There are few pleasures that exceed those of a perfectly smoked meat. And yet, despite the deliciousness factor, smokers tend to be very pricey. If you want deliciously prepared food at a price the average buyer can afford—best budget smoker, I can help you with that.

I love to grill, but I also love to respect my pocketbook. Consequently, I made a point of looking at smokers that are both great at what they do and highly affordable. Whether you are looking for electric smokers or the traditional charcoal smokers, read on to find the best affordable smoker.

Our 9 Favorite Affordable & Budget Smokers Reviewed In 2021

Let’s get right to it. Read on for nine of the best budget smokers on the market.

01

Masterbuilt — Best Budget Charcoal Bullet Smoker

Specification :
  • Steel
  • Charcoal
  • 395.4 Square inches
  • 15.26 lbs
  • 19.13 x 21.65 x 31.49 inches
Pros
  • Extremely affordable price tag well suited for just about anyone
  • Porcelain-coated racks great for heat dispersion
  • Convenient front access door
  • Built-in thermometer for accurate temperature readings
Cons
  • A little bit smaller than some people may prefer

Our Thoughts

Beginners who want to dip their toes into a smoker’s waters without spending a ton of money will certainly appreciate the Bullet Smoker. It is compact, easy to maintain, and extremely affordable. For the bargain price, you still get porcelain-coated racks that are perfect for high-quality heat dispersal.

I love porcelain because it retains heat beautifully and uses it well to ensure that your food is expertly prepared.

You also get convenience features, like the front access door that makes it easy to add coals and a built-in thermometer that will provide you with accurate temperature readings.

The only real issue to be aware of is that the cooking surface is fairly small. Consequently, you may not be able to prepare meat for a block party. It will still be great for you and your family, though!



02

Weber Original Kettle — Best Affordable Grill (22-Inch)

Specification :
  • Steel
  • Charcoal
  • 363 Square inches
  • 33.1 lbs
  • 25 x 22.5 x 39.5 inches
Pros
  • Can be used for grilling and smoking
  • Decent sized cooking surface for family use
  • Porcelain for heat dispersal and rust prevention
Cons
  • Features are better for grilling than for smoking

Our Thoughts

The Weber unit more or less features a typical kettle-style grill design that most people will be familiar with. The wide base makes it easy to both smoke and grill meats, providing your backyard cooking setup with plenty of versatility.

For an affordable price tag, you get enough room to accommodate 13 burgers (or, in other words, enough room to feed a family) porcelain coating for heat dispersal and rust prevention, and an intuitive interface most users will appreciate.

As far as grill smoker combos go, I would say that there is plenty to like. The only real complaint I would list is that the features are better suited for grilling than they are smoking. Still, with some patience, you should be able to operate effectively in both mediums.


3. Masterbuilt Digital — Best Budget Electric Smoker

Material: Steel
Power Source: Electric
Cooking Area: — Square inches

  • Brand: Masterbuilt
  • Color: Black
  • Item Weight: 45.9 lbs
  • Dimensions: 19.88 x 20.47 x 33.26 inches

Pros

  • 30-inch build provides lots of cooking surface
  • Chrome material ensures longevity
  • Convenient thermostat makes it easy to monitor the temperature

Cons

  • Electric factor changes flavor profile somewhat

Our Thoughts

This electric smoker will be the ideal product for buyers that need something simple and easy to use. As an electric smoker, it doesn’t take much to get this unit up and running. Just press a button and watch it work!

It also just works really well. The thirty-inch build provides you enough cooking surface to make enough food for your family, as well as a decent number of guests. You also benefit from chrome-coated cooking grates that both ensure durability and minimize the risk of rust.

Unfortunately, though, it just doesn’t provide the same experience as some of the other units on our list. If you want the flavor enhancement of charcoal or wood chips, you will need to go with something that doesn’t use electricity as a power source.

Still, the actual product itself leaves you with little to complain about.


4. Dyna-Glo — The Best Affordable Charcoal Offset Smoker

Material: Steel
Power Source: Charcoal
Cooking Area: 1176 Square inches

  • Brand: Dyna-Glo
  • Color: Black
  • Item Weight: 57 lbs
  • Dimensions: 20.2 x 34.52 x 47.03 inches

Pros

  • Heavy gauge porcelain for durability
  • Cast iron racks and starters incredibly durable
  • Huge 784 inches of cooking surface
  • 15,000 BTU burner gives you lots of control

Cons

  • Intricate design occupies a good deal of space

Our Thoughts

The Dyna-Glo is an extremely durable heavy gauge porcelain unit. The build quality makes it optimal for heat retention and dispersal, while the cast iron grants and starter further improve the durability and heat retention factor.

The unit benefits from a significant 784 inches of cooking surface, which will be great for preparing massive quantities of meat (think roasts, turkeys, etc.). The unit is propane initiated and features an electric starter as well as 15,000 BTUs of power.

In terms of performance, there is virtually nothing to complain about. However, users will want to be aware that it’s a sizable unit, and therefore takes up a decent amount of backyard real estate. However, if you have space, you’ll be more than happy to accommodate this smoker.


5. Weber Smokey Mountain — Best Budget Drum Smoker (18 Inch)

Material: Steel
Power Source: Charcoal
Cooking Area: 18-1/2-inch wide two cooking grates (Nickel plated)

  • Brand: Weber
  • Color: Black
  • Item Weight: 39.10 lbs
  • Dimensions: 21.00 x 19.00 x 41.00 inches

Pros

  • Sizable cooking surface for large quantities of food
  • Perfect temperature for smoking meat
  • Durable materials that will last for a long time

Cons

  • Assembly can be a little challenging rot he beginner

Our Thoughts

The Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker is a great product for the serious user that has a little bit of experience under their build. With 481, it will go a long way towards feeding an entire family or simply helping you prepare enough food to last for a few weeks. With that amount of room, you can make large roasts, or even small turkeys, chickens, etc.

The Smokey Mountain Cooker features a heavy-duty stainless steel construction that is sure to last for a long time. This factor also allows it to retain and spread heat very well, producing results similar to those of a more expensive product.

I also really liked that the built is optimized to keep the temperature at 180 degrees or so—the perfect temperature for consistently producing really incredible meat.

The assembly is a bit of a challenge, with a wide range of pieces to account for, but if you follow the instructions, you shouldn’t have any trouble.


6. Char-Griller E16620 Akorn — Best Affordable Kamado Kooker

Material: Steel
Power Source: Electric
Cooking Area: — Square inches

  • Brand: Masterbuilt
  • Color: Black
  • Item Weight: 45.9 lbs
  • Dimensions: 19.88 x 20.47 x 33.26 inches

Pros

  • Easy to clean interface
  • Extremely high-quality build
  • Tons of cooking space perfect for preparing large quantities of food

Cons

  • Can be fairly complicated to set up

Our Thoughts

The Char-Griller is an affordable piece of equipment that features a low profile build and a decent cooking area. At 447 inches, you’re going to be ablet o fix up big roasts, turkeys, or even a full chicken. And, thanks to the discreet, Akorn shaped design, it’s going to fit in just about any backyard.  

I also appreciated the easy to clean interface. The ash trey dumps out effortlessly at the bottom to ensure you have an easy time.

Finally, the build quality is pretty superb. The unit is made of high-quality cage steel for durability, with a cast-iron heating element that is optimized for heat dispersal and retention.

Unfortunately, the assembly process can be fairly complicated. If you can follow instructions, you’ll b able to muscle through the experience and enjoy a pretty flawless smoker.


7. Davy Crockett WiFi Enabled — Best Budget Portable Pellet Smoker & Grill

Material: Steel
Power Source: Electric
Cooking Area: — Square inches

  • Brand: Green Mountain Grill
  • Color: Black
  • Item Weight: 45.9 lbs
  • Dimensions: 19.88 x 20.47 x 33.26 inches

Pros

  • Great 3-year warranty 
  • Durable stainless steel that will last a long time
  • WiFi allows you to effortlessly monitor your cooking

Cons

  • One of the pricier units on our list

Our Thoughts

The Green Mountain Grill distinguishes itself from the other products on our list by featuring a WiFi capability. It features onboard sensors that allow you to monitor the grill’s temperature and the food itself so that you are guaranteed a positive cooking experience.

It’s pellet powered, which is a great way to exercise robust control over your food. It also benefits from a highly durable stainless steel build that is sure to last for a long time.

However, when you start inserting the internet where it doesn’t belong, certain problems arise. Namely: price. This is one of the most expensive products on our list, which means it won’t be a good option for the buyer with limited funds. That said, if you do have the money, this is certainly a good way to spend it.


8. Z Grills ZPG-7002E — Best Affordable Pellet Smoker & Grill

Material: Steel
Power Source: Wood Pellet
Cooking Area: 700 Square inches

  • Brand: Z Grills
  • Color: Black
  • Item Weight: 84.00 lbs
  • Dimensions: 48.00 x 22.00 x 51.00 inches

Pros

  • Enormous cooking surface most will love
  • Generous temperature range for total control
  • Wide range of capabilities help you accomplish a lot
  • Digital temperature control makes it easy to use

Cons

  • On the pricier side of our list

Our Thoughts

If you want something easy to use and comprehensive, look no further than the Z Grills ZPG. This unit features an impressive temperature range of between 180-450 degrees and can be monitored easily, thanks to a digital readout interface. This feature makes the grill simple to use, even by beginners.

You also get a ton of room. With 700 square inches of cooking surface, you shouldn’t have any trouble at all cooking for your friends and family. Finally, it is also versatile, able to smoke, grill, bake, roast, sear, and barbeque.

Of course, all of these features do set you back a little bit. Though still a budget smoker, it is on our list’s pricier end today, so plan accordingly.


Buyer’s Guide

You’ve seen the best cheap smokers, but maybe you don’t quite know how to select between them. If that is your position, I totally get it. It can be hard to choose between a bunch of great smokers, but if you know your stuff, it can make the decision a whole lot easier.

That being the case, read on for some smoker buying considerations for the best inexpensive smokers!

Cover below considerations:

Fuel type:

The Best cheap smoker may feature a number of different powers sources. For example, some are fueled by charcoal or wood pellets, while others automate the process a little bit by using gas or electricity. 

Each method has its own set of strengths and weaknesses. 

Portability:

To ensure that you’re getting the best cheap smoker grill, be sure to get something that suits your special requirements. Smaller units aren’t great for whipping up food for the neighborhood, but they will be good at getting together for a tailgate. Similarly, buyers that need to cook large quantities of food will be better served by getting something with a larger cooking surface. 

Inches of Cooking Space/Capacity:

The surface area of the smoker is one of the most important features. Even if you are just one person, you may need more space than you release. Typically speaking, smokers are used on large quantities of meat. Indeed, bigger pieces may cook better because they are less likely to become dry and tough throughout the course of a long day.

Consequently, many people prefer to cook their meat in a single day and use it multiple times throughout the week. You can even freeze smoker prepared meat and eat on it for months if you make enough.

The bigger the surface area of the smoker, the more food you will be able to prepare in a single cooking session. However, there are also cons. For one thing, large smokers tend to take up quite a bit of space. They also tend to cost more.

The good news is that one smoker can theoretically last a lifetime. Still, if you don’t want to spend a ton of money on this purchase, you may prefer to economize by getting a smaller smoker.

Price:

How much should you pay for your smoker? It ultimately depends on the type of buyer that you are. Most people are going to prefer to spend a little bit more to get something that will last for a long time.

Granted, the nature of this guide is to highlight budget-friendly products, which is largely what I have done. However, affordability is a relative thing, and the fact of the matter is that every smoker costs something. You just need to find the one that is right for your economic needs.

Personally, I feel that something in the $200-300 will provide you with the optimal range of heavy-duty durability and long term effectiveness. However, many people don’t consider that price range to be affordable.

If you want a product that will truly be easy on your bank account, you can actually find smokers that cost less than $100. Granted, it will always be something of a toss-up when you go with one of these products, but for the buyer that needs to save on a good smoker, this is the price range that you will probably have to stick with.

Temperature control:

Unfortunately, your traditional smoker does not offer much in the way of heat control. If you are going with a charcoal/wood chip driven unit, there is only so much you can do to manage the temperature. There are, of course, ways that you can keep it from getting too hot, but those require methods that may test your effectiveness as a cook.

If you really want the optimal temperature control level, you will probably favor something in the gas or electric variety.

Typically these units will have a robust range of heat settings that make it easy to treat yourself to the desired cooking experience.

Granted, these cooking styles do have some of the cons that we have already discussed if you want an easy user experience, this is still the sort of cooker that you are going to be drawn towards.

That said, charcoal or wood chip driven units do have their own methods for controlling temperature. For example, you may find some that feature a thermometer. With this feature, you will be able to easily tell where you stand with your cooking process.

As you monitor the thermometer, you will be able to easily make sure that you aren’t overcooking your food.

Easy to Clean:

And of course, you will certainly want something that will be easy to clean. Unfortunately, this is often easier said than done. As with any outdoor cooking product, cleaning your average smoker can be tedious and difficult.

It will ultimately depend largely on the type of materials that are being used in the construction. For example, stainless steel smokers tend to be a little bit easier to clean than those of a different variety.

Some may also feature specialty coatings that make the gunks and goos of long term cooking a little bit easier to remove.

However, no matter what, you will need to accept the fact that the average smoker takes a little bit of elbow grease to scrub to perfection.

Material:

The material of a smoker will have a pretty major impact on how effective it ultimately is. I’ve said several times that stainless steel is one of my favorite materials for a cooker. Steel holds heat really well, making it a great option for consistency and effectiveness.

 However, it also has its limitations. For example, steel will eventually rust, and with enough weather degradation, you will eventually need to accept that your smoker is headed for Valhalla.

The type of material you pick can have a big impact on the effectiveness of the cook as well as the cost of the equipment itself, so be sure to choose wisely.

Wrap It Up:

You’ve now read about the best low-cost smoker. Do you know what product is right for your needs yet? Even with the buying considerations and all of the great products listed above, it can still be hard to narrow a list of ten down to one.

Perhaps it may serve you well to review a couple of simple recommendations. For example, if you want the best product you can get your hands on, you will undoubtedly gravitate towards my top pick, the Masterbuilt 20060416 Charcoal Bullet Smoker.

If you want a product that is a little bit more affordable, you will probably drift towards the economical but extremely effective Masterbuilt 20060416 Charcoal Bullet Smoker.

But of course, you are now an expert on all things having to do with smokers. There is no doubt that you will be able to pick a great product on your own!

FAQs:

Q1. Can You Really Find a Quality Smoker That’s Affordable?

Sure! The nine options featured above are going to be great for the buyer on a budget.

Q2.Which is Better, Charcoal, Gas, Pellet, or Electric Smoker?

It’s all a matter of preference. Charcoal and pellet powered units seem to feature more flavor, while gas and electric are easier to use. 

Q. What is a good cheap smoker?

A. On this list, we have included a few products that are available for less than $100. If you want an affordable piece of equipment at a great price, there are certainly options out there for you.

Q. What is the best smoker for the money?

A. I personally preferred the Masterbuilt Bullet smoker. For under one hundred dollars, you can get a great piece of equipment that will last a long time. However, all of the smokers on this list strike the optimal balance of affordability and effectiveness.

Q. How much does a good smoker cost?

A. Historically speaking, it is not uncommon for people to spend over $1000 for a smoker. The bigger you go, the more money you should expect to spend. However, it is also true that you can get a decent smoker for significantly less money.

While some of the products on our list cost under $100, you would want to consider spending something in the neighborhood of $200-300 to get something that will last for a long time.

Ultimately though, there are good products that are available at every price.

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