You haven’t truly tasted great BBQ until you have tasted charcoal smoked meat. It doesn’t matter what the meat is, it will always taste better when it has been perfectly smoked for hours. However, to perfectly smoke meat, you need a smoker that is up to the task.
Now, there are lots of different kinds of smokers out there, so we are going to content ourselves with looking for the best charcoal smoker because that is the best method for smoking food in our opinion. If you want to know what we think the best smoker overall is, we recommend the Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Charcoal Offset Smoker.
A Spotlight On Some of The Best Charcoal Smoker 2020
Best Charcoal Smoker Reviews:
Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Charcoal Offset Smoker
For the first review on our best charcoal smoker list, we are going to be taking a look at the Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Charcoal Offset Smoker. This is an extremely high-quality charcoal smoker and so we figured that it was a very fitting way to kick off the list.
This smoker is so good that it can be used for both home use and for commercial use as well. While most of you reading this probably aren’t looking for a commercial smoker, but it shows the overall quality of the Dyna-Glo.
Alright, so enough talking about how good this smoker is, let’s get down to talking about why it is a good smoker. For starters, it is very solidly built. As you can see for yourself, the Dyna-Glo is a cabinet-style smoker. As you might have guessed, this means that it is shaped like a cabinet. This brings some advantages and disadvantages.
For the advantages, as we already mentioned, these types of smokers tend to be very well-built. You can trust that the Dyna-Glo is going to be lasting you for a very long time.
Another advantage to cabinet smokers is that they offer a lot more cooking space and the cooking space tends to be easier to access.
In the case of this smoker, you get close to 800 square inches of cooking and smoking space. That is a lot and more than enough to feed a lot of people comfortably. There are some downsides, but we will talk about those a bit later on in the review.
Given the size of this smoker, you would probably expect it to have some serious power behind it, and you would be right. The Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Charcoal Offset Smoker is a pretty powerful smoker. It has a power output of 15,000 BTUs.
This helps to ensure even and quick cooking times. Likewise, it also has an electric ignition system and very heavy-duty doors. Both of these features will end up making your life a lot easier because the ignition system will prevent you from having to fuss with getting the smoker started and the doors will help to lock in the precious smoke that the Dyna-Glo generates.
As we said earlier, the Dyna-Glo does have some negatives that need to be mentioned. For starters, it is very heavy because of the way that it is designed. Secondly, it is also very bulky and difficult to move. As you might have noticed, it doesn’t have wheels, so moving it can be really difficult and will likely require multiple people.
- Durable and built to last.
- Great cooking power.
- Reliable ignition system.
- Lots of cooking space.
- Extremely heavy and bulky.
- Very difficult to move.
Dyna-Glo DGX780BDC-D 36″ Vertical Charcoal Smoker
For this next entry, we have a charcoal smoker that is going to look very similar to the last charcoal smoker that we just finished reviewing. The reason for this is because both are front Dyna-Glo and both also happen to be from the same product line, with some minor differences.
So, the first question that may pop into your mind is “why are you reviewing such similar charcoal smokers back to back?” Well, we felt that the Dyna-Glo DGX780BDC-D 36″ Vertical Charcoal Smoker deserved its own spot on our best charcoal smoker list because it does have some significant differences that are going to make it a better option for many of you out there.
The biggest difference between this Dyna-Glo model and the previous one that we reviewed is that this one is a lot less bulky and a lot easier to find space for.
If you will think back to the first review on our list, our major criticism of the first Dyna-Glo smoker was that it was a bit too bulky and difficult to move. This was due in large part to the fact that it had a separate firebox for putting in charcoal. As you can see, this product doesn’t have a separate firebox, and it is a bit smaller overall. This means that the Dyna-Glo DGX780BDC-D 36″ Vertical Charcoal Smoker is a lot lighter and you should have fewer issues moving it around and finding space for it.
Besides being lighter and taking up less space, this Dyna-Glo charcoal smoker brings the same great features to the table that other smokers from this brand do. For example, this smoker has a really strong, well-built exterior. It is made from solid steel and it should last you for a while if you take proper care of it.
It is also a very powerful smoker as well. Much like the previous Dyna-Glo smoker that we reviewed, this one also has a power output of around 15,000 BTUs. As we have mentioned in other reviews on this best charcoal grills list, 15,000 BTUs is very powerful and good enough for most applications. It also has a pretty large amount of cooking space: it has around 800 square inches of cooking space.
It isn’t a perfect charcoal smoker, however. It has two issues that need to be noted. First off, the built-in thermometer isn’t that good and should be replaced. Secondly, the door isn’t as tight as it could be, which can lead to some residual heat loss.
- Durable stainless-steel exterior.
- Large cooking space.
- Lighter and a bit smaller than other Dyna-Glo smokers.
- Bad built-in thermometer.
- Some residual heat loss.
Audew Charcoal Smoker
For this next review on our best charcoal smoker list, we are going to be reviewing the first cylinder smoker on this list. While we discuss the differences between cylinder smokers and cabinet smokers in more detail in our buying guide, for the moment, all you need to know is that cylindrical smokers have a different set of pros and cons.
Our first cylindrical smoker that we take a look at is going to be the Audew Charcoal Smoker. Despite being a different shape, make no mistake about it, this is still a very good smoker that is worthy of appearing on this list.
For starters, the Audew Charcoal Smoker is a lot easier to move around than other, heavier kinds of smokers (like the Dyna-Glo). This is due to the different shape of the smoker. So, if the idea of having to lug around a huge, overly heavy cabinet smoker doesn’t appeal to you, then you should give this some consideration.
While it does lack handles, it is still very easy for a single person to grab this smoker and move it anywhere that they want. This also makes it helpful if you live in an area where, because of the weather or other factors, you can’t leave the smoker outdoors all day.
One particularly great feature of this smoker is its ability to also act as a grill. See, when it is fully assembled, it acts as your standard cylindrical smoker. However, if you disassemble it a bit, you have a perfectly serviceable charcoal grill. Now, depending on your preferences this might not be a big deal. However, it is never a bad thing to get two products for the price of one, especially when you consider that the price of the Audew Charcoal Smoker is already quite low.
Another great feature of this smoker is the large amount of cooking space that it provides. At first glance, you might assume that making the leap to a cylindrical smoker will involve giving up a lot of cooking space, however, this isn’t really the case.
Sure, if you were to do a side-by-side comparison, the Audew would have less cooking space than something like the Dyna-Glo. But you will probably be surprised at just how small of a difference there is. You still get plenty of cooking space if you go with the Audew Charcoal Smoker.
The only major issue with the Audew is that, like most other cylindrical smokers, it can be hard to manage the food inside the grill. You have to really reach into the smoker to flip meat or move stuff around; it isn’t nearly as easy as it is with a cabinet style smoker.
- Easy to move.
- Can also act as a charcoal grill.
- Very easy to add charcoal.
- Relatively lightweight.
- Can be a bit of a hassle to move food around.
Char-Griller E16620 Akorn Kamado Kooker Charcoal Barbecue Grill and Smoker
The next review on our best charcoal smoker list is going to be the Char-Griller E16620 Akorn Kamado Kooker Charcoal Barbecue Grill and Smoker. Now, we have actually haven’t reviewed any smokers from this brand on our list, which is surprising since Char-Griller is a fairly well-known brand. In this review, we are going to find out exactly why they have such a good reputation by taking a look at this excellent smoker from them.
To start, let’s take a look at the amazing construction on this smoker. This is a very well-made smoker from top to bottom. The outside of the smoker is made from really thick, durable steel. This helps to keep the smoker intact and it also helps to keep heat and smoke inside the smoker, which is where you want it kept obviously.
The inside cooking surface is made with equally high-quality cast iron. Now, if you have ever used a cast iron cooking implement before, then you know what to expect from this cast iron cooking surface. It is durable, it doesn’t stick, and it heats up quickly. It definitely makes cooking a lot easier.
On that note, we also have to point out that much like the Audew Charcoal Smoker, the Char-Griller E16620 Akorn Kamado Kooker Charcoal Barbecue Grill and Smoker acts as both a smoker and a grill. This means that is a lot more versatile than some other smokers, which don’t quite allow you to do both methods of cooking.
While the Char-Griller is a bit on the small side when it comes to cooking space, you probably won’t end up having too many complaints. It still boasts close to 500 square inches of cooking space, which is pretty great for a smoker of this size.
- Decent amount of cooking space.
- Really well-built.
- Cast iron cooking space.
- Easy to move around; doesn’t take up much space.
- Acts as both a smoker and a grill.
- A bit pricey for this kind of smoker.
Realcook Vertical 17 Inch Steel Charcoal Smoker
For the last review on our best charcoal smoker list, we are going to be taking a look at the Realcook Vertical 17 Inch Steel Charcoal Smoker. This is another cylinder style smoker like many of the other smokers that we reviewed throughout the article.
By now, you have seen a lot of reviews of this kind of smoker, so none of the features are really going to come as any big surprise to you. For example, the Realcook Vertical 17 Inch Steel Charcoal Smoker can, like every other cylindrical smoker, can act as both a smoker and a grill. This gives you a lot more flexibility.
In general, the Realcook is very well-made and very durable. The outside is made of solid steel and there are helpful vents for controlling the temperature and airflow. It also comes equipped with a fairly useful built-in temperature.
- Well-made; will last.
- Very resistant to high temperatures.
- Good built-in thermometer.
- Heavy when compared to some other cylindrical smokers.
Charcoal Smoker Buying Guide
During our search for the best charcoal smoker, we used terms like “cabinet style smoker” and “cylindrical smoker.”
While you may already have an idea of what that means, many others may not. In this second part of the article, we are going to walk you through the differences between these two main kinds of smokers and help you figure out which one is right for you. Each kind of smoker has its own pros and cons, so it is important to be familiar with them when you go shopping for a smoker of your own.
Cabinet Style Smokers
Cabinet style smokers, like the Dyna-Glo smokers that we reviewed near the start of the article, are, as you might have guessed, shaped like cabinets. They come with numerous advantages, but probably the biggest one is the fact that they are extremely large and therefore offer a lot of cooking space for you to work with.
They are also very easy to manage because you can just open the front door of the smoker and access any cooking grate quickly.
On the other hand, cabinet smokers are also very heavy and very large. As you saw during our review of both Dyna-Glo smokers, they can be hard to work with if you don’t have a lot of space. Likewise, the weight makes them difficult to move around on their own.
Cylindrical smokers are shaped like long tubes. You open the top, put food in, and then close the top. The benefits of this type of smoker are that they tend to be a lot smaller and a lot more manageable.
One major benefit that got mentioned a few times on our best charcoal smoker list is the fact that they act as both smokers and grills. So, you essentially get two cooking tools for the price of one.
The downsides to cylindrical smokers are that they offer a lot less cooking space overall and they can be a bit more difficult to use because of the way that the smokers are designed. You have to reach into the smoker to move things around. Some come with a door in the middle of the smoker to make it easier, but not all of them do.
Like we said earlier on in this buying guide, which kind of smoker that you end up going for is going to depend entirely on what your own personal needs and preferences are. If you run a business, have a lot of space, or if you just want a large area for cooking, then a cabinet style smoker is going to be best. If you want something more manageable, then go for a cylindrical smoker instead.
We hope that our best charcoal smoker list proved useful to you in at least some capacity. If you are still curious about something that was mentioned on our list, feel free to leave a comment down below.