Saturday, September 23rd, 2023
search icon

6 Best Smoker For Making Jerky of 2023 [Buyer’s Guide]

smoking meat in the smokehouse

Smoked jerky meat makes for the perfect healthy and tasty go-to snack for anyone. But only if it gets the right smoke and flavor!

And to ensure that it does, you must have a quality smoker at home. However, like every other product nowadays, there are lots of options available out there, and as such, making the right choice becomes difficult.

Hence, to make your task easier, we bring you a carefully curated list of the 7 best smokers for making jerky meat. Each option has its pros and cons included, which will help you make a wise decision.

So, without any further ado, let’s dive into the reviews.

Best Smoker For Making Jerky 

sun dried pork with sauce on plate

From precise temperature control to ample cooking space, these smokers are sure to elevate your jerky-making game. So, without further ado, here’s the list of the 6 best smokers for making jerky. Get ready to embark on a flavorful journey that will leave your taste buds craving for more.

1. Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker – Best for Large Cooking Capacity

This high-quality, convenient smoker will be the perfect companion for your homely backyard barbecue parties. With this product, you can easily make delicious smoked jerky meat and many other smoked foods for your family or friends anytime. Note that this smoker has dimensions of 14.7” x 14.7” x 31.4” and weighs 23 lbs.

Weber 14.5 -inch Smokey Mountain Cooker, Charcoal...
  • Your purchase includes: One Weber 14.5 inch Smokey Mountain...
  • Item overall dimensions: 14.7" W x 14.7" D x 31.4" H. Item...

Why Did We Like It?

We begin by discussing the cooking capacity of the smoker since we liked this feature the most. The vast grilling space of 286 sq inches makes this product capable of smoking a large amount of jerky in one go. Moreover, you can even cook a large roast that can be relished by the whole family for days to come.

Plus, each of the two 14-inch wide cooking grates made from plated steel ensures that the meat is smoked in the perfect manner.

Moving on to its heating ability, the extra large water pan of this product helps in maintaining the heat to enable all-day smoking. Notably, the temperature of the inner chamber can be heated up to as much as 190°F, ensuring that your meal is never half-cooked.

Also, it has a dual damper system which allows for accurate and smooth air control, so as to facilitate better control of the cooking temperature. Lastly, this smoker can be installed very easily with the help of a comprehensive user guide which has all the instructions explained in a simple way.

What Could’ve Been Better?

The only issue that we observed in this smoker was that the fuel door was not sturdy enough and sometimes didn’t close firmly. As such, you have to apply greater force to be sure that the door will not open suddenly while the meal is being cooked. In case this issue persists, you should report it to the manufacturer within the warranty period.

  • Lets you roast a large amount of jerky in one go
  • Heat is maintained for all-day smoking
  • Allows for accurate and smooth air control
  • Easy to install
  • Fuel door may not close properly
Fuel Type: Charcoal | Available Sizes: 14, 18, and 22″ | Cooking Area: 286 sq in | Temperature Range: 190°F | Digital Control: No | Heat Retention: Excellent | Warranty: 10-year limited

2. Masterbuilt 20070910 Electric Digital Smoker – Best for Even Cooking and Easy Operation

Masterbuilt is one of the most sought-after brands in the world of barbecue products. This energy-efficient smoker is among the brand’s best models and can be operated by both a beginner and a pro barbecue enthusiast. It comes with 4 chrome-coated cooking racks and weighs 45.86 lbs.

Masterbuilt MB20071117 30-Inch Black Electric Digital...
  • 730 sq. inches of cooking space with 4 chrome-coated racks...
  • Digital temperature and timer controls

Why Did We Like It?

We found the superior thermostat control of the smoker to be its most notable feature. It enables even cooking of all meals between a temperature range of 100°F to 275°F. As such, you get the ideal heating each time and don’t need to worry about the meat burning too much to generate ash.

Another great benefit is the 730 sq inches of cooking capacity that you get in the product. The entire space is divided into 4 chrome-coated racks that can smoke large amounts of meat in one go. Thus, you have ample room for comfortably cooking sausages, pork, turkeys, fish, and many more varieties of meat.

Plus, this smoker features a digital control panel consisting of push buttons that enable easy operation. There is also a 0 to 24-hour timer with automatic shut-off that makes cooking any dish all the more convenient.

What Could’ve Been Better?

You do get a warranty on this Masterbuilt smoker, but it’s only for 45 days, which is too short for such a high-standard product. In fact, it is more costly than many other models from the same brand, and as such, the short warranty period can discourage many buyers.

  • Enables more even cooking
  • Offers a large cooking capacity
  • Easy to operate
  • Timer facilitates convenient cooking
  • Very short warranty period
Fuel Type: Electric | Available Sizes: 30 and 40″ | Cooking Area: 730 sq in | Temperature Range: 100°F – 275°F | Digital Control: Yes | Heat Retention: Good | Warranty: 1-year limited

3. Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker – Best for Outdoor Cooking and Durability

Our next pick for you is this Analog Electric Smoker from Char-Broil, which is a simpler smoking solution especially meant for outdoor cooking. Thus, making delicious jerky for your backyard get-together will not be a problem anymore. And it will provide super-efficient smoking, giving any meal the ideal smoky flavor and a superb taste.

Char-Broil Analog Electric Smoker
  • 544 Square inches of cooking space spread across three...
  • Double-wall insulated construction with dual exhaust...

Why Did We Like It?

To begin with, we really liked this smoker’s insulated cooking chamber, which comes with double-wall construction. It helped to maintain uniform smoking temperature and could also infuse the right smoky flavor in any meat. As such, we were assured that heat was always retained in the meal efficiently.

Added to this, the wood chip box of this smoker is quite large, allowing for hours of smoke, which in turn, requires much less refilling. Plus, this box is compatible with many types of wood, which lets users experiment with a range of flavors.

Furthermore, the door of the smoker has dual heavy-duty latches, and the whole unit is built with strong and sturdy materials. Thus, the doors always shut firmly without leaving any gap and the unit lasts much longer than average models.

What Could’ve Been Better?

Considering the size of the cooking chamber, there is room to include 4 smoking racks but this smoker has only three. In comparison, our previous pick has four smoking racks, which puts that model a step ahead of this one.

  • Maintains uniform smoking temperature
  • Allows for uninterrupted smoking for hours
  • Chip box compatible with many wood types
  • Lasts longer than average models
  • Lesser cooking capacity
Fuel Type: Electric | Available Sizes: 30″ | Cooking Area: 544 sq in | Temperature Range: 100°F – 275°F | Digital Control: No | Heat Retention: Average | Warranty: 1-year limited

4. Cuisinart COS-118 Charcoal Smoker

If you are looking for a highly durable product that is also cost-effective, this one from Cuisinart will be a great option to go for. This charcoal smoker is the perfect outdoor kitchen for grilling enthusiasts who yearn for perfection. It comes with two 18-inch wide stainless steel racks and has dimensions of 25” x 25” x 45”.

Cuisinart COS-118, Vertical Charcoal Smoker, 18"
  • Two 18" stainless steel racks provide 510 square inches of...
  • Porcelain enamel water bowl. Dimensions- 22 L x 24 W x 43 H...

Why Did We Like It?

The most interesting and beneficial feature of the smoker is the presence of two air vents at the top and bottom. This makes controlling the amount of smoke and heat in the cooking chamber super easy. All you have to do is open or close them to manage the amount of heat leaving the chamber. Also, the barrel-like design of the smoker helps to distribute the heat evenly throughout the chamber.

We also liked the cooking capacity of this smoker, as it includes two stainless steel wire racks that provide enough space to smoke a variety of meals. In fact, you can even smoke a whole chicken comfortably.

Added to this, using the Cuisinart COS-118 smoker is as easy as it can be. You just have to light the charcoal, fill the water bowl and just adjust the temperature through the air vents. Plus, you can access the food easily by just lifting the lid of the product.

What Could’ve Been Better?

The only issue we observed with this product was the latch of the hinged door. It is made from a low-quality material and doesn’t often lock properly. To deal with this issue, you can fix a head gasket on the door. This would ensure that there are no gaps left when the door is closed.

  • Controlling heat and smoke becomes easier
  • Design helps distribute the heat evenly
  • Provides a large cooking space
  • Easy to use
  • Hinged door has a low-quality latch
Fuel Type: Charcoal | Available Sizes: 18″ | Cooking Area: 512 sq in | Temperature Range: 200°F – 400°F | Digital Control: No | Heat Retention: Good | Warranty: 3-year limited

5. Dyna-Glo DGU732BDE-D Digital Electric Smoker

The next pick that we have for you is this Dyna-Glo electric smoker which offers a faster and more convenient cooking experience. It is designed to enable easy access to all parts and is sure to give you a dynamic smoking outdoor smoking experience as well. Note that this smoker has dimensions of 19.4” x 19” x 32.5” and weighs 62.2 lbs.

Dyna-Glo DGU732BDE-D 30" Digital Electric Smoker
  • Four chrome-plated steel cooking grates offer a total of 732...
  • 800 watt burner provides abundant cooking power even in...

Why Did We Like It?

We begin by discussing the cooking power of this smoker since it seemed to be the most significant to us among all its features. The 800 W electric burner of this product gives abundant power to the smoker to cook in even the coldest of climates. It maximizes the smoky flavor in your grilled food while eliminating the hassles of charcoal or propane.

Besides, the large cooking space of this product also appealed to us, as it lets you cook jerky, ribs, sausages, and much more in one go. As such, you can prepare enough food to comfortably serve guests at a small home.

Plus, a side access wood chip tray helps to minimize the loss of heat and smoke in case more chips need to be added. Also, monitoring and setting the temperature and time becomes super-easy, thanks to the digital thermostat which has push-button controls.

What Could’ve Been Better?

Although we have no complaints about the efficiency of this smoker, sometimes the door seal may not lock properly. So, some smoke may leak around the seal sometimes. This issue can be dealt with by fixing a gasket on the door.

  • Gives abundant cooking power for all climates
  • Large cooking capacity
  • Minimizes loss of heat and smoke
  • Easy to set and monitor temperature and time
  • Door seal may be defective
Fuel Type: Electric | Available Sizes: 30″ | Cooking Area: 732 sq in | Temperature Range: 100°F – 400°F | Digital Control: Yes | Heat Retention: Good | Warranty: 1-year limited

6. PIT BOSS 77425 2.5 Gas Smoker

Take your barbecuing experience to a different level altogether with this high-quality gas smoker from Pit Boss. The brand is well-known for its efficient range of gas smokers, and this one falls among its best models. It comes with a 3,500 BTU stainless steel burner for wood chips and weighs 48.5 lbs.

PIT BOSS 77435 Vertical Lp Gas Smoker, Red
  • Dual valve/dual burner system provides 100-350 temperature...
  • Three porcelain coated cooking grids, 800 sq in

Why Did We Like It?

Straight off the bat, this smoker offers you the versatility of cooking at low temperatures of up to 100°F and high temperatures of as much as 350°F. Plus, the strong and sturdy high-temperature door seal efficiently locks the heat within the cooking chamber.

Added to this, the smoker also has an efficient dual valve burner system for heating the chamber perfectly to offer superior-quality smoking. It consists of a 3,500 BTU stainless steel burner for wood chips and a 10,000 BTU burner for cabinet temperature. You can control both valves by a single knob to adjust the temperature as per your needs.

Plus, you get a large viewing window in this model as well, which rules out the need for opening the smoker each time to see the food. Lastly, this product has a stylish red semi-gloss finish which makes it stand out from most other smokers.

What Could’ve Been Better?

The only disappointing aspect of this product was its smaller water pan. It can hold only enough for around 3 hours of smoking at 200-250°F, which is lesser compared to quite a few other models. So, you may have to refill the pan more frequently.

  • Efficiently locks heat within the chamber
  • Adjust the temperature easily as per your needs
  • Wide temperature range of 100°F to 25°F
  • Stylish look makes it stand out from other models
  • Smaller water pan
Fuel Type: Propane/Natural Gas | Available Sizes: N/A | Cooking Area: 884 sq in | Temperature Range: 100°F – 350°F | Digital Control: No | Heat Retention: Excellent | Warranty: 5-year limited

Best Smokers Comparison Table

ProductFuel TypeAvailable SizesCooking AreaTemperature RangeDigital ControlHeat RetentionWarranty
Weber Smokey Mountain CookerCharcoal14, 18, and 22″286 sq in190°FNoExcellent10-year limited
Masterbuilt 20070910 Electric Digital SmokerElectric30 and 40″730 sq in100°F – 275°FYesGood1-year limited
Char-Broil Analog Electric SmokerElectric30″544 sq in100°F – 275°FNoAverage1-year limited
Cuisinart COS-118 Charcoal SmokerCharcoal18″512 sq in200°F – 400°FNoGood3-year limited
Dyna-Glo DGU732BDE-D Digital Electric SmokerElectric30″732 sq in100°F – 400°FYesGood1-year limited
PIT BOSS 77425 2.5 Gas SmokerPropane/Natural GasN/A884 sq in100°F – 350°FNoExcellent5-year limited

Buying Guide For The Best Smoker for Making Jerky

Getting the right taste and flavor in jerky meats will be most easy if you have an ideal smoker at home. So, choosing an efficient product that suits your needs and preferences is important. For this, you will require keeping in mind some important factors, so that you can make the right decision.

  1. Cooking Surface

Considering the cooking space that you will need is important. You should roughly determine the number of people you plan to serve at a time. Note that you should also decide how much food you want to cook in one go. For instance, if you prefer to prepare a large amount of jerky and store it for future use in any dish, choosing a larger smoker will be better.

  1. Features

A smoker with efficient features will be more effective in providing you with the ideal smoky flavor consistently. So, it’s essential to check the features that any model has to offer. Notably, smokers with digital controls enable perfect smoking and are also convenient to operate. Moreover, in that case, you won’t need to monitor the progress at intervals.

  1. Durability

This is a very essential factor to consider when it comes to purchasing any product, especially if it involves greater investment such as in the case of smokers. You should check whether the material from which the smoker is made is long-lasting enough. Note that all the models in our list rank pretty high in terms of durability.

Best Smoker for Making Jerky FAQ's

  • What is the best type of smoker for making jerky?

    The best type of smoker for making jerky is typically a dehydrator-style smoker. These smokers offer precise temperature control and airflow, allowing you to dry the meat at low temperatures for extended periods. Electric and propane smokers with adjustable temperature settings are also popular choices.

  • What is the ideal temperature for making jerky in a smoker?

    The ideal temperature for making jerky in a smoker is around 160 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit (71 to 82 degrees Celsius). This temperature range helps to safely dehydrate the meat while preserving its flavor and texture.

  • How long does it take to make jerky in a smoker?

    The time required to make jerky in a smoker can vary depending on factors such as the thickness of the meat slices and the humidity level. On average, it can take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours. It’s important to monitor the progress and adjust the cooking time accordingly.

  • Can I use wood chips for flavor when making jerky in a smoker?

    Yes, you can use wood chips to add flavor when making jerky in a smoker. Popular wood chip options for jerky include hickory, mesquite, apple, and cherry. Soak the wood chips in water for about 30 minutes before adding them to the smoker box to enhance the smoky flavor.

  • How should I marinate the meat before smoking it for jerky?

    Marinating the meat before smoking is an essential step in jerky preparation. Choose a marinade recipe that complements the flavors you desire, such as soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, or a combination of spices and herbs. Allow the meat to marinate for at least a few hours or overnight for maximum flavor infusion.

  • Can I make jerky using a regular grill instead of a smoker?

    While it is possible to make jerky using a regular grill, it can be more challenging to maintain consistent low temperatures for the extended drying time required. Smokers provide better temperature control and airflow for optimal jerky making. However, with proper monitoring and adjustments, you can still achieve good results on a grill.

  • smoking meat in the smokehouse


    With this, we come to the end of this guide and we hope it will be easier for you to choose the best smoker now.

    But before we sign off, we would like to recap our favorites from the list. If you want a high-performing smoker with a standard size, you can go for the Pit Boss 77425 Gas Smoker. It offers 676 sq inches of cooking space, which is fairly large for serving small family gatherings or house parties.

    On the other hand, if a larger size and greater durability are your major lookouts, then the Masterbuilt 20070910 Digital Electric Smoker will be the ideal choice.

    Let us know whether you agree with our verdict in the comments section below.

    Till next time!

    Related Articles

    7 Best Electric Smokers | Reviewed & Buyer’s Guide

    7 Tips for Smoking Meat with an Electric Smoker

    13 Best Gyro Cooker Machine

    13 Best Grills For Apartment Balcony

    5 Best Smokers for Turkey Right Now [Buyer’s Guide]

    5 Best Insulated Smoker

    11 Best Smokers for Summer Sausage

    9 Best Smokers for Fish

    46 Best BBQ Forums, Websites & Broadcasts

    6 Best Charcoal for Kamado Joe

    Read next

    Best Smokers for Summer Sausage

    10 Best Smokers for Sausage Right Now

    Best Smokers for Turkey 

    5 Best Smokers for Turkey Right Now [Buyer’s Guide]