best charcoal smokers

The Best Charcoal Smokers: [Top Models Reviewed]

Charcoal smokers have become very popular today among BBQ lovers. This is because they leave your food with an authentic smoke Aroma and flavor. However, to achieve this, you need to get the best charcoal smokers, but which are these best charcoal smokers?

As much as there are many different types of charcoal smokers in the market, you can always find the best ones to serve your purpose. The following are various best charcoal smokers to choose from: Weber 18 – inch Smokey Mountain Cooker, Kamado Joe Big Joe III, Pit Barrel Cooker Classic Package, and PK Original Outdoor Charcoal Portable Grill & smoker combinations.

This article explains all you should know about the charcoal smokers mentioned above. Read through to know which one you should settle with based on your space and cooking needs. 


Best charcoal smokers

Weber 18 – inch Smokey Mountain Cooker

The weber 18 – inch Smokey Mountain Cooker is the best charcoal smoker to use to smoke any food, be it meat or veggies. Operating this smoker is easy and simpler, and one does not need special skills or knowledge to keep it running. It has an in-built thermometer that saves you time and makes things easy for you when cooking.

The smoker is equipped with adjustable dampers that control and monitor the amount of air entering the smoker’s chamber. The front door gives the cook a simple time when accessing the food inside when ready. It has a cooking area of 481 square inches, and most people with experience with it say that it is even practically bigger than this.

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In addition, it comes with three different cooking sections that work together to give you the best cooking experience. Each section has a different role, while there is one for temperature and the other for smoke to ensure that your food gets the right cooking temperature and amounts of smoke. The lower section of the smoker is made of a pan that holds charcoal and gives you more room to add more.

The middle section contains a water pan with various grates and a door for adding more charcoal. The heat produced by the charcoal pan meets up with the water to create perfect smokiness. The top section has the best temperature gauge lid; all these sections work together to ensure you get the best smoky flavor in your food.


  • Easy to use
  • Enough cooking capacity
  • Cooking space of 481 square inches
  • High quality


  • Sometimes the thermometer is faulty
  • The side door is low quality

Komado Joe Big Joe III

Komado Joe Big Joe III is famous among many people due to its great look, made with high ceramic that gives it the red color most people recognize. They are referred to as the best-looking charcoal smokers in the market today because they look amazing.

This smoker is designed to hold up to three grates with a cooking area of 510 square inches. Therefore, it makes the best charcoal smoker for people who love cooking for large groups of people or with larger families. Komado Joe Big Joe III is versatile; It smokes, grills, roasts, and even bakes meat or any other food you are cooking. This makes it an all-in-one charcoal smoker that does not need additional equipment to boost its functionality.


  • Easy to use
  • Versatile
  • Multipurpose
  • Easy portability


  • Costly
  • It comes with only one grate

Pit Barrel Cooker Classic Package

The Pit Barrel Cooker Classic gives you more than just what an ordinary charcoal smoker could provide. You must have seen most of these cookers in camp yards and even people’s backyards. It gives you a cooking space of 255 square inches.

The smoker is equipped with grates and hooks, which you can use for smoking your food. With this, you can have more space for your normal and creative cooking.


  • Easy-to-clean meat drippings
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable
  • Ability to create more space


  • Not nice looking
  • Challenging to control high temperature
  • Difficult to clean charcoal

PK Original Outdoor Charcoal Portable Grill & smoker combinations

The PK Original Outdoor Charcoal Portable Grill & smoker combination is a small charcoal smoker but very expensive. However, the cost is worth it, and there is a lot you can get from this smoker. Let’s see what is special about this smoker. It has a cooking chamber made from aluminum but not steel like most charcoal smokers. What does this mean? The smoker is rust-resistant and lightweight because aluminum weighs almost nothing.

The smoker is portable and has been associated with most people traveling with it to camping and many other fun places. Moreover, the smoker can be detached and be used with or without a stand. However, the limitation of this smoker is that aluminum is a fast heat conductor than steel. Therefore, it can be really hot fast, unlike the ones made with stainless steel.

It provides a cooking space of 310 square inches which another downside is limiting you to the number of people you should cook for with the smoker.


  • Lightweight
  • Easy-to-clean aluminum
  • Two-sections cooking systems


  • Small cooking space
  • Expensive

Budget options that you can buy

Here are the budget options you can buy that give excellent performance:

  • Weber 18 – inch Smokey Mountain Cooker – $419
  • Char-Griller Smokin Pro – $249
  • Pit Barrel Cooker Co. Classic Pit Barrel Cooker Package – $400
  • Dyna-Glo Vertical Wide Body Offset Charcoal Smoker – $253

Factors to consider when choosing charcoal smokers

You should know that you do not just search for charcoal smokers and pick one from the many options you are provided. Here are some of the factors you should consider before you choose a charcoal smoker:

Cooking space

How many people will you be serving at a go? The answer to this question should guide you to which smoker you should choose. If you expect to feed many heads, go for a larger smoker, but if it is a small family dinner or personal use, you can choose the ones with smaller cooking spaces.

Ability to move

You would not want to cook in the same spot for the rest of your life. Imagine how boring that can be. There are many designs of charcoal smokers in the market, each made with a unique feature. Some are made lightweight, detachable, or with wheels. Therefore, if you choose one with wheels, you can move it around your home anytime. Detachable ones are best for transportation in that you can move them from one location to another.


Maintenance can be costly if you choose the wrong charcoal smoker. Most of these smokers come with a manual revealing the cooking procedure. If you need help understanding, ask the dealer to help you know the most important cleaning and maintenance tricks. Ensure you choose a smoker you are comfortable with regarding cleaning and general maintenance.


Cost is not of much concentration, but it is an essential factor you should consider. However, the decision here is entirely up to you. You need to be careful about the cost and never opt for the cheapest options because they might be counterfeit and expensive in the long run. As much as you want to save, ensure that you look for quality and affordability in every charcoal smoker you want.


You will always find a million options in the market, but the goal is to end up with the best one. From our research and conclusions, we would recommend Weber 18 – inch Smokey Mountain Cooker as the best charcoal smoker overall and Pit Barrel Cooker Classic Package. They give you an excellent cooking experience where you do not even have to be with special skills to operate.

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