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15 Best Budget Smokers (Review of 2023) – The Friendly Toast

Mr James Hall
  Feb 3, 2023 7:09 PM

The best budget smokers are a topic we can all relate to. It might not be the most comfortable topic to discuss, but it's very important nonetheless.

Budget smokers are the ones that have what you're looking for at a price that you can afford. Just as with most things in life, one smoker may be good for some people and not so good for others.

The best way to find out if a particular grill is right for you is to compare them side by side. 


Overview

 Best Budget Smokers

It does not have to be a smoker that costs in the thousands to get great quality meat.

There are some smokers on the market that are budget-friendly and still provide that taste you're looking for.

This article will introduce some of the best on the market and hopefully help you find one for your needs.

Read more:


Compare Products

Showing  1 - 10  in  15 results
TOP Choice
1
The Masterbuilt 30 inch Digital Electric Smoker
View on Amazon

This is perfect for the whole family to enjoy! This smoker features a heating element that reaches up to 275 degrees Fahrenheit, giving you plenty of smoking space with ease. The digital control panel lets users choose their desired temperature and time period they would like it cooked in order provide delicious food every single time while also remaining safe from cold weather cracking caused by fluctuations outside - great news if there's snow on its expected calendar this year because not only will things come out perfectly warm but even more importantly no one will have trouble keeping them.

  • SCORE
    9.6
    FT Score

    FT Score is a Friendly Toast Score from our review team.

  • Brand
    Masterbuilt
TOP Choice
2
The Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill
View on Amazon

This beautiful, high-quality kettle has everything you need to create your favorite charcoal meal. It features a large enough cooking surface so that it can hold at least three chickens or other proteins without crowding out their flavors too many people think smoking meat is only good during barbecues but this grill does not just make great outdoor food--you could also use them inside if needed! The 22-inch diameter porcelain-coated bowl helps prevent warping even when used constantly over time while still allowing plenty of room within its design for all those delicious sides like macaroni salads

  • SCORE
    9.6
    FT Score

    FT Score is a Friendly Toast Score from our review team.

  • Brand
    Weber
TOP Choice
3
The Weber Smokey Mountain Charcoal Smoker
View on Amazon

It is the perfect addition for any cooking enthusiast looking to achieve that true country feels at home. With its material type being porcelain-enameled steel and 2 nickel-plated 18 1/2 inch wide grates, this smoker can accommodate a whole turkey or ham along with all their fixin's without worrying about them burning upon first try! It also comes equipped with a water pan so you won't have trouble maintaining proper temperatures while preparing food inside of it

  • SCORE
    9.6
    FT Score

    FT Score is a Friendly Toast Score from our review team.

  • Brand
    Weber
TOP Choice
4
Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC -D Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker
View on Amazon

It has a unique design that makes it the perfect smoker for your favorite foods. The vertical orientation allows heat to naturally rise, which in turn produces better flavor and increased efficiency! With six adjustable height grates you're able accommodate various sizes of food as well as 25 pounds per square inch capacity when smoking or cooking at once so there's never any worry about running out between meals again with this incredible kitchen appliance from Dynacooks

  • SCORE
    9.4
    FT Score

    FT Score is a Friendly Toast Score from our review team.

  • Brand
    Dyna-Glo
Most Saving
5
Char-Broil's newest offset smoker
View on Amazon

This is perfect for the person who wants to smoke just about anything but needs a little more space than what most backyard grills offer. With its large 290 square inch cooking surface in their main chamber and 140 sq inch heater area (not including ash guards or other features), this baby can cook up some serious meat! You'll never have trouble finding enough food on your plate. You also won't break any bank either since it retails under $500 dollars. It may seem like an expensive purchase at first glance

  • SCORE
    9.0
    FT Score

    FT Score is a Friendly Toast Score from our review team.

  • Brand
    Char-Broil
6
The Char-Griller E06614 AKORN Jr. Portable Kamado BBQ Grill
View on Amazon

It is great for cooking food at home or on the go! Its insulated design ensures that it will not lose heat so you can enjoy your meal more comfortably, while also containing smoke which gives foods a delicious flavor. With handles built into each side of this small frame (which easily folds up when not in use), transportation becomes easy as pie--whether bringing out our backyard barbeque spot one evening after work; camping near some

  • SCORE
    8.8
    FT Score

    FT Score is a Friendly Toast Score from our review team.

  • Brand
    Char-Griller
7
Char-Griller's E16620 Akorn Kamado charcoal grill
View on Amazon

This is perfect for cooking high heat grilling and low slow BBQ. The large 20-inch diameter makes it possible to cook 27 burgers at once, with 447 square inches of total cooking area that can accommodate your favorite food recipe on one conveniently sized machine! This model includes all Best In Class features like triple-walled steel insulated design.

  • SCORE
    8.8
    FT Score

    FT Score is a Friendly Toast Score from our review team.

  • Brand
    Char-Griller
8
The Char-Broil 17202004 Electric Smoker
View on Amazon

You can't go wrong with the Char-Broil 17202004 Digital Electric Smoker. This smoker has a large, stainless steel locking latch for smoke tight seal and insulation to keep your food warm while you're working on other projects around your home or yard!

  • SCORE
    8.8
    FT Score

    FT Score is a Friendly Toast Score from our review team.

  • Brand
    Char-Broil
9
The Realcook Vertical 17 Inch Steel Charcoal Smoker
View on Amazon

This is the perfect addition to any outdoor kitchen! This BBQ grill has all of your smoking needs covered with its heavy-duty construction and porcelain-enameled water pan. Plus it comes equipped with an adjustable air supply lid that will give you greater control over temperature settings while cooking on this bad boy, not just in terms o Fahrenheit degrees but also Celsius ones too so there are no worries when dealing out some cold cuts or appetizers at night time--your food won't melt before they've had enough time below boiling point thanks again to these powerful heating elements.

  • SCORE
    8.8
    FT Score

    FT Score is a Friendly Toast Score from our review team.

  • Brand
    Realcook
10
Dyna-Glo's Heavy Duty Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker & Grill
View on Amazon

It is a perfect addition to your outdoor kitchen! It features five chrome-plated cooking grates with space enough for 1382 square inches of food smoking. The temperature gauge shows you where the ideal temperatures are in order not only to infuse delicious flavors but also to ensure there isn't any risk associated due to accidents happening while handling this unit because it has cool handles which make accessing fuel and flipping burgers safe too."

  • SCORE
    8.6
    FT Score

    FT Score is a Friendly Toast Score from our review team.

  • Brand
    Dyna-Glo

Last update on 2023-02-03 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API


Buying Guide

How To Choose The Best Budget Smoker For You

You probably already have an idea of what to look for in a good budget smoker, but just in case, here is a list of some traits that you can look for when shopping.

Quality

A grill's quality is what makes or breaks it. The build quality determines whether the unit holds up well over time and performs as well as you expect it to. 

The smoker is something you will use a lot, so it is important to get something that has been built with durability in mind.  Make sure the smoker is made of quality materials and has no holes or cracks in the plastic that could leak gas.

Look for quality hinges and latches when you get the unit home, as these are key features for longevity. A good example is an easy-to-use, good-quality wood chip loader. 

Maintenance

A big feature of some budget smokers is their ease of maintenance. The good thing about this trait is that it greatly reduces your cost per meat-smoking experience. In general, the less time you spend maintaining a smoker, the more time you can spend enjoying your smoke sessions.

This reduces your overall cost of ownership by allowing you to cook meat more often. A good example of this trait may be an insulated body that prevents heat loss and allows for better temperature control.

Suitability for your need

The most important thing about choosing a budget smoker is to consider how well it suits your needs. It depends on how you plan to use the smoker, and whether it provides the features that best fit your needs. Do you have a large family? Do you do a lot of parties or catering?  A small smoker may be best for your needs.

Size

The size is an important factor to consider. The size of your smoker will probably determine how big your meat is, but it will also determine how much space you need in your kitchen. 

The best way to find out if a particular grill is right for you is to compare them side by side with each other and with other products that the manufacturer makes. 

Brisket needs for all these can be done in one sitting.  If it's a limited season, and all you can do is one brisket at a time, you need to find a smoker that is large enough to handle multiple briskets at once.

For smoking, the heavier the meat, the better it will be when done. Smokers are available in a wide range of different sizes, so take this into consideration when deciding what size you need.

One smoker may be just the right size for you and your family, while another one is too small.

This is why it's important to really consider your needs before you purchase a grill.  If you're going to cook at least two full briskets at a time, then by all means make sure to get something big enough to hold both of them!

Construction

Construction is of course how well it's put together, but it also has something to do with the company that makes it. In this case, since we're discussing budget smokers here instead of pricey commercial-quality ones, ask yourself where the smoker is made and who built the smoker.  

If you're looking for a budget smoker, it's always a good idea to go with a company that has been in the industry for a while, has good reviews, and has made several smokers.

To sum it up, the choices of products on the market today make it easier to find the right product with just one click.  It's important to look at all the options available before you make your final decision because there are many options out there that will suit you and your smoker 100%. This is why it's important to really consider your needs before you purchase a grill.

Types Of Smokers

There are many different types of smokers on the market today, and they all have their own pros and cons. Let's take a look at some of the different types that are available:

Charcoal Grills

The classic smoker that most people use these days is called a charcoal grill. This type of smoker has been around for ages, and it is still widely used today.  

You can get them in a variety of sizes as well, from huge smokers that can handle whole hogs to smaller ones that you can place in your backyard to cook up hamburgers for dinner.  It all depends on what kind of taste you want to get out of your meats and how much time you want to spend smoking them.

Charcoal grills have the tendency to heat up slowly, but they also have great temperature control.  

They can usually handle direct heat well, which makes them excellent for searing meats while leaving the center of your chops or steak medium-rare.  

They are also easy to clean and maintain as well, so it's not difficult to keep them in good shape and produce great meat quality.

Wood Smokers

Wood smokers are one of the most common types of smokers out there. They're traditionally used in barbecue competitions and gatherings, but they work well for backyard grilling as well.

 They tend to produce a more uniform heat because the fire burns in the center of the unit and is not spread to all sides like with a charcoal grill.  This characteristic allows you to get that delicious smoky flavor right where it should be, so you don't have to worry about burning your food at all.

Low-Cost Wood Smokers

If you are looking for a smoker cheap enough for your budget, then wood smokers are what you're looking for.  You can find them in both electric and charcoal models.  

They produce high heat, but they also give you the ability to control it.  

This is important if you're cooking a lot of meat at once because the heat needed to cook the meat evenly is way more intense than in other types of smokers.  

If you have some experience using them, however, there's really no difference between using charcoal or electricity to do your smoking.

Gas Smokers

Gas smokers have been around for quite a few years as well, but they're now considered one of the best ways of smoking meats.  They have great temperature control and are easy to manage and clean.  Many people prefer gas models for this reason.

Gas smokers offer plenty of temperature settings, which is a big advantage over charcoal.  Using a gas smoker you can cook meat to any degree of doneness you desire with the simple turn of a knob.  This makes them great for beginners and even for professional pitmasters who want to take their grilling skills to the next level.

Gas smokers also have movable racks, so you can choose exactly where your meat will be smoked. This can be convenient in situations where your food is unevenly distributed to the smoker.

Pellet Smokers

The newest addition to the smoking world is called pellet smokers.  These nifty little devices are designed to heat up real wood chips, which cause the food to smoke and get all that tasty flavor you probably won't.

They're also very easy to maintain and use if you know-how.  You can find petite and regular sizes, which is something you should consider when buying a pellet smoker.  Petite smokers usually hold less meat at one time, but the price is usually a little bit lower as well.

Pros and Cons Of Budget Smokers

When deciding on purchasing a budget smoker, keep these things in mind:

Temperature control

Budget smokers normally don't have great temperature control. This is especially true for charcoal smokers which take time to heat up. You need better temperature control if you're going to be cooking different kinds of meat at once and want each one to be hot enough without drying it out too much or overcooking it.  If you're smoking light meats and fish, this is not as much of a concern. 

Price

Budget smokers are not always cheap, but they're far less expensive than commercial models. They offer great performance for their low price.  Plus, once you purchase your smoker you can use it for your next family barbecue or party without having to worry about breaking the bank on supplies and equipment. 

Easy to use

The best budget smokers are easy to use as well, so if you're looking to do some backyard grilling without too much hassle then these are excellent choices for you. They don't even require electricity.

The only downside to this is that you will need to spend some time learning how to master temperature control before you start smoking.  Luckily, most budget smokers come with a user manual that will give you everything you need to know.


FAQs

How long does it take to make pulled pork in an electric smoker?

It takes approximately 20 hours of smoking time for slow cookers to make pulled pork.

How long does it take to make pork ribs in a smoker?

It takes under 10 hours of smoking time for pork ribs.

Can I use a smoker to cook sausage and have other food cooked at the same time?

Yes, you can. All you need is a long piece of wood or aluminum foil and you can create paths in the smoker so that they don't overlap each other.

Some people prefer to put their smoked sausages on a separate rack from everything else, but others prefer to cook them with everything else since they're also finished at the same time.  Using the foil trick is just a good way to make sure you don't burn your sausage since it requires lower temperatures.

What is the best way to store my smoker?

Remember that smoking meats require high temperatures, so you need to be wary of moisture and humidity.  You should avoid placing them in damp basements or garages where they can become damaged or rust over time.

If you're not using your smoker, then it's a good idea to put it in another area such as your garage so that insects don't get into it.


Conclusion

Barbecue is a great hobby to have, but it can be very expensive if you're not careful.  When you're taking the time to chop wood, cook your charcoal, and wait for your coals to heat up, it's totally understandable that you want something that is going to save you time and money.

The best budget smokers are a great option for people who are looking to spend a lot of time grilling outdoors without having to spend a large sum of money.  They offer low temperatures as well as the ability to easily regulate them, so you can get exactly what type of smoked food suits your taste buds.

At the end of the day, a smoker is just a tool that helps you put out awesome smoked food. That being said, there are some things you need to know about getting the most out of your smoking experience.  It's not hard to find smokers that will help you do this in an affordable manner.  All you have to do is shop around and find the best model for your needs and budget.

Reading Further:

9 Types of smokers


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