The 9 Best Vertical Pellet Smokers of 2020

Best Vertical Pellet Smoker

Photo: Masterbuilt

A pellet smoker is an outdoor cooker that is fueled by wood pellets, which can be ignited and controlled using electricity, gas, or charcoal. A vertical pellet smoker has a large, space-saving design that places your food in multiple horizontal racks arranged in a vertical stack.

This allows most of the smoke flavor to be absorbed as it rises through the racks to give you a large serving of tasty meals using a few pellets. There are various varieties of these cookers in the market but these are the best vertical pellet smokers to buy.

9 Best Vertical Pellet Smokers – Reviews

IMAGE

​PRODUCT

​FEATURES

Masterbuilt MB20074719

1. Masterbuilt MB20074719 (Best Overall Vertical Pellet Smoker)

  • Bluetooth smart remote-control technology
  • Includes a meat probe thermometer
  • Patented wood-chip side-loading system
  • Integrated thermostat control
Masterbuilt MB20070210

2. Masterbuilt MB20070210 (Best Vertical Smoker for the Money)

  • Affordable
  • Quite large 30-in size
  • Variable temperature control
  • Built-in temperature gauge
Dyna-Glo DGY784BDP

3. Dyna-Glo DGY784BDP (Best Gas-Powered Wood Chip Smoker)

  • Hot 15,000 BTU burner
  • Electronic push-button ignition
  • Convenient double-door design
  • Sliding air dampers
Char-Broil 18202077

4. Char-Broil 18202077 (Best Insulated Vertical Pellet Smoker)

  • Insulated double-wall construction
  • Dual exhaust ports
  • Large capacity chip box
  • Door-mounted temperature gauge
Weber 721001

5. Weber 721001 (Best Compact Vertical Pellet Smoker)

  • Compact 18-in size
  • Two dampers for airflow control
  • Silicone temperature grommet
  • Rust-resistant aluminum door and legs
Bradley Smoker BTDS76P

6. Bradley Smoker BTDS76P (Best Automatic-Feed Vertical Pellet Smoker)

  • Digital smoke generator and hopper
  • Smoke diffuser for even smoking
  • Powder epoxy steel construction
  • Polished stainless-steel interior
Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D

7. Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D (Best Offset Vertical Pellet Smoker)

  • Offset smoker box
  • 6 height-adjustable grates
  • Adjustable smoke stack and damper
  • Quick-release door latch
Bradley Smoker BS611

8. Bradley Smoker BS611 (Easy-to-Clean Vertical Pellet Smoker)

  • Polished stainless-steel interior
  • Dishwasher-safe racks
  • External smoke generator
  • Insulated design
Dyna-Glo DGSS1382VCS-D

9. Dyna-Glo DGSS1382VCS-D (Best Large Vertical Pellet Smoker)

  • Large 1,382 sq. in. cooking capacity
  • Offset firebox with a grill
  • Built-in sausage hooks
  • Two large wheels for easy movement

PRODUCT

1. Masterbuilt MB20074719

(Best Overall Vertical Pellet Smoker)

Masterbuilt MB20074719
  • Bluetooth smart remote-control technology
  • Includes a meat probe thermometer
  • Patented wood-chip side-loading system
  • Integrated thermostat control

2. Masterbuilt MB20070210

(Best Vertical Smoker for the Money)

Masterbuilt MB20070210
  • Affordable
  • Quite large 30-in size
  • Variable temperature control
  • Built-in temperature gauge

3. Dyna-Glo DGY784BDP

(Best Gas-Powered Wood Chip Smoker)

Dyna-Glo DGY784BDP
  • Hot 15,000 BTU burner
  • Electronic push-button ignition
  • Convenient double-door design
  • Sliding air dampers

4. Char-Broil 18202077

(Best Insulated Vertical Pellet Smoker)

Char-Broil 18202077
  • Insulated double-wall construction
  • Dual exhaust ports
  • Large capacity chip box
  • Door-mounted temperature gauge

5. Weber 721001

(Best Compact Vertical Pellet Smoker)

Weber 721001
  • Compact 18-in size
  • Two dampers for airflow control
  • Silicone temperature grommet
  • Rust-resistant aluminum door and legs

6. Bradley Smoker BTDS76P

(Best Automatic-Feed Vertical Pellet Smoker)

Bradley Smoker BTDS76P
  • Digital smoke generator and hopper
  • Smoke diffuser for even smoking
  • Powder epoxy steel construction
  • Polished stainless-steel interior

7. Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D

(Best Offset Vertical Pellet Smoker)

Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D
  • Offset smoker box
  • 6 height-adjustable grates
  • Adjustable smoke stack and damper
  • Quick-release door latch

8. Bradley Smoker BS611

(Easy-to-Clean Vertical Pellet Smoker)

Bradley Smoker BS611
  • Polished stainless-steel interior
  • Dishwasher-safe racks
  • External smoke generator
  • Insulated design

9. Dyna-Glo DGSS1382VCS-D

(Best Large Vertical Pellet Smoker)

Dyna-Glo DGSS1382VCS-D
  • Large 1,382 sq. in. cooking capacity
  • Offset firebox with a grill
  • Built-in sausage hooks
  • Two large wheels for easy movement

1. Masterbuilt MB20074719 – Best Overall Vertical Pellet Smoker

Masterbuilt MB20074719

Photo: Masterbuilt

  • Size: 40 in.
  • Fuel Type: Electric
  • Material: Stainless Steel

Masterbuilt’s MB20074719 takes the top spot because it has some impressive technological features. For instance, it has Bluetooth smart technology, which allows you to monitor the smoking process remotely.

With this, you can control the cooking time and temperature, monitor the meat temperature, power the unit on/off and operate the interior light from your smart device.

To help you with this, one meat probe thermometer is included but the smoker can support two so that you can monitor two pieces of meat.

You can also use the onboard digital control panel and both options control the integrated thermostat to regulate the temperature inside for consistent smoking

Other than that, you get a patented side-loading system that allows you to add wood chips without opening the door.

More features include a door window for easy monitoring of the smoking process without opening the door and four chrome-coated racks that are easy to clean. The only problem is that the unit is expensive, but it is worth the price.

Pros:

  • Built-in Bluetooth smart technology
  • Comes with a meat probe thermometer
  • Convenient wood-chip side-loading system
  • Integrated thermostat control
  • Easy-to-clean chrome-coated racks

Cons:

  • Quite expensive

2. Masterbuilt MB20070210 – Best Vertical Smoker for the Money

Masterbuilt MB20070210

Photo: Masterbuilt

  • Size: 30 in.
  • Fuel Type: Electric

If you are on a tight budget, Masterbuilt’s MB20070210 is the best vertical smoker to buy because it is very affordable. Despite this, it has quite a large 30-in size with three chrome-coated smoking racks that can fit 3 chickens, 2 turkeys, 3 pork butts, or 3 sets of ribs.

Being electric, the smoker is fitted with a 1,500-watt heating element, which heats the wood chip tray to smoke your meat.

This element is controlled by an analog dial for variable temperature control while the chip tray easily slides out for ash removal once all the chips are burned.

Other features include a temperature gauge, which is built into the door for monitoring the heat level inside, and a cool-touch spring door handle. However, you don’t get a window for easy monitoring of the smoking process inside.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Quite large 30-in size
  • Variable temperature control
  • Built-in temperature gauge

Cons:

  • Lacks a monitoring window

3. Dyna-Glo DGY784BDP – Best Gas-Powered Wood Chip Smoker

Dyna-Glo DGY784BDP

Photo: Dyna-Glo

  • Size: 36 in.
  • Fuel Type: Propane
  • Material: Steel
  • Smoking Area: 784 sq. in.

For those that prefer a gas-powered smoker, Dyna-Glo’s DGY784BDP should be the go-to option. It is equipped with a hot 15,000 BTU cast iron burner that is controlled via a large dial for variable temperature control.

This burner is lit using an electronic push-button ignition, which is very convenient, and it heats a 784-sq-in cooking area that is composed of 4 adjustable steel wire racks. Each rack has a capacity of 25 lbs., which means you can smoke a maximum of 100 lbs. of food at a time.

However, the burner does not heat the racks directly. A porcelain-enameled steel wood chip/pellet box and a porcelain-enameled steel water bowl are placed above the burner, and these ensure you get tender meat with the maximum smoky flavor.

More features include a double-door design with upper food and lower firebox sections, a built-in temperature gauge and sliding air dampers for controlled heating/smoking.

The only issue is that you don’t get a convenient external chip loading system. You must access the box inside to empty the ash and refill with chips.

Pros:

  • Hot 15,000 BTU burner
  • Variable temperature control with a built-in temperature gauge
  • Electronic push-button ignition
  • Convenient double-door design
  • Sliding air dampers for smoking/heating control

Cons:

  • No external chip loading system

4. Char-Broil 18202077 – Best Insulated Vertical Pellet Smoker

Char-Broil 18202077

Photo: Char-Broil

  • Fuel Type: Electric
  • Material: Steel
  • Smoking Area: 544 sq. in.

With its double-wall steel construction, Char-Broil’s 18202077 has an insulated design that retains heat and smoke, and it has dual exhaust ports that improve airflow while also allowing for consistent smoke production.

The door is also double-walled and it has dual latches that hold it tight to minimize heat and smoke loss.

That said, heat is provided by a 1,000-watt electric element, which is placed right under the wood chip box. This box has a large capacity, which helps to prevent multiple refills during the smoking process.

A grease cup and water tray are also included, and all three are accessed via the front for quick and easy removal. Above this is a set of three chrome-plated cooking grates, which give you a combined smoking area of 544 sq. in.

You also get a door-mounted temperature gauge but no window is built-in for easy monitoring of the smoking process from outside.

Pros:

  • Insulated double-wall construction
  • Dual exhaust ports for improved airflow
  • Front access chip box, grease cup, and water tray
  • Large capacity chip box
  • Door-mounted temperature gauge

Cons:

  • No window for easy monitoring

5. Weber 721001 – Best Compact Vertical Pellet Smoker

Weber 721001

Photo: Weber

  • Size: 18 in.
  • Fuel Type: Charcoal/Wood
  • Material: Steel
  • Smoking Area: 481 sq. in.

If you prefer a small-size vertical smoker, Weber’s 721001 is the best option to consider. This is because it has an 18-in diameter, which gives a compact body. Despite this, it has two plated steel cooking grates, which have a combined area of 481 sq. in.

The smoker is fueled using charcoal or wood, and it has two dampers (one at the lid and the other at the bottom) for regulating the airflow going in and out. This enables you to regulate the rate of fuel burning for temperature control.

A built-in lid thermometer helps you to monitor the temperature inside for precision cooking/ smoking while the water pan inside prevents the food from drying up completely (it must be filled with water to achieve this).

Other features include a silicone temperature grommet that allows you to insert a meat probe to check the meat temperature without opening the lid, a rust-resistant aluminum door and legs, a heavy-gauge steel charcoal grate and a cover is included as an accessory. 

However, with the maximum temperature inside reaching approximately 190ºF, this unit cooks and smokes very slowly.

Pros:

  • Compact 18-in size
  • Charcoal/wood powered with dampers for temperature control
  • Built-in lid thermometer
  • Silicone temperature grommet for checking the meat temperature
  • Rust-resistant aluminum door and legs

Cons:

  • Slow smoking/cooking

6. Bradley Smoker BTDS76P – Best Automatic-Feed Vertical Pellet Smoker

Bradley Smoker BTDS76P

Photo: Bradley Smoker

  • Fuel Type: Electric  
  • Material: Steel

Bradley Smoker’s BTDS76P is unique because it has an external smoke generator with a built-in hopper. The hopper can fit up to 12 unique varieties of wood smoking briquettes and when full, it can provide up to 9 hours of smoking.

On the other hand, the digital generator gives you full control to adjust the temperature, cooking time, and smoking time. This allows you to automate the smoking process for up to 9 hours without any refill, with a maximum temperature of 320ºF.

The generator is removable for compact storage and to protect it from cold or wet weather. That said, as the briquettes are being fed inside, an electric heating element heats them to produce smoke, which passes through a smoke diffuser for even smoking.

Above this diffuser is a set of four racks, which provide enough space to hold a variety of different foods.

More features include a durable powder epoxy steel construction, an easy-to-clean polished stainless-steel interior, a replaceable heating element for easy maintenance, and a water basin for collecting grease and burnt briquettes.

However, there’s no temperature gauge built into the door, which would act as a backup check to the generator settings.

Pros:

  • Digital smoke generator with a 12- bisquette capacity hopper
  • Smoke diffuser for even smoking
  • 4 racks for high capacity cooking
  • Durable powder epoxy steel construction
  • Easy-to-clean polished stainless-steel interior

Cons:

  • No temperature gauge

7. Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D – Best Offset Vertical Pellet Smoker

Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D

Photo: Dyna-Glo

  • Fuel Type: Charcoal/Wood
  • Material: Steel
  • Smoking Area: 1,176 sq. in.

Offset smokers have one main advantage, which is to keep direct heat away from the food and this prevents food charring. Dyna-Glo’s DGO1176BDC-D offers you this advantage because it is equipped with an offset smoker box.

This box consists of a large capacity ash pan, a charcoal grate, and a porcelain-enameled steel charcoal chamber. The chamber is designed to handle high temperatures while also packing the charcoal/wood tightly for improved burn efficiency.

The smoke from this chamber is directed to the cooking chamber, which is packed with 6 height-adjustable grates with a total area of 1,176 sq. in. These can hold up to 25 lbs. each and therefore, you can smoke up to 150 lbs., which is a very large capacity.

Other features include a door-mounted temperature gauge that has a smoke zone to indicate the ideal smoke-infusing temperature range, an adjustable smokestack and side damper for smoke and airflow control, and a quick-release door latch.

On the downside, the smoker has a bulky design due to the offset smoker box.

Pros:

  • Offset smoker box for preventing food charring
  • 6 height-adjustable large capacity grates
  • Door mounted temperature gauge with a smoke zone
  • Adjustable smoke stack and damper
  • Quick-release door latch

Cons:

  • Bulky design

8. Bradley Smoker BS611 – Easy-to-Clean Vertical Pellet Smoker

Bradley Smoker BS611

Photo: Bradley Smoker

  • Size: 19 in.
  • Fuel Type: Electric
  • Material: Steel

Bradley Smoker’s BS611 is quite similar to the BTDS76P because it has a polished stainless-steel interior that is very easy to clean. On top of that, it is equipped with 4 dishwasher-safe racks that make it very easy to maintain after use.

Apart from this, the smoker has an external smoke generator but this one is analog with a dial for temperature control. Attached to this is a hopper that can hold up to 12 unique smoking briquettes varieties for up to 9 hours of uninterrupted smoking.

Heating is provided by an electric element and once the briquettes are heated, the produced smoke passes through a diffuser for even smoking. A vent is fitted at the top to release all the dirty smoke while an insulated design minimizes heat loss for faster cooking.

You also get a door-mounted temperature gauge but the main issue is the smoker’s price. It is very expensive.

Pros:

  • Easy to clean
  • External smoke generator with up to 9 hours of uninterrupted smoking
  • Smoke diffuser for even smoking
  • Door-mounted temperature gauge
  • Insulated design

Cons:

  • Expensive

9. Dyna-Glo DGSS1382VCS-D – Best Large Vertical Pellet Smoker

Dyna-Glo DGSS1382VCS-D

Photo: Dyna-Glo

  • Fuel Type: Charcoal/Wood
  • Material: Steel
  • Smoking Area: 1,382 sq. in.

With a capacity of 1,382 sq. in., Dyna-Glo’s DGSS1382VCS-D offers a very large cooking space, which is distributed across 5 chrome-plated cooking grates.

Additionally, it has a porcelain-coated steel cooking grate on the offset firebox for grilling, which gives you more cooking space. 

The smoking chamber is built using heavy-gauge steel for toughness and it has sausage hooks at the top that gives you more smoking space.

Due to this large size and capacity, the smoker is bulky and quite heavy (124.3 lbs.) but it is fitted with two large wheels and a handle for easy transportation. It also has two legs that keep it upright and level after setting up.

Other features include a temperature gauge with grill and smoke zone indicators, easy access to the ashtray and charcoal grate, and a cool-touch spring door handle.

Pros:

  • Large 1,382 sq. in. cooking capacity
  • Offset firebox with a grill
  • Built-in sausage hooks
  • Strong and durable heavy-gauge steel body
  • Two large wheels for easy movement

Cons:

  • Bulky and heavy

How to Buy the Best Vertical Pellet Smoker

How to Buy the Best Vertical Pellet Smoker

Photo: Masterbuilt

1. Size

A vertical smoker’s size is mainly measured at its width if it has a square/rectangular shape, or diameter if it is circular. This is because the width/diameter determines the size of the racks.

Large units have wider racks and this gives you a bigger cooking surface to smoke/cook a wide variety of foods at the same time. However, they are very bulky and heavy.

On the other hand, small smokers are easily portable and require a small amount of fuel to smoke your food. However, they are not ideal for preparing a large serving.

Therefore, if you intend to serve multiple guests, check out the Dyna-Glo DGSS1382VCS-D. However, if you want a small smoker for your family, Weber’s 721001 is the best option.

2. Fuel Type

Though wood chips/pellets are burned to flavor your food, they are not used as the main source of heat. Most smokers use electric heating elements, but some require charcoal while others are gas-powered (propane).

Electric and propane smokers are cleaner and easier to control because temperature adjustments are done via dials. However, some prefer charcoal because it adds a deeper smoky flavor.

Ultimately, selection should be based on personal preference because each type has its positives and negatives.

3. Cooking Area

The cooking area is usually in the form of porcelain-coated or chrome-plated steel grates and it is measured in square inches. Since these smokers are vertical, these grates are stacked in the smoking chamber and, in most cases, the more they are, the larger the cooking area.

That said, there is one factor that you need to check and that is the maximum load capacity of each grate. The higher it is, the better.

For instance, with Dyna-Glo’s DGO1176BDC-D, each can hold 25 lbs. and therefore, you can smoke up to 150 lbs. on its 6 grates.

4. Temperature Control

Electric and propane smokers usually have analog dials for temperature control while charcoal/wood units have dampers for regulating airflow, which controls the temperature.

However, a few electric units are quite advanced, featuring digital control units that allow for accurate temperature adjustment and consistent smoking.

Using Masterbuilt’s MB20074719 as an example, this smoker has a digital control panel plus Bluetooth connectivity, which allows for remote adjustments using your smart device. This is very convenient and it ensures you get consistent smoking results every time.

5. Body Construction

Lastly, you need to check the smoker’s body construction and it must be sturdy enough to handle the extreme heating/smoking conditions inside. Heavy-gauge steel or stainless steel is recommended because they are very strong.

Masterbuilt’s MB20074719 adds on a glass window to its stainless-steel construction, which enables you to monitor the cooking process from outside without opening the door. This convenient feature is highly recommended.

Conclusion

In summary, the main smoker features to look for are the controls, cooking area, and fuel type.

For this reason, Masterbuilt’s MB20074719 takes the top spot because it has convenient digital controls that assure you of consistent smoking results. It also has a large cooking surface with 4 racks.

However, if you prefer the gas-powered type, be sure to check out Dyna-Glo’s DGY784BDP, which has a hot 15,000 BTU burner with analog variable temperature control.

If you prefer charcoal, go for the Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D because it has an offset firebox that ensures you get uncharred food.


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