The 5 Best Smokers for Back Yard Pit Masters

Today is about getting everything now and never waiting for anything. Amazon, McDonalds, and their ilk have made instant gratification expected, but not everyone wants it now. The people that gravitate to smoking meat and cooking in general aren’t in the give it me now crowd. Their general philosophy is “nothing that ever tasted great was done in less than a minute”. That’s why the smoking subculture is growing more every day and the cold smoking scene has been around for centuries; the classics never die. At home pit masters want great food, to spend some time outdoors, and don’t mind the amount of time it takes to get either of them. Backyard smokers come in all kinds of styles, shapes, and fuel sources. There are electric smokers, off-set smokers, pellet smokers, and kamodo smokers. Each type will deliver great results, but they require different levels of skill, time, and attention.

Yoder Smokers

Off-set smoker
One of the best mass produced off-set smokers on the market; Yoder

Yoder makes the classic backyard off-set smoker and is a favorite of The Smoke Ring Society. Each one is hand made in Yoder, Kansas from quarter inch steel. There is quite the waiting list right now due to popularity and supply chain issues that everyone is suffering from. All that steel means tight welds on the seams and a lot of weight, they are absolute tanks and worth every penny. The doors and smoker box have tight fits so no smoke is lost, and you can control the burn with just the damper.

Traeger Smokers

Traeger has made its bones in the pellet grill game. They make a great one. Pellet smokers and grills use ignited wood pellets and series of fans to cook the meat at a specific temperature kind of like an oven. Highly versatile, pellet grills can be sued to smoke or grill just about anything. The pellets go in a hopper to the side of the grill and are moved with an auger to the fire pot. Control is the name of the game. Traeger includes a remote control that lets you monitor the temperature and control the cook from in the house if that’s what you want. It’s ideal for cold weather climates.

Oklahoma Joe

Oklahoma Joe does it all. They started out with offset smokers and built a reputation for durable smokers that worked well and would last. As time went on they began to expand and develop new products and have become a big name. Now they make smoker/grill combos, charcoal grills, drum smokers, portable grills, and pellet grills. All their models come with bells and whistles that make them easy to use and control. If you’re not sure what style smoker is for you, check them out.


Bet you didn’t know the king of the charcoal grill made smokers. Of course, they do and why not? Weber is a household name in the backyard food game, so it only makes sense that they get into smokers too. Their version works a lot like their iconic grill without a lot of knobs and levers to pull making a great introduction to smoking for beginners. The heat is controlled by adjusting the vents like on the grill. There are two grates so you can fit plenty of food in it. Be aware though that it might not be big enough for some racks of ribs.


The Masterbuilt Digital Electric Smoker is the definition of “set it and forget it”. If all you want is to have tasty smoked treats without having to do much, then this is for you. It is easy to set up and use, comes with a built-in temperature probe, and the wood chips are easy to add. Most electric smokers use Bluetooth technology so you can connect with your tablet or smartphone and monitor the cook. Season your favorite cut of meat and put it in the smoker, that’s it. Wood chips are added from the side so there’s no need to open the door and you can raise or lower the temperature from your chair while sipping a drink.

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