When it comes to impressing people at a barbecue, nothing says style, sophistication and dedicated cooking expertise more than a built-in or stand-alone smoker.
Having a smoker integrated into your workbench, your patio or within a custom-constructed gazebo or shelter will certainly make your garden area the first that people think of when those hot summer months roll around.
Having a heavy-duty built-in smoker unit will make cooking all the more enjoyable and easy for you, giving you enough cooking space to roast meats, veggies and the occasional slab of cheese for a large party of guests.
When it comes to fine dining in bulk, there can be no better utensil in your cooking arsenal.
Because smoking is a very select way to prepare your meats for eating. Brisket, ribs and pulled pork smoked over hours can be one of the best ways to consume them and once you’ve tried this flavorsome and tender style of meat, you might not want to go back.
Smokers are definitely for those who take their barbecuing very seriously indeed. You can find a blend of charcoal woods - from apple to pear to maple wood - each one infusing your meat with a very distinctive flavor. If you have a spare afternoon before hosting an outdoor gathering, having the right smoker to cook your many pounds of meat will be essential.
But how do you find the right smoker for your garden? Which features will you be looking for that give you the most sumptuous flavors and textures? How much can you be looking to spend on a decent outdoor built-in smoker?
Well, don’t fret, diehard barbecuers, because help is at hand. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most top-end built-in and standalone smokers currently on the market.
Then we’re following that up with a quick buyer’s guide with some of the biggest do’s and don’ts when it comes to picking up a smoker, as well as some frequently asked questions about the art of smoking meat.
So grab a pork loin and a pair of tongs and some of your finest charcoal wood and let’s get our teeth into some of the best built-in smokers on the market.
Best Built In Smokers For Outdoor Kitchens - Comparison Table
Best Built In Smokers For Outdoor Kitchens - Our Reviews
Our first model doesn’t mess around when it comes to slow-roasting your meat. It is a heavy-duty piece of garden barbecue hardware that will stand like a big black monolith in the middle of your garden furniture set.
Complete with six cooking grates that can handle up to 25-pounds of food, it is perfect if you’re thinking of hosting a lavish outdoors banquet - introducing the Dyna-Glo Wide Body Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker.
In the main chamber of this industrial-grade smoker, you’ll find yourself with six steel shelves that can support a whopping 25 pounds of food.
That’s a lot of meat!
It has a spacious cooking area of 1,890 square inches, which will mean that you can cook some hefty batches of various meats in a single sitting.
The genius of this smoker is in its precision engineering. It has a state-of-the-art ash management system meaning that you can clear out the ash from your smoker without disturbing the still burning wood - you can continually de-ash your smoker without disrupting your cooking.
It also comes with additional dampers at the side and on top of the chimney that you can adjust to increase or decrease the amount of smoke being released from the smoker at any one time.
This will allow you to control the flavor of your final meat, making it stronger or weaker with the amount of smoke you retain.
Next up is a very eye-catching stand-alone grill that delivers a conventional yet heavy-duty grilling experience, a compact machine that is highly efficient at cooking large batches of meat for your party of guests or a family gathering.
Chops, steak, pork or beef brisket, you can be sure that the Kamado Jo Big Joe II Stand-Alone Grill will be able to give you the quality cooking you require.
This striking red unit is something you can wheel in or out of your garden or keep it as a permanent fixture, coming as it does with a weather-proof top vent, guaranteeing you that it will withstand all types of extreme conditions.
The inside of this grill is very flexible, with a Divide and Conquer grilling system than allows you to separate the egg-shaped chamber on the inside of your cooker.
You can put chops beside ribs and smoke them all evenly without having to worry about one flavor of meat affecting the other.
With a six-piece firebox design gasket and stainless steel latch, you can guarantee that this grill is resilient and simple to operate. Wow your friends and family with the simplicity of a grill that will also accommodate a wide range of meat selections.
Next up we have an outdoor griller that is very highly rated amongst barbecue aficionados, utilizing the very best in modern digital connectivity to promote precision-controlled barbecuing.
With a very futuristic-looking stainless steel shell that can easily resist all weathers, you need to look no further than the Memphis Grills Elite Built-In Pellet Smoker and Grill.
The metal body of this grill is very easy to clean, stainless steel, you can wipe-down after each grill for that hygienic cook.
The body also retains a lot of heat, which will be very environmentally-friendly if used a lot, for example, during those warm summer days and evenings.
It has a unique oven grade gasket with dual fans that circulate the heat in the chamber, giving your meat that extra warmed-to-the-bone tenderness.
When it comes to infusing your pork with peach wood or giving your brisket that extra oakey texture, you won’t go far wrong with this Memphis grill model. You will also use less fuel in this machine, which will save you massively on costs in the long run.
Crank up the heat on this bad boy to 700 degrees to sear through steaks, pizza, kebabs, and burgers with a perforated interior that encourages the good airflow that you need for long burning.
Next up is another heavy-duty electrical smoker that will save you space and smoke your meats right through to the bone, infusing it with a variety of woods that suit your flavor.
It has a pair of very fashionable doors on the front that means you can watch your food as it smokes, checking on its progress before easily retrieving it from the cooker - introducing the Cuisinart Vertical 36-Inch Propane Smoker.
This cooker straddles both functionality and flavor, with precision-engineered temperature control to get you that deep smoke taste.
This isn’t like a regular charcoal grill in that you can adjust the levels of the propane, while the more wood chips you add to your burner, the more efficiently the heat source will burn.
The opening front doors are the most distinguishing feature of the Cuisinart, giving you easy access to your food or allowing you to monitor it regularly over a few hours of intensive smoking.
The inside capacity of the chamber is around 784 square inches, although because of the vertical nature of the smoker’s design, it still will only take up a minimal amount of space. This is perfect if you have a smaller garden to work with but don’t want to sacrifice the cooking quality.
Finally, we thought we’d round off our list of outdoor smokers with one of the best options for those on a budget.
If you want the utmost in precision timing when it comes to slow-cooking your meats, then you’ll want to opt for an electric model like this one - introducing the Masterbuilt 30-inch Digital Electric Meat Smoker.
With a digitally operated heat system, you can control the timing and intensity of your cooking - two of the most important aspects when getting the flavor of your meats exactly how you want it.
You can go and mingle with your guests or attend to some other party feature, all the while that your meats are smoking to your exact settings.
The Masterbuilt 30-inch has a loading bay in the side of the housing, so you can add fuel to your fire without disturbing the ingredients inside or letting air though the smoker and reducing the overall temperature of the inner chamber.
Best Built In Smokers For Outdoor Kitchens - Buyers Guide
As you can see from the list above, there are a lot of smokers, more than your average barbecuer might expect.
Each one has unique heat sources and build materials, each one permitting a completely different intensity of heating and ultimately a different taste.
Here are just a few of the heat sources you can get for a smoker.
These types of smokers utilize the pellets of compressed sawdust with a combination of wood flavors. You fill up the chamber with these types of pellets, adding to the smoker’s fire to create the required heat and smoke.
As you might expect, these types of smokers use only wood as a heat source. You add a wood log or a split wood to stoke the inner chamber. The smoke is traditionally a lot cleaner than other types of smoker such as propane. You will usually have to add wood every 30 to 45 minutes.
You simply plug an electric smoker into the mains and an electric bar inside heats up the chamber. You can add wood chunks that are soaked in water to increase the smoke levels inside.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Other Kinds Of Smoker Can You Use?
There are many different styles of smokers, some of which include offset, direct, drum, vertical water smokers, regular vertical and ceramic smokers.
Offset smokers usually have the heat source directly below the meat, with a thinner smoke than can be easily controlled. Direct smoke is also under the food, but you cannot control the smoke to such a degree.
Drum smokers have a barrel-shaped inner chamber, with a lower heat source that usually uses wood fire or charcoal as fuel.
Vertical water smokers have a water source above the heat source that will add moisture to the heated air, although some users of this type of smoker have complained that the meats and vegetables taste more steamed than smoked. Vertical smokers are also upright, use a lower heat source and are generally best for home cooking.
Ceramic cookers use charcoal and usually function as a plain grill as well as a smoker, with ceramic retaining much more heat than metal. Ceramic smokers are usually used in outdoor garden kitchens for home cooking.