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Summer is a time for BBQs with friends and family. However, if you are a ‘smoker’ then there is a world of possibilities with ‘low and slow’ barbecue smoking, which can be enjoyed at any time of the year. Don’t be confused, this is not barbecuing as you know it.
If you are just starting and want to learn more about ‘smoking’ and how it differs from the UK’s traditional summer BBQ method known as grilling, or want to know, what meat smokers are? Then check out our post barbeque smokers, a beginner’s insight into the awesome world of smoking.
With many ‘smokers’ on the market, it can be difficult to make the right choice of barbecue smoker that is suitable for you, especially if you are new to ‘smoking’ or on a budget.
Be sure though once you’ve got a smoker, the food possibilities are endless, try different woods, different rubs, different meats, cheeses, etc. The list can go on and on.
Best Barbecue Smokers
If you don’t have much time, use the link below to quickly find out my ‘Top Pick’ for a ‘Barbecue Smoker’ available for you on Amazon. You can be assured we only recommend products based on our research, product quality, usability, and value for money… ‘Best Overall’ CosmoGrill XXL Charcoal Smoker Barbecue
Last update on 2023-12-04
The CosmoGrill XXL barbecue smoker is the perfect solution for beginners and those wanting to try ‘smoking’ for the first time.
It’s a smoker, it’s a grill, it’s a BBQ, so if you looking for the perfect companion for your outdoor gatherings? Look no further than the CosmoGrill XXL Charcoal Smoker Barbecue.
With its generously sized grilling area, you can cook burgers, and sausages at the same time, as ‘grilling’ or ‘smoking’ whole chickens, wings, steaks, fish, ribs, and much more.
While an accurate, integrated ‘hood’ thermometer allows precise temperature readings in both Fahrenheit and Celsius, I also found one of the other key features of the CosmoGrill XXL is its temperature control.
The Cosmogrill temperature gauge allows you to cook to perfection, while the chimney and adjustable air vents facilitate a better flow of heat and smoke for the optimum flame-grilled flavour. The height-adjustable coal tray features a stainless steel handle with four settings to accommodate the right amount of heat required. This means that you can easily adjust the temperature to suit your cooking needs and achieve the perfect grill every time.
In addition to temperature control, users of the CosmoGrill have the added bonus of variable heat distribution around the grill. This enables you to cook different meats or vegetables with different requirements at the same time, while the enamelled cast iron grill plates provide you with better heat retention, food flavour, durability, and versatility.
The provision of a warming rack keeps the food warm once it’s cooked, and a door at the front of the barbecue smoker allows for the easy movement of coals without having to touch the grill. This gives you greater control over your grilling experience and ensures that you can cook multiple dishes at once, without having to worry about any of them getting burnt or overcooked.
The powder-coated steel construction (although some users noted some slight paint ‘bubbling’) of the CosmoGrill XXL Charcoal Smoker Barbecue is designed with your needs in mind. It comes with a bottle opener and four hooks to hang your utensils. The removable grill plates and ash pan make it easy to clean, while the spacious but foldable side tables make it easy to store when not in use. Two castor wheels also allow for quick transportation, so you can easily move the barbecue around your outdoor space to find the perfect spot for cooking.
Being quite compact, but with no cover supplied the CosmoGrill XXL Charcoal Smoker measures just 55in (L) x 18in (W) x 43in (H) (142cm x 46cm x 111cm), with both side shelves up. The large cooking area measures 28in x 16in (72 x 42cm).
Coming with a waterproof cover, when not in use, and a 1-year warranty, the barbecue/smoker arrives flat-packed and will require assembly. However, assembly is easy, and the easy-to-follow instructions are included.
In conclusion, the CosmoGrill XXL Charcoal Smoker Barbecue is the perfect addition to your outdoor setup. With its temperature control, variable heat distribution, and easy-to-clean design, you can achieve the perfect grill every time.
Are you a ‘beginner’ eager to try out ‘smoking’ or grilling at home in the garden? Are you looking for a charcoal grill and barbecue smoker combo that will not break the bank, compared to other, more expensive offset smokers?
Then the great-looking Royal Gourmet Charcoal Grill and Smoker is possibly an excellent cheaper option to consider if you have answered yes to the questions above.
This grill/smoker has received many high ratings and positive reviews from users, making it a first-time choice for many. Although it would seem, some negative reviews have also been made around the quality and longevity of the product.
This ‘combined’ smoker and grille gives you great flexibility though, as the ‘offset smoker’ is firmly attached to the grille to provide excellent circulation of smoke and heat, users can grill and smoke meat at the same time. Some users have found that the top’s ‘seal’ is not the best when smoking and grilling as some smoke does leak out. This smoke leakage though should not adversely affect your end result.
This great grill/smoker has various large cooking surfaces, totalling around 800 sq in / (5000sq cm), which is a huge amount of space, to say the least. Not often seen on more expensive grilles, the main grill has porcelain-enamelled steel wire cooking grates that retain heat and sear foods beautifully. This combined with a 2-position ‘adjustable’ charcoal pan enables users to raise or lower the pan and in doing so control the grille temperature.
To ensure you grill to perfection each time, a built-in thermometer (readings in both Fahrenheit and Celsius), located on the lid, lets you easily monitor the internal temperature while cooking. Furthermore, slide-type air vents located on the side of the drum, control airflow and in turn the charcoal/heat source, allowing for more consistent grilling.
A little extra thought has also gone into the ‘construction’ of the Royal Gourmet grill/smoker, to make life that much simpler when smoking or grilling. Scald-proof handles, an easy-to-dump ‘ashes’ tray, and two (2) durable wheels designed for easy transport/maneuverability, all make your grilling life just that little bit easier.
In addition to the features already highlighted, the Royal Gourmet is also equipped with two foldable side tables that provide ample space for both food preparation and storage or placement of cooked foods which is another bonus.
Offering a 12-month warranty only though, the Royal Gourmet is generally easy to assemble for those with some DIY knowledge, however, it does come with clear instructions on how to put it together.
The Sunlifer Charcoal Grill 3-1 Barbecue Smoker is a vertical charcoal smoker, that can use either charcoal or wood as its fuel and is another super entry-level smoker/grill. You get a lot of grilling and smoking options for the price.
The SUNLIFER Charcoal Barbecue Grill is a fantastic addition to any home that loves to smoke and grill. This product has been designed with the user in mind, and it comes with several unique features that make it stand out from other grills on the market.
Initially, although it says the Sunlifer is a 3-1 charcoal grill it could be a 4 -1 option for users! It can be a great vertical charcoal/wood smoker, which is a popular cooking method that allows food to be preserved longer. The Sunlifer can be used for either cold or hot smoking.
Another option is a single ‘barbeque grill’ and if you need it, users can break the Sunlifer down even further making 2 smaller barbeque grills, and for those chiller months your Sunlifer can be adapted to be used as ‘a firepit’. So the Sunlifer has great flexibility at a very low cost.
Standing just 35in (H) x 16in (D) – (89 cm x 43 cm) although there is a larger model available, the Sunlifer has a large cooking area that provides 453 sq in (2922 sq cm), of cooking space. With two (2) large cooking grates, you can smoke or grill meat or vegetables at the same time. With the included crossbar and four hangers in the lid, you are able to smoke different sizes and shapes of meat simultaneously, making it ideal for large groups of people, and perfect for outdoor parties and events.
Another, plus is its durable construction, made from heavy-duty steel and sporting a heat-resistant handle, the grill/smoker is designed to withstand extreme temperatures and weather conditions, ensuring that it lasts for a long time.
When cooking and grilling food, ‘temperature’ is important to control. One of the standout features of this charcoal grill/smoker is the built-in thermometer with its detailed temperature scale and adjustable airflow located on the lid. This can simplify both setting and maintaining the internal cooking temperature for better temperature control.
Another great little feature is the access doors. The Sunlifer has two (2), which allow you to check the food status and add charcoal, wood, or pellets without removing the whole grill layer, which can cause heat loss, which is a bonus. Using these access doors offers greater flexibility and convenience to the user when grilling or smoking.
Some users found the initial assembly, difficult and instruction could be better. But generally once assembled, the assembling and disassembling of the Sunlifer for transportation, cleaning, or moving the unit around the garden are a breeze with the latch-locking system a small but well-placed feature, that just makes life a little easier.
I am unable to determine any warranty period if any, over and above the standard 12 months for this product. However, with its temperature control, multifunctionality, access doors, large cooking space, and portability the Sunlifer BBQ Charcoal Grill remains a strong contender for a practical budgeted solution to your home and garden for all your grilling and smoking needs at a price that is hard to ignore.
For those enthusiasts wanting to step up in quality and of course price for their smoker/grill then the Tepro 1087 Biloxi Offset Barrel Smoker is one to consider as a possible choice.
You can cook your food in the traditional BBQ style directly over a hotbed of coals on a ‘grill’ surface, or smoke your food to smoky perfection in the heat and smoke of a wood fire. The Tepros BBQ special smoker design makes this possible.
Known as an offset smoker-designed barbecue, the Tepro’s smaller, lower-lying smoking/grill chamber simply allows heat and smoke (once a wood fire is lit) to build from the burning wood or pellets in this small chamber.
This smoke/heat rises and enters the main cooking chamber where your food is located, this is where the magic happens, cooking your food slowly to smoky perfection at a low temperature of between 176°F – 266 °F (80° to 130° C.)
The Tepro comes flat-packed (some users found assembly difficult) but when assembled the Tepro Biloxi measures around 50in (L) x 25in (W) x 50in (H) – (126cm x 63cm x 126cm) and is ‘trolly’ mounted on large ‘steel’ wheels for mobility. When all fitted together the working height is around 34in (86cm)
The main grill barrel and smoke/small grill box are well constructed from 1mm thick steel with a heat-resistant finish, suitable for temperatures reaching around 660° F (350° C) which is ideal, as we should not see any ‘peeling’ of paint due to high temperatures as we often see on cheaper models. In the lid of the main barrel, you will also find a ‘chimney vent’ and a built-in thermometer marked in both ° F and ° C scale, to help ensure your food is cooked to perfection.
The main grilling/smoking chamber totals an area of 23in (W) x 16in (D) – (58cm x 40 cm) which is made up of 2 x removable enamelled cooking grids, each measuring 11.5in (D) x 15.5in (W) – (29cm x 40cm). The main cooking area is completed with the provision of a removable chrome-plated warming rack of 23in (W) x 8in (D) – 58cm x 21cm.
The side grill/smoking chamber can provide an additional small grilling area if needed. This additional grilling area is 13 in (W) x 12in (D) – 33cm x 31cm, it also has 2 x removable enamelled cooking grids, each measuring 6.5in (W) x 12.5in (D) – (29cm x 40cm).
Temperature/cooking can be controlled by the adjustable side air vent, and or by adjusting the height of the charcoal bed which is a good feature.
I was unable to ascertain any extended warranty from the manufacturer over and above the standard UK consumer rights laws.
However, the Tepro Biloxi Offset BBQ Pit Barrel Smoker is a great investment for anyone who loves to barbecue. Its durable construction, large cooking surface, and easy-to-use design make it the perfect addition to any garden or patio.
Stuck for space outside, but want to smoke? Do you have a table or hard-level surface available in your backyard or garden? Then the ProQ Food Smoking Cabinet could definitely be for you. It is a great smoking chamber for beginners and regular users alike.
Only for outdoor use and used for cold smoking using the ProQ Cold Smoke Generator, which is inserted at the bottom of the unit. This generator utilises real wood to produce cool smoke for up to 10 hours for the smoker cabinet.
Standing just 62 cm (H) x 31 cm (W) x 31 cm (D) – 24.5in (H) x 12 in (W) x 12 in (D) this ‘mini smoker’ weighing about 7.4kg (16lbs) is made totally from high-grade weather-resistant galvanised steel, with a magnetic locking door.
The smoker has a 60L volume, is quick to put together with little effort, and is easy to clean and maintain, a super little smoker which has enough space to hang fish, smoke 2-3Kg (4.4lbs-6.6lbs) of cheese, and is perfect for smoking your bacon, meat and much more.
Due to its build (galvanised steel), the unit is impervious to the weather when left outside, so a cover is not essential. However, you may want to purchase one just to cover over the ProQ and keep it clean. The smoker includes 3 removable stainless steel grills for easy cleaning, but no hooks are supplied for hanging.
To provide purchasers with an assurance of the quality of their products ProQ provides a 10-year limited warranty for this smoker.
Ideal for beginners wanting to try their hand at smoking, in addition to traditional BBQ grilling. The Callow Charcoal Smoker BBQ is a vertical bullet smoker, suitable for the preparation of food using the smoking method (Hot & Cold) grilled (BBQ), and or an indirect cooking method.
The Callow smoker/grill is a flexible ‘stackable’ smoker/grill, as many bullet smokers are today, with dimensions of 89 cm (H) x 36 cm (W) – (35in x 14in). These dimensions combined with its stackability give the smoker a large capacity in which to cook food.
Looking at the build quality of this smoker/bbq, it is good for the money, considering it is under £100. It’s constructed from high-density 0.9mm powder-coated carbon steel, providing excellent thermal properties for long, slow cooking.
The thickness of the steel helps to ensure that the temperature inside the smoker is consistently maintained.
The Callow smoker itself is composed of the smoker hood, the smoker barrel body, and the smoker bottom bowl, plus supporting feet, all the individual parts are securely connected by four stainless steel locks. The smoker/bbq bottom bowl as mentioned, is a large, 1gal (4.5L) capacity water bowl, at the bottom of the unit (to help temperature stabilisation) which can be easily monitored and topped up during BBQ grilling if required.
The built-in thermometer (which has been replaced by a more accurate one, due to several complaints by purchasers about the previous model’s accuracy) located in the hood is of good quality and provides accurate readings, even though it’s only in ° C not ° F as most thermometers seem to be. Accurate temperature readings identify the perfect cooking/smoking temperature. The four adjustable air vents in the base and two vents in the lid of the smoker improve airflow and temperature control, making it easier to get perfectly cooked/smoked food.
The smoker/grill also features two access points for meat thermometer probes, making it easy to check on your food without removing the lid. The hinged door on the front of the body provides easy access to the water and charcoal pans, allowing you to top up the water and charcoal as needed without losing heat/smoke.
The simple structure of the smoker makes it easy to use and highly efficient, making it an ideal choice for beginners and experts alike. After you’re finished cooking/smoking, the lid can be clipped out of the way on one of the heat-resistant handles.
Finally, this charcoal Smoker/BBQ grill comes complete with two cooking grates and a smoking rack, together with 6 hooks for smoking sausages, fish, or ribs, so you can choose how and what you want to smoke. If you choose to leave your unit outdoors, or when it’s stored away, your Callow Charcoal Smoker BBQ Grill, has a weatherproof cover included with the unit.
Again, I was unable to ascertain any extended warranty from the manufacturer over and above the standard UK consumer rights laws.
The Callow Charcoal BBQ Smoker/Grill can be an excellent choice for anyone looking for a high-quality smoker that offers great value for money. Its durable build, adjustable air vents, and meat thermometer access points make it stand out from its competitors.
This 3 in 1 barbecue smoker, roaster, and grill provide great performance while giving great tasting results.
The ‘Big Easy’ is a gas (LPG) unit, equipped with TRU-Infrared technology, which prevents flare-ups that can often burn food.
The ‘Big Easy’ delivers even heat to all areas for perfect cooking results and up to 50% juicer food, whilst also using less gas to cook – up to 30% less gas to be more precise.
Standing at 92cm (H) x 59cm (W) – (3ft x 1ft 9in) the Big Easy is not a small unit, but it is solidly built.
Ignition of the gas is just with a single click via a rotary switch located on the side of the unit, a single turn of a knob is all that is required to get this barbecue smoker going. Adjacent to the ignitor is the simple temperature control (High – Low).
Once up and running, cook without the extra fat, or smoke meat, roast chicken, or grill steaks without oil all is possible with the ‘Big Easy’.
Food can be grilled (BBQ) in the traditional way using the easy-to-clean porcelain-coated top grate.
Roasting and indirect cooking of meat, poultry, and ribs, (up to 11kg – 24lbs) for example, can be done with no oil, when used together with the cooking basket and adjustable racks and hooks (supplied) inside the unit. A grease tray located at the bottom of the unit catches any grease you may have from your cooking process.
The ‘Big Easy’ also has a convenient smoking box, where you can add a ‘real-wood’ smoked flavour to your food, by adding wood chips or pellets to the box directly.
This 3-1 gas barbecue smoker, comes with a manufacturer’s 2-year warranty, and cooks food quickly, cleanly, and conveniently and with the minimum of fuss. Temperatures can be checked with the supplied temperature thermometer to ensure your food is cooked to perfection.
Take a look at this short video showing the Big Easy in action. It will provide you with some further insight into this great barbecue smoker.
One single addition you may want to consider is the Char-Broil Big Easy Cover, which protects the unit when not in use.
Bring the ultimate outdoor cooking and smoking experience to your home with the Z Grills ZPG-450A Wood Pellet Grill.
Firstly, the grill’s dimensions are 45in (L) x 49in (H) x 28in (W) – (114cm x 125cm x 71 cm), which makes it a reasonably sized unit, and it weighs around 84lb – (38 kg), which is relatively lightweight for a grill of this size.
The grill features a hopper capacity of 15lb (7kg), which is ample space to hold enough pellets to cook for several hours.
One of the things that set this grill apart from the others is the digital temperature control, which allows users to set and maintain the desired temperature with ease.
Equipped with a PID controller, the Z Grills 450A maintains a precise temperature throughout your cook and takes the guesswork out of cooking, and lets you create deliciously consistent meals every time.
The grill’s temperature range is between 180°F to 450°F, (82°C – 232°C) which gives the users the flexibility to cook a wide variety of foods, including meats, vegetables, and even pizza.
The grill also comes with a large grilling area of 450 sq in – (2900 sq cm), which is perfect for cooking for a large group of people. The grates are made from porcelain-coated cast iron, which not only gives them a sleek look but also makes them durable and easy to clean.
A barbecue smoker is a cooking appliance used to smoke and cook meat and other food items.
It works by producing smoke, which cooks the food at a low temperature over a long period of time. The main components of a smoker are a firebox, a cooking chamber, and a chimney.
Some smokers use wood as their fuel source, while others use charcoal or propane.
There are several types of barbecue smokers, including offset, vertical, drum, and pellet smokers.
Offset smokers have a separate firebox and cooking chamber, while vertical smokers have the firebox directly underneath the cooking chamber.
Drum smokers are shaped like a ‘drum’ and use charcoal or wood as their fuel source, while pellet smokers use compressed wood pellets as their fuel source and have a digital controller that regulates temperature and smoke production.
Using a barbecue smoker can have several benefits, including enhancing the flavour of the meat, making it more tender, and reducing the amount of fat in the meat.
Smokers cook meat at a low temperature over a long period of time, which allows the smoke to penetrate the meat and infuse it with flavor.
This also breaks down the connective tissues in the meat, making it more tender. Additionally, the low cooking temperature means that less fat is rendered out of the meat, making it a healthier option than other cooking methods.
Whether you want to grill (BBQ) in the traditional way, smoke meat, poultry, cheese, nuts or just about anything you want to try. We are sure you will find that any of the above barbecue smokers will do the trick. Above all enjoy your grill/smoker and don’t be afraid to experiment with different foods or wood flavours in your smoker.