As great as BBQ is, smoking is a long process where each step has to be well prepared for and taken care of to get good tasting meats. Fortunately, the best smokers for the money allows everyone to get an affordable smoking unit that lets them create great tasting food for the family as well as guests.
In this review we cover a number of different types of smokers that will let you enjoy that backyard barbecue without spending a lot of money. If you don’t want having to handle and clean up after using charcoal, you’ll want to consider the last two picks, which run on propane and electricity.
These are the simplest ones to use since they come with a lot of gadgets and controls to let you manage the heat and smoke.
For more authentic cooking, the offset smoker below as well as the vertical charcoal unit right after that one will let you enjoy the extra flavor charcoal imparts on meats and BBQs.
For quick reference, we list our top picks below. Each of the products in the list are our “for the money” picks in their own category. This will help you find the best value smoker based on whether you want one that uses charcoal, propane or can grill as well.
- Offset Smoker: Char-Broil American Gourmet Offset Smoker
- Vertical Charcoal Smoker (medium size): Weber 711001 Smokey Mountain Cooker 14-Inch Charcoal Smoker
- Vertical Charcoal Smoker (large size): Weber 721001 Smokey Mountain Cooker 18-Inch Charcoal Smoker
- Propane Smoker: Masterbuilt 20051311 GS30D 2-Door Propane Smoker
- Electric Smoker: Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Black Electric Digital Smoker
- Smoker & Grill Combo: Masterbuilt M7P 7-in-1 Smoker and Grill
If you want to browse through more product options,
Best Smokers for the Money (with Reviews)
Char-Broil American Gourmet Offset Smoker
The Char-Broil Offset Smoker comes with a total of 288 square inches of cooking area and a 138 square inches of a secondary cooking space or warmer.
This gives you the ability to grill on high as well as low heat when using this grill smoker combo. It has porcelain coating on the cooking grate and it also has a chrome swing away.
There is an easy access door to allow you to remove ashes from the steel firebox. The unit uses an offset set up that allows you to heat and smoke meat indirectly. This allows the flavoring to thoroughly soak into the meat you are cooking.
An additional advantage to the design is that it also enables you to have more control against sudden fire flare-ups. This way, your meat is done the way you want it.
For added space, there is also a convenient side shelf which will allow you to store spices, rubs or other utensils that you may need while smoking.
Weber 711001 Smokey Mountain Cooker 14-Inch Charcoal Smoker
Weber’s Smokey Mountain model 711001 cooker offers a round 14.5 inch diameter in terms of cooking area. It also has a built in thermometer on the lid so that you can easily monitor and adjust how hot or cool the internal temperature is.
Temperature is monitored by a high temperature silicone grommet and a temperature probe.
Your meat can be steamed while it is cooking thanks to a porcelain enameled pan that holds water while it is cooking the meat.
This vertical smoker’s fuel door is rust resistant so that adding fuel or air through the dampers will always be easy which is necessary for smoking.
In terms of its heat source. This Weber smoker uses a charcoal chamber that is porcelain enameled so that your fuel is concentrated in one area. This also helps keep the heat in and allow you to be able to control the temperature a little easier.
Masterbuilt 20051311 GS30D 2-Door Propane Smoker
If you don’t like dealing with having to clean up after charcoal, this affordable smoker from Masterbuilt uses propane fuel.
The GS30D is a 2 door unit that allows you to separately look at the meat and tend to the heat without disturbing the other.
It has four chrome smoking racks to give you a large 717 square inches of cooking space inside of it. This entire area is divided into 4 different levels.
At the bottom, tt has a stainless steel burner and a type one regulator and hose to ensure proper cooking. A single push button ignites the flame inside.
For flavoring, the GS30D lets you use the porcelain coated wood chip tray and water pan to keep meats full of moisture and flavor. The unit’s doors lock securely so no heat or smoke escapes and all the flavor is kept for the food.
A built in temperature gauge, and a door handle that stays cool to the touch no matter how hot the inside of the smoker is lets you open and check inside without burning yourself.
Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Electric Digital Smokehouse Smoker
Perhaps one of the best smokers for the money is the Masterbuilt 20070910. It is a 30 inch electric smoker that is digital.
It comes with a fully black coated exterior and is equipped with a controller on top to keep temperatures consistently what you want for them to be.
This is one of the simplest ways to get tasty smoked meats and BBQ. No need to fuss with charcoal or get an LP gas tank. Just prepare the meat with the rub or sauce, plug in the unit and when it reaches the right temperature load them in and wait.
This Masterbuilt smoker is tall and has four chrome coated racks inside of it to give you a sizable 730 square inches of cooking space. It heats with an 800 watt heating element to ensure that you always have enough heat to cook your meat thoroughly.
You can monitor and keep this in check thanks to it thermostat controller that lets you keep cooking temps accurately between 100 and 275 degrees.
A side loading door is also there for the wood chips as well as the removable drip pan. An air damper is located on top and it is great for even the most inexperienced smoking chefs.