The best smoker under 500 will provide you with a great and fun way to smoke meats without weakening your financial muscles. Despite being inexpensive, these smokers do a great job of smoking foods such as fish, beef, pork, chicken, and even vegetables. Besides, most of them are portable, and, therefore, can be used in various places. They are also easy to store away when not in use. Nonetheless, these smokers are not easy to find; thanks to their quality and low price point. But we say, worry not, because, in these reviews, we have provided you with a comprehensive list of the best brands ever.
List of The Top 10 Best Smoker Under 500 in 2020 Reviews
#1. Char-Broil 20” Bullet Charcoal Smoker
Char-Broil 20-Inch Bullet Charcoal Smoker at a Glance:
- Backed by a 1-year warranty
- Has a cooking space of 570 sq. ft
- Innovative airflow control
- Uses charcoal
- Made of steel
- Weighs 27 pounds and measures 25.4 by 24.8 by 42.8 inches
Established in 1948, Char-Broil knows exactly what will make you happy and satisfied. Its bullet charcoal smoker is durable and high quality to work as expected. It has a large cooking area that will let you smoke meats of different sizes without breaking a sweat or being inconvenienced in any way. The smoker also features two handles and a temperature gauge.
The handles make it extremely easy to move from place to place for convenient smoking. What’s more, this smoker has an airflow control system, which simplifies setting and maintains cook temperatures. The removable convenient ash pan system is also another feature to talk about. It collects ashes created by the hours of cooking, thereby, making cleanup a breeze. The high-performance fire access door will help you manage your smoke flow throughout the entire cooking experience.
Best For: If you love brand names, this smoker is the best bet. It is a product of a reputable manufacturer yet it is very affordable.
#2. Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker (18 Inch)
Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker at a Glance:
- Dimensions are 21 by 19 by 41 inches
- Weighs 39.07 pounds
- Constructed with steel
- Boasts a black finish
- Uses charcoal
You will take classic barbecue to a whole new level with this functional smoker by Weber. It is a well-built unit that will provide you with tender meat falling off the bone. Well, it achieves that through its thoughtful features. For instance, this smoker has a porcelain-enameled lid, center section, and bowl. All these three parts retain heat and will not peel. The smoker also features two cooking grates that offer an ample room for cooking large pieces of meat simultaneously.
Furthermore, it has silicone temperature grommet, which monitors the internal temperature to ensure that you always get exceptional results. To control the temperature of this smoker, simply adjust the dampers. Ideally, the door of this smoker comes off to give you an easy time adding charcoal and wood during smoking. Apart from size 18”, the smoker is available in 14” and 22”.
Best For: The Weber Cooker Smoker is great for a large family.
#3. Dyna-Glo DGO1890BDC-D Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker
Dyna-Glo DGO1890BDC-D Charcoal Smoker at a Glance:
- Dimensions are 47.03”H x 34.52”W x 20.2”D
- Weighs 57 pounds
- Cooking area is 1,176 square feet
- Uses charcoal or wood
This charcoal smoker will let you smoke your foods with charcoal. It is a great smoker for charcoal enthusiasts, given that it is extremely affordable yet highly functional. It cooks meats low and slow and can be used to make tasty brisket and ribs. The innovative offset design of this smoker optimizes indirect heat flow, thereby, making the smoker perfect for slow cooking as well as infusing smoke flavor. Furthermore, this smoker boasts 6 adjustable cooking grates that accommodate different sizes and types of food.
The smoker also features a charcoal chamber that increases burn efficiency by keeping briquettes stacked tightly. Another feature you must know is the stainless steel temperature gauge that has “Smoke Zone” indicator. This feature will help you find the right temperature for infusing smoke flavor. Moreover, there is an adjustable flue that boosts temperature control and cooking precision.
Best For: Because of the vertical design, this smoker is ideal for anyone who wants to capture the maximum smoke flavor.
#4. Masterbuilt 30” Digital Electric Smoker (20071117)
Masterbuilt 30” Digital Electric Smoker at a Glance:
- Dimensions are 19.88 by 20.47 by 33.27 inches
- Weighs 39.34 pounds
- Its power source is electricity
- Fully-insulated smoker body
Masterbuilt was established in 1973. We can, therefore, confidently say that it has enough experience to produce products that will meet your needs and serve you well. One of these products is right in front of you. It is an electric smoker, meaning it is incredibly easy to operate. It has a digital panel that controls on and off to ensure that you focus more on getting flavorful meat and less on operating it.
The digital panel also controls the temperature and time to further provide you with tastier meat. Additionally, this electric smoker feature 4 chrome-coated smoking racks as well as an adjustable air damper for controlling it. The patented side wood chip loading system will let you add wood chips without the hassle of having to open the smoker door. There is also integrated thermostat temperature control to ensure even and consistent smoking.
Best For: If you are looking for a smoker that is affordable and does not take much effort to operate, this unit is for you.
#5. Cuisinart Electric Smoker (COS-330)
Cuisinart Electric Smoker (COS-330) at a Glance:
- Built-in thermometer on the front door
- Lightweight and easy to move around
- Weighs 51.5 pounds
- Dimensions are 22 by 19 by 37.15 inches
- Roomy 548 square
Cuisinart Electric Smoker is so easy to use that you will not need any special training or previous experience to handle it. It is a versatile and convenient smoker that features 3 removable chrome racks. This means you can rearrange the racks when you want to smoke whole birds or large cuts of meat. Its versatility is further enhanced by the surprisingly large 548 square inches of interior cooking space.
Well, despite having a large cooking area, this smoker boasts a compact footprint that enables it to take just a small space. The compact footprint also makes it easy to store away when it’s not in use. What’s more, this smoker boasts a functional interior, which features a heating coil, a tray for wood chips, 3 chrome racks, and a second tray for water. The smoker is not just great for beef but also it is perfect for seafood, vegetables, ribs, fish, pork, and chicken.
Best For: This smoker is perfect for those who do not have much space at home.
#6. Smoke Hollow Digital Electric Smoker (ES230B)
Smoke Hollow Digital Electric Smoker (ES230B) at a Glance:
- The power source of the smoker is corded electric
- Dimensions are 18.54 by 18.19 by 33.35 inches
- The color is black
- 800W heating element
Smokers in these reviews are very affordable, and this one is not an exception. In fact, it is one of the most affordable smokers you have ever come across. It is a digital electric smoker that is extremely easy to use. All you need to do is to plug it in, set the digital controls, and watch it smoke your foods. Ideally, this high-performance smoker boasts insulated construction that keeps the heat inside.
Plus it features an 800-watt element that offers even and consistent cooking. Like most electric smokers, this unit has a digital panel that controls on/off, time, and temperature. Its other features are removable drip tray for easy cleanup and adjustable air damper for smoke control. Also, there is a removable water bowl for adding flavor and moisture. It is time you start making sumptuous BBQ in your own backyard. And all you need to achieve that is this smoker.
Best For: If you are on a budget yet cannot imagine living without a smoker, this unit should be a frontier for you.
#7. Dyna-Glo Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker Cover (DG1890CSC)
Dyna-Glo Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker Cover (DG1890CSC) at a Glance:
- Backed by a 3-year warranty
- Fits smokers up to 43.3” wide x 21” deep x 50.2” height
- Outer part is made of PVC
- The lining is made of 600D polyester
This high-quality charcoal smoker cover is designed to be used with Dyna-Glo smoker model DGO1890BDC-D. It fits vertical offset smokers that have a center smoke stack and measuring up to 43.3 inches wide by 21 inches deep by 50.2 inches high. Additionally, this cover for smokers is built to last. First, it is backed by a 3-year warranty to prove to you that it is truly durable.
And second, it is made of a water-resistant shell that stands up to harsh elements. The cover also features a 600D fabric liner that combines with interlocking double-stitched seams for durability and strength. What’s more, this cover is easy to remove from the smoker and to handle. This is because of the durable nylon side handles. Plus there are adjustable straps that further make the cover convenient to use by adjusting to ensure a customized fit.
Best For: This cover is a wonderful purchase for those who always store their smokers outdoors.
#8. Masterbuilt Digital Electric Smoker (MES 130B)
Masterbuilt Digital Electric Smoker (MES 130B) at a Glance:
- Works with both charcoal and electricity
- Constructed with steel
- Weighs 45.94 pounds
- Dimensions are 19.88 by 20.47 by 33.27 inches
- Has a black color
Masterbuilt has been around long enough to know exactly what will meet your needs. That being said, we are pleased that this smoker has made it to this list. It is packed with numerous features that greatly improve its performance. These features include a thermostat temperature control that allows for even and consistent smoking; side wood chip loading system that’s meant for adding wood chips without having to open the door of the smoker, and 100-percent insulated smoker body that retains heat.
Other features include a water bowl for adding moisture and flavor, a wood chip tray for effortless removal of ash, and a rear-access grease tray for catching food drippings. The four chrome-coated racks offer plenty of room to smoke up to 4 pork butts, 6 chickens, 4 racks of ribs, and 4 turkeys. The smoker is backed by a 1-year warranty for peace of mind.
Best For: The fact that this smoker has a remote control and instruction manual means it is a perfect choice for beginners.
#9. Pit Boss Grills Vertical Lp Smoker (77435)
Pit Boss Grills Vertical Lp Smoker (77435) at a Glance:
- Made of steel for superior durability
- Dimensions are 21.5 by 23 by 47 inches
- Weighs 52 pounds
- Large viewing window
This vertical Lp smoker will let you reach temperatures as low as 100 degrees Fahrenheit and as high as 350 degrees Fahrenheit. It is a convenient smoker under 500 that is engineered to make smoking meats fun and easy. We have described this smoker as convenient because of features such as a large front window. This thoughtful window eliminates the need for peek-a-boo cooking.
Another impressive feature is the elevated frame that makes it really easy to transfer meals from the smoker to the table. Besides, this smoker has a spacious cooking area of 884 square inches as well as 4 porcelain coated cooking racks. The two combine to allow you to cook large cuts of meat with ease. The smoker also features a handle and rear wheels for improved mobility. Plus it displays a stylish red semi-gloss finish that will definitely impress you.
Best For: If you are looking to improve your backyard smoking experience, then you should definitely consider this smoker.
#10. Napoleon Apollo 3-in-1 Smoker (AS300K)
Napoleon Apollo 3-in-1 Smoker (AS300K) at a Glance:
- Dimensions are approximately 20 by 20 by 47 inches
- Weighs 52 pounds
- Easy access doors
- Sturdy lid handle
- Multiple vents and chambers
- 3-in-1 Grill
Napoleon is a great manufacturer; hence, it is no surprise that its product has made it to this list. The Napoleon Apollo 3-in-1 Smoker (AS300K) has what it takes to instantly transform your backyard into an exciting barbecue joint. It boasts a 3-in-1 design, and it is great for dry and wet smoking. Additionally, this smoker has multi-vents that ensure outstanding temperature control.
It also has temperature eyelets at every grill level to provide convenient access to insert a thermometer probe. Each cooking chamber or stacker of this smoker has a cooking grate that measures 19 inches in diameter. Also, there is an upper lid that has a horizontal bar, which, in turn, features 5 meat hooks for hanging sausages, ribs or fish. The door is easy to access and the lid handle is sturdy enough to withstand the test of time.
Best For: Given its performance, this smoker is ideal both for the king of backyard chefs and beginner grill enthusiasts.
Buyer’s Guide for the Best Smoker under 500
The following factors are important as well if you want to land the best quality smoker without breaking a sweat.
Smoking meats is very addictive; hence, before you know it, you will find yourself smoking your favorite foods every single chance you get. That being said, it is imperative that you consider a smoker built to last and capable of withstanding the test of time.
Some smokers use charcoal or wood while others are powered by electricity. Smokers that use charcoal/wood tend to produce flavorful meats because they smoke foods slowly. Their meats are also tender and peel off easily from the bone. On the other hand, electric smokers are easy to operate, but their end product may not be as desirable as that from units using charcoal/wood. This means if you can, you should settle for a smoker that uses charcoal or wood.
Just because you are on a budget does not mean you should settle for a small smoker. In the above reviews, we have talked about large yet inexpensive units for maximum satisfaction. Well, it is recommended that you choose a unit with a large cooking area. This is because such units will let you smoke large cuts of meat in one go, thereby, saving you a lot of time.
Although we advise that you go for a smoker with a large cooking area, this should not be done at the expense of portability. Portable smokers improve convenience since they can be used anywhere. So, before choosing a smoker, make sure it has handles, and it is compact enough to move around easily.
You do not need to break the bank to land the best smoker in the market. The above smokers are versatile, functional, work great yet affordably priced. For this reason, they make an excellent purchase for smoking enthusiasts on a budget. So, whether you are the undisputed backyard chef or beginner grill enthusiast, these smokers are worth trying out.