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Top Rated Smokers: Tried & True for All Types, All Budgets

Top Rated Smokers

So, you’re after the absolute best smokers on the market? You’ve come to the right place. In this article you’ll find the 8 top rated smokers that are currently on the market.

And, instead of being based just on our experience with each of these barbecues, all of the smokers in this list are the best rated smokers as voted by the experts, and, your fellow smoking enthusiasts, real life users.

Each of these smokers regularly sits on a minimum of a 4.5 star rating out of 5. And, they’ve been reviewed by at least 50 people, but more like 200+. Check out our review of these favorites and click on any of the links to read more reviews or to buy now.

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Table of Contents

Recteq RT-700 Bull

Rec Tec are one of the newest players in the pellet smoker market. But, instead of screaming inexperience, recteq have brought everything they could possibly have thought of to the table to develop this highly raved about smoker.

From it’s high-quality stainless steel components, to it’s gold standard PID-style temperature controller, WiFi controls, huge pellet hopper, meat probes, internal light and 6 year bumper to bumper warranty, the RT-700 is totally unbeatable when it comes to both quality and value for money.

In fact, it’s quickly become one of the highest rated smokers because, well, it’s got absolutely everything you could ever want in a set and forget barbecue. And, it’s built to last long enough for your kids to hand it down to their kids.

Specs for the recteq RT-700

Barbecue type: Wood pellet grill and smoker

Barbecue material: Stainless steel and powder-coated steel

Grate material: Stainless steel

Cooking capacity: 702 sq. in., or 1,054 sq. in. with optional extra rack

Pellet hopper capacity: 40 lbs

Heat range: 200 – 500°F +

WiFi: Yes

Fuel type: Wood pellet

Price guide: $

Model: RT-700

Dimensions: 54″(W) x 36″(D) x 50″(H)

Weight: 195 lbs

Warranty: 6 years

Pros of the recteq RT-700:

  • Premium materials offer strength and durability
  • Wide temperature range lets you grill, smoke, sear, bake and dehydrate
  • Stainless steel cooking grates, body, firepot, heat deflectors and drip pan, among other components
  • Ceramic ignition should last for almost 300 years of regular use
  • WiFi enabled for remote control
  • 40 pound pellet hopper gives a 40 hour + unaided cook time
  • Precise PID-style temperature controller for reliably repeatable results
  • Dual meat probes for real-time feedback on how your cook is progressing
  • Washable built-in light
  • Shutdown mode is self-cleaning
  • Can be used with the optional cold weather cover if needed
  • 6 year warranty covers every single part

Cons of the recteq RT-700:

  • There’s no pellet hopper purge door. But, pellets can be left in the hopper for a few weeks. And, recteq state that adding a door creates an easy way for moisture to get in and ruin the pellets

Pit Barrel Cooker Classic

Although it might look basic, the Pit Barrel Co. Cooker is capable of making some hands-down, incredible smoked meats. And, it’s without a doubt, got reviews from the masses to back this statement up!

Made from a porcelain-enameled steel drum that comes with all the racks and hooks you need to smoke almost anything, the Pit Barrel Cooker is easy to use, versatile and built to last. Perfect for smoking in your backyard or taking with you on the go, it’s vertical charcoal configuration has been designed to shorten regular cooking times and doesn’t need you to stand there and monitor the temperature and smoke levels pedantically throughout the cook.

In fact, the Pit Barrel Co. Cooker has often been compared to some of the world’s most expensive barbecues by industry experts such as Steven Raichlen. But, you wouldn’t guess it by it’s bargain price tag. The Pit Barrel Cooker is a seriously superb smoker that’s easy to use, consistent and affordable.

Read our full review of the Pit Barrel Cooker.

Use our code – BURNINGBRISKET – at the checkout for 10% off your Pit Barrel purchase.

(Valid on the Pit Barrel website only)

Specs for the Pit Barrel Cooker

Fuel type: Charcoal

Barbecue material: Porcelain-enameled, 18-gauge steel

Grate material: Stainless steel or regular steel depending on accessory

Cooking capacity: Varies depending on accessories used

Model: Pit Barrel Cooker Classic Package

Assembled size (in): 21″ W x 31.1″ H x 21″ D

Weight: 57lbs

Warranty: 1 year

Pros of the Pit Barrel Cooker:

  • Loved by thousands of fans
  • Great value for money
  • Durable
  • Versatile smoker that can grill or smoke on included racks or hooks
  • Easy to use
  • Vertical design speeds up cook times
  • Small footprint for decent cooking capacity
  • Portable

Cons of the Pit Barrel Cooker:

Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker

Next up in our line of the best rated smokers is none other than the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker.

This dedicated smoker from one of the industry’s top leaders has been so thoughtfully designed with one thing in mind, ensuring consistently incredible results. And, that it does. Crafted from the same durable, porcelain-enameled steel that their tried and true kettle grills are made from, the Smokey Mountain’s vertical design and quality dampers make it easy to control the temperature to keep the moisture and smokiness right where you want it.

Available in three sizes to suit the solo enthusiast to larger families and groups, the Smokey Mountain Cooker is a solid investment that’s backed by Weber’s 10 year guarantee. It’s not surprising that it’s so well rated by the people who know best.

Specs for the Weber Smokey Mountain Charcoal Cooker 22"

Fuel type: Charocal

Barbecue material: Porcelain-enameled steel

Grate material: Plated steel

Cooking capacity: 726 sq. in.

Model: 731001

Dimensions: 48.5(H) x 23(W) x 24(D)

Weight: 68lbs

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:

  • Durable Weber quality that’s backed by a 10 year warranty
  • Fan favorite with hundreds of great reviews to prove it
  • Available in 3 different sizes depending on your needs
  • Small footprint
  • Removable fuel door to make it easy to add charcoal and/or wood chips mid-cook
  • Dual dampers for easy temperature control
  • Compatible with Weber’s iGrill 2 internal meat thermometers for hands-off temperature monitoring
  • Portable
  • Often used in barbecue competitions because the results are that good

Cons of the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker:

  • There’s no hook to hang the lid like on Weber’s kettle grills so you’ll need to have somewhere to leave it when you’re moving meat around
  • Some smoke leakage can happen around the door but it’s not a major at all

Weber Performer Deluxe Charcoal Grill

With hundreds of shining reviews, Weber again makes it into the 7 top rated smokers with their Performer Deluxe Charcoal Grill. Now, this barbecue is an update of their traditional kettle grill and has some great new, modern features. Forget having to spend 20-30 minutes getting your coals going well. The Weber Performer Deluxe has an instant ignition switch so you can enjoy that charcoal flavor without the pain. Simply push the button and sit back while the coals burn down to a good heat.

Unlike the portable Weber’s, the Performer Deluxe has a built-in temperature gauge to give you all the information you need to fine-tune your cook. But, there’s also a backlit LCD timer too. This pops out so you can chill on the couch or be prepping the next lot of meat in the kitchen without risking forgetting when your meal should be done.

But, if you want to be able to monitor things even better, grab yourself an iGrill 2. This awesome little add-on gives you meat probes to insert into your cuts that send real-time updates on the internal temperature so you’ll never over or under-cook dinner again.

Complete with a quality cart with a charcoal holder, removable ash catcher and lid holder, this stand-alone unit is perfect by itself, or to be slid into your outdoor kitchen.

The Performer Deluxe is also compatible with Weber’s gourmet BBQ system so you can add-on extras like a pizza stone, rotisserie, wok and griddle for the ultimate barbecue package.

Specs for the Weber Performer Deluxe Charcoal 22" Grill

Fuel type: Charcoal

Barbecue material: Porcelain-enameled

Grate material: Plated steel

Cooking capacity: 363 sq.

Model: 15501001

Dimensions: 48″ W x 43.5″ H x 30″ D

Weight: 91lbs

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

Pros of the Weber Performer Deluxe 22″ Charcoal Grill:

  • Outstanding Weber quality with industry leading warranty
  • Proven design that produces excellent results for grilling and smoking
  • Instant start ignition that eliminates the slow job of lighting charcoal manually
  • Removable timer to monitor cook progress
  • Quality dampers for precise temperature control
  • Built-in temperature gauge
  • Lid features cool-touch handle and tuck away lid holder so there’s always somewhere convenient to leave the hot lid
  • Removable ash catcher for easy cleanup
  • Comes with cart with side table and charcoal storage box
  • Works with Weber’s gourmet barbecue accessories for increased versatility
  • Works with the iGrill 2 for up to date internal meat readings for perfect results

Cons of the Weber Performer Deluxe 22″ Charcoal Grill:

  • Takes up more space than Weber’s Original Kettle, but, having the cart means this is literally all the space you’ll need for easy barbecuing

Weber Jumbo Joe

If you’ve used the Weber Jumbo Joe you won’t be at all surprised that it makes the list of the best rated smokers. With plenty of space and all the basics you need to smoke meat on the go, the durable Jumbo Joe is an inexpensive grill and smoker that should be in everyone’s garage ready to go on the next beach outing, camping adventure or thrilling game.

Based on Weber’s traditional kettle barbecue shape, the Jumbo Joe comes complete with a little stand that’s sturdy enough to pop down almost anywhere. There’s two quality dampers to make it easy to adjust the temperature, a removable, external ash catcher for easy cleanup and the nifty Tuck Away lid-locking system providing you with a safe way to transport it as well as having somewhere easy to hang the lid when you’re not using it.

Whether you want to grill or smoke on the go, just chuck this ‘cue and some charcoal in the trunk and you’re good to go. But, because it’s a Weber, there’s also an awesome range of add-on accessories to boost your game. From griddle plates to charcoal rails and an instant read thermometer, Weber’s got you covered.

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:

  • Large enough to cook a decent amount of food but small enough to be portable
  • Suitable for grilling or smoking
  • Strong and durable porcelain-coated body with a 10 year warranty
  • Dual dampers for excellent heat control
  • Built-in stand for easy placement on tables or the ground
  • Great lid-locking system for ease and safety while in use and during transportation
  • Inexpensive
  • Lightweight
  • Removable ash catcher to make it easy to clean
  • Works with a wide range of Weber accessories

Cons of the Weber Jumbo Joe:

  • The stand does need a reasonably flat surface to work well, but, you could always prop up one leg with a rock if you don’t have a table
  • Doesn’t have a built-in thermometer, but, it’s not hard to use without it

Kamado Joe Classic II

If you’ve been wondering what the top rated kamado smoker is then here it is! Kamado Joe’s Classic II outshines the competition with reviews too impressive to ignore.

And, whether it’s the incredible and consistent results that get your attention, the versatility of this type of barbecue, the incredibly innovative features that Kamado Joe has added, or, the bargain price that’s on such a complete smoker package, we’re sure that you’ll love this one too.

Where to start?

The Kamado Joe Classic II makes use of the traditional, heavyweight ceramic shell to lock in heat and moisture for an efficient and effective cook. But, instead of leaking smoke, this baby is sealed with the industry leading wire mesh fiberglass gasket that’s guaranteed to last 10 times longer than that on any other kamado. There’s also a stainless steel latch to secure the lid in place and rust-proof, weather-proof aluminum vents to give you precise control over your cook, just the way we like it.

But, Kamado Joe have also solved the other major problems associated with using a kamado cooker. Instead of having a cracked firebox if you set the fire too hot, the Kamado Joe Classic II has a six-piece design that can expand as the temperature does, virtually eliminating the risk of potential damage. Then there’s the Air Lift Hinge that miraculously makes it possible to lift this heavy beast with your pinky making it safe and easy even if the kids want to help you out. And, finally, solving the space constraints of an egg-shaped cooker, there’s the Divide and Conquer cooking system of different half-plates and racks that lets you take the ultimate control over where you place different foods based on what cooking surface you want and how hot you want it.

Ingenious, attractive and all for a great price, it’s so clear to see why the Kamado Joe Classic II rates so highly on the most loved smoker list.

For all the details, read our full review of the Kamado Joe Classic II.

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:

  • Versatile charcoal grill and smoker that can do almost anything except for opening your beer
  • Unbeatable value for a quality, long-lasting barbecue
  • Ceramic shell comes with a lifetime guarantee
  • Air Lift Hinge makes it so easy to open the heavy lid
  • Kontrol Tower allows for precise temperature setting while being weather-proof and rust-resistant
  • Divide and Conquer cooking system gives you flexibility with what you cook and how you cook it
  • Industry leading gasket with stainless steel latch seals the unit so tight for an efficient cook
  • Unique six-piece firebox is less susceptible to cracking if you run the fire too hot
  • Slide out ash drawer for easy cleaning

Cons of the Kamado Joe Classic II:

  • Limited cooking capacity although you can expand it with the Divide and Conquer cooking system or size up to the Classic II’s big brother, the Big Joe

KBQ C-60 BBQ Smoker Pit

The KBQ C-60 Smoker Pit makes the cut as one of the top rated smokers not because it’s an easy, set and forget unit, but because it’s innovative design turns out some of the best wood-fired barbecue you’ll ever taste.

Yes. It’s that good.

It was designed by a US veteran after he’d studied the science behind true wood smoking and aimed to fix the old age problem that real wood fires often leave meat tasting charred, not beautifully smoked. By taking the firebox that’s usually underneath the cooking area and sitting it on top of the pit, any heavy, unhealthy smoke is passed through the fire to send clean, blue smoke into the temperature controlled cooking area.

But, what this trademarked, inverted flame technology does is makes it super simple for even the most inexperienced barbecue novice to work a true stick burner to create competition-worthy meats every single time.

Before you rush to buy one for your backyard, just note that the KBQ C-60 isn’t a set and forget smoker. Yes, it’s easy to use. But, you do need to feed the right sized logs into the firebox approximately every 30 minutes. So, if sitting around the barbecue chatting to your mates is what you’d be doing anyway, go ahead. You, like so many others, won’t regret it! Feeding the logs in is literally all you’ll need to do. And, for the trouble, you’re guaranteed real wood-fired barbecue perfection without the headache of doing things the old school way.

Specs for the Karubecue C-60 Pit Smoker

Fuel type: Charocal and wood logs

Barbecue material: 18-gauge 430 stainless steel

Grate material: Stainless steel

Cooking capacity: 960 sq. in.

Model: C-60

Dimensions: 41.7(H) x 25.6(W) x 19.3(D)

Weight: 92lbs

Warranty: 2 years

Pros of the Karubecue C-60 BBQ Smoker Pit:

  • Innovative smoker that makes it easy to create competition-grade, real wood-smoked meats in your own backyard
  • One of the best rated smokers on
  • Won numerous awards for excellent design, quality and results
  • Hand-crafted barbecue that’s not just mass produced
  • Trademarked inverted flame firebox design makes it easy to get perfect, blue smoke that’s healthier for you and creates the ultimate flavor
  • Suitable for beginners through to experts
  • Thermostatically controlled, fan driven cooking area doesn’t require you to mess around trying to get the right temperature
  • Consistent results
  • Large cooking capacity with small actual footprint
  • Removable rack system gives you flexibility with what you cook
  • Approved for use in most barbecue competitions

Cons of the Karubecue C-60 BBQ Smoker Pit:

  • NOT  set and forget smoker – you need to keep adding wood every 30 minutes or so
  • You need a steady supply of logs that are bigger than a Red Bull but smaller than a standard brick
  • The open flame technology isn’t great to use in windy or rainy conditions
  • Not suitable for grilling
  • Needs electricity to run the fans and temperature controller

Z Grills ZPG-700E Pellet Smoker

Last, but definitely not the least on the list of the top rated smokers is the Z Grills ZPG-700E Pellet Smoker. It might not have the well-known brand name behind it that the other top smokers have, but, it has earned it’s place with a host of positive reviews.

So, what’s put it there?

Basically, it’s a solid, heavy-duty, set and forget smoker that’s versatile and only costs a fraction of what similar models from the industry leaders do. Some have even called it the ‘Traeger clone’.

In terms of features, the Z Grills ZPG-700E is made from rust-resistant stainless steel. It also comes standard with a waterproof cover to keep it in tip top shape, even if you leave it outside.

There’s a huge 700 square inches of cooking space that’s heated with 100% wood pellets fed from the generous 20 pound hopper. And, with their accurate automatic-feeding system, the Z Grills 700E will stay within 20 degrees of your target temperature without you having to do a thing.

Easy, simple and effective, it’s not surprising that everyone’s raving about this one!

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 ZPG-700E Pellet Smoker

Barbecue material: Heavy-duty stainless steel

Grate material: Stainless steel

Cooking capacity: 513 sq. on main rack, 187 sq. on warming rack

Pellet hopper capacity: 20 lbs

Temperature Range: 180°F – 450°F

Fuel type: Wood pellets

Model: ZPG-700E

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

Weight: 112lbs

Warranty: 3 years

Pros of the Z Grills ZPG-700E Pellet Smoker:

  • Rust-resistant stainless steel body
  • Comes with waterproof cover for extra protection from the weather
  • Large cooking capacity and pellet hopper to keep it going for hours
  • Accurate temperature control system keeps the unit within 20 degrees of your target for perfect results
  • Set and forget
  • Versatile – can smoke, bake, roast and braise
  • Comes with a strong and sturdy cart with built-in storage space
  • Covered by a 3 year warranty

Cons of the Z Grills ZPG-700E Pellet Smoker:

  • Can be tricky to remove unused pellets if you want to change flavors or keep them bone dry between smokes
  • Some people have had problems with the temperature setting being more than 20 degrees out but most have perfect performance

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)