Current Date:December 11, 2023

Expert Review of the Best Vertical Pellet Smoker

Dive into the enticing world of barbecue as we investigate the best vertical pellet smoker in today's market. As passionate grillers, we understand the significance of selecting the right equipment to enhance your culinary skills. In this guide, we'll evaluate the best vertical pellet smokers, examining features, performance, and value to help you make an informed decision. Vertical pellet smokers have revolutionized outdoor cooking with their exceptional temperature control, efficiency, and versatility. Their space-saving design optimizes cooking capacity, making them perfect for those seeking a multifunctional cooking solution. Our expert team, boasting years of experience and industry knowledge, has rigorously tested and compared various models to identify the leading contenders in this smoking competition. We've evaluated factors like build quality, temperature range, cooking capacity, and user-friendliness to ensure you're well-equipped to choose the ideal smoker for your grilling adventures.

Best vertical pellet smoker

Pit Boss Grills 77550 5.5

The Pit Boss Grills 77550 5.5 vertical pellet smoker, designed for barbecue enthusiasts, balances performance and convenience. This smoker is often described as the best vertical pellet smoker. It has ample cooking capacity and user-friendly features, making it a great addition to any outdoor cooking collection.


  • Large Cooking Capacity: Five porcelain-coated grids offer a 1,540 square inch area for big gatherings or meal prep.
  • 40+ lb Hopper Capacity: The 40+ lb pellet hopper allows extended cooking without constant refilling, focusing on perfecting barbecue.
  • Temperature Range: Ranging from 150°F to 450°F, it enables slow cooking, roasting, or searing meats to perfection.
  • Digital Control Board: This user-friendly board ensures precise temperature control and consistent results.
  • Meat Probe: The built-in meat probe monitors food’s internal temperature without opening the door, preserving heat and consistency.
  • Auto-Start Ignition: The auto-start ignition system ensures a quick and hassle-free start-up process, getting you grilling in no time.


  • High-quality Construction: The Pit Boss Grills 77550 5.5 is made from heavy-duty steel, ensuring durability and longevity.
  • Easy to Clean: The porcelain-coated cooking grids and removable grease tray make for easy clean-up after cooking sessions.
  • Consistent Results: With its precise temperature control and even heat distribution, this smoker delivers consistently delicious results every time.
  • Excellent Value: Considering its performance, features, and build quality, the Pit Boss Grills 77550 5.5 offers great value for its price.


  • Weight: At around 131 lbs, this smoker can be cumbersome to move, so consider its placement before assembly.
  • Temperature Fluctuations: Some users have reported minor temperature fluctuations during cooking, which may require occasional monitoring and adjustments.
  • Learning Curve: While the digital control board is user-friendly, first-time users may need some time to get accustomed to the various settings and functions.

Pit Boss Grills 901 sq in Pellet Smoker

The Pit Boss Grills 901 sq in Pellet Smoker is a versatile and high-performing vertical smoker designed to cater to a variety of grilling needs. Offering superior functionality and exceptional cooking results, this smoker is an excellent choice for barbecue enthusiasts who demand quality and reliability.


  • Spacious Cooking Area: This smoker boasts a generous cooking area of 901 square inches, providing ample space for grilling a variety of foods simultaneously.
  • 35 lb Hopper Capacity: The 35 lb pellet hopper allows for extended cooking sessions without constant refilling, enabling you to concentrate on crafting your culinary masterpieces.
  • Adjustable Temperature Range: The smoker offers a temperature range of 180°F to 500°F, providing the flexibility to cook various dishes from slow-smoked meats to seared steaks.
  • Digital LED Readout: An easy-to-read digital LED display simplifies temperature monitoring and control, ensuring accurate and consistent cooking results.
  • Meat Probes: Two included meat probes enable you to monitor the internal temperature of multiple cuts without opening the smoker, preserving heat and maintaining a consistent cooking environment.
  • Porcelain-Coated Grids: The smoker features four porcelain-coated grids, offering easy cleaning and excellent heat retention.


  • Durable Construction: Constructed with heavy-duty steel, the Pit Boss Grills 901 sq in Pellet Smoker is designed to withstand the test of time.
  • Efficient Heat Distribution: The smoker’s design ensures even heat distribution, providing consistent cooking results across all cooking grids.
  • Great Value for Money: With its impressive performance, robust build quality, and user-friendly features, this smoker offers excellent value at its price point.
  • Easy Assembly: Clear instructions and well-labeled parts make the assembly process straightforward and hassle-free.


  • Size and Weight: Weighing around 128 lbs, this smoker may be challenging to move; ensure you plan its placement before assembly.
  • Minor Temperature Swings: A few users have reported small temperature fluctuations during cooking, which may necessitate occasional monitoring and fine-tuning.
  • Initial Learning Curve: First-time users may require some time to familiarize themselves with the smoker’s settings and functions for optimal results.

Camp Chef Vertical Wifi Pellet Smoker

This cutting-edge Camp Chef Vertical Wifi Pellet Smoker caters to modern barbecue enthusiasts, blending traditional smoking with smart technology.


  • Wifi Connectivity: Monitor and control your smoker remotely via the Camp Chef Connect app on your smartphone or tablet.
  • Four Adjustable Cooking Racks: Flexible cooking space with four adjustable racks accommodates various cuts and sizes of meat.
  • Wide Temperature Range: The 150°F to 350°F temperature range allows for diverse cooking techniques, from slow smoking to high-heat roasting.
  • Slide and Grill Technology: Easily switch between direct and indirect heat for greater versatility in cooking styles and recipes.
  • Ash Cleanout System: This patented system simplifies cleaning, enabling effortless ash and debris removal with a lever pull.
  • Digital Controller: An intuitive controller offers precise temperature control and monitoring for consistently delicious results.


  • High-quality Construction: Built with durable materials for longevity and reliable performance.
  • Smart Technology: Wifi connectivity and a user-friendly app enhance the cooking experience with remote monitoring and control.
  • Versatility: The wide temperature range and Slide and Grill Technology enable diverse cooking techniques and recipes.
  • Easy Maintenance: Quick and hassle-free cleanup with the ash cleanout system and removable grease tray.


  • Price: Advanced features and technology result in a higher price point compared to other models.
  • Wifi Connectivity Issues: Some users report occasional wifi problems, requiring troubleshooting or resetting.
  • Learning Curve: New users may need time to adapt to advanced features and the Camp Chef Connect app.

MasterBuilt MB20250618 MWS 330B Pellet Smoker

The MasterBuilt MB20250618 MWS 330B Pellet Smoker offers a user-friendly, high-performing grilling solution in a compact design. It suits both novices and seasoned barbecue enthusiasts.


  • Compact Design: This space-saving smoker is ideal for limited outdoor spaces or portable smoking needs.
  • 12 lb Hopper Capacity: The 12 lb pellet hopper allows continuous cooking, letting you focus on perfecting your barbecue.
  • Adjustable Temperature Range: The 180°F to 350°F temperature range enables cooking various dishes, from smoked meats to roasted vegetables.
  • Digital Control Panel: This easy-to-use panel ensures precise temperature control and monitoring for consistent results.
  • Meat Probe: Monitor food’s internal temperature without opening the door, preserving heat and maintaining a stable environment.
  • Grease Management System: The built-in system simplifies cleaning and promotes a safer cooking experience.


  • Durable Construction: The MasterBuilt MB20250618 MWS 330B Pellet Smoker is built with high-quality materials, ensuring lasting performance and durability.
  • Easy Assembly: Clear instructions and well-organized parts make the assembly process quick and straightforward.
  • User-Friendly: With its intuitive digital control panel and integrated meat probe, this smoker is easy to operate, even for beginners.
  • Affordable: Offering a combination of advanced features and reliable performance, this smoker is an excellent value for its price.


  • Smaller Cooking Capacity: With a more compact design, this smoker has a smaller cooking capacity compared to some other models, which may limit its suitability for large gatherings.
  • Limited Hopper Capacity: The 12 lb hopper capacity may not be sufficient for extended cooking sessions, potentially necessitating more frequent refilling.

Dyna-Glo DGW1235BDP-D 36″ Wide Body LP Gas Smoker

The Dyna-Glo DGW1235BDP-D 36″ Wide Body LP Gas Smoker offers a robust and versatile outdoor cooking solution for those who prefer propane as their fuel source. Boasting an expansive cooking space and a range of impressive features, this smoker promises to elevate your grilling experience to new heights.


  • Wide Body Design: The 36″ wide body design provides a generous cooking area of 1,235 square inches, allowing you to accommodate large cuts of meat and cook for a crowd.
  • LP Gas Fuel: Powered by propane, this smoker ensures a consistent heat source and offers the convenience of easy fuel management.
  • Adjustable Cooking Grates: Four height-adjustable cooking grates allow for versatile cooking configurations, accommodating various food sizes and types.
  • Temperature Control: A built-in thermometer and adjustable flue provide precise temperature control, allowing you to achieve the perfect level of smoky flavor.
  • Push Button Ignition: The push button ignition ensures a quick and easy start-up, getting your smoker ready for cooking in no time.
  • Double Door Design: A double door design minimizes heat loss during cooking, maintaining a consistent temperature for optimal results.


  • Spacious Cooking Area: The Dyna-Glo DGW1235BDP-D offers an expansive cooking space, making it suitable for large gatherings and parties.
  • Easy Fuel Management: Utilizing propane as a fuel source simplifies fuel management and provides a consistent heat source for even cooking.
  • Flexible Cooking Options: The adjustable cooking grates enable you to customize the cooking space to accommodate different types of food.
  • Reliable Temperature Control: With the built-in thermometer and adjustable flue, this smoker ensures precise temperature control for consistent results.


  • Assembly Required: Some users have reported that the assembly process can be time-consuming and may require additional tools.
  • Propane Tank Not Included: The smoker does not come with a propane tank, which must be purchased separately.
  • Temperature Range: As an LP gas smoker, the Dyna-Glo DGW1235BDP-D has a slightly narrower temperature range compared to some pellet smokers, potentially limiting its versatility.

Oklahoma Joe’s 19202100 Bronco Pro Drum Smoker

The Oklahoma Joe’s 19202100 Bronco Pro Drum Smoker is a premium, heavy-duty smoker designed to deliver exceptional results for barbecue enthusiasts. Combining innovative features and unmatched durability, this smoker guarantees a high-quality cooking experience for those passionate about mastering the art of smoking.


  • Heavy-Gauge Steel Construction: Constructed with heavy-gauge steel, this smoker ensures long-lasting durability and excellent heat retention for consistent cooking results.
  • Hinged Lid: The hinged lid provides easy access to the cooking chamber, while minimizing heat loss and maintaining a stable cooking environment.
  • Adjustable Grate and Hanger System: Featuring a versatile grate and hanger system, this smoker accommodates various food types and sizes, offering customizable cooking configurations.
  • Airflow Control: An advanced airflow control system allows you to precisely regulate the temperature and smoke levels within the cooking chamber, ensuring optimal results for every dish.
  • Large Ash Pan: A removable, oversized ash pan simplifies clean-up and reduces the need for frequent emptying during cooking sessions.
  • Professional Temperature Gauge: Equipped with a professional-grade temperature gauge, this smoker enables you to closely monitor the cooking conditions for perfect results every time.


  • Exceptional Durability: The heavy-gauge steel construction ensures the Oklahoma Joe’s Bronco Pro Drum Smoker is built to last, offering a reliable and long-lasting smoking solution.
  • Efficient Cooking: The hinged lid and advanced airflow control system promote efficient cooking by minimizing heat loss and providing precise temperature regulation.
  • Flexible Cooking Options: With its adjustable grate and hanger system, this smoker offers a highly customizable cooking experience to accommodate a wide range of dishes.
  • Easy Clean-Up: The large ash pan simplifies the cleaning process and reduces the need for frequent maintenance.


  • Assembly Required: Some users have reported that the assembly process can be somewhat complex and time-consuming.
  • Higher Price Point: As a premium drum smoker, the Oklahoma Joe’s 19202100 Bronco Pro Drum Smoker comes with a higher price tag compared to some other models on the market.
  • Heavy Weight: Due to its heavy-gauge steel construction, this smoker is significantly heavier than some alternatives, which may make it more difficult to move and transport.


What is a vertical pellet smoker?

A vertical pellet smoker is an outdoor cooking appliance designed for smoking and grilling using wood pellets as fuel. It features a vertical design that optimizes cooking capacity and saves space. These smokers are known for their precise temperature control, efficiency, and versatility, making them popular among barbecue enthusiasts.

How does a vertical pellet smoker work?

A vertical pellet smoker works by using an electric-powered auger to feed wood pellets from a storage hopper into a fire pot, where they are ignited by a heating element. The heat and smoke generated from the burning pellets circulate throughout the cooking chamber, cooking the food indirectly. A digital control panel allows you to set the desired temperature, and the smoker maintains it automatically by adjusting the pellet feed rate and fan speed.

Can you use wood chips in a pellet smoker?

Wood chips are not recommended for use in a pellet smoker, as they may not provide consistent heat and smoke. Pellet smokers are specifically designed to use wood pellets, which are made from compressed sawdust and provide a more uniform and controlled burn. Using wood chips in a pellet smoker may result in uneven heating, inconsistent smoke production, and possible damage to the smoker’s components.

What’s the difference between a vertical and horizontal pellet smoker?

Vertical pellet smokers are characterized by their upright design, which allows for multiple cooking racks and efficient use of space. They are known for their excellent heat retention and even heat distribution, making them ideal for smoking and slow cooking. Horizontal pellet smokers, on the other hand, have a barrel-shaped design with a larger cooking surface on a single level. They are typically more versatile, allowing for grilling, smoking, and baking, but may require more frequent rotation of food to ensure even cooking.

Is an offset smoker better than a vertical pellet smoker?

Whether an offset smoker is better than a vertical pellet smoker depends on your specific needs and preferences. Offset smokers use a separate firebox for burning wood or charcoal and rely on natural convection to circulate heat and smoke through the cooking chamber. They are known for producing a more traditional, smoky flavor but require more hands-on attention and skill to maintain consistent temperatures. Vertical pellet smokers offer precise temperature control and greater convenience but may not provide the same depth of smoke flavor as offset smokers.

What companies make a vertical pellet smoker?

Several companies manufacture vertical pellet smokers, with some of the most reputable brands including Pit Boss, Camp Chef, Green Mountain Grills, Masterbuilt, and Oklahoma Joe’s. Each brand offers unique features and designs, catering to a variety of preferences and budgets. It’s essential to research each brand and model carefully to determine which vertical pellet smoker best meets your needs.

Is a vertical pellet smoker better than an electric smoker?

Both vertical pellet smokers and electric smokers have their advantages and drawbacks. Vertical pellet smokers provide a more authentic wood-fired flavor due to the use of wood pellets as fuel. They also offer precise temperature control and the ability to sear at higher temperatures. Electric smokers, on the other hand, are more energy-efficient, typically easier to use, and require less hands-on attention. However, they may not impart the same depth of smoke flavor as pellet smokers. Your choice will depend on your priorities and personal preferences.

Do you need a water pan in a vertical pellet smoker?

Using a water pan in a vertical pellet smoker can be beneficial, as it helps maintain a moist environment inside the cooking chamber, preventing the food from drying out during long smoking sessions. Additionally, a water pan can help stabilize temperature fluctuations by absorbing and redistributing heat. While not all vertical pellet smokers come with a water pan, many users find it advantageous to include one for improved cooking results.

Is a vertical pellet smoker better than a regular smoker?

Whether a vertical pellet smoker is better than a regular smoker depends on your preferences, needs, and skill level. Vertical pellet smokers are known for their precise temperature control, ease of use, and versatility, making them ideal for both beginners and experienced pitmasters. Regular smokers, such as charcoal or offset smokers, can produce a more intense smoke flavor and may be preferred by traditionalists. However, they often require more hands-on attention and skill to manage temperature and smoke levels. Ultimately, the best choice depends on your priorities, experience, and desired cooking results.


After examining each smoker’s features, pros, and cons, the best vertical pellet smoker depends on individual preferences and needs. However, the Pit Boss Grills 901 sq in Pellet Smoker stands out in this category.

Boasting a large cooking area, precise temperature control, and versatile cooking options, it appeals to both seasoned pitmasters and beginners. Its innovative design and advanced features make it a top choice for a reliable smoking solution.

Furthermore, its fuel efficiency and user-friendly interface enhance its appeal, providing a convenient, enjoyable cooking experience. While its price may be higher, the Pit Boss Grills 901 sq in Pellet Smoker’s quality and performance make it a worthwhile investment for outdoor cooking enthusiasts.