11 Best Smoker Grill Combos – Chef Approved

Norah Clark
Smoker grill combos in a garden

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, Editor of Boyd Hampers! Norah is a seasoned food writer with over a decade of experience in hospitality as a former pastry chef, sous chef, and barista; former chef at the Savoy Hotel, Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons and Plaza Hotel.

When it comes to searching for the ultimate grilling experience for those who love to smoke and grill – the choices are abundant and exciting.

From multi-functional units to innovative features, the market is full of smoker grill combos that will bring your grilling game to new heights.

Best Smoker Grill Combos of 2023

Are you on the lookout for the perfect grilling gift for the BBQ enthusiast in your life? Your search ends here with this list of the best smoker grill combos.

From versatile designs to advanced smoking capabilities, these smoker grill combos cater to all outdoor cooking needs and are bound to be a hit.

Rank Brand Key Feature
1 Kamado Joe Classic II Versatile for grilling, smoking, baking pizzas.
2 Char-Griller Akorn Kamado Best budget-friendly yet versatile.
3 Weber SmokeFire Gen 2 High-tech grilling and smoking.
4 Ninja Woodfire Outdoor Grill Portable grill-smoker combo with electric grilling and smoke box.
5 Camp Chef SmokePro SG 24 Deluxe Pellet Grill Mid-range budget option, efficient and well-insulated.
6 Weber Original Kettle Premium 22" Charcoal Grill Classic and affordable, yet versatile grilling and smoking.
7 Weber Genesis II E-310 Propane Grill Ideal for grilling enthusiasts, superior build quality and even heat distribution.

1. Kamado Joe Classic II Ceramic Charcoal Grill – My Top Pick

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Kamado Joe Classic II Ceramic Charcoal Grill

I've had the opportunity to try out the Kamado Joe Classic II, and it's a standout in the world of ceramic grills. Its versatility is unmatched – whether I'm grilling, smoking, or even baking pizzas, it handles it all with ease. The robust design and exceptional insulation mean I can maintain stable temperatures for extended periods, which is a game-changer for smoking and slow-cooking meats.

Pros:

  • Exceptional versatility and user-friendly features, especially the multi-level grilling system.
  • Outstanding insulation for stable, long-term temperature control, making it perfect for smoking.
  • Efficient charcoal management means less fiddling and easier clean-up.

Cons:

  • The price point is on the higher end, particularly if you need a larger size for big gatherings.

I've compared it to the Big Green Egg, and while both are excellent, the value for money with the Kamado Joe is hard to beat. The 18" model I used offered ample space for various foods, and the ability to reach temperatures from 225°F to a searing 750°F is impressive.

The 'Divide and Conquer' cooking system is a real innovation. I could grill foods at different levels and temperatures simultaneously. Also, the 'Airlift Hinge' made lifting the heavy dome a breeze.

Although Kamado Joe has since released the Classic III with further enhancements, I found the Classic II to be a more budget-friendly option without significantly compromising on features or performance.


2. Char-Griller Akorn Kamado – Best Budget-Friendly

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I recently gave the Char-Griller Kamado Kooker a try, aiming for a more budget-friendly entry into the world of Kamado grilling.

For its price, the performance was quite impressive. It emulates the style of its pricier counterparts, using 22 gauge steel and porcelain-coated interiors. While this keeps the cost down, I did notice it doesn't quite match the heat retention and durability of traditional ceramic Kamados.

In terms of cooking space, it's quite generous with a 314 square inch primary area and an additional 133 square inch warming rack. The cast iron grill grates were a nice touch for even cooking.

Pros:

  • Excellent value for money, making it a great starter grill for Kamado enthusiasts.
  • High-temperature searing and low-temp smoking are both within its wheelhouse.
  • The removable ash pan is a convenient feature for easy cleanup.

Cons:

  • The build quality doesn't feel as sturdy as the more expensive models, which could impact long-term durability and temperature control.
  • It requires a bit more attention during use, especially for extended smoking sessions or in varied weather conditions.

For those looking to dip their toes into the Kamado grilling style without breaking the bank, the Char-Griller Kamado Kooker is a solid option. Just be prepared for a bit more maintenance and monitoring.

3. Best for High-Tech Grilling & Smoking – Weber SmokeFire Gen 2 Wood Fired Pellet Grill

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For those seeking the latest technology in their grilling experience, the Weber SmokeFire Gen 2 pellet grill is an outstanding choice. Unlike many pellet grills that struggle with high-temperature grilling, the SmokeFire model excels in reaching temperatures necessary for proper searing.

Choose between the EX4 with 672 square inches of cooking space or the EX6 with 1008 square inches. The grill achieves temperatures up to 600°F, surpassing the typical 450-500°F limit of most pellet grills. Its innovative design includes patented stainless steel flavorizer bars for improved heat distribution and searing.

Initial issues with the first release have been resolved in the Gen 2 model.

Pros:

  • Enhanced Pellet System: The repositioned 22-pound hopper and redesigned auger ensure fewer pellet jams.
  • Grilling and Smoking Efficiency: The unique design allows for higher direct heat, ideal for grilling and smoking.
  • Smart Features: The pellet hopper sensor sends alerts to your phone when pellets run low, avoiding mid-cook interruptions.

Cons:

  • Grease Management: The grease catchment system is less effective compared to other models, but this can be mitigated with aluminum catch pans.
  • Limited Storage: The basic model offers minimal storage and preparation space, with additional shelves available at extra cost.

For a detailed analysis, see our comprehensive review of the SmokeFire Gen 2 EX6.

4. Ninja Woodfire Outdoor Grill

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For those in need of a portable grill-smoker combo, the Ninja Woodfire offers an intriguing solution. This electric grill, typically recommended for apartment dwellers or areas with strict fire regulations, now includes smoking capabilities. By filling its smoke box with pellets and setting it to smoke mode, you can enjoy authentic smoked flavors.

The grill also allows for combination cooking, like smoking wings before finishing them with air grilling or searing.

Pros:

  • Authentic Smoke Flavor: The use of wood pellets in an electric grill delivers a surprising depth of smokiness.
  • Portable Design: Lightweight and compact, it's perfect for camping, tailgating, or limited outdoor spaces.
  • Easy Maintenance: The grill's design ensures straightforward cleaning, with removable grates and a simple waste disposal system.

Cons:

  • Limited Size: While its compactness aids portability, a slightly larger grill area would enhance its versatility.

The Ninja Woodfire is an excellent option for those seeking a compact, easy-to-use grill-smoker with genuine smoke flavor.

5. Excellent Mid-Range Option – Camp Chef SmokePro SG 24 Deluxe Pellet Grill with Optional Sear Box

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The Camp Chef SmokePro SG 24 serves as an ideal middle ground for those who find the Weber SmokeFire out of reach budget-wise. It's a commendable pellet grill, offering the flexibility to add a searing station in the future.

Operating in a temperature range from 175 – 400°F, it also features convenient pre-sets like "High", "LO Smoke", and "HI Smoke". Its 429 square inches of cooking area is perfect for preparing multiple dishes simultaneously. One of the key benefits of this pellet style cooker is its quick start-up time – you'll be cooking within 10 minutes.

Pros:

  • Smart Smoke Stack Positioning: The smoke stack is thoughtfully placed behind the unit, freeing up space on the right-hand side for ease of use.
  • Efficient and Well-Insulated: The grill maintains efficiency in most conditions, avoiding excessive pellet consumption.

Cons:

  • Limited Warranty: The one-year warranty falls short of industry standards, which is disappointing given the solid construction of this unit.

While the Camp Chef can maintain ideal smoking temperatures and reach up to 500°F for grilling, it's not quite on par with dedicated grills for searing. This is why the optional Sear Box accessory is highly recommended, enabling you to achieve temperatures up to 900°F. Although this makes the Camp Chef our priciest option on this list, its versatility and convenience justify the extra cost.

6. Classic and Affordable – Weber Original Kettle Premium 22" Charcoal Grill

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The Weber Original Kettle Premium 22" Charcoal Grill is an iconic, budget-friendly option that surprisingly excels in both grilling and smoking.

As a staple in outdoor cooking since 1952, the Weber Kettle is renowned for its grilling prowess. However, with some creative charcoal placement, it can be transformed into an effective smoker.

Offering excellent versatility and build quality at an affordable price, the Kettle comes in various sizes. The 22" model strikes a balance between cooking space and ease of use as a smoker.

Pros:

  • Durable Build: The porcelain-enamel-coated steel body ensures longevity and rust resistance. However, a grill cover is recommended for outdoor storage.
  • Excellent Heat Control: Its well-sealed design provides stable temperatures for extended periods, using less fuel.
  • Portability: The two wheels attached make it easy to transport for outdoor events.

Smoking Techniques on the Weber Kettle:

  • The Snake Method: A cost-effective technique involving a 'C' shaped arrangement of coals for prolonged cooking.
  • The Slow 'N Sear: An add-on that provides a dedicated searing zone and simplifies smoking setup.

Though not a replacement for dedicated smokers like the Weber Smokey Mountain, the Weber Kettle offers a budget-friendly and versatile solution for those wanting a single device for both grilling and smoking.

7. Ideal for Grilling Enthusiasts – Weber Genesis II E-310 Propane Grill

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Pros:

  • Superior Build Quality: The thoughtful design ensures heat retention, with well-crafted components contributing to its robustness.
  • Even Heat Distribution: The grill maintains consistent temperatures, eliminating hot spots and flare-ups.
  • Generous Warranty: The 10-year warranty adds peace of mind, reflecting Weber's confidence in its product.

Cons:

  • No Cabinet Doors: The lack of doors might be an issue for some, particularly in areas with wildlife, as it leaves the grease tray exposed.

The Weber Genesis II E-310 Propane Grill is the optimal choice for those who primarily grill but occasionally smoke. Marketed as a grill, it offers exceptional value in its category.

With 507 square inches of cooking space and three burners delivering 38,000 BTUs, the E-310 excels as a dedicated grill. Its efficient design and thermal insulation also make it suitable for low and slow cooking, with assembly taking about 30-45 minutes.

For those requiring a side burner, an upgrade to the Genesis II E-335 is available, offering additional versatility.

When Buying A Smoker Grill Combo

Venturing into the world of smoker grill combos can transform your outdoor cooking experiences. These versatile units offer the best of both worlds – the smoky flavor of a smoker and the high heat of a grill.

Here's a concise guide to help you navigate your purchase.

  1. Fuel Type: Smoker grills come in charcoal, pellet, and propane variants. Charcoal offers a traditional flavor, pellets provide consistency and ease of use, and propane ensures quick heating and temperature control.
  2. Size and Cooking Area: Consider the amount of food you'll typically cook. Larger grills offer more space but consume more fuel and require more maintenance.
  3. Temperature Range and Control: Look for a smoker grill that provides a wide temperature range and precise control, essential for both slow-smoked meats and high-heat grilling.
  4. Build Quality and Durability: Opt for models made with high-grade materials like stainless steel. Check for solid construction and a good warranty.
  5. Ease of Cleaning and Maintenance: Features like removable ash pans and grease management systems simplify cleaning.
  6. Portability: If you plan to move your grill around or take it on trips, consider its weight and if it comes with wheels or handles.
  7. Price: Balance your budget with your needs. Higher-end models offer more features but may not be necessary for casual grillers.
  8. Extra Features: Look out for additional features like WiFi connectivity, integrated thermometers, side burners, or storage options for added convenience.

FAQs on Smoker Grill Combos

Can smoker grills truly match the performance of dedicated smokers or grills?

While smoker grills may not fully replicate the performance of specialized units, high-quality combos come remarkably close, offering significant convenience and space savings.

Are pellet smoker grills easier to use than charcoal models?

Yes, pellet grills often offer more consistent temperature control and are easier for beginners. However, charcoal models provide a more authentic flavor and grilling experience.

How important is insulation in a smoker grill?

Insulation is crucial for maintaining consistent temperatures, especially for long smoking sessions. Well-insulated models are more efficient and easier to control.

Is it worth investing in a smoker grill with smart features?

If you appreciate convenience and precision, models with smart features like WiFi connectivity and digital controls are worth considering. They offer remote monitoring and easier temperature management.

Can I use my smoker grill in different weather conditions?

Yes, but performance may vary. In extreme cold or wind, it might be harder to maintain stable temperatures, especially in less insulated models.

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1 comment

I bought the Kamado ceramic grill last year and researching to see what the next best one to move up to…. I’m thinking the Weber SmokeFire Gen 2?

Can you let me know your thoughts if it is the best smoker grill combo to move up to.

Debbie

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