best charcoal smoker reviews

ImageNameConstructionShelvesCooking Area 
Char-Griller 16620 Akorn Kamado Kooker Charcoal Barbecue Grill and Smoker, Black22 gauge steel and porcelainTwo314 sq inches

Weber 721001 Smokey Mountain Cooker 18-Inch Charcoal Smoker, BlackSteel and AluminumThree286 sq inches
Char-Broil Oklahoma Joe's Charcoal/Gas/Smoker ComboSteel Six1060 sq inches
Char-Broil American Gourmet Offset Smoker, StandardSteelThree566 sq inches

Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Charcoal Offset SmokerSteelSix1176 sq inches

Why Should You Buy a Charcoal Smoker?

Charcoal smokers give you the best authentic BBQ taste compared to most other smokers! So why should you buy one? There are many reasons I can give you as to why you should buy one, but one stands out the most and that is the tenderness and mouth-watering flavor it gives food. However, the way you cook your food is important, but the sauce you use makes for a delectable taste.

When you compare the charcoal smoker with other types of smokers such as the gas and the electric smoker, the charcoal one is the Golden appliance to have. Professionals to amateur chefs from around the world can use them. They are amazing smoker grills to cook delicious meats from ribs, turkey, pork, fish, and even vegetables.

You can buy them in different shapes and sizes! Comparing the electric smoker to the charcoal one there is one big difference! The majority of electrical ones available automatically control the airflow and heat while the charcoal one needs loads of TLC as you need to get the temperature just right. ! If you have the best charcoal smoker and mastered the control of the temperature there is one great thing, you can sit back and enjoy some leisure time while the smoker slowly cooks your food in a stable environment.

There is no need of shoveling coal, no flyaway soot, and ash all you need to worry about is your food slowly Barbequing in the smoker. You can sit back and enjoy the outdoors with great company from friends. Nevertheless, which charcoal smoker should you buy, as there are different models available?

Luckily, for you, I have taken out the agony in finding one! Here you can find 5 handpicked Charcoal Smokers available that have received the best Charcoal Smoker reviews online!

The Best of the Best Charcoal Smoker Reviews

A Multifunctional Charcoal Smoker

The Akorn Kamado Kooker Offered by Char-Griller

If you are looking for a high-quality smoker, you must look at the Akorn Kamado Kooker. Char-Griller designed the Kamado according to the ancient old customary cooking pots you can find in places like Vietnam.

These types of pots the inhabitants used to cook their food evenly while using an open fire. Compared to the traditional cooker Char-Griller used long lasting steel with their design making it durable compared the normal clay and ceramic material used years ago.

This is one of the most multifunctional charcoal smokers available today that you can grill and smoke your food at the same time. The Akorn is a bit on the pricey side, but worth every cent, you pay for it. The Char-Griller 16620 has insulated walls that prevent the heat from escaping the chamber. Included with your purchase you get a catch pan, warming rack, storage rack, ash catcher, thermometer, tool holder, and wheels. You can even choose your own color to suit your lifestyle, as it is available in black, brown, and red.


Easy To Keep Clean

The great thing is that the Akorn is easy to keep clean as it has an ash catcher found in the lower section of the unit. This is superb as all you need to do is unlatch the bottom section, slide out the ash catcher empty it, and slide it back.

Superb Design

As mentioned, before the inside of the cookers insulated and this means that you need less charcoal and airflow giving you juicy meat. The units made from 22-gauge steel with a powder coated steel finish while the interiors porcelain coated. The cooking surface is cast iron while the cart has a tubular steel construction. In addition, for ease of movement, it has rubber wheels with a locking caster on the front.

Cook Enough Food

With this charcoal smoker, you can easily cook food for a party of four. The Kamado Kooker has a superb design and gives you 314 square inches cooking space while the warming rack is 133 square inches. Cooking a Turkey for any occasions works great in this smoker so if you have a 15 pounder packed away in your freezer go get it out and start preparing your festive meal in this appliance.


  • A bit expensive compared to other brands but is definitely not a run-of-the-mill smoker and you pay for what you get
  • The section for placing extra coals sometimes falls into the hole and you need to be careful when adding your charcoal


  • The smoker has an excellent construction
  • It retains heat with the triple-walled insulation and needs less charcoal and airflow
  • The top and bottom dampers you can adjust
  • The ash pan included is superb and makes removing ash a breeze
  • The warming rack is removable
  • It consists of a stainless steel gauge
  • You can easily move it around with the wheels
  • The cooking grates are made from cast iron
  • It maintains the temperature well from 200° – 700°
  • You can cook a meal for up to four people
  • You receive a one year warranty from the manufacturer
  • The two side shelves fold away, making it easier to store
  • Great for making different food items such as pizza, cornbread, cobbler, dessert and more


A Small Charcoal Smoker for Limited Space

The Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker

Another versatile meat smoker is the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker. This small unit is suitable if you live in an apartment or home. For making smoked poultry, fish, and some great ribs it is suitable for the small family as it gives you a 286 square inch cooking area.



Outstanding Design

The Smokey Mountain sits on three legs and has a front opening door. The capsular smokers made with a porcelain-enameled basin with a lid. You get two steel cooking grates and a charcoal grate. This charcoal smoker also has a porcelain enamel water pan with a chamber to hold your charcoal for heating. The doors made from aluminum to resist rust that helps to extend the usage of the unit. On the inside, it has a heat shield and measures 31.4 x 14.75-inches in diameter. There are others available in the range and are the larger brothers available in 18-inch and 22-inches.

Easily Monitor the Temperature

You can easily monitor the temperature with the built-in thermometer found in the lid. It gives you a visible reading of the temperature on the inside of the smoker. Included you get a silicone temperature grommet. This is a great tool to have as it helps to monitor the heat levels without you needing to open the door.

Ease of Movement

The Weber you can easily transport as it has a resilient top handle that makes lifting easier and great if you want to take the unit with you on holiday.


  • The latch on the door is difficult to keep adjusted


  • It has a wide enough door to add charcoal
  • It has a spring loaded door latch with lever type handle and secures the door in place
  • The built-in thermometer on the lid is superb
  • The bottom ash pan is great as it helps to make cleaning out the ash easier
  • The included silicone grommet gives you ease of access to use through the probe
  • The water pan helps to steam up the smoking process, keeping the meat moist
  • The door that is made of aluminum is great as it helps prevent rust
  • You can buy an extra chimney to start a fire with this model
  • The materials used in building the Weber are made to last
  • The handles on the lower food grate is super making it easier to remove from the unit
  • You receive a one year warranty from the manufacturer
  • You can make a hearty meal in this charcoal smoker from fish, chicken, pork, roast and more
  • The temperature builds up fast and with the vents, you can snuff it out quickly

A Multifunctional yet Large Charcoal Smoker

Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Combo Smoker

If you are looking for pure smoking power look at the Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Combo Smoker. This multifunctional yet large charcoal smoker presents you with more than just using charcoal. You get a unit that you can use for both grilling and smoking.

This three-in-one combination consists of an electronic ignition with an offset firebox to give you the best barbecue ever. With this unit, you can use it with charcoal and gas.


Designed For Ease of Use

The Longhorn Combo Smoker is one of the best Charcoal Smokers available! They have designed it with different uses in mind. The entire cooking area is 1060 sq inches and it weighs 205 lbs. This makes for a great smoker if you do loads of catering and have a huge friend circle. When assembled it measures 31.5 x 50.6 x 74-inches. It has two different temperature gauges available to check the temperature when using the charcoal or the gas grill section.

You can regulate the airflow and temperature with the available damper and stoke fire without the need of opening the chamber lid. The 12,000 BTU side burners can accommodate an extra charcoal chimney starter. The complete units constructed of steel. Now you can smoke and grill your food at the same time.

Cleans Out Easily

The unit is easy to keep clean as the firebox has a convenient door. It has a deep charcoal section that is deep and for ease of cleaning, it is great to place roasting pan at the bottom to hold the coals. This makes it easier for you to remove and throw out the ashes.

You Receive Loads of Cooking Racks

This model has six porcelain coated cast iron cooking grates that are rust-resistant and cleaning them is easy. The two gauges are great to control the temperature in both the charcoal and propane section when making food. The lids made from hi-temperature steel. To move the unit around there is wheels at the bottom. You get a drip pan that slides into place and a handy grill hook to remove the grates.


  • The wheels are wobbly and not stable enough to move the weight of the smoker around
  • Does not include hooks or studs to hang your cooking utensils on


  • The clean out door has a built-in damper
  • You get a two-year warranty on the product
  • The grates are porcelain-coated and made from cast iron making it easy to clean and prevents rust from building up on the greats
  • The combo smoker gives you ample space to cook up a large festive meal
  • For ease of movement, it has steel wheels attached
  • The grill lid gives you a great grip and protects your hands
  • The included damper controls the airflow and temperature well
  • You can stoke the fire without opening the cooking chamber as it has a convenient stoking door when using wood
  • The dampers are adjustable and have a vertical pipe that regulates the heat and smoke
  • The bottom shelf is great to keep your utensil, charcoal and wood close by
  • The rear grill gets super hot and great for direct heat while the front grills are great for indirect heat while cooking
  • The grills are solid and massive and the complete unit is easy to keep clean


A Budget-Friendly Charcoal Smoker

The Char-Broil American Gourmet Standard Smoker

For a great get together for friends, the Char-Broil American Gourmet Standard Smoker is a budget-friendly device to cook mid-sized meat over weekends.

With the combination of the grill and smoker, it will fit perfectly onto most patios. It has two wheels for transportation if you do need to move it.


Exceptional Design

With the standard smoker, you get a 290 sq inch cooking grate that is large enough to use with a fleet of steaks and a rack of rib placed in the main chamber. You get two extra 138 sq inch wire cooking grates that are porcelain coated and found in the firebox.It has an adjustable damper to control the different smoke levels. The doors are cool to the touch and have a durable spring handle. The Char-Broil American Gourmet smokers painted black and made of steel with side shelves to rest your tools.

Ease of Cooking

The 430 series presents you with a +- 46.25 x 17.5 x 43.75-inch smoker. This is an ideal size for smoking your food and does not require you to squat down to manage your food or stoke the fire. With the temperature gauge, you get a steady readout of the temperature in the interior of the smoker.

Cleanup is a Breeze

With the clean-out door, it makes cleaning out the ashes a breeze and you can use the door to stoke your charcoal fire.


  • The paint chips off easily with the high heat in the smoker – all you need is some heat resistant paint to give it a new look


  • You can easily cook for up to 8 people in this standard smoker
  • You get a one-year limited warranty
  • It retains heat well and has a sturdy build
  • The side tables are perfect as it gives you added workspace
  • Can stoke your fire with charcoal or wood
  • Maintains heat up to 250°
  • It is easy to assemble
  • Works as a grill or smoker
  • The cooking grates coated with porcelain that is easy to clean
  • Compared to other cheaper smoker models it has an excellent construction


A Charcoal Smoker That Gives You Value for Your Money

The Dyna-Glo Charcoal Offset Smoker

If you are looking for value when spending your hard-earned money look no, further than the Dyna-Glo Charcoal Offset Smoker.

When it comes to the Best Charcoal Smoker Reviews this one beats them all. You can easily cook up a feast for an army with this smoker.


Astounding Design

The Dyna-Glo Offset smoker is convenient to use as it has an astounding design. With the vertical smoke design, it makes it easier for you to manage your food. Included you get 6 steel racks that slide into place with ease. You get two separate compartments to manage the temperature, as there is no need for you in opening the entire smoker.

At the bottom of the smoker, you have the loading compartment to add your charcoal or wood. The only concern is the metal used to construct the smoker that gives very little insulation during winter months. It has a built-in temperature gauge and gives you 1176 sq inches of cooking space. On the top of the smoker, you have an adjustable flue to control the smoke.

Delivers a Great Smoke Flavor

The wood chip box consists of heavy steel, coated with porcelain that delivers an exceptional smoke flavor. It has handles on the side for ease of movement. With the offset design of the firebox, it helps to keep the smoke going across the meat giving it the best ever smoked flavor.

Adjustable Cooking Grates

The cooking grates are height adjustable and allow you to cook different food items at the same time.


  • The smokers not insulated well when it comes to making food outdoors during the winter month


  • The vertical smoke rack design makes it easier for you to manage the meat
  • You get two separate compartments to manage the temperature
  • The smokers large enough to smoke up to ten chickens at the same time
  • The bottom loading compartment is great to place your charcoal and makes it easier to clean
  • The smokers made from durable steel to last you a lifetime of use
  • You receive a one-year limited warranty
  • The porcelain-coated racks are easy to clean
  • The smoker assembles easily
  • Priced affordably
  • Has a built-in temperature gauge
  • Keeping it clean is a breeze with the charcoal chamber and removable steel ash pan


Important Things You Need To Consider When Buying Your Charcoal Smoker

Using a charcoal smoker is a great option for the outdoor BBQ enthusiast. It smokes meat at a moderate temperature to preserve all the amazing flavors and keeps it moist. It is a long process but the flavors out of this world. Now that you are hungry and can taste the succulent steak in your mouth, stop right there! Before heading out to buy yourself one there is a couple of important things you need to consider. Stay a while and read further!

Ease of Use

These days you can buy different units on the market. When it comes to ease of use, you will find that the offset units available allow you to grill and smoke your meat in separate compartments saving you loads of time. The Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Combo Smoker is an excellent example for ease of use. It has a charcoal and gas compartment where you can make different types of food simultaneously. In some other models, the space for making food becomes limited.

Therefore, when you are ready to choose the best charcoal smoker, versatilities important and you need to decide if you entertain a lot or only need a small one. If you are considering buying a larger smoker you need to take your space into consideration as well as they are heavy and not easy to move around.

How Often Are You Planning to Use it

Another important thing to consider is how much you are going to use your charcoal smoker. If you only use it once or twice a year, it is better to invest in a small one line the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker. Always make sure to check the capacity of the smoker as you want to be able to feed your family as the process takes long.

The Dimensions

One of the large factors when buying a charcoal smoker is the dimension. Here you need to look at the size of the smoker, as you do not want to buy the large Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Combo Smoker if you live in an apartment. Then I would recommend you look at something smaller like the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker that is suitable for limited space.

Another important thing to remember is the interior dimension when cooking. If you do have a small family and do not entertain on a regular basis, it is better to choose one of the smaller smokers available. The larger ones are more suitable for smoking different food produce when catering for larger families and regular entertainment. One more significant thing is that larger units take much longer to heat up while the smaller ones is easier to adjust the taste according to your desire and needs.

The Quality of the Product

Buying a quality product is important, especially if you are planning to buy a decent one. When buying your charcoal smoker you do not want to spend all day trying to get the temperature right. Sometimes, it’s better to buy the most expensive models as they regulate the air and heat well while cheaper ones tend to lack in that department. With the lack of regulating the air and temperature, the texture of your food may not be as expected, and tastes overcooked.

How Easy Is the Unit to Clean and Maintain

You need a smoker that is easy to clean and maintain. Look for models that have an ash catcher pan. This type of pan makes it easier for you to clean your smoker. Look for grates that are easy to clean! All the best charcoal smokers here have porcelain-coated iron grids that prevent them from rusting. They are easy to clean with a brush and the grids only need replacing when they start to chip or rust. Maintaining charcoal smokers are straightforward and do not come with small parts to replace and made from durable material.

Value for Your Money

Think of your budget before heading out to buy your smoker. Consider the features and decide if you do need all the frills available on some of the models available. If you are a beginner, you can buy yourself the Char-Broil American Gourmet Standard Smoker. This is a great entry-level smoker available at an affordable price. You can always opt for buying a more expensive one later. If you do decide to spend more it is not always a guarantee that you are going to get a quality meal smoked in it. The process of smoking is more than just the type of smoker you use and best pick something that you will feel comfortable using.

Do Not Forget the Warranty and Customer Service

Make sure that the unit you are buying does have some sort of warranty and that the dealer offers you some technical, replacement, and maintenance support. Make sure to research the brand before buying and check out the different charcoal smoker reviews online.

How to Use Your Charcoal Smoker

Tasting the delicious foods made in a charcoal smoker is mouth-watering! Now you may be wondering, “How do you use your charcoal smoker to make delicious steakhouse food?” Easy by following some simple steps you can find here:

  1. Start by preparing your charcoal pan – remove the pan and fill it up half way with your briquettes. You can use normal or flavored ones and all depends on you. If you do decide to add, some small pieces of wood make sure to moisten and wrap them in tin foil before placing them in the coals.
  2. Now you can light your charcoal – once the charcoal has had some time to burn you can slowly add more and make sure that all the charcoal catches fire before placing the pan back in the smoker.
  3. Slowly place the pan back into the smoker – after placing the charcoal pan you need to fill up the water pan ¾ full and place it in the smoker. This helps to regulate the heat and temperature and helps to make more vapors cooking the food evenly giving it the smoky taste.
  4. Place your food on the grates – always remember to place the smaller items on the top grate as it gets less heat and distributes your meat on the bottom and lower grills.
  5. Now you can close the lid and open the vents – normally there is more than one chimney. The first vent regulates the smoke and the second one gives oxygen to the fire. You need to regulate both the vents and if you find that, the fire is fading open it more and if the meat seems to smoke too fast open the other vent.
  6. Check the food occasionally – All the smokers reviewed here has temperature gauges to control airflow and heat that helps you to regulate the smoking process. It is best not to open the door too often as the heat escapes and you can follow the instructions included with your type of model when making different types of food. Rather let the food smoke longer as placing it on the grill will make the food cook quicker. Smoking is a slow process and needs loads of patients.

What is the Best Charcoal to Use

You can buy two types of charcoal the briquette made from ingredients molded into a pillowcase and then you get the lump charcoal made from wood and compressed into carbon. If you buy lump charcoal that is untreated and known as ORGANIC charcoal such as the Rockwood pure lump charcoal.

Rockwood consists of Missouri oak, maple, and hickory and free from binders, fillers, and chemicals. It gives your meat, fish, and poultry a natural flavor and gives off a rich wood aroma. When you buy the briquette charcoal, the manufacturers make it from wood but have more ingredients added to it.

When buying briquette make sure to buy the natural one exclusively made from untreated wood sources converted to char and only has a small amount of water and vegetable-based starch binders in them. There are many briquette products available that is not organic and imported in from China as it can contain limestone, sand, clay, sodium nitrates, borax, and petroleum.

The best option when you want to use charcoal is the lump charcoal that is safe for the environment. If you do plan on using briquette charcoal make sure to check the ingredients out as locally made products are starting to remove all the harsh toxins and chemicals from the manufacturing process.

How to clean and maintain your charcoal smoker

Keeping your smoker clean can become a daunting task! Follow these simple steps and your charcoal smoker will be clean in no time:

  • Take a pair of gloves and lay out a large tarp underneath the charcoal smoker – remove all the fuel from the chamber and fill a tub with hot water and dish soap. Use a brass grill brush if the grates are porcelain coated and brush them clean. Place the grids into the tub and soak them for a while.
  • Scrape the diffuser plate if it has one and unscrews the dome if you have a chimney and add it to the tub of water.
  • Now take a paint stirring stick with a long handle and clean the inside of the chimney, scrape the inside of the firebox and cook chamber by loosening the grease and food in the bottom and wipe it up with paper towels. Make sure that you get into each nook making it clean and if needed vacuum out the loose debris.
  • Now remove the grease tray and clean it with hot water – take a hose and hose down the firebox, cook chamber, and exterior of the smoker. Take some towels, dry it from excess water, keep the lid up, and vents open to let it air dry completely. If you do find rust, buildups remove it with sandpaper and spray it with high-temperature paint.
  • While waiting for it to dry scrub the smoker parts that you have left to soak and allow to air dry and reassemble the smoker. Take some oil, lubricate the inside of the smoker, and make sure that the vents also get some oil. After using your charcoal smoker remove the grills immediately, brush them clean with a brush, and make sure to scratch out any grease accumulated at the bottom of your smoker chamber. Make sure to empty the drip pan and wipe off the gaskets with damp rage. Once the grills cold remove the ash and re-oil your smoker regularly to prevent rust, build up. This will help you to keep the smoker maintained preventing a long cleaning process making the above-mentioned steps a little easier.

Final Thoughts

Now that I have given you all the great reasons as to why you should buy yourself a charcoal smoker, make sure to check out the best charcoal smoker reviews again. Personally, I would recommend the Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Combo Smoker if you have a catering business and want to make some money on the sideline. Why it allows you to dish up the best cuisine for your clients to enjoy and you can make different food items at the same time. While theAkorn Kamado Kooker is one of the best, available smokers for small to large families who enjoy entertaining people. However, if you have tight budget you can buy the Char-Broil American Gourmet Standard Smoker that is a great entry-level model to start trying out your BBQ skills.