Do you love smoked foods and want to take your grilling skills a level higher? Or is your grill not giving you enough power and grilling space? Then it’s time you consider buying the best commercial smoker. Let’s face it, no other kitchen appliance can replicate the unique flavor and texture smokers can effortlessly add to food. From juicy thick cuts of mouthwatering tender meat to magnificently tacky ribs, you can’t deny the rich aroma smokes add to any food. For this reason, if you are opening a restaurant, or a catering business, having a top commercial smoker would go a long way. While shopping for a commercial smoker, be sure to consider the cooking area, power source, number of grates, and dimensions like we did while assembling the seven commercial smokers listed in this review.
Editor Choice: Z Grills ZPG-6002E Wood Pellet Smoker
Smoke your meals like a pro on this 2020 New Z Grills with up to 600 square inches cooking space. Smoke with convenience as this smoker comes with features like the auto temperature control, large hopper capacity, and shutdown recycle mode which helps minimize pellet usage.
Best Value: KBQ C-60 Smoker Pit
Why settle for less when you can get a charcoal smoker this big and at an affordable price. KBQ designed this smoker with a unique Upper Charcoal Chamber and Inverted Flame Firebox of which both contribute to help you precisely control the smoke flavor for easy smoking.
Best Overall: Masterbuilt MB20071117 Electric Smoker
Masterbuilt designed this 30-inch smoker with a fully-insulated body, tough enough to withstand harsh environment to retain heat perfectly. Features like the side wood chip loading system, four chrome coated smoking racks, digital controller, and water bowl makes this smoker perfect for smoking large quantity and well.
Commercial Smoker Under $500: Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill
Take your outdoor cooking adventure to the next level with this Camp Chef smoker that infuses your food with delicious smoky flavor. This Camp Chef pellet smoker can cook at a temperature as high as 500 degrees Fahrenheit, and it comes with features like large hopper, internal meat probe, recycle shutdown mode and electronic auto ignition for added convenience.
Electric Commercial Smokers: Cuisinart COS-330 Electric Smoker
Smoke with rest of mind with this Cuisinart smoker that features a dial style thermostat which gives you total control over the heat. For versatile and convenient smoking, Cuisinart designed this smoker with 1500-watt heating element, which will quickly generate enough heat ranging from 100-400 degrees Fahrenheit, and three removable chrome racks.
Commercial Charcoal Smoker: Weber 14-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker
Smoke low and slow on this 14-inch Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker with two plated steel smoking racks which is enough space to fit two racks of ribs conveniently. The durable porcelain enamel bowl and rust resistant metal legs ensures this smoker stand the test of time.
Smoker Roaster & Grill: Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU-Infrared
Char-Broil are known for their TRU-Infrared technology that ensures even cooking with no flare-ups for juicy and tender result. When you truly desires ultimate versatility go for this Big Easy Char-Broil unit that lets you smoke, roast, and grill all in one.
Top 7 Best Commercial Smoker Reviews
#1. Z Grills ZPG-6002E Wood Pellet Smoker
Z-Grill is a US based manufacturer of high-quality smokers and grills for more than 30 years. With this in mind, you can be sure that this 2020 upgraded version of the ZPG-6002E Pellet grill is built with the latest technology for high performance. You get more precise temperature settings and pellet feed control with this newer model as well. And as a stainless steel built grill, it is durable and resistant to corrosion, meaning it is a long-lasting grill with a polished and sleek look.
Z Grills ZPG-6002E Review
Ultimate 6-in-1 Pellet Grill
The first feature we would like to point out in this massive grill is that it is an ultimate 6-in-1 grill. In other words, this grill is versatile enough to let you cook six different kinds of meals. To simply put, you can use this pellet grill to roast, barbeque, braise, bake, smoke, and grill. So, whether you want to slow smoke, grill some hot dogs, or roast some rib, you can do it all with ease with this Z-Grills pellet grill.
Large cooking surface
As a smoker for commercial purposes, one of the features that must stick out is the large cooking surface. Z-Grills designed this grill with a 330 square inches main grilling area, and a 270 square inches warming/smoking rack. It also features a foldable working shelf and a bottom shelf for storing ingredients and tools.
Performance-wise, this Z-Grill pellet grill can produce a heating power of 25,000 BTUs and a temperature that ranges from 160-450 degrees Fahrenheit. You also get a 10-pound large hopper capacity that lets you cook for more than 10 hours. With the electronic auto-start ignition, automatic temperature sensor, and digital controller, you get the flexibility to set this grill to just the right temperature you need. Z-Grill also included a built-in fan for convection cooking which creates a versatile grilling environment.
Easy to use
Z-Grills built this grill with an advanced automatic electric pellet feed system to help maintain the heat within 10 degrees of the set temperature. And with the digital controller, you can easily set the temperature of this grill. Z-Grill also designed this grill with an excellent grease management system that assists with ease and safe cleanup.
- Massive cooking surface
- Durable steel construction, with water-resistant coating
- Built-in fan for creating a convection cooking environment
- Two durable wheels make mobility easier
- Poor customer service
In summary, this Z-Grills pellet grill is innovative and worth having. It is affordably priced and comes with all the right features like digital temperature control, ample grilling space, and an excellent grease management system to make your grilling experience interesting. Despite the company’s poor customer service, which you will probably never need because the grill is pretty durable and easy to use.
#2. KBQ C-60 Smoker Pit
KBQ gas devised a clever and patented approach to overcoming the most limitation of pellet smokers with this C-60 smoker pit. This Karubecue smoker is capable of maintaining a set temperature thanks to the included thermostatically controlled fan. KBQ has amazingly grown to become one of the most preferred smokers pits thanks to the innovation and astonishing quality of meat it can cook.
KBQ C-60 BBQ Smoker Review
One of the main reasons you should buy this low-price commercial smoker is because of its ultimate durable construction. KBQ made use of stainless steel construction throughout giving this smoker durable and elegant look. With the 18 gauge 430 stainless steel grade used on this smoker, you are assured this smoker is rust-resistant and can withstand high smoking temperatures.
Inverted Frame Firebox
In this KBQ smoker, fire is made in the upper chamber, with a bed of coal or pellet. The fire is lit on a bed of vented tray, with ash dropping to the lower chamber. The 14 gauge 304 stainless steel material used in this firebox is durable and easy to clean. Moreover, this innovative inverted flame technology is efficient in the sense that it makes refueling easy while smoking.
To ensure this smoker offers you an even heating environment, KBQ included a built-in fan. This fan comes in handy in creating an ambiance of constant heat throughout the grill, as well as high-quality smoke. The smoke is sucked in from the bottom of the fire built from the pellet, or coal creating that unique rich smoke flavor in your food.
Cook Box Capacity
KBQ constructed the cook box of this smoker with an 18 gauge 430 stainless steel, making it quite durable. The grates are made out of 201 stainless steel which is also durable and easy to clean. The four grates in this grill can be adjusted in 12 different positions and can hold up to 60 pounds of food. In other words, you can cook 2 turkeys, 12 chicken, 8 pork butts, or 4 briskets on this smoker.
- 12 position racks letting you set the right height for your food
- Simple and compact design
- Durable steel construction
- Forced convection heating
- No built it thermometer or probe hole
With this innovative KBQ durably built smoker with high-grade stainless steel, and affordably priced, you can smoke with a rest of mind. The only downside of this grill is the lack of a built-in thermometer. What this means is that you would have to constantly open the door to check the temperature of your food. Note, opening the door of a smoker will also lead to a loss of smoke and heat. However, KBQ made up for this design flaw with the built-in fan which quickly builds up heat and smoke in the cooking chamber.
#3. Masterbuilt MB20071117 Electric Smoker
If you are a fan of an electric smoker, well, this Masterbuilt MB20071117 is definitely worth your time. Not only is this vertical smoker durably built, but it also comes with a list of features that makes using it effortlessly. You can achieve competition-ready results from the comfort of your backyard without the hassle of propane or charcoal with this perfect electric smoker for beginners.
Masterbuilt MB20071117 Review
Fully Insulated Body
This 30-inch Masterbuilt vertical electric smoker is a perfect smoker for pros or beginners alike. Masterbuilt constructed this smoker with a steel body and coated it with water-resistant paint preventing the steel from rusting. And the fully insulated interior of this smoker allows it to retain heat perfectly.
Four Chrome-coated Racks
Durability aside, though this vertical smoker is simple and compact, Masterbuilt designed it with an ample four chrome-coated racks. With the four racks, you have plenty of room to smoke up to 4 pork butts, 4 racks of ribs, 2 turkeys, or 6 chickens.
Digital Control Panel
Another interesting feature of this Masterbuilt smoker is the digital control panel. Although this smoker comes with dampers on top of the smoker, the digital control panel on top of the smoker as well gives you more control of the smoker. Thanks to the digital control panel, you can off and on the cooking temperature, set a timer, and use the thermostat control for even and consistent smoking.
Wood Chip Tray
Included at the side of this smoker is a wood chip tray that allows you to easily add wood chips without having to open the smoker door. The tray is positioned in such a way that the heating element is only a few inches below it, allowing the wood chip to smoke and not burn.
- Durable steel construction
- A fully insulated body retains heat
- Chrome coated cooking rack is easy to maintain
- Water bowl included
- Short power cord
One main deal maker of this Masterbuilt MB20071117 smoker is that it is an electric smoker. As an electric smoker with an ample four rack cooking space, you don’t have to worry about refueling or limited space, making it the ideal commercial smoker. And thanks to its digital control panel, you can enjoy more flexibility with this smoker like an LED screen, timer, and so on.
#4. Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill
Let’s take a look at another top-rated smoker, the Camp Chef PG24DLX pellet smoker. We love that this smoker comes with two durable wheels that means moving it in and out of your backyard wouldn’t be such a hassle. In addition to that, Camp Chef designed this pellet grill/smoker with an excellent grease management system and a side bucket.
amp Chef SmokePro Review
Amongst the many stand out features of this pellet grill, its durability is impeccable. Camp Chef built this grill to last with durable steel that can withstand high heating. To prevent corrosion and rust, Camp Chef coated this grill with water-resistant paint. The grates are no exception, as Camp Chef designed it with durable steel as well and paint to prevent rust.
Large Cooking Surface
With this Camp Chef smoker, you get enough cooking space to grill and smoke all you want. According to the design of this grill, you get the main cooking area and a second cooking rack. In total you get up to 570 square inches of cooking space on this grill: 429 square inches main cooking area, and 144 square inches second cooking rack. For more space, you can use either the top of the hopper or the side table for food prep.
Performance-wise, this pellet grill can produce up to 25,000 BTUs of heat or up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. So, irrespective of the massive cooking surface, you can be sure this grill has the power to create an even heating environment. With the built-in internal temperature sensors and digital control, you can easily set this grill to the right temperature. Camp Chef also gives you the flexibility to choose between two smoking levels.
Easy to Clean
The patented ash cleanout system of this grill makes cleaning up easier than ever. Camp Chef also designed this grill with an excellent grease management system, which greatly reduces flare-ups and makes cleaning up a breeze.
- Fan forced convection heating
- Attachment compatible
- Built-in bottle opener on the hopper
- Digital control panel
- Quite expensive
Camp Chef excellently design this grill/smoker to be perfect for commercial use, as it features a large 18-pound hopper which takes away the hassle of constant refueling. The ample grilling space is also another deal maker, and the high-temperature setting gives you the ability to always have enough heat even on its massive cooking surface. And what won us over with this grill/smoker is that you can keep the temperature consistent within 20 degrees different from the target temperature.
#5. Cuisinart COS-330 Electric Smoker
Another cheap commercial smoker you can consider buying is this Cuisinart COS-330 electric smoker. This amazing smoker can smoke a variety of foods including whole birds, large cuts of meats, fish, ribs, chicken, pork, beef, and vegetables. The compact footprint of this electric smoker makes it perfect for outdoor barbecue kitchens, decks, and patios.
CUISINART COS-330 Review
Versatile and Convenient
With the right smoker, it is easy to create a memorable barbequing experience with family and friends. This Cuisinart smoker is a unique vertical electric smoker that offers you the versatility to cook a variety of foods. The racks and trays included in this smoker are easy to clean, thereby increasing the convenience of this smoker.
This Cuisinart smoker comes with an ample cooking space measuring up to 548 square inches spread across three cooking racks. The three chrome coated stainless steel racks are adjustable and removable when you want to smoke large cuts of meat. Moreover, the racks are dishwasher safe, making it easy to clean up.
Powerful Heating Element
Featuring on this electric smoker is a powerful heating coil that provides up to 1500 watts of heat. This heating element can produce a temperature from 100 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. The user-friendly temperature control lets you set the temperature and go and relax without having to worry about adding charcoal or tending the fire. Cuisinart also included a temperature gauge on the door of this smoker for easy temperature monitoring.
Included Water Pan and Wood Chip Tray
At the base of this smoker, Cuisinart included a water pan and a wood chip tray. This included stainless steel pan and tray comes in handy in making this smoker smoke deliciously. The pan and tray are also removable for easy cleanup. The water pan is essential in ensuring your food doesn’t get dried up, while the wood chip tray adds real smoke flavor to your food.
- Roomy interior space
- Built-in thermometer
- Lightweight and easy to move
- Powerful heating element with temperature control
- Poor customer service
This 59 pounds Cuisinart electric smoker is not the most portable or compact smoker in the industry, but it does well to maintain a consistent temperature. Also, the easy temperature control, as well as built-in temperature gauge, works together in ensuring this grill stays at a set temperature. With the three stainless steel racks, you have enough space to smoke enough for a small restaurant or party.
#6. Weber 14-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker
The Weber Smokey Mountain charcoal smoker is a cheap commercial smoker you should also consider buying. This 14-inch Weber smoker does well in smoking meat for commercial purposes. With this Weber Smokey Mountain cooker, you can cook meat slowly, and enjoy the rich smoky aroma in your food.
Weber 14-inch Smokey Review
Weber built this smoker for commercial use tough to be able to withstand abuse. The durable steel used to construct this smoker can withstand high temperatures, and the heat-resistant painting prevents corrosion. The plated steel cooking grates are also quite durable and easy to maintain.
In terms of cooking space, this 14-inch Weber smoker comes with two steel-plated racks measuring up to 286 square inches, i.e., 143 square inches each. The two cooking grates come in handy in cooking multiple items at once, which is a big plus required in a smoker for commercial use.
Built-in Lid Thermometer
At the top of the lid of this Weber smoker is a built-in thermometer. This thermometer comes in handy in keeping a close eye on the temperature of the cooking chamber without having to open the lid all the time. According to Weber, this smoker can reach an approximate temperature of 190 degrees Fahrenheit inside.
Other included features like the rust-resistant tripod legs which contribute to the sturdiness of this smoker is a plus. Weber also designed this smoker with a dual damper, one at the base, and one on top of the hood, making temperature control easier. Additionally, included in this smoker is a water pan that helps ensure your food doesn’t dry out.
- Easy access front door for refueling
- Cool to touch handle
- Lightweight and easy to transport
- Built-in lid thermometer
- No lid hook
While the downside of using a charcoal smoker is ignition, maintaining a constant temperature, and the constant trouble of refueling. However, in the end, it is worth using a charcoal smoker despite the hassle as it cooks delicious, tasty food. Weber tried as much as they can in the design of this charcoal smoker to take away most difficulties associated with using a charcoal smoker, like easy refueling, and strategically located dampers to ensure better temperature control.
#7. Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Smoker Roaster & Grill
Lastly, this review of the best commercial smokers to check out in 2023 would not be complete if we did not include this Char-Broil smoker. Char-Broil has been one of American’s favorite grill brands since 1948. This Char-Broil smoker is a 3-in-1 smoker that lets you smoke, roast, and grill.
Char-Broil Smoker Review
As said earlier, this Char-Broil smoker is a versatile 3-in-1 smoker that lets you smoke, roast, and grill. The roasting basket of this Char-Broil smoker can accommodate large cuts of meat like a 21-pound turkey. Additionally, the durable construction of this Char-Broil smoker works well in holding a constant interior temperature and preventing heat loss to the environment.
Ample Cooking Space
This Char-Broil smoker comes with ample cooking space, big enough to smoke meat and vegetables for a small gathering. The roasting basket can hold up to 25 pounds of meat. The removable grate in this smoker is ideal for grilling burgers, veggies, chicken, steaks, chops, and wings, and it offers you up to 180 square inches of cooking area for grilling.
The well-designed TRU-Infrared technology in this smoker does well in cooking food evenly and juicy with no problem of flare-ups. The burner features temperature control and can produce up to 9000 to 18000 BTUs of heat. Char-Broil also included a stainless steel smoke box in this smoker for added flavor.
Convenient Carrying Handles
This Char-Broil smoker features two side-mounted carrying handles that make it easy to carry this unit around with ease. This unit is lightweight, weighing about 50 pounds.
- Temperature is easy to control
- Durable construction
- The lid comes with a hook
- Included stainless steel smokebox
- No built-in temperature gauge
This Char-Broil 3-in-1 gas smoker gives you the flexibility to smoke, roast, and grill all in one unit. This flexibility is a nice plus for this smoker as it allows you to cook your food with any of the cooking processes all from the comfort of one unit. And as a gas smoker again, it takes away the hassle of cleaning and constantly adding charcoal. And to ensure this smoker adds real smoke flavor to food, Char-Broil included a stainless steel smoke box. So, in summary, this Char-Broil smoker is worthwhile.
Best Commercial Smoker Buyer’s Guide
1. Quality Commercial Smoker
As cliché, as it might sound, ensuring your smoker comes with a durable construction is very important. Many times you hear people telling you to buy a quality brand smoker, well this is because a smoker built with high-quality material can stand the test of time and perform well. Also, check for the warranty of the smoker. High-quality smokers are usually backed up by the brand because they are sure of the durability of the product.
2. Cooking Area
Another important factor to put into consideration when buying a smoker is the cooking area it offers expressed in square inches. The cooking area available on a smoker should be one of the first considerations you should take note of. A commercial smoker with a cooking area above 500 square inches is large enough to cook for a large crowd. But if you only want to get a commercial smoker simply for the power and efficiency, and to cook for a get-together or backyard party, a cooking area of less than 500 square inches would suffice.
3. Type of Fuel
The type of fuel a smoker uses is also another important factor to put into consideration. While the typical source of fuel when it comes to smokers is charcoal, other sources of fuel like electricity and gas are also used. Charcoal smokers are known to add a unique smoke flavor and cook meats till they are tender and juicy. However, charcoal smokers are not so convenient to use or maintain. For convenience, you can choose an electric smoker, as it offers you endless heating as long as it remains plugged into an outlet, and it produces no waste like charcoal, making it easy to clean up after use. Gas smokers are also easy to use and they offer a high cooking temperature.
Most smokers, especially vertically designed smokers, come with multiple racks that allow you to smoke different food at the same time. Some smokers come with four cooking racks and offer up to 500 square inches or even 700 square inches of cooking space. You can also find some models with three cooking racks, but they aren’t all that ideal for commercial purposes and people who cook for large groups.
5. Easy to Use
Apart from the regular features, some extras make using a smoker easy. Some of these extra features include a built-in temperature gauge, temperature control, water pan, and ease of assembly. These other attributes might not directly contribute to the smoking performance of the smoker, but it makes using it a lot more convenient. Also, cleaning a smoker after using it can be quite a hassle, but smoking with removable dishwasher safe grates, and an excellent grease management system would make cleaning easier as well.
Frequently Asked Question
1. Is Smoking Meat Bad for You
Truth be told, not all smoked food is good for you. There are lots of chemicals that contaminate that form during smoking, like the charred and blackened areas of smoked meat particularly well-cooked cuts, contains heterocycline amines that are carcinogenic. Moreover, the smoke itself contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon and it can cling to the surface of meats, which is also carcinogenic. To simply put, smoking meat is not the healthiest way to enjoy cooked meat.
2. Should I Buy a Smoker or Grill
So, if you are a connoisseur looking to enjoy the ultimate taste of food, then a smoker is probably best for you. However, food takes longer to cook in a smoker than on a grill. This is because the smoking temperature is lower than grilling temperatures, which allows more smoke flavor to penetrate the food. Another way to look at this is that to cook large cuts of meat like brisket, ribs, roast, and ham, smoking is a preferred option. But for small cuts of meat like steaks, chicken, and fish, grilling is a better option.
3. What Kind of Smokers do Restaurants Use
Most restaurants prefer to use a charcoal smoker because of the distinctive rich smoke aroma it adds to food. However, some restaurants make use of gas smokers as it is more convenient and easier to use.
How to Clean a Commercial Smoker
Cleaning a commercial smoker is equally as challenging. But the truth is that nothing beats the feel and looks of a well-seasoned smoker. Below are five simple steps you can use to clean any type of commercial smoker.
1. Drain Grease
The first thing you want to do is ensure the grill is powered off. If you use an electric smoker, unplug the cord from the outlet, for gas smokers, unhook the smoker from the gas supply, and for charcoal smokers, ensure the embers are properly out. Next, drain the grease from the tray or bucket and dispose of it.
2. Remove Grates and Water Bowl
Remove the grates, water bowl, and chip tray if your smoker comes with one. Take every removable part of your smoker and soak it in warm soapy water.
3. Disposal of Ash
If you use a charcoal smoker, take out the ash and dispose of it. Ensure the ember is properly out before disposing to prevent a fire hazard.
4. Wash and Rinse
Use a brush to wash the grates clean. Use a sponge to wash other parts of the grill including the body, lid, and cook box. For electric grills, limit the amount of soapy water you use, as you also try to avoid water getting into the heating element. After washing, rinse with clean water.
5. Allow Drying Before Assembling
Make sure you spread out the part of the smoker to air dry properly. Assemble the smoker and store.
To wrap things up, after all, is said and done, choosing the best commercial smoker ideal for your need shouldn’t be such a hideous task. We acknowledge everyone has their needs and wants as a commercial smokers. Therefore it is important to always research different models of smokers before making a final selection for what best suits your needs. If you feel you need help with that, feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below.