One of the biggest issues with pellet smokers is that they can take up a lot of space. If you find that you don’t have the space for a large pellet smoker, then a vertical pellet smoker can be incredibly useful to you.
Not only do they provide a larger cooking space, but they are also just as efficient in terms of fuel and the airflow is a lot better in a vertical smoker than in a standard smoker.
There are, thankfully, a wide range of fantastic vertical pellet smokers on the market. The only question is which one will be the best option for you? That’s where we come in. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best vertical pellet smokers. We’ve also written a nifty buyer’s guide to help you to narrow down your decision.
5 Best Vertical Pellet Smoker
First is the Dyna Glo Vertical Charcoal Smoker. In fact, this is actually rather similar to the Weber model that we’ll discuss later, as you can use charcoal, wood chips, or pellets inside of the smoker. This makes it highly versatile, a welcome addition for any barbecue fiend.
The smoker comes with a thermometer built in. This thermometer is simple to read, allowing you to check the temperature inside without manually grabbing a thermometer. It has a dual door design too, and this is handy because the smoker won’t lose heat when you add extra fuel. It’s especially easy and efficient to load fuel as a result of this too.
The unit comes with a powder coat finish that can handle high temperatures too. Not only that, but the smoker comes with a pretty big cooking area, that’s roughly around 764 square inches in size. This is by no means the largest cooking space out there, but it’s still more than enough to feed the whole family and a few extra.
Of course, the smoker certainly isn’t without its faults. Perhaps the biggest issue with this smoker is that it doesn’t come with a viewing window, so if you want to see your meats as they are cooking then you will need to manually open the lid and check. This isn’t necessarily something that should stop you from buying it, but it’s something that may put many people off.
Otherwise, it’s a high-quality smoker that’s ideal if you want a space saving, efficient option.
Pit Boss make some of the best smokers and best grills on the market. The Pit Boss Vertical Pellet Smoker is yet another impeccable offering from the brand and definitely one of the best vertical smokers available. A highly durable and effective smoker, you can expect some top notch barbecues with this smoker.
The vertical smoker takes up relatively little space, as it only measures 24 x 26 x 47 inches. It is made out of high-grade painted steel and it looks pretty attractive too. Inside, the smoker features porcelain-coated cast iron grates that are designed to withstand a lot of grilling sessions.
You don’t need to worry about any heat escaping when you’re smoking with this device. It has double-wall blanket insulations, and big windows right on the front where you can peek in to see how your food is doing without letting any heat escape. You will also get 1853 square inches of cooking space, which is more than big enough for even some of the largest meats. This definitely outdoes many offset smokers in terms of total space!
Related: Pit Boss Austin XL Review
Sometimes a traditional smoker is just too high maintenance. In these situations, an electric smoker is very handy. Using this smoker is pretty simple, and you can even put wood chips in the smoker without actually opening the cooking chamber. This is pretty handy if you’re worried about the temperature changing.
The smoker is incredibly easy to use and is capable of handling around 6 chickens, four racks of ribs, 2 turkeys, and four pork butts. It also has a digital temperature control unit, which makes it simple to play around with the cooking temperature as you feel fit.
The smoker comes with four chrome coated cooking racks, and here you can put a wide range of meats to cook. As a whole, it’s a highly convenient way to create delicious smoked food without the hassle of dealing with a traditional style smoker. It’s just a shame that it doesn’t come with a viewing window.
Weber is yet another big name when it comes to smoking and grilling, and for good reason. While this is technically a charcoal smoker, you can actually use wood pellets inside of it. This allows you to get the smokey wood pellet flavor or a charcoal flavor if you wish, so it’s highly versatile.
The smoker is pretty simple to put together with an easy assembly process. It also comes with a thermometer built into the lid. It can get up to around 190 degrees Fahrenheit, and it even has over 700 square inches of cooking space. In addition to this, it comes with two different smoking grates where you can cook the meat.
You don’t need to worry about this smoker falling apart days after having it. In fact, you can expect it to last quite some time as it’s highly durable and is made out of rust resistant materials. Thanks to this, you can simply keep it out on your patio when you aren’t using it. It doesn’t even take up a great deal of space either.
As far as vertical pellet smokers are concerned, there are very few options out there that are better than the Camp Chef Vertical Pellet Smoker. This smoker is highly affordable and comes with a whole bunch of fantastic features to enjoy.
The smoker comes with 2408 square inches of cooking surface area and 8 wire racks. Not only that, but you can also get rid of a few of the racks if you want to smoke larger items.
It comes with four normal cooking racks, in addition to three jerky smoking racks and a hanging rack that even have 12 sausage hooks. In addition to this, the purchase also comes with dual meat temperature probes build into it. This means that you can assess the temperature inside of your food itself, easily.
Once you have finished cooking your food, it’s also a cinch to clean the grill up. It has a grease management system build in, and this means that any droplets of grease will automatically redirect into a bucket that you can remove yourself. It also comes with a pellet hopper purge and an ash clean out system.
If you’re at all concerned the smoker also has a 3 year warranty.
Best Vertical Pellet Smoker Buying Guide
Why Should You Get a Vertical Pellet Smoker?
There are a number of different reasons why a vertical pellet smoker is a good investment. First of all, they’re pretty low maintenance. There’s no need to sit right next to the smoker the whole time that you’re cooking. You can just set the temperature on the smoker and then join your guests as the food cooks.
In addition to this, it’s incredibly easy to use wood pellets. They’re easy to find and they’re highly affordable. Not to mention that they’ll add a delectable smoky flavor to your meals.
Vertical pellet smokers are also a big space saver. They’re much slimmer than your average pellet smoker, and this means that they don’t take up a great deal of space on your lawn or patio. They’re generally more affordable than standard smokers too.
Before you buy your vertical pellet smoker, there are a few things that you need to think about:
Size of Hopper
Smoking isn’t always a task that happens quickly. In fact, some larger meats, like brisket, can end up on the grill for longer than a whole day to get them smoked to perfection.
There’s nothing worse in this situation than you going away for a little while and realizing when you’ve come back that the food hasn’t actually cooked because there was no fuel to keep it cooking. Having a large hopper helps you to avoid this situation, and it also means that you don’t need to constantly refill the hopper.
In short, it’s much more convenient for you, and it allows you to enjoy the company of your guests rather than constantly having to maintain your grill.
Most pellet smokers will burn around ½ to 1 pound of pellets in an hour when the smoker is at lower temperatures. For this reason, you should be looking for a pellet smoker that will accommodate the amount of pellets that you need to get you through the whole cooking session.
Vertical Pellet smokers are by no means cheap.
For this reason, you should make sure that you set a reasonable budget. It’s best not to set a budget too low otherwise you might not be getting good quality, but unless you simply must have all of the bells and whistles you also don’t necessarily need to break the bank either.
It’s best to consider what features you cannot live without, and assess what a reasonable budget would be to get those things.
Surface Area for Cooking
One of the best things about vertical pellet smokers is that they have so much space. You can usually cook a lot more food on these kinds of smokers than on their alternative design.
Most of the cookers come with around 4 or 5 racks where you can cook your food. It’s a good idea to look at a smoker with around 1500 square inches worth of cooking surface area, though you can likely find much more than this.
Vertical Pellet smokers are a big purchase. In addition to this, they involve electronics so there’s a chance that they can break down after you use them for a while.
For this reason, it’s worth considering a product that offers a generous warranty period. Generally, most warranty periods in the industry last around 2 or 3 years with some of them lasting even longer than this.
If you’re torn between two different smokers then you should always think about the option that comes with a better warranty.
The last thing you want when you’re buying a vertical pellet smoker is for you to get your purchase and it falls apart a few days after getting it. It’s essential that your pellet smoker is able to deal with daily wear and tear.
You should be looking for a model that is waterproof and can withstand all weather conditions, especially if you plan on keeping the smoker outdoors. In addition to this, ensure that the smoker is made out of high-quality materials that will last. If you are unsure, check out other buyer reviews.
These will usually tell you how good the smoker is in terms of durability, as customers will report if there are any issues.
Do you plan on keeping your vertical pellet smoker in one fixed position in the garden? It’s certainly a viable option as these smokers don’t tend to take up as much space.
If you aren’t planning on keeping the smoker in one place and you plan on putting it in the shed when you aren’t using it, then you need to think about how easy it is to move around.
Look for a lightweight vertical pellet smoker, or look for an option that comes with wheels to make it easier to move.