A vertical pellet smoker offers a compact alternative to traditional barrel-shaped smokers. These designs can hold a large amount of meat without taking up much space in your patio or garden. Even though a vertical style offers limited functionality — it can’t double as a grill like a horizontal model — it will do the trick if you want to slow cook or smoke meat.
While there are fewer vertical pellet smokers on the market than horizontal pellet smokers, you still have an excellent selection of options. This guide introduces five of the best picks.
Vertical Pellet Smokers Reviewed
Louisiana Grills Vertical Pellet Smoker
Camp Chef XXL
Pit Boss Grills 77550
Many who want to focus on the quantity of food prefer a vertical smoker over a traditional horizontal smoker.
Louisiana Grills Vertical Pellet Smoker
The Louisiana Grills Vertical Pellet Smoker features a black heavy-gauge steel body that is both durable and rust-resistant. The smoker also includes porcelain-enameled cooking grates, making for easy cleaning after each use. You get six robust grates, offering a total of 2,059 square inches of space — so you can easily cater to large crowds.
A sizable front viewing window allows you to check on your cooking progress without having to open the door and let heat escape. Double-walled insulation helps regulate temperatures and provides precise temperature control.
The 60-pound pellet hopper allows for up to 35 hours of continuous cooking once filled. You don’t have to stop to refill while cooking. The temperature range is from 100° to 420°F. You also get dual metal probes, which measure internal temperatures accurately.
- Sturdy locking caster wheels allow for easy moving
- Enormous hopper provides 35 hours of continuous cooking
- Dual meat probes offer precise temperature measurement
- No rack for sausage hanging
- Grease pan is tough to remove and clean
Pit Boss Grills 77550 5.5 Pellet Smoker
The Pit Boss Grills 77550 5.5 Pellet Smoker is popular thanks to its large cooking capacity and versatility. You get 1,853 square inches of cooking space suitable for preparing everything from turkey to ribs, kebabs, and burgers. The porcelain-coated cast-iron grates will last.
As for the exterior, the high-grade painted steel body has an attractive copper finish. The robust construction is rust-resistant and durable. The total size measures 24 x 26 x 47 inches, making this a stylish addition to your patio or garden. With a 55-pound pellet hopper, you can count on this smoker to run for 24 hours at a time.
The double-wall blanket insulation keeps heat in, making it possible to use this smoker even when there’s snow on the ground. Temperatures range from 100°F to 420°F. A high-quality igniter starts and stops the smoker automatically.
- Durable construction with double-walled insulation
- Easy-to-read LED temperature monitoring
- Auto-start and -shutdown capability
- Difficult to move
- Reports of temperature gauge going out early.
Camp Chef XXL Vertical Pellet Grill and Smoker
The Camp Chef XXL Vertical Pellet Grill and Smoker offers a cabinet-style design. You get a large pellet hopper and a powder-coated 16-gauge steel body that’s sure to last a long time. This compact vertical smoker measures just 24 x 15.5 x 55 inches. It features four swiveling wheels, allowing for easy transport.
What makes this model stand out, though, is how user-friendly it is. The viewing window allows you to keep an eye on your food. You get four grilling grates, plus a sizable 12-hook sausage hanging rack and three jerky racks. In total, you have 2,400 square inches of cooking space.
The 18-pound pellet hopper features automatic pellet feeding for easier temperature control. Temperature ranges from 150 to 350°F. Two temperature probes keep track of the temperature. A smart cleanup mechanism and reusable grease drip pan allow for easier and faster cleanup.
- Versatile racks for meat, jerky, and sausages
- Easy cleanup features, including an ash cleanup system
- Precise temperature control and monitoring
- Dripping cups are relatively small
- Smoke may escape while in use
Masterbuilt MB20250118 Pellet Smoker
If you’re looking for something small but serviceable, the Masterbuilt MB20250118 Pellet Smoker is for you. This vertical pellet smoker features four chrome-coated smoking racks. The pellet hopper holds 12 pounds of pellets. An auger moves the wood pellets from the hopper automatically, allowing for consistent temperature control.
You can work with temperatures from 180 to 350°F. A digital control panel allows you to check the temperature and input cooking and smoking times. You can also preset cook and smoke cycles. Meat probe thermometers ensure an accurate temperature reading.
- Preset cooking and smoking options
- Consistent temperature control thanks to automatic pellet movement
- Digital control panel for easy handling
- Limited size capacity, with only four smoking racks
- Smaller hopper, holding only 12 pounds of pellets
Cookshack FEC240 Fast Eddy’s Fixed Shelf Pellet Smoker Oven
If you take your smoking seriously, then it’s worth investing in the Cookshack FEC240 Fast Eddy’s Fixed Shelf Pellet Smoker Oven. Made in the United States, these units feature stainless steel construction, giving you added durability and longevity. Stainless steel is also easier to clean.
The digital controller offers eight customizable cooking presets and an alarm cycle. An optional meat probe lets you specify a cook or smoke temperature. You can set it up so that the smoker automatically shifts into rest mode when the desired internal temperature is attached.
- Spin-Glas® insulation offers superior heat retention and saves on fuel costs
- Sealed seams prevent moisture from getting in
- Stainless steel won’t warp or bend
- Requires ventilation via a flue
- May be too large for everyday home use
Frequently Asked Questions
It’s all about preference. Some people prefer the versatility of a horizontal smoker, which also allows for grilling. Others prefer a vertical smoker because it takes up less space.
Wood pellets are stored in the hopper and then fed into a cooking chamber. Combustion ignites the pellets, heating the cooking chamber, which then fills with smoker and heat.
There is less variety of vertical pellet smokers available on the market, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t any good. You have to do your research to find high-quality options.
Which Pellet Smoker Is Right For You?
There is no one right answer when determining the “best” vertical pellet smoker. Different people have different priorities. If you participate in BBQ championships, for example, you want a high-quality device and are likely willing to pay top dollar. However, if you’re looking to do some decent cooking at home, you may prioritize affordability. The above list covers reliable options to suit every style. Reconsidering a horizontal or standard pellet smoker? Don’t forget to check out our post on our favorite pellet smokers.