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7 Best Vertical Pellet Smokers In 2021

Vertical pellet smokers make the barbecuing experience unique and fun. They are changing the BBQ with their versatility and space-efficient qualities. They are also easy to clean compared to horizontal grills, but they have some limitations too. They are ideal for small backyards and also have good airflow. All of it while maintaining the high temperatures and fuel efficiency of the standard wood pellet grill. 

There are not many choices when vertical wood pellet smokers are concerned. Camp chef, Pit boss and Masterbuilt are the well-known brands manufacturing vertical pellet smokers. There are other upcoming brands, but we have selected the ones offering many versatile choices. Knowing the difficulty with choosing the best vertical pellet smokers, we have listed the seven grills at the top of their game. Let us begin with the best out of our list, the pit boss vertical pellet smoker. 

Our top pick

Pit Boss Grills 77550 5.5 Pellet Smoker

Pit boss pellet smoker

Pit boss is a reliable brand when it comes to smoking and BBQ needs. This pellet grill is big, durable and flexible. The auto-start and stop features are a big help when you are too busy to attend to your food. It has a large cooking capacity but does not need a lot of space. The double-walled construction with blanket insulation ensures temperature stability during the winter season. It is also completely digital, making the whole process efficient and fast. Compared to the other pellet grills, pit boss has fewer drawbacks. 

Here Are The 7 Best Vertical Pellet Smokers in 2021

1. Pit Boss Grills 77550 5.5 Pellet Smoker.

Pit boss pellet smoker

Highlights

  • Smoker capacity of 40lbs.
  • Temperature range of 150-400°F.
  • It has 1,830 square inches of cooking space.
  • This vertical pellet smoker is ideal for smoking a lot of food at once, and it is also easy to assemble and use. There are many food and rack layout options, and it can smoke for a whopping 24 hours. The cooking racks are durable because of the porcelain enameling. You can use the smoker for multiple sessions without refilling, thanks to its high pellet capacity. The porcelain-coated cooking grids include a water pan and heat deflector. Similar to other pit boss vertical smokers, it has a double-walled construction with blanket insulation. 

    To top it, it has a large, transparent viewing window to make the monitoring process easy. The auto-start and shut-off features of this vertical pellet smoker allow you to divert your attention while your food is cooking. It is heavy and hard to manage, which is its only drawback. 

    PROS

    • High smoker capacity.
    • It has five racks allowing for versatile options.
    • Durable cooking racks
    • Monitoring the cooking process is simple.
    • Double-walled construction for blanket insulation.
    • Auto-start and shut off settings.
    • Porcelain-coated cooking equipment.
    • Transparent window.

    CONS

    • Heavy.
    •  Difficult to handle.

    2. Camp Chef Vertical XXL WiFi Pellet Smoker

    The camp chef XXL vertical pellet smoker allows a lot of versatility in your cooking because it comes with several racks. This pellet smoker from camp chef gives a tough competition to the Pit boss series. Separate grilling racks for sausages, jerky and hanging rack collection make it easy to cook. However, a drawback is the short temperature range, which reduces the smoker’s efficiency. You also cannot cook meat which requires some high-temperature techniques. 

    It has about the same capacity as the pit boss grills, but a large portion of its weight constitutes its legs, which is a waste. In addition to the perks, the camp chef XXL vertical pellet smoker has a grease management system, ash cleanout bucket and a lockable pellet purge. The dimensions of this pellet smoker are 18 x 38 x 54.5 inches.

    Features:

    • Smoker capacity of 18lbs.
    • Temperature range of 150-350°F.
    • It has 2,059 square inches of cooking space.

    Pros:

    • It has four standard racks.
    • It has three jerky smoking racks. 
    • One hanging rack.
    • 12 sausage hooks.
    • Dual meat probes.
    • Easy to clean.
    • Ash-cleanout bucket.
    • Lockable pellet purge.
    • Ideal for high temperature cooking.

    Cons:

    • Short temperature range.
    • Heavy.
    • Less cook time. 
    • Inefficient design.

    3. Louisiana Grills Vertical Pellet Smoker

    The Louisiana grills pellet smoker can accommodate more food than the pit boss grills, thanks to the six porcelain-coated racks. The cooking area is large enough to allow you to arrange your food as you want. It has a viewing window to allow monitoring and can use 60 pounds of wood pellets. It makes this vertical pellet smoker run for 35 hours. With the help of fan-forced convection cooking, this vertical pellet smoker from Louisiana grills delivers perfect, tender and savoury pieces of meat.

    It claims to be able to cook competition style BBQ, but it comes with a price. This pellet smoker is quite heavy but has caster wheels to allow easy movement. The smoker capacity of 60 pounds is higher than that of our top pick, so the Louisiana pellet smoker is ideal for large scale food production. Porcelain-coated grid construction ensures that your pellet smoker remains of top quality. All perks considered, the Louisiana pellet grill is quite expensive. 

    Features:

    • Smoker capacity of 60lbs.
    • Temperature range of 150-450°F.
    • It has 2,059 square inches of cooking space.

    Pros:

    • It has porcelain-coated racks - 6.
    • It has chrome-coated smoking racks - 4.
    • It has caster wheels.
    • Large scale cooking is possible.
    • Meat probes included.
    • Viewing window.
    • Big temperature range.

    Cons:

    • Heavy,
    • Expensive.

    4. Masterbuilt MWS 140S Pellet Smoker

    It looks similar to the MWS 330S pellet smoker but is an advanced version of it. The first and foremost difference is the transparent viewing window, which the 330S model lacks. The 140S can also accommodate more food, despite having a compact design. To be precise, it can handle sixteen chickens, six turkeys, eight racks of ribs, or eight pork butts at a time.

    The main point of a vertical pellet smoker is to smoke a large amount of food using little space. Masterbuilt pellet smoker achieves this feat easily, but it cannot run for a long time. For the most part, however, it is similar to the 330S model, including the issues with quality control. The smoker capacity is also less, considering we have pellet smokers with a smoker capacity of 60lbs in this list. 

    Features:

    • Smoker capacity of 12lbs.
    • Temperature range of 150-400°F.
    • It has 1,830 square inches of cooking space.

    Pros:

    • Compact body.
    • It has 4 chrome-coated smoking racks.
    • Meat probes included.
    • Accommodates a lot of food.
    • Smoking & cooking times and temperature are programmable.
    • Transparent door.

    Cons:

    • Issues with quality control.
    • Smoker capacity is low.

    5. Masterbuilt MWS 330S Pellet Smoker

    Rather than cooking efficiency, this pellet smoker focuses on utilizing space in the best possible way. Similar to the Masterbuilt 140S model, this vertical pellet smoker makes the best use of available space. It does not accommodate just as much as the pit boss smoker, but it claims to cook 12 chickens, two turkeys, two racks of ribs, or three pork butts at a time. It is easy to handle, lightweight and affordable. It has preset smoking and cooking settings, but you can adjust the temperature and time to your convenience. 

    The auger ensures that cooking is even and consistent across all temperatures and weather conditions. A few drawbacks include quality control issues and an opaque door. For some people, the inability to monitor food could be quite inconvenient. This vertical pellet grill is the most pocket-friendly option if you plan to grill in a small backyard or patio. Keeping in mind that this pellet smoker has quality control issues, it is advisable to check the reviews before buying it. 

    Features:

    • Smoker capacity of 40lbs.
    • Temperature range of 150-400°F.
    • It has 1,830 square inches of cooking space.

    Pros:

    • Affordable price.
    • It has four smoking racks - chrome-coated.
    • Meat probe included.
    • Small footprint.
    • Lightweight.
    • Space-effective design.
    • Easy to manage.

    Cons:

    • Cannot check on the food from outside.
    • Issues with quality control.

    6. Cookshack Vertical Pellet Smoker

    One of the unique features of Cookshack pellet grill is its stainless steel body. It retains more heat, so it requires fewer wood pellets. Stainless steel has long durability and is easy to clean. Apart from the more durable body, the difference between cookshack pellet smokers and Pitboss/Masterbuilt is that cookshack has a better controller and high-quality insulation. It can run for 24 hours at a moderate temperature. Of course, the pellets will last longer if you are cooking slowly at a low temperature. 

    The insulation of any device is responsible for maintaining a consistent temperature, and lack of it will ruin the food preparation process. Cookshack makes sure to tick all the right boxes when it comes to said consistency in temperature in all seasons. You can also preset cook time and temperature, thanks to the electronically controlled thermostat. If you take your cooking seriously to the point of participating in BBQ competitions, then this pellet smoker is the one for you. Cookshack also has big vertical pellet smokers for large scale production. Cookshack vertical pellet smoker is the best option if you take your BBQ cooking more seriously than other people. The lack of a viewing window or transparent door is a big flaw, but this vertical pellet smoker is an exception because it guarantees consistent temperature and professional smoking. This pellet smoker could have been a few ranks ahead had it not been for the lack of a viewing window. 

    Features:

    • Smoker capacity of 20lbs.
    • It has a temperature range of 140 to 400 degrees. 
    • It has 1,564 square inches of cooking space.

    Pros:

    • Better insulation. 
    • Stainless steel body.
    • Less pellet consumption. 
    • Better controls and high durability.
    • Ideal for professional cooking Better quality thermostat.
    • Large scale production is possible. 
    • Compact design.

    Cons:

    • No viewing window. 

    7. Pit Boss 3-Series Vertical Wood Pellet Smoker

    It is no surprise that Pit boss makes many affordable and high-quality vertical pellet smokers today, hence the last pellet grill in this list is also from Pit boss. Like many of its models, this pit boss vertical pellet smoker also comes with a transparent door, making monitoring a top priority. This pellet grill is ideal for anyone who does not need a high capacity and wants an affordable price.

    It is a smaller and cheaper version of other models from Pit boss, perfect for anyone who wants to have a little party with just a few people. The pellet capacity can smoke for 18 hours, even though the pellets may absorb moisture at times. 

    This drawback ultimately affects costs because you have to buy more pellets for consumption. The dimensions of this copper-coloured beauty are 26 x 22 x 53 inches. The double-walled, insulated design is excellent in cold weather, unlike a lot of grills. It is among the cheap grills in the pit boss series, yet it comes with one meat probe.

    It is convenient not having to buy a meat probe separately. It’s slim, functional design with removable racks is perfect for a backyard BBQ party. If you love cooking low and slow, then this vertical pellet smoker can go on for a little over 24 hours. Unfortunately, the pit boss vertical pellet smokers are notorious for their quality control issues, and this pellet grill is no exception. 

    Features:

    • Smoker capacity of 39lbs. 
    • Temperature range of 150°F – 430°F.
    • It has 721 square inches of cooking space.

    Pros:

    • Compact, functional and beautiful design.
    • Double-walled insulation.
    • Affordable.
    • Transparent viewing door. 
    • Removable racks.
    • Additional meat probe included.

    Cons:

    • Quality control issues.
    • Pellets may absorb moisture.
    • Low capacity smoker.
    • Not cost effective in the long run. 

    All of these vertical pellet smokers will take your BBQ experience to the next level, but some are better than others depending on your needs. The best vertical pellet smoker is from Pitboss grills because it ticks most boxes in terms of affordability, features and capacity.

    Many people think that the best vertical pellet smokers are a space-efficient version of the regular pellet smokers. It is true, but there is a lot more to vertical pellet grills than just the smart utilization of space. Vertical pellet smokers are not only responsible for being space-effective, but they are also ideal for “low and slow” cooking and smoking. 

    Typically, people use the horizontal pellet grill for grilling and smoking. It does not mean that you cannot use a vertical smoker for grilling, but high-temperature techniques might be a problem, especially with a small budget.

    There are not many brands in the vertical pellet smoker market, but we have mentioned the few good ones such as camp chef, Masterbuild and pit boss in this entry. Of course, the best vertical pellet smoker will be a subjective choice for everyone. This list was our take on the seven best vertical pellet smokers. Rest assured, we are excited to see the new developments and brands in the BBQ game. 

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