If you love tender meats with a barbeque smoky flavor, smokers will give you the best results. Unlike grills which use high temperatures to cook, smokers use a lower temperature which enables them to break down tissues more effectively to provide tender meats for your family or friends.
You can easily adjust the temperature to suit the type of results you want to achieve. They can be powered by either electricity, charcoal, wood chips, or gas. Most people shy away from buying smokers because of their high price.
However, you can still find cheaper and reliable smokers which will give you excellent results. Since such models are not easy to identify, we decided to compare various cheap models to come up with a list of the best smokers under $300. All the products in this list have better features and customer ratings than other cheaper models on the market.
01. Cuisinart COS-330 Smoker
The Cuisinart COS- 330 Electric Smoker has a spacious interior capacity of 548 square inches which means that it has enough room for smoking different types of meats and vegetables. Since it has a vertical footprint, it is perfect for barbeque and patio kitchens.
In terms of performance, this smoker is equipped with a 1500-watts heating coil which provides a high temperature of 100°F- 400°F. That temperature is very easy to control using a dial. Another great feature you will find in this unit is the inbuilt easy-to-read thermometer which allows you to monitor the internal temperatures.
Apart from that, it comes with 3 removable stainless steel racks which you can use when smoking large pieces of meat. The good thing about these racks is that you can easily clean them in a dishwasher. It also comes with stainless steel trays that hold water and wood chips. Overall, it has a measurement of 19.88 x 17.32 x 33.3 inches.
Read More: The Best Gas Grills Under $300 in 2021
02. Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker
Whether you have never used a smoker before or you just need a unit that will give you a better experience when smoking, the Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker will be a great choice. With this unit, you are able to create delicious smoked foods easily.
It has an insulated cooking chamber which enables it to provide consistent heat for uniform cooking. It also features a large capacity wood chip box which provides hours of smoke without too much refilling.
There is also an inbuilt water pan which prevents your meat from drying out. This ensures that you get juicy meats with a nice taste. Additionally, it comes with 3 chrome-plated cooking grates which allow you to cook either for a large gathering or a small family.
It has a capacity of 544 square inches and it also features a door-mounted temperature gauge for monitoring the internal temperatures. It is powered by a 1200-watt heating element and it is also made of top-quality materials to enhance durability.
03. Dyna-Glo DGSS1382VCS-D Charcoal Smoker
For those who prefer to use charcoal smokers, the Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS138VCS-D is the best charcoal smoker under $300. It has a large cooking surface of 1382 square inches plus 5 chrome-plated cooking grates. This means that you can use it to cook enough food for a large group at once.
In terms of construction, it boasts a heavy-gauge steel body, which features a smoke zone. This smoke zone indicates a suitable temperature which will help to infuse the perfect amount of smoke flavor. Unlike others, it comes with pre-installed sausage hooks to enhance flexibility when cooking.
In addition, it comes with cool-to-touch handles which enable you to access your food and fuel safely. Still, on safety, it has a cool-touch spring lid grip that provides safer access to the food. The unit is very large and bulky but it is equipped with oversized wheels for easier transportation. It also comes with an easy-to-remove ash pan and offset charcoal grate that provides a quick ash disposal.
04. Weber 18-Inch Charcoal Smoker
Weber is one of the most reputable brands when it comes to the production of high-quality smokers, grills, and other appliances. Their products are very durable and are also designed to give you the best experience.
If you are searching for a reliable charcoal smoker from a reputable company the Weber 18-Inch Smokey Mountain Cooker will be a great choice. It is made of porcelain-enameled steel to enhance durability.
It also comes with 2 nickel-plated 18.5-inch wide cooking grates which provide a wide cooking area. This means that it can accommodate a full turkey plus an entire ham at once. It weighs is 39.1 pounds and it is black in color.
Other features you will find in this unit include a water pan to prevent your food from drying and a thermometer that allows you to monitor the temperatures. It also has a heat-resistant nylon handle to enhance safety. In order to increase airflow, it features individual vents on the bowl and the lid.
05. Smokehouse Big Chief Electric Smoker
One of the most outstanding things about this smoker is that it can smoke up to 50 pounds at once. This means that it has a spacious capacity to smoke enough meat for a large group. It is very easy to use even for those who have never used a smoker before. Another great thing about is that it offers a consistent low-temperature setting at 165°F. This means that you can smoke your food at a low temperature to get the best results.
In addition, it has advanced smoke ventilation which features a proper dehydrator plus a smoke circulation system. As a result, you are able to get foods with a very deep smoke flavor with excellent texture. Apart from that, this unit is UL and cul certified which means that it is very safe and reliable.
For easier cleaning, it comes with removable racks and a water pan. A free recipe book is also included to guide you on how to prepare different dishes. Lastly, it comes with a 1.75-pound bag of wood chips plus a free recipe book.
06. Realcook Charcoal BBQ Smoker Grill
Realcook Charcoal BBQ Smoker is another best-selling smoker under $300 you can find ever. It is very easy to disassemble into 4 parts which enables it to fit even in small car trunks. The unit also features heat-resistant handles for easier transportation.
It has a large cooking capacity of 636 square inches plus 2 chrome-plated cooking racks. This makes it ideal when you want to prepare a lot of food for a large group. It is very tall and has 4 hangers inside the lid for hanging large pieces of meat, chickens, turkeys, and other foods.
In addition, it has 2 access door designs which allow you to check food and add charcoal in a more convenient manner since you don’t need to remove the whole layer. This also prevents heat loss which ensures that you get evenly cooked foods.
It also comes with double adjustable air vents plus a porcelain-enameled water pan which creates a good balance between moisture and smoke. This enables the unit to infuse a smoky flavor into your food. It has a multi-layered design which means that you can use the Realcook water smoker as a fire pit during the cold weather. There is also an adjustable grill which can be used for roasting, braising, or baking.
07. Masterbuilt MB20071117 Digital Electric Smoker
If you are searching for the best electric smoker under $300, the Masterbuilt MB20071117 will give you the best value for your money. It has the highest number of customer reviews than any other smoker under $300.
The first thing you will love about it is the digital panel control which allows you to control temperatures and time easily. You will also find that its body is fully insulated which enables it to retain heat when cooking. Due to this, it gives you delicious foods with a terrific smoky flavor.
Besides that, it comes with a thermostat temperature control which enables it to provide consistent and uniform temperatures when cooking. There is also a patented side wood chip loading mechanism which allows you to add wood chips even without opening the door. In terms of capacity, it has 4 internal shelves which are able to accommodate 6 chickens, 4 racks of ribs, 4 pork butts, and 2 turkeys. Transport wheels are included for easy mobility.
How to Choose the Best Smoker Under $300?
Some of the key features you should check when buying a smoker under $300. These are;
If you would prefer an electric smoker, you need to ensure that it has perfect temperature control. This will allow you to adjust the temperatures according to the type of foods you are smoking. If you are a beginner or you are not conversant with these units, you should look for a model with a digital control system. These units are easier to use than those without digital controls.
Another important thing you need to check is the cooking area. Make sure that it is spacious enough to accommodate enough food for your family. It is also important you choose according to the number of people that will be served by the unit.
In case you are searching for a unit you can use to cook meat for a large gathering, you should consider a large model. Bigger models allow you to smoke different types of food such as fish meat, seafood, and vegetables at once.
Quality and Multiple Grates
The quality of the unit matters a lot because some models heat slowly during the winter while others are likely to corrode. Stainless steel models are great if you are searching for a smoker that is resistant to corrosion. Again, stainless steel material is weatherproof which means that it can withstand harsh climatic conditions.
It is also important you check the number of grates included if you prefer to prepare different foods at once. Those with multiple racks are the best since you can smoke, beef, pork, chicken, vegetables, and other types of foods at the same time.
Dimensions and Weight
In case you love preparing smoked foods when traveling, you need to check the dimensions of the unit to ensure that it is easy to transport. Check the weight also to ensure that it is not too heavy. You also need to ensure that you have enough space where you will store it even when it is not in use.
If you are a beginner, you should look for a unit that you can easily put together. Make sure that you can easily assemble the cooking racks and other components within a short time. Some models are very tough to assemble meaning that you may require professional assistance. The water pan, racks, and wood chips, and temperature control should all be easy to arrange. They should also be easy to remove when cleaning.
Both electric and charcoal smokers are made of sturdy materials which make them heavy. If you are planning to use the unit in different places, you should ensure that it has wheels to enhance movement. It should also have comfortable and heat-resistant handles to make your work easier when moving it.
A smoker is among the most important cooking appliances you should have in your home especially if you love tender meats with a smoky flavor. These units are available in different sizes which makes them suitable for small and large families. Some are also portable which means that you can easily carry them when traveling for different outdoor activities.
If you are searching for the best smoker under $300, the Masterbuilt MB20071117 Electric Smoker will give you the best value for your money. In case you prefer charcoal smokers or you are searching for a large unit, the Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS138VCS-D is the best charcoal smoker under $300.
I’m a food and cooking enthusiast and I love testing new kitchen gadgets almost as much as I love eating new, different exciting foods. Most of the time I try to taste new recipes even sometimes I cook. But if I don’t then I go to my computer and start writing for my blog or research for other kitchen products manually. I believe the kitchen and food are an important part of our everyday life. That’s why I spend tons of time on it and learned a lot about it.