The 10 best smokers over $400 for making true, low and slow barbecue. These smokers offer a wide variety of options from electric to charcoal with many great features. If you are serious about smoking, these are the units you should be looking at. This list includes smokers that run off of a variety of fuels and offer everything from true pit master smoking to the best "lazy-Q" smokers around.
01 of 10
Cookshack has over 40 years experience making smokers for restaurants, barbecue competitions and backyard cooks, but they let their users design this unit. What you get is the ultimate in computer controlled backyard smoking. This unit will let you load up a brisket in the morning set a desired temperature or time and head off to work for the day. When you get home, you'll be eating barbecue brisket. It really is that easy. With temperature probes, hold cycles, and... automatic smoke generation this is the perfect smoker for the barbecue lover who doesn't have a lot of time, but has the money to pay for the best.
02 of 10
The Good One Smoker is one of the top competition smokers on the circuit. This one, the Open Range, is a smaller patio version. Heavy and solid, this charcoal smoker has incredibly precise temperature control via the three "spinner" vents that not only let you set the temperature exactly where you want but let you find out how many turns it takes to get there so you can set it every time. The Good One is amazingly versatile since it can smoke and grill at the same... time, but can also be used as an oven for baking bread is so desired.
03 of 10
This is marketed as a charcoal grill, but its ability to hold low temperatures for an incredible amount of time has made it and other Kamado cookers very popular among smokers. This "smoker" is based on an ancient Japanese design, made of ceramic and looks a little like a vertical water smoker. The ceramic shell absorbs heat and holds it. The top and bottom vents allow you to control the temperature and easily hold it at the ideal smoking temperature for many hours... without attention. For smoking, you definitely need the Big Green Egg Plate Setter option.
04 of 10
MAK Grills came into existence literally in the shadow of Traeger, or at least a short drive away. The 2-Star is MAK's probably their best choice for the backyard cook. The engineering and capabilities of these grills are excellent and this model is loaded with features that really make it stand out. It will do direct fire cooking for steaks and burgers, but also low and slow smoking for brisket and ribs. The pellet controller (temperature controller) is the best in the... industry and the construction is as good as you will find on any model.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10
In recent years, there has been a flood of Kamado style grills on the market. Primo Grill is not one of these companies. Years of experience and hard work have taught them how to make a superior ceramic grill and to offer versatility that no one else has. The Oval XL, the largest of their charcoal grills, is oval in shape and comes with a dividable firebox making indirect grilling quick and easy. There is no other Kamado style grill on the market that offers this. Add to this... a thick ceramic shell, quality construction, and you have one of the best ceramic grills on the market.
06 of 10
For nearly 30 years, Backwoods Smokers has been making some of the most popular competition smokers around. Several of the most successful teams on the BBQ circuit use one of these and for a few simple reasons. Basically this is a vertical water smoker, making it easy to operate and its efficient use of charcoal makes it inexpensive to run. The insulation holds in heat giving you easy temperature control. This model is large enough for most backyard barbecue enthusiast and... the performance is much, much better than the typical hardware store smoker.
07 of 10
The guys from Pitmaker have followed the Houston tradition of pitmaking, using quality metals and superior welding for years. The BBQ Safe Smoker is their mini-vault smoker. This charcoal powered "little" smoker weighs in at over 400 pounds and has over 1,200 square inches of smoking space. The high-grade insulation and seams keep the smoke and heat inside, making this a highly efficient smoker, perfect for the backyard cook who wants to be able to feed a large party... or maybe even do some catering. The carbon steel version comes in around $2,500 (without the cart) and for an extra $200 you can get it custom painted (they do excellent work here too). Additionally, there are several customizations you can make with this smoker.
08 of 10
As Pellet Grills have become more popular and more plentiful, the fight for the lowest price has been pretty intense. To get a pellet grill under $1,000USD, it takes thin metal and a certain lack or precision in the construction. With this pellet grill, the biggest problem is the lid which is thin and prone to warping out of shape or just plain getting bent. The controller on this model includes a meat probe which is a good feature found on most of the more expensive units.... This unit can grill as well as most pellet cookers and smoke efficiently.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10
A legend among barbecue purists, Lang has been manufacturing traditional offset smokers for nearly three decades. These heavy metal stick burners are built to last virtually forever and produce fantastic smoked food, making them a favorite on the competition circuit. The Hybrid is a combination smoker and charcoal grill built in the same 1/4-inch steel pipe and separated so the can be used individually or at the same time. This makes this patio model a very versatile cooker.... There are a number of options for this model, including a trailer configuration so you can take it where you need it.
10 of 10
In the world of serious barbecue there is one name that means smoker and that's David Klose. This Texan has made some of the best smokers on the market. He also makes many of the custom units you'll see at the really big cookoffs. Klose smokers are top quality, handmade, serious smokers and the 20-inch unit is perfect for your backyard. If you want a Klose smoker, your best bet is to contact him directly and set up delivery, you can get it anywhere.