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Best Vertical Smokers: 13 Top Value Review Updated 2023

Mr James Hall
  Feb 3, 2023 7:10 PM

Vertical smokers are a relatively new type of smoker that has been gaining popularity.

They have taken over the market due to their many advantages which include: easy transportation, easy storage, and much more.


Best Vertical Smokers

Vertical smokers are known for their ability to smoke foods in a manner that traditional smokers do not. This is because vertical smokers have an upright bar that raises and lowers the food while it is cooking.

Vertical smokers can be used to smoke nearly any type of food. This can be due to the fact that the best vertical smokers offer many different cooking methods such as grilling, smoking, roasting, etc.

You can use vertical smokers to cook fish, bacon, or even ribs. Some people use a vertical smoker to make chicken wings and drumsticks at home without frying them in a fryer or deep-frying them on their stovetop.

Think of a vertical smoker as an oven that has a method to smoke the food you are cooking.

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The Pit Boss PB7000SP
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This is a great smoker for all sorts of food, from smoking meat to baking cookies. It features an easy-to read window so you can see how much pellet fuel remains on your load without opening up the grill - perfect if there are kids around!

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  • Brand
The Captiva Designs 17-Inch Outdoor Charcoal Smoker, Barrel Vertical Grill & Smoker Combo
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They will make your backyard dreams come true. With its professional two in one design that can be used as an outdoor grill or smoker, it's perfect for any occasion! This product has been designed to give you maximum value with minimal waste - meaning more time spent enjoying yourself instead of cleaning up after something goes wrong (like most other smokers).

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  • Brand
    Captiva Designs
Pellet Pro 2300 Vertical Smoker - DOUBLE WALL cabinet
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Pellet Pro 2300 Vertical Smoker - DOUBLE WALL cabinet, extra large cooking area with stainless steel grates and convection fan included! This is our most popular model. It includes a free cover for your convenience as well

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  • Brand
    Pellet Pro

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

Buying Guide

What to look for when buying a vertical smoker?

What type of vertical smoker is best?


The most important aspect of a vertical smoker is how it looks.

You need to ensure that you purchase a vertical smoker that looks good in your home or on your patio. Vertical smokers come in many different colors and models so look to see which one matches your own personal style best.


Vertical smokers are often referred to as "electric" smokers because they require electricity in order to operate.

Most vertical smokers will run on 240 volts, and it is important that you make sure the outlet your purchase your new vertical smoker out requires this amount of power.

Many new electric grills have the ability to convert their outlets to 240 volts and this can be done by an electrician if necessary.


When looking for the best vertical smokers, there are some things to take into consideration. The third thing you will have to ask yourself is how you plan on using your new smoker.

You can have vertical smokers that work indoors or outdoors. If you plan to use your new smoker in an existing barbeque pit, then it is best to purchase a round or oval-shaped grill because they tend to fit better in bars and grills.

If you have a large patio or deck, then it might be best to purchase a square-shaped vertical smoker instead.

These grills are typically more versatile because they can be used on the side of the grill (right side up) and on their ends (upside down). This helps when you do not have a lot of room to work within your kitchen or on your back porch.


Another factor you will want to take into consideration is how many people you want to be able to serve with your new vertical smoker.

The most common shape for a vertical smoker is square because it offers the most amount of space for cooking meat.

If you need to be able to prepare food for more than 10 people, then it would be best if your new smoker is large and has the ability to cook meat at the same time.


Vertical smokers often come with accessories included in their purchase, such as a rack for the inside and outside of the grill, charcoal trays, or even an ash-removal system.

If you purchase a vertical smoker that has the ability to smoke food, then you need to make sure that it comes with a charcoal tray as well as some type of temperature gauge.

Many smokers will come equipped with both a heating element and a fan to aid in the smoke process. If you are interested in purchasing one of these cookers, then it is best if the vertical smoker that you purchase has the ability to control this venting.

How To Use a Vertical Smoker?

For the most part, vertical smokers work much like as traditional ones. Many people use a vertical smoker to cook ribs or other cuts of meat like pork and chicken:

  1. Most people start their smoking process by using the charcoal tray and then starting a fire on the grill. This allows you to use the fan to smoke your food without having an open flame.
  2. The venting system that many vertical smokers have set them apart from traditional grills is that they are designed to control where air circulates within the smoker.
  3. Once your grill is ready, you can set it up on its legs and allow it to heat up for a couple of hours before you start cooking on it.
  4. Once the temperature of your grill is at the desired level, you can place your food on the rack and close the lid of your vertical smoker. This prevents non-smoked air from coming into contact with the meat while it smokes.
  5. Once you have set your smokebox, the temperature inside will drop to that of an oven.
  6. Various elements within the vertical smoker then start to heat up and smoke the food inside.
  7. After smoking large cuts of meat like ribs or pork, most people opt to clean their grill for easy maintenance and cleaning purposes. To do this, turn off all but one of your vertical smokers' burners (see how to shut off one flame).
  8. Once the grill is cool enough to touch, turn it over and open the lid. Using a small brush (an old toothbrush works well), you will want to brush off any of the residues that have built up on your grill.

Making sure each part of your grill is clean will help you maintain your vertical smoker easier in the future.

The Best Types of Pellets For Vertical Smokers

How good are vertical smokers?

Vertical smokers usually use a different type of fuel such as pellets but there are many different brands on the market to choose from.

  • The pellets used in your vertical smoker will help determine how your meat tastes as well as how it looks while it smokes.
  • You will want to make sure you use pellets that are 100% hardwood when you are using your vertical smoker.
  • Many people prefer a specific brand of hardwood pellet over another because they feel it makes their food taste better.
  • As long as the pellets you choose burn hot and clean, then it shouldn't matter what brand of wood pellet you use in your new cooker.
  • Vertical smokers work similarly to traditional grills such as Weber or grills made by other manufacturers.
  • Vertical smokers will also burn pellets just like their counterparts do. The most important thing for you to take into consideration when purchasing your pellets is how hot they will burn and how dirty they leave your vertical smoker after burning them. 
  • Check more: Best type of pellet for smoking

As previously mentioned, people who are new to vertical smokers will choose one based on the type of fuel that is used.

There are many different categories that you can use for wood pellets for a vertical smoker. Fruit and vegetable fuel is often used with these grills as well because it does not leave as much residue as traditional wood pellets.

African Peppered Wood Pellets

These types of wood pellets are very popular amongst beginners because they work well with the African flavors that many people have grown to love.

Your food will have a spicy flavor to it but it will still be flavorful enough in your foods when paired with an African-style marinade.

Bearskin Pellets 

This type of pellet is meant to add a nice wood flavoring to your food. It is often used in flavored rubs and sauces so that the smoke easily picks up these flavors.

The bearskin pellets are also very popular because they do not leave as much residue in your food as the fruit and vegetable pellets.

Fruit & Veggie Wood Pellets

Fruit and vegetable wood pellets are a combination of hardwoods such as hickory, maple, apple, cherry, and more which have been mixed with fruit or vegetable flavorings.

The wood pellets will heat up and smoke the food inside of your grill very well. They do not leave a lot of residue in your food and they work to keep it healthier than traditional wood pellets.

Pitmaster Pellets 

Pitmaster pellets are a combination of different types of wood like hickory, apple-wood, cherry, cherry-hickory, etc. The wood is then mixed with fruit and vegetable flavorings which provide a different flavor profile than the other types of fuel used in vertical smokers.

It is very important to make sure that you purchase pellets for your specific vertical smoker before you begin smoking so that you know exactly how they are going to smoke your food.

Tips For Smoking Meat With a Vertical Smoker

Many people who have gotten vertical smokers have enjoyed them because it is easy to use and it does not require a lot of work to make sure you are following the correct steps.


The main step in smoking meat with a vertical smoker is that you need to keep a consistent temperature when smoking your food. The heat from the burners will help you maintain this temperature but make sure that it does not exceed 300 degrees inside.

Vertical smokers are designed for long periods of time at low temperatures which can be hard on the outside of your smoker. This is why it is important to protect your smoker with many different types of materials.

Keep a close eye on the temperature inside of your vertical smoker. You will want to make sure that the temperature does not go above 300 degrees because you do not want to damage your food while smoking it in your appliance.

Set up a thermometer that can be easily seen inside of the vertical smoker and then set it on the side where you will see the most amount of food being smoked at any given time.

The Size of Food

Vertical smokers are also designed for large pieces of food so it is important to think about the size before you begin.

You will want to leave space between each piece of meat so that there is no risk that it will burn from the heat from one side to another because it can happen very quickly when smoking meats in vertical smokers.


How do I clean my vertical smoker?

There are actually many different ways that you can clean your vertical smoker but the best way to do this is to wash it down with warm soapy water and then wipe it down.

You will want to create a special detergent blend that makes sure that any dust or dirt is removed from the interior of your vertical smoker.

Once you have created this blend, use it on all of the parts of your vertical smoker and rub it in well. If you would like to use a special cleaner, make sure to follow the directions on the cleaner.

Can I make a charcoal chimney for my vertical smoker?

The answer to this question is yes and no.

You can make a charcoal chimney for your vertical smoker but they can be very difficult to build because there are many different parts that you will need to make it work.

These parts include metal burners, metal cans, and even the lid of your vertical smoker. You will need to use your imagination to create a chimney that works with your vertical smoker.

Can I make my own wood pellets for my vertical smoker?

Yes, you can actually make your own wood pellets and you can do this very easily. You will want to make sure that you have a mix of hardwood and softwood in any ratio that you want.

The softwood will help the hardwood burn easier so that it is not as difficult when trying to start a fire in your vertical smoker.


Vertical smokers are great because they can add tons of flavor to your food without much work. They are easy to use and easy to maintain.

If you are looking for a great way to smoke your food, then why not consider a vertical smoker. They are also very affordable devices so that you can have your favorite foods cooked in them very easily.

You can easily get the best vertical smokers by visiting the best home smoker store and selecting one based on your requirements.

But if you want to make sure it is a genuine vertical smoker, check the materials used, brand, warranty, and also the price because they are a little expensive in comparison to other smokers.

Further Reading:

What is vertical water Smoker? 

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