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Americans are known for their love of smoked and grilled food. Smoked meat has a distinct taste and delicious smell, making you hit the brakes of your car when driving by a barbecue restaurant. The scent of briskets, sausages, and steaks on the grill will truly make you drool. Illinois, Georgia, Alabama, Texas, and New York are some of the places that offer amazing BBQ dishes, as many travel there just for a taste of their delicious food.
Though there are a lot of famous barbecue restaurants in the USA some people would still prefer grilling in the backyard. Preparing and cooking food with your family or community isn't an experience that any restaurant can offer. You get the chance to share your best smoked and grilled BBQ dishes with the ones you love.
For a complete barbecue picnic experience, you need to have the best outdoor barbecue equipment available in the market right now. The innovative designs and features of modern vertical pellet smokers give you full control over your food, allowing you to adjust for temperature, airflow and other factors. Own one of our top 10 vertical pellet smokers of 2020 and feel like a real master-chef on the grill!
Our winner after 35+ hours of research
Louisiana Grills Vertical Pellet Smoker
What is a Vertical Pellet Smoker?
Smokers are generally categorized as Electric, gas, charcoal, or pellet smokers based on the fuel used. Pellet smokers (aka pellet grills) are a type of outdoor grill that can do the job of a charcoal grill, a smoker, and an oven. The digital features of today's pellet smokers allow you to control the temperature range inside the grill and cook your food to perfection, unlike traditional charcoal smokers, where the heat can be inconsistent. Pellet smokers use the smoke from wood to impart a smoky flavor onto the meat. The taste often depends on the type of wood you use.
Some people may be hesitant to buy a vertical pellet smoker due to the cost and may find it difficult to use. But our reviews on the best pellet grills available will guide you through the all the reasons you should buy a vertical pellet grill.
What to expect?
We’d love to share our knowledge and research on which top branded smoker will suit your needs. Most of the brands that we’ve chosen may not be able to impress all its clients. Rather, we focused more on the capabilities, efficiency, design, and costs which are major factors on buying any other product on the market.
Companies like Traeger and Louisiana Grills have poured their hearts on delivering good quality smokers, accessories and even sauces and recipes for you. Check out their websites and see how they’ve packed all of the things that you need all in one place.
You can also choose the compatible wood pellets on their store.
Best Vertical Pellet Smoker - Comparison Table
Best Vertical Pellet Smoker - Our Reviews
#1. Our Overall Top Pick
Louisiana Grills Vertical Pellet Smoker
The leading vertical smoker on the list is the Louisiana Vertical Pellet Smoker. With a 4-star rating on Amazon, this type of grill delivers the best results with its ingenious design. Louisiana Grill is a leading brand that produces one of the best grills and smokers in the food industry. The company’s dedication to developing top-of-the-line products to customers all over the world paid off with the durability, versatility, efficiency, and design of this smoker.
Temperature range: 150 º to 450 º F
Dimensions (W x D x H): 28 in. x 29 in. x 58in.
Cooking Space: 2,059 sq in
Hopper: 60 lbs
Features: Double Walled Insulation, (2) Full-function programmable meat probes, (4) heavy-duty locking caster wheels.
If you want to amaze your guests at picnics and barbecue sessions, the Louisiana Grills Vertical Pellet Smoker is the product for you. It is so beautifully crafted that guests are in awe just at the glimpse of it.
You can watch your food as it cooks and changes color with its glass-door feature. You never have to worry about losing heat as the double-walled insulation keeps the temperature consistent. According to online reviews, the internal temperature remains consistent even in rainy or cold weather.
To top it up, the smoker has 6 racks and a spacious interior allowing you to cook several batches of meat or sausages at the same time. Spare parts can be hard to find for this product with some reviews noting that requesting replacements for damaged parts can take up to 3 weeks or more.
Here is a YouTube review that has a complete walk-through of this Louisiana Grills Vertical Pellet Smoker.
#2. Runner Up
Traeger TFB88PZBO Grills
Who wouldn’t want to own a smoker from the founding fathers of the pellet grill? Proudly original, Traeger Grills has been one of the best producers of grilling equipment and accessories for over 30 years. If you love to grill without much hassle, Traeger Grills got you covered. From hardwood, grill covers, rubs, and sauces, you name it, and they have it. And if you are new to smoking, Traeger grills will help you too. Their website provide tutorials on how to make delicious tasting smoked meals using Traeger products.
Depth: 22 in
Height: 59 in
Width: 49 in
Weight: 163 lbs
Cooking Capacity: 884 square inches
Hopper: 18 lbs
Texas Elite 22 may not have the features of the Pro Series of Traeger. But the seeing that logo itself on the smoker makes it a top tier. Its huge size might consume a lot of space which is not well recommended for houses without backyards.
The Father of Pellet Grill
Joe Traeger, the founder of Traeger Grill, modernized smoking food with his patented design back in 1986. He designed an electric grill using switches for temperature range control. The grill had a rotating auger or tube which connects the hopper and the firebox. To keep the food from burning and grease from dripping to the heat source, he placed a metal plate between the grill grate and the flames. His idea paved the way many designs of today’s smokers and grills.
#3. Runner Up
Camp Chef SmokePro DLX PG24
Fish, hotdogs, burgers, or steaks, name it, Camp Chef’s versatile DLX PG24 Pellet Grill can smoke it all for you. Establish in the year 1990, Camp Chef has been improving their craft for outdoor cooking. The company is hands-on in making sure that their products match the ambiance of outdoor grilling. Surrounded by rivers and mountains, their office in the Cache Valley, Utah is in the perfect spot for product testing. It is equipped with an advance ash cleaning technology allowing the user to easily get rid of all the dirt after use. The grill area is wider compared to other brands giving allowing you to smoke and grill in large batches.
Upper Rack Area: 141 sq. in.
Lower Rack Area: 429 sq .in
Total Rack Surface: 570 sq. in
Side Shelf Dimensions: 16 in. x 12 in.
Chamber Capacity: 3,778 cubics in.
Hopper: 18 lbs of pellets
Height: 32.5 in.
Weight: 140 lbs
Heat range: 160 º to 500 º F
Features: Meat probe, warming rack, Digital temperature readout, Ash Cleanout system also comes with a warranty of 3 years!
You never have to worry about cleaning your vertical smoker after long and tiring hours of cooking. With the Ash-Cleanout System of Camp Chef, you can take out all the ashes and dirt with just a pull of a lever. The drawback of this product is the size with less square inches than it's competitors. It has a bulkier built compared to other products on the list. The smoker had to be shipped via a truck. It is more of a backyard smoker and not the type of smoker for hikers and out of town campers.
#4. Runner Up
Camp Chef SmokePro SG (PG24SGB)
Don’t keep your guests and families waiting by limiting the number of foods that you could cook in a small smoker. Back on the list on the 4th spot is another product from Camp Chef.
This Champ Chef pellet grill is a big brother of the PG24, has all its features and specs only that it’s bigger in size and bigger price too. A bigger size for big barbecue parties. Choose between Indirect and Direct Flame with a flip of a switch.
Lower Rack Area: 429 sq. in.
Upper Rack Area: 328 sq. in.
Total Rack Surface Area: 811 sq.in
Height: 42 in.
Weight: 150 lbs.
This unique feat allows you to control the flavours of your food giving your guests more options to choose from. It also has an additional rack space and a larger capacity hopper so you won’t have to remove the grill midway while cooking to add more wood pellets or wood chips.
The product has moderate rating online and the only drawback on this smoker is the rust issues. Now, you can make brisket, baby back ribs, and smoked ham easier even without a grill experience!
Best for its size making it easier to cook in larger batches but the thing is, bringing it outdoors besides your backyard is a bit of troublesome unless you own a truck. It has many accessories that you can add with it making versatile. Easier to clean because of the Ash-Cleanout System. You never have to use your vacuum to suck in all the dirt and ashes. The product sure is strong but some review shows that PG24SGB could have major paint problems. The flaking off and rusting isn’t something that you expect after a few months of use.
#5. Runner Up
Camp Chef XXL Vertical Pellet Grill
Every time you open up the lid of the smoker, all the heat inside releases, thus delaying the process of smoking and cooking the food. It is a problem that most cook hates during outdoor barbecue parties. The PGVXXL Vertical Pellet is made of strong steel ensuring durability and stability. Allow you to monitor both the internal temperature and the smoke distribution within the vault.
Rated 4 out 5 stars online and plenty of positive feedback, Camp Chef truly did an excellent job in designing a top-tier pellet-smoker. Comes with Camp Chef’s multiple features: Ash-Cleanout system, Digital Temperature Display, Grease Management system and many more.
Body Dimensions (without legs): 24 in. L x 36 in. H x 15.5 in. W
Cooking rack dimensions: 21.5 in. x 14 in.
Hopper: 18 lbs. of pellets
Height: 55 in.
Weight: 145 lbs
Of all the products of Chef Camp on the list, this is by far the best. The design is sleek and simple. The 4 removable racks inside the smoker-vault allow you to maximize its space. Smoke salmon in batches without a problem, or lay the bacon and beef jerkies, or even smoke large chunks of meat or ham. You can now cook pecking duck since the smoker comes with meat hanging hooks. Also has a built-in bottle opener so you could drink beer with your friends while waiting for the food to cook to perfection. The only drawback so far with this product is attaching the legs.
#6. Runner Up
Pit Boss Grills PBV3P1
If you want to feel like a boss, choose Pit Boss. Rated 3 out of 5 stars by customers, Pit Boss Grills PBV3P1 Vertical Pellet smokers made it to 6th spot on our list. It has a fully-programmable 150-450 temperature range and can smoke up to 24 hours.
Perfect for cooks and grill-lovers who are not on the rush and wanted to bring the best smoke flavor out of the food. It has an auto-shutoff feature leaving you no worries. The porcelain-coat finish makes it rust-resistant, unlike other brands that received negative reviews regarding the flaking of paint which leads to rust build-up.
Pit Boss is another subsidiary of Dansons Incorporated together with Louisiana Grills. Founded by Dan Thiessen back in 1991, Pit Boss is known all around the world to produce cooking equipment for its durability and craftsmanship. They made easier for hikers and picnic-lovers. Was awarded EY Entrepreneur of the year back in 2017.
Control Type: VP1 – Digital Control Center
BTU Value: 20700
Cooking Racks: 5
Cooking Area: 787 sq. in.
Hopper: 39 lbs
Dimensions: 25.9 in x 21.9 in x 52.8in
Weight: 96.8 lbs
The 5 racks allow you to smoke all kinds of meat and vegetables at the same time. Weighing less than 50 kilograms making portable compared to other products. Definitely a great deal in a small package. Watching the foods as it cooks and changes color during the process would surely boost your appetite. Unlike other brands, where you have to open the lid from time to time to check possible burns thus releasing all the heat from the smoker. The stunning copper finish makes it unique. Really perfect for a boss!
#7. Runner Up
Pit Boss Grills 77550 5.5 Pellet Smoker
Pit Boss Grills returns to no.7 with 77550 5.5 Pellet Smoker. A miniature version of the PBV3P1 which is perfect for beginners. Perfect for smaller families who wanted to enjoy a home-made brisket. Easy to clean due to its small size. If you own a pick-up truck, loading this type of smoker won’t be a problem. Definitely the best smoker on a budget for only under $300. What are you waiting for? Check and buy it for your next BBQ.
Control Type: VP1
BTU Value: 20700
Cooking racks: 5
Cooking Area: 1657 sq. in.
Hopper: 55 lbs
Dimensions Assembled: 27.5 in x 28.5 x 52.8 in
Weight: 127 lbs
The small size is perfect for homeowners with a smaller backyard for it do not require a lot of space. Heating up the grill won’t take too much time. The hopper loads a load a lot of wood pellets; you never have to worry about refilling it again during the cooking process. Glass window for viewing instead of opening the lead. Drawbacks can be seen in customer reviews. The jamming of pellets in the hopper is one of the major problems of this model. Some customers complain about the temperature range fluctuating between 100-250 degrees Fahrenheit. Not recommended for a large batch of meat smoking.
#8. Runner Up
Z GRILLS ZPG-7002ENC
The ZPG-7002ENC by ZGrills allows you to smoke, grill, sear and bake food with its large cooking area. The ultimate multi-functional equipment with digital features for total control added with 7 more capabilities. The stainless-steel design makes it easier to clean unlike other products with a paint finish. The product comes with a warranty of 3 years. Maximize your pennies’ worth with this product which costs only half the price of the leading vertical pellet smokers.
Dimension: 19.2 in x 26 in
Smoking and warming rack dimension: 6.9 in x 27.5 in
Total rack surface area: 700 sq. in.
Hopper Capacity: 200 lbs
This product has all the specifications of Traeger Grill for only half a price. Best for individuals wanting to invest in grill equipment as beginners. If you are grilling for a family of 5-10 members, then this is the product for you. The stainless finish makes it easy to clean. Share the grilling area with your wife and kids with its large cooking area. No guesswork on the assembly since all of its parts is well labelled. The drawback is in the bad controllers on some products and temperature range problems.
#9. Runner Up
Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker
The Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker comes in 3 sizes (14-inch, 18-inch, 22-inch) models. If you don’t have a large backyard and a rookie in grilling and smoking, this is the right choice for you. It has 2 cooking grates perfect for cooking 2 large items at once. It is also good for older customers who would like to try modern smoker equipment but doesn’t want the high-tech types.
Height: 48.5 in
Width: 23 in
Diameter: 22 in
Cooking Area: 726 sq in
Dampers: 4pcs (rust-resistant)
Reviews on this product show both negative and positive results. Some people complain about the size, saying that it’s too small to be 22”. Amazingly, the product still reached 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Grill and smoke your food along the beach or lakes with this portable and cheap smoker. Match your perfectly cooked dish with a bottle of beer or two.
We do not recommend this smoker for big events. It’s cute size makes it easier to clean. Not much on the digital features, so if you are the type of person who depends on the programmable types of a smoker, try buying other products on the list instead.
#10. Runner Up
Weber 711001 Smokey Mountain Cooker
Another smoker from Weber which made its way to the top 10 is the 711001 Smokey Mountain Cooker. A lot cuter and compact compared to the 22″ version. The lid has been reinforced porcelain-enamel finish. Adding charcoal and wood chips to the smoker with its built-in door.
Unlike other vertical-pellet smokers, this type of grill/smoker doesn’t have many digital features. But this small built equipment is not to be underestimated since it could still deliver quality food though it might require a bit of babysitting due to overheating issues.
Height: 31.4 in
Width: 14.7 in
Diameter: 14 in
Cooking area: 286 sq in
Fuel Type: charcoal
Dampers: 4 pcs
Works the same like its 22″ version. The right grilling equipment to use with our kids during camping, swimming and use it to enjoy a salmon or chicken with a bottle of wine. Maximize the use of the tool by lining up the meat or fish in a way that would fit the grill perfectly. Sometimes, it’s not the size that matters but how you use it.
Best Vertical Pellet Smoker - Buyers Guide
Advantages of Vertical Pellet Smokers
There are a lot of smokers and grills that we could choose from. Different smokers have different uses. Allow us to give you tips on why you should choose the best vertical pellet smoker over the other types.
Innovative solutions are made to improve the quality of different smokers nowadays. Digital thermometers are added to smokers allowing you to control and monitor the heat within the smoker-vault during the cooking process.
Some vertical pellet smokers don’t require too much attention after it’s been set. It is so high tech that it automatically adjusts its own temperature, smoke, and some of it automatically shuts down after setting it on your desired cooking time.
Not just the interior of the smoker, but even inside the meat under the grill. You can now have it medium rare, medium well or well done just by checking the temperature of the meat.
You don’t even have to worry about burning your food anymore. Elegance, efficiency, and control are few of the things that modern pellet smokers can offer.
What are the Things to Consider When Buying a Smoker/Grill?
There are many factors to consider before buying a grill or smoker.
With hundreds of available products both locally and online, choosing one is not easy. Allow us to give you tips and advice on buying the right smoker for the right occasions and places.
We all want to buy the best cooking products out there and enjoy it with our friends and family and since not all us are blessed with plenty of cash, we end up settling for the cheap brands. Don’t let your budget hinder you from choosing a high-quality pellet smoker. Products like the Weber Smokey Mountain can still give a perfectly cooked and delicious barbecue rib with its small size. There are also products on the list which are half the price of the Traeger Grill. Choose wisely and let the list be your guide.
Make a headcount on the number of guests that are coming on your barbecue weekend get-together. Also, consider how large your family is. If you have a big family, then settle for a bigger smoker. Otherwise, it would be a smart move to purchase a smaller or a size that fits you and your family.
The food that you dream of cooking in your smoker is also a major contributor to choosing the best smoker. If you want versatility like grilling, smoking, and searing altogether in one tool, then go for products like Z Grills ZPG-7002ENC 2019 New Model Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker. It has a lot of features for you to try. Now you can cook all you want without to look away.
How to Clean Your Smoker
Whether you are a professional chef, a passionate cook or a beginner in smoking and grilling food. Always make sure that the equipment and tools to be used when preparing food are clean and well sanitized. Grills, ovens, and smokers are prone to mold build-up. Molds can cause sickness diseases to us humans. You are preparing food for your guests, families, and customers, this is one of the first things that you have to keep in mind. You wouldn’t want to ruin your business or your barbecue party just because you messed up in cleaning your grill. Keep your pellet-smoker and grill good looking like yours by following these easy steps.
Step 1: Remove the Racks
LET IT COOL! Never ever clean a hot pellet grill smoker. You don’t want to end up like the pork shoulders that you’ve cooked a few hours ago. Cooling off the interior and the racks can take several minutes or hours.
Brush off excess residue while inside the chamber. Remember that some of the greases are still on the rack so it would be wiser to wipe it off with a cloth or kitchen towel before taking it out of the smoker. Wash with soap and water and set aside. Let it dry.
Step 2: Clean Interior of the Pellet Smoker
Again, remove excess residue and grease from the walls. Use a kitchen cloth or damp towel. Repeat the process until you remove the odor from the vault’s interior.
Cleaning the interior of the smoker could be a difficult task. Digital smokers now are smaller in size compared to large restaurant type large smokers and uncleaned smokers can damage the taste of the food that next time you would use your smokers. The walls might not return to its original shiny finish but it’s normal to all smokers and grills.
Step 3: Clean the Exterior of the Pellet Smoker
Get a pail/basin, water, soap, and a clean cloth to clean the exterior of the smokers. Make sure to remove all the drips from sauces used to baste me meat during the cooking process. Unable to remove the drips from sauce can damage the paint which causes rust. Rinse it well with clean water. Wipe off excess water with a clean cloth or kitchen towel. Keep it dry before storing.
Step 4: Properly Dispose of Trash
Get a good garbage bag and dispose of all the used kitchen towels that were used to suck up all the grease and residue from the grill. Dispose of all wastes properly and help save the planet!
Amazon Bestsellers - Vertical Pellet Smokers
There is a lot of smoking and grilling equipment in the market that we could choose from. Some of us prefer to stick to traditional cooking equipment & processes while others are open to exploring new innovation on available tools. But the bottom line of it all is the food itself. We cook to make our friends and families happy. Whether we opt for new inventions or classic cooking, we must ensure that quality ingredients are what we use. The cooking equipment is just another factor. Go organic, avoid frozen meat, always buy the freshest produce and most of all, and cook your food with utmost love and care. It never fails!