The best budget smokers don’t cost much. But they can help you make smoked meat of the highest quality. See our top 5 best products in this article right now!
The best budget smokers in 2021 are always the top choices of many barbeque lovers. These machines don’t cost an arm and a leg but still, work at high efficiency to help their owners make delicious smoked meat.
However, choosing the best smoker at an affordable price is not simple. Without good buying experience, you may get a low-quality machine and end up making bad BBQ results.
That’s why we have made this article to help you choose the right BBQ smoker. Your job now is to scroll down and read it. You will then be able to find the most suitable product!
So, without further ado, let’s get started!
Types Of Products
There are plenty of smoker types on the market today. Each one contains specific features to serve different tasks, from light to heavy. In this section, we will describe all the main functions of every machine type.
When buying, you will have to choose between 5 kinds of BBQ smoking machines. Specifically, they are:
The name has said it all! This kind of smoker uses wood as its main energy source.
If you own this machine, always keep an eye on it during the grill! Flames can rise from the burner and burn your meat out at any time.
A big advantage of the stick burner is that it has a sturdy construction. The manufacturers usually choose heavy-duty materials such as solid metal and stainless steel to build the machine.
In exchange for the powerful shape, the price of this smoker may be a little bit high. However, you get what you pay for. The machine totally deserves the high cost as it can serve you for a long period.
A good example of this type of product is the Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Offset. It is built of heavy steel for the most rugged shape. The product comes along with a firebox and multiple dampers that help you cook the meat at the highest heat controllably.
Things seem to be better in this type, as the machine does not require you to pay attention to it much as the stick burner does. But keep in mind that you still have to watch and control the flames of it!
After the charcoals inside the smoker have been lit, your job is to change the heat using its built-in dampers. These pieces of equipment allow you to control the airflow for either high or low temperature adjustment.
We pick the Dyna-Glo DGO1890BDC-D as the best deal for charcoal smokers. This product has a thermometer attached that helps you manage the amount of heat you change using the dampers.
The pellet smoker functions similarly to a kitchen oven. You have to connect the machine to the power source, set up its heat, and let it do the rest of the job. In other words, the machine works automatically.
In detail, the pellet smoker can feed compressed sawdust pellets into the flame pot by itself, creating smoke and high heat to cook the meat.
Compared to other types, the pellet machine seems to be quite simple to use. You don’t have to look for the flames during the entire cooking time. The machine can keep the correct temperature for good BBQ quality.
Don’t you believe us? Just try using the Z GRILLS ZPG-550A – our best budget smokers for pellet usage! Besides the digital temperature control function, this product also features an automatic ignition system for quick heating.
Cooking barbecue with a gas machine is really easy, as you can keep the heat consistent. However, this type of machine does not provide smoke by itself. So you will have to add extra wood chips and chunks into the burner for it to do the work.
A special thing about this smoker is, you need to prepare one or more propane tanks to supply energy to it.
For small tasks, one tank of propane is already enough. But if you have a big party with many members to serve for, you require multiple tanks. It is quite inconvenient to prepare and carry a large number of these supplies.
The Cuisinart COS-244 stands in the top position as the best affordable propane smoker in 2021. You have the permission to open or close the 2 doors and 1 rear vent of this machine for temperature control. Thanks to this feature, the smoker will provide consistent heat during the entire BBQ smoking time.
With an electric machine, you don’t need flames to cook the meat. Instead, this type of smoker applies hot wood chips, water and heating elements to create smoke.
You will notice a big difference in the BBQ taste made by the electric machine compared to other types. Without a large combustion of open flame, the electric smoker will let the meat have less burned flavor.
A good sample for the electric smoker is the Masterbuilt MB20071117. The product contains a big heating room inside with hot metallic tray racks, where you can smoke up to 2 turkeys, 4 pork butts, 4 racks of ribs, 6 chickens at once!
The maximum temperature this machine can reach is 275ᵒ F. But rest in mind about the safety because the whole body of this smoker is insulated.
It is not difficult to find the best budget smokers. There are several factors you can notice when choosing these machines. Here are them!
How Good Is The Temperature Adjustment Feature?
Temperature adjustment is highly important! Different meat requires specific heat to be well cooked.
When buying, you should check the dampers or the ventilation system of the product. You need this equipment to increase or reduce the amount of air into the burner for the right temperature.
In detail, if the machine gets strong airflow, the flames will rise up high. And vice versa, if the airflow is low, the heat will be reduced.
If you are the electric smoker type, you can set up the correct temperature as you desire with the help of digital control panels.
The Product Should Have A Heavy-duty Construction
You surely don’t want the smoker to break down after a time of usage, right? Therefore, better look for the construction of the machine.
How to know whether the smoker is durable or not? Just have a look at the material of it! A good product is usually made of high-quality metallic material, so that it can work at high efficiency to serve big tasks.
There are a lot of high-quality materials used to build a smoker. For example, the Char-Broil Bullet Charcoal is very sturdy thanks to the porcelain-coated steel materials. In addition, the Masterbuilt MB20070210 is very famous due to its cast-iron body.
Can The Product Provide Heat Evenly?
The smoker needs to provide heat evenly for the highest quality of barbecues. Even heat will help you easily cook all sides of the meat. With this feature, the BBQ will be crispy outside and juicy inside.
What you should notice is the heating elements. The tray racks of the machine need to be large so that you can put the whole meat on their surface.
Also, the product should come along with a firebox. You can use this equipment to cover the meat. The smoke will then focus on the meat instead of escaping outside.
Does The Smoker Have Extended Features?
Many smokers have extra features to bring convenience to their owners.
The most common function is the thermometer. With this gauge, you can know how much heat the smoker is provided to cook your meat. As a result, you can manage and make changes for the temperature on time.
Also, some models are designed for simple transportation. You can refer to the Royal Gourmet SE2801. This product has 2 handles attached on 2 sides, which you can easily hold up with your hands to carry the machine around.
Below are some common questions you may have while finding the best budget smokers.
#1: Are Pellet Grills Safe To Use?
You don’t have to think about the safety of usage while using a pellet grill. This type of machine is totally safe to use.
Because the machine works automatically, you don’t need to stand next to it during the entire cooking time. Therefore, you will contact less smoke and be able to avoid cancer.
There is also no risk of exploding if you use this type of machine. Unlike the propane grill, this pellet smoker does not require any gas tank as its fuel source.
#2: Do Pellet Smokers Make Enough Smoke?
You may notice that the pellet smokers provide less smoke, right? It is understandable, as this machine uses indirect heat to cook the food.
If you require a lot of smoke to make your meat tasty, you can try using a propane smoker or a stick burner. They provide high flames that create enough smoke for your job.
#3: Which Is The Better Smoke Grill, Electric Or Propane Smoker?
For function, we can not tell which smoke grill is the better one. Either electric or propane smoker has its own specialty to serve specific purposes.
The electric one does not use flames to cook the food. So you don’t have to worry about the burned taste of the meat. That’s why we recommend the electric machine to anyone who likes making delicate foods, such as fishes and cheeses.
Electric smokers are also good at temperature control. For example, the Masterbuilt MB20071117 features digital control panels, which helps you set up the right heat you want to cook the food.
On the other hand, the propane smoker can deliver high flames to burn the meat and increase its taste. If you prefer your barbecues to taste tasty and juicy, the gas product will be the best deal.
#4: How Much Is A Smoker?
The price of a smoker depends on many factors such as type, construction, and extended features. Normally, it lies in the wide range between $100 and $10,000.
The good machine for a budget should cost about $200 – $400. It contains most basic functions and comes along with several extra features for convenience of usage.
Of course, if your budget allows you, don’t hesitate to purchase the expensive products. High-price smokers always have the latest technologies and features that support you in cooking the meat at the highest quality. You can not give a complaint to the operation and BBQ results of an expensive product.
#5: What Should You Look For When Buying A Smoker?
We have already discussed the main factors you need to consider when buying a smoker. Once again, we will summarize all of them:
- Always look for the temperature adjustment function
- The smoker needs to have a solid construction
- It is great if the product can work for a long period of time
- The burner needs to provide heat evenly
- The dampers should be easy to close and open
- Some extra features will be useful for your cooking work
In conclusion, we have taught you all the essential things about the smoke grills. You are now able to find a good smoker by yourself.
Anyway, you can still get one of our 5 following products. Here are the names of them: Royal Gourmet SE2801, Cuisinart COS-244, Dyna-Glo DGO1890BDC-D, Z GRILLS ZPG-550A, and Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Offset. They are the best budget smokers in 2021!
Overall, we like the Royal Gourmet SE2801 most! Its adjustable temperature control function, along with the great management system, can work to support you in doing multiple tasks with ease.
Although the SE2801 does not cost much, it still offers many extended features, such as double-wall construction firebox, removable digital controller, integrated thermometer, etc. Other cheap products may not give you as many benefits as this model does.
Of course, the other machines are still great to get. Each product is specially designed for specific tasks. Please consider carefully before buying in order to make the right decision.
In case you have found other best products, please share them with us! We always want to improve our posts to recommend the best smokers to all BBQ lovers. It will be wonderful to have your support!
And now, our article will come to an end. We want to say many thanks to you for having read. See you again at our next posts!