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Top 5 Best Smokers For Beginners (2021 Review) | TheGrillingDad


What Are The Different Types Of Smokers For Beginners?

For us to get the best smoker for the money, it’s crucial that we understand how these smokers work and what we can expect from each.

Pellet Smoker

Pellet smokers, or grills, are ideal for beginners because it allows us to cook foods with extra smokey flavor using the convenience of an electric smoker.

Buying a pellet grill is also a great investment because it can be used as a grill and oven.

You’ll never cook pizza inside after cooking it on a pellet grill.

Pellet smokers work by heating a cooking chamber where air circulates and then allow foods to heat and cook through convection.

This type of smoker has a built-in thermometer to keep the temperature inside stable and determine the amount of pellets to be fed into the firebox through an auger.


  • Because of its unique cooking system, using pellet grills allows us to combine the flavor of actual wood smoke with our foods.
  • It provides options for us to set the temperature, so we don’t have to check our food every single minute.
  • They are versatile because we can use them as a smoker, grill, and oven.
  • The wood pellets used in this type of smoker are burned down to nearly nothing, which means that we don’t have to spend too much time and effort cleaning it up.
  • The firebox where the pellets are placed can easily be removed and emptied.


  • An expensive price tag is one of the biggest drawbacks of a pellet smoker.
  • Expect to pay at least $400 for an entry-level and simple pellet smoker.

Electric Smoker

Electric smokers are the perfect solution for beginners who want to experience “fire and forget” when smoking foods.

With a smoker that is electric, we won’t have to worry about burning any charcoal or exerting a lot of effort during cleanup.

Choosing to buy an electric model will make it very easy for us to cook as we can easily set the temperature and lounge around with a beer in our hands while waiting for our food to cook.

Some newer models of electric smokers even come up with a Bluetooth app that allows us to control the smoker even from a distance.


  • They are very easy to use, making them one of the best choices for a beginner.
  • Save money in the long run as we don’t have to buy charcoal, gas, or pellets to use it.
  • We don’t have to babysit an electric model because we can set it based on our preferred temperature and expect it to cook our foods thoroughly even when we’re not around.


  • Because they don’t create very much smoke, the flavor it produces might leave you disappointed.

Charcoal or Wood Smoker

Charcoal or wood smokers come in different shapes and sizes and add the most flavor to our foods.

However, for us to create the most flavorful dishes using a charcoal or wood smoker, we need to exert more time and effort for its setup, babysitting, and cleanup.

Read More >> How To Season a Smoker (5 Step Guide)

More me personally, I learned how to smoke meats on a charcoal/wood smoker. It was a great starting point to learn a lot about the basics.

There is an option, though, to get the charcoal and wood taste while being able to regulate temperature extremely well.

That’s where the Masterbuilt Gravity Series comes into play. This is what I’m currently using!

Read More >> How To Put Out A Charcoal Grill (3 Quick Steps)


  • For us to achieve that deep smokey flavor in our foods, using charcoal smokers is the best way to go.
  • Regardless if we have a small patio or spacious backyard, we can easily find a charcoal smoker that fits just right.
  • If you choose a smaller charcoal smoker, you won’t have any problems transporting it from one location to another.
  • You can use a variety of wood chips or wood chunks to get different flavor profiles.


  • Charcoal smokers require more babysitting and a lot of practice for us to get that perfect smokey flavor.
  • This can mean spending long periods of time around the smoker (that could be considered a pro for some).

offset smokers for newbies

Offset Smokers

Offset smokers were traditionally made using unused oil drums, which is why this type of smoker still comes in a barrel-like shape today.

They are often big and bulky but have enough room to cook several foods at the same time.

Although I wanted to let you know these exist, I don’t recommend an offset smoker as your first smoker.

In my experience, those who start with a smoker box that is offset give up and never return to this amazing lifestyle.


  • Because of its big barrel cooking chamber, they allow us to cook massive amounts of food at the same time.
  • Offset smokers that come with a grill plate attached above the firebox are also available today. These models can work as a smoker and a grill.
  • The firebox of offset smokers is located separately from the cooking chamber. This will enable us to add more fuel to the fire without letting out the smoke and heat it creates.


  • You’ll need to exert a lot of time and effort to set up an offset smoker and begin cooking with it.
  • You’ll have to allow at least one hour to set up this type of smoker before you can start using it.

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