best vertical pellet smoker

How to Choose the Best Vertical Pellet Smoker ?

If you want to take your smoking skills to the next level there’s no better way to achieve that than using a dedicated pellet smoker. So, before getting one you might consider checking our guide on the best vertical pellet smokers available on the market today!

Vertical pellet smokers are versatile outdoor cookers that perform the functions of a gas grill, charcoal smoker, and kitchen oven all in one compact and safe place!

We have created a list of some of the top vertical pellet smokers available online for your consideration! We shall also go through all of the main things you should think about before settling on a pellet smoker.

Before choosing a pellet smoker, be sure to look at the weight, cooking surface, hopper capacity, and other features.

Why Buy A Vertical Pellet Smoker?

Before we take a look into the best vertical pellet smoker models you can buy , we should get to know a bit more about vertical pellet smokers and what makes them capable of cooking wonderfully delicious meals.

To begin with, vertical smokers use wood pellets made particularly for grilling and smoking and as a very effective fuel source. Wood pellets are compact capsules made of compressed sawdust and reused wood powder. It’s the best way to fire up your BBQ grill that would allow you to enjoy the perfect wood-fired flavor.

The wood pellets are fed through an auger into a firepot, where they ignite; the resulting heat and smoke ascend vertically throughout the cooking chamber, cooking and seasoning your meal simultaneously.

The vertical cooker design, which operates similarly to other vertical-type smokers like electric smokers, propane smokers, and vertical offset smokers, is another feature that distinguishes these smokers from other types of pellet grills.

5 Best Vertical Pellet Smokers in 2021

1. Pit Boss Grills 77550 5.5 Pellet Smoker

Best Vertical Pellet SmokerThis Pit Boss pellet smoker is a superb product with many flexible features, that has earned rave reviews from smoked food enthusiasts.

The vertical smoker features a cooking space of 1548 square inches, five porcelain-coated grilling grates, and a fully programmed digital control that allows you to easily adjust the temperature range.

It has a 40-pound hopper capacity and allows you to smoke your favorite food all day long. To keep the food moist enough, the smoker also includes a porcelain-coated water pan. It is equipped with a heat deflector to guarantee optimal heat dispersion.

The smoker is made of a robust porcelain material that properly maintains smoke and heat inside the smoker. It includes a digital LED readout and a meat probe to let you check the condition of the meal and enjoy your party without worrying about the interior temperature of your smoked meat.

The temperature range is one of the most enticing aspects of this vertical pellet smoker. It has temperatures ranging from 150 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. This range is now capable of cooking a wide variety of foods with ease.

Finally, it features a 300-watt power auto-start feature with an auto-shut igniter to make operation very simple and pleasant for novices.

Pros:

  • Large cooking capacity
  • Digital LED readout and meat probe
  • 40+ pound hopper capacity
  • Ideal for 5-8 person gatherings
  • Double-walled construction

Cons:

  • The heavy weight makes its movement difficult.


2. Louisiana Grills Vertical Pellet Smoker

Best Vertical Pellet SmokerLouisiana Grills Series 7 is a highly rated vertical pellet smoker and rightful so for many reasons.

With a full hopper, this smoker can store 60 pounds of pellets, providing approximately 35 hours of smoke duration at 250 degrees.

It has six grates and 2,059 inches of cooking space, making it a great smoker for the money. It also comes with a water pan that fits neatly into one of the bottom grates.

Temperatures can be set in a range between 150 and 450 degrees Fahrenheit. This device has a “Prime” button that speeds up the grill and feeds pellets to the fuel power more quickly to provide you with more smoke in an instant.

The digital control board readily controls the temperature, which is suitable for extended cooking of meals like pork shoulder or pork butt. You press the button, walk away, and let it smoke. It’s as easy as that.

It also has two meat thermometer probes that connect to the digital control panel. The display indicates the current inner temperature as well as the temperature you select.

A grease management system that is easily accessible comprises a pan that lifts out the front, allowing you to remove the fat even while food is cooking.

The Louisiana Grills Series 7 Pellet Smoker is a terrific machine that is simple to operate, has a plethora of helpful features, and offers an excellent value for money.

Pros:

  • Six porcelain-coated racks
  • Four chrome-coated smoking racks
  • Two meat probes included
  • Large viewing window
  • Wide temperature range

Cons:

  • Large and hefty
  • Expensive


3. Camp Chef XXL Vertical Pellet Smoker

Best Vertical Pellet SmokerWhen looking for the finest vertical pellet smoker, look for a combination of quality, low price, and useful features. The Camp Chef XXL pellet smoker ticks all of those boxes and offers an all-around cooking experience.

It has a massive 2,408 square inches of potential cooking surface area with over eight wire racks. If desired, you may even remove some of the racks to make room for smoking higher pieces of meat – either way, the cooking chamber is enormous.

This vertical pellet smoker has four regular cooking racks, three jerky smoking racks, and one hanging rack with 12 sausage hooks. You have an incredible amount of freedom in terms of what you can prepare between all of them.

It also includes dual meat temperature probes, which are a must-have feature while smoking. These temperature probes allow you to quickly check the temps of your meal, letting you know when it’s ready.

The Camp Chef XXL also has a few features designed to make clean-up as easy as possible. There is an integrated grease management system that directs grease drippings into an easily detachable bucket.

A pellet hopper purge and ash clean-up system further contribute to the unit’s smooth operation and reduces ash buildup.

Pros:

  • It comes with four conventional racks.
  • There are three jerky smoking racks.
  • One hanging rack.
  • Two meat probes.
  • Simple to clean.

Cons:

  • Limited temperature range


4. Masterbuilt MWS 330S Pellet Smoker

Best Vertical Pellet SmokerThe Masterbuilt MWS 330S pellet smoker is on the other end of the spectrum, concentrating on space efficiency rather than cooking capacity. Aside from that, it’s reasonably priced and hence budget-friendly.

According to Masterbuilt, this handy smoker can hold up to 12 chickens, two turkeys, two racks of ribs, or three pork butts.

This pellet smoker includes pre-programmed cooking and smoking cycles for your convenience. If you want greater control, you can regulate the cooking temperature with the smoking and cooking duration with this smoker.

One thing we don’t like about this smoker is that there are no windows to see what’s cooking, which may be a deal-breaker for some people. This item appears to have some quality control concerns as well, therefore we recommend that you read customer reviews before making a purchase.

Pros:

  • Reasonably priced
  • Four chrome-coated smoking racks
  • Meat probes included
  • Small footprint

Cons:

  • There is no way to check on the food from outside
  • There are some quality control concerns


5. Cookshack PG500 Fast Eddy’s Pellet Grill

Best Vertical Pellet SmokerThe stainless steel body of the Cookshack pellet grill is one of its distinguishing characteristics. Because it maintains more heat, it uses fewer wood pellets. Stainless steel has a long lifespan and is simple to clean too.

Aside from the longer-lasting body, the difference between cookshack pellet smokers and Pitboss/Masterbuilt is that cookshack has a better controller and higher-quality insulation. At a moderate temperature, it may operate for 24 hours. Of course, if you cook gently at a low temperature, the pellets will stay longer.

Any similar device’s insulation is crucial for keeping a steady temperature, and a lack of such will wreak havoc on the food preparation process. Cookshack makes sure that all of the proper boxes are checked for temperature constancy in all seasons.

Thanks to the electrically controlled thermostat, you can also adjust the cooking time and temperature. This pellet smoker is perfect for you if you take your cooking seriously enough to compete in BBQ contests and brag with your smoking skills among your friends and family.

For large-scale smoking, Cookshack also offers huge vertical pellet smokers. If you take your BBQ cooking more seriously than others, the Cookshack vertical pellet smoker is the best option.

The absence of a viewing window or a glass door is a significant drawback, but this vertical pellet smoker is an exception since it ensures a stable temperature and expert smoking.

Honestly, this pellet smoker might have ranked a few places higher if it didn’t lack a viewing glass window.

Pros:

  • Improved insulation.
  • The body is made of sturdy stainless steel.
  • Reduced pellet consumption.
  • Large-scale manufacturing is feasible.
  • The design is compact.

Cons:

  • There is no viewing window.


Things To Consider When Buying a Vertical Pellet Smoker

Choosing the right vertical smoker for your needs among the various alternatives might be quite difficult initially. So, we’ll look at a few essential points that will help you in the selection of the best vertical pellet smoker for your home.

  1. Cooking Capacity

There are many vertical pellet smokers available in a large variety of sizes and forms on the market. The cooking capacity and the model is mostly determined by your requirements and skills.

For example, if you smoke meals for a small family or group of friends, a small vertical smoker will be  excellent choice for you. If you are a frequent partygoer, though, a vertical pellet smoker with a large smoking area is the way to go.

  1. Temperature Range

Another critical element to consider is the temperature range. If you enjoy searing, pick a smoker with a temperature range of 500 degrees Fahrenheit. In general, a vertical smoker with a temperature of 400 degrees Fahrenheit is also a suitable option.

Pick a smoker with the temperature range according to your smoking needs.

  1. Dimensions And Weight

It’s a crucial consideration since the size and dimensions of the pellet smoker should be suitable for living your place or backyard. The size is essential since you will need to create room for the pellet smoker and  store it for later use if necessary.  You can’t leave your smoker outside on the rain as it will surely start to rust overtime and stop working if it has electronic controls.

Weight is also an essential point to keep in mind. Some pellet smokers are too large and heavy to transport and you’ll eventually want to be able to move it around by yourself and not needing to call a bulldozer for the job.

  1. Material And Structure

When purchasing a vertical pellet smoker, the material quality and construction are also essential. Choose a smoker that is well-constructed, sturdy, strong and one that can operate successfully in a range of weather conditions.

Remember that you are investing money to enjoy the perfect smoked flavor, and a smoker that is usually operating with high temperatures cannot cook meals without sturdy quality and structure. Stainless steel is one of the most reliable and widely used building components in pellet smokers, so make sure you pick one made with that material.

  1. Cooking Grates

You should select a vertical smoker that comes with high-quality cooking grates. The material of the grates has an impact on the quality of the meal you are smoking. Cooking grates are often made of stainless steel, porcelain, or cast iron.

Also, make sure you get  the proper BBQ utensils in case they don’t come with the smoker.

best vertical pellet smoker

  1. Hopper Size

When smoking BBQ, your meal may be on the smoker for up to 10 hours. The last thing you want is for your fuel to run out and your stove to stop heating your meal in the middle of the cooking process. Aside from that, it’s just great not to have to constantly reload your hopper.

In that sense, the hopper size is one of the first things to check for when searching for a vertical pellet smoker. On average, pellet smokers will use 1/2 to 1 pound of pellets per hour at lower temperatures. So pick a model with a large hopper to hold enough pellets for many subsequent cooking sessions.

  1. Ease Of Use

Consider picking a vertical smoker with features such as a digital control panel, meat probe thermometers, long-lasting handles, and wheels for ease of operation. A big window lets you check on the progress of the  meals without having to open the door.

Therefore, it is essential to know what to look for and choose the main features that will allow you to get the most out of your pellet smoker.

  1. Warranty

Finally, when there are electronics involved, there is a great chance that your device will break down after some time. The easiest way to safeguard your investment is to ensure that your smoker comes with a reasonable warranty. Industry-standard warranties generally run for 2-3 years or more, so if you can’t decide between two similar models, go with the one that has a larger warranty.


Final Words

While each of these vertical pellet smoker models has its own set of advantages and some inevitable disadvantages, we have to say that the Pit Boss Grills 77550 5.5 Pellet Smoker is our favorite smoker.

It contains pretty much every feature you could want in a modern vertical pellet smoker, has a solid track record of performance, and is offering a fantastic value for the price.

The best model you choose should be determined by your budget, size requirements, and desired features. You can’t go wrong with any of the models on this list of vertical smoker reviews.

So, decide for yourself what type of smoker you’ll eventually need and just pick one.

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