BBQ Smoker Buying Guide

Grill smoked meat in the comfort of your backyard with a BBQ smoker. Learn about different smoker types like electric and pellet smokers, browse the various features, and get ready to cook mouth-watering BBQ!

Need a New Way to Grill?

Discover a new way to grill with a BBQ smoker! Get that tender, smoky flavor in 

your favorite meat, fish, and veggies right in your own backyard! We have a 

massive selection of all types of smokers. Shop online or in-store today.  

Types of Smokers

Electric Smokers

Using power from an outlet, electric smokers are controlled through a digital panel which regulates temperature, manages timers, and controls other features. They usually come with a water bowl which prevents the inside of the smoker from drying out, and keeps the smoked meat tender and delicious!


Charcoal Smokers

These smokers use charcoal to fuel the fire. The charcoal is heated up in a chimney, and then added to the smoker. Feel free to add flavoured wood pellets to the mix for additional flavour.


Propane Smokers

Usually a cabinet-style smoker, propane smokers have a gas burner at the bottom of the unit that is connected to the propane tank. Above the burner is a tray for wood chips with a water pan placed just above to keep the smoke going for a low-slow cook!


Pellet Grills

The perfect combination of a charcoal grill and kitchen oven, the pellet grill is the ultimate multi-tasking smoker! Fueled by flavoured wood pellets, an electric control panel regulates the temperature, allowing for a consistent low temperature cook. For more about Pellet Grills check out our Pellet Grill Buying Guide.

Wet Vs. Dry Smoking

Wet Smoking:

Also known as water smoking, wet smoking uses water to maintain moisture and tenderness. Wet smoking utilizes water bowls to help keep the inside of the smoker moist.

Dry Smoking:

Dry smoking uses smoldering wood pellets or bricks to slowly cook food. This indirect form of cooking is what infuses the smoke flavour into the food.

What to Look for When Buying a BBQ Smoker

Even Heat

Even heat is essential to getting a perfect cook. An important element to even cooking is the grate. Thinner grates tend to allow for radiant heat to reach the meat in a more even manner, while thicker grates may last longer than their thinner counterpart.


If you plan on moving your smoker, you’ll want to buy a smoker with wheels. Some smokers are light-weight and come with handles on the sides for easy mobility.

Construction Of The Smoker

Be sure to look for sturdy hinges, wheels, and legs. It’s also important to look at the thickness of the unit. The thicker the construction of the unit is, the more heat it absorbs. Remember to check how tightly the smoker’s doors and damper closes.

Proper Ventilation

This is key to ensure you get a proper cook on your ingredients. Ventilation on a smoker is controlled through the damper. The damper is found on wood and charcoal smokers and allow you to have control of the heat by cutting back on the oxygen supplier to the unit.

Source of Flavour: Pellets, Briquettes & Wood Chips

The root of all flavour in smokers comes down to the wood pellets or briquettes that help fuel the fire. Wood chips, pellets, and briquettes serve the same purpose, the type of cook you want will help you decide which to use.


Made from finely ground hardwood, pellets burn hotter and slower than wood chips. It is fairly easy to control the temperature with pellets, and 100 percent wood pellets give a more consistent smoke and create minimal ash.

Wood Chips:

Wood pieces burn faster than pellets but provide a stronger smoky flavour. To ensure a longer burn time, it is important to soak wood chips in water for about 30 minutes before you use your smoker.


 A combination of charcoal, coal, sawdust, and sodium nitrate, briquettes offer a consistent burn due to their uniform size. Most are available in different flavours, like apple, hickory, and maple, which means they offer a mild smoke flavour.

Wood Flavours:

  • Apple: Best with chicken, pork, and vegetables
  • Hickory: Best with beef, chicken, pork, and vegetables
  • Mesquite: Best with beef, chicken, and seafood
  • Maple: Best with beef, pork, lamb, and vegetables
  • Pecan: Best with beef, chicken, pork, lamb, and vegetables
  • Oak: Best with beef and seafood

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