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How to Use a Vertical Smoker 

So you’ve as of late purchased a vertical smoker at a bargain from a local garage or yard sale, however, you don’t realize how to use it. Chances are the guidelines are absent. And we’ll admit that attempting to use one without directions can be baffling. Be that as it may, we’re here to help.

In this article, we’ll be giving you a bit-by-bit guide on how to use your vertical smoker. We’ll also explain all that important to be familiar with this item; from its advantages and disadvantages, how to pick one, and a couple of handy tips.

How to Use a Vertical Smoker 

Vertical smokers vary in plan contingent upon the fuel source namely; propane, electric, and charcoal smokers. While the exact bit-by-bit measure contrasts starting with one smoker then onto the next, we’ll lay out the basic standards incorporated when utilizing a basic model.

Your Manual for Utilizing a Vertical Smoker 

Before we explain these means and how to smoke meat, realize what parts make up the vertical smoker. Generally, it contains three parts; cover, center, and base area. The center part is where all the magic happens—the segment that you place your food. Fuel is added via the base segment and the top covers the unit.

Stage 1: Clean the Unit 

The main thing you want to do is to clean the smoker by scraping any gunk, grime, and buildup that may have accumulated on the unit. This is particularly valid for charcoal smokers. If not eliminated, these may fall onto the food during smoking. Pay special attention to cleaning the top, edges, and pivots of your smoker.

Stage 2: Light Up the Smoker 

Contingent upon your inclination, add fuel utilizing a blowtorch or fireplace. You can either use wood, charcoal, or gas contingent upon the smoker’s plan.

Allow it twenty minutes before transferring the fuel to the base of the unit. The fuel ought to be exceptionally hot at this point. Simply make sure that it’s not flaming unreasonably as this will cause the wood to consume too rapidly. Really at that time can you add extra wood.

Stage 3: Add Water to the Bowl 

Vertical smokers have removable dishes located in the midriff. Place this bowl safely inside the smoker and top it off with water. Go ahead and add flavors to the water to enhance the final flavor and aroma of your meat.

Stage 4: Add the Food 

Place your food or meat onto the barbecue gave in the midriff.

Stage 5: Add Extra Wood or Charcoal 

This progression isn’t mandatory. Be that as it may, at this stage a few groups lean toward adding extra wood or charcoal onto the base of the smoker.

Stage 6: Reassemble the Smoker 

Here you reassemble the smoker by attaching the base to the center area.

Stage 7: Monitor Heat 

Leave the food to prepare. The timeframe will rely upon the food you’re preparing as well as the fuel source used. Monitor the temperature sometimes via your smoker’s external thermostat. Your food will be ready in approximately an hour and a half.

Handy Cooking Tips 

While the above advances appear to be sufficiently basic, a ton could turn out badly during the smoking cycle if not done the correct way. We’ll give you a couple of pointers you can incorporate to assist with guiding you the correct way.

For best results when smoking attempt by all means to: 

Use wet wood. This allows the fire to consume in a lethargic and controlled manner. Furthermore, it saves you the hassle of constantly refueling your smoker.

Soak your wood for at least 30 minutes and drain the water. Make sure the wood isn’t too wet or dry. Being too wet may extinguish the fire while the latter will cause the wood to consume with smoldering heat fast.

Leave some space between your smoking meat when you place it inside the smoker. This allows both hot air and smoke to easily infuse into your meat.

Use gloves while reassembling the unit to avoid finger consumption.

Go ahead and add extra flavors to enhance the flavor of your meat.

Avoid the accompanying at all costs: 

Don’t pack the bowl. Recollect that you’ll in any case need to attach the waist of your smoker onto the base after topping off the bowl with water. You don’t want to spill water onto the hot wood.

Attempt to avoid your meat from touching the sides of the smoker while placing it on the barbecue. Earth or buildup stuck on the sides may end up on your meat.

Avoid eliminating the top during smoking as this meddles with the cooking cycle.

What Are the Various Sorts of Wood? 

Did you realize that the wood you use affects the final taste of your meat? Take your pick from the accompanying sorts and appreciate various types of smoke and flavors. Also, certain sorts of wood will work best when smoking particular food sources as we’ll feature without further ado:

Apple: Pick applewood if you want to appreciate meat with a gentle and sweet flavor. In any case, possibly decide on this sort if you wouldn’t fret moderate and long cooking meetings because it consumes gradually. This kind of wood is ideally appropriate for smoking poultry.

Alder: Are you in the disposition for smoking fish? Pick alder wood if you want your fish to remain intact all through the cooking interaction. This is because alder wood is both light and delicate.

Cherry: If you want meat that has a gentle and fruity flavor, purchase cherry wood. For best results, you can use it to cook white meat.

Hickory: Hickory wood chips are regularly paired with cherry. On the off chance that a solid and traditional smoke flavor is what you’re after, this is the sort to use. It’s ideally appropriate for smoking pork and sausage.

Pecan: Many pitmasters agree that this is the best wood to use when smoking hamburgers. And it’s known to give a rich and sweet flavor to your meat.

Mesquite: Mesquite is known for its serious flavor. As such we’d emphatically suggest that you use it as wood chips rather than strong fuel.

How to Pick the Right Vertical Smoker 

On the off chance that you don’t already possess one, we lay out the main features to think about so you pick the best one for your necessities.

Thick Material 

Consider the material used in the unit’s development. A vertical smoker made up of thick material won’t just last long yet will retain heat for more.


Free airflow is important during smoking to allow smoke to infuse equitably into your food. Pick a smoker that has ventilation abilities.

Easy to Use 

You want a smoker that allows for easy access to all its parts. This decides how easy it is to use. Regardless of whether you want to add fuel or meat, the two cycles ought to be without hassle.

Number of Racks 

The number of racks on the smoker will affect the amount of meat you can cook at one go. Vertical smokers can have between three to eight racks—with the latter being ideal if you usually have large gatherings.


In addition to racks, a few models accompany snares. This way you can cook considerably more meat immediately; just suspend any additional bits of meat.

Temperature Ranges 

Vertical smokers have diverse temperature ranges which affect the cooking time and interaction of meat. Moderate and low cooking requires high temperatures. Case in point; poultry requires temperatures that range up to 400ᵒF while steak needs a unit that can reach 500ᵒF. Ultimately the sort you pick will rely upon your favored cooking technique.


Heavy vertical smokers are superior to light ones with regards to performance. A heavy smoker means that it is made up of more grounded and thicker materials. As stated earlier this is ideal for compelling heat maintenance. The final product is very much cooked meat.

It follows that lightweight smokers  are usually made of cheaper quality materials. In this case, not exclusively is the durability of the whole unit questionable yet it doesn’t smoke as well as its heavy obligation counterpart does.

Simply bear at the top of the priority list that the weight will affect the ease of versatility. A heavy vertical smoker is significantly more hard to move around than a light one. Everything reduces to what you’re willing to sacrifice; is its performance over portability?

Alternatively, you can pick one with wheels. This will make it easier to move around regardless of weight.


Consider the warranty time frame that covers the unit before making any purchases. A warranty is a verification that the manufacturer is certain about the quality and performance of their item. You want a unit you can get repaired or replaced in case of malfunctions or damages.

Additional Features 

A few manufacturers exceed everyone’s expectations by incorporating additional features onto their vertical smokers. Such units will regularly bring a more exorbitant cost. In any case, some extra features like a meat thermometer or snares are certainly worth the additional amount.

Advantages of a Vertical Smoker 

Advantages of a Vertical Smoker 

As the name suggests this kind of smoker is vertically orientated. Compared to the horizontal smoker, this sort has adored the world over for its:

Small impression: Thanks to its effective plan, the unit will not take a lot of space if you have restricted space available.

Fast cooking turnaround times: Your food will be ready instantly with this sort of smoker compared to when utilizing different sorts.

Energy proficiency: Vertical smokers use less fuel in general compared to different sorts.

Durability: Most feature a strong development that guarantees durability.

Heat maintenance: Because of the heavy steel development, you can expect great heat maintenance from this smoker.

Set up anywhere: How to a Vertical smokers allow you the comfort of setting it up almost anywhere because it doesn’t need power.

Affordability: Vertical smokers are generally economical units compared to different kinds.

Portability: Generally vertical smokers are viewed as more portable compared to their horizontal counterparts.

Disadvantages of a Vertical Smoker 

Like any item, there are always drawbacks associated with it. We’ll lay out a couple of cons to this unit so you realize what you’re dealing with:

Because of the vertical plan, getting meat all through the unit isn’t easy when compared to a horizontal smoker.

You’ll discover rotating the meat somewhat dreary.

Adding fuel can be quite challenging especially if your unit doesn’t have a dual entryway plan.

Cooking large parts of meat is also troublesome because of the narrow racks. Snaring the meat inside the smoker may be a superior choice.

Unfortunately, you can’t use them for barbecuing, just smoking.

Regularly Asked Questions 

How about we answer a couple of inquiries you may have regarding vertical smokers before we wrap up the article.

How would you clean a vertical smoker? 

Earlier on we referenced the importance of cleaning your racks to eliminate buildup and grime. Thankfully clean-up is really easy. Soaking your racks in soapy water usually gets the job done.

Is it hard to assemble the unit? 

You’ll be happy to realize that you will not have to pay a specialist for the work. Assembling your vertical smoker is relatively straightforward. We firmly advise that you make use of the user manual gave as it usually contains easy to understand bit by bit Directions on how to do the work.

Does the fuel wellspring of the vertical smoker you pick matter? 

Honestly, the sort of fuel you use will affect the final taste of your meat. However, the general agreement is that charcoal smoke is awesome it gives a better flavor.


We love a vertical smoker for its space-saving plan and fast cooking abilities. And you’ll appreciate how it will not add to your power bill. Besides, it’s affordable too.

Are you now certain enough to use one? Follow our above-referenced technique and tips and you’ll be a master right away.

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