Best BBQ Smokers In The UK - Reviews 2020 - 2021

The Best BBQ Smokers Reviews & Buying Guide

Are you a BBQ fan looking to upgrade your meat cooking skills in preparation for summer? Then you should consider investing in a BBQ smoker. 

BBQ smokers allow you to achieve that smoky charred effect on your meat, as well as allowing the meat to cook slowly so as you can get the best flavour possible from your food. 

If you are interested in buying a BBQ smoker then there is a large number of different smokers to choose from on the market, differing in features such as thermometers and design. 

So to make things easier we have narrowed down the best BBQ smokers on the market and compared to help you find the right smoker for the best tasting meat. 

Our Top BBQ Smoker! - 

The Azuma Bandit Barrel BBQ Charcoal Grill Wood Smoker (Editor’s Choice)

If your looking for a more affordable BBQ it could be worth checking out this model by Azuma. 

Feature-wise the BBQ smoker comes with an offset barrel smoker and can grill with charcoal or slow cook with woodchip smoke, the main chamber has a chimney too and a temperature gauge to help with cooking. 

The design of the Azuma model has two wheels and a side handle included for easy transport and comes with measurements of 120 x120 x 58 cm. A lower rack is included with smoker too for storage as well as handles on the lids to help protect your hands from scalding. 

Conclusion

This Azuma BBQ smoker is a great budget model to consider if you're looking to find a high-quality smoker to enhance the flavour of your meat. 

In terms of durability, this smoker has to be the top on our list if you are looking to get consistent and heavy-duty use out of your smoker. 

Negatives of the smoker have to be its design which is said to be a little wobbly when cooking, the temperature for smoking is also reported to be hard to control. 

Pros 

  • Affordable. 
  • High-quality durable design. 
  • Offset barrel smoker. 
  • Temperature gauge. 
  • Wheels for portability. 
  • Lower rack included for storage. 

Cons 

  • Wobbly when cooking. 
  • Temperature is hard to control. 

Our Runner Up - CosmoGrill Outdoor XXL Smoker Barbecue Portable BBQ 

The CosmoGrill BBQ smoker features an XXL design and has a built-in thermometer to regulate the temperature of your meat while it's smoking. 

Significant specs of this smoker are its warming rack and large internal height which can fit big portions of meat in such as chicken. The smoker additionally has a stainless steel handle to lift the BBQ lid up and down. 

Design-wise the BBQ smoker has two side shelves for extra storage when preparing food, one of them has four additional hooks too for storing utensils. Dimensions of this model come in at 142 x 46 x 111 cm and the outside is heat resistant. 

Conclusion

Overall, the CosmoGrill BBQ smoker is a great model to buy if you are looking for an extra-large smoker that can smoke big portions of meat for guests. 

This BBQ is also great thanks to solid and durable design with an easy standing height that allows you to comfortably BBQ food. 

Negatives of this BBQ smoker have to be its long set-up time, the model is further reported to have very thin metal which scratches easily and twists due to heat. 

Pros

  • Extra-large which great for families. 
  • Inbuilt thermometer. 
  • Standing height. 
  • Two side shelves for extra storage. 
  • Warming rack. 
  • Stainless steel handles. 

Cons 

  • Long set-up time. 
  • The thin metal which is said to bend and scratch easily. 

CosmoGrill Barbecue DUO Gas Grill + Charcoal Smoker Portable BBQ 

The CosomoGrill barbecue duo model comes with a gas grill and charcoal smoker. Two thermometers are also included in celsius and Fahrenheit to help regulate the BBQ temperature. 

Main features of this smoker duo model are its gas grill which has three stainless steel burners and a side cooker, as well as piezo ignition for lighting up the grill. A warming rack is further included too. 

This models charcoal area comes with a fire chamber too for smoking meat and a 37mbar regulator is already included. Its design has total grill measurements of 35 x 20 cm. An adjustable air supply is included too. 

In terms of design, the duo BBQ smoker is made from heat-resistant porcelain and stainless steel, it comes with a 1-year warranty too for buyers confidence. 

Conclusion

To conclude, this CosmoGrill duo gas grill and charcoal smoker is one of the top models on our list in terms of value for money due to the fact it includes a gas grill and smoker all in one. 

This grill and smoker is very durable too and can hold up for long term use. 

Downfalls of this model have to be its high price, but this mainly due to the fact it has a smoker and grill included within one model. 

Pros 

  • Two in one model. 
  • Double thermometer with both Fahrenheit and celsius included. 
  • Three burners on the gas grill. 
  • Warming rack included. 
  • Adjustable air supply. 

Cons 

  • Expensive. 

Callow Premium Charcoal Smoker BBQ Grill 

The Callow charcoal smoker comes with a one-gallon large capacity water pan which can last for 2-3 hours when steaming. 

Significant features of this smoker are its two meat thermometer access points to check the meat with and adjustable air vents. There is a built-in thermometer too so as you can monitor how your meat is steaming. 

Design-wise the smoker with two cooking grates and a smoking rack, as well as 6 hooks and a waterproof cover. The material of this model is made from 0.9mm carbon steel too and comes with a powder coating. 

Conclusion

This Callow BBQ smoker is overall a great buy if you are looking for a smoker which is suitable for a small family and can produce reliable results. 

Its design comes with lots of accessories too such grates and a smoking rack too which makes it great value for money considering its small price. 

Some downfalls of this BBQ smoker have to be its complicated instructions which can make installation hard. The smoker also is reported to have a poor build quality with unstable racks that don’t fit. 

Pro 

  • Comes with lots of accessories. 
  • Large capacity water pan. 
  • Made from carbon steel. 
  • Two access points for a meat thermometer. 
  • Built-in thermometer. 
  • Adjustable air vents. 

Cons

  • Complicated instructions. 
  • Poor build quality. 

Tepro 1038 "Wichita" Smoker

This Tepro Wichita smoker features a low lying smoking chamber which can cook meat slowly to a temperature of 80-130 degrees. 

Significant specs of this smoker are its chamber steel lid which has a built-in thermometer and adjustable air supply, it has a smoking side chamber too for extra cooking which can hold up to 0.5kg of coal. 

Design-wise the smoker has a 350-degree heat resistant finish too with chrome-plated steel handles. Total measurements of the grill surface come in at 54 x 30 cm. 

Conclusion 

Overall, the Tepro Wichita smoker is great for beginners who want to upgrade their BBQ and need a large capacity to smoke a big joint of meat. 

Its heat-resistant finish is also very durable and long-lasting with easy to use handles for checking the meat. 

Downfalls of the Tepro BBQ smoker are its assembly which is said to take a lot of time and be very difficult, the model also is reported to come with faulty legs that have been said to arrive bent. 

Pros 

  • Large capacity with extra side smoker. 
  • Heat-resistant finish.
  • The built-in thermometer in the lid. 
  • Chrome-plated handles. 
  • Affordable. 

Cons

  • Hard to assemble. 
  • Said to come with faulty legs. 

Our Judgement - Which BBQ Smoker Is The Best?

To round up our best BBQ smokers, the top model on our list has to be the Azuma Bandit Barrel BBQ Charcoal Grill Wood Smoker due to its affordable price and durable design which makes this smoker a great long term investment for many BBQs. 

This Azuma smoker also has easy portability due to its wheels and extra places to smoke meat thanks to its offset barrel. 

As a runner up we would recommend the CosmoGrill Outdoor XXL Smoker Barbecue Portable BBQ due to its XXL design which makes it great for smoking tall joints of meat for gatherings and events. 

We placed this CosmoGrill second due to the fact it has low-quality metal which is reported to bend quite easily. 

What To Look For In a Best BBQ Smoker (Our Buying Guide)

Now we have narrowed down the top BBQ smokers on the market, its a good idea to familiarise yourself with some of the most essential features you need to be looking for in your best smoker. 

There are also some benefits to smoking meat which you might not have considered such as better flavour. 

We have put together a little buying guide below to answer all your questions. 

Top Features To Consider In a BBQ Smoker 

There's a fair range of important features you should be considering in your best BBQ smoker, from capacity to portability, you should make sure your meat smoker has the best specs on the market before making a purchasing choice. 

We have listed the key features to watch out for below - 

  • Thermometer - Its important your smoker comes with a high-quality thermometer that gives accurate readings. The best placement of a thermometer should be at grill level instead of in the lid. 
  • Capacity - The capacity of your smoker should be big enough for your needs and portion sizes, if you are a small family then you probably don’t need to invest in a large expensive smoker, however, for events the extra space could come in handy. 
  • Design - Your BBQ smokers design should be able to withstand a decent heat range and not be become too hot to touch while cooking. The handles should also be heat-resistant so as you can check your smoked meat easily. 
  • Extra storage - Some extra side tables and racks are useful to have on your smoker so as you can store plates and utensils, a warming rack is further useful to keep ready food warm. 
  • Portability - Your best BBQ smoker should have wheels so as you can transport it easily after use, it's a good idea to ensure your model has a waterproof cover too. 
  • Warranty - For buyers confidence, your smoker should come with at least a one-year warranty so as you can protect yourself against any faulty parts.

What Are The Benefits Of Smoking Meat?

Smoked meat is typically known to be very flavourful due to its slow cooking process, however, there are also several other advantages to smoking your meat at your next BBQ which you might not have thought of. 

  • Meat becomes safer - Due to the slow cooking process this makes the meat drier and gives it an acidic coating, this can make it much harder for bacteria to survive as the meat is not moist. 
  • Can be preserved - The smoking process allows you to hand preserve meats for consumption at a later date, giving the meat a more deeply smoked flavour. 
  • Better smell and appearance - Different woods and smoking processes can give a unique process to meats, with some getting a smoke ring as a result of the process. Smoking meat also gives a noticeable smell with different aromas depending on what was used for the smoking process.
  • Flavourful - The smoking process allows you to bring out deep flavours due to the long cooking process which can help break down collagen in meat, this allows for a more intense rich taste as a result. 
  • It can be healthy - Smoking low-fat cuts of meat allows you to create more flavour in leaner healthier dishes such as turkey or chicken. 
  • You can smoke other food - A BBQ smoker is not only great for meat but also for smoking vegetables, sugars, fruits and spices. 

FAQs

What's the best temperature for smoking chicken at? 

A good temperature to smoke chicken at is between 200 degrees and 225 degrees Fahrenheit for around 3-5 hours depending on the cut of meat, the meat should have an internal temperature of 165 degrees once cooked through. 

How do I check the accurate temperature of my meat while it's smoking?

It’s best to measure the temperature of your meat with two probes, one by the grill of the meat and one in the thickest part of the meat, you should you use an instant reading thermometer for meats such as sausages, pork and fish as these are smaller. 

What kinds of wood can I use in a smoker?

You can use many types of woods for smoking such as; oak, hickory, maple, apple and cherry. Each kind of wood can complement different types of meats very well. 

Can you smoke different types of meat in a smoker? 

Yes, some of the best meats to smoke are; beef briskets, pork shoulders, ribs and chicken breasts, however, you can generally smoke any kind of meat.

How do I maintain a meat smoker? 

Maintaining your meat smoker is pretty simple, there are simple tips and tricks you can follow to keep your smoker in the best shape possible. Some of the best tips are; removing excess ash after each use, scraping off leftover grease, wiping down stuck marinades with warm water. 

Can a BBQ smoker help improve the flavour of the meat? 

Yes, a smoker can help the increase the flavour of in any kind of meat thanks to its slow cooking process which uses different aromas to create a variety of smokes. 

What is dirty smoke from a BBQ?

Dirty smoke tends to be avoided when smoking meat as it can leave an acidic, bitter taste on your meat, this smoke tends to be most prominent when you first start your grill as the charcoal is not fully carbonised. 

Why should I smoke meat? 

Smoked meat tenderises even the hardest pieces of meat and can bring out flavours which you might not find on grilled meat, this can be altered with different woods too for a more versatile taste. 

Should you use wood pellets or chunks for smoking? 

Pellets are a great option for smoking meat if you want a smoky flavour to your meat within a short cooking time, they often burn off quickly though which means they might not be appropriate for long periods of smoking. 

Wood chunks are great for smoking all day and are the best for large cuts of meat such as brisket, you can soak your wood chips for up to an hour before you start smoking to make them last for longer. 

Can I flip my meat while it's smoking? 

There is no need to flip your meat while smoking as the smoke cooks the whole meat indirectly, meaning one side won’t cook more than the other, you should try to not lift the lid too many times while your meat is smoking. 

Our #1 BBQ Smoker For The Most Flavourful Meat 

Our number one BBQ smoker is the Azuma Bandit Barrel BBQ Charcoal Grill Wood Smoker thanks to its durable portable design which is very affordable and easy to use if you are new to BBQ smoking. 

As a second alternative, we also recommend the CosmoGrill Outdoor XXL Smoker Barbecue Portable BBQ because of its extra-large size and portability which makes the smoker easy to pull out when needed during the summer.