High capacity charcoal basket
CONS
  • Ash disposal is difficult
  • No pre-installed thermostat

First-time users often get intimidated by the design of a drum smoker but trust me; this model will not have you pulling your hair. It offers noteworthy performance in a robust body that you can put together in no time. The price tag may be a bit hefty than other models, but this investment will last you many years.

7. Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Black: Best Electric Smoker For Beginners

Best Electric Smoker For Beginners

Available at amazon.com

Nothing beats an electric smoker when it comes to easy usage. This model of Masterbuilt has all the features that you want in your smoker. From a sturdy body that will nurture your meals to amazing features that are going to make your part of the job quite easy, this boy comes with everything.

Inside the sleek body of the smoker are four chrome-plated racks that give you 780 square inches of cooking area, which is perfect for you to host a lunch for your friends. The removable drip pan present at the bottom has top-notch construction and will collect all the extra dripping. This makes it easier for you to keep the body of the smoker protected from liquids and get rid of that said liquid.

Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch

The digital temperature and time control panel will make your life so much easier. You can operate and command your machine with just a single touch and then relax as it does the rest of the job. The temperature of this model ranges from 100 to 275°F, perfect to cook delectable meat dishes. There is a damper on top that will give you further control over the temperature on the inside.

PROS
  • Sleek exterior
  • 4 chrome-plated racks
  • Removable drip pan
  • Digital control panel
  • Sideloading for wood chips
CONS
  • No handles at the sides

Apart from the well-insulated body of this model, what makes it perfect for a beginner is the fact that operating it and getting it started is only a finger touch away. Along with that, the large cooking area and the small design further make this model appealing for beginners.

Conclusion

Smokers are a good investment if you love having grilled and barbecued food every other weekend. However, as a beginner, it gets tricky to decide which model to spend your money on. Here are our top three recommendations if you are still unsure.

  1. Masterbuilt MB20070210 comes with digital controls and a sizable cooking area.
  2. Weber 14-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker has an easy-to-use design that gives a top-notch performance in a light price tag.
  3. Z GRILLS ZPG-7002E comes with a large cooking area and beginner-friendly features.
About Kirsten Popescu

I'm a Chef with an unmatched selection of BBQ and grilling products. I have turned my passion for outdoor cooking into expert knowledge that will help you make the perfect meal, whether it's at your home or mine!