10 Best Vertical Pellet Smokers in 2021 – [Updated Buying Guide]

When it comes to smoking and grilling, there are plenty of devices out there to help you. Though many people try to smoke in a charcoal grill, we find that it’s better to buy equipment that meets that specific need. The best vertical pellet smokers are hard to find.

It’s important to read various pellet smoker reviews to help you choose the best product for your needs. However, these smoker reviews often have varied information. We thought it might be best to go through all of them and pull out the 10 best vertical pellet smokers on the market. Then, we included a buyer’s guide and some FAQs to ensure that you knew everything there was about the vertical pellet smoker and how to select one for yourself.

Short on Time? Here Are Our Top Three Vertical Pellet Smokers!

9.5
Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker

Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker Best Overall

For those who want everything, the Z Grills Vertical Pellet Smoker Grill has everything you could want. With a spacious cooking capacity and a great design, it's sure to please everyone in the family.
9.5
Pit Boss Grills 77550 5

The Pit Boss Grills 77550 5 Best Splurge

The Pit Boss brand is well known for its products, and we think its vertical smoker is perfect for those who want a large cooking capacity and have a bit more to spend on their pellet grills.
9.5
Louisiana Grills Vertical Pellet Smoker

Louisiana Grills Vertical Pellet Smoker Best for Small Spaces

If you've got a small space and still want the best pellet grills on the market, we think Louisiana Grills has you covered. You're going to like the small footprint with the ability to cook just about anything you desire.
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Buyer’s Guide

Before you buy a grill or vertical pellet smoker, there are certain factors to consider to get the best results. With countless products on the market, you need to get the right one for your needs and budget.

Budget

Some people say that you can’t get the best grill or vertical pellet smoker on a tight budget, but we don’t think that’s true. In fact, we include a very budget-friendly option and find that it does everything required of it and more.

Though you shouldn’t go on price alone to find the best vertical smoker, it is likely to be a huge factor. If you can, save up for a better option, like the Z Grills brand. However, if that’s not possible right now, you may try a low-cost version and have fewer features. Let our list guide you!

Guests/How Many to Cook For

You’re going to want plenty of cooking space if you have a large family or often have big get-togethers. If you only cook for two people, it’s possible to get a smaller smoker or grill. The Weber brand has a smaller footprint than some of the others.

If you want something that looks more traditional, Camp Chef has you covered with its SmokePro or XXL grill and smoker. Any of these three options could be the best for small parties.

Food Types

Do you want to grill, smoke, and sear all with one product? If so, then your best bet is to choose the Z Grills option. With its wide temperature range and full temperature control features, you can cook the way you want, even if you want the food to be right on the grill.

Temperature Control and Temperature Range

The best smoker is one that accommodates a variety of temperatures. Typically, low-and-slow cooking requires 180 degrees Fahrenheit, while traditional grilling can be up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the temperature control gauge is also important. Though you can purchase a separate thermometer, you don’t want to open the door of the smoker or grill all the time because that lets out the heat and smoke. You should be able to turn it to the right temperature or have a built-in temperature gauge to let you know what is going on inside the smoker.

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Comparison Table

Vertical Pellet SmokersCooking SpaceWeightDimensionsReview
Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker513 square inches200 pounds51.2×22.5×48.4 inchesCheck Price
The Pit Boss Grills – The 775501,548 square inches131 pounds28x29x53 inchesCheck Price
Louisiana Grills Vertical Pellet Smoker2,059 square inches60 pounds28x29x58 inchesCheck Price
Camp Chef SmokePro DLX PG24570 square inches140 pounds41x21x51 inchesCheck Price
Dyna-Glo Charcoal Offset Smoker1176 square inches57 pounds20.2×34.52×47.03 inchesCheck Price
Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker726 square inches68 pounds24x23x48.5 inchesCheck Price
Traeger Pro Series TFB88PZBO884 square inches140 pounds27x53x49 inchesCheck Price
Masterbuilt Digital Electric Smoker725 square inches45.9 pounds19.88×20.47×33.26 inchesCheck Price
The Char-Broil Analog Vertical Electric Smoker544 square inches49.5 pounds15×20.7×33.5 inchesCheck Price
Camp Chef XXL Vertical Pellet Smoker573 square inches127 pounds45x21x51 inchesCheck Price
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10 Best Vertical Pellet Smoker Products on the Market

1. Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker – The Best Overall

If you want the best overall smoker, then the Z Grills brand is for you. We like the stainless steel construction because it is durable and long-lasting. Plus, it’s resistant to rust.

You’re going to appreciate the smart smoke technology. There’s an automated electric system that maintains whatever temperature you select. Plus, a smart digital controller keeps the temperature to within 20 degrees Fahrenheit of the one you choose. It’s simple to keep the temp at the right level with the dial included.

Whether you want to smoke or grill, this grill has a large cooking area. It’s suitable for big parties and large families. In fact, it can hold five chickens, six racks of ribs, and 20 burgers!

9.5Expert Score
Takeaway

Those who have a little extra money and space are sure to enjoy this brand. It has an LED readout, uses only pellets for fuel, and has an internal thermometer!

Pros
  • LED temperature readout
  • Internal meat thermometer
  • Fueled completely by pellets
Cons
  • Hard to grill on it
  • More expensive
  • Large footprint

2. The Pit Boss Grills 77550 5 Pellet Smoker – The Best Splurge

The Pit Boss Grills brand is considered the best option, and we really like the 77550 5.5 Smoker. It’s a mini version of the PBV3P1, which makes it suitable for beginners and those without much space.

Even though it’s quite small, there’s still a large cooking capacity with the Pit Boss brand. You can smoke tons of meat and eat like royalty throughout the week.

It’s even possible to take this smoker with you because it can easily be loaded into a truck. If you’re on a budget, you can appreciate the small price tag of the Pit Boss brand, as well.

We think that the porcelain-coated cooking grates might make this the best pellet smoker on the market, but that’s just our opinion. Those who hate food sticking during the cooking process are sure to appreciate this added benefit. Plus, there is a meat thermometer inside to keep track of the internal temperature. This means you don’t have to open the door and let out all the smoke and heat!

9.5Expert Score
Takeaway

Those who sometimes forget to shut off the grill are going to appreciate the features of this product. Though it should have a larger water tray, it's quite easy to clean!

Pros
  • Easy to clean
  • Programmable temperatures
  • Automatic shut-off
Cons
  • Doesn’t have a bright LED
  • Requires a bigger water tray to reduce humidity

3. Louisiana Grills Vertical Pellet Smoker -Best for Small Spaces

One of the top smokers out there might be the one from Louisiana Grills. It’s got an ingenious design that makes it smaller while still providing a consistent temperature while smoking.

We like that you can watch the food cook and change colors because there’s a glass door. Though this does mean a little extra work to clean it, you can smoke the food perfectly. Plus, there is double-walled insulation, which means more of the heat stays retained within the device.

You’ve got to get the right temp, and there’s a built-in internal temperature meat probe to help you do that. This means you don’t lose any smokiness or heat while opening the smoker. We also like that the pellet hopper capacity is 60 pounds and is separate from the rest of the smoker. With that, you can add more wood pellets without losing the heat.

9.5Expert Score
Takeaway

If you want to cook a lot of things consistently, this is your smoker. Though it's a challenge to assemble, you're going to feel great once it's done and you're smoking meat perfectly.

Pros
  • Double-walled insulation
  • Heavy-duty caster wheels
  • Consistent heat
Cons
  • Hard to assemble
  • Challenging to replace bad parts

4. Camp Chef SmokePro DLX PG24 – Best Traditional Style

Whether you want steaks, hot dogs, or fish, there’s a large cooking area with the Camp Chef SmokePro. This means that smoking is easy, and you can get all the food cooked at once for a party or big get-together.

We think the Camp Chef SmokePro could be the best smoker on the market because it offers an advanced cleaning feature to help you remove all the ashes after using it. Since you don’t have to slave away to cook or clean, you’re going to have more time to spend with the family, eating and enjoying life.

You’re going to appreciate the digital temperature readout on the Camp Chef SmokePro. It’s easy to make sure that you’re cooking at the right temp, ensuring that the food gets done when you want it to. Pair that with a pellet hopper capacity of 18 pounds, add some wood pellets or wood chips, and you’re good to go.

9Expert Score
Takeaway

If you've got the perfect spot for a smoker, this is a great choice. Though it's heavier than others, we like the digital controls and the ease of use.

Pros
  • Easy to clean
  • Digital temperature control
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • Heavier than other brands
  • Not energy efficient

5. Dyna-Glo Charcoal Vertical Offset Smoker – Best Budget-friendly

The Dyna-Glo brand has countless smokers and grills available, but we like the DGO1176BDC-D model. It’s actually an offset smoker, but it still features the vertical aspect. Therefore, you can cook like a pro, making this one of the best products for smoking.

We like the Dyna-Glo brand because it’s more efficient. Because of the offset design, the heat stays away from your food to help with slow cooking. There are six grates inside, and they can all be adjusted to meet various sizes of meat. Each grate holds about 25 pounds of meat.

When you choose the Dyna-Glo brand, you get a stainless steel thermometer right on the outside. This helps you control the temp without having to open it and check. That way, you’re not losing heat all the time.

9Expert Score
Takeaway

If you want to smoke a lot at once, this is the product for you. Just pay attention to make sure that the seals are good and that it's protected from tipping, and you can smoke away.

Pros
  • Six adjustable racks
  • Ash management system
  • Adjustable flue in smokestack
Cons
  • Can leak smoke
  • Can dent or tip over easily

6. Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker

The Weber brand features a stainless steel design, and we like that it can be a charcoal smoker. The primary fuel type is charcoal, but you can add either wood chips or charcoal to the smoker using the built-in door. There are three sizes available, including 22, 18, and 14 inches. That way, you can choose the one that meets your backyard size. There are two cooking grates, which is ideal for making two different large meats or many smaller ones.

This could be the best option for smoking if you want to try the modern smoker without all the high-tech fuss.

We like that it’s cute and small and utilizes a unique styling. However, it isn’t ideal for big events. Though it’s easier to clean than some options, there aren’t many digital features. Still, we like the digital temperature gauge that sits right outside on the door.

8.5Expert Score
Takeaway

If you're interested in something unique and have a sixth sense about assembling things, this could be the right choice for you. It's affordable, but you've got to get the pellet and water ratio just right to avoid hassles.

Pros
  • Multi-vent design
  • Affordable
  • Unique style
  • Large hopper capacity
Cons
  • Hard-to-follow assembly instructions
  • Difficult to add more water or pellets as needed

7. Traeger Pro Series TFB88PZBO

The Traeger brand is the founding father of pellet grills. Those who prefer to cook without a lot of hassles are sure to find this the best option for smoking. You aren’t going to have to use charcoal or gas anymore. Plus, cooking with wood just makes the food taste better.

We like that this is very versatile because you can go low and slow or hot and fast. It’s a six-in-one product that allows you to braise, roast, bake, grill, smoke, and BBQ to perfection each time.

You’re going to appreciate the precise temperature control. With the digital pro controller, it can maintain the temp to within 15 degrees Fahrenheit of your selection. Plus, the pellet hopper has a capacity of 18 pounds, meaning you can add as many wood pellets as you need to get the results you want.

8.5Expert Score
Takeaway

Those who are good with troubleshooting and want something quick to assemble are sure to like this brand. Just make sure that you put it together where you want it to be.

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Quick to assemble
  • Adjustable temp knob with LED display
Cons
  • Extremely heavy
  • Can show errors upon initial startup

8. Masterbuilt Digital Electric Smoker

If you’re looking for the top electric smoker in the vertical style, Masterbuilt has you covered. We like the consistent temperature, but it’s also easy to control the timing from the convenient panel. Since everything is in the same place, you can quickly get to work on smoking your food. This also ensures better accuracy while you’re cooking.

We like that there are four chrome-coated smoking racks, which offer more space to cook. Plus, the chrome coating helps the grates maintain their heat to keep the temperature consistent throughout the process.

You’re going to appreciate that you don’t have to open up the door to load more wood. Even if the pellets get low, you can keep the heat and smokiness inside the device while you add more.

8Expert Score
Takeaway

If you're looking to cook slow, this is the right option for you. Just make sure you get a different thermometer and keep it out of the elements.

Pros
  • Puts out tons of smoke
  • Cleans up easily
  • Ideal for slow smoking
Cons
  • Not very accurate built-in thermometer
  • Paint bubbles fast

9. The Char-Broil Analog Vertical Electric Smoker

The Char-Broil brand might have the best pellet smoker out there. We like that there are three grates, so you can cook different meats simultaneously. They’ve all got the chrome plating on them to retain heat and ensure durability.

You’re going to appreciate the insulation properties to keep the temperature consistent during the smoking process. The doors of the smoker stay sealed until you open them using the dual latches. There’s also a temperature gauge right on the door to ensure consistency.

We like that there is also a grease cup that makes it easy to remove extra grease. The wood tray and water tray are both at the front, making them easy to access.

7.5Expert Score
Takeaway

If you want something of high quality and need great control and precision, this is the brand for you. Though it's hard to read the temperature and there are a few minor design flaws, it's a great choice!

Pros
  • Heavy-duty door latches
  • More control over temperature
  • High-quality heating element
Cons
  • Design of wood pan could be better
  • Hard-to-read temp gauge during use

10. Camp Chef XXL Vertical Pellet Smoker

The Camp Chef XXL Vertical Pellet Smoker might be the best out there. We like the smart smoke technology because it optimizes the smoking efficiency as long as it isn’t windy or cold.

You’re going to appreciate the Camp Chef brand because there are three cooking racks and four grill grates. There is plenty of room inside for a large family or a party. It’s actually possible to grill 36 sausages at once.

There are also two temperature probes to help you maintain the right internal temperature for your food. Camp Chef knows what it’s doing when it comes to having the best smoker out there. In fact, you’re going to like the drippings cups and the ability to use classic pellets to improve fuel consumption.

Lastly, we should talk about the Camp Chef XXL’s hopper capacity of 18 pounds. You can put enough pellets in to last throughout the cooking process. However, it’s also easy to add more when needed.

7Expert Score
Takeaway

If you've got a big family or always cook for a crowd, you need this smoker. It's portable, has tons of space for cooking, and is easy to use.

Pros
  • Flexible controls
  • Huge volume
  • Portable
Cons
  • Higher price
  • Not ideal for small families
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FAQ

What Is a Vertical Pellet Grill or Smoker?

Smokers are often categorized based on the fuel they use. A pellet grill or smoker can smoke, grill, and be an oven. Generally, they use digital features to help control the temperature range within the grill to cook food perfectly, unlike the traditional charcoal smoker with inconsistent heat.

A vertical pellet smoker uses the wood smoke to provide a smoke flavor for the meat. You can get various tastes based on the wood you choose.

Some people are hesitant to purchase a vertical pellet smoker because they can be seen as hard to use and are often more expensive. However, it’s a good idea to buy a vertical smoker and grill. Typically, they offer better temperature control and give a better flavor.

What Is the Difference Between Vertical Smokers and Offset Smokers?

Typically, both can work like a charcoal smoker, but the difference is that an offset smoker uses a separate container for the pellets or wood chips. With a vertical smoker, the chips go into the bottom of the smoker or grill.

Are Vertical Smokers Better Than other Types of Smokers?

Generally, you have vertical smokers and horizontal ones. Vertical pellet smokers roast and smoke foods, but they often can’t grill them. The heat source is too far away from the meat. With a horizontal pellet smoker, you can bake, smoke, grill, and sometimes broil. However, vertical smokers are often the better choice because they impart a better flavor and have better temperature control. Typically, the temperature range is a bit higher in vertical smokers, as well.

How Do You Clean a Vertical Pellet Smoker?

Owning the best smoker in the world does you no good if you don’t clean it properly. Most people think that the high temperature produced burns off all the mess, but that’s not always true. We want to make it easier for you to own the best smoker out there. Regardless of the one you pick, these steps can help you clean it:

  1. Let the smoker cool down, and then remove the racks. It can take a while before the temperature lowers enough to safely handle them. Brush any extra residue from inside the chamber. You may want to wipe the rack with a towel before removing it. Then, wash it with soapy water and let it air dry.
  2. Clean the interior of the smoker to remove extra grease from the walls. Dampen a towel or cloth and wipe down the entire thing.
  3. Wipe down the exterior of your smoker with a clean cloth. Get rid of any sauce drips to prevent damage to the paint. Rinse it using clean water, and then wipe it dry before storing it.

What Are the Advantages of Vertical Pellet Smokers?

There are so many grill options out there, making it tough to decide which one to get. Different smoker products can do different things. Still, we think that you should choose the best vertical smoker over other types out there.

For one, there are various innovations included now. Digital thermometers are available for the best vertical pellet smoker products, giving you better temperature control. This allows you to monitor the heat settings during the cooking process.

Once you set the vertical pellet smoker, it doesn’t need much attention. Some of them adjust their own temperature range and smoke levels as required. Sometimes, the grill even turns off once it has cooked the meat for how long you specify. This allows you to have the meat cooked to your desired doneness without having to open the smoker until it’s done.

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Conclusion

We have been talking primarily about the various smoker options on the market. One of the best pellet smokers has to be the Z Grills brand because it is designed to provide you with the biggest space and is suitable for entertaining.

Typically, smoker reviews give you a clear winner at the end, but we don’t want to do that. Each smoker we mentioned could be the best based on your specific needs. For example, those who want a budget-friendly option can choose the Dyna-Glo brand. Those who want something that does it all might like Z Grills the best.

We hope that this review is all-inclusive, whereas the other smoker reviews out there aren’t. You’re sure to find the best smoker for your needs based on this list of the 10 best options. Happy smoking!

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