Beyond Yard May collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page.

The Best Vertical Smoker: An Unique Guide To Vertical Smokers

If you are in a hurry and want to find out what the Best Vertical Smoker is then we would recommend the Weber Smokey Mountain.

If you’re thinking about taking your grilling up a notch, you should consider making the switch to a smoker. With a vertical smoker, you can cook your meals to perfection with plenty left over to spare. 

In this vertical smoker review, we’re going to go over the best options for backyard grill masters.

Here are the smokers that we will be reviewing:

Our Top Picks for Best Vertical Smoker

Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker

This charcoal cooker is our top choice for the best vertical smoker around. It’s compact enough to fit in just about any backyard, but two steel-plated racks still offer plenty of interior space.

There are three size options to choose from, depending on how much space you have to spare in your garden or patio. You can choose between a 14-inch, and 18-inch, and an oversize 22-inch model. 

The Weber Smokey Mountain is made of steel and coated in sleek porcelain enamel for improved insulation. 

The bowl and the lid of this smoker both feature vents, allowing air to flow through to maintain an even temperature and ensure your food is flavored just right. 

The Smokey Mountain includes an extra-large water tray, a built-in thermometer, and a fitted cover to protect it from the elements. 


  • Plenty of interior space with two metal grates
  • Three size options to choose from
  • Made of durable steel and coated in porcelain enamel
  • Two vents for airflow
  • Includes a thermometer and water tray


  • Seals wear down easily

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

Masterbuilt Digital Electric Smoker

This electric smoker is easy to use, even for beginners to the art. It’s all digital so that you can change settings at the push of a button.

An electronic display on top allows you to control the on/off button as well as cooking temperature and timer functions. 

If you don’t want to go outside to check on your meal, you can also control the smoker using the remote control included in the box.

A user-friendly side wood chip loader makes it easy to add chips as you cook. You don’t even have to open the smoker door and worry about losing heat. 

This smoker measures 30 inches, making it a good option for those who plan to cook party-sized meals. With four racks, this smoker can fit up to two turkeys, four pork butts, six chickens, and four racks of ribs all at once. 


  • Easy to use at any skill level
  • Digital controls and remote included
  • Has a side wood chip loading system
  • Extra-large design
  • Includes four grates for plenty of cooking space


  • The design produces limited smoke

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

Cuisinart Vertical Propane Smoker

This compact propane smoker is ideal for those who are concerned about space constraints. However, it still offers a surprising amount of space with four removable, stainless steel, dishwasher-safe grates.

The smoker has a thermometer built into the front to make it easy to keep an eye on the internal temperature. You can use an adjustable gas supply for precise control over the heat.

The Cuisinart Vertical Propane Smoker comes with a 40-inch hose as well as a regulator to help you set the assembly up with ease. It can hook up to any standard propane tank in just minutes. 

This smoker comes with a porcelain enameled steel tray that’s easy to use and easy to clean. You can add wood chips and water as needed to get moist and flavorful meals. 


  • Compact design that’s ideal for small spaces
  • Four removable, stainless steel, dishwasher-safe grates
  • Built-in thermometer and adjustable gas supply
  • Comes with 40-inch hose and porcelain enameled steel tray


  • Doesn’t maintain high heat as well as other options

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

Char-Griller AKORN Kamado Charcoal Grill

This kamado-style charcoal grill is a versatile choice for barbecue masters who want the option of both grilling and smoking. The device can function as either thanks to its unique oval design.

The bulk of this smoker is made of 22-gauge steel, meaning it can hold up to heavy wear-and-tear. An insulated exterior allows for more efficient cooking.

A locking lid gives you a close seal, keeping heat and smoke inside the Akorn so that you don’t waste any fuel. 

The cooking surface is cast-iron, which is not only durable but also an excellent heat distributor. It helps to maintain internal temperature and give you an even roast all around.

Two folding metal shelves give you plenty of extra room as you work, while a built-in heat gauge allows you to monitor the temperature. When it comes time to clean, an easy-dump ash pan ensures that you don’t have to break out the vacuum cleaner. 


  • Easy to use for both pros and beginners
  • Made of insulated 22-gauge steel
  • Cast-iron cooking surface
  • Locking lid with a tight seal
  • Includes built-in shelves, temperature gauge, and easy-dump ash pan


  • Folding shelves can’t handle much weight
  • Folding shelves can’t handle much weight

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

Dyna-Glo Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker

Though offset smokers generally feature a horizontal design, this model from Dyna-Glo boasts a unique vertical build. 

There’s ample space inside the smoker, with six adjustable shelves to let you cook even large dishes such as turkeys or even suckling roasts. 

A specialized porcelain-enameled steel charcoal chamber helps to keep charcoal in place while also improving fuel efficiency. The upper smoke stack is adjustable, giving you greater control over ventilation and temperature. 

You can check the internal environment by checking a built-in pressure gauge on the front of the unit. The gauge includes a helpful “Smoke Zone” indicator guide to help you know just what temperature to aim for when cooking. 

An oversize, removable ash pan makes cleaning up a breeze. It holds plenty of ash, so you don’t have to worry about emptying it as you cook. 


  • Unique vertical offset design
  • Six adjustable cooking grates
  • Porcelain enamel steel charcoal chamber
  • Adjustable smoke stack and built-in temperature gauge
  • Extra-large, removable ash pan for easy cleanup


  • Easy to dent

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

What Is a Vertical Smoker?

As the name suggests, a vertical smoker is one that sits upright. You can place food on one or more racks, each set one above the other.

Vertical smokers produce heat at the bottom of the unit, allowing it to rise naturally and slowly cook the food sitting inside. 

Different styles of smokers use different fuel types, which can produce a distinctive flavor in whatever you cook. 

Many grill masters prefer charcoal smokers for the unique, smoky taste that they impart. However, plenty of people also swear by propane, electric, or even pellet smokers, which are often cheaper and easier to use.

Vertical Smokers vs. Offset Smokers

When many people think of smokers, they think of the classic offset variety that you often see in films or used by professional barbecue restaurants. 

Offset smokers were first invented by oil workers who decided to turn unused drums into a cooking apparatus. Many people still use this design to this day. A horizontal grate offers plenty of room to cook large meals and cuts of meat without losing any heat.

Vertical smokers are often a better choice for backyard grill masters, as they’re easier to use and take up less space than most offset smokers. What’s more, thanks to their smaller size, it takes less time and less fuel to fire up the interior. 

What Should I Look for in a Vertical Smoker?

Once you know what type of smoker you’re looking for, you’re not done with your research. There are still a couple of important questions to ask yourself about the specifics of what you expect out of the best upright smokers for you.

How Much Will You Be Cooking?

Smokers come in all shapes and sizes, from compact options designed to save space to those with enough cooking space to serve an entire party.

When in doubt, it’s best to go with the smallest smoker that will suit your needs. Cooking small amounts of meat in an oversized chamber can take longer and cost more fuel than you should be paying.

No matter what size smoker you buy, looking for one with a few internal grates with multiple levels can increase the cooking space you have available. You can even find adjustable options. 

Where Will You Be Cooking?

Many of us grill masters aren’t content limited to backyard barbecues. We like to take our equipment with us on the road, whether we’re going out for a picnic or camping for the weekend. 

You can find vertical smokers that are compact and lightweight enough to bring with you wherever you go. It’s a good idea to look for those with easy setup and disassembly.

If you’re concerned with portability, you may also want to look for smokers with wheels. Vertical smokers can be hard to lift, especially tall models, and so wheels can help you move the unit without risking any damage.

What Type of Fuel Do You Want to Use?

The type of fuel that a smoker uses is one of the most important considerations to keep in mind when shopping. The fuel source can affect the cost of use, how long it takes to cook a meal, and the end flavor of your food.

Charcoal smokers are a popular choice, as they impart a unique smoky flavor that other smoker styles simply can’t match. However, charcoal can be expensive and requires a watchful eye.

Kamado grills are perhaps one of the oldest and most common styles of vertical charcoal grill. The classic oval shape is ideal for insulation and airflow during cooking. 

Propane is another popular fuel choice. It’s cheap and efficient, though you must use it with caution. It’s easier to maintain a constant temperature with propane, especially for beginners. 

Electric smokers are also easy to use, and they’re often safer than other fuel options. Many have automatic control and shut off features.

The most high-tech style of vertical smoker is the pellet smoker. Instead of using charcoal or wood chips, the unit uses concentrated pellets to release intense flavor efficiently.

The Bottom Line on Vertical Smokers

A vertical smoker can help you to effortlessly produce delicious, tender meat for your next barbecue, whether you’re a grilling pro or a complete novice.

We think that the best vertical smoker on the market today is the Weber Smokey Mountain cooker. It has a sleek, efficient design that comes in several sizes. 

The Smokey Mountain is more cost-effective than options such as the Char-Griller Akorn and more portable than larger models such as the Dyna-Glo Vertical Offset Smoker. As a charcoal grill, it produces a smokier flavor than electric models such as the Masterbuilt.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Share on print

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *