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Best Smoker for Cold Weather? You Can BBQ All Year!

10-Seconds on the Best Smoker for Cold Weather

Insulated and automated pellet, digital charcoal or electric smokers are the easiest types of smokers to run in really cold conditions.

Our Favorite Smoker for Cold Weather - Z Grills Multitasker

When you really love barbecue, that hankering for some low and slow, falling off the bone meat doesn’t just disappear when the weather starts to get cooler…

And while you can do the whole welding blanket, hot water insulator, home built warm box for your ‘really wasn’t built for winter’ smoker, you can also just buy one that’s going to work without all the extra hassle.

Here we’ve listed the best smokers for cold weather.

These are suitable for cold weather smoking without having to build your barbecue extra shelters. They shouldn’t need constant babysitting while you stand out in the cold. The fuel consumption shouldn’t be absolutely through the roof. And, you shouldn’t even need a thermal blanket.

These smokers aren’t listed in any particular order. They’re all great to use when the temperature drops, it’s been raining for weeks on end, there’s a howling wind or you’re knee deep in snow.

We’ve included a few different fuel types so you can choose your weapon of choice. And, there’s a few different price points too.

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Table of Contents

Our Recommendations for the Best Cold Weather Smokers

The smokers we have recommended here can all be used during cold weather without a thermal blanket.

Obviously the colder it gets, the harder any smoker will have to work to stay up at temperature. But, by choosing one of these models you’re starting from the best possible position.

All of the smokers listed here have automatic temperature control except for the Kamado Joe Classic II which is manually operated.

Yes, you can and many people do, smoke on an uninsulated, manual smoker like the Weber Smoky Mountain or an Oklahoma Joe Highland. But, getting good results on these smokers in really cold weather is challenging. It can be done but we’d only recommend it if you’ve got a fair bit of smoking experience under your belt and don’t mind that you’ll need to be tending to that fire a lot.

Because of that, the cold weather smokers you’ll find here are recommended because they’re the easiest options out there that’ll give you good and repeatable results in a wide range of weather conditions.

And, of course you can use these come summertime too!

Traeger Timberline

The Traeger Timberline is our favorite pellet grill for cold weather cooking. This beast has so many features that help it to excel in chilly conditions.

There’s complete dual-wall construction and a gasket that runs along the entire rim of the cooking chamber door. Together, these provide excellent insulation so the heat stays in and the cold stays out.

This is the number one thing you should be looking for in a cold weather smoker!

But, powering it you’ve also got Traeger’s top of the line D2 temperature controller with Smart Combustion™ technology. This keeps your grill within a few degrees of your target temperature at all times.

And, although you might see some larger swings if you’re smoking in freezing conditions, it’s remarkably impressive. Once it’s on you really don’t need to do a thing. Which leads us to the next point, WiFi.

You might use the sweet color touchscreen panel for summer grilling. But, when you’d prefer to be inside in the warm, throw the included 2 MEATER wireless meat probes in your meat and use Traeger’s WiFire connectivity to give you full remote control of your smoker.

Check the ambient temperature of your grill, change smoke settings and watch your cook progress all without having to brave the cold for one minute.

There’s a pellet sensor which will tell you when it’s time to refill your hopper (although with it’s huge 22 pound capacity you shouldn’t need to mid-cook).

You even get one of Traeger’s StayDRY Pellet Storage Bins so you can make sure your pellets stay 100% dry for the most optimal burn.

You really get everything you could possibly need for cold weather smoking on the Traeger Timberline. And, there’s other things like an induction cooktop, internal cook lights, a storage cart and removable magnetic bamboo cutting board which gives you the complete setup for those warmer summer months.

In terms of size, there’s two options in the Timberline series. You’ve got the regular 880 square inch or the XL 1,320 square inch, both spread across 3 layers of stainless steel grates. Either way you go, the Timberline gives you plenty of space to make sure that your winter smokers are worth it.

It’s the complete package for effortless cold weather smoking!

Specs for the Traeger Timberline / Timberline XL

Barbecue material: Powder-coated steel

Grate material: Stainless steel

Cooking capacity: 880 / 1,320 square inches

Pellet hopper capacity: 22 lbs

Temperature range: 160°F – 500°F

WiFi: Yes

Fuel type: Wood pellets

Model: TBB86RLG / TBB01RLG

Price guide: $$$$$

Dimensions: 59″ W x 51″ H x 25″ D / 71″ W x 51″ H x 25″ D

Weight: 289 lbs

Warranty: 10 years

Pros of the Traeger Timberline for Smoking in Cold Weather

  • Fully Insulated Body: The Timberline is built with a double-wall design and full gasket seal. These give excellent heat retention, reduce the strain on the digital controller and improve fuel efficiency for lower running costs.
  • Precise Temperature Control: With Traeger’s top of the line digital controller, the Timberline effortlessly maintains a constant temperature, even in really cold conditions.
  • Wi-Fire Remote Control: Traegers WiFi app, WiFire lets you view, monitor and change any of your smoker settings via your smartphone or tablet. You even get 2 of the best completely wireless MEATER probes that work with WiFire to see how your meat is progressing from the one app.
  • Excellent Quality: Being the top of the line Traeger, the Timberline is extremely well built and comes with an industry leading 10 year warranty.
  • Endless Other Great Features: Yes it’s great for smoking in cold weather. But, there’s also an induction cooktop, a full storage cart, side shelf, bamboo cutting board and Traeger’s P.A.L. Pop-And-Lock® Accessory Rail which lets you completely customize your setup, creating the ultimate outdoor kitchen like setup for summer grilling too.

Cons of the Traeger Timberline for Smoking in Cold Weather

  • It’s Expensive: Being Traeger’s top of the line model, the Timberline isn’t going to fit everyone’s budget. We feel that it’s features are well worth it’s cost. But, the next level down Traeger Ironwood offers a lot of the same great cold weather smoking features at a lower cost. Or, check out our full review of the best pellet grills for cold weather.

Z Grills Multitasker

If the price of the Traeger’s just isn’t in your budget but you still want the fully body insulation and the WiFi so you can operate your pellet smoker from the comfort of the warm couch, the Z Grills Multitasker is a top choice!

Now, the quality isn’t quite up there the same as Traeger. And, there’s a few extras you’re not getting. But, if what you want is smoky pulled pork, pull apart ribs or a whole heap of burnt ends to devour on a cold a bleak day, this smoker will give you just that and, it’ll do it really well.

So, what are you look at with the Z Grills Multitasker?

You’ve got a choice of two sizes; the 709 square inch 7052B or the larger 1,068 square inch 11002B. But, both of these cold weather smokers are essentially the same.

They’ve both got a huge 28 pound pellet hopper that can smoke for more than 24 hours without needing a refill. The insulated body and lid is matched with a gasket that runs the length of the cooking chamber lid for an even better seal. The Z Grills Digital PID controller sticks to your target like a boss! And, there’s WiFi with 2 included meat probes too so you can monitor and operate your grill from anywhere with an internet connection.

Just like the Traeger you’ve got a prime button to help your smoker get up to temp faster. And, there’s Super Smoke mode from an even smoky wood-fired flavor.

Incredible value for money, the Multitasker effortlessly delivering consistent heat and extraordinary flavor, even in the harshest cold conditions.

Specs for the Z Grills ZPG 7052B / 11002B Pellet Smoker

Barbecue material: Powder-coated steel

Grate material:  Porcelain-coated steel

Cooking capacity: 709 / 1,068 sq. in.

Pellet hopper capacity: 28 lbs

Heat Range: 160-500°F

WiFi: Yes

Fuel type: Wood pellets

Model: 7052B / 11002B Multitasker

Assembled size (in): 45 L × 32 W × 47 H / 57 L × 32 W × 47 H

Weight: 163 / 192 lbs

Warranty: 3 years

Pros of the Z Grills Multitasker

  • Full Body Insulation: The double wall design of the Multitasker locks the heat in and keeps the cold out. There’s even a gasket along the edge of the cooking chamber lid to give an even better seal for the ultimate in cold weather protection.
  • PID Temperature Control: The Z Grills PID controller does an excellent job of sticking really close to your target temperature throughout your cook and doesn’t mind a bit of a chill or some pesky wind thrown at it. It’s also got a prime function to boost the temperature quickly after opening the lid and Super Smoke mode for more control over your flavor.
  • Wi-Fi Connectivity: Connect your smartphone or tablet to your grill to change the settings and watch your cook progress with the 2 included meat probes from the warm of inside of your house.
  • Decent Quality: Z Grills is a cheaper pellet smoker. But, the quality, especially of this top of the line Multitasker is still pretty impressively decent. Ours has been going for years in all sorts of weather with no problems.
  • Large Capacity: The Multitasker is available in 2 different sizes to suit your needs but both have a huge pellet hopper that shouldn’t need refilling during long mid-winter cooks. 

Cons of the Z Grills Multitasker

  • App Difficulties: The app can be tricky to set up but is alright to use once you’ve done the one time stuff.
  • Only 2 Probe Ports: There’s only 2 probe ports for monitoring up to 2 cuts of meat at a time. If you want to monitor more than this, you’ll have to use a separate wireless meat thermometer.

Grilla Grills Grilla OG

Another step down price-wise from the Z Grills above is this unique looking pellet smoker, the Grilla Grills Grilla OG.

Grilla Grills tried to make something that stood out from the crowd. And, while the conical design definitely does that, the shape does more than just look different, it’s great for cold weather smoking.

The first thing that Grilla did is used a double-wall design for this smoker. Like the other smokers in this review, this helps to hold the heat inside and keep the cold out for effective insulation during winter smoking sessions.

But, the circular design of the cooking chamber also means that you can swing the door around to have a little peek at what’s going on inside. You don’t have to open the whole thing up, letting out valuable hot air.

The Alpha Connect WiFi controller with EvenTemp Chamber really does produce the claimed consistent heat level in all sorts of weather. But, you actually get to select if you want to use the more precisely controlled PID mode or the original controller which allows the heat to fluctuate more to boost smoke levels, giving your meat that much more flavor.

The WiFi capability means you can fully operate the Grilla OG from inside your house. The app works well and integrates with the included meat probe.

On the negatives side, the only thing we really need to point out is something you’ve probably already guessed, the Grilla OG doesn’t have a huge smoking capacity. You’re looking at 488 square inches split between the bottom and top rack. So, while the 20 pound pellet hopper will let you low and slow for a really long time, you can’t do huge cookouts on this barbecue.

Still, it’s reasonable capacity will suit a lot of people. It keeps the price down. And, you’re not overloading your barbecue with a heap of meat, putting further strain on the already challenged digital controller when the weather’s really cold out.

With stainless steel internal components and a very heavy-duty exterior, the Grilla Grills Grilla OG is durable enough to last through tough conditions and really is a very efficient unit that’s a bit of a backyard feature.

Specs for the Grilla Grills Grilla OG

Barbecue material: Powder-coated steel

Grate material: Stainless steel

Cooking capacity: 488 square inches (346″ main + 142″ upper)

Pellet hopper capacity: 20 lbs

Temperature range: 180°F – 500°F

WiFi: Yes

Fuel type: Wood pellets

Model: Grilla OG

Price guide: $$$

Dimensions: 31.5″ W x 44″ H x 29.5″ D

Weight: 145 lbs

Warranty: 4 years

Pros of the Grilla Grills Grilla OG

  • Great Value for Money: The direct to consumer model that Grilla Grills use means that you’re getting a fully insulated, heavy-duty pellet grill with WiFi for a really great price.
  • Full Insulation: Grilla Grills internal thermal jacket saves you an estimated 33% on fuel when you’re smoking in really cold conditions.
  • Two Temperature Regulation Modes: We’d recommend using the more precise PID temperature mode in freezing conditions. But, the regular mode causes fluctuations that creates more smoke for greater flavor.
  • TempTamer: This feature is exclusive to Grilla Grills and reduces the sometimes significant heat drop you get from opening the lid.
  • WiFi Connection: Use the Grilla Grills app to see, change and monitor your cooks progress from inside where it’s warm.
  • Heavy-Duty Build: The Grilla OG is really well made. It’s thick, it’s sturdy and the internal components are almost all stainless for improved rust resistance and durability.

Cons of the Grilla Grills Grilla OG

  • Only Available Online: GrillaGrills direct to consumer model keeps their prices low but means you can’t just wander into a store to pick one up. There’s free shipping within the United States though.
  • Single Probe Port: To monitor more than one cut of meat inside the Grilla OG you’ll need a separate wireless thermometer, you can’t simply plug more probes into the control panel. This means you’ll have to swap between two apps, one for the grills operation and the other for the meat temperature.

Kamado Joe Konnected Joe Digital Charcoal Grill and Smoker

Because automated goes a long way to making really cold weather smoking a whole heap easier and more enjoyable, when it comes to the best charcoal smoker for cold weather, the Kamado Joe Konnected Joe is our top pick.

Heat retention is key for easy smoking in cold weather. And, no non-blanketed smoker offers better heat retention than a kamado. The thick-sided ceramic holds the heat in so well. This won’t chomp through the charcoal like there will be no smoking tomorrow.

But, why we really love the Konnected Joe for cooking in really cold conditions is that it’s just so easy!

There’s no need to manually light the coals, you just load it up and press a button, reducing the common problem of ceramic cracking from sudden temperature changes.

Then, you literally select the temperature and the Kontrol Fan will look after keeping a steady temp so you’re free to sit inside in the warm.

You don’t even need to go outside to check on the thing either. There’s WiFi connectivity that you simply use with the awesome Kamado Joe app. The Konnected Joe comes with one meat probe to monitor the internal temperature of your meat and you can add another two if you want to.

But, you also get all those other incredible Kamado Joe features too including the Air Lift Hinge, weatherproof Kontrol Tower™ top vent, Advanced Multi-panel (AMP) firebox, and the 2-Tier Divide & Conquer® Cooking System for the ultimate in kamado cooking flexibility.

If you like the flavor of charcoal but just can’t be bothered, the Konnected Joe is incredible! And, you can use it manually in a power outage too.

Specs for the Kamado Joe Konnected Joe Digital Charcoal Kamado

Barbecue material: High-fired ceramic

Grate material: Stainless steel

Fuel type: Charcoal

Cooking capacity: 250 sq. in.

Heat Range: 225 – 700°F

WiFi: Yes

Model: KJ15041123

Price guide: $$$$

Assembled size (in): 47 L × 47 W × 48 H

Weight: 216 lbs

Warranty: Lifetime on ceramics, 3 years on electrics and heat deflectors, 2 years on all else

Pros of the Kamado Joe Konnected Joe

  • Thick Ceramic Insulation: The Konnected Joe’s thick ceramic shell helps maintain stable temperatures in cold weather, ensuring consistent smoking performance. It also doesn’t get that huge temperature drop that other types of smokers experience from opening the lid.
  • Precise Digital Temperature Control: This truely is set and forget charcoal smoking, even in cold conditions.
  • Fuel Efficient: The thick cereamic sides really reduce the influence of cold weather making this one of the most fuel efficient cold weather smokers out there.
  • Weatherproof Kontrol Tower: Wind and rain has a hard time influencing this smoker because it simply doesn’t get in there thanks to Kamado Joe’s innovative design.
  • Automatic Ignition: You don’t need to stand out in the cold trying to get your charcoal going, simply press the button and the electric element will do the job for you.
  • WiFi Enabled: Control your grill via the app. You can plug in up to three meat probes (one is included) so you can cook to temp perfectly instead of having to time or eyeball it.

Cons of the Kamado Joe Konnected Joe

  • High Price: This top quality, innovative grill and smoker is one of the most expensive cold weather barbecues. It’s worth it. But, check out the original Kamado Joe below which is also great in cold weather. Or, read our best kamados review.
  • Limited Cooking Space: Even with the included 2-Tiered Divide and Conquer, the Konnected Joe doesn’t provide as much cooking space as most cold weather pellet grills.

  • Long Preheating Time: The thick ceramic sides do take a long time to preheat.

Kamado Joe Classic II

If you like the sound of a kamado for smoking in cold weather but like to do it manually or just don’t want the extra cost of the automatic Konnected Joe, you can never go wrong with the Kamado Joe Classic II.

Just like the Konnected Joe, you’ve got that thick, ceramic shell and the industry leading fiberglass gasket protecting your coals and food from chilly outside temperatures with 360° of radiant heat to give it the all-round treatment.

During really cold conditions you should get approximately 8 hours of burn time out of quality lump charcoal in the Classic II before it’s time to add more.

Although that cook time is a bit shorter than the 12 hours + you’d expect from a Kamado Joe in better weather conditions, it’s still plenty to smoke most cuts of meat. You can always add a few extra chunks of charcoal when you go to wrap or unwrap your meat if  you do want an even longer cook too.

But, why we always recommend the Kamado Joe over other kamados for cold weather smoking is it’s patented Kontrol Tower. This cast aluminum top vent is weatherproof, doesn’t shift when you open the grill’s lid and lets you dial the airflow down for really consistent temperatures regardless of the weather.

With a whole host of other standout features like Kamado Joe’s Air Lift Hinge, the AMP firebox that reduces the chance of cracking due to sudden temperature changes (remember to always light your charcoal in the kamado when the weather is really cold) and, the 2-Tier Divide & Conquer® giving you the ultimate flexibility in how you set up your kamado, the Kamado Joe is unbeatable in terms of quality and function.

Specs for the Kamado Joe Classic II

Fuel type: Charcoal

Barbecue material: Glazed ceramic

Grate material: 304 stainless steel

Cooking capacity: 256 sq. in. in basic setup, 407 sq. in. with grill expander, 508 sq. in. with 2 sets of grates or 660 sq. in. with 2 sets of grates and expander

Heat Range: 225°F – 750°F

Model: Classic II

Price guide: $$$$

Assembled size (in): 46.5″ W x 48″ H x 28″ D

Weight: 188lbs

Warranty: Lifetime on ceramics, 5 years on metal parts, 3 years on heat deflector and pizza stone, 1 year on thermometer and gasket

Pros of the Kamado Joe Classic II for Cold Weather Smoking

  • Excellent Insulation: The ceramic construction of the Classic II provides exceptional insulation, which helps maintain stable temperatures in cold weather. It retains heat efficiently, ensuring consistent smoking performance.
  • Airtight Seal: With a fiberglass gasket, the Kamado Joe Classic II seals airtight when the lid is closed, minimizing heat loss and providing a consistent cooking environment.
  • Weatherproof Kontrol Tower Vent: The patented design of Kamado Joe’s Kontrol Tower top vent stops wind and rain from affecting your cook.
  • Temperature Control: The two vents offer precise temperature control, allowing you to set and maintain your desired cooking temperature even in chilly conditions, which is crucial for successful cold-weather smoking.
  • Durable Build: The ceramic body is durable and built to withstand all sorts of weather conditions, backed up by a lifetime warranty on the shell.

Cons of the Kamado Joe Classic II for Cold Weather Smoking

  • Limited Cooking Space: While the Classic II offers a decent cooking area, kamado-style grills may have a smaller cooking space compared to larger pellet grills.
  • Long Preheating Time: Kamado-style smokers typically require a longer preheating time, which can be less appealing in cold weather when you want to start cooking quickly.
  • Temperature Control Complexity: Maintaining consistent temperatures in cold conditions can be more challenging with a manual kamado-style smoker. It will require more attention and adjustment than an automated pellet smoker or the digital Kamado Joe Konnected Joe recommended above.

Although the Kamado Joe is by far our favorite kamado on the market, if you want more options, check out our full article on the best kamado barbecues.

Just keep in mind that when smoking in cold weather you need excellent heat retention. This means you should AVOID budget kamados and metal kamados that’ll just lose heat and cost a fortune to run.

Bradley Professional P10 4 Rack Electric Smoker

When the weather is really worse for wear, any old electric smoker won’t cut it. Most lack any or enough insulation in the thin metal sides and just don’t have  a powerful enough heating element. They’ll either struggle away or won’t reach your target temperature at all.

But, not this one.

The Bradley P10 Professional Electric Smoker is rated for use in temperatures down to 15.8F (-9℃). It’s completely insulated and has a quality stainless steel exterior for improved durability and rust-resistance in bad weather.

Like a lot of the pellet smokers recommended here, the Bradley P10 has a PID-based digital temperature controller too. This helps it to keep the most precise and even temperature for great results every time.

In terms of the size of the heating element, the Bradley P10 gives you a generous 1,000 watts of power. But, instead of being just one huge element, you’ve actually got 4.

There’s 2 x 400 watt elements in the cooking chamber to heat your meat. And, 2 x 100 watt heating elements in the wood chip chamber to generate consistent smoke.

So, not only are the heating elements powerful enough to give you even heat in wintry conditions, you’ve actually got the ability to turn off the cooking chamber element and just run the smoke element to successfully cold smoke too.

If you’re not familiar with Bradley’s other electric smokers, just be aware that all Bradley’s including the P10 work a little differently to regular electric smokers.

Instead of using wood chips, you insert Bradley’s Bisquettes. The good thing about those is that you get a constant supply of wood smoke and it’s really clean for better flavor without having to add chips manually every 30 minutes or so. But the bad thing is a little higher running cost.

The P10 runs for 10 hours off of a full load of bisquettes that’ll smoke the 806 square inches of cooking space.

You can also add a 5th rack if you want to boost the total smoking space to just over 1,000 square inches.

Specs for the Bradley P10 Professional Electric Smoker

Barbecue material: Fully insulated stainless steel

Grate material: Stainless steel

Cooking capacity: 806 sq. in.

Temperature Range: 86-320°F

Wattage: 2 x 400 watts cooking elements + 2 x 100 watts smoking elements

Fuel type: Electric

Model: BS1019

Price range: $$$

Assembled size (in): 28.5”H x 22.25”W x 17”D

Weight: 80 lbs

Warranty: 1 year

Pros of the Bradley P10 Professional Digital Electric Smoker

  • Rated for Cold Weather: Bradley specify that the P10 can be used in outside temperatures down to 15.8F (-9℃).
  • Consistent Temperature Control: The Bradley P10 features precise PID digital temperature control and a set of powerful heating elements, allowing you to maintain a steady cooking temperature even in adverse weather conditions.
  • Insulated Design: The fully insulated body keeps the heat in and frigid air out.
  • Clean Automatic Smoke: The automatic wood bisquette feeder system delivers constant, clean smoke without requiring you to manually add wood chips every half an hour, keeping you inside in the warm.
  • Includes 2 Meat Probes: Monitor the internal temperature of your cook on the control panel.

Cons of the Bradley P10 Professional Digital Electric Smoker

  • Restricted to Bradley Bisquettes: The P10 is designed to work with Bradley bisquettes, which are proprietary wood discs. While these bisquettes provide convenience and really great, clean flavor, they limit the user’s choice and do increase running costs.
  • No WiFi: Although your temperature and smoke  is automate, you will need to go outside in the cold to see what your internal meat probes are measuring unless you use a separate wireless smoker thermometer.
  • Short Warranty Period: The 1 year limited warranty is pretty standard for an electric smoker. But, opens you up to problems after this short time period.

Smokin-It Model #2

If you want to cut to the chase with an electric smoker that’s great in cold weather, you can always go the professional grade Smokin-It Model #2.

Now, this smoker really does look professional. There’s nothing ‘pretty’ about it. But, if an incredible lot of beautifully smoked meat mid-winter is the goal, this smoker will get you there.

Made from 100% heavy-gauge stainless steel with fiberglass insulation and a double-latch door system to seal everything in, the Smokin-It electric smokers have really excellent heat retention.

The full stainless steel construction is also rust-resistant, giving you confidence that it’s still going to fair alright if it gets hit with some sideways rain.

The rheostat temperature controls gives you a range of anywhere between 100°F – 250°F. It’s not as steady as a PID based controller but you can expect it to hold the heat within about +/-30°F of your target. The 800-watt heating element is powerful enough to hold it there.

With this smoker you’re going to be using a single wood chunk, not chips. This means that you won’t be outside in the cold, opening the door to add more wood.

The Smokin-It Model #2 really is a great value-for-money smoker that does an excellent job in cold climates.

Specs for the Smokin-It Model #2 Electric Smoker

Barbecue material: Double walled 18 gauge, 201 stainless steel with fiberglass insulation

Grate material: Stainless steel

Cooking capacity: 1,247 sq. in.

Temperature Range: 100 – 250°F

Wattage: 800 watts

Fuel type: Electric

Model: Model #2

Price guide: $$$

Assembled size (in): 28.25”H x 17”W x 20.5”D

Weight: 114 lbs

Warranty: 3 years

Pros of the Smokin-It Electric Smoker

  • Insulated Design: The Model #2 has a fiberglass insulated, double-walled shell, helping to retain heat and maintain a stable interior temperature, even in really cold conditions.
  • Efficient Wood Usage: Instead of frequently refilling wood chips, the Smokin-It Model #2 uses a single wood chunk. This will smoke away for hours and you don’t need to go outside to top it up or open the door causing a significant temperature dip.
  • Durable Construction: Smokin-It is known for its robust and durable construction, and the Model #2 is built to withstand various weather conditions, including cold temperatures.
  • Set and Forget Temperature Control: The digital thermostat will keep the smoker within about 30°F of your target, even in freezing conditions. This isn’t as even as a PID based system. But, creates more smoke for a stronger flavor.
  • Includes 2 Meat Probes: These plug into the digital controller so that you can cook to temp, not time which is even more important when the weather is cold.

Cons of the Smokin-It Electric Smoker

  • No Wi-Fi or Bluetooth Connectivity: The Model #2 does not have Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, which means you can’t monitor or control the smoker remotely from the warmth of your home in extremely cold conditions.

What Type of Smoker is Best for Cold Weather Smoking?

The best type of smoker for cold weather smoking is one that offers excellent insulation and efficient heat retention. This means that it’ll have an easier time getting up to temperature, keep a steady heat, and therefore, give great results.

The EASIEST smokers to use in cold weather are models that also offer automatic and precise temperature control.

Yes, you can use a manually operated smoker like an offset or basic bullet smoker. But, be prepared to be sitting outside with it because you’ll need to constantly be adjusting the vents and watching the fuel levels as the cold challenges your setup.

Here are some types of smokers that are well-suited for cold weather smoking.

Ultimately, the best type of smoker for cold weather smoking depends on your personal preferences, cooking needs, and the features that are important to you. But, look for something that’s well insulated to make sure it can reach and  maintain a consistent smoking temperature.

Pellet Smokers

Pellet smokers use a digital control panel to automatically feed however many hardwood pellets into the firepot when needed to maintain your set target temperature.

While uninsulated models might chew through the pellets and still struggle to get up to and maintain even a low and slow temperature in really cold conditions, insulated models offer protection from the cold for steady heat and a fuel efficient option.

We have listed a few great pellet smoker options for cold weather in this review above. Or, check out our cold weather pellet smoker specific review by following the link.

Kamado Grills

Kamado grills, like those from Kamado Joe and Big Green Egg, are ceramic cookers that have a really thick, heat retaining shell.

This shell makes them excellent performers in cold weather conditions because they lock the heat in and keep the cold out. There’s also minimal vents and places for heat and smoke to leak from.

One thing to keep in mind if you’re smoking on a kamado in really cold conditions is that you should light your coals inside your kamado.

Sudden changes in the temperature of the ceramic firebox, like when you pour a chimney full of lit coals into it, can cause the ceramic to crack which would be a very expensive mistake!

The ceramic material helps them retain heat, making them suitable for cold-weather smoking. They offer precise temperature control and versatility in cooking methods.

Electric Smokers

Electric smokers that use an electric element to heat your cooking space just like a regular oven does are another good option for cold weather smoking.

But, most electric smokers aren’t insulated enough and lack a strong enough heating element to do well in cold weather.

Choose from one of the two electric smokers recommended for smoking in really cold climates here.

FAQs About Smoking in Cold Weather

Yes, you can smoker in cold weather even if it’s snowing. But, certain types of smokers are better suited for it.

Ensure that your smoker has good insulation so that it can get up to and maintain a stable temperature without burning through the fuel in no time at all. A smoker with automatic temperature control will also make the whole experience a lot easier and more enjoyable.

Cold weather can increase cooking times as the smoker works harder to maintain temperature.

Plan for longer smoking sessions and use a meat thermometer to monitor doneness.

Cold weather can increase fuel consumption as your smoker needs to put out more heat to combat the cold outside temperature.

Make sure you have enough extra fuel on hand and monitor the pellets, charcoal and/or wood throughout your smoke.

You may need to increase the cooking temperature slightly to compensate for heat loss in cold weather, particularly if  your smoker doesn’t have great insulation.

Monitor the smoker’s ambient temperature while you cook and adjust if necessary.

If your smoker isn’t insulated, use an insulation blanket to keep the heat in and cold out.

And, regardless of your smokers insulation, try to position it in a sheltered space out of the wind. This will help to reduce the strain on your smoker and minimize extra fuel usage.

Strong winds can make temperature control challenging. And, depending on what type of smoker you’re using, the wind can even blow the flame out.

Using a windbreak or setting up your smoker in a sheltered area can help reduce the impact of the wind.

Give your smoker longer to preheat, use a meat thermometer to cook to temp instead of time, and start it earlier in the day. Cold-weather smoking may take longer, but  the brisket’s going to taste so darn good on a freezing cold day!

Jared Brown BBQ Expert Burning Brisket

Jared Brown, an avid lover of all things meat has a fearless enthusiasm for experimenting with anything that's grilling, smoking or outdoor cooking. With a wealth of experience across a range different barbecue types, Jared's got a real knack for helping others make a decision they're happy with, ensuring they find the perfect fit regardless of conventional notions of the 'right' choice. This unique approach has made Jared a trusted guide in the world of barbecue.

About Burning Brisket

Burning Brisket is one of the leading, independent authorities on all things barbecue. Family-owned and run, it's our mission uncomplicate the art of smoking to help you enjoy making incredible food at home for your family and friends to create memories over.

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