Nothing beats the authentic smell and the delicious taste of smoked steaks or ribs! However, the experience of cooking and smoking them can make them even more rewarding! If you're new to smoking or looking for an easy way to get started, then a vertical pellet smoker may be for you!
Vertical pellet smokers come in all different types, sizes, and price points, but don't worry I'll make sure to find something for everyone when we dive in and look at models.
If you're looking to learn more about vertical pellet smokers, and find the best options around, then read on!
But first things first, let's get some common questions out of the way.
Vertical pellet smoker vs pellet grill
Vertical pellet smokers are a great option if you're tight on space. You get a very large cooking area, and it doesn't take up nearly as much room as a classic drum style pellet smoker. The only downside is that generally vertical pellet smokers can't achieve a temperature as high as a pellet grill.
Vertical pellet smokers are generally just for that - smoking. You can grill and smoke with a pellet grill. Check out some of our favorite pellet grills here if that sounds interesting to you.
The 7 Best Vertical Pellet Smokers
To help you with the search process, we’ve scoured the market looking for amazing vertical pellet smokers. Let’s have a brief overview of each one of these smokers and see what they have to offer!
You are guaranteed to find the perfect vertical pellet smoker on this list. We've taken a closer look at what features are important when it comes to choosing one, and weighed the pros and cons of each one.
1. Pit Boss Grills Pellet Smoker 77550
Kicking off the list with one of the overall best pellet smokers that you can find out there in the market, coming at a slightly above average price point.
What makes this smoker unique is that it rounds up some of the greatest features that you can find in a pure pellet smoker all the while staying large enough to contain enough food at a time!
The Pit Boss Grill 77550 5.5 Pellet Smoker is one of the largest options in the market, with 5 cooking grids or racks that are lined with porcelain spanning across an overall capacity of 1548 square inches, including a heat deflector and a water pan.
This makes it ideal for those who like to smoke large amounts of food without having to do the job in increments. The porcelain enameling helps in preserving the quality of the smoker for a long time, making it a great long-term investment.
In addition to the huge smoking capacity, it can also take large amounts of pellets, all thanks to the 40+ lbs pellet hopper, which allows you to use it for multiple sessions without having to stop for refills.
- High smoking capacity for both food and pellets
- The porcelain coating helps it last for a long time
- Programmable and adjustable system
- The temperature probe might require early replacement upon heavy use
2. Louisiana Grills Vertical Pellet Smoker
This grill is easily one of the most expensive vertical pellet smoker options on the market. The Louisiana Grills Vertical Pellet Smoker 7 Series is specifically designed for capacity as well as quality.
This pellet smoker has a similar design to the Pit Boss 5.5 smoker despite being slightly larger. It has an overall capacity of 2,059 square inches, giving you more than enough room to smoke as much food without compromising on efficiency or speed.
This one uses hardwood pellets along with fan-powered convection cooking to deliver a premium and savory smoked taste.
The pellets are added to a huge hopper that can take up 60 lbs of wood pellets, which allows the smoker to operate continuously for up to 35 hours. This makes it an excellent choice for slow and low cooking.
The smoker system features an easy start igniter, automatic shutoff timer, and a fully programmable temperature smoking that ranges from 150 to 450 degrees.
- Huge smoker capacity
- Can smoke food for up to 35 hours thanks to its huge hopper
- The double-walled insulation and porcelain coating ensures maximum cooking efficiency
- Premium price tag
3. PIT BOSS 77700 Pellet Smoker
If the capacity of the smoker is your main priority, the Pit Boss 7 Series 77700 vertical pellet smoker should be the ideal pick for you.
With an overall capacity of 2,196 square inches, this is the largest vertical pellet smoker on this list and one of the largest pellet smokers on the market.
The smoker features 6 porcelain-coated racks as well as water and heat deflectors, also coating with porcelain enameling.
The model also comes with a meat probe and a digital LED screen that will read out the current temperature for optimum monitoring.
Besides being a bit pricey, the only downside of this smoker is that its hopper is as large as the smaller Pit Boss models, so there’s no upgrade on that part.
- One of the largest pellet smokers on the market
- Easily controlled through the LED screen
- Easily movable thanks to the transportation wheels
- The pellet hopper is a bit small for this one
4. PIT BOSS PBV3P1 Vertical Pellet Smoker
If you like the quality of Pit Boss but you’re looking for something that is a bit smaller scale than the 5.5 model and the 7 Series, the PBV3P1 model would do the trick for you!
This one is also equipped with some of the high-end features that you can find in the bigger Pit Boss models, making it a great bang for the buck!
The PBV3P1 model is made up of four smoking grids with porcelain enameling, including a porcelain-coated heat deflector and water deflector to minimize the humidity and stabilize the temperature inside while operating.
These racks are spanned across 901 square inches, making the smoker large enough for smoking around the clock.
It also has a hopper that you can fill up to 40 lbs of wooden pellets. It also has a pellet purge to get rid of exhausted pellets and sawdust.
- Excellent value and quality for its price
- Easy to operate and ignite
- The large glass door allows you to monitor the process
- You might need to clear the clogged pellet hopper manually every now and then
5. Masterbuilt Vertical Pellet Smoker (MB20253519)
For some people, space efficiency is more important than a large cooking capacity. In that case, you should consider the Masterbuilt MB20253519 Pellet Smoker.
It’s also one of the most affordable pellet smokers that you can find on the market. According to Masterbuilt, this smoker has a total capacity of 723.59 square inches spread across 4 chrome-plated cooking racks.
Chrome-plating is great at protecting the racks from rust but isn’t as good of an insulator as the ceramic-enameling in previous models, so you should be aware that smoking with this model might take a bit longer than high-end models.
Yet, this model is extremely easy to clean and comes with a digital control panel that makes it ideal for beginners. Beyond a digital control panel, it can also be controlled with a Bluetooth app!
The pellet hopper has a total capacity of 40 lbs and comes with a door that makes it pretty easy to get rid of the exhausted pellets.
- A decent choice for beginners
- Easy to use and clean
- Holds the food at a steady temperature pretty well
- Takes longer to smoke food
Dyna-Glo DGU732BDE-D Digital Electric Smoker
This is also a digital smoker that is designed to work with both wood pellets and wood chips, but it has a main heat source that is electric, versus powered purely by pellets.
It comes at a fraction of what a high-end vertical pellet smoker would cost you, making it an excellent choice for buyers on a budget, which is why I included it on this list.
Since this one is originally a digital smoker, it does an excellent job at maintaining the cooking temperature, so you can ace that low and slow cooking style.
Additionally, it comes with an 800 wattsburner, which is capable of starting the smoker even in a very cold climate.
Similar to other pellet smokers on the list, this one comes with an integrated meat probe that allows you to monitor the internal temperature of the food during the smoking process.
The smoking chamber, as well as the door, are double insulated to retain the heat and speed up the cooking process.
- An ideal choice for buyers on a budget
- Relatively lightweight and easy to move around
- Available in both analog and digital versions
- The pellet hopper has a small capacity
7. Char-Broil 17202004 Digital Electric Smoker
Although the Char-Broil 725 Deluxe is a Digital Electric Smoker, it can also use wooden pellets to impart that smoky flavor on your food. So if you’re looking for a highly versatile option that can work with both pellets and wood chips, this one might be a good choice!
This model is highly insulated to prevent leakage whether in or out, which enhances the efficacy of the smoker and speeds up the smoking process. It also comes with a locking latch to seal the smoke chamber.
The capacity of the electric smoker is about 725 square inches across 4 grids. The best part about this design is that the grids are all removable and interchangeable.
It has a stainless steel finish that protects the smoker from the elements of weather and resists rusting and corrosion with time. The glass door also allows you to monitor the smoking process whenever you want.
Similar to the Pit Boss and the Louisiana Smoker, this one comes with a food thermometer probe.
- A versatile electric option that works with both wood chips and pellets
- Insulated smoking chamber with a locking latch
- Affordable price
- The hopper is a bit small
What to Look for While Shopping for a Vertical Pellet Smoker
While buying a vertical pellet smoker, there are some essential aspects that you need to keep in mind. In this section, we’ll have a quick look at these points:
Type of Vertical Pellet Smoker
As the name suggests, a pellet smoker is a simple outdoor cooking unit that is used to cook and give food a smoky aroma and flavor by using natural hardwood pellets as a fuel source.
The wood pellets are stored in a storage container called a “hopper”, which is fed by an auger into the cooking chamber using electric power and combusted to produce the heat and smoke.
In addition to regular pellet smokers, some electric smokers can also use wood pellets to produce smoke and heat, and have the vertical form factor.
These models are usually much more affordable and can be a great choice for beginners. However, they don’t perform as well as full-on pellet smokers in terms of flavor or time needed to get the job done.
If you’re looking for a long-term investment, consider a full-on pellet smoker to save yourself the cost of upgrading in the near future. But if you’re on a budget, a simple pellet-friendly electric smoker might do the trick for you.
Smoking Chamber Capacity
One of the most essential aspects to keep in mind while shopping for a pellet smoker is the amount of food you need to smoke at once. If you cook in large batches, go for a larger model that has 5 or more cooking racks.
However, if you’re more about cooking efficiency, you might want to look for a more compact model.
These will get the job done without wasting too many pellets and are more portable than larger models.
The larger the size of the pellet hopper, the less frequently you’ll need to refill it during the smoking process.
This one is also essential for the low and slow cooking style that requires you to keep the smoker on overnight.
Controls and User Interface
Any device is as good as you know how to use it, so you should make sure that the controls of the pellet smoker are easy to understand and state what they do clearly.
Pellet smokers are available as both analog knobs and digital buttons. Both of them are equally fine and choosing between them is usually a matter of personal taste.
Choosing a Vertical Pellet Smoker
There you have it! A complete guide with 7 of the top options around so you can pick the perfect pellet smoker for your purposes.
Let's take a look at these options one more time:
As you can see, vertical pellet smokers are available in a wide variety of price ranges and smoking chamber capacities.
If you’re looking for an overall great option that combines some of the best features of a pellet smoker, you should go for the Pit Boss Grills 77550 Pellet Smoker
If you're all about size, then the PIT BOSS 77700 Pellet Smoker is the winner with its 2196 square inches of cooking space.
However, if you don’t mind splurging a little to get top-of-the-shelf features and cooking capacity, you should consider the Louisiana Grills Vertical Pellet Smoker
If you're looking to save space, or a smaller footprint and cooking area, consider the Masterbuilt MB20253519.
If you're looking to be as economical as possible, then consider one of our favorite electric pellet smokers, the Char-Broil 17202004 Digital Electric Smoker or the Dyna-Glo DGU732BDE-D Digital Electric Smoker.
Who makes the best vertical pellet smokers?
When it comes to vertical pellet smokers, there are a number of top brands on this list. Our favorites are Louisiana Grills and Pit Boss Vertical Pellet Smokers for sure. These two are a cut above the rest, and have a huge following.
Are vertical pellet smokers any good?
Vertical pellet smokers are great if you are looking for a simple way to start smoking. They are also available at all different price points, so that is another great reason they are perfect for beginners.
They also generally hold a lot more food in the same amount of space than some of their pellet grill counterparts, so if you are tight on space, consider a vertical pellet smoker.
Last update on 2022-08-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API