Best BBQ Smoker for the Money

by The Smoke Expert on September 24, 2014

If you’ve been looking high and low for the best bbq smoker, then you’ve come to the right place. I’ve tried and tested various smokers in the past few years and based on my experience and after speaking to other bbq experts, I’ve narrowed down my list to feature the 3 best bbq smokers for the money!

1. Masterbuilt 20070910 Digital 30-Inch Electric Smoker

Whether it is the best bbq smoker in the world or not, there is no denying the fact that it can cook delicious food. It can do its job right, and it can do everything quite quickly.

Since it is digital, you will not have to face much hassle while operating it. Just ensuring that it has enough wood at any given moment is sufficient. Further, equipped with a very good thermometer, this product can maintain a particular temperature consistently.

Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Electric Smokehouse

Many people do not want to go for smokers due to the sole reason that smokers tend to be hard to clean. Apart from that, the fact that majority of smokers are difficult to maintain does not help either. However, with Masterbuilt 30-Inch Digital Smokehouse, those issues do not exist, because the appliance is neither tough to use, nor inconvenient to clean.

One of the best things about this smart smoker is that most of its features are automatic. Hence, if you have never used a smoker before, you will still find it easy to work with. Also, the appliance is very helpful for expert cooks since it offers a wide range of features.

It contains four food racks, a heating element which produces smoke using wood chunks provided, and a box having proper insulation to trap heat. You can choose any temperature from 100 F to 275 F, depending on the food you are cooking. The electronic control placed at the top makes temperature control easy. If you choose to have great BBQ time, you can easily load the appliance with loads of beef briskets to cook those for 16 hours or more, with a temperature of 200 F.

With a weight of 72 pounds, this product is not lightweight, not even by a long shot! So, during the times you want to move it from one place to another, taking the help of a second, or even a third, person is essential. In other words, it is not an appliance you can pick up at a whim whenever you wish to.

In terms of dimensions, the smoker measures 33-inches by 18-inches by 19-inches. Note that if you take into account the fact that most restaurant smokers have sizes at least three times bigger than this, the product seems really compact in comparison. However, if you compare it with its competitors, then this Masterbuilt actually seems a bit large. But then, you also get plenty of cooking space and storage space simply because it is bigger, so nothing bad there.

Even though the appliance has 4 grills, using just one or two is enough during most occasions. That is, assuming that you are cooking for your family and you. If there is a party going on, however, using all of the provided grills is best.

Read my detailed review of this smoker here

2. Bradley 4-Rack Digital Smoker

Bradley’s Digital Smoker is nothing but the digital version of the Original Smoker. With the new version, you have the flexibility to choose the right temperature, accurate duration of cooking, as well as the extent of smoke you want to cook with. No wonder then that it features in this list of the best bbq smoker for home use.

Since you can use this product to roast, BBQ or smoke foods automatically, the process becomes almost entertaining. Cooking delicious gourmet foods is very easy with this appliance, in the comfort of your own home. On most occasions, the flavors this appliance is able to produce are simply marvelous.

Best BBQ Smoker

This Bradley smoker looks almost like a wine fridge. The only difference it has with a wine fridge is that it contains the side smoke generator. The smoker has four racks, and it looks very elegant outdoors. However, keep in mind that if you decide to store it outdoors, it is essential that you cover it in order to protect it from external elements. Also worth noting is the fact that the appliance’s electric element is controlled by thermostat, leading to consistent temperature maintenance.

In order to impart nice aroma or flavor, the appliance’s smoke generator makes use of wood bisquettes.  Bradley makes its own bisquettes, using different varieties of wood. These compressed-wood bisquettes look like small hockey pucks. You can purchase bisquettes made of hickory, pecan, whiskey oak etc. What you purchase should be dependent on what you are going to cook or smoke.

You will be happy to hear that each of the racks of the smoker has the ability to store 2 full rib racks. In fact, if you are a creative person, you can fit even more food. The fact is, whether you want to cook pork shoulders, ribs, briskets or something else, the appliance will offer you plenty of smoking space.

When smoking pork shoulders, as long as you make it a point to use the drip pan, you will have no problem cleaning up the thing. Actually, there is no any real cleaning involved. All you have to do is remove all of the racks, as well as the drip pan, and dump the parts in your dishwasher. After that, just wipe the interior portion of the smoker a bit using a wet rag to finish cleaning the whole thing. While the exterior reflects durability due to the use of powdered epoxy steel, the interior repels smoke residues by featuring polished stainless steel.

Once you use this smoker a few times, you will find that the whole thing is really easy to get along with. Make sure that you make Boston butts, ribs, as well as chipotle! You are sure to be amazed by the taste of foods prepared by this amazing piece of appliance.

Read my detailed review of the Bradley Digital Smoker here

3. Masterbuilt 20051311 2-Door Propane Smoker

The GS30D from Masterbuilt is another great propane smoker to consider and is one to consider if you’re looking for the best bbq smoker under $500 or under $300. Having four 14 by 14 racks, this model offers an incredible amount of space, implying that it can cook lots of meat simultaneously without a problem. Interestingly enough, there are separate doors for the water pan and for the chip pan. Therefore, losing heat trying to feed the thing is a thing of the past when you are dealing with this Masterbuilt. Further, note that you can also use charcoal, instead of propane, if you wish to do so. As far as ease of movement is concerned, you can easily get this thing from one place to another since it features convenient wheels. In order to enhance safety, the appliance contains insulated handles.

Masterbuilt 20051311 2-Door Propane Smoker

If you have used smokers for a while, you probably realize that insulated doors are really important for wonderful cooking output. While it is perfectly possible to insulate doors after purchasing a smoker, it is even better to purchase a smoker that has insulated doors from the start. This model actually comes with insulation, and the same is really effective when it comes to defending temperature leaks. That is the only reason why the appliance can effectively heat to a level as high as 450 F.

With the proximity of inaccuracy being nearly 10 degrees or so, the thermometer that accompanies the grill actually provides great readings. Unless you want to prepare foods that need extremely accurate temperatures for cooking, the in-built thermometer will be more than enough.

There is one small tip you might want to keep in your mind. That is, it is important to prevent the gasket from folding into the appliance. In my case, the bottom gasket got burnt when the temperature of the smoker was 400 F. Although the gaskets seal nicely still, the burnt part is not so great to look at. Other than that, this smoker can be regarded as perfect in every sense.


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