A basic natural rule of thumb makes us understand that hot air rises (from the concept of rising smoke). Applying this concept will result in the best vertical smokers that is perfect for achieving tender, tasty, and juicy meat. A vertical smoker slowly cooks your meat under low temperature, which is why many BBQ pitmasters prefer it. However, getting a vertical smoker perfect for you can be quite a task.
In this review, we have rounded up the 10 top rated vertical smokers on the market today. Here you would also find what you can expect from each grill, including spec, pros, and cons. Understanding what to expect from the best vertical grill before getting one is very important. As such, we have a buyer’s guide section below this review that will help you understand vertical barbeque smokers a lot more.
Contents of This Guide
- Review Summary
- Top 10 Best Vertical Smokers Review
- #1. Weber 22-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker – Editor Choice
- #2. Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-D – Best Value
- #3. Cuisinart COS-244 Vertical 36″ Propane Smoker – Best Overall
- #4. Cuisinart COS-188 Vertical 18″ Charcoal Smoker – Best Vertical Charcoal Smoker
- #5. Z Grills ZPG-700E Wood Pellet Grills Smoker – Best Wood Pellet Vertical Smoker
- #6. Masterbuilt 20070910 Electric Smoker – Best Digital Vertical Smoker
- #7. 18-1/2 in. Classic Pit Barrel Cooker Package
- #8. Dyna-Glo DGX780BDC-D Vertical Charcoal Smoker
- #9. Masterbuilt MB20070210 Analog Electric Smoker – Best Vertical Electric Smoker
- #10. Sunlifer 20.5 Inch Vertical Charcoal Smokers – Best Vertical Smoker Grill Combo
- Buyer’s Guide of Best Vertical Smokers
Editor Choice: Weber 22-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker
Saturate the air with this 22-inch Weber Smokey Mountain charcoal smoker. Get better heat distribution and a plated heavy-gauge steel grate amongst others all in this smoker.
Best value: Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-D
Here is a five rack chrome-plated vertical smoker with an offset smoker. If you desire versatility in your cooking option, the Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-D got your covered.
Best Overall: Cuisinart COS-244 Vertical 36″ Propane Smoker
One of a kind durable gas smoker with extra-wide 14 by 14 inches porcelain-enameled cooking grate. And the fine craftsmanship that goes into the construction of this smoker contributes to the reason why it stands out.
Vertical Charcoal Smoker: Cuisinart COS-188 Vertical 18″ Charcoal Smoker
The Cuisinart COS-188 is a 32-pound barrel vertical charcoal smoker sitting on a stainless steel tripod suitable for backyard and patio smoking. Get this smoker when you need a medium-sized 18 inches smoker with an ample grilling space capable of hosting a small gathering or party.
Wood Pellet Vertical Smoker: Z Grills ZPG-700E Wood Pellet Grills Smoker
Grace yourself with this completely versatile 8-in-1 smoker. Though it uses wood pellets as a source of fuel fed through the 20-pound capacity Hopper, an automated electric system ignites and maintains the temperature of the smoker.
Best Digital Vertical Smoker: Masterbuilt 20070910 Electric Smoker
Impeccable quality Masterbuilt, electric smoker with a 100% insulated wall for better energy efficiency. It also provides an ample cooking space and a powerful 800W heating element.
Pit Barrel Cooker: 18-1/2 in. Classic Pit Barrel Cooker Package
Get value for your money when you invest in the Pit Barrel Cooker, a classic by the book 18 ½ inches barrel design charcoal smoker. Get flavorful infused smoke in your meat when you use this smoker.
Dyna-Glo Smoker: Dyna-Glo DGX780BDC-D Vertical Charcoal Smoker
Next level cabinet pellet smoker with four stainless steel cooking rack. Also, this 36 inches vertical smoker comes with a stainless steel temperature gauge with a smoke zone to indicate the ideal temperature for infusing smoke flavor.
Best Vertical Electric Smoker: Masterbuilt MB20070210 Analog Electric Smoker
Suitable backyard and patio 30 inches gas smoker with an ample cooking space. Easy ignition, single stainless steel burner, and a door built-in temperature gauge, and so on, make it stands out.
Best Vertical Smoker Grill Combo: Sunlifer 20.5 Inch Vertical Charcoal Smokers
Flexible multifunctional smoker and grill combo. Easy to assemble, and gives you the versatility to use it as a complete fire pit, one layer smoker grill, or two-layer smoker grill.
Top 10 Best Vertical Smokers Review
#1. Weber 22-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker – Editor Choice
- Product Dimensions: 24 x 23 x 48.5 inches
- Cooking Area: Total 726 Square inches
- Built-in lid thermometer
When you think about a charcoal smoker, what comes to mind is the unique flavor it gives our food. Get this Weber Smokey Mountain Charcoal Smoker and grill at a slow pace. Saturate the air with the rich essence of barbeque, as this 22 inches wide Weber charcoal smoker is ideal for backyard grilling, and family get-togethers. Moreover, the superior heat retentive capacity of its lid and bowl built with solid and durable steel assures you the Weber Smokey Mountain can last a lifetime. Also, this Weber charcoal smoker sits on a rust-resistant stainless steel tripod, which gives it extra sturdiness.
In terms of cooking space, you get two cooking grates with extra smoking capacity on this Weber Smokey Mountain cooker, measuring up to 726 square inches. For better heat distribution, Weber used a plated heavy-gauge steel charcoal grate, making it rust-resistant and nonstick. Below the cooking grate is the water pan, which helps with temperature control. Plus, the excellent design of the charcoal chamber also helps to consolidate fuel for efficient burning. At the front of the cooker is an easy access aluminum fuel door for adding wood and charcoal. For better precision and heat control, this cooker comes with four rust-resistant dampers and a built-in lid thermometer. At the side of the cooker, is a silicone temperature grommet for conveniently checking meat temperature with a probe thermometer, so you don’t have to open the lid all the time.
- Easy to assemble
- Great heat retention capacity and control
- Has porcelain-enameled coating makes the smoker easy to clean
- No lid hook to put the lid on while tending to the meat
#2. Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-D – Best Value
- Product Dimensions: 45.5 x 24.9 x 58.8 inches
- Cooking Area: Total 1382 square inches
- Stainless steel temperature gauge
- Heavy-Gauge steel body construction
Do you love the idea of vertical smokers, but can’t quite get a vertical smoker for you with just about enough space? Well, hold your horses, because the Dyna-Glo Signature DGSS1382VCS-D stands out when it comes to cooking space. Get the best of both worlds as the Dyna-Glo signature smoker’s design is such that you can use it as a perfect vertical smoker and an offset smoker. Expand your outdoor cooking horizon with this smoker that provides durability in performance, and versatility in your outdoor cooking option. Massive smoker, yet easy to move around as it sits on two oversized steel wheels.
On the Dyna-Glo DGSS1382VCS-D comes five chrome-plated cooking grates, each measuring approximately 17 inches in diameter. You get a massive 1382 square inches cooking space in the vertical smoker, and 284 square inches in offset grill cooking space. At the top of the grill in the smoking chamber are pre-installed chrome-plated sausage hooks. So, whether you are smoking chicken, racks of ribs, pork, or veggies, this grill can handle it. On the door of this vertical smoker grill is an integrated temperature gauge, which helps you maintain an optimal temperature on your food. And at the side is the offset charcoal box with a pullout side tray allowing you to access your fuel with minimal heat loss.
- Cool touch spring handles
- Ample grilling space
- Solid construction for versatile use
- Easy to clean cooking grates
- There are many gaps or seam leaks in the smoker, but you can use a gasket tape will seal it
#3. Cuisinart COS-244 Vertical 36″ Propane Smoker – Best Overall
- Product Dimensions: 20 x 20 x 46 inches
- Cooking Area: Total 784 square inches
- Built-in thermometer
- Twist-lock handle seals the door tightly
On our list of top 10 best vertical smokers is this superb Cuisinart COS-244, a propane smoker. This 36 inches stand up smoker comes with four stainless steel racks measuring up to 785 square inches. Each cooking rack in this smoker measures 14 by 14 inches wide steel and coated with porcelain enameled. Plus, the ease of using multiple cooking racks makes this grill ideal for smoking large pieces of meat like chicken breast, or thick cuts of meat for hours. The Cuisinart COS-244 cooking grates are nonstick, rust-resistant, and offer you ample space to handle a large crowd. Additionally, the heavy-duty cast iron bodywork of this smoker contributes to its durability. And the fine craftsmanship put in the construction of this smoker with seamless welding ensures it doesn’t ruin your patio’s aesthetic or grilling space.
On looking deeper into the construction of this smoker, you will notice it comes with two secure seal-tight twist-lock doors and handles. The upper door opens to the cooking chamber, and the lower door gives you access to the porcelain enameled steel tray that holds the wood chips and water tray. This Cuisinart COS-244 smoker uses a ring-style burner with a control knob at the front of the smoker to regulate the temperature. Still on the door of this smoker is a built-in analog temperature gauge, which gives you the flexibility to monitor the smoker’s temperature.
- Easy access door to chamber holding water tray and wood pellet
- Powerful heating capacity
- Easy to use
- Porcelain enamel construction making it easy to clean
- Heavy and not very mobile
#4. Cuisinart COS-188 Vertical 18″ Charcoal Smoker – Best Vertical Charcoal Smoker
- Product Dimensions: 25 x 25 x 45 inches
- Cooking Area: Total 510 square inches
- More control overheat and smoke
- Easy to maintain and clean
Amongst this list of amazing vertical smoker reviews, comes this excellent charcoal smoker from Cuisinart. Get this Cuisinart COS-188 when you need a barrel design charcoal smoker with an excellent air vents design that makes it the perfect smoker. Moreover, its vertical barrel design makes this smoker distribute heat evenly. In addition to that, this unit weighs only 32 pounds, although the unit sits on a stainless steel tripod, you can still easily transport it. And with the entire construction of Cuisinart COS-188 being a porcelain enameled steel fire bowl, body and lid make it nonstick, rust-resistant, easy to clean, and easy to use.
Another feature you can expect from the Cuisinart COS-188 charcoal smoker is the two air vents that makes it easier than ever to control the smoker’s amount of heat. Its top and bottom air vents provide you with a dual air vent system. The lid-mounted thermometer gauge makes it easy to monitor the temperature inside the smoker without having to open the lid all the time. Furthermore, its two 18 inches stainless steel cooking racks provide you with up to 510 square inches of cooking space. So, on this smoker, you get just about enough space to smoke your favorite foods, whether big or small.
- Easy to use
- Porcelain enamel steel housing
- Dual air vent for more control overheat and smoke
- Easy to maintain and clean
- The built-in thermometer doesn’t seem to be very accurate in determining the temperature on the lower rack
#5. Z Grills ZPG-700E Wood Pellet Grills Smoker – Best Wood Pellet Vertical Smoker
- Product Dimensions: 51.2 x 22.5 x 48.4 inches
- BTU: 25,000 BTU’s per hour
- Cooking Area: Total 513 square inch
- Electronic auto ignition
Have you been searching for the most versatile grill suitable for backyard grilling, tailgating, or home party? Then it’s time you consider this 8-in-1 Z Grills ZPG-700E. With this 8-in-1 grill, you have the flexibility to char-grill, barbeque, braise, sear, roast, bake, smoke, and grill. Additionally, the ZPG-700E is a massive grill, with an ample cooking space and storage space to store BBQ tools, and grill pellets. Interestingly, the smoker’s smart smoke technology gives you the freedom to set an automated electric feed system that maintains the smoker’s temperature from 180 F to 450 F.
You can feed in up to 20 pounds of wood pellets in the Hopper, and all you have to do is use the electric control knob to regulate the temperature. There is a digital screen on the Hopper which takes the reading of the temperature of the smoker. About the ample cooking space, on the ZPG-700E, you get two cooking surfaces – a smoking/warming rack and the main grill rack. On the main grill rack, you get an awesome 513 square inches and 187 square inches on the smoking and warming rack.
- Automatically maintain temperature
- Large cooking surface
- Waterproof cover included
- Suitable for up to 8 different cooking functions
- Heavy and bulky
- No side shelf
#6. Masterbuilt 20070910 Electric Smoker – Best Digital Vertical Smoker
- Product Dimensions: 20 x 17 x 33.5 inches
- Cooking Area: Total 730 square inches
- Digital temperature and timer controls
- Thermostat temperature control
Here is another impeccable vertical smoker grill, but this time around, we are looking at a product from Masterbuilt, known for its innovation and quality. The Masterbuilt 20070910 is a 30 inches electric grill with a powerful 800 W heating element capable of generating enough heat for smoking and grilling any kind of meat with ease. You can maintain the thermostat temperature of the electric smoker at 100 to 275 F for even smoking. At the top of the grill is a digital control panel with a display you can use to set the smoker’s temperature and timer easily.
Apart from the excellent thermostatically controlled temperature of this smoker, the walls are 100% insulated, keeping the heat and flavors inside the smoker. Masterbuilt 20070910 comes with an ample grilling space of 730 square inches spread over four chrome-coated cooking racks. And right below the racks are the stainless steel water bowl, grease tray, and drip pan, which helps keep the smoker’s interior tidy. The pre-installed stainless steel air damper at the smoker’s roof helps you control the amount of smoke in this vertical smoker grill efficiently.
- Digital control for precise temperature setting
- Easy to use and maintain
- Excellent entry-level electric smoker for novice
- Impeccable quality with 100% insulated walls
- Not a very durable electric smoker
#7. 18-1/2 in. Classic Pit Barrel Cooker Package
- Product Dimensions: 21 x 21 x 31.1 inches
- 8 Stainless Steel Hooks
- Standard Grill Grate
The Pit Barrel Cooker is a vertical pellet smoker known for its all-around dynamic heating capacity. This smoker is a classic book 18 ½ inches barrel design smoker that makes it easy to use and produces a consistent result with little hassle. Additionally, you require very minimal assembly to get cooking on this smoker. The porcelain enamel coating of the drum contributes to the durability of the smoker. Pit Barrel did an excellent job in the designing of this smoker by including a sized coal basket for an ideal amount of charcoal for perfect cooking.
Furthermore, this package comes with two hanging rods, eight stainless steel hooks, a hook removal tool, and a standard grill grate. To create a unique vertical cooking experience, place the hanging rod on the grill and hand your meat on it to place it in an all-round dynamic heating zone. As your meat heats up, it drippings drop on the hot charcoal, which vaporizes into a flavorful infused smoke to saturate the meat again. If you do not want to use the smoker’s hook, you can place the grill grate in the smoker, which puts your food in the same all-round heating zone.
- Easy to use and maintain
- Suitable for smoking and grilling
- Long-lasting porcelain enamel coating
- Value for money
- Quite deep and requires a long barbeque glove, so you don’t burn yourself
#8. Dyna-Glo DGX780BDC-D Vertical Charcoal Smoker
- Product Dimensions: 20.83 x 21.45 x 49.73 inches
- BTU: Total 15,000 BTU’s
- Cooking Area: Total 784 square inch
- Stainless temperature gauge
Let’s take this vertical pellet smoker review to the next level with this Dyna-Glo DGX780BDC-D. This Dyna-Glo vertical is a 36 inches cabinet pellet smoker that uses charcoal as its fuel source. If you are looking for a vertical smoker that will offer enough cooking space, then the ample space the Dyna-Glo DGX780BDC-D offers got your back. With its four stainless steel cooking racks, you can get a whopping 784 square inches of smoke.
The design of this Dyna-Glo smoker is such that it comes with two doors, with wire gauge handles. The upper door leads to the main cooking chamber, and the lower one opens to the smokebox. Still on the door of this smoker is a stainless steel temperature gauge with a smoke zone to indicate the ideal temperature for infusing smoke flavor. At the top of the smoker is a chimney that you can use to regulate the smoker’s amount of smoke. The DGX780BDC-D comes to a great charcoal and ash management system as it features a porcelain-enameled charcoal chamber, charcoal grate, and removable ash pan. The excellent design of the charcoal chamber keeps briquettes stacked tightly to help improve its burning efficiency.
- Well sealed smoke cabinet
- Stainless steel thermometer with smoke zone
- Ample cooking area
- Great charcoal and ash management system
- Not very mobile
#9. Masterbuilt MB20070210 Analog Electric Smoker – Best Vertical Electric Smoker
- Product Dimensions: 20 x 21.69 x 40.15 inches
- Analog Electric Smoker
- Push-button ignition
- Built-in temperature gauge
The Masterbuilt MB20070210 analog electric smoker vertical grill suitable for backyard and patio smoking. Like many gas grill, this 30 inches Masterbuilt 20051310 smoker also comes with an incredible amount of cooking space. In this smoker, you get cooking racks that are sufficient for smoking for a small gathering or parties as it features a 717 square inches cooking space spread across four chrome-plated smoking racks. Generally, chrome-plated racks are easier to maintain and clean as they are nonstick and rust-resistant.
This Masterbuilt MB20070210 comes with a porcelain enameled coated wood chip tray and water pan just below the cooking grate. And with a push of a button, the ignition system will start up the fire on the burner of this smoker. The Masterbuilt MB20070210 uses a single stainless steel burner, a type 1 regulator, and a control knob located at the bottom front of the smoker. Still on the door is the built-in temperature gauge with a cool touch wire handle.
- An easy to clean smoker.
- Durable and superb quality for its price
- Easy ignition system
- Built-in temperature gauge
- Not easy to move around
#10. Sunlifer 20.5 Inch Vertical Charcoal Smokers – Best Vertical Smoker Grill Combo
- Product Dimensions: 20.67 x 24.8 x 41.34 inches
- Cooking Area: Total 969 square inches
- Built-in thermometer
Are you contemplating getting either a smoker or a grill? Then get this Sunlifer charcoal smoker and grill combo. Although it looks simple, this Sunlifer smoker is one of those vertical wood smokers suitable for outdoor heavy-duty BBQ smoking. Moreover, the barrel-style design of this Sunlifer smoker gives you the flexibility to use it to roast, braise, bake, steam, grill, and smoke. This Sunlifer charcoal smoker comes with all the basic features you would expect from a charcoal grill like a large capacity charcoal pan, adjustable air vent, ash pan, as well as a top adjustable air vent. You can also use the built-in thermometer for convenience to control the grilling temperature.
For its cooking grate, Sunlifer made this smoker have two layers of chrome-plated cooking grates, which provides a total of 969 square inches of cooking surface spread across the two grates. In other words, you can use this smoker as a complete fire pit, as a one layer smoker grill, or as a two-layer smoker grill. There are also four hooks and a crossbar in the lid that can accommodate different sizes of food. And because you can easily assemble and disassemble this smoker, it makes it easy to transport. Furthermore, there is a latch locking system that uses two clips on both sides of the smoker that makes dismantling this smoker effortless.
- Durable smoker
- Generous cooking grates
- Easy transport
- Flexible multifunctional grill
- Quite expensive to purchase
Buyer’s Guide of Best Vertical Smokers
1. Advantages of Vertical Smokers
A vertical smoker’s major advantages over regular smokers are the ability to offer you all-around heat. Because the source of heat is at the bottom of the smoker, your food would not be in direct contact with heat. Grilling your food using direct heat causes uneven cooking. Additionally, a vertical smoker can create a perfect low heating environment that will lock in the juice and flavor of your food, thereby producing the perfect texture of smoked food.
Vertical smokers are usually massive. If you are looking for something very small, perhaps a tabletop size, then a vertical smoker might not be ideal for you. Aim for vertical smoker measuring at least 18 inches, and at most 36 inches, to get the most out of it. Anything outside this range will be either too small or too big.
Your budget is one of the main factors to consider when getting a vertical smoker. Ideally, having a budget of around $200 can get you a decent charcoal smoker. But if you have an eye out for a gas smoker or an electric smoker, then you should consider having a budget a little higher than that.
Lastly, consider the overall weight of the unit. Although the weight of the smoker can give you a little insight into the quality of the material used in making the smoker, don’t be all about the weight. The heavier a smoker, the harder it would be to move it around.
In conclusion, what we consider the best vertical smokers are relative to individual preferences, provided it is durable, affordable, and flexible. Feel free to get any one of these vertical smokers in this review, be it the charcoal, gas, or electric smoker. One thing that stands out in all the smokers in this review is that you will get the best value out of every penny you spend. Help someone today by sharing your experience with any of these vertical smokers in the comment section below.