This buying guide will help you review the top-rated models to purchase the best turkey smoker. Find all you need to know about size, brand, price, features, ease of assembly/use, customer reviews, plus the pros & cons of each model. Buy with confidence & make Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any holiday a whole lot tastier.
There is nothing like the crispy smoky skin & the tender juicy meat. Meat smokers aren't just for beef short ribs or pulled pork. Smoking a turkey is so easy when you use one of these best smokers for turkey.
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Why Smoke a Turkey?
We have been deep frying or smoking a turkey for Thanksgiving for years. I will be honest, both ways taste WAY better than oven-roasting your 20-pound turkey.
When using a wireless meat thermometer like the Meater Bluetooth we own, smoking meats is foolproof. It only takes a few more minutes of your time to prep a smoker - so go for it!
Here are the reasons why I recommend smoking a whole turkey, breast, or turkey legs.
- FLAVOR - It tastes great with added smoky flavor & super crispy skin. Start with a dry brine for turkey 3 days before cooking & try a meat injector - OMG!
- JUICY - The low & slow method gives you moist & tender meat.
- SIZE - Yes it matters, many ovens aren't big enough to hold a huge turkey or two medium-sized ones but many smokers can.
- SAVES OVEN SPACE - You know that is a big one for holidays when you are cooking or baking for a crowd.
- SHARING - When someone mans the smoker outside & others are in the kitchen with the sides & desserts, the cooking duties are shared. Get more of the family involved & spread out where the party is happening.
What Turkey Smoker Product Information Is Shared?
This shopping guide covers important information to consider so you have what you need to know. Before buying a small portable oven for your home, here are the details outlined in this article:
- Brand & Model Name
- Size & Features
- Pros & Cons
- Customer Reviews
What should I be looking for when deciding? Here is what every buyer should take into account before purchasing a new smoker.
- Size - will it fit the size or number of turkeys I need to cook and/or will it be too big to store or place in my outdoor space?
- Fuel Type - do you want the taste of charcoal, the ease of plugging it in, or pellets?
- Price - can I afford it & is it in my budget?
- Quality - is it a well-known brand with decades of customer satisfaction?
- Ease - is it going to be easy to assemble, use, maintain, & clean?
- Functionality - what special features, gadgets, accessories, or ways can the smoker be used to get the most for your money?
OK, NOW LET'S GET SHOPPING!
Best Smokers for Turkey Reviews
Below I have outlined the top 6 smokers for cooking a turkey. Whether you want to cook a big or large bird or make 4 for a huge family Thanksgiving, this list has it all. After some personal experience & thorough research, here is what I recommend.
This large-capacity smoker is perfect for turkey fans. Big enough to ensure you can cook up to two large turkeys at once. It has 3 racks so you can smoke multiple items at once.
This 1500-watt smoker directs even heat for a quality cook every time. The wood chip tray & grease trap helps make cleaning easy & less messy. Customers agree it is easy to assemble, use, & has great temperature control.
- Product Dimensions - 20 x 21.69 x 40.15 inches
- Pros - The analog dial is easy to use & control the temperature. Requires very little time actively "cooking" & maintaining the heat.
- Cons - It's electric so it needs to be plugged in and is corded which isn't easy to use everywhere.
- Customer Reviews - 4+ star rating by around 5, 000 customers
- Price Information - $200-300
Best Charcoal Smoker
For a large charcoal meat smoker you cannot go wrong with this top-rated cooker made by the top-rated brand, Weber. The 18-inch model has two racks and can fit two medium turkeys. Or cook a turkey & a ham for the ultimate holiday meal. Or try the 22-inch Weber Smoker for even more surface cooking.
The Weber model is a top-selling charcoal smoker in the United States. This is the model we have owned for years & use on everything including poultry, pork, and beef. The low and slow cooking is easy with damper vents & the heat-resist handle is great for safety.
- Product Dimensions - 19 x 21 x 41 inches
- Pros - Easy to use, clean, & assemble. The classic flavor of charcoal and weed chips is key to really great-tasting smoked meat.
- Cons - A bit pricier than other models. Controlling the temperature through venting & adding to the coals is manual.
- Customer Reviews - 4+ star rating by 5, 000 customers
- Price Information - $400-500
Best Pellet Smoker
This medium-sized pellet & electric smoker by Traeger is a best buy for smoking turkeys. For 30 years Traeger has specialized in quality pellet smokers. For hardwood flavor, this style of smoking cannot be beaten.
This model will fit two large birds easily. It comes with two meat probes which is great for cooking multiple turkeys or two different types of meat at once. For an even larger model, try the Traeger 885 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker.
- Product Dimensions - 24 x 41 x 49 inches
- Pros - Offers 5 ways to cook: grill, smoke, bake, roast, and braise. The digital pro controller makes for precision temperature control.
- Cons - It is on the bigger side so may not be good for those with a small yard. It requires a plug so make sure there is an outlet near where you want to cook and store this. It also takes a bit more time to assemble & learn to use than other smokers.
- Customer Reviews - 4+ star rating by around 1, 000 customers
- Price Information - $450-600
Best Electric Smoker
This slender model is great for anyone with a small yard or space for smoking. The 3 racks make it possible to cook several things at once, including 1-3 small turkeys.
Like other electric smokers, access to an outlet to plug it in is required. They also make a propane smoker if that is what you prefer.
- Product Dimensions - 22 x 20 x 40 inches
- Pros - Easy to use, clean (racks are dishwasher safe!), & assemble. Dial up the perfect temperature between 100-400°.
- Cons - Tall vertical design isn't for cooking large items just as big turkeys or racks of ribs.
- Customer Reviews - 4+ star rating by around 6, 000 customers
- Price Information - $200-300
Best Large Capacity
This big smoker has a whopping 1890 square inches of total cooking space. Each of the 6 adjustable grates can hold up to 25 pounds. Cooking 3 large turkeys can be done easily in this bad boy.
The vertical design & charcoal chamber design is efficient. Less fuel is used & cooking time is often quicker.
- Product Dimensions - 21 x 43.3 x 50.2 inches
- Pros - Easy to use, clean, & control the temperature.
- Cons - It is large & weighs 83 pounds empty. The large size requires 2 people to assemble.
- Customer Reviews - 4+ star rating by 5, 000 customers
- Price Information - $250-400
Best Compact & Budget Smoker
This small affordable smoker is big enough for a turkey but it also weighs less than 20 pounds empty. It is the ideal charcoal smoker for travel (RVs, Trailers, camping) since it is portable but it doubles as a firepit or grill too. Great also for beginners plus those with small yards and outdoor spaces.
The Realcook smoker is easy to assemble, use, and clean. Customers love the two access doors to check on different items separately without releasing too much heat. It will fit up to a 22-pound turkey and is ideal for turkey breasts. Or smoke a bunch of turkey legs like you see people walking around with at Disneyland or at Rennaisance Faires.
- Product Dimensions - 22 x 17 x 35 inches
- Pros - The lightweight model & small model is best for small families, couples, or cooking smaller amounts of food.
- Cons - Not big enough to cook multiple items or birds/roasts bigger than 22 pounds.
- Customer Reviews - 4+ star rating by 3, 000 customers
- Price Information - $100-200
You want to stay away from strong wood flavors like mesquite. To compliment the bird & all the sides (gravy & cranberry sauce) go for a mild-smelling & tasting wood. I recommend pecan wood chips, cherry wood, or maple.
Using a roasting rack while smoking a turkey is not a necessary item. However, I do highly recommend it The inexpensive item can be a real "meal saver"... pun intended. The roasting rack makes it easy to transport the cooked bird from the smoker to a carving board or platter. Smoking tends to result in meat that can fall right off the bone - that would be a shame to use tongs and watch your bird fall to the ground!
Smoking a turkey at 225° is the recommendation. Butterball's website has all the best tips & tricks. Make sure the bird comes to 180° and check that stuffing too!
Buying Guide, Accessories, & Current Deals
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