What is the secret to cooking succulent, flavorsome meat? The answer is simple. A charcoal smoker. The good news is that it won’t be difficult for you to find the best charcoal smoker, with a little help from some of the tips mentioned in this article.

In this article, I will share a few of the specifications and details for some popular charcoal smokers, so that you can win over your family, every dinner time.

Why Use a Charcoal Smoker?

The answer is simple. There are countless benefits and here are just some of them.

I’m sure you’ve found in your grilling days that most smokers leave behind a rather unpleasant charcoal taste in your meat. But that will definitely not be the case with the right charcoal smoker.

A high-quality charcoal smoker will retain your meats original flavors, giving them that traditional outdoorsy smokey taste, rather than leaving you a burnt charcoal taste lingering on your pallet.

Another benefit would be that charcoal smokers are actually great value for money. They come with loads of features and options and are very often cheaper and more practical to use than your typical grill.

Charcoal grills are also perfect for those who love to travel, as there are many high-quality portable grills on the market today which are suitable for you to pack up and take where you desire. Sounds good, right?

Electric vs Charcoal Smoker

This topic has opened up many a debate in my time. But let me explain to you why I am the charcoal smoker kind of guy.

First of all, what is grilling all about? For me, it’s all about turning coals, getting that outdoorsy feel, that therapeutic smell of hot wood chips… none of which is possible with an electric smoker.

Now, don’t get me wrong, an electric smoker will cook your food, but it won’t give your meat that special grilled look, whereas meat that has been cooked in a charcoal smoker has that lightly charred exterior that gives it that special grilled touch.

Not to mention the temperature factor. While most electric smokers aren’t able to cook above 325 to 350 degrees, a charcoal cooker can vary and regulate its temperatures a lot easier and can reach higher temperatures, giving your meat that crusty texture that everyone loves.

But most importantly, the flavor. Charcoal grills cannot be beaten on the unique flavor they infuse into their meats, while electric grills are much more limited in this regard.  

How to Clean Your Charcoal Smoker

Well, here comes the tricky part, you may think! But that’s not so with a charcoal smoker and you’ll see why.

As you know, it’s important to clean your charcoal smoker regularly as ash and debris build up quickly. But cleaning a charcoal smoker doesn’t have to be a chore or something you have to psych yourself up to do, as the features of a charcoal smoker make it easier than ever to get things squeaky clean.

Charcoal smokers are extremely easy to assemble and take apart, meaning that cleaning has just got a whole lot easier. Some charcoal smokers even have a convenient ash pan that can be emptied, making it a whole lot easier for you to get rid of those pesky ashes.

Some charcoal smokers have a porcelain-finished water bowl and charcoal pan, which makes cleaning easier, (no nooks and crannies that you have to get into and clean). A simple wipe down and you are good to go.

Charcoal smokers have no electrical components or gas pipes in the way that will obstruct cleaning, which makes things a lot easier when it’s time to put it all away.

Reviews

So which charcoal smoker do I go for? Now there’s a good question. As you know there are many charcoal smokers on the market, so I have reviewed a few of the most popular charcoal smokers to help you make the best decision.

Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker 18 Inch Smoker

Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker 18 Inch Smoker

This cooker has a porcelain-enameled lid, bowl and center section, meaning it will keep your meats piping hot while your waiting for your guests to settle down so you can serve up the grub. Now no one has to worry about reheating, or shouting “hurry up the foods getting cold”, now there’s a relief!

This Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker has two cooking grates, allowing ample space for more than one meat to be cooked at a time. That means double the deliciousness twice as fast as normal, now that’s savvy isn’t it?

No one is a fan of burnt meat… and they don’t have to be as this charcoal cooker has a temperature grommet for you to monitor the internal temperature of your cooker and dampers. This will help you to cook your meat to perfection and achieve your famous mouth-watering pulled pork you’ve been bragging to your friends about since last summer.

Backwoods Chubby 3400 Outdoor Charcoal Smoker

Backwoods Chubby 3400 Outdoor Charcoal Smoker

I will start with my favorite feature of this charcoal smoker.

Now, who doesn’t want a simpler, more stress-free life and this charcoal smoker is offering you just that. It will come to you fully assembled, yes, that means no painstaking long hours pondering over a poorly written instruction manual are required for this charcoal smoker, as it’ll show up at your door ready to be used.

This cooker has a really clever double wall design that is fully insulated, so it’ll keep your creations toasty and warm whilst you run around getting the garden chairs out and straightening up the umbrella.

You will be able to cook at any level with this Backwoods Chubby charcoal smoker as it also comes with an extra slider, so that you can adjust the rack inside the cooker to be able to fit any cut of meat.

The cookers’ temperatures vary from 180 to 300 degrees, now that’s a scorcher!

Cuisinart COS-116 16″ Vertical Charcoal Smoker

Cuisinart COS-116 16- Vertical Charcoal Smoker

Do you feel like you need a bigger kitchen? Maybe you just need a bigger cooking space and this charcoal smoker is offering you just that.

This charcoal smoker brags a generous 402 square inches of cooking space, now that I would call 402 square inches of griller’s heaven! It comes with two 16 inch stainless steel racks, plenty of space for you to lay out cuts of meat for all the family.

That means no pesky waiting time, hungry bellies and awkward silences while you wait for your sausages to cook, rather, utilize the space and get the whole job done at once! You’ll have seconds ready and waiting on the table before they’ve even had a chance to tuck in… job done!

“Do you mind cooking this bit a little longer, I don’t think it’s quite…done”. I know it’s terrible when you hear someone say that as they hand you back a rather pink and insipid looking cut of chicken, but with this cooker, that will be a problem of the past!

This Cuisinart charcoal smoker has a vertical barrel design which helps distribute heat evenly across all the meat, helping you to cook everything evenly at the same time.

Sougem Charcoal Smoker Grill 14-inch Vertical Combo Water Smoker

Sougem Charcoal Smoker Grill 14-inch Vertical Combo

But, I’m not just a meat-lover, you may say. Don’t worry, because this Sougem charcoal smoker has a special feature that fish fanatics will be in a frenzy over.

It’s never been easier to please everyone with this Sougem smoker, as it comes with a smoking rack and 6 hooks, which are simply ideal for smoking fish. Swordfish, tuna, snapper, whatever tickles your fancy can go straight onto the smoking rack, giving your fish that tasty smoky finish.

Now you can tend to all of your friends, vegetarians and pescetarians, as this smoker is so versatile, doesn’t that make life easier?

One of my favorite things about this model is that there is no more back-breaking refueling with this charcoal smoker. That’s because it boasts a fantastic easy-to-use horizontal hinge door that will make it so much simpler for you to add charcoal or wood to control the temperature, whilst keeping an eye on your rack of lamb.

Char-Broil Bullet Charcoal Smoker, 16″

Char-Broil Bullet Charcoal Smoker, 16-

If you’re like me, cleaning up after cooking is the most laborious and boring part of the job and that’s what I love about this charcoal smoker, it has an amazing feature that facilitates cleaning. But can a speedy wipe down on a charcoal smoker suffice? You will see it really can.

This Char-Broil Bullet charcoal smoker has a removable ash pan that will make clean ups a whole lot easier. Ash and debris fall straight into the ash pan, meaning that all you will have to do is open it and empty it, easy as pie.

This charcoal smoker also has a porcelain coated steel body meaning that it can be cleaned with a simple wipe down to get rid of any grease and debris that may have fallen on the outside.

Ease of clean is so important in this day an age, as no one wants to be spending unnecessary time scrubbing and scraping off burnt charcoal and this charcoal smoker makes cleaning easier, so you can spend more time chatting with your loved ones and pretending to laugh at your brother-in-laws jokes.

Charcoal Smoker Grill 14-Inch Vertical

Sougem Charcoal Smoker Grill 14-inch Vertical Combo

You want your charcoal smoker to stay in pristine condition as long as possible but, I get it, it doesn’t seem possible to prevent it from getting a little rusty and tired looking as time goes by. This 14-inch charcoal smoker has just the solution for you.

This smoker comes with a dust cover, for you to protect it better from the elements and help it to keep that straight out of the box look for longer. What’s more is the dust cover comes to you at no extra cost, which means keeping your smoker grill in tip top condition doesn’t have to cost you a penny!

Are you fed up of dry, rubbery, chewy meat that scratches the back of your throat as you swallow? Trust me, you’re not the only one.

This smoker grill has a porcelain-enameled water bowl which steams the food whilst it grills, help it to retain that finger-licking, juicy but smokey taste. Your guests won’t be able to stop coming back for more.

Dyna-Glo DGO1890BDC-D Wide Body Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker

Dyna-Glo DGO1890BDC-D Wide Body Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker

Go ahead, invite the whole family and I mean the whole family with this charcoal smoker beside you. Never worry again about space, timing and squeezing and strategically maneuvering bits of meat around the grill.

Ample space, that’s what we like and that’s just what this Dyna-Glo charcoal smoker has to offer.

The charcoal smoker boasts 1,890 square inches of cooking space divided over 6 spacious cooking grates. So get ready to feed the 5000, as the whole neighborhood will flock to you when they realize just how quickly you can sizzle up some tasty grub for the whole family.

But you may still be wondering, but how much meat does that mean I can cook at once? You will be amazed to hear that each grate has a 25-pound capacity, meaning plenty of scrumptious, perfectly cooked meat is coming your way.


Southern Country Smokers Meco 5025 Stainless Steel Charcoal Water Smoker

Southern Country Smokers Meco 5025 Stainless Steel Charcoal Water Smoker

Have you burnt yourself on a grill one to many a time? Me too, but rest assured that this charcoal water smoker has something to say about that.

This Southern Country Stainless Steel water smoker has a heat resistant wooden side and hood handles, which means adding water, wood and charcoal whilst cooking just became a whole lot easier and pain-free! That’s right, you can put the ice pack away and put the aloe vera plant back where it was because burning yourself on the grill will be a thing of the past.

Since the handles are heat resistant that means that there will be no filthy charcoal stained oven-mitts and tea towels to wash afterwards. It just gets better and better, right?

The handles also mean that this water smoker can be transported a lot easier, so now you can cook anywhere you like! Now you can really get to know your yard, and have a good eaves drop on the neighbor’s conversations.

Masterbuilt 20060516 Vertical Charcoal Smoker

Masterbuilt 20060516 Vertical Charcoal Smoker

Great food is the thing that really unites my family and I’m sure that’s the case with yours too. It’s great to have a grill with the capacity to feed your whole family, without you having to stress about how long you will have to wait for each batch of meat to cook, frantically thinking about what you can do to entertain hungry guests.

The answer is simple, the Masterbuilt Vertical Charcoal Smoker being the key.

That’s because this charcoal smoker can be used to smoke up to 50 lbs of food! So it doesn’t matter who you’ve invited, pile the meat onto the two chrome coated cooking grates and watch it cook up in no time.

Is that enough space for me and my family? Perhaps you find yourself asking that question.

Yes, would be the answer, there’s enough space on this smoker to fit a 7 to 8 bone large prime rib. Sounds tasty!

One of the other features I really like on this charcoal smoker is the grease cup. That really facilitates cleaning and means you can get the ‘boring bit’ done in a jiffy.

Char-Broil Deluxe Offset Smoker, 40″

Char-Broil Deluxe Offset Smoker

Last, but by no means the least! This smoker has some great features you will love.

I know one of the things that is really tedious about grilling are those endless trips back and forth to the kitchen fridge to get the marinated meat. But all of that will no longer be necessary with this Char-Broil Deluxe Offset Smoker.

This smoker has a preparation and storage space, ideal for placing your perfectly marinated meat while you are waiting for space on the grill or waiting for the coals to heat up. It has a large front and bottom shelf with classic looking stainless steel handles that make the preparation part of cooking easier, as you’ll have everything on-hand.

Fed up of looking at the same old spot of the back yard? Not to worry!

This smoker has large 8- inch wheels and a transport handle on the side that will make it so much easier for you to relocate the grill across the decking. No more heavy lifting and back breaking… what a treat!

Another great feature on this grill is the fact that it has 895 square inches of cooking space, so it is ideal for summer get-togethers and entertaining the family. Feel free to invite them all as it has a 40 inch wide cooking space which will do roughly 36 burgers. Efficiency at its finest!

Conclusion

So, to wrap it all up. Make your life easier when choosing your charcoal grill and make sure your grill ticks the following boxes before you purchase.

  • Large grilling space. No one likes waiting around for endless batches of meat to cook, so  do yourself a favor, choose a grill that has ample space for you to grill up a storm for your family and friends this summer.
  • Easy to clean. The clean up is the least exciting part of the day but it can be made easier with an ash and debris tray, so that you can get rid of all the waste in one clean sweep.
  • Temperature control. Make sure the charcoal grill is well insulated so that you don’t have to worry about reheating meals but can sit back, relax and enjoy time with your family.
  • Easy mobility. Moving a grill around can be back breaking work, so choose a charcoal grill with handles or wheels that will help you to get things moving easier.
  • Heatproof handles. Having heatproof handles will make it a lot easier for you to regulate the temperature and add wood or coal to your grill without the risk of pesky burns which, let’s admit it, are no fun at all.
  • Water grill. This will steam your food while it is grilling, giving it that breaks-off-the-bone texture that is simply divine.

Of course, these are just my opinions, but I hope they can help you to have a more enjoyable time cooking for your family. Happy grilling!.