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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Driveways, Pools & Outdoor Living > Barbecue Smokers

Barbecue Smokers Cost

How Much Do Barbecue Smokers Cost?

low costWood-Chip Smoker Box: $8-$15average costBasic Backyard Smokers: $40-$400high costHigh-end BBQ Smokers: $400-$2,000+
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Sometimes called a BBQ cooker or a barbecue pit, barbecue smokers use two basic techniques -- slow cooking and low heat -- to produce tender, falling-apart meat with a tantalizing smoky flavor. One of the keys is a closeable lid designed to trap the smoke inside. Barbecue smokers can range from a simple addition on a standard grill to a large stand-alone, competition-level smoker. Some smokers also function as a grill (cooking over direct heat).

Typical costs:

  • A barbecue smoker can cost $8-$150, depending on size and quality of materials, for a simple wood-chip smoker box -- a small, flat drawer or tray made of cast iron or stainless steel that can be added to a conventional charcoal or gas grill to use like a smoker. For example, the 8.2"x4.2"x2.5" stainless steel Cameron Cookware barbecue smoke box[1] costs $15. The Weber 7541 Gas Grill Smoker[2] at $90-$100 is a porcelain-enameled box and stainless steel cooking grate designed specifically to fit Weber's Genesis 300 series of gas grills. Packages of chips to use in the smoker box are available in a variety of woods (oak, hickory, etc.) for about $5-$15 each. A video[3] demonstrates the use of a smoker box.
  • A basic backyard smoker (not simply an addition to a grill) can cost $40-$400. Electric smokers can be less expensive and are easy to use but some people don't like the flavor they create. Charcoal smokers can range from inexpensive to very expensive, depending on size, materials and design. Wood smokers provide the most authentic smoky taste but can require more attention and effort. The electric Brinkmann Smoke'N Grill[4] , which is a 17"-diameter vertical cylinder, 26" high, that can hold up to 50 pounds of food, sells for $40-$60. The Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker uses charcoal, sells for $220-$350 and comes in two sizes of vertical cylinders, either 41" high and 19 deep, or 48.5" high and 24" deep.
  • Higher-end smokers can be $400-$2,000 or more, depending on size, capacity, quality of materials, temperature range, easy access to add fuel and options such as one or two thermometers, wheels, a cover or a cookbook. The Large Big Green Egg is a sort of egg-shaped vertical cylinder (30" high, 21" wide), sells for $700-$900, and can be used as a smoker, grill, Indian tandoor or pizza oven; and The Good One Open Range Patio Smoker 30-P[5] at $1,500 is a combination grill and smoker, 30" long and 12" wide (horizontal), on a three-legged wheeled cart, with the capacity to smoke a Thanksgiving turkey.
Related articles: Gas Grill, Charcoal Grill

What should be included:
  • A barbecue smoker can be similar in many ways to a standard barbecue grill, but with a closeable lid designed to trap the smoke. Although some are rectangular, most charcoal or wood smokers consist of a cylinder with a firebox and a cooking chamber with one or two cooking racks, vents and a thermometer. A typical "bullet" -- or direct smoker -- is about 20 inches in diameter and about 3 feet tall, according to[6] . Indirect or offset firebox pits have two units (firebox and cooking chamber), look more like a standard grill and can fill about a 9x4-foot area (plus space to work and walk around it). The smallest smokers produce enough food for a large family -- up to 20 people.
Additional costs:
  • The cost of fuel will depend on whether the smoker uses electricity, gas or charcoal.
  • There are online instructions to build a BBQ smoker from a trash can[7] or from metal drums[8] for about $50-$300 for materials.
Shopping for barbecue smokers:
  • Temperature control is a major factor in choosing a smoker, along with insulation, seals, materials and durability. A journalist (and certified BBQ judge) provides guidelines for buying a barbecue smoker[9] .
  • BBQ Smoker manufacturers include Big Drum Smokers[10] , Bradley[11] , Brinkmann[12] , Char-Broil[13] and Cookshack[14] . Most manufacturers provide links to dealers or allow online ordering.
  • Entry-level smokers (or grills that double as smokers) are available at home improvement centers like Home Depot[15] and Lowe's[16] , or at discount stores like Target[17] ; a wider range of smokers is available from local specialty patio or BBQ stores, or online retailers like[18] .
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