The Best Smoker Grill Combo For Beginners

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If you’re looking for the ultimate piece of cooking equipment, it may well be a smoker/grill combo.

If you’re the kind of person who loves to host barbeques and feed friends and family deliciously smoked or grilled food, then this is an incredible option to wow your guests and make mouthwatering culinary creations.

But let’s say you’re new to the world of smoker/grill combos, and you’re not sure where to start looking. One glance online and you’ll be bombarded by a huge amount of different options, and sometimes it can be easy to get overwhelmed.

What is the best smoker/grill combo? What fuel type gives the best flavor? What about additional features – can you go wrong with your choices?

If this sounds like you, then don’t panic! You’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’re going to be taking you through the 5 best smoker/grill combos on the market.

We’ve also made sure to include an extensive buyers guide to help guide you, and an FAQ that will help explain some of the more technical terms used in this article.

So let’s get right into it!

Contents

Best Overall: Z Grills ZPG-450A 2022 Upgrade Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker

Z GRILLS ZPG-450A 2023 Upgrade Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker 6 in 1 BBQ Grill Auto Temperature Control, 450 Sq in Bronze ZPG-450A Grill & Smoker

First off we have an extremely well-designed and simplistic smoker/grill combo from Z grills.

Their 2022 upgrade has added some additional features that make it much more impressive than the previous versions. In short, this grill is a small combo that combines temperature control with simplicity.

The offset loader sits flush with the main chamber and feeds wood pellets down below where they burn and push smoke above.

There is a digital controller that allows you to regulate temperature and a drip tray that helps to keep grease away from the fire and cause additional issues.

One of the best things about this combo is the options it gives you for different cooking techniques. With the grill/smoker combo you’ll easily be able to braise, smoke, grill, sear, or BBQ.

It uses wood pellets, which although they can be difficult to get a hold of sometimes, allow you to infuse different flavors into your food.

We also can’t stress how small and compact this product is for how much you can do with it.

It’s been designed for smaller families with limited cooking space. That said, if you’re looking for something a little bigger, Z Grill has options for much larger versions.

Pros

  • Fuel Type: Wood pellets allow you to infuse your food with unique flavors.
  • Temperature Control: Simplistic temperature control system to help you monitor your food.
  • Size: Small, compact but powerful grill/smoker combo.

Cons

  • Electronics: The electronics are not as reliable as competitor products.

Most Simple: Captiva 28-Inch Charcoal Grill & Smoker Combo

Captiva Designs Charcoal Grill with Offset Smoker, All Metal Steel Made Outdoor Smoker, 512 sq.in Cooking Area, Best Combo for Outdoor Garden Patio and Backyard Cooking

Okay so let’s say you’re not looking for something too complex. If this is the case, then this smoker/grill combo is going to be perfect for you.

It features an offset smoker, 512 square inches of cooking space, and wheels to allow you to easily move it around your yard, porch or garden.

As far as smoker/grill combos go, it’s as simple as you might hope to find. With a simple cylindrical smoking chamber, that can be opened up and used as a grill.

It features a small chimney, and there are options to upgrade to a 35-inch version if you’re looking for some extra room.

We found the offset firebox large enough to store the fuel for longer smoking sessions, and easy enough to flip open, monitor, and clean.

Its curved design ensures a tight seal so that no heat is ever lost when you fire it up.

We found the metal iron material used to be sturdy and durable, although the legs are a little flimsy and you may need to be careful when moving it.

Pros

  • Safety: Enamel Grilling Rack allows for an acid-proof environment that is resistant to heat.
  • Cooking Space: Large cooking space for 512 square inches considering the small size of the set.
  • Options: Offers options between a 28-inch and 35-inch version.

Cons

  • Legs: Flimsy legs mean you have to be careful when moving.
  • Additional Features: No additional features to monitor the temperature.

Best Portable: Traeger Grills Tailgater Portable Wood Pellet Grill And Smoker

Traeger Grills Tailgater 20 Portable Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker, Black, 300 sq in

So now we move on to looking at one of the industry standard companies, and that is Traeger Grills. Since their creation as a company, they have made grills, smokers, and combos at the highest level.

If you’re looking for something that is portable and simplistic, but still with all of the design flares you might expect from a leading product, then this combo is going to be perfect for you.

Like the product before, it uses wood as a fuel source and the tailgater is adept at burning fuel evenly.

Trager grills are well known for some of the most precise temperature controls you’ll find around, and the controller here allows you to easily check what the temperature is and keep it around the 180-450 sweet spot.

The portability is the most unique side of this combo, with legs that fold so you can easily pick it up and move it around.

Because of this, we’d say that this combo is a great choice if you’re looking for something that can be easily stored and brought out when you have company; especially if you live in a climate with a lot of rain and need to move it out of harm’s way.

Pros

  • Portability: Easily foldable legs that make it easy to move around.
  • Temperature Control: Industry standard, Traeger temperature control.
  • Wood Pellets: Easier to clean and makes tastier food!

Cons

  • Size: Lacks some of the more impressive features of larger Traeger combos.

Most Advanced: Masterbuilt MB20041220 Gravity 1050 Digital Charcoal Grill And Smoker Combo

Masterbuilt MB20041220 Gravity Series 1050 Digital Charcoal Grill and Smoker Combo, 1050 sq. in, Black Gravity Series 1050 XL

Okay, so the ones we’ve shown you so far aren’t doing it for you. You’re looking for something more advanced, something that will allow you to really stretch your BBQ experience.

In that case, let us introduce you to the Masterbuilt Gravity Series. As far as digital smokers go, these are the gold standard.

This combo is extremely fast to heat up, reaching 225 degrees Fahrenheit in only ten minutes, and reaching even higher temperatures not soon after.

If you’re looking for something that will give you unprecedented temperature control, then Masterbuilt gives you the tools to do so, with both a digital control panel and the option to use an app on a smart device.

It also includes a digital fan that helps to regulate temperature. Another important feature is its gravity hopper, which allows you to use either charcoal lumps or briquette to burn over long smoking sessions.

We also love its physical design, with a robust design and four wheels that make it easy to move around.

Pros

  • Controls: Regulate temperature with your smart device or the digital control panel.
  • Fire-Up Times: Extremely quick to heat up, meaning you can start cooking fast!
  • Fan: Digital Fan to regulate temperature.

Cons

  • Fuel Source: Only suitable for charcoal, which means you don’t get the benefits of wood pellets.

Most Durable: Pit Boss Sportsman 1230 Pellet/Gas Grill Combo

Pit Boss PB1230SP Wood Pellet and Gas Combo Grill, Black Black Pellet / Gas Combo Grill

Finally, we have by far the most durable combo on our list.

Pit Boss is a brand that is well known for its reliable pieces of cooking equipment, and this combo is no different. This is the perfect thing to buy if you want a combo that will stand the test of time.

One of the first things you’ll notice is its dual chamber system, which allows you to easily separate food, or just to have two designated areas for whatever meal you’re making.

As well as this, it has a gas grill included, which means you can smoke and grill at the same time.

It’s by far the largest combo on this list, and although it might be heavy and difficult to move about, it gives you so many options for a BBQ.

Its smoking system is built for wood pellets, and with a 21-pound hopper, you’ll be able to hold a lot of pellets for long sessions.

The other thing we need to point out is just how impressive its design is, with tough materials such as cast iron and steel racks.

It might be a bit difficult to clean, but with removable shelves and a lot of prep space, you’ll be able to create an organized workstation.

Pros

  • Durability: an extremely durable and sturdy grill/smoker combo.
  • Fuel Type: Wood Pellets and gas depending on which you want to use.
  • Chambers: Dual chambers so you can grill and smoke at the same time.

Cons

  • Pricing: By far the most expensive option on our list.

Buyers Guide

So that was a list of the five best smoker/grill combos on the market.

While these might all be good options for you depending on your situation, there are a lot of individual things you’ll need to consider before committing to a purchase.

That’s why we’ve chosen to include an extensive buyer’s guide that will help guide you through the entire process. Keep these factors in mind when shopping online or in stores.

Fuel Type

One of the first things you’ll want to check or decide is the fuel type of the combo you’re looking at. Is it only suitable for wood, or charcoal?

Both of these fuel types have their pros and cons, but the experience and flavors you can create with them are much different.

Wood chips or pellets allow you to infuse your food with different flavors, and are easier to clean, while charcoal gives a distinct flavor that nothing else comes close to.

You’ll want to double-check that the combo you’re looking at allows you to cook with the fuel source of your choice before committing.

Many combos offer a gas grill component, but this can be troubling depending on how portable you want your piece to be.

For example, you’ll have to find some way to link it up to either your main gas line or else buy gas tanks which can be expensive and difficult to manage.

Size

This is something you’re really going to want to pay attention to. Depending on the space you have available, you will need to buy something that fits.

Smaller combos will give you fewer options for what you’ll be able to cook at one time, but larger ones can be difficult to find space for in your home.

Another thing you’ll want to consider is the workspace options that come with your combo. Larger sets will typically have workspace included, meaning you can easily prepare meat or vegetables without much difficulty.

If you get a smaller combo, then you’ll have to either do this in your kitchen, or any other place you can find.

Temperature Control

When using a smoker or grill combo, temperature control is extremely important.

When smoking or grilling food, the temperature should remain between 200-300 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature becomes too low, then the smoke will not have enough oxygen to burn properly.

On the other hand, if the temperature gets too high, then the meat may dry out before being cooked thoroughly. Because of this, you’re going to need some way of monitoring the temperature of your combo.

Here are a few things to look out for when shopping:

  • Timer: A timer is an excellent tool to use when cooking meat or fish. A timer will allow you to set the time for how long you want to cook the food. Many combos will have digital control panels that will allow you to set timers.
  • Thermometer: A thermometer is an invaluable tool to help determine the correct internal temperature of the meat or fish. There are many types of thermometers, but the best ones are digital and have a probe that goes inside the meat. There are also thermometers that are attached to combos, and if you can purchase a set that comes with one included then it’s a great choice for you.
  • External Control: There are also some combos that offer advanced technology, with wi-fi or Bluetooth capabilities that will allow you to easily monitor the temperature of your smoking chamber with a smart device.

Hopper Size

The hopper is the part of your combo that will be used to store fuel. The larger the hopper, the more fuel you’ll be able to store, and the longer you’ll be able to cook.

You should consider this carefully when selecting the perfect combo – are you going to be entertaining a lot of guests and will need to cook lots of different rounds of food?

Or are you just going to be using the smoker/grill once? Considering this in relation to the fuel source you’ve chosen can streamline the entire process before you begin.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it! That was a list of the 5 best smoker/grill combos we could find, as well as a buyer’s guide to help explain our choices.

Choosing the right combo for you can be a big investment, so you’ll want to think carefully before committing to a purchase.

That said, the long list of options you have available to you is a great advantage. As long as you select a combo that properly fits the space and guests you’re looking to entertain, you’re going to be happy!

We hope that this article has given you some help in selecting your ultimate smoker/grill combo and that you now feel a lot more confident about the whole process.

If you still need some extra help or have some additional questions, check below for our Frequently Asked Questions section!

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s The Difference Between Smokers And Grills?

Smokers are designed to smoke food while grills are designed to cook food. Both types of devices have their own unique advantages and disadvantages.

What Size Smoker Do I Need?

The first thing you should consider is how much space you have to work with. If you’re working in a small apartment, then you’ll want to look at compact models.

If you’ve got a lot of room and want to cater for lots of guests, then you’ll want something larger.

Do I Need A Grill If I’m Just Smoking?

You don’t necessarily need a grill to use a smoker. You can use a regular oven instead. However, some people find that using a grill combo gives them a nicer flavor than using an oven.

What Kind Of Wood To Buy?

There are many different kinds of wood that you can use to smoke. When choosing wood, you’ll want to make sure that it’s not going to burn out too fast and that it’s safe for food.

You’ll also want to choose wood that won’t impart any flavors onto the meat.

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