A Smoker is a necessity for any decent outdoor activity such as backyard gatherings or camping. But you need a top-notch smoker that helps you grill your meat and vegetables up to perfection.
In this guide, I’ll be discussing a variety of charcoal, portable, and gas grills that are cost-effective. In this way, you get to save money while owning an effective smoker.
Plus, all these smokers are going to be under the price point of $300. The list consists of:
Our Top Picks
Below is a summary of the top picks from our SummerBaron.com team. To help you understand where each pick ranked, we have included “badges” next to each pick’s key findings. “Best Overall” is a combination of price and value. “Best Budget” is great for summer lovers who want a top-quality product but are on a tighter budget. “High End” is for people who just want the best, and price is no object.
Reviews of Each Pick
Below are our detailed reviews of each product. Each product included in this review is reviewed by our team ⎯ with 1,000s of hours testing and working with products to help you pick the best one for your specific situation.
Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill
Easy to assemble
Easy to use
Good temperature control
Parts a very cheap and flimsy feeling
This product possesses the same body as the original kettle 22” model. However, instead of just slots present at the bottom via which ash falls on the open tray, this premium model features an enclosed receptacle fastened to the base to capture and hold ash, so it doesn’t blow around. The tray comes off quite easily, allowing quick ash disposal. Its convenient hinged cooking grate will also enable you to replenish coal easily without getting rid of the food.
There is a lid thermometer, which will give you an accurate heat indication for instant grilling improvement. This smoker spans a good 363 square inches with nylon handles. Its lid handle offers a protective shield for your fingers from the heat. Also, the side handles feature integrated tool hooks that are super useful. The legs tend to pop into brackets with the older models, but this grill uses spring-loaded pins to secure the body.
Weber Smokey Joe Portable Charcoal
Efficient and easy to store
Size is perfect
Portable little grill
No Safety Handles On Vents
This grill possesses a sleek and grand look with its black porcelain-enameled base and lid. It features a durable coating with a super tight construction that you usually find on all Weber’s large kettles. It has convenient aluminum dampers for efficiently controlling the air and heat. The dampers don’t wear over time and entirely rust-free. Its plated steel grates for cooking spans a diameter of 14.5” and a cooking surface of 165 square inches. The grill also fosters a tiny aluminum disc present below the bottom damper for serving as an ash catcher.
You can also get the premium version of the same grill, but it doesn’t come with dampers below the coal tray. There will be airflow trouble in the absence of dampers, so you do have that to think about. However, if you’re okay working with a small portable grill for whipping up hot dogs and burgers, then go for the premium one. Spending an additional $10 for the “Tuck and Carry Lid Holder” feature is a smart choice. You’ll enjoy easy transport all the time with it. Also, both the standard and premium models weigh around 9.5 pounds.
Char-Broil Grill2Go X200
Easy to assemble
Handy Camping Grill
Did not heat up high enough
This reliable gas grill is quite portable and employs their design of trademark TRU-infrared for producing searing temperatures. The cooking grate consists of stainless-steel material and spans over 200 square inches. The grate also acts as a radiant plate for concentrating heat via the single 9,500 British Thermal Unit (BTU) burner. Many people love using this smoker because it doesn’t require any open flame and flare-ups. It’s super easy to use and doesn’t require high maintenance.
Its TRU-Infrared design helps decrease fuel consumption, which is a useful feature considering it operates on small LP Cylinders of 16.4 oz. This smoker’s and lid consist of heavy cast aluminum that does an excellent job retaining heat compared to thin steel. Its lid tends to shut with two frontal latches and proceeds to hold the grate in position, so it doesn’t go around banging when carried.
For me, its ability to get hot quickly and also hold heat stands out the most. Its maximum temperature stands at 650⁰F with dimensions spanning over 16” D X 23.5” W X 13.75” H. However, the LP tank adapter of 20lb and the cloth carrying case are both optional. The case comes with pockets for keeping the LP cylinders and BBQ tools.
Oklahoma Joe’s Bronco Drum Smoker
Very well made and easy to use
Heats well but for long smoke brisket/pork I run out of heat.
The Bronco comes equipped with a hinged lid and a gasket. The gasket allows the thermometer cables to pass under the lid while avoiding getting pinched. It offers pitmasters the chance to use several available digital thermometers. It features a standard shelf on the side, where you have the opportunity of adding in another. I find this feature extremely useful, especially when smoking 15 pounds.
The cooking grates can easily hold pork butts over 8 pounds. Its hanging system will also enable you to hang nine racks of ribs utilizing the food hooks and three meat hangers. You’ll also get a “Lift Out Tool” for handling all the hot food hooks. The intake and exhaust are indexed, allowing for an easy settings dial. This smoker also comes with a heat diffusing plate, ash pan, and a charcoal basket.
A front-mounted temperature gauge offers approximate smoker temp in a glimpse. However, I do recommend you to use a reliable and secure digital thermometer for better results. At the bottom, it features a drainage cap offering an outlet for the debris and liquid when you clean the inside. By possessing smooth wheels, you can move this smoker about any terrain.
Broil-Mate 165154 LP Gas Grill
Simple and relatively cheap
Design is great
The Broil-Mate 165154 is a throwback to the early 60s for the 1st barbecue gas grills. It features a 40,000 British Thermal Unit (BTU) Dual H-Burner of stainless-steel material. 2 U-Shaped burners are fused, along with separate controls. There are 20,000 BTUs on each side, and It’s excellent for two-zone setups. Its durable Flavor-R wave heat tents of stainless-steel help diffuse heat and sizzle drippings.
The cast-iron cooking grates of this smoker possess porcelain coatings. This smoker also comes with a lightweight 2-wheeled cart that doesn’t have an enclosure and contains resin side shelves. The shelves have electric ignition and integrated tool hooks. This grill has a cooking surface measurement of 400 square inches. If you want a nice sized cooker, long on substance and short on flash, then the Broil-Mate 165154 might be the one for you.
Barbecuing is always fun when you have the right company and smoker. A healthy chit chat with some delicious steak and beer wraps up the evening mood. Any of these smokers will help you cook smoked ribs, chicken, lamb and many amazing goodies. If you’re interested in something outside of this list, then the Char-Boil Bullet Charcoal Smoker is also a smart choice. Make sure to study this review and conclude your selection of need and preference.
e your selection of need and preference.