Vertical pellet smokers have revolutionized the way we cook our food. Their slow cooking technique leaves food with both a delicious scent and flavor.
They are easy to use too, once you’ve set your food up you can forget about it and anticipate a delicious meal.
So let’s take a look at the best vertical pellet smokers available.
Best Vertical Pellet Smokers –
At A Glance List
|#1: Dyna-Glo Vertical Charcoal Smoker|
>>>BEST FOR: ⧫ Best Buy ⧫
|#2: Pit Boss Copperhead 5 Series Pellet|
>>>BEST FOR: Large gatherings
|#3: Pit Boss 3-Series Wood Pellet Vertical Smoker|
>>>BEST FOR: Aesthetics
|#4: Cookshack PG500: Fast Eddy’s Pellet Grill |
>>>BEST FOR: High temperature
|#5: Louisiana Grills 7-Series Wood Pellet Vertical Smoker |
>>>BEST FOR: Low-and-slow cooking
|#6: Masterbuilt 30-Inch Pellet Smoker|
>>>BEST FOR: Value for money
What Are Pellet Smokers?
A pellet smoker is a piece of equipment that slow-cooks your food. It encloses the food so that it would be surrounded by smoke.
You can actually smoke using a variety of products like charcoal and wood. But since we are talking about pellet smokers here, then you will need pellets to provide the heat.
How does it work?
Pellets are made from sawdust and wood shavings. They are compressed together to form cylindrical pellets.
They are fed into the system with the auger delivering them to the burn pot part of the equipment.
When they are burning
They provide a delicious scent and flavor to the food being smoked.
The lower the temperature and the longer you cook the food, the more smokey it becomes.
The question is:
With such a low heat, how would it cook large pieces of meat? The heat is indirect and is circulating.
Even if you have multiple large pieces of meat, they will surely be cooked. It takes time, though, since you have to smoke using low heat.
That’s why it’s called cooking low and slow.
In a way
Cooking with a pellet smoker is like barbecuing. You are cooking food slowly over low heat.
In the case of the barbecue, it’s usually cooked over low fire and the smoke from that low fire. Smoking really means how it sounds: cooking the food through smoke.
It has been accepted to call smoked food barbecue in many cases. There’s just a lot of people who don’t know the technicality and may not care about it as long as they are eating delicious food.
Food is food.
The pellet smoker has a catch basin of sorts where the fat drippings from the meat falls into.
Pellet smokers are easy to use, too. You basically just need to fill the hopper with the pellets and turn the switch on. You put it on the appropriate temperature and you just wait.
Pellet Smoker vs Pellet Grill
What’s the difference between a pellet smoker and pellet grill? Let’s start with the obvious–one smokes food while the other grills.
Grilling is cooking over a hot fire. Since it’s hot, you don’t want to burn it, so you cook it fast.
On the other hand
As the name suggests, a pellet smoker uses smoke to cook the food. Indirect heat is used and the temperature is low.
It takes some time to cook food to perfection.
There’s also this:
You might have to babysit a pellet smoker because you want a particular amount of smoke to slowly cook the food.
Not that you have to look into it every few minutes, just that you need to check every now and then.
For the pellet grill, you can usually control the temperature of the cooking through a digital controller, which you can use wherever you are in the house.
You don’t have to look after the pellet grill every now and then.
Both the pellet grill and pellet smoker allow you to cook food with less smoke going around the area. It doesn’t give off that poignant grilling smell.
Is there a horizontal pellet smoker?
The horizontal pellet smoker is more popularly known as the pellet grill.
The pellet grill is just more versatile compared to the vertical pellet smoker. It can smoke, grill, bake, and boil from direct heat–at least, most of them do.
But here’s the deal
The vertical pellet smoker takes the cake in terms of just the smoking aspect of the food. It provides a mostly even heat plus better flavors.
Why Use a Vertical Pellet Smoker?
The most important reason to use a vertical pellet smoker is the even heat that you get.
There is an even heat in every centimeter of the smoker, which means that all pieces of food will be cooked the same way.
When you use a regular grill, some meat will have a dark sear because of the concentration of fire and heat.
The other food items might not have the beautiful dark brown sear and the inside may not even be cooked.
It’s worth noting
A pellet smoker provides a really fantastic smoky flavor. This is mostly from the pellets that you use.
You can also choose from many different flavors of the pellet. Among the popular flavors are apple, cherry, hickory, maple, mesquite, and many others.
The pellet smoker is energy efficient. One option to smoke food is by using the oven. However, that would take a long time.
The pellet smoker, while it takes more babysitting compared to the pellet grill, works faster than the oven.
More electric energy will be used smoking in an oven.
The pellet grill also has a wider range of temperature choices. While you smoke with low heat, pellet smokers have high temperatures, too.
What to Look for in a Pellet Smoker
The pellet smoker is getting really popular because of the convenience in making great-tasting food.
Convenient because the pellet smoker isn’t that hard to use. Then, you don’t have to leave your home just to enjoy amazingly smoked meats.
So, what should you look for?
There are a number of considerations to buying a pellet smoker. Let’s look at some of them:
It’s easy to say that a large pellet smoker can accommodate a lot more food than smaller ones. It must be the right choice!
However, you also have to consider the size of your backyard. Would a large smoker really be ideal for the size of your yard?
If you have a small yard, a large smoker may not be practical. It may take up a lot of space.
On the other hand, if you have a large family, then the large pellet smoker is ideal because it can cook more meat and other food items.
You just need to weigh the pros and cons.
Speaking of size
You don’t just consider the actual size of the smoker. The more important thing is to actually look at the cooking capacity of the item.
How many pieces of food can you actually accommodate in just one batch?
To be honest
The large smoker can be practical because it can be used whether you are cooking for just a couple of people or a large number of guests.
This is important because smokers really need low temperatures because you want to cook it for a long time.
Most smokers only go as far up as 450 degrees. However, if you are in a hurry, you might want a smoker that goes higher than that.
On the other hand
If you have to do low-and-slow cooking, your smoker should be able to do continuous cooking for quite some time.
It could go for a whole day. The cooking equipment should be able to handle that.
Some vertical pellet smokers have an aluminum body while others are made of cast iron. Some are also made up of steel.
The aluminum one is the lightest. Cast iron is a bit heavier.
If you live in a place where you experience heavy winds every now and then, you have to go for the steel or cast iron pellet smoker.
How easy is it to move the pellet smoker from one place to the other? This might be an important consideration if you want to bring the product somewhere.
Cast iron pellet smoker is pretty heavy. But that doesn’t mean that mobility is terrible.
It’s extremely important that you are able to physically check the pellet smoker before actually paying for them.
However, if online purchase is more convenient for you, then you have to read the reviews about the pellet smoker.
Your budget is an important consideration in buying a pellet smoker. The pellet smoker is more expensive than a regular grill.
But you can’t just buy the cheapest one. You have to think of the above-mentioned characteristics.
If you are still a bit flustered about buying a vertical pellet smoker. We are making things a bit easier for you.
We have made a list of the best vertical smokers in the market.
First, watch the video below to find out more about the vertical pellet smoker:
I hope you love the products that I recommend here! Just so you know, I work with Amazon and other affiliate partners and may be compensated from the links below.
The Best Vertical Pellet Smokers 2022
#1 Dyna-Glo Vertical Charcoal Smoker
Large pieces of meat
Size in inches (LxWxH): 20.83 x 21.45 x 49.73 in.
Cooking space: 784 sq. in.
Number of cooking grates: 4
Weight: 56 lbs
PRICE GUIDE: $
This will be the centerpiece of many gatherings. The Dyna-Glo Vertical Charcoal Smoker is a durable piece that could serve the family for a long time.
Okay, this is not exactly a pellet smoker but it’s a vertical smoker that is great for any occasion. Also, you can actually use pellets in cooking.
The cooking capacity of this thing is good enough for a small gathering. You get four cooking grates with a total of 784 square inches of cooking space.
The best part is the adjustable grates. You don’t know what you might be cooking and how large they would be.
This only means
You can invite your best friends to hang out and you will have no problem feeding them with smoked food.
The charcoal chamber, which you can fill with pellets, is made out of porcelain so that everything will be packed in.
How is this helpful?
It provides an efficient burning system. The smoker has two doors to ensure that heat loss will be minimal
The bottom features an ash pan so that you don’t have to keep clearing ash from the charcoal.
How about the flavor?
The smoke stack of this vertical smoker features an adjustable flue allowing additional flavor. It can be used to adjust temperature, too.
The water dish is truly beneficial. It’s easy to maintain and very accessible. It’s large enough to accommodate drippings, too.
There is a built-in thermometer with a smoke zone indicator so that you can enjoy the best smokiness to your food.
The assembly is also straightforward, so that won’t be too much of a problem.
This is not a truly great companion during winter. When it’s cold out, you can hardly get to the higher temperature.
Going to 240 degrees could be quite impossible.
Speaking of companion
It’s also hard to take this baby with you on vacations. It’s 56 pounds and it doesn’t have wheels for easy movement.
Don’t get me wrong, 56 pounds is pretty lightweight for a pellet smoker. But this is still a bulky smoker and it would have been great if it had small wheels so you could just push it around.
All in all
This is a wonderfully large smoker that could accommodate large pieces of food and large amounts of food.
MY RATING: 95%
- Adjustable grates
- Double-door system minimizes heat loss
- Great water dish
- Thermometer features smoke zone
- Easy to assemble
- No wheels for mobility
- Couldn’t reach maximum heat when it’s cold
#2 Pit Boss Copperhead 5 Series Pellet
Really large gatherings
Size in inches (LxWxH): 28 x 29 x 53 in.
Hopper capacity: 55 lbs
Cooking space: 1,513 sq. in.
Number of cooking grates: 5
Weight: 131 lbs
Cooking temperature: 150 to 450 degrees
PRICE GUIDE: $$
The Pit Boss Copperhead 5 Series is almost unbelievable. Imagine how much food you can smoke with a cooking space of 1,513 square inches.
You can cook meats, seafood, poultry, and vegetables at the same time.
Amazing, isn’t it? Wait until you read this:
It’s not just a smoker! It’s actually a 5-in-1 technology: It can also do the following:
This is really made for large gatherings. It has five cooking grates that are porcelain-coated.
The water pan is also porcelain-coated with a head deflector.
The product is also really heavy-duty. Just one look at it and you know that this is a durable smoker.
More than that
This is a truly modern smoker. It can monitor internal temperature with a digital LED readout.
You can also program the temperature, which ranges from 150 to 450 degrees. It also has a 300-watt auto-start igniter and an auto shut-off system.
You can use as much as 55 pounds of pellet and smoke your food for 35 hours straight. It’s not going to damage your smoker.
If you cook food in low heat for a long period of time, then you’re sure to achieve the most amazing smoky taste and aroma.
Is it perfect?
Nope! Nothing is.
The door leaks smoke. You will have to contend with the smoky scent in the air. It’s not that bad, but it’s annoying.
Speaking of annoying
It seems like the rear bin isn’t well thought out. You can’t empty it completely because the door is just above the auger.
Just like you thought I’m done with the annoying stuff–the error code also keeps popping up. Of course, you really can’t continue using it when the error code flashes.
This is one great pellet smoker if you are planning to have a large gathering at home. You can also cook food in many different ways. You really just need to be patient with it.
MY RATING: 92%
- Large cooking space
- 5-in-1 cooking technology
- Can handle long hours of smoking
- Programmable temperature from 150 to 420 degrees
- Auto-start and auto-shutoff system
- Easy-to-maneuver wheels
- 5-year warranty
- It leaks smoke
- Hard to empty out the rear bin
- Error code keeps appearing
#3 Pit Boss 3-Series Wood Pellet Vertical Smoker
Those who want a beautiful-looking smoker that works well, too.
Size in inches (LxWxH): 26 x 22 x 53 in.
Hopper capacity: 39 lbs
Cooking space: 721 sq. in.
Number of cooking grates: 5
Weight: 97 lbs
Cooking temperature: 150 to 420 degrees
PRICE GUIDE: $$
One thing I really like about the Pit Boss 3-Series smoker is that it is gorgeous. It looks like a cabinet so it won’t “damage” the aesthetics of your backyard.
I mean, people will understand that you have a grill or smoker in your yard, but it’s just nice that this one really looks beautiful.
It works great, too
Functionality, of course, is the most important thing. So, let’s get on with that.
The Pit Boss 3-Series provides a really good smoke whether you are cooking meats, seafood, poultry, or vegetables.
Let’s start with the temperature:
You can smoke from 150 to 420 degrees.
Of course, smokers are really meant for slow cooking in low heat. With this model, you can cook for eight straight hours without getting worried about the smoker.
It has a large hopper that can accommodate 39 pounds of pellets.
The smoker comes with five racks, all porcelain-coated. These also employ a multiple position racking system so you have a lot of room in case you are smoking large pieces of meat.
It’s quite easy to use. The assembly is a bit complicated and it would really take time. Once it is up, you can easily figure it out.m
It’s quite easy to clean, too.
It’s actually quite hard to use the higher temperature. You often get the error message (ERL) if you go past 240 degrees.
It quite defeats the purpose of having a smoker that has a higher temperature.
The pellets jam every now and then. It’s just an annoyance that we don’t need.
It’s a gorgeous vertical pellet smoker. It may not be the most important thing when it comes to a smoker, but it’s quite unique to have a piece of cooking equipment that looks this good.
It smokes well, too.
MY RATING: 90%
- Looks beautiful
- Can do continuous cooking for 18 hours
- Multiple position racking system
- Simple to use
- 5-year warranty
- Keeps showing error message when temperature is high
- Pellets jam every now and then
#4 Cookshack PG500: Fast Eddy’s Pellet Grill
Those looking for a smoker/grill that has a high temperature.
Size in inches (LxWxH): 57 x 46 x 30 in.
Cooking space: 784 sq. in.
Weight: 330 lbs
Cooking temperature: up to 600 degrees
PRICE GUIDE: $$$
If you want heat that’s up to 600 degrees, then this is the one you need. To be more technical about it, this is really more of a pellet grill rather than a vertical pellet smoker.
But it belongs on the list because of the amazing result when you smoke on the PG500: Fast Eddy’s by Cookshack Pellet Grill.
Here’s what you need to know
This has a charbroiler that is almost commercial-grade. It gives you a lot of choices at home when it comes to preparing your food.
It has a large space, which allows you to cook large meat–even a whole turkey.
There are basically just two cooking grates. The bottom one provides a larger space while the top one is more for smaller food items like sliced meat and vegetables.
They are nickel-plated stainless steel rod grates.
You want to hear something amazing?
This pellet grill actually has drawers. This way, you can just keep your tongs and seasonings in there for convenience.
It has a side shelf, too.
We really put this product on the list because of its amazing ability to smoke food. Cooking at 210 degrees will allow you to have great-tasting smoked food.
Of course, this doesn’t just smoke food. It grills and charbroils, too. That only means that this is one versatile cooking equipment.
The grill opens and closes, right? Be careful when it is open since a gust of wind could slam the doors. It would be dangerous if you are nearby.
That’s just minor, though. A major complaint should be that the grill can’t stay lit for three hours or more.
Oh, and there’s this:
It’s really quite expensive.
If you want to have versatility in terms of how you want to cook your food, you can serve smoked food one day and grilled food the next.
MY RATING: 89%
- Provides large space for cooking large meat
- Contains drawers and side shelf
- Gets to 600 degrees
- Won’t stay lit for three hours or more
#5 Louisiana Grills 7-Series Wood Pellet Vertical Smoker
Hopper capacity: 55 lbs
Cooking space: 1,976 sq. in.
Number of cooking grates: 6
Weight: 60 lbs
Cooking temperature: 100 to 420 degrees
PRICE GUIDE: $$
Louisiana state is not really known for barbecue, but the Louisiana Grills 7-Series certainly is.
It’s a really durable smoker. You’ll know that just by looking at it.
The body is made out of heavy-duty steel. The wheels, too, are made of heavy-duty locking caster wheels.
It’s a large pellet smoker with a cooking space of 1,976 square inches.
Speaking of large
It also has an oversized viewing window so you know how far you are in the smoking process. This is particularly necessary when you are cooking different types of food at the same time.
And you can really do that! Cook different types of food at the same time. Aside from the size of this thing, it also has six cooking racks.
You don’t have to put different types of food in the same rack. You don’t want to mix the tastes.
Now, the right smoking process is over low heat and for hours. The great thing about this smoker is that you can cook for more than one day and the equipment will be fine.
You read that right!
You can cook for over 35 hours with this amazing cooking tool.
The smoker also comes with two built-in probes that will monitor internal temperature of the food.
While you can cook for 35 hours straight, you need to monitor the smoker. You have to add water to the drip pan every now and then.
Another disadvantage is that you cannot take out all the pellets during the cleaning process. It’s just impossible.
MY RATING: 88%
- Allows 35 hours of straight cooking
- Large cooking space
- 6 cooking grates
- You need to monitor the process
- Cannot take out all the pellets
#6 Masterbuilt 30-Inch Pellet Smoker
Those looking for a value-for-money option.
Size in inches (LxWxH): 23.58 x 31.3 x 42.99 in.
Hopper capacity: 8 lbs
Number of cooking grates: 4
Weight: 83.37 lbs
Cooking temperature: 180 to 350 degrees
PRICE GUIDE: $$
The Masterbuilt 30-Inch Pellet Smoker is good enough for the family and a few guests. It has four chrome-coated cooking grates so you can cook different types of food.
Generally, it smokes really well.
What are the good things?
It comes with a meat probe thermometer so you will always have the results that you want.
This doesn’t have the observation window, so probing would be necessary.
The cooking temperature ranges from 180 to 350 degrees.
It doesn’t go too high for really a quick smoking process.
Then, if you want to do some slow cooking, it doesn’t really cook for more than three hours.
You can automate the smoking process. You can preset the cycle of cooking and smoking.
There’s also a heat diffuser to ensure an even distribution of heat for an equal smoking process.
The grease tray has a side access so you can easily remove it for easy cleanup.
The best part of this pellet smoker is that it is roomy. Do you want an idea of what you can cook in this smoker? Two turkeys or 12 chickens or four large racks of ribs.
It’s quite affordable.
Now, what’s bad about it?
Okay, we already mentioned a couple of them earlier.
Just to add, the auger of the smoker has the tendency to overfeed the pot with pellets causing them to catch fire.
You know what?
If you just want a simple pellet smoker to cook delicious food for the family and not something for a large gathering, this is a good-enough smoker.
It’s really affordable. You get to smoke good food without smoking your cash.
MY RATING: 87%
- Comes with a meat probe thermometer
- You can preset cooking method
- Side access for the grease tray
- Maximum temperature is only 350 degrees
- Doesn’t smoke for more than three hours
- Catches fire sometimes
Best Value-for-Money Vertical Pellet Smoker
The Masterbuilt 30-Inch Pellet Smoker takes that cake on this one. It’s affordable and it can cook 12 whole chickens or four large racks of ribs.
Best Vertical Pellet Smoker for Hours of Smoking
Are you thinking of slow cooking for the whole day? Then you need the Louisiana Grills 7-Series Wood Pellet Vertical Smoker. It can cook for 35 hours straight.
Best Vertical Pellet Smoker for a Large Gathering
The Pit Boss Copperhead 5 Series and the Louisiana Grills 7-Series both have large cooking spaces. But with the former, it also has versatility when it comes to cooking methods. It’s a piece of five-in-one cooking equipment after all.
Best-Looking Vertical Pellet Smoker
Aesthetics may not be the most important characteristic when it comes to smokers. However, if all things are equal, you would really want something as beautiful as Pit Boss 3-Series Wood Pellet Vertical Smoker.
Hopefully, this list would be helpful when you are planning on buying a pellet grill.
We’ve prepared an article on what is a pellet grill if you want to find out more. You can also drop us a comment if you have questions about it.