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Best Smoker for the Money: 7 Top Value Reviews

If you’ve landed on this page looking for the cheapest smoker out there, you’re not in the right place.

But, if you’re looking for a really decent barbecue – one that’s feature packed, will last more than a few years, and, is a really good price, read on. In this review, we look for the best smoker for the money. And, because you’ll have your own preference on barbecue type, we’ve included a range of different fuels and smoker styles.

As the prices are always subject to change (and might even be on sale!), we haven’t listed their recommended retail value. To make things easy for you to work within your budget, we’ve ordered them from the most expensive, and totally worth the money smokers, to the cheapest good value ‘cues on the market. Just click on any of the links to see an up to date price on Amazon.

But, whatever price point you’re shopping within, each and every one of these barbecues presents really great value for money. So, get ready to grab yourself a deal!

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Table of Contents

Kamado Joe Classic II

Now, this smoker isn’t the cheapest on the market. But, it packs so much awesomeness into the one barbecue that we couldn’t not mention it as one of the best value smokers on the market.

If you’re worried about spending more than $1,000 on the one ‘cue, take heed in the fact that a one-time investment in a Kamado Joe Classic II is something that should last you many, many years worth of family gatherings, birthdays, Christmas’s and home-made pizza sessions.

So, what makes this smoker so awesome?

For starters, a kamado is one of the most versatile barbecues on the market. On this one unit you can grill, smoke, barbecue, braise, bake and roast. That means seared tri-tip, smoked brisket, charcoal fired ribs, roast chicken, grilled veggies, breads and even desserts. There’s pretty much no limit on what you can create on the Joe Classic.

But, here’s what sets this kamado apart from the competition and makes it such a clear winner as one of the best value smokers on the market:

  • High-quality wire mesh fiberglass gasket that’s guaranteed to last 10 times longer than any other kamado seal
  • Weather-proof, rust-proof aluminum Kontrol Tower that allows for precise temperature control even in cold climates
  • Air Lift Hinge to reduce the weight of the heavy, ceramic lid by 96%
  • Unique six-piece firebox that’s less likely to crack due to the fire getting too hot
  • Divide and Conquer cooking system of half-plates that let you cook on multiple levels with multiple cooking surfaces all at once
  • Patented slide-out ash drawer for easy cleaning

And, unlike a lot of the competition, all of that is included as standard with the Kamado Joe Classic II. Innovative, functional and backed by an impressive lifetime warranty on the ceramics, there’s no denying that the Classic Joe proves to be incredible value for money!

Just ask the fans. It’s one of the top rated smokers on Amazon too.

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

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:

  • You can cook anything on one of these barbecues – grill, smoke, sear, braise, bake and roast
  • Heavy ceramic shell is cool to touch but holds heat very effectively
  • Efficient fuel usage
  • Industry leading gasket with stainless steel latch provides leak-proof seal
  • Air Lift Hinge makes it so easy to open the heavy lid
  • Kontrol Tower provides excellent temperature control in all weather conditions
  • Larger cooking capacity and flexibility due to Divide and Conquer cooking system
  • Six-piece AMP firebox won’t just crack under high heat like some of the competitions will
  • Easy to clean thanks to the patented slide out ash drawer

Cons of the Kamado Joe Classic II:

  • Even with the Divide and Conquer cooking system, kamado’s do offer a smaller cooking capacity than some other types of smokers. If size matters to you, one-up to the Big Joe

Pit Boss Memphis Ultimate 4-in-1

If you’re serious about smoking and want to try using multiple fuel types, the Pit Boss Memphis Ultimate 4-in-1 offers unbeatable value. For a fraction of what it’d cost to buy more than one smoker, this barbecue is a gas grill, charcoal grill, electric smoker and lets you offset the smoke into the gas or charcoal grill.

Offering a huge 2,100 square inches spread across this grill, it’s ideal to fire up just one section for your everyday meals, or, load the whole thing up to feed a crowd.

And, while the quality of this smoker doesn’t rival that of the Kamado Joe or Weber’s, it’s still a strong and sturdy build that should last through multiple seasons even with a decent amount of use.

The Pit Boss Memphis Ultimate 4-in-1 also comes with the cart, two drawers for storage, tool hooks and a bottle opener. It really is the package deal for anyone who wants the flexibility and convenience of gas, charcoal and electric smoking all in the one unit.

Specs for the Pit Boss Memphis Ultimate 4-in-1

Fuel type: Charcoal, gas and electric

Barbecue material: Painted steel

Grate material: Porcelain-coated cast-iron

Cooking capacity: 2,127 sq in

Number of gas burners: 3

Main burners BTU-per-hour-input: 15,000

Wattage electric smoker: 1,500

Model: 75952

Assembled size (in):47.5(H) x 74(W) x 25(D)

Weight: 183lbs

Warranty: 1 year

Pros of the Pit Boss Memphis Ultimate 4-in-1:

  • Multiple cook types lets you choose your fuel of choice – charcoal, gas or electric all on the one unit
  • Also lets you vent smoke into the gas grill for a smoky flavor with quick cook time
  • Extra large cooking capacity
  • Comes with an all you could need cart with built-in storage and preparation shelves
  • Long lasting, porcelain-coated cast-iron grates are easy to clean
  • Great value for money

Cons of the Pit Boss Memphis Ultimate 4-in-1:

  • Takes a long time to set up – it’s like building 3 barbecues
  • Combo smokers usually don’t do a great job of everything but offer so much flexibility

Z Grills Premium 7002E Pellet Smoker

Most quality pellet smokers are pretty pricey. But, one that breaks the mold and comes in under $600 for a seriously impressive unit is the Z Grills Premium 7002E. In fact, the version just one up from this model (only difference is more storage), also featured in our top-rated smokers and best smokers on the market just to prove how great it is.

Made from a quality, heavy-duty stainless steel construction, this smoker is made to last. Offering 700 square inches of cooking space, the Premium 7002E is large enough for entertaining or making leftovers. And, the generous 20 pound pellet hopper means you really don’t need to touch a thing once you’ve got your meat on.

The temperature is maintained accurately within 20 degrees of your target and the wide range on this unit means that you can smoke, braise, barbecue and bake without any hassle.

Backed by a 3 year warranty and with a bonus waterproof cover thrown in for free, it’s unbeatable value if you want a true set and forget smoker for your backyard.

Use our exclusive code – 5%off – at the checkout for 5% off anything Z Grills, including already on sale smokers!

(Valid on the Z Grills website only)

Specs for the Z Grills Premium 7002E Pellet Smoker

Barbecue material: Heavy-duty stainless steel

Grate material: Stainless steel

Cooking capacity: 504 sq. on main rack, 190 sq. on warming rack

Pellet hopper capacity: 20 lbs

Temperature Range: 160°F – 475°F

Fuel type: Wood pellets

Model: Premium 7002E

Dimensions: 51.2″ W x 48.4″ H x 22.5″ D

Weight: 112lbs

Warranty: 3 years

Pros of the Z Grills Premium 7002E Pellet Smoker:

  • Set and forget forget smoker that runs off of real wood
  • Large cooking capacity
  • Quality, rust-resistant stainless-steel build
  • Accurate temperature control within 20 degrees of your target
  • Large pellet hopper that shouldn’t need refilling even during long cooks
  • Comes with a free waterproof cover to protect your new smoker
  • Comes with basic cart with some storage, or, upgrade to the 700E for a cart with doors
  • Backed by a 3 year warranty

Cons of the Z Grills Premium 7002E Pellet Smoker:

  • Hard to remove unused pellets from the hopper. But, you should do this to stop them from absorbing moisture which would affect their burning efficiency
  • Mixed reports about customer service

Use our exclusive code – 5%off – at the checkout for 5% off anything Z Grills, including already on sale smokers!

(Valid on the Z Grills website only)

Dyna-Glo Vertical Offset Smoker

Shout out to all the smokers on a budget! There’s no need to suffer substandard results at the hands of a cheaper machine. The Dyna-Glo Vertical Offset Smoker is the answer to your prayers.

And, as an offset smoker, you’re guaranteed to achieve that traditional low-and-slow awesomeness that’s the stuff of daydreams. Despite its reasonable price tag, the Dyna-Glo Vertical Offset Smoker is made from heavy-duty steel for durability. Yes, it’s a bit thinner than most expensive models. But, if you’re smoking in warmer conditions or, don’t mind putting a bit more fuel on the fire, this unit is definitely capable of turning out some decent chow.

Size isn’t an issue either, with 1,176 square inches across six grates to smoke on, the Dyna-Glo Vertical should handle around 150lbs of food at a time. Heat loss is minimized thanks to the dual door design, whilst versatility and control are taken care of with the adjustable flue and handy temperature gauge. There’s also a steel ash pan that’s large enough to hold a decent amount of ash, meaning there won’t be any heat-wasting mid-cook clean-ups and packing down at the end of your cook will be a doable.

At the end of the day, Dyna-Glo has packed a lot into a bargain price with this vertical offset smoker, making it perfect as an entry model for backyard smoking.

Specs for the Dyna-Glo Vertical Offset Smoker

Fuel type: Charcoal

Barbecue material: Heavy-gauge steel

Grate material: Chrome-plated steel

Cooking capacity: 1,176 sq. in.

Model: DGO1176BDC-D

Dimensions: 50.2(H) x 35(W) x 21(D)

Weight: 57lbs

Warranty: 1 year

Pros of the Dyna-Glo Vertical Offset Smoker:

  • Inexpensive, entry-level model for backyard smoking
  • Offset design creates traditional tasting charcoal and/or wood smoked meats
  • Large cooking capacity without taking up a tonne of room in your yard
  • Made from heavy-duty steel which will last a long time with proper care
  • Comes with a charcoal burner box to keep the coals packed nice and tight for better efficiency
  • Adjustable flue height helps to control temperature
  • Built-in thermometer with ‘smoke zone’ markings to make it easy to tell when your fire is just right
  • Large, removable ash pan means you don’t need to clean up mid-cook

Cons of the Dyna-Glo Vertical Offset Smoker:

Weber Smokey Mountain 14" Cooker

Solid, dependable, portable and long-lasting, the 14″ Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker is not only one of the top rated smokers on the market, it’s one of the best value for money buys too.

Measuring just 14 inches across, the vertical design of this dedicated smoker gives you a surprisingly generous 286 square inches of cooking space spread over two racks. And, while this isn’t a huge capacity, it’s enough to smoke two largish cuts of meat at a time. It also means that this barbecue is small enough to chuck in the car to take to the beach, tailgating or to a friends place along with a trusty bag of charcoal.

But, for the money you spend on the Weber Smokey Mountain, you get one of the best quality ‘cues on the market. Made from porcelain-enameled steel, there’s a 10 year warranty on the smoker body. Add to that easy to adjust dampers, a reliable temperature gauge and a separate fuel door and you’ve got yourself a competition-level smoker that’s ideal for turning out consistently incredible barbecue right in your backyard.

And, if the 14 inch unit isn’t quite big enough for your clan, it’s also available in an 18 and 22 inch for bigger cook-offs.

Specs for the Weber Smokey Mountain Charcoal Cooker 14"

Fuel type: Charocal

Barbecue material: Porcelain-enameled steel

Grate material: Plated steel

Cooking capacity: 286 sq. in.

Model: 731001

Dimensions: 31.4(H) x 14.7(W) x 14.7(D)

Weight: 23lbs

Warranty: 10 years on bowl and lid, 5 years on plastics and cleaning system, 2 years on remaining parts

Pros of the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker 14″:

  • Top Weber quality, easy-clean porcelain-enameled steel body
  • One of the highest rated smokers on the market based on customer feedback
  • Small footprint
  • Decent cooking capacity with ability to up-size
  • Portable
  • Removable fuel door means you can add charcoal without moving your meat
  • Dual, quality dampers make temperature control easy
  • Works with Weber’s iGrill 2 for real-time updates on cook progress direct to your phone
  • Competition-quality results

Cons of the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker 14″:

  • Unlike the Weber kettle barbecues, there’s no hook to hang the lid. But, because it’s a low and slow smoker, you shouldn’t have the lid off too often
  • Expect some smoke to leak around the door although this shouldn’t affect your results

Smokehouse Big Chief Electric Smoker

If you’re into fishing and just want to smoke your catch, the tried and true Big Chief Electric Smoker from long-time manufacturers, Smokehouse, is a solid product that’s snagable for a bargain price!

Proudly made in the USA, this model has been around since the 1960’s and makes electric smoking ultra easy. Simply plug it into your regular household power, load it up and let it work it’s magic.

With one temperature setting of 165 degrees, low and slow is the only option. This means you’ll know for sure that you’re not overheating your meat.

It’s also been engineered for the ultimate smoke ventilation to create the right conditions for proper dehydration, flavor and texture.

But, fish isn’t all the Big Chief is good for. Large enough to hold up to 50 pounds of meat spread over 5 grates, the Big Chief can be used to smoke anything from nuts and cheese to large cuts of meat.

The only thing to remember is that for solid chunks like pork butt or brisket, you’ll need to finish it off in your regular oven to bring the internal temperature up to a safe level. But, it’ll already have all of it’s awesome smoked flavor and makes prepping in advance for entertaining really simple.

Specs for the Smokehouse Big Chief Electric Smoker

Fuel type: Electric

Barbecue material: Aluminum

Grate material: Chrome-plated wire

Cooking capacity: 576 sq. in.

Wattage: 450 watts

Model: Big Chief

Dimensions: 24.5(H) x 18(W) x 12(D)

Weight: 21lbs

Warranty: 2 years

Pros of the Smokehouse Big Chief Electric Smoker:

  • Rust-resistant aluminum body
  • Large cooking capacity with a small footprint
  • Budget price for a top-notch smoker
  • Great for smoking lighter foods such as fish, nuts and cheese
  • Comes with a bag of wood chips to get you started
  • Auto-regulates temperature for hands-off smoking
  • Wood chip tray can be topped up without opening the cooking chamber door which would disrupt heat levels
  • Doesn’t have extra electric panels and fancy features to fail
  • Lightweight
  • US-made
  • No assembly required
  • Decent 2 year warranty

Cons of the Smokehouse Big Chief Electric Smoker:

  • Only one temperature setting which doesn’t give you as much flexibility
  • Large cuts of meat need to be finished in the oven as the smoker doesn’t reach a high enough temperature to cook through safely

Weber Jumbo Joe

Everyone who loves barbecue should have one of these portable ‘cues because they’re such great value for money! The Weber Jumbo Joe is inexpensive, lightweight and will last for years to come. So, even if you only occasionally cook at the beach, out camping or at a tailgate, this Weber is worth the small outlay to have.

The Jumbo Joe is small enough to neatly tuck away in your garage. But, it’s 240 square inch cooking grate is large enough to grill four decent steaks at one time. To smoke on this charcoal grill, simply grab yourself some charcoal rails and create two different heat zones and you’re good to smoke a pork butt, medium-sized fish or a small brisket.

Featuring all the standard, high-quality Weber points of difference, you’ll get a durable and easy to clean porcelain-enameled steel kettle with two quality dampers that make temperature control easy. There’s also the invaluable Tuck Away lid-locking system for safe transportation and somewhere to put the lid while you’re grilling and a removable ash catcher making it fast to pack up and hit the road once dinner is done.

And, if you’ve got a larger Weber kettle at home, it also fits their extensive range of accessories such as griddle plates and instant read thermometers for even more versatility.

Specs for the Weber Jumbo Joe

Fuel type: Charcoal

Barbecue material: Porcelain-enameled

Grate material: Plated steel cooking grate with heavy-duty charcoal grate

Cooking capacity: 240 sq. in.

Model: 1211001

Assembled size (in): 19.7″H x 19.7″W x 20.5″D

Weight: 18lbs

Warranty: 10 years on bowl, 5 years on plastics, 2 years on everything else

Pros of the Weber Jumbo Joe:

  • High quality long lasting portable grill
  • Works as a grill or a smoker
  • Decent cooking capacity for a portable grill
  • Dual dampers offer excellent heat control
  • Tuck-Away lid locking system gives you somewhere safe to place the hot lid while you check on your meat
  • Built-in stand is reasonably sturdy on uneven ground
  • Removable ash catcher makes on the go clean-up easy
  • Covered by a 10 year warranty
  • Inexpensive
  • Compatible with Weber’s great range of accessories

Cons of the Weber Jumbo Joe:

  • Doesn’t fold down so it will take up a bit of room in storage. But, this makes it more sturdy
  • Doesn’t have a built-in thermometer

Kate Brown, the founder and voice behind Burning Brisket, is not your typical pitmaster or restaurateur. Her expertise in barbecue grew from a humble desire to cook exceptional meals for her family. From overcoming burnt brisket mishaps to establishing her boutique cattle ranch, Kate shares her passion to help 'ordinary' individuals cook extraordinary barbecue, believing that simplicity often yields the best flavors. Kate is commited to making great barbecue accessible to all with the right resources and some tasty practice.

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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