With so many types of smokers on the market, and with so different options to choose from, it can be difficult to make the right choice. This becomes an even harder task when you’re on a budget. So, for those astute buyers who want the quality and functionality of a top-of-the-range smoker without the top-of-the-range price tag we’ve review the top 4 smokers under 500 dollars.
We have included one smoker from the following categories:
- Best charcoal smoker under 500 dollars.
- Best electric smoker under 500 dollars.
- Best wood pellet smoker under 500 dollars.
- Best gas smoker under 500 dollars – our top pick!
Our top 4 candidates for best smoker under 500 bucks are:
- 1 Best charcoal smoker under 500 dollars
- 2 Best electric smoker under 500 dollars
- 3 Best wood pellet smoker under 500 dollars
- 4 Best gas smoker under 500 dollars – Top Pick
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Best charcoal smoker under 500 dollars
Weber 731001 Smokey Mountain Cooker
Although there are some good alternatives the Weber 731001 Smokey Mountain makes it to the number 1 spot for best charcoal smoker under $500.
This excellent smoker measures 24″ by 23″ by 48.5″.
We’ve chosen the 22″ model of the Smokey Mountain Cooker but you can get it in 14″ and 18″ models. However, we advise you opt for the larger smoker unless you rarely cook for more than 2 people.
The 22″ just offers that much more cooking space and many people have bought one of the smaller models of this smoker only to eventually buy a larger one.
The smoker comes with a cuisinart thermometer (usually sells separately for over 50 dollars).
The thermometer is powered by 4 AAA batteries (usually provided at purchase).
Both the burner and the thermometer contained in this bundle come in striking black.
The Smokey Mountain charcoal smoker is made of porcelain-enameled steel and if looked-after will last a long time even with regular use.
The nylon handle is heat-resistant so you can remove the lid even during cooking without the need for gloves (though we highly recommend you use them). There is silicone temperature grommet conveniently positioned nearby.
Its 2 nickel-plated cooking grates measure 22.5″ each to offer a very generous combined total cooking area of 726 sq in.
The aluminum heat shield which comes with the 731001 Smokey Mountain Cooker is rust-resistant and very durable.
In addition to its silicone temperature grommet feature, the smoker also comes with a built-in thermometer, a water pan, a storage cover, and individual vents on the bowl and lid.
There is a 10-year limited warranty for this product.
The black cuisinart CSG-900 wireless dual probe grilling thermometer can monitor the temperature of both the meat and the grill.
It can send the reading to the handheld receiver device up to, a very reasonable, distance of 300 feet.
It can display temperatures up to 572⁰F and can store meat, grill and timer settings.
Also included is a built-in stand/clip for transmission.
Weber 731001 Smokey Mountain Cooker offers:
- Charcoal burning for that authentic smokehouse flavor.
- Can burn wood pellets or additional flavor.
- A high quality smoker made of porcelain-enameled steel.
- A heat-resistant nylon handle.
- A silicone temperature grommet.
- 2 nickel-plated 22.5″ wide cooking grates.
- Total cooking area of 726 square inches.
- Rust-resistant aluminum heat shield.
- Water pan.
- Built-in thermometer.
- Individual vents on bowl and lid.
- Storage cover.
- 10-year limited warranty.
Cuisinart CSG-900 Wireless Dual Probe Grilling Thermometer
- Monitors meat and grill temperature.
- Handheld receiver can used up to 300 feet away from the smoker.
- Receiver can display temperatures up to 572⁰F.
- Monitor can store meat, grill, and timer settings.
- Built in stand and clip for the transmitter.
- Battery operated: 4 AAA Batteries.
Best electric smoker under 500 dollars
Smokin-It Model #2 Electric Smoker
The 18-guage steel smoker includes 4 attachable 3″ diameter heavy duty casters making the Smokin-It very mobile and easy to move.
The outside dimensions of the smoker are 17.25″ x 21.5″ x 24” but the added casters will add an additional 2.75” to its height if attached.
With a weight of only 86 lbs the Smokin-It Model 2 is a very portable electric smoker.
The inside dimensions of the Model 2 Smokin-It smoker are 15″ wide x 15″ deep x 20″ tall – so that offers a lot of cooking space for such a compact smoker.
The four stainless steel grilling racks offer generous space and the rheostat is designed to control the temperature from 100F to 250F degrees.
The size of this smoker is somewhat deceptive as it can hold up 35 pounds of food easily and cooks thoroughly and evenly even when at full capacity.
Heat loss is reduced since this electric smoker is insulated with fiberglass.
If you buy the Smokin-It Model #2 Electric Smoker from Amazon it comes with a sample of hickory wood for immediate seasoning of your new smoker.
If you have never smoked with flavored wood pellets we strongly recommend you give it a try.
Our favorite is apple though we know a few people who like Jack Daniels flavor!
This Model 2 is also NSF certified for commercial restaurant use and its compact size makes it excellent for this.
800 Watts & 12 Foot Power Cord
Its 800-watt heating element with LED indicator light, which is replaceable, is NSF-certified for use in restaurants.
You also get a 7 amp 120 volt single phase as well as a 12 foot power cord.
Other features include newly designed side handles which allow for the easy movement and lifting of Smokin-It Model.
Also provided are all-new fully integrated electrical power cord hangers conveniently mounted on the Smoking-It Model 2’s back panel – constructed of stainless steel with a provision for pre-drilled holes and screws.
The drip pan easily slides under the smoker for easy clean-up.
Video of First Cooked Meal in Smoking-It
Available from Amazon
The Smokin-It Model #2 Electric Smoker has:
- 18 gauage 201 stainless steel construction.
- Insulation to reduce heat loss.
- Capacity to hold up to 35 pounds of food.
- 800 watt heating element that is easily replaced if damaged.
- Rheostat for temperature control from 100F to 250F degrees.
- Been NSF Certified for commercial restaurant use.
- Inside diminseions: 15″x 15″ x 20″
- Outer dimensions: 17-1/4″ x 21-1/2″ x 24″.
- Heavy duty 3″ diameter rubber casters: height of smoker increases by 3 3/4″ when attached.
- 4 removable grill racks.
- Integrated electric power cord hangers that mount on the back panel.
- Side handles for easy movement and lifting.
- Hangers made from stainless steel with pre-drilled holes and all screws.
Best wood pellet smoker under 500 dollars
Camp Chef SmokePro STX Pellet Grill
Like the, more expensive Camp Chef smokers this black pellet grill is able to cook food within a heat range of 160°F to 500°F.
The SmokePro has Smart Smoke Technology that enables the maintenance of an optimum temperature range while simultaneously producing the most amount of smoke possible for that authentic smoke flavor.
The grilling area is a large 19.5″ x 22″.
There is a slot available for an additional warming rack and a slot for additional front shelf though both shelves most be bought separately.
In total, this product has a rack surface area of 429 sq. inches.
5 in 1 Cooking options include:
Hopper & Cleaning
The hopper can hold 18 lbs of wood pellets and the patented ash clean-out feature means a simple pull of a lever allows the ash to be cleaned out of the grill.
The Camp Chef SmokePro STX supports precision cooking through the digital temperature control functionality.
This allows you to be total control of the cook whether you are baking, searing, braising, grilling, or smoking.
A stainless steel meat probe is also included with the smoker.
The grease management system also keeps mess to a minimum and cleaning a lot easier!
The Camp Chef SmokePro STX offers:
- Full cooking heat range, 160°F up to 500°F.
- Large 19.5″ x 22″ grilling area.
- A rack surface area of 429 sq. inches.
- Silver vein finish.
- Digital temperature control.
- Convenient port for meat probe.
- Stainless steel meat probe.
- Patented ash clean-out system.
- Grease management system.
- Roller wheels for convenience.
- Utility rack included.
- Adjustable Chimney Top
Best gas smoker under 500 dollars – Top Pick
Broil King 923617 Smoke Vertical Natural Gas Cabinet Smoker
The durable construction of the Broil King 923617 includes an adjustable roto-draft cast aluminum damper system with a mounted chrome coating door.
There are four adjustable stainless steel cooking grids and the two rugged steel doors come with a silicone gasket and premium latch system.
The Broil King has a a very large cooking space of 770 sq in and total cooking capacity of 4 cubic feet.
It uses the convenience and control of propane while offering that authentic smoke flavor you only get from charcoal and pellets.
Included is an Accu-temp thermometer, adjustable multi-purpose rib/roast rack, as well as a sure-lite electronic ignition system for easy lighting.
Some other wonderful features include:
- 16 integrated meat hooks.
- An extra-large stainless steel water bowl and smoker tray.
- 4 sturdy tool hooks.
- 3 heavy-duty door handles.
- Convenient bottle opener.
- Heavy duty charcoal tray.
- 4 leveling feet with 2 easy-move wheels at the rear.
In addition to its double-walled Steel construction, the Broiler is coated with premium epoxy high heat paint which is available for use with propane and natural gas which also helps protect the smoker against rust (though we strongly advise you to get a cover).
The Broil King 923617 offers:
- 15, 000 BTU stainless steel burner output.
- 770 sq in total cooking space.
- 4 cubic feet total cooking capacity.
- 4 adjustable stainless steel cooking grids.
- Adjustable multi-purpose rib/roast rack.
- Adjustable roto-draft cast aluminum damper system with chrome coating door.
- Mounted Accu-Temp thermometer.
- Extra large stainless steel water bowl and smoker tray
- 16 integrated meat hooks.
- 4 sturdy tool hooks.
- Bottle opener.
- 2 rugged steel doors with silicone gasket.
- 3 heavy-duty door handles.
- Premium latch system.
- Heavy-duty charcoal tray.
- 4 leveling feet with two rear easy-move wheels.
- Double-walled steel construction.
- Premium epoxy high heat paint.