The Best Charcoal Smokers: [Top Models Reviewed]

If you want to surprise your friends with mouthwatering smoked meat, investing in the best charcoal smokers will make it easy to achieve this objective. With a bit of research and extensive comparisons, you should be able to purchase the best charcoal smokers.

The best charcoal smokers should boast modern features, ample cooking area, portability, sturdy construction materials, and ease of use. Here are the top five best charcoal smokers.

  • Weber Smokey Mountain 18-Inch
  • Pit Barrel Cooker
  • Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Reverse
  • Realcook Vertical 17 Inch Steel Charcoal Smoker
  • Dyna-Glo Charcoal Smoker

To get the right charcoal grill for your next cooking experience, you need to analyze the numerous models in the modern market before selecting one. Moreover, extensive research is key to making the right decision.

big beard and grill

Best Charcoal Smokers

Before purchasing a charcoal smoker, you should examine the different features that the smoker has to offer so that you can determine whether it is right for you. In addition to picking the top models, you will get to compare the different features and capabilities before choosing the one that you think can serve you right.

1. Weber Smokey Mountain 18-Inch

The Webers are best known for their immense ability to produce some of the best grills and smokers in the modern market. Their long experience in the industry means they hardly disappoint when providing an excellent smoking experience.

The Weber Smokey Mountain 18-Inch is large enough to cook for a large family. Hence, if you want a smoker that will help you entertain your friends and family, the Weber Smokey Mountain 18-Inch will get the job done.

What We Like

  • Quality construction to guarantee excellent durability
  • Ease of use
  • Large cooking capacity to accommodate large volumes of foods

What We Don’t Like

  • Inferior side door that can leak badly

2. Pit Barrel Cooker

The Pit Barrel Cooker is another great charcoal smoker that can replace the Weber Smokey Mountain 18-Inch. Besides the lack of a water bowl, it comes with all the necessary features that you would need in the best charcoal smoker.

Some of the incredible characteristics of the Pit Barrel Cooker is that it can handle high

temperatures, making it ideal for cooking using different cooking methods.

What We Like

  • It features a unique met hook system making it quite convenient when cooking meat
  • Least messy when it comes to cleaning since the juices fall directly under hot coals
  • No hot conduction points

What We Don’t Like

  • It is costly
  • It can get hotter than expected

3. Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Reverse

The Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Reverse is also a heavyweight contender in the list of the best charcoal grills.

With its large dimensions, you can comfortably smoke meat for a large crowd. Moreover, the Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Reverse features steel wheels on one end to make its transportation easy.

Further, the Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Reverse comes with everything you will need to start grilling immediately.

What We Like

  • Large cooking area and warming shelf above the firebox
  • Removable baffle plates to make cleaning the smoker easy
  • You can comfortably smoke large volumes of food for a large hungry crowd

What We Don’t Know

  • You need to install sealant and latches to stop leaks

4. Realcook Vertical 17 Inch Steel Charcoal Smoker

At a glance, anyone would easily conclude that the Realcook Vertical 17 Inch Steel Charcoal Smoker is one of the best charcoal smokers in the market. With a cooking area of 453 square inches, you can use the grill to prepare meals for a large family. The design of the grill also makes it one of the user-friendly smokers. For instance, the two access doors allow the user to add charcoal without interfering with the temperature in the cooking chamber.

What We Like

  • It comes at an affordable price despite its efficiency
  • Built-in thermometer for efficient temperature control
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Excellent design for enhanced functionality

What We Don’t Like

  • A maximum temperature of 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Small cooking area for a large group of people

The Dyna-Glo Charcoal Smoker

The Dyna-Glo Charcoal Smoker is a vertical-styled widebody charcoal smoker that is highly rated on Amazon. In addition to the perfect design, the smoker features an ample cooking area of 1890 square inches, making it one of the best smokers for preparing meals for a large crowd of hungry people.

What We Like

  • Ample cooking area, making it ideal for cooking for a large crowd of people
  • It comes with high-quality water-resistant materials to cover the grill when not in use
  • Excellent ash and charcoal management system
  • A temperature gauge for effective temperature management

What We Don’t Like

  • The massive size can make the portability of the smoker a bit challenging

Budget Options That You Can Buy

If you have a tight budget but need the best charcoal smokers, then the following can make the best options for you. They include;

  • Dyna-Glo Signature Series Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker
  • Cuisinart COS-116 Vertical Smoker 16 In
  • Char-Griller Smokin’ Pro Charcoal Grill & Smoker

What To Look Out For In The Best Charcoal Smokers

Charcoal smokers easily infuse the delicious smoky flavor into your food. However, for a good smoking experience, you must invest in the best charcoal smokers. Here are some of the essential considerations to make.

Offset vs Vertical Charcoal Smokers

One of the most important decisions you must make when shopping for a charcoal smoker is to pick offset or vertical. Vertical charcoal smokers have a vertical orientation and can sustain several levels of cooking grids. On the other hand, offset smokers have barrel or rectangular shapes, which are, in most cases, larger than vertical smokers. Depending on the number of people you intend to cook for, you should be able to make the right choice.

Build Quality

Some charcoal smokers can get pretty expensive. Therefore, you want to ensure that you invest your money in a sturdy product capable of serving you for a long time. One of the ways to tell whether a smoker can serve you for a long time is to examine its build design. Ensure that it is up to standard. Additionally, go for smokers made up of quality materials.

Fuel Efficiency

Another critical factor to pay attention to is fuel efficiency. Ensure that the hopper size of the charcoal smoker is large enough to accommodate a large volume of charcoal. This is significant because you would not have to keep adding charcoal while grilling.

Advantages Of A Charcoal Smoker

Although charcoal smokers do not offer the best convenience, they have numerous advantages that make them hotcakes in the modern market. Here are some of the benefits associated with charcoal smokers.

Excellent Smoky Flavor

A charcoal smoker provides a perfect opportunity to impart smoky flavor to your food. Even though the use of pellets in other types of smoky allows for imparting the smoky flavor to food, the ones for charcoal smoker remains unmatched. Thus, a charcoal smoker will serve you the best if you are looking for an intense smoky flavor.

charcoal smokers


While the price for charcoal smokers is diverse, the average cost of these types of smokers is affordable to many—some charcoal smokers go as low as $120. In addition to affordability, charcoal smokers have a large capacity making them ideal when you want to cook for a large group of people.


With the versatility of charcoal smokers, you can smoke any food you think will serve you right. Whether you want to sear, grill, or smoke your food, one thing that you can be sure about is that a quality charcoal smoker will not disappoint you.


Charcoal smokers are worth your investments as they boast multiple benefits, including affordability, flexible capacity, excellent heat output, and the incredible ability to impart a delicious smoky flavor to your food. However, you must invest in the best charcoal smokers to enjoy these benefits. The Weber Smokey Mountain 18-Inch is our recommendation for the best charcoal smoker, as it has all the essential features to make cooking easy.