Barbecuing is quite incomplete with proper smoking. If you are a beginner in barbecuing, you should consider buying a smoker.
Now I know that you might be on a tight budget, this is why I have compiled this list of top 10 smokers that cost less than $400. In this list, you find a variety of smokers. Some of them are electric, while other use charcoal as fuel.
Read about all the smokers below, measure their pros and cons, and then pick the one that best fits your requirements. Even in such a small budget, you can get true pit master smokers, and lazy-Q smokers. If you can expand your budget a little, I’d recommend you to go with a good pellet smokers (You can read pellet smoker reviews at bestpelletsmoker.com)
Top 10 smokers under $400
Weber smokey mountain, 18 inch
Weber’s smokey mountain smoker is a hot favourite among people. However, recently based on the feedback from customers, Weber did some slight changes to their smoker. They have added a lid mounted thermometer to the piece, which makes checking temperature much easier. Earlier you either had to drill a hole in the lid and insert you own thermometer to check temperature, or you have to fix a thermometer inside the lid and the lift it to check the temperature. The new model also comes with a heat that protects whatever surface is put on the smoker.
Old smokey electric smoker
It is one of the simplest electric smokers out there. It has basic functions and retails at around $180. Unlike many of the vertical water smokers, this one brings a lot of convenience to the process of smoking. Since the temperature is electrically controller, you won’t have to do efforts in keeping the temperatures at constant. If you are not very serious about barbecuing and just want try it for fun, then this is the smoker that you buy. At this moment, you won’t need all the fancy features anyway, so why waste money.
Big chief front load smoker
This little smoker belongs to the house of big chief – A name that has made its mark in the barbecuing business for more than 55 years now. Big chief along with his brother little chief have excellence in manufacturing smokers and breaking trends by smoking foods that are not generally smoked. For example, have you smoked jerky, sausages, cheese et cetera? If you want to experiment with smoking, get this front load smoker. Also, smoking foods is a great preservation method.
The original Bradley smoker
Hands down, this one is the best electrical smoker in the market. A thermal controller is built in the device which regulates temperature because of which this smoker can produce good amounts of cold and hot smoke. You can smoke a large variety of foods in it which makes it a versatile smoker to have. To smoke in this smoker, you have placed wood chips at the base and use the control mechanism to decide what amount of smoke you want. It is does the automation of smoking process quite well.
Smoke hollow gas smoker, 44 inch
Two of the biggest problems with gas smokers are that they can only reach a limited range of temperatures and that heat and smoke leak from the doors. Fortunately, this smoker doesn’t have both them. Because of a dual burner design, this smoker can reach a wide range of temperatures and because of doors latching tightly while closing, heat and smoke doesn’t escape easily. It is designed to serve a large amount of people at once. It is 5 feet tall, with 5 racks and seven cubic feet of capacity. It will last you a good amount of time, if of course you regularly spend some time in maintaining it.
Char griller smokin’ pro
The char-griller is a classic example of offset firebox smoker. Its design is liked by many because of efficiency and performance. It won’t take you long getting started with it and if you feel like doing more with it, you can buy the rotisserie kit. It can double up as a charcoal grill, so if you plan on buying a charcoal grill, this one will save you some money. Out of all the smokers in the market that fall in this category, this one is the cheapest.
Camp chef smoke vault 24
One of the biggest problems that barbecuing enthusiasts have with gas smokers is that the heat output is generally fixed by manufacturers, while ideally it should be left for user to decide. While it true that smoking is ideally done in a set range of temperatures, but by fixing that range, manufacturers are taking away the option of variation in smoking styles. The camp chef smokers attempts at solving this problem by offering a wide range of operating temperatures – from 160 Fahrenheit to 400 Fahrenheit. It is much more versatile than many of the gas smokers that you find see in the market. But, there is one issue, which is quite common in box style smokers. The body is not insulated well, which means smoke may leak. Apart from that, this is one of the best smokers to buy under $400.
Gourmet charcoal smoker-grill combo from Brinkmann
This smoker is one of the bestselling smokers in the market and that’s probably because it is compact and cheap. Because of these of reasons this smoker is often bought by barbecuing beginners. It is small sized vertical water smoker that has the ability to hold a constant temperature despite zero vents. With a few accessories you can achieve a lot of versatility from this product, but is you are beginner in barbecuing, I’d recommend you to use it in default configuration. In short, the price of this barbecue smoker is great and performance is excellent.