Smoking ribs and making BBQ in your own backyard is something that’s very rewarding. You get to create your own recipe and enjoy it with family and friends.
If you don’t have much space available in your porch, yard or patio, the best vertical smoker lets you do that anyway without taking up a lot of space.
And because hot air travels up, the vertical shape of the smoke chamber allows the food to be infused more by the smoky flavor and the heat.
Below we cover a number of different vertical smokers that you can use to make perfect BBQ at home. We cover both gas and charcoal smokers so you can pick the fuel source you want to use.
Best Smoker Grill Combo: This device offers a combination of a smoker, roaster and grill all in one, making it a very versatile option for the backyard BBQ chef.
It runs on an LP tank and uses an easy start ignition to make lighting up for cooking convenient. This helps save time so you can quickly get started.
The unit comes has considerable size as it has a 24” diameter and stands 36” tall. It also weighs 62 lbs. making it bigger overall than many smaller versions. The size allows you to roast an entire 25 lb. turkey using the turkey basket.
You can use the basket for roasting while an additional grill top that has stainless steel grates can be placed on top should you want to grill steaks, hamburgers, hotdogs or pork chops.
The attachment to the LP tank runs from the bottom of the unit. That’s also where the controls are. One is the rotary ignition while the other lets you adjust the temperature. You can turn it between 9,000 to 18,000 BTUs depending on the type of cooking you plan on doing.
Best Vertical Smoker: If you’re a BBQ purist then going with charcoal is still the way to go. It may not be as convenient as the electric or propane smokers, but the extra flavor and smokiness is well worth the extra effort.
This Weber Smokey Mountain cooker offers an 18.5 inch cooking diameter. It has 2 of these grates so you fill both levels with food. This way you can stack ribs or a pork shoulder at the bottom grate and then have a turkey on the top grate.
The unit comes with porcelain enamel both inside and out that helps prevent it from giving to the elements as well as preventing rust. It also comes with a lid thermometer that lets you monitor the internal temperature of your smoker.
For heat control, sliding dampers are located on the lid as well as the bottom of the unit. This lets you control how much heat you want to release to decrease the temperature. By leaving them closed, it helps increase the temperature as the charcoal burns.
This 18” smoker also comes with a side panel where you can insert more charcoal if needed. A water pan at the bottom gives you extra moisture for steam to help keep turkey, chicken and pork tender on the inside.
Best Vertical Gas Smoker: One of the most popular home smokehouses around because they hold heat really well and are pretty much close to hand off cooking. The Masterbuilt Propane Smoker is offered in 3 sizes: 30 inches, 40 inches and 44 inches.
This is the 40 inch version which is right in the middle. You can choose the other sized should you need more or less space and racks to cook.
Do note that the designs are also different between the 3 models. The 30” and 44” both have 2 doors which make them more heat efficient since you don’t need to open the main door when loading wood chips. This 40” one uses only 1 door.
This unit (40”), offers a large 1,307 sq. in. chamber where you can load all the food. There are 4 racks you can set. The heat inside the chamber is provided by a single 15,400 BTU/hour burner that can be controlled from the bottom of the unit.
The bottom panel contains both the ignition button as well as the temperature control. This is one of the advantage of gas smokers over charcoal in that you can quickly adjust the temperatures, and do it more precisely.
You can monitor the internal temperature using the built in temperature gauge in the front door then adjust the burner accordingly as you go.
For convenient and consistent low and slow BBQ, this is the best choice since it takes away the guessing and estimating that’s involved with charcoal.
So far we’ve covered charcoal as well as gas smokers that run on liquid propane. Another option is this Bradly Smoker, which is and electric one.
Electric smokers save you from having to get an LP tank as you fuel source and it also eliminated the need for charcoal. All you need to do is plug in the device and you can start prepping the smoker.
This unit offers a 520 sq. inch cooking area split up on 4 racks. Each rack is 11” by 13” and can be removed from the internal chamber.
The Original Smoker also has a less conventional design with the control box set to the side of the main unit. Above the box is a briquette dispenser that you can load with flavored briquettes and the machine will automatically release them over time to add flavor to the food.
Probably the easiest to use among our picks:
- All you need to do is plug in the machine and use the on/off switch in the side control box to start the automatic smoke generator.
- From there, you can set the temperature to start the process. The unit does have a maximum of 250 degrees Faherenheit.
Have you decided yet? If not what are you waiting for. The longer you decide the longer you have to wait till your BBQ is ready to eat. Don’t take too long, after all smoking takes quite a while.