When looking for the best smoker under $500 you have plenty of options and are not just limited to charcoal.
There are a few different types all with their own unique advantages or disadvantages.
Check out our reviews below to see which one is right for you.
Types of Smokers
Propane Smokers / Gas Smokers
Today, there is a wide away of propane smokers that different significant terms of prices, features, durability, among other aspects. It is thus necessary to carefully consider the features of each type of smoker before purchasing.
Charcoal smokers are infused some unique flavors that gas grills cannot.
Electric smokers are user-friendly, convenient, and safe to use.
Pellet smokers come in a variety of sizes, features, and prices. Most of these smokers provide a combination of grilling, space, temperature control, and multiple flavors.
Ten Top Rated Smokers Under 500
Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker 22 Inch Smoker
Its main features include Porcelain-enameled lid, bowl, and center section retain heat doesn’t rust or peel. It has two cooking grates that enable the owner to smoke two big items at the same time.
It has a removable fuel door that makes easy to add charcoal and wood. In addition, its dampers allow the owner easily and effectively control the heat for tender, fall-off-the-bone meat.
It also has a large opening that enables the owner to refuel fire from wood chips without necessarily losing smoke.
Additionally, the owner can refuel as many times as his or her recipe or cooking requires.
The product is rated 4.7 out of 5 starts which shows that many consumers like it.
- According to many reviewers, the ability of Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker to use different woods for different flavors makes it more preferable than other smokers in the market.
- For a more intense smoky taste, this smoker offers cedar smoking boards on the owner can place food directly.
- In contact with the heat, the scent of the board diffuses into the food hence giving it a sumptuous woody flavor. It is ideal for when cooking fish or poultry.
- Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker is compatible with gas, coal as well as electric barbecues.
- Cold smoking-this smoker is preferable for cold smoking majorly because it can be done either through the same method of 2 by 2 charcoal or alternatively the owner can fill the reservoir with ice.
- Its side access door is flimsy.
- Inconvenient to add water if the owner needs it in the middle of the smoke.
- Comparatively, Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker is more expensive than other smokers such as Masterbuilt Front Controller Electric Smoker.
Smoke Hollow 38202G 38-Inch 2-Door Propane Gas Smoker
This is among the best propane smokers for best-tasting barbecue, pork, beef, poultry, and fish. It gives meat and vegetables that unique wood-fired flavor not possible with some of the digital smokers or indoor ovens.
Sometimes, this smoker may come with LP hose as well as a regulator but the owner may want to get a connector with quantity gauge.
Noteworthy, the Smoke Hollow Smoker is rated 4.4 out of 5 start which proves that it is liked by the majority of people.
- Heating- Smoke Hollow 38202G 38-Inch heats up quickly at about 450 degrees F in five minutes with an outside temperature of 62 degrees F. This is one of the vital aspects that many customers take into account prior to purchasing. According to the reviewers, this smoker is preferable for people who live in climates where outdoor temperatures are below 0 degrees for many months out of the year.
- Other reviewers cite packaging, easy assembly, and large wood plan are some of the other features that make them refer Smoke Hollow 38202G 38-Inch 2-Door Propane Gas Smoker over other smokers in the market.
- Lack of door gadgets.
- Flawed door thermometer. Some reviews reveal that sometimes, their smokers has inaccurate door thermometer.
- Regarding pricing, Smoke Hollow 38202G 38-Inch 2-Door Propane Gas Smoker is comparatively cheaper than some of the other smokers being sold today.
Pit Boss Grills 77435 Vertical Lp Gas Smoker
Its main features include dual valve and dual burner system providing 100-350 temperature range, 3 porcelain coated cooking grids, stainless steel burners – 13, 500 BTU total.
The smoker also has external access to wood chip drawer as well as grease tray. Additionally, it has a large viewing window and a high-temperature door seal.
This product is rated 4.6 out of 5, which implies that many customers like its features. Quality is one of the outstanding features that make Pit Boss Grills preferable over other types of smokers.
For example, most reviewers reveal that Pit Boss Grills is easy to assemble and build even though it is heavy. It is a good smoker with enough capacity to meet the needs of the owner.
- Dual burner set up is efficient.
- Has a single control knob.
- The owner can use the windows as a door for viewing.
- Has a desirable cooking capacity.
- Temperature control-the owners are able to control the temperature of the smoker from 100 to 00 degrees. It has a high-temperature seal that helps to reduce smoke and heat escape.
- Ample cooking capacity- this smoker has 676 square feet of cooking space, which is enough for most users.
- Inaccurate temperature- some reviewers expressed dissatisfaction with common temperature inaccuracies when using Pit Boss Grills Gas Smoker.
- Easy of assembling- some reviewers are also dissatisfied with its assembling difficulties.
Camp Chef Smoker 18-Inch Smoke Vault Large with Stainless Door and Adjustable Shelves
Its main features include; adjustable smoking racks and damper valves, easy to read door thermometer ranging between 50 and 550 degrees, highly-convenient snap-ignition, and cooking tips, ideas, recipes are included.
- Stainless door and adjustable shelves-this enable the user to prepare the food item in accordance with their specific needs.
- The minimal crowing of meat-this is enough room in all the racks, which are adjustable in highly. From the reviews, some users reveal that when using this smoker, they can are not limited to the thickness of what they want to smoke. The smoker can accommodate entire racks of lambs and rump roasts.
- Easy to clean-the Camp Chef Smoker has a removable porcelain base tray which makes it easy to clean the splatters and drippings that are collected at the bottom of the smoker. These materials must be cleaned in order to maintain the future flavor and more importantly, the longevity of the smoker.
- Additional assembly is necessary-the owners do not receive the endure package in a ready-to-use condition but rather in separate parts that must be assembled.
- Inaccuracies of thermostat- some reviewers have expressed their concerns about the common inaccuracies in the thermostat. According to them, the readings often go off by 10 to 20 degrees which interferes with the quality and taste of the food item being prepared.
- Shopping and packaging issues-some reviewers reveal that some smokers come with dents and other packaging issues.
Camp Chef Smoker is rated 4.3 out of 5. It is cheap to acquire and this is why it is preferred by many individuals.
Masterbuilt 20077515 Front Controller Electric Smoker with Window and RF Controller, 30-Inch
It is a staple of outdoor cookouts and preferred by most individuals because it provides smokehouse flavor. Another important feature is that Masterbuilt Front comes with a fully-equipped a blue-display through which a person views in direct sunlight.
Further, it has more than 700 square inches of total cooking space on 4 chrome cooking racks. This smokehouse has a Radio Frequency remote control that brings the power to switch it on or off at the fingertips of the user.
It is also easy to keep both the heat and smoky flavor inside using its inner liner and the locking door.
The main features of this smokehouse include:
730 sq inches of cooking space with 4 chrome-coated racks and 800-watt heating element with full foam insulation.
Has a blue lid displaces which enables easy reading of temperature and cooking time.
Easy monitoring temperatures, time, internal light as well as meat temperature through RF remote control.
Redesigned front access drip pan, smoother operating wood chip loading system and side/top air damper.
Has a handle and rear that makes it easy to move.
- Majority of customers agree that Masterbuilt 2-Door is a functional smoker with most of them attesting to like its quality design and construction particular because it has double-doors.
- This smoker also allows more heat to remain inside. This opens the door to check the meat because of its double-doors.
- Many reviewers say that they would recommend Masterbuilt 2-Door to other first-time smokers.
- The main concern expressed by many reviewers is the ability of Masterbuilt 2-Door to maintain lower temperatures at or below 200 degrees Fahrenheit. According to them, this could be a serious problem when one wants to smoke smaller pieces of meat.
- In terms of price, Masterbuilt 2-Door is more expensive some of the common smokers including Char-Broil Vertical Liquid Propane Gas Smoker, Dyna-Glo DGY784BDP 36″ Vertical LP Gas Smoker, and Smoke Hollow 30164G 30-Inch Propane Gas Smoker.
Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-D Heavy-Duty Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker & Grill
Its main features include five chrome-plated cooking grates, ample cooking space of 1382 square inches, and a durable structure.
It also has a cool-touch spring lid grip that allows safer access to meat or and other food items. Dyna-Glo Signature also has a stainless temperature gauge with “Smoke Zone” which allows the owner to find the ideal temperature for infusing smoke flavor.
Further, its mobility is greatly enhanced by its oversized steel wheels which enable the owner to easily move it before and after use.
Dyna-Glo Signature Series is rated at 3.8 out of 5.
- Generous smoking and grilling area-it provide the owner with 1,382 square inches of cooking space as well as 284 square inches of a grilling area.
- Reliable and quality construction-it is made out of heavy duty gauge stainless steel which improves durability. However, this material makes it heavy. It’s cooking grates are chrome-plated.
- It can serve as both a grill and a smoker-this versatility makes it more preferable than other types of smoker that serve a single purpose.
- Mobility- Dyna-Glo Signature Series has wheeled constructions which makes it easier to move or transfer it from one place to another. This feature is particularly important considering it is made using heavy materials.
- Doesn’t come with digital controls and other innovative electronic functions. All its control features are analog.
- Its steal-coating wears off easily.
- It is not suitable for individuals who prefer simplicity and fancy features.
- In terms of price, this is among the most affordable smokers in the market today. As revealed by reviewers, its analog features are the primary reason why its price is always lower compared to the other advanced counterparts.
Masterbuilt 20071117 30″ Digital Electric Smoker
This is a perfect smoker for both beginners as well as pros.
Its main features include digital panel controls that help to turn on and off and easily adjust the temperature and time, wood chip loading system that enables the owner to add chips without necessarily opening its door, and integrated thermostat temperature control which improves the smoking consistency.
This smoker can reach a maximum temperature of 275 degrees which enhances heat retention after smoking. The owner s ability to keep the meat warm while it is inside the smoking cabinet. Its body is fully-insulated hence there is minimal risk for accidents.
Also, its full insulation is beneficial in terms of temperature management.
Reviewers rate Masterbuilt 20071117 30″ Digital Electric Smoker at 4.0 out of 5 stars.
- Its side wood chip loading mechanism prevents loss of smoke and heat.
- It is easy to monitor the meat’s internal temperature using its integrated meat thermometer.
- It is convenient and has an ample cooking space.
- Enables even smoking since it has 800-watt heating elements.
- Durable construction
- The temperature gauge is prone to breakdown and other problems. Some reviewers reveal that the smoker arrived broken or nonfunctional.
- The smoker box can swell. Some reviewers argue reveal that they have witnessed this problem on their smokers more than once.
Cuisinart COS-330 Electric Smoker, Black
This is a roomy smoker that has a wide temperature range for more cooking options, ergonomic build.
Also, it has a 3-year warranty which is fair at its price.
- Convenient-this smoker is easy to use and perfect for beginners.
- Easy-to-read thermometer-this helps the owner to closely monitor the internal temperature.
- Mobility-this smoker is not only light but also has two side handles which ease mobility.
- Excessively lightweight.
- Lack of electronic temperature control.
Z Grills ZPG-7002B 2019 New Model Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker, 8 in 1 BBQ Grill Auto Temperature Controls, 700 sq inch
- Fan-forced Convection cooking- this enables the creation of a versatile environment.
- Temperature and Pellet Feed Control System-this enables the owner to set the cooking temperature accordingly.
- Ample grilling area-this smoker has huge areas for grilling/warming.
- User-friendly-this smoker has Electronic AUTO-Start Ignition, Digital auto temperature control, LED temperature readout which makes it perfect for beginners.
- The indirect heat is more of a bake than a grill.
- The owner must carefully out food placement on the grill.
- It is cheaper compared to some of the other smokers available in the market today.
Z GRILLS ZPG-450A 2019 Upgrade Model Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker, 6 in 1 BBQ Grill Auto Temperature Control, 450 sq inch
Auto Temperature Control, 45 sq inch
- Versatile-this smoker has a variety of uses including baking, roasting, braising, smoking, and grilling.
- Temperature control-this smoker has a digital control board that automatically ignites the grill hence allowing the owner to set the cooking temperatures from 180°f to 450°f.
- Automated Electric Feed System-this feature enables the owner to produce and maintain heat and smoke at optimal levels in order to ensure the best taste, flavors, and quality.
- Ample cooking area- Z GRILLS ZPG-450A 2019 has a total of 450 square inches of grilling area as well as a hopper capacity of 15 pounds.
- User-friendly-most reviewers say that Electronic AUTO-Start Ignition, Digital Auto Temperature Control, as well as LED temperature readout are some of the features that make this smoker easy to use.
- Expensive to acquire
- It may not be suitable for individuals who prefer simplicity and fancy features.
- Regarding its affordability, this smoker is comparatively cheaper but has superior qualities.
As you can see there are many choices when it comes to smokers at this price point. Options are great but don’t try to overthink it.
Go with your gut and which one accommodates your needs and wants as every person will have their own opinion.