9+ Best Cheap Smokers for Any Budget

Unlock Flavor on a Budget: Top Picks for Smokers Under $200 Ready to Elevate Your BBQ Game!

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Nothing beats the taste of low and slow, smoke-kissed brisket or fall-off-the-bone ribs that only the age-old tradition of smoking can provide. Novice smokers may be apprehensive about spending thousands of dollars on a cooking hobby. So, are there any quality cheap smokers that don’t break the bank?

The best cheap smokers for any budget feature a space-saving design, accurate temperature control, and consistent heat distribution. The Weber Smokey Mountain 18-inch Cooker Smoker is the best budget-friendly smoker. It is solid, affordable, versatile, and includes a 10-year warranty. 

The ancient art of smoking has re-emerged thanks to its undeniable quality, versatility, and flavor. We’ll be sharing the best cheap smokers to steer you away from leary, inexpensive models to affordable yet high-quality smokers.

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9 Best Cheap Smokers for Any Budget 

Investing in a meat smoker will take your backyard barbeque to a new level. There are various types of smokers, from kettle grills to stick burners and charcoal to pellet, electric, and gas smokers.

Today, we’re providing our readers with the 9 best cheap smokers under $500. These affordable smokers will take you a step closer to becoming a pitmaster.

Let’s get smokin’.

Best Overall: Weber Smokey Mountain 18-inch Cooker Smoker 

Weber 18-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker, Charcoal Smoker,Black

The Weber Smokey Mountain has a rich history dating back to 1981, and the brand still holds the crown for the best all-around charcoal smoker. Continuously tweaking and improving its smokers, Weber recently introduced the Weber Smokey Mountain 18-inch Cooker Smoker

The new smoker tops almost every list of the best smokers, and it’s easy to see why. It is solid, versatile, affordable, and guarantees exceptional quality with its impressive 10-year warranty.

The Weber screams quality with its durable porcelain-enameled shell, removable fuel door, easy-to-adjust double dampers, and accurate temperature gauge. Our favorite feature is the double cooking grates allowing you to smoke multiple items simultaneously. 

Compared to the traditional Weber Kettle grills, the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker gives you hours of stable temperature, better maintained lower temperatures, multi-cooking zones, and cold smoking. 

Although definitely designed to be a smoker, it easily converts to a grill. Place the fire grate and ring where the water bowl usually rests, and place the top grate in its usual place to enjoy grilling steaks and burger patties.

Specs:

  • Fuel: Charcoal
  • Size: 18 inches
  • Weight: 39 pounds
  • Dimensions: 21 x 19 x 41 inches
  • Cooking capacity: 481 square inches
  • Price (at time of publication): $420.00

Features:

  • Compact vertical design
  • Rust-resistant dampers
  • Built-in water pan that helps regulate temperature
  • Separate fuel door
  • 10-year warranty
Weber 18-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker, Charcoal Smoker,Black
  • Material Type: Steel
  • The Weber Smokey Mountain charcoal smoker helps you achieve an authentic smokehouse flavor at home
  • It can accommodate a whole turkey and an entire ham at the same time. Item weight- 39.1 pounds
  • Made of porcelain-enameled steel, this smoker comes with 2 nickel-plated 18-1/2-inch-wide cooking grates
  • Includes a water pan, thermometer, individual vents on bowl and lid, and heat-resistant nylon handle

Best Gas: Cuisinart COS-244 Vertical 36-inch Propane Smoker

Cuisinart COS-244 Vertical Propane Smoker with Temperature & Smoke Control, Four Removable Shelves, 36", Black

The Cuisinart COS-244 Vertical 36-inch Propane Smoker is perfect for novice and seasoned outdoor cooks alike. Opening the propane tank’s valve and twisting the smoker’s control knob is all it takes to get it going. 

This mid-sized smoker provides 784 square inches of cooking space. Despite its large cooking surface, the smoker has a slender, vertical design that saves outdoor space. It also features four removable stainless-steel shelves, allowing you to smoke fun appetizers along with your cut of meat.

The tightly sealed doors ensure consistent temperatures, while the back vent can be adjusted to raise or lower the smoker’s temperature. Cooks can monitor the internal temperature using the thermometer placed on the front door.

Specs:

  • Fuel: Propane gas
  • Size: 36 inches
  • Weight: 69.5 pounds
  • Dimensions: 19.3 x 18.1 x 38.6 inches
  • Cooking capacity: 785 square inches
  • Price (at time of publication): $300.00

Features:

  • Vertical design
  • 40-inch propane hose
  • Thermometer on the door
  • Four 14 x14-inch stainless steel shelves
  • Combination porcelain-enameled water or wood pan
  • Two doors for optimal smoker access
Cuisinart COS-244 Vertical Propane Smoker with Temperature & Smoke Control, Four Removable Shelves, 36", Black
  • 5. 45 SQUARE FEET OF INTERIOR: The spacious 5. 45 square foot interior means there is plenty of room to smoke a variety of meats along with several trays of vegetables. The vertical footprint makes it a perfect size for patios and barbecue kitchens.
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3" L x 18.1" W x 38.6" H | Weight: 69.5 lb
  • FOUR 14 X 14-INCH REMOVABLE STAINLESS STEEL SHELVES: Four stainless steel racks can be easily removed for smoking whole birds or large cuts of meat. Racks are dishwasher safe, making cleanup easy.
  • BUILT-IN THERMOMETER: Features easy-to-read thermometer on the front door for accessible monitoring of the internal temperature.
  • TOTAL TEMPERATURE AND SMOKE CONTROL: An adjustable gas supply gives control over the amount of heat. Optimal smoker access through two doors and a rear vent can be opened or closed to control the amount of heat and smoke exiting the oven.

Best Charcoal: 18.5-inch Classic Pit Barrel Cooker 

Pit Barrel Cooker Classic Package - 18.5 Inch Drum Smoker | Porcelain Coated Steel BBQ Grill | Includes 8 Hooks, 2 Hanging Rods, Grill Grate and More

The Pit Barrel Cooker is the first close competitor for the Weber Smokey Mountain dominating the charcoal smoker market. This popular drum smoker produces outstanding results with minimal effort and attention.

The Pit Barrel Cooker’s “hook and hang” method includes eight stainless steel hooks, allowing you to suspend eight mouth-watering racks of ribs at once. It is designed to operate consistently at approximately 300 degrees Fahrenheit, requiring little attention and providing great food with smoky flavors.   

Specs:

  • Fuel: Charcoal 
  • Size: 18.5 inches
  • Weight: 57 pounds
  • Dimensions: 36 x 25 x 25 inches
  • Cooking capacity: 324 square inches
  • Price (at time of publication): $400.00

Features:

  • 30-gallon steel drum
  • 8 stainless steel hooks and 2 steel bars
  • Vertical design for increased cooking capacity
  • Removable grill grate
  • Air-tight construction for steady temperatures
  • Easy clean-up
Pit Barrel Cooker Classic Package - 18.5 Inch Drum Smoker | Porcelain Coated Steel BBQ Grill | Includes 8 Hooks, 2 Hanging Rods, Grill Grate and More
  • EFFORTLESS: Whether you’re new to outdoor cooking or an expert trying to perfect your craft, cook perfectly every time with the Pit Barrel's 360º All-Round Heat Dynamics. Our vertical barrel cooker technology produces consistently great-tasting, flawlessly cooked meat, veggies, and more
  • VERSATILE: The cooking possibilities are endless. For the perfect smoked meat, grill or hang ribs and brisket using the hooks and steel grill grate or use our custom GrillGrate for sear-marks and to smoke everything from burgers to desserts
  • DURABLE: Each Pit Barrel Cooker is made with a superior-grade porcelain enamel finish that looks great and is designed to withstand everything from the internal heat to weather conditions
  • PORTABLE: Our cookers are made to be lightweight and compact to fit in most vans, SUVs, and truck beds. Use the handles on the side to easily lift and transport to wherever your grilling skills are in demand. Easily fits 8 Racks of Ribs, 2-3 Pork Butts/Shoulders, Turkey Hangers allow for 2 16 lb Turkeys
  • THE COMPLETE SMOKER STARTER: Everything you will need to get started: The barrel (33” tall, including the lid and stand, and 21.25” wide, including the side handles), 2 Hanging Rods, 8 Stainless Steel Hooks, Standard Grill Grate, Charcoal Basket, and Hook Remover Tool (Seasonings Not Included)

Best Electric: Masterbuilt Digital Electric Smoker

Masterbuilt MB20071117 Digital Electric, 30" Smoker, Black

In the barbeque world, electric smokers equal ease, convenience, and affordability. The Masterbuilt Digital Electric Smoker is a budget-friendly and powerful option for novice smokers or seasoned pros.

The smoker has 711 square inches of cooking space and four chrome-coated smoking trays. It has straightforward digital control panels and thermostat-temperature control for consistent smoking. Its fully insulated body helps retain heat, and the removable drip pan catches greasy food drippings, ensuring easy clean-up.

The patented side wood chip loading system truly sets it apart from other electric smokers. It allows users to add wood chips without opening the door and losing heat.

Specs:

  • Fuel: Digital Electric 
  • Wattage: 800 watts
  • Size: 30 inches
  • Weight: 46 pounds
  • Dimensions: 20 x 33 x 19 inches
  • Cooking capacity: 711 square inches
  • Price (at time of publication): $250.00

Features:

  • Insulated steel
  • Digital control panels for precise temperatures
  • 4 chrome-coated trays
  • 1-year warranty
  • Patented side wood chip loading system 
Masterbuilt MB20071117 Digital Electric Smoker, 30", Black
  • Vertical digital electric smoker with 710 square inches of cooking space

Best Pellet: The Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill

Camp Chef 36 in. WIFI SmokePro SGX Pellet Grill & Smoker - WIFI & Bluetooth Connectivity (Bronze)

The Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill is a smoker that guarantees pro-grade performance despite its budget-friendly price. It offers the best combination of heat control, grilling space, and easy-to-achieve flavors. 

Camp Chef’s advanced digital controller unit keeps the smoker’s temperatures within 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit of the set temperature compared to the fluctuation of 60 degrees Fahrenheit of traditional smokers. 

Cooks can adjust the amount of smoke the meal gets with the advanced Smoke Number. Users can use the 160-degree low-smoke or 220-degree high-smoke option.

Specs:

  • Fuel: Pellets
  • Size: 47 inches
  • Weight: 140 pounds
  • Dimensions: 45 x 21 x 51 inches
  • Cooking capacity: 570 square inches
  • Price (at time of publication): $500

Features:

  • Gen 2 controller
  • Smoke Number
  • Sidekick compatible
  • Ash cleanout knob
  • 3-year warranty
Camp Chef 36 in. WIFI SmokePro SGX Pellet Grill & Smoker - WIFI & Bluetooth Connectivity (Bronze)
  • ALL NEW WIFI & Bluetooth PID controller automatically maintains cooking temperature with 2 meat probe ports and 2 meat probes, Camp Chef Connect App compatiblev Easy to use menu dial, High-visibility, low-glare digital display, 160 F to 500 F temperature range from slow smoking to grilling (25,000 BTU)
  • Adjustable smoke settings from 1-10, 160º F - 500ºF temperature range
  • Slide and Grill technology that allows for direct flame cooking with temps up to 650 F
  • Patented Ash Kickin' Cleanout system that allows you to dump the ash after every cook, Pellet Hopper Cleanout/Purge
  • Side attachment compatible (Sidekick or Sear Box), Full sized upper shelf, Cord Management System, Grease Management System, Expanded chamber height

Best Value: Char-Griller Smokin’ Pro Charcoal Grill

Char-Griller E1224 Smokin Pro 830 Square Inch Charcoal Grill with Side Fire Box, 50 Inch, Black

The Char-Griller Smokin’ Pro Charcoal Grill is a smoker with a classic offset firebox design for an authentic Texas-style barbeque and smoking session. It goes for a highly reasonable price and is a fantastic fit for first-timers. Better yet, it doubles as a charcoal grill that you can use for offset grilling.

The Smokin’ Pro features a heavy-duty steel grill barrel, an adjustable cast iron fire grate, a heat gauge, and a powder-coated steel firebox.

Specs:

  • Fuel: Charcoal
  • Size: 50 inches
  • Weight: 120 pounds
  • Dimensions: 31 x 50 x 60 inches
  • Cooking capacity: 830 square inches (cooking grate: 850 square inches; firebox: 250 square inches)
  • Price (at time of publication): $250

Features:

  • Great price
  • Heavy steel construction for years of durability 
  • Non-stick cast iron cooking grates
  • Powder-coated steel firebox for smoking
  • Easy dump ashtrays for easy clean-up
Char-Griller E1224 Smokin Pro 830 Square Inch Charcoal Grill with Side Fire Box, 50 Inch, Black
  • CHARCOAL GRILL & OFFSET SMOKER - Charcoal Barbecue Grill & Smoker with Side Fire Box attachment perfect for high-heat grilling and low and slow Texas-style smoked barbecue
  • MULTIPLE COOKING AREAS - Smoke a brisket on the 580 square inch primary cooking area and grill burgers and hot dogs on the 250 square inch Side Fire Box cooking area (830 square inches total)
  • HEAVY-DUTY CONSTRUCTION - Made from heavy-gauge powder coated steel with a double bottom for increased durability, and nonstick cast-iron cooking grates for maximum heat retention
  • BBQ GRILL FEATURES - Adjustable Fire Grates, Bottom Storage Rack, Stay Cool Wood Handles, Wheels for Easy Mobility, and Front & Side Shelf Workstations with Barbecue Tool Storage Hooks
  • EASY TO USE & CLEAN - Control the airflow and temperature levels with ease using the dual dampers and Thermometer, and quickly clean up after the barbecue using the removable Easy Dump Ash Pans

Best Large Capacity: Dyna-Glo Vertical Offset Smoker

Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-D Heavy-Duty Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker & Grill

The Dyna-Glo Vertical Offset Smoker is the best large-capacity smoker for those who don’t want to spend a fortune. It captures the maximum smoke flavor and accommodates a variety of meat cuts and foods with 1,176 square inches of cooking space.

The Dyno-Glo smoker’s offset functionality keeps direct heat away from your food, which avoids overcooking the bottom and ensures slow cooking and infused smoke flavor.

The smoker’s powder-coated steel exterior and porcelain-enameled steel wood chip box guarantee it will last many years.

Specs:

  • Fuel: Charcoal
  • Weight: 66 pounds
  • Dimensions: 21 x 35 x 50 inches
  • Cooking capacity: 1,176 square inches
  • Price (at time of publication): $270.00

Features:

  • Large cooking capacity and small footprint
  • 6 height-adjustable cooking grates
  • Each cooking grate holds up to 25 pounds of food
  • Porcelain-enameled charcoal chamber
  • Stainless temperature gauge
  • Large removable pan for easy clean-up
  • 1-year warranty
Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-D Heavy-Duty Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker & Grill
  • Features five chrome-plated cooking grates and a total cooking space of 1382 square inches
  • Heavy-Gauge Steel Body Construction. The temperature gauge features a smoke zone which indicates the ideal temperatures for infusing the perfect amount for smoking flavor. Also, the cool to touch handles, allow you to access fuel and food safely.
  • Cool-touch spring lid grip provides safer access to food
  • Stainless temperature gauge with "Smoke Zone" indicates the ideal temperature for infusing smoke flavor
  • Oversized steel wheels for mobility before and after use

Best Versatile: Camp Chef Smoke Vault 24-inch

Many gas smokers’ heat outputs are limited by factories. While smoking mostly requires temperature control between 200 and 220 degrees Fahrenheit, outdoor cooks deserve the freedom to choose between low-temperature and flash smoking. 

To be safe, the USDA recommends cooking most meat to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit and poultry to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. However, The Camp Chef Smoke Vault 24-inch gives users a wide temperature range from 160 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, making it one of the most versatile gas smokers on the market. 

Use the Smoke Vault for ribs, brisket, a whole turkey, baked pies, and even pizzas. Enjoy maximum controllability with its adjustable heat-control dials, door thermometer, and three damper valves. 

Specs:

  • Fuel: Propane gas
  • BTU: 18,000
  • Size: 44 inches
  • Weight: 75 pounds
  • Dimensions: 24 x 16 x 44 inches
  • Price (at time of publication): $440.00

Features:

  • Temperature range of 160 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Heavy gauge steel wood chip tray
  • Three adjustable damper valves
  • Large capacity and three adjustable trays
  • Heats up quickly
  • Removable porcelain base for easy clean-up
  • 1-year warranty

Kamado Smoker: Graphite Akorn Kamado Charcoal Grill

Char-Griller E16620 Akorn Kamado Charcoal Grill, Graphite

The Graphite Akorn Kamado Charcoal Grill offers exceptional smoking performance with a lighter weight and price tag than ceramic kamado grills. This baby grills, smokes, roasts, and makes clean-up easy too.

Like most kamado grills, the Akorn Char-Griller is an attractive egg-shape with cast iron cooking grates. However, unlike traditional kamados, it features a steel and graphite body rather than a ceramic one. Its bumpy exterior hides inevitable greasy cooking smudges, and the folding side shelves are convenient for prepping.

The grill can maintain temperatures from 200 to 700 degrees Fahrenheit for low-and-slow smoking to blasting hot grilling sessions. The included Char-Griller explains how to prepare a fire for high heat or low heat.

The triple-wall insulation retains heat for extended smoking and grilling sessions while keeping the exterior cool – great for kids playing outside. You’ll be impressed by the consistent temperatures throughout the cooking time. 

Specs:

  • Fuel: Charcoal
  • Size: 47 inches
  • Weight: 97 pounds
  • Dimensions: 45 x 31 x 47 inches
  • Cooking capacity: 447 square inches
  • Price (at time of publication): $330.00

Features:

  • Triple-wall insulation
  • Heavy-duty steel construction
  • Authentic cast iron cooking grates
  • Easy dump ashtray 
  • Adjustable dampers
  • Removable warming rack
  • Folding side shelves 
Char-Griller E16620 Akorn Kamado Charcoal Grill, Graphite
  • KAMADO CHARCOAL GRILL - Kamado style BBQ Grill & Smoker perfect for both high heat grilling and low and slow cooking
  • LARGE COOKING AREA - 20 inch Cooking Diameter with 447 square inch total Cooking Area can cook up to 27 burgers at once
  • BEST IN CLASS FEATURES - Triple-Walled Steel Insulated Design, Cast Iron Grates, Locking Lid, 8" Locking Caster Wheels, Removable Warming Rack, Bottom Storage Shelf, and Foldable Side Shelf Workstations with BBQ Tool Storage Hooks
  • EASY TO USE & CLEAN - Control the heat levels with ease using the indexed adjustable dual dampers and thermometer, and quickly clean up after grilling using the removable Easy Dump Ash Pan
  • DIMENSIONS - 31”L x 45”W x 47”H, 97 lbs (pairs with the Char-Griller 6755 AKORN Grill Cover and 6201 AKORN Smokin' Stone, both sold separately)

Frequently Asked Questions

What is The Best Reasonably Priced Smoker?

The Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker is the best reasonably priced smoker. It’s near impossible to match the price, build quality, and authentic smokey flavor. 

The 18-inch model is usually priced at around $420. However, you can rely on the 14-inch model for an even more affordable option.

What Kind of Smoker Should a Beginner Get?

Pellet grill, electric, and gas smokers are the best choice for beginners. They require minimal effort, maintain a consistent temperature, and do not require added fuel during the smoking process.

What is The Best Smoker to Buy for Home Use?

You may have seen the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker on our list several times today, but we’re serious when we say it’s one of the best. 

This Weber is ideal for home use. It is user-friendly without complicated dials or controls and works like a familiar charcoal grill. 

What is The Best Smoker under $500?

The Weber Smokey Mountain 18-inch Cooker Smoker is the best smoker under $500. It costs around $420 and has a 10-year guarantee. The Dyna-Glo Vertical Offset Smoker is the best large-scale smoker, selling for under $300. 

What is The Best Budget Smoker for a Beginner?

The Cuisinart Vertical 35-inch Propane Smoker is the best budget smoker for beginners. You can simply open the propane tank’s valve, set it, and forget it. Gas smokers also produce better-tasting meat than their electric counterparts.

How Long will a Budget Smoker Last?

Budget smokers generally last between 3 to 10 years, depending on how often you use and maintain it. If you use your smoker regularly without proper maintenance, expect it to last a few years less than average.

Final Thoughts

After we reviewed the nine best smokers for any budget, we’ve narrowed down the Weber Smokey Mountain 18-inch Cooker Smoker as our best budget smoker.

As they say, “good things come to those who wait.” Light the smoker and enjoy low and slow-cooked juicy pulled pork and succulent, fall-of-the-bone ribs.

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