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Grilling and smoking are two of the best ways to cook food. It’s flavorful, easy, and affordable for pretty much anyone once the up front cost is paid.
There’s nothing quite like smoking something low and slow, the anticipation building until you can final sink your teeth into it, or just throwing a pair of juicy ribeyes onto a searing hot grill and enjoying it with some deliciously smoked asparagus or potatoes.
Buying a new grill is an investment, but well worth the cost, though it can be hard to find a good model that does it all without breaking the bank. That’s what this list is for: breaking down some of the best grills in a series of categories until we’ve found the best that money can buy, and throw in a quick guide on how to verify and choose the right grill and smoker combo for yourself as well.
Here are the best smoker grill combos you can buy:
- Best overall - Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill Smoker
- Best budget grill and smoker - Royal Gourmet BBQ Charcoal Grill and Offset Smoker
- Top dual chamber grill and smoker - Char-Griller 5030 2-Burner Gas & Charcoal Grill Dual Function
- Best three chamber grill and smoker - Oklahoma Joe's Charcoal/LP Gas/Smoker Combo
- Top vertical model - Dyna-Glo Signature Series Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker & Grill
- Best Kamado style grill and smoker - Char-Griller E06614 AKORN Jr
- Top portable choice - SUNLIFER Vertical Charcoal Smoker and Grill Combo
For the complete product list, please continue reading...
Reviews of the Best Smoker Grill Combos (2020)
1. Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill Smoker - Best overall
This is one of the best grills on the market in general, and adding a smoker to it just makes it all the better. You’re working with a very nice space (700 square inches of cooking space across a 513 square inch main rack and a 187 inch warming rack) arranged in a nice wide area. This grill holds 20 burgers, 5 whole chickens, or up to 6 racks of ribs at once, if a bit snugly.
The hopper has a fine capacity, holding up to 20 lbs of pellets at a time, giving you maybe 20 hours of smoking time depending on how hot you’re running it.
It is an all in one versatile grill, being capable of cooking pretty much anything; you can bake, roast, grill, smoke, braise, and barbecue anything you like. This is a good one for making grilled pizzas, which can be surprisingly good if you set it right.
The smoker has a digital controller, making it incredibly easy to use. It can be set at any temperature between 180 and 450 degrees Fahrenheit, and will automatically regulate the temperature to be within 20 degrees of the target temperature at all times.
As grill and smoker combos go this is the best all rounder you can find. Where some models might do a few things better, most have some kind of tradeoff.
2. Royal Gourmet BBQ Charcoal Grill and Offset Smoker - Best budget grill and smoker
You get a solid 800 square inches of cooking space here, though that’s a bit deceptive. Only 438 square inches of that is contiguous, with 179 square inches being a swing away rack (or warming rack) and 183 square inches is in the offset smoker portion. This is still a good amount of space, but less than it might appear just looking at the listed specs.
The construction of the grill itself is sound enough, being made of a sturdy stainless steel with a heat treated black coating over it, safe for up to 400 degrees. This means the grill is not particularly appropriate for searing or charring (best done at 450 degrees or so).
The offset smoker is small but well enough for cooking a single meal, and retains heat well. The table running around the front and side of the grill is very handy for prep; I especially like that it is the rare model with a front mounted shelf for prepping.
The main issue with this one is the flimsy legs. The wheels are fine but the legs in general are cheaply bolted onto the grill body and are just begging to get bent in transport.
3. Char-Griller 5030 2-Burner Gas & Charcoal Grill Dual Function - Top dual chamber grill and smoker
This is an excellent heavy duty grill and smoker with two distinct grilling areas that can be used as both a charcoal (or wood) and propane or natural gas grill.
You get a pretty huge grilling area out of this one, tapping out at 870 square inches, with 606 square inches of primary cooking area between the two. That gives you 303 square inches per grilling space, with 132 square inches of warming rack per side. The temperature is plenty enough for that space (24, 000 BTUh) to cook anything you’d like to whatever temperature you prefer.
That’s a fair amount of cooking space to play around with, and you can set each side to different temperatures, letting you cook vastly different meals between the different sides.
It’s made of a heavy duty steel with cast iron grates, and extremely thick legs and wheels, giving it a very solid stance and sturdy, hard to shake frame.
It is an easy to clean model, which is always great to see, Dumping ash trays and cleaning grease pots can be a tedious, messy affair on certain grills, so sidestepping that with an easily removable tray and grease pan is a good way to go.
This grill is excellent, with my only real complaint being its lack of extra features, like digital temperature controls, but for the relatively very low price that is a minor complaint.
4. Oklahoma Joe's Charcoal/LP Gas/Smoker Combo - Best three chamber grill and smoker
This is an enormous grill and smoker, with two grill chambers and a separate smoker chamber, giving you an enormous amount of cooking space to work with across its three distinct chambers, each usable with either charcoal or liquid propane gas.
Your primary cooking area comes in at a huge 750 square inches across the two grill chambers, with another 310 square inches in the smoker box. There are few grills out there with as much raw cooking space as this one, and it has the heat to back it up, with a total of 36, 000 BTUh across its three 12, 000 BTUh burners.
The grill is easy to sue and light up with electric ignition, and easily regulated, though does not have digital temperature control.
Its construction is definitely sturdy but a bit weird. The stainless steel body is completely fine, and well put together, as are the left side legs, but the wheels on the right side are simply bizarre metal affairs. They have little traction and don’t roll very well, representing the worst of both worlds in the tradeoff of wheels vs legs. They’re a very weird design and the one glaringly bad thing about the overall design of this model.
5. Dyna-Glo Signature Series Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker & Grill - Top vertical model
This is a really interesting one. It takes up a bit less space than a regular grill (horizontally, at least) and give you a whole lot of grilling space packed into that fairly compact package.
Each individual grate is fairly small, but all together you’re getting a whopping 1382 square inches of grilling and smoking space, and it makes a killer oven as well. There is no wasted space in this model, giving you a very efficient use of the available cooking area.
The heavy gauge steel body is incredibly sturdy, and very difficult to accidentally damage or dent, while holding in a lot of heat. The heat resistant handle allows you to open the door without fear even after long sessions of grilling or smoking.
Contrary to first glances this grill and smoker is quite maneuverable, being easy to tilt and balancing well on its pair of oversized wheels, which roll comfortably. The legs on the opposite side are angled perfectly to increase the wheels’ traction when not in motion, locking it down perfectly when situated where you want it to be.
This is a no frills grill and smoker combo for the most part; no fancy digital options, and not even a propane or gas hookup. Just you, some wood, and an excellently designed vertical smoke chamber that produces great food in a very efficient manner.
6. Char-Griller E06614 AKORN Jr - Best Kamado style grill and smoker
While not a true Kamado grill, this affordable alternative makes a great choice for those looking for a new favorite grill and smoker. The unique domed design and thick, triple insulated walls hold in heat better than any other type of grill you could name, even the vertical smoker listed above.
The thick steel construction has superior sturdiness to a true Kamado grill (typically made of a far more insulated but more brittle ceramic) though does not provide the same level of hyper insulation.
Still, the air flow is excellently designed, providing just enough smoky flavor and heat without masking the actual taste of the meat and whatever spices or sauces you choose to use to enhance it.
The grill and smoker is squat and sturdy, settling well on any terrain while still being fairly easy to move (despite appearances it weighs only 37 lbs and is easy to get a nice “bear hug” grip around when you need to move it).
Cooking surface is only 137 square inches, is the main drawback, but the quality of the food produces in this grill more than make sup for the lack of quantity it provides, so you’re getting plenty of bang for your buck, especially as this little guy costs about a tenth what a real high end Kamado style grill and smoker would run you.
7. SUNLIFER Vertical Charcoal Smoker and Grill Combo - Top portable choice
This grill and smoker has a really interesting design, with a 3 tiered and modular construction that lets you use any or all of its pieces to do whatever you want to do. In addition to making it a great versatile grill and smoker that can be used as either a simple camp grill (one tier), smoker grill (two tiers) or dual tier smoker grill (all three tiers at once) it also becomes very easy to transport and store, breaking down into four component pieces (lid, tier 1, tier 2, and bottom) that each can be slid or tucked into small areas for storage.
The grill itself is quite good, having great air flow, good temperature control (though all manual, so you need to pay attention to it), and individual doors for each tier, so you can check one without opening another if you know something definitely needs more time and don’t want to lower the temperature inside.
The exterior looks flimsy at a glance, but it’s actually heavy grade steel, with a nice heat resistant matte black finish.
For the price on offer this is a more than reasonable price, and a great buy for someone looking for a high quality camp grill and smoker. Excellent for long term campgrounds or cabins.
Each of these grills is an excellent example of grills in their category, and all are stellar picks if you’re looking for something with their features and in that price range.
The Zgrills model ultimately takes the tops spot to me because it is a good example of a grill and smoker combo that doesn’t focus too far on one or the other facet of its design.
As an example, the Dyna-Glo vertical smoker and grill is an excellent smoker…but is far less good at grilling (though it makes a great baking oven as well) due to the unique facets of how its is made.
On the other end, the Char-Griller dual chambered grill and smoker is a much better grill than it is a smoker, though performs well enough at the latter to still make it something worth the consideration.
The Zgrills 8 in 1 model performs equally well at both, and can do both equally well at the same time, not just performing as one or the other at any given moment (like the Sunlifer modular vertical model which can be either a grill or smoker but never both at once).
Ultimately this leads me to believe that the Zgrills model is by far the best value for the money, having high quality basic functions as well as top notch and very convenient extras that boost its performance even further. If it’s within your price range, it’s the perfect buy.
How Do I Choose The Top Grill and Smoker Combo?
Here at SeriouslySmoked we believe that buying a grill and smoker comes down to a few basic things. You want to pay close attention to the heat of the grill if it’s an electric, propane, or natural gas model, then look at the construction and materials of your grill and smoker, followed by its performance, and finally any extras.
None of these are necessarily any more important than the others, but you can disqualify models in order; if it doesn’t get hot enough to grill, move on. If its construction is flimsy, move on. If its performance is low in some area you’d prefer it be higher, move on, and so on.
The general rule is that your grill should put out 100 BTUh per square inch. This is easier to note if your grill is an electric or gas model (propane or natural gas), but should be noted manually if you’re using a wood or charcoal grill. Always try to find a grill with a good return policy on those, so you can test how long it takes the grill to heat up and whether it maintains that heat well.
Typically steel is going to be your shell of choice. It is sturdy but lightweight and holds heat well, insulating you and cooking your meat thoroughly.
Your grill should be able to move when it needs to while remaining rock solid and stationary when you need it to as well, so good wheels and legs are enough.
This is a catchall for everything that isn’t the heat output of the grill. This covers the air flow first and foremost; no grill is complete without multiple controllable air flow settings for different kinds of smoking.
This is also where you look at things like the longevity of the grill itself, how efficiently the ash and grease trays work (as well as how easy they are to remove and clean, then replace), the temperature control settings for grills with electronic components, the hopper capacity or fuel tank compatibility, and everything else that determines how well the grill will actually function for its intended purpose.
Once you’ve looked at everything else, use this as a tiebreaker, to see if one grill has a “killer app” that sways you one way or another.
This can be almost anything; multiple grill surfaces is a common one. There are of course plenty of other things. Modularity, like having removable or addable pieces (some might have a separate smoker box that comes apart, or a divider that can be sued to create multiple grill chambers). Digital temperature controls and automatic hopper feeding and regulation or pellets.
Almost every grill has some kind of unique feature it will use to try and sway you to buy it, and this is the largest determiner of price, which can range from about $100 to over $500 depending on the quality of the grill and its extras features.
A simple grill is not necessarily bad, but extra features will come at a premium, and will often make the grill exponentially more convenient to use than a no frills but vastly cheaper model. It’s entirely up to you whether these features are worth the price hike.