The Best Vertical Pellet Smokers - Powerful and Versatile
Nothing beats enjoying time in the backyard with friends and a barbeque. And it is hard to beat the ability of the best vertical pellet smokers in cooking the perfect meats.
Using a vertical pellet smoker allows you to cook more food in a smaller footprint and provides versatile cooking options a grill can't offer.
We've done our research and pulled together the top vertical pellet smokers. This will save you time in your search and get you the best vertical smoker for your money.
We'll cover each smoker in detail and then include several topics to better prepare you for buying your new vertical pellet smoker.
Top Picks for Vertical Pellet Smokers
In a hurry? Here are our top picks for the best vertical pellet smokers.
More details are provided about each vertical smoker below.
Additionally, below the vertical smoker reviews is a comparison chart to help you compare the best vertical pellet smokers.
Pit Boss Grills
Best Vertical Pellet Smokers
1. Pit Boss Grills Vertical Pellet Smoker
The Pit Boss 5-Series Wood Pellet Vertical Smoker is an extremely versatile smoker.
You can smoke, roast, bake, braise, and barbeque with precision temperature control.
The cooking chamber is 4.6 cubic feet and has a seal-tight front door with a window to monitor your food without opening it.
It has double-walled insulation allowing a wide range of cooking temperatures.
Additionally, it has locking caster wheels for easy mobility and an easy to read digital controller.
The racks can be moved around to accommodate different cuts of meat.
- Five porcelain-coated cooking racks
- 1,657 sq in cooking space
- Porcelain coated water pan and heat deflector
- 40 lbs plus pellet hopper capacity
- Over 24-hour runtime
- Fully programmable 150-450°F
- Auto-start igniter with auto shut-off
2. Louisiana Grills Vertical Pellet Smoker
The Louisiana Grills Vertical Pellet Smoker has plenty of space to prepare for a large crowd.
The large, high heat coating window allows you to monitor your foods without opening the door and releasing heat.
And the precise temperature controls allow you to achieve excellent results when slow cooking your meats.
The system combines the use of hardwood pellets with fan-forced convection cooking to ensure an even temperature throughout the unit.
- Six porcelain-coated cooking racks
- Double-walled insulation
- 2,059 sq in total cooking area
- 6.2 cubic feet of cooking space
- 60 lbs pellet hopper capacity
- Up to 35 hours of cooking time
- 150-450°F temperature range
3. Masterbuilt Adventure Series
The Masterbuilt Adventure Series has plenty of room to smoke your favorite foods.
The temperature is automatically maintained by monitoring the cabin temperature and adjusting the auger speed.
It can smoke up to 12 chickens, two turkeys, six racks of ribs, or three pokr butts.
- Six chrome-coated smoking racks
- Digital control panel
- Preset smoke and cook cycles
- Hopper holds over 8 pounds of wood pellets
- 180-350°F temperature range
- Two meat probe thermometers
4. Pellet Pro Vertical Pellet Smoker
If you are looking for a tremendous amount of cooking space, the Pellet Pro Vertical Pellet Smoker is for you.
It has ten cubic feet of cooking space. You can fit a lot of meat in there.
Additionally, the three temperature probes, heavy-duty convection fan, and PID controller ensure even temperature throughout to achieve even cooking.
- Four stainless steel grates
- 1,680 sq in of cooking surface
- 10 cubic feet of cooking space
- PID Controller - maintains temperature within 10°F
- Double-walled steel construction
- 3,200 RPM convection fan
- Heat-resistant door seals with heavy-duty latches
Comparison of the Best Vertical Pellet Smokers
Here is a comparison table of the smokers listed above to make comparing the main features easier.
Total Cooking Area (sq in)
Total Cooking Space (cu ft)
Hopper Capacity (lbs)
What to Look For When Buying a Vertical Pellet Smoker
When looking for the best vertical pellet smokers, there are several features to consider. These include:
Cooking Area and Space
The amount of cooking area is the first factor you should consider when purchasing a vertical pellet smoker.
How much meat and other foods do you plan on cooking at the same time? How large are the cuts of meat you want to cook?
The number of shelves and the configuration of the shelving have a significant impact on the cooking area (square inches of shelving) and cooking space (total cubic feet).
And as you can see from the vertical pellet smokers reviewed above, there is a wide variation in the cooking space available in the different units.
A smoker with many shelves with an adjustable rack layout is typically going to give you the most versatile configurations to work with.
The range and tight control of temperature are important when choosing a vertical pellet smoker.
Depending on the type of cooking you intend on doing, you want to ensure the temperature range is adequate.
Additionally, some meats are going to be more sensitive to temperature swings than others. And if you plan on doing long-duration slow cooking, you want a smoker that controls temperature well in the lower end of the temperature range.
Capacity of Pellet Hopper
When considering the pellet hopper capacity, you need to consider how you'll use your vertical pellet smoker and how attentive you want to be during long cooking sessions.
While you always need to be checking on a smoker during operation, if you have a small hopper, you'll need to fill it back up routinely during longer cooks.
Hopper design is another factor you may wish to consider. Some hoppers are easier to clean out between cooking sessions than others.
While you may not think about your smoker being portable, it could be useful for large events like picnics or neighborhood gatherings.
However, it is more likely that you want the ability to move it around easily on your deck or patio.
You'll want to ensure the smoker has casters or wheels that are durable and allow for easy movement. They should also have a locking feature to keep the smoker from moving during use.
Additionally, keep in mind you'll need a source of power for the auger, fan, and control system.
Due to the nature of vertical smokers, they tend to have a pretty small footprint.
However, due to different hopper designs, some take up more room in different directions than others.
You need to be mindful of where you intend to use the smoker and that you have enough room to work around it.
Quality of Materials and Build
Quality is always a top consideration when making a large purchase.
The type of material used in a vertical pellet smoker is essential in controlling the unit's heat.
Typically you'll want to find a smoker with double-walled steel construction. The double-wall will help insulate the smoker to retain heat.
There are several other features to consider, as well.
- Is there a window on the door to monitor your food as it cooks?
- How does the door seal to maintain heat?
- What closing mechanism does the door use?
- How many temperature probes does the smoker have?
- Is it easy to keep clean?
- What type of control system and pellet feeding system is used?
Frequently Asked Questions About Vertical Pellet Smokers
Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions about the best vertical pellet smokers.
How Do Vertical Pellet Smokers Work?
While there are different designs and slight variations between them, vertical pellet smokers use wood pellets as fuel.
The pellets are added to a hopper, and an auger feeds the pellets into the cooking chamber. Additionally, a fan pulls air into the chamber to circulate heat and smoke throughout the cooking area.
Keeping water in the water pan will help keep the heat even throughout the unit, keep your meat moist, and help infuse flavor into your food.
What are Pellet Smokers Good For?
Pellet smokers are pretty versatile cookers. They are ideal for slow cooking meat like briskets, ribs, and pork butts at lower temperatures. But they can also be used in the same way as a wood oven when used at higher temperatures.
Are Vertical or Horizontal Pellet Smokers Better?
Vertical pellet smokers typically are better at smoking meat. However, if you want the ability to grill as well, a horizontal pellet smoker may be a better choice for you.
Summary of the Best Vertical Pellet Smokers
If you are looking to expand your barbeque capabilities, or just looking to replace an old smoker, a vertical pellet smoker is worth considering due to its ease of use and excellent cooking capabilities.
I hope this article helped you in your search for the best vertical pellet smoker for your needs.