[Cooking Expert’s] Best Smoker Under 500

Last updated on August 4th, 2022 at 01:28 am

 For you to have tastiest barbecue, the first step is to have a high quality well-built smoker. Many people want an affordable best smoker under 500 to make their backyard parties fun and interesting.  In this article, we will take you through a guide explaining the steps to be taken when selecting a best smoker under 500 and present to you 7 best top rated smokers in the market.

Top 7 best smoker under 500

Now, that you have a proper idea of which things to consider when buying a smoker, let’s review these top 7 best smokers under 500.

1. Z grills zpg-450A Wood pellet smoker grill: best all-in-one grill smoker under $500

Z Grills Elite Pellet Grill in Bronze/Black-ZPG-450A - The Home Depot

Check Price on Amazon

Key features:

  • Colors: available in bronze and black colors
  • Capacity: 450 square inches
  • 2 large cooking racks
  • Foldable working shelf

This ultimate 6 in 1 wood pellet grill lets you grill, roast, smoke, bake,


  • 6 in 1 fire pellet grill
  • Tastiest smoky flavored food
  • Accurate temperature setting
  • Highly efficient and low cost
  • Auto start ignition makes it easy to use
  • Digital auto temperature control
  • Easy cleaning
  • Adjustable temperature range
  • 3 years of warranty


  • Complains of unit getting too hot

The one button auto start ignition and digital temperature control makes this best smoker under 500 for beginners. You can easily set the temperature from 80 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit according to your preference. The specially designed oil collector lets you clean the smoker easily. It alsocomes with 3-year warranty.

2. Dyna Glo DGO1176BDC-D charcoal smoker: best vertical smoker for the money:

Dyna Glo DGO1176BDC-D charcoal smoker: best vertical smoker for the money

Check Price on Amazon

Key features:

  • Color: black
  • 784 square inch of smoking space
  • 1176 square inch cooking space
  • 6 adjustable cooking racks

Among some of the best inexpensive smokers, DYN GLO is top of the list. With its six adjustable cooking racks and a wide cooking a smoking space, this is the best vertical smoker for the money.
The vertical design leads to rising heat inside the smoker which contributes to great efficiency and improved flavor. The smoker also has charcoal and ash management system which is more developed than any other smoker. It has a charcoal chamber, grate and a removable slide-out steel tray for ash. You can cook for hours and the smoker will keep large amounts of ash inside allowing you to later dump it easily.


  • Vertical design for naturally rising heat
  • Vertical design for naturally rising heat
  • Six grates provide vivacious space
  • Porcelain coated steel chamber for charcoal
  • Easy cleaning with ash and coal management system
  • Built-in thermostat


  • Smoking chamber is not very spacious

3.  Master built MB 20070210 ELECTRIC SMOKER 30 INCH: best smoker for the money;

Master built MB 20070210 ELECTRIC SMOKER 30 INCH: best smoker for the money

Check Price on Amazon


  • Color: black
  • Capacity: 30 inch
  • 3 chrome coated racks
  • 1500 watt even heating

Master built electric smoker is the top rated best smoker for the money, as it comes with 3 chrome coated racks. This 30-inch smoker is wide enough to smoke 3 ribs, 2 turkeys and one chicken at a time easily. With this best low cost smoker, you will not have to care for charcoal or propane fuel. You will be pleased to know that this ready to use best smoker under $300 is used with electricity. Just plug and grill! The best smoker under 500 has a built in temperature gauge and analog dial for easy temperature control which provide you with maximum maneuverability to cook your food according to your preferences. Another great feature is the sliding wood chip tray that let you clean the ash residue easily.


  • Built-in temperature gauge
  • Easy maneuverability
  • Consistent smoking element
  • Easy cleaning with slide out tray
  • Wide space with three chrome coated racks
  • Analog dial for temperature control
  • Ready to work, just plug and go


  • Temperature gauge is not perfectly accurate

4. Char broil 17202004 electric digital smoker: best type of smoker for beginners;

Char broil 17202004 electric digital smoker

Check Price on Amazon

Key features:

  • Color: silver
  • Capacity: 725 square inch
  • 4 easily adjustable racks

The charbroil electric smoker has double wall insulated construction which makes it safe to use. The most amazing feature of this best smoker for beginners is that it comes with an advanced control panel and a LED display which lets you control the temperature of your food easily. Char broil smoker is one of the best rated small smokers as it has stainless steel durable body with a glass door that lets you keep an eye on your food while also chatting with your friends during a BBQ party. The removable thermometer allows you to easily replace it. Another great feature of this best smoker to buy for beginners is that it has a stainless steel latch to lock the smoker for a through smoking.


  • Insulated walls for safe use
  • Advanced control panel for easy maneuverability
  • LED Display lets you keep an eye on heating settings
  • Stainless steel durable body
  • Glass door lets you watch your food
  • Adjustable racks provide customized space
  • Stainless steel latch lock


  • No way of controlling air flow

5. PIT BOSS 7435 Gas smoker; best gas smoker

PIT BOSS 7435 Gas smoker; best gas smoker

Check Price on Amazon

Key features:

  • Color: red
  • Capacity: 800 square inches
  • 3 removable cooking grids

The pit boss gas smoker is rated among top 10 gas smokers in the market. The spacious best smoker for the price has 3 porcelain coated grids that let you cook multiple dishes simultaneously. This best type of smoker for beginners also allow you to view your food through a large window while the door remain tightly closed a door seal.

This smoker is counted among top rated competition bbq smokers due to the dual valve system that provide a range of temperature setting. A grease tray lets you clean it easily.


  • Dual burner system allows easy temperature setting
  • 100-350 degree temperature range
  • Three cooking grids
  • Large space to cook multiple dishes
  • Stainless steel burner
  • Easy cleaning with a slide out grease tray
  • Large window to view food during smoking
  • High temperature door seal


  • Complains of bad customer service

6: Master built SH19079518 smoke hollow digital electric smoker: top rated smokers for home use

Master built SH19079518 smoke hollow digital electric smoker: top rated smokers for home use

Check Price on Amazon

Key features:

  • Color: black
  • Capacity: 14.8 inches’ wide
  • Three chrome coated racks

This best electric smoker under 200 has a wide space and provides you with three shelves so that you can smoke 2turkeys, 9chickens, 3ribs, 3 pork butts, 24 burgers and 36 sausages at the same time. Wide enough, isn’t it?

The digital control panels with easy on/ off button and a timer is what makes this one of the best smokers for beginners. This best low cost smoker has fully insulated body and an air damper to regulate smoke easily.

The integrated temperature control and thermostat lets you cook your food to a temperature you want and smoke it to a degree that you desire. This best smoker under 500 provides you with 800 degrees of heat for even heating and thorough cooking.


  • Digital control panel
  • Integrated thermostat for temperature control
  • Insulated body keeps heat inside
  • 800 watts even heat for consistent smoking
  • Smoke regulation with adjustable air damper
  • Easy cleanup with detachable drip pan
  • Large capacity


  • No details for proper use

7. Char-griller E16620 charcoal grill: top rated competition bbq smokers

Char-griller E16620 charcoal grill

Check Price on Amazon

Key features:

  • Color: available in black, red and graphite
  • Capacity: 447 square inches
  • 2 cooking racks

This insulated smoker uses very less fuel and cooks delicious meat which is why it is considered one of the best meat smokers for beginners. The body of this smoker is made of steel making it durable, while the cooking surfaces are made of cast iron.

The smoker also features a locking lid which lets the meat cook thoroughly and gives it a juicy Smokey flavor. The 2 shelves are used for different purposes and the ash pan is very easy to clean.


  • Wide cooking space
  • 2 shelves for different purposes
  • Insulated body keeps heat inside the smoker
  • Highly efficient fuel consuming
  • Rubber wheels for easy portability
  • Locking lid
  • Ash pan for easy cleaning
  • Heat gauge
  • Double wall insulation


  • Doesn’t have a long time durability

 Buying guide:

Before you start reading our buying guide, let us answer your main question.

What is a barbecue smoker?

When you are going to buy a smoker, the first thing that will pop in your mind will be “what is a smoker? and how is it used? Well, to make it simple for you, we have answered this question briefly so that you can have better understanding of what exactly is a smoker. A barbecue smoker is a long cylindrical apparatus for grilling food at low temperature, and is mainly used for smoking of meat. It is a peace of cooking apparatus to make barbecue, grilled foods or just providing a smoking flavor to any dish.

Things to consider when buying a best smoker:

The main things to keep in mind while buying a smoker are following;

1: Capacity:

The main thing to consider when buying a smoker is the capacity and size of the apparatus. You should definitely select a smoker with higher capacity if you like to through BBQ parties around often and enjoy large gatherings with your friends and family over BBQ in your backyard. But if you only like to have grilled or smoked food for yourself and your family, a smoker with smaller capacity will do.

2: Budget:

Even if you would like to have the best smoker equipment, it doesn’t mean that you should spend a large amount of your savings on this equipment. You can get a decent smoker in under 500 dollars pretty easily with pretty much all the features necessary to be in a good smoker. You must look through all the possible options in the market that are affordable so that you can get the best product among many options. Another thing to consider is not to go for much too cheap product as is will not be as much reliable. So you must choose a product carefully.

3: Features:

Many modern, more expensive smokers offer a range of selections such as sensors, cooking moods, and temperature and time settings. Other cheap smokers don’t offer much choice in features. But there are also those affordable models available which provide you with certain features that are complementary to the products and can almost rival the most expensive ones. You must have an understanding of the purpose of each feature and then select the one which suits your needs.

4: Fuel:

Another important thing to consider is the source of power for a smoker. While some smokers are easy to use as they are powered by electricity and gas, others can require pellets and charcoals to run properly. You need to make sure that whichever smoker you choose, you can get the fuel easily as you may need the fuel, such as charcoal in large quantities when having a BBQ party.

5: Portability:

Some smokers can be taken to trips to have outdoor parties. If you want to have a smoker for this purpose, make sure that it is lightweight and portable and can be put in a car and taken to camping without any damage to the product.

6: temperature:

Another consideration is the temperature range of the smoker. You need to determine the range of temperature a smoker can achieve to smoke different types of food dishes. Some dishes need a low temperature to cook and others require temperature of up to 500 degrees such as steaks.

7: thermostat:

This is an important factor, as the thermostat ensures an even range of heat. Some best quality thermostats come with a built-in thermostat, some might not, so you will have to buy a separate one.

8: cleaning:

Clean equipment ensures a healthy and hygienic food. Cleaning the interior of a smoker is very important. You need to investigate whether the equipment you are going to purchase will be easy to clean or not, as the food residue can turn into a breeding environment for bacteria which can be harmful to health.


Choosing a smoker is a task that requires proper research. It is a big investment and everyone wants to be utterly sure that the product they are going to buy will be productive and efficient. Many smokers provide amazing extra features, and people want to get more for less.

There are many smokers available in the market, each ranging in features from different price to different colors and space for cooking, but if you want the best smoker, you need to keep in mind some basic considerations. A thorough research is also important to get the best product when you are on a budget, which is why we have selected these top 7 best smokers for you which not only provide the basic purpose of efficient grilling and smoking, but also come with many extra features that will make your barbecue parties fun and your food tasty.

 Frequently asked questions:

Question 1: what is the best smoker for a beginner?

Answer: the Char broil 17202004 electric digital smoker is the best smoker for beginners. It provides all features that help beginners to understand and operate it easily. With a strong insulated body, to wide space and a glass door, this smoker has all the beginner friendly features.

Question 2: which smoker gives the best flavor?

Answer: THE Master built MB 20070210 ELECTRIC SMOKER provides a vast space to cook multiple food items at a single time. With its strong insulated walls, it ensures that the smoke remains in tight within the smoking chamber and provide the food with amazing yummy smoky flavor.

Question 3: are pellet grills better than charcoal?

Answer: charcoal and pellet grills are generally preferred for better tasting food, but they require higher maintenance than other types of smoker. A pellet smoker however provides you with a two in one grill and smoker feature.

Question 4: what are the types of smokers?

Answer: there are four main types of smokers that can be used according to the preference of the user and the availability of the fuel. these smokers are; electric, gas, pellet and charcoal smokers.

Question 5: why are Traegar grills so good?

Answer: TRAEGAR grills create a uniform heat around your food to provide even cooking. The less direct heat and slow cooking lets the food cook thoroughly with smoked flavor embedded in every bite.

Question 6: what is the best smoker for competition bbq?

Answer: Dyna Glo charcoal smoker is preferably used for bbq competitions as it provides with many features which help the user to prepare yummy evenly cooked meals.



We don’t spam! Only Important Stuff.

This is William Parker, an RV lover, and an adventurer - in short, Beaver Instincts. I am also a professional content creator who knows fairly well how to compare different products, services, and sites. Announcement: Invest in Our Blog to get up to $20K per month in passive income. Email