The 10 best smokers under $400 for making true, low and slow barbecue. These smokers offer a wide variety of options from electric to charcoal with many great features. If you are in the market for a smoker these are the units you should be looking at. This list includes smokers that run off of a variety of fuels and offer everything from true pit master smoking to the best "lazy-Q" smokers around.
It would seem almost insane to change a smoker as popular at Weber's Smokey Mountain (WSM) Smoker, but Weber has listened to the fans and made only slight (requested) changes to this unit. The addition of a lid mounted thermometer and a bottom mounted heat shield doesn't affect how this unit works but gives you a better smoker. In the past you either had to drill a hole and put in your own thermometer or set one inside and lift the lid to check the temperature. Now you can see the cooking temperature easily. The heat shield will protect whatever surface you put your smoker on. All together, a better WSM.
Simple, basic, but a great smoker for around $100. This electric will give you authentic barbecue without lots of work and without worrying about maintaining temperatures like you do with many of the vertical water smokers. This is a great smoker if you're not sure how serious you are about barbecue, or if you just want a little "Q" once in a while.
Of all the electric smoker appliances this is the best. This refrigerator style smoker is thermostatically controlled and can hot and cold smoke. You truly get a wide range of smoking abilities out of this unit. Smoke is created by burning wood disks that are added to the unit by a controlled mechanism. You get as much or as little smoke as you want and you don't have to tend to any fire. In fact once it's set you can leave it until you are ready to eat.
Called by many the starter smoker, the Brinkmann Gourmet, is one of the best selling smokers. This small, vertical water smoker has not vents, but is designed to hold a constant smoking temperature. There are several modifications that can make it work better, but if you are new to barbecue and just want a small smoker for the occasional rack of ribs then this relatively inexpensive smoker might just be the right one for you.
When it comes to Lazy-Q, this is about the most basic, easy to use and cheapest unit on the market. If you want good barbecue, but don't want invest a whole lot of time or money in the process then this is probably a good unit for you to look at. It is also a good unit if you are just starting out in barbecue and don't know how far you'll be going with it. The electric heat element in this unit produces the heat that cooks the food and provides smoke. All you have to do is adjust the dial to get the heat you want. This is a "water" smoker so there is a large water pan to even out the heat and produce steam.