A Personal Review of the Best Wood Smoker

by The Smoke Expert on July 1, 2014

Even though the market is getting filled up with different kinds of smoking appliances, the truth is that nothing comes close to a wood smoker when it comes to cooking smoked food. Of course, compared to gas, charcoal or electric smokers, the learning curve is a bit longer with a wood variety, yet the effort is every bit worth it.

However, there is no one “Best Wood Smoker” so as to speak!

The reason for that is everyone has different requirements when it comes to smoking awesome food. Some want a larger firebox while others would prefer a hybrid model with a larger cooking area. I’ve experimented with a lot of wood smokers over the years and based on my experiences, I wanted to share my list of the top 3 wood smokers.

1. Dyna-Glo Charcoal DGO1176BDC-D Smoker

My #1 choice for the best wood smoker is the Dyna-Glo Charcoal DGO1176BDC-D. Quite comparable to general electric varieties although not equally good, this particular model works far better compared to most other charcoal or propane smokers available in the market these days.

Dyna-Glo Charcoal DGO1176BDC-D Smoker

The solid quality of construction is evident from its superior steel build, and this well-made product can easily last for many years without giving any problem. In the past 3 years, I have only witnessed a few wears or tears, but nothing extreme. By the look of it, I suppose it will last many more years to come.

The great thing about this particular smoker is that even though it has good overall quality, it does not cost as much as some top smokers do. Moreover, it works fine for small families, although it is not too huge to work well for parties. In my case, I can easily cook for my wife and me, as well as for the two kids.

Features and specifications:

  • Designed for channeling smoky flavor and temperature control, the firebox is truly good in terms of work-ability
  • With a cooking area nearing 1,176 squared inches, its dimensions of 20.2” x 34.5” x 47” ensure the presence of 6 cooking adjustable grates. As far as capacity goes, it is around 100 pounds.
  • This heavy-duty offset product has its charcoal and wood tray made using porcelain enameled type of steel, and the overall construction quality is excellent.
  • Retaining smoked flavor is very easy due to its vertical design

2. Char-Broil Smoker 13201747-05 Longhorn Grill

With a firebox chamber placed separately, this particular model features a main chamber that is bigger than the firebox, where wood or charcoal gets burned. There is a small hole which does the job of connecting both the chambers pretty well, allowing smoked flavor to make foods juicy and mouth-watering.

Char-Broil Smoker 13201747-05 Longhorn GrillThe cooking grate has a nice porcelain coating, which is placed inside the primary chamber of about 751 square inches of area. Allowing meats, vegetables and other items to cook with perfection, this particular model exhibits its share of expertise pretty well. Placed inside the firebox, this particular 309 square inch space can cook nearly 4 whole meals, which is equivalent to 8 burgers.

It is totally your choice whether you choose one particular chamber for cooking, or want to utilize both the chambers. The grill front offers a long and neat work shelf, and the space is helpful when it comes to keeping ingredients or tools. The lid spring handles feature chrome plating, and that is the reason why touching those handles is not inconvenient even when fire is doing its job. The 3-inch temperature gauge lets users control heat effectively. Heat adjustment can be either done by damper adjustment of the main smokestack or by raising or decreasing firebox charcoal grate.

The damper is mainly responsible for the amount of smoke and heat that gets to escape from the smokestack. When there is more smoke inside the chamber, food becomes smokier as well as hotter, imparting an irresistible taste. Ash removing process is quite easy, as it just requires the use of the dedicated side clean-out purpose door of the firebox. In order to keep accessories that help in grilling, you can make use of the storage space provided under the main unit. There is a very minimal assembly process, and the heavy steel construction does its part to ensure durability and long grill life.

Features and specifications:

  • The total cooking space of both the chambers comes around 1,060 squared inches
  • There is a separately placed firebox which connects to the primary chamber
  • The main cooking grate of 751 square inches area has porcelain coating, and the other cooking area offers an extra of 309 square inches of space
  • The 3-inch temperature gauge is truly convenient when it comes to raising or lowering heat
  • It has dimensions of 64.25 x 36.5 x 55.5 inches and a weight of 237.7 pounds

3. Landmann 591320 Mountain Bravo Charcoal Grill

Completing my roundup of the best wood smoker grill combo is the Landmann 591320 Mountain Bravo Charcoal Grill. This particular model has two ways of going about cooking food. The first method is by using indirect heat, ideal for providing slow barbecue cooking. The second type is the use of smoke box in the grill.

Landmann 591320 Mountain Bravo Charcoal Grill

Its offset smoker features a door that allows users to add wood or charcoal to the blazing fire. Note that this product may require some getting used to when you first start using it. Moreover, maintaining consistency of temperature requires a bit of practice, and therefore, keeping temperature at a particular level at the beginning may be difficult. It is very likely that you will have to go through at least four or five cooking sessions before you start to realize how to control its temperature effectively on a consistent basis.

Its porcelain coated grates are nice, and having cast iron as the primary material, the finish is quite attractive too. This unit has a pretty big size, which is about 1048 sq. inches. Fact is, as long as you are careful about cleaning the grates well; the product should last for a very long time. However, note that cleaning the grates requires a bit of care, because the manufacturer has specific instructions regarding the issue. Do not be tempted to use stiff brush, because that may result in porcelain to come off, which is never a good thing because that may eventually lead to rust formation.

The locking castors, made of heavy-duty material, are a nice touch too. Most companies are nowadays adding locking castors, since that means higher durability and lower risk of a grill to get unusable.

It has a primary chamber of 808 squared inches, and the porcelain coating makes everything hassle-free to use. Featuring dual variety of charcoal pans which are adjustable with the help of crank handle, this particular model allows users to maintain or adjust heat level very adequately too. In order to make loading charcoals or woods easier during the cooking process, the manufacturer has added two front doors. The addition of the helpful thermometer is another good aspect about this product. Moreover, in order to make the product’s appeal even more intense, the company has added adjustable side vent with a view to maintaining precision of temperature.

Features and specifications:

  • The smoke box features a side door which allows easy wood or chip access for convenience of operation
  • The grates made of cast iron have porcelain as the coated material
  • In order to make removal of ash hassle-free, there is a removable type of ashtray
  • The wheels associated with locking caster are quite heavy-duty
  • The side table of large size features towel holder

Still searching for the Best Wood Smoker?

Well, don’t search anymore. Simply trust my judgment and go with any of the 3 wood smoking appliances mentioned above and you won’t regret it. However, if you still feel that I might have missed out on a top rated wood smoker, please feel free to mention it in the comments below and I’ll try my best to review it and have it included in this list of the best wood smokers.

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