Vertical pellet smokers come in a variety of different sizes and with different features. Some of them are completely fueled by the wood pellets themselves, and others are designed to merely heat the pellets until they smoke and are actually fueled by electricity or propane. Regardless of which model a person chooses, however, they should make sure to do their homework to make sure they buy the best one available. Fortunately, that won’t be a lot of legwork since we’ve already taken the liberty of reviewing some of the best vertical pellet smokers currently available—reviews that we’ve paired with a guide on the subject as well.
Quick Summary of Best Vertical Pellet Smokers
Editor’s Choice: Char-Broil Deluxe 725 Square-Inch Digital Smoker
Now, let’s take a look at some of the features that can be found in this model. This smoker has a total of 725 square inches of capacity and comes with four adjustable racks. It also features double-wall construction that is well insulated and holds the smoke in the cabinet extremely well. It also features glass doors that make it easy for the home cook to see what’s going on inside the unit, although it can be a bit of a pain to clean once all smoking activities have ceased. As far as smoking goes, however, this unit does take all of the guesswork out of the process thanks to its removable meat probe.
This unit also features an 8.5 cup grease tray that makes cleanup hassle-free, digital controls that make it easy for the consumer to set their desired smoking temperature, and a warming feature that will keep the food warm once a predetermined temperature has been reached. It also has a digital blue LED display that allows the consumer to set the temperature precisely. All of these features, as well as some of those we couldn’t get to in this guide, make this one of the best vertical pellet smokers available.
- It has high-quality digital controls.
- It’s drip-tray works extremely well to keep the unit clean.
- It has a built-in food temperature probe.
- The smoker box only lasts about 5-hours.
Also Recommended: Pit Boss PBV3D1 Digital Wood Pellet Smoker
Another thing that caught our attention with this model was its double-wall construction and high-temperature door seal. This construction not only keeps smoke in the smoker but also makes the smoker extremely durable. We also liked how the door had a window in it so consumers could keep an eye on their BBQ. Of course, that’s not necessary because this smoker has a digital temperature control that lets the consumer know precisely what the temperature is in the smoker and allows them to set the temperature exactly to the smoking range they need. And speaking of smoking ranges, this smoker is capable of smoking meats and veggies between 100 and 400-degrees Fahrenheit.
If there was one problem we could find with this model, it was that it only provided about 2-hours of smoking per a load of wood pellets. Fortunately, this is offset by the fact that this model can be easily filled back up so the consumer can continue with their smoking activities. Other features found on this model include a push-button digital control, locking casting wheels, and a built-in meat probe.
- It has digital controls.
- It has an elevated stand that makes loading it easier.
- Only offers 2-hours of smoking per load.
Also Consider: Pit Boss Grills 77550 1548 Square-Inch Smoker
This model holds approximately 40-pounds of wood pellets, which can give the consumer up to 24-hours of smoke per smoking session. As this smoker burns wood pellets, it also leaves less than 1% ash, and that’s a huge improvement over some of the other pellet powered models that we’ve seen. Another thing that we liked was that this smoker’s cabinet held onto the smoke and was well insulated so that there were fewer thermal leaks than other models might be.
We should also mention that this model has wheel casters that allow the unit to be moved from one location to another quite easily. On top of the unit is a damper that helps to regulate the smoke and heat levels in the smoker, so the consumer gets professional results every single time they use it. All of these features make this model one that consumers might want to think about when they purchase their next vertical pellet grill.
- This is a quite large smoker.
- It has a 40-pound pellet hopper capacity.
- It can smoke for a full 24-hours.
- This model costs more than other pellet smokers.
A Guide To Vertical Pellet Smokers
In this guide, we want to cover not only the basics of purchasing a new vertical pellet smoker, but also want to teach our readers how they should use these smokers to get the best results. That’s why we’re not going to dawdle, but we’re instead going to jump right into this guide, so people can buy and use their smoker as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Buying The Best Vertical Pellet Smokers
As promised, we’re going to begin this article helping our readers find the vertical pellet smoker that best suits their needs. Although we believe that any of the smokers we reviewed would make great additions to just about anyone’s home, we do understand that some people might want to choose other options or may even just need some help choosing one of the models we’ve selected.
Choose A Type Of Pellet Smoker
The first thing that the consumer is going to want to decide on is the type of vertical pellet smoker that might be needed. In our estimation, these smokers come in one of three different “types.” These are economy smokers, luxury smokers, and premium smokers. Below is a closer look at each of these three smoker types.
These smokers are usually made from galvanized or powder-coated steel. They’re also usually equipped with non-PID controllers (more on that later) that contain pre-determined temperatures. These smokers do lack features and are mainly used for low-temperature or cold smoking. These smokers require the consumer to have a bit more skill during the smoking process than they need with other smoker types. However, their low price-tag makes them quite attractive to many people.
Luxury smokers are completely different from economy smokers. They’re made from high-quality stainless steel instead of galvanized or powder-coated steel, so they look nice and hold up well to the elements. They also usually have the widest temperature range of any smoker and the temperature the consumers set the smoker to is always the temperature in the box—every single time.
Premium smokers are built extremely well and usually have double-wall construction and maybe in some cases a heat curtain as well. That allows them to not only hold smoke well but also helps the box maintain temperature, even on cold nights.
Choose A Type Of Temperature Controller
The next thing that the consumer is going to want to do is to decide on the type of controller that the smoker uses. Although PID controllers are all the rage nowadays with smokers, there are several different types of them available that consumers might want to consider—if they even need a PID controller at all.
These controllers offer the basics of temperature control with very little precision. These models can be as simple as low, medium, and high, or it can be as complicated as having several different settings. Unfortunately, the main problem with these controllers is that they’re usually off by anywhere from 25 to 50-degrees Fahrenheit, so that’s something consumers should think about.
Proportional Integral Derivative Controllers—also known as PID controllers—are considered to be the top standard when it comes to pellet smokers of any type. These controllers use various algorithms to keep the temperature of the box within 5-degrees of the setting the user chooses.
A Brief Guide To Using Vertical Pellet Smokers
Okay, since we’re running out of space with this guide, we’ll keep this section brief. We could’ve eliminated this section completely if it wasn’t for the fact that we think that the following bits of information are extremely important. Now that we’ve stated that fact, below are some tips for using a vertical pellet smoker effectively.
Keep The Smoker In Good Condition
The first step to getting the most out of your vertical pellet smoker is to make sure that you keep the smoker clean. Char and carbon build-up can result in wild temperature fluctuations, so always be sure to keep that smoker as clean as humanly possible.
Try Different Pellet Hardwoods
Pellets are made from different types of hardwoods, so the consumer might want to experiment with some of them to see which ones turn out the best for them. The consumer might also want to experiment with different types of pellets for different types of meat. For example, we found that maple works extremely well with chicken, but oak or mesquite woods work well for fish. For pork, we like apple woods, while for beef we like using hickory or alder wood pellets. Of course, it’s entirely up to the person doing the smoking what types of hardwood pellets they like.