Any outdoor cook worth their chops owns a dedicated smoker, or, at the very least, a grill that can perform double duty. The slow cook ensures that the meat’s flavors blend with the smokiness of the charcoal, or wood chips, all while preserving the meat’s natural moisture. Even the best grills have trouble replicating this effect. Today’s smokers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from traditional charcoal to new-age electric. These are the best smokers for any cooking style (or backyard size), best paired with summer lagers, games of cornhole and family dinners.
Weber 721001 Smokey Mountain Cooker
The Charcoal Option: The Weber 18-inch charcoal smoker, with two levels of cooking grates inside, boasts over 481 square inches of cooking surface. Yes, it’s large enough to smoke a full ham and brisket at the same time. With heat controlling dampers on the bottom of the cooker, temperature control is simple. And at less than 40 pounds, it’s not difficult to reposition it around your backyard patio. If this 18-inch smoker is too large or small for your liking, it also comes in 14-inch and 22-inch models.
Masterbuilt 20070115 Electric Smoker
The Smart Cooker: It’s 2016, so a Bluetooth-enabled smoker is undeniably fitting: you can adjust temperature and monitor cook time on your smart device. That said, Masterbuilt’s 20070115 electric smoker is more than just smart; it’s also one hell of a cooker. It has 975 square inches of cooking space, more than four smoking racks, and can cook 100 pounds of meat at a time.
MAK Grill 1 Star General
The Smoke King: The newest generation of the 1 Star pellet grill and smoker is MAK Grill’s best yet. It’s made of aluminized steel, so it retains heat extremely well; and it specializes in smoking meats between 170 and 190 Fahrenheit. There’s 429 square inches of cooking area on the grill’s surface, and that’s not including the 1 Star’s upper grate system. Plus, with brand’s patented Flashfire Igniter, getting it to reach optimal temperature is quicker than ever.