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ASMOKE AS350 Review: Does Steam = Better BBQ?

ASMOKE AS350 Review

It’s got an impressive feature list!

More fuel efficient, faster heating, superior build quality, a color controller, and, the fancy ASCA system… All coming in at a lower price than the Traeger Ranger.

But, how does this lesser-known brand really perform?

In this ASMOKE AS350 review, we guide you through everything you need to know about this portable pellet smoker to help you decide if it’s the right choice for you.

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Table of Contents

The Quick Version of our ASMOKE AS350 Review

The ASMOKE AS350 packs a lot of features into it’s great price. And, it’s not all for show.

This little unit is impressively built, using stainless steel for added durability where it’s needed.

It’s reliable and easy to use whether you’re smoking low and slow or searing on it’s 256 square inches of space.

Unlike a lot of the competition, it’s got open-flame grilling to take your steak to the next-level.

Plus, it’s ASCA vapor system lets you add a liquid of your choice to boost moisture content and add a unique flavor. But, what the ASCA also gives you is easier cleaning. The cooling vapor will push excess ash through the ducts for you to remove from the slide out drawer.

The AS350 is a neat little smoker that’s great to use and an awesome option for anyone who want to be able to smoke and grill without compromise.

A Bit About ASMOKE and the AS350

ASMOKE aren’t the biggest pellet smoker manufacturer out there.

They were born out of a passion for barbecue and a drive to change the game because, why strive for ordinary?!?

The AS350 is ASMOKE’s update of their original AS300 portable pellet smoker (you can read our AS300 review here).

It’s a tabletop or briefcase-style of portable smoker that’s compact, sturdy and capable of smoking, grilling, braising, baking, roasting and cooking pretty much anything.

The AS350 has a whole heap of stand-out features like improved fuel efficiency, faster heating, better build materials, and, their patented ASCA system. Using this, you can add liquid (think water, sauces or whiskey) to your cook to create a totally new flavor while keeping your meat even more tender.

It’s an effective set-up. And, because of this, ASMOKE has grown quite an impressive following of die-hard users who are enjoying life on the go with a belly full of great food.

Features of the ASMOKE AS350 Portable Pellet Smoker

Construction:

  • Stainless steel componenets
  • Porcelain-coated cooking grates
  • Color LED digital control panel
  • 256 square inches of cooking space
  • 4 pound pellet hoppe

Ease of use:

  • Precise PID temperature controller
  • ASCA System lets you add liquid of choice for added flavor, faster cook, and, easier cleanup
  • Sliding plate for open flame grilling
  • Prime function for faster heating
  • Patented air duct system distributes temperature evenly
  • Hopper clicks closed and lid latches for secure traveling

Included extras:

  • 1 meat probe

Build Quality

The build quality of the AS350 is very impressive compared to similarly priced portable smokers.

You’re looking at a powder-coated shell with stainless steel components where you need a little extra (like the firepot and heat deflector), a gasket to keep the smoke in, and, ultra durable porcelain-coated grates.

It’s solid, it’s well put together and it’s strong enough to withstand life on the road.

What really is a bonus for a portable pellet smoker is that not only does the cooking chamber lid latch, but, the hopper also clicks shut so there’s no way for the pellets to spill out if you pick up the whole unit to move it.

At 47 pounds, the AS350 is one of the lighter portable pellet smokers. But, it’s definitely not flimsy.

Capacity

Naturally, the tabletop style of pellet smoker doesn’t hold a huge amount of meat.

The AS350 gives you 256 square inches of cooking space over 2 racks. The bottom larger grate holds 191.4 square inches and the top, 64.6 square inches.

How much meat can you actually smoke on there?

You’re looking at a single rack of ribs or 8 burger patties. But, it’s extra deep lid gives you the height you need to smoke larger cuts too like a Boston butt or a smaller turkey.

The hopper on the AS350 is on the smaller side, even for a tabletop smoker. It holds up to 4 pounds of pellets.

But, because of the ASCA System, the AS350 is more efficient than other pellet smokers.

They estimate you’ll use 20% less pellets than you would on a similarly sized smoker. So, you’ll get longer out of your 4 pounds of pellets.

ASMOKE even specify a burn rate of 0.3 pounds per hour when smoking low and slow. And, up to 1 pound of pellets per hour when you’re grilling at it’s max of 500°F.

From our experience, I wouldn’t bank quite as high as 0.3lbs/hr. But, you should get 6 hours + low and slow on a full hopper before you need a refill.

Smoking Performance

Smoking on the AS350 is simple and the results you get from this thing are on par with a much more expensive unit.

The only complaint we have is that it seems to run a little hotter than the controller says. We estimate to be about 5-10°F. So, it’s nothing major. But, we do tend to adjust our target based on this.

The PID controller does a great job of keeping the temperature steady. It works well in different weather conditions. And, the temperture seems to run evenly throughout.

In terms of the ASCA System that ASMOKE talk so much about, it’s fun to be able to play with adding more and different flavors.

Adding wine, whiskey, or even your thinner sauces do add a noticeable flavor to your meat. But, in terms of tenderness, well, pellet smokers are pretty good at keeping the moisture in so we wouldn’t buy it for the ‘more moist’ benefit alone.

The AS350 does come with 1 meat probe that plugs into the control panel. Simply use that and you shouldn’t be overcooking or drying out your meats anyway.

Grilling Performance

One thing we feel that ASMOKE under-promote is their open flame grilling.

There is a lever at the side that slides the heat deflector open so that you get the flames from the pellet fire pushing through to your grate.

It boosts the heat for way better grilling. And, it gives you that open flame flavor you just can’t beat.

Most tabletop pellet smokers are advertised as being suitable for grilling (and they are!). But, open flame is next-level good and the AS350 is one of the only smaller, portable models out there that gives you that.

Included and Optional Extras

With your ASMOKE AS350 you’ll get 1 meat probe included.

This plugs directly into the control panel to give you up to date reading on the internal temperature of your meat.

If you’re storing it outside, a cover will help to protect it from the elements. Other than that, grab a bag of pellets and you’re good to go.

Yes, you can use any brand of pellets (see our favorites here). But, the ASMOKE one’s are good too.

Cleaning the ASMOKE AS350

Cleaning the AS350 is a job made easier thanks to the ASCA vapor system.

After the grill has cooled down, any remaining steam works it’s way through the ducts, pushing with it any excess ash. After that, simply remove the ash tray, empty and replace.

You’ll also need to scrape down the grates and empty the grease bucker like you would on any other barbecue. And, the heat deflector will need a scrape down every few uses.

Warranty

ASMOKE give you a 5 year warranty. That’s particularly impressive for a portable smoker as most other brands max out at about 3 years.

Customer service has a good reputation if anything does go wrong. But, you do get that peace of mind you might be looking for when buying a less-mainstream brand.

What We Like and Don't Like About the AS350

Pros of the AS350

  • Reliable temperature control with even distribution throughout
  • Efficient pellet usage saves money
  • Great quality build with stainless steel components for extra durability
  • Nice color LED control panel
  • Open flame grilling! Thanks to the sliding heat diffuser plate
  • ASCA System lets you play with the flavor more by adding liquids of your choice
  • Includes 1 meat probe
  • Great warranty

Cons of the AS350

  • Limited capacity, especially if you don’t want to use the top rack
  • No WiFi
  • Smaller pellet hopper will need refills on longer smokes. And, like most tabletop models, you’ll have to open the cooking chamber lid to add more pellets

Specs for the ASMOKE AS350

Barbecue type: Portable wood pellet grill and smoker

Barbecue material: Steel and stainless steel

Grate material:  Porcelain-coated cast iron

Cooking capacity: 256 sq. in.

Pellet hopper capacity: 4 lbs

Heat Range: 180-500°F

WiFi: No

Fuel type: Wood pellets

Price guide: $$

Model: AS350

Assembled size (in): 16″H x 24.4”W x 17.5”D

Weight: 47 lbs

Warranty: 5 years

FAQs About the ASMOKE AS350

Q. Do I need to use ASMOKE pellets in the AS350?

No. You can use any quality smoking pellet in the AS350. The ASMOKE pellets are great. Or, see our favorites here.

Q. What type of power do I need to run the ASMOKE AS350?

The AS350 comes with a standard 110-120V power cord. To run it off your car battery, you’ll need an inverter. This Traeger one works well with it.

Q. How do you get pellets out of the hopper on the AS350?

There’s no pellet release on tabletop smokers. You simply have to run the pellets through. There is a click-tight latch on the hopper door to stop the pellets from falling out while you’re moving it.

Q. What’s the difference between the AS300 and AS350?

The AS300 is the earlier version of the AS350. The newer AS350 has the ASCA vapor system where you can add liquid for different flavor, more moisture, faster cooking and easier cleanup. It’s also a little more fuel efficient. They are both the same size.

Should I Buy the ASMOKE AS350?

If you’re looking for a portable, tabletop style pellet smoker, the ASMOKE AS350 is a great option.

It’s very well-built with the benefit of having stainless steel internals, including the firepot and heat deflector. The PID temperature controller is reliable, it uses slightly less pellets than the competition, and, it gives you that unbeatable option to flame-grill instead of trying to sear in what’s like a really hot oven.

Yes, you’re limited in what you can cook on the AS350 because tabletop smokers are small. But, if you choose taller cuts you can feed quite a few in one smoke. And, if it’s just for a couple, it’s much more efficient than running a larger grill.

The hopper is on the smaller side too. I like to add more pellets when I open to wrap or unwrap so I’m not losing heat when I don’t need to.

And, there’s no WiFi. If you want more remote control, check out the Green Mountain Trek. Or, you could pair the AS350 with a MEATER so you can monitor your progress, record and be notified when it’s time to eat.

Overall, it’s a solid unit that works well and is durable enough to handle it’s portable life.

When you consider the price too, it’s great value for money and hard to beat when in a smoker of this type.

Not Quite What You Were Looking For?

Z Grills 200A

  • Lower price
  • Larger cooking and hopper capacity
  • Quality, durable build

Green Mountain Grills Trek

  • WiFi controller
  • Stainless steel components
  • Comes with everything you need to run off 12V or 120V power

Pit Boss Sportsman Portable

  • Larger cooking and hopper capacity
  • Still has stainless steel components
  • Direct flame grilling as well