The 7 Best Grill Smoker Combos

In Grills, Smoker Reviews
Best Grill Smoker Combos

The 7 Best Grill Smoker Combos

A lot of barbecuing and grilling equipment focuses on one task and doing it well. For example, all electric smokers are made for just smoking and can’t handle any other type of cooking. But some grills and smokers have the ability to do much more than one type of cooking. Today we’ll take a look at the best grill smoker combos.

Whether you’re into simple grilling, wanting to become a fully fledged pit master or a bit of both there’s a huge benefit to having a versatile piece of kit. It can save you money, time and space whilst also opening up a huge range of options when it comes to cooking.

In this list we’ve gathered 7 of the best grill smoker combos. Some of these are pieces of cooking equipment that may have been designed with one focus in mind but can handle much more. Others are designed from the ground up with many ways of cooking in mind. All of them deserve their place on our list and we think they’re all well worth buying.

 

 

Let’s start with one of our absolute favorites.

 

Kamado Joe Classic II Kamado Joe Classic II

Primary Use: Grilling

Secondary Use Effectiveness: Excellent

The Kamado Joe Classic II is as you may have guessed, a Kamado grill. Kamado grills are generally made from high quality ceramics, refractory materials or steel. The highly insulative properties of these materials allow them to absorb and store a lot of heat energy which makes them ideal for outdoor cooking at any ambient temperature. They usually look quite striking and unique and can make a great garden feature as well as an outdoor oven. The higher end models are generally ceramic and that is what the Kamado Joe is made from.

The general build quality of the Kamado Joe is one of the best we’ve ever seen. It features a very thick walled, heat-resistant ceramic shell that manages to retain heat incredibly well for very even cooking. This makes it a fantastic smoker despite the primary use being a grill.

But that isn’t the only use you can get out of the Kamado Joe. It has a “Divide and Conquer” system that is featured, as standard, on the Classic II. It allows you to place the included grates on different levels which means you can cook with two different temperature zones at once. This is a brilliant design and creates a much more versatile grilling system incredibly simply. This allows you to smoke, grill and roast very simply straight out of the box. But with some well priced accessories you’re also able to turn the Kamado Joe into a fully functional pizza oven, rotisserie and more.

 

Pros of the Kamado Joe

Huge Versatility – We love the versatility that the Kamado Joe offers. It’s amazing that one day we can smoke a whole pork butt and the next day we can use the pulled pork from the day before on homemade pizzas, all cooked to perfection in the same oven.

Incredible Temperature Control – Even without an automatic temperature controller, the Kamado Joe is capable of maintaining very even temperatures. It’s very simple to set the temperature you want and then the Kamado Joe does the rest.

Impeccable Design – The overall design and the little details, such as the lid, make the Kamado Joe one of the best Kamado grills available today. There are so many small features that we adore.

Kamado Joe Divide and Conquer System
Kamado Joe Divide and Conquer System

Cons of the Kamado Joe

Price – For any quality ceramic grill, you’re going to be looking at paying a premium. The Kamado Joe is expensive but you’re getting a lot for your money. Comparing it to the Big Green Egg the Kamado Joe is a bargain, it’s much cheaper and you get more with it. Included are a heap of nice little accessories as standard that you have to pay extra for with a Big Green Egg.

We adore the Kamado Joe here at King of the Coals and think this is genuinely one of the best grill smoker combos you can buy. It’s incredibly versatile and can smoke and grill just as easily as you can cook a pizza. The quality of the materials and the attention to detail of the build is second to none. It does cost quite a bit of money, but in comparison to its biggest competitor it’s an absolute bargain.

For a more in depth look at the Kamado Joe check out our review and buyer’s guide.

Check the latest price on Amazon.

 

Char Griller Akorn

Char-Griller Akorn
Char-Griller Akorn

Primary Use: Grilling

Secondary Use Effectiveness: Excellent

In the same vein as the Kamado Joe, is the Char Griller Akorn. This is a much smaller and cheaper Kamado grill in comparison to the Kamado Joe, but is still well worth your time.

The Char-Griller Akorn Kooker is made from a triple walled, insulated steel. It retains heat fairly well considering the low price and steel build. It’s not quite in the same league as a proper ceramic grill, but it does a good job. The design allows for a nice even heat distribution and it cooks up food very well. It has a 20 inch diameter cooking area which is equal to 314 square inches. This makes it a great griller. It can reach nice high temperatures, and the small size helps it get hot. The decent heat retention helps it with its smoking ability, which is good.

 

Pros of the Char Griller Akorn

Huge versatility – Kamados are the most versatile outdoor cooker you can buy. With a couple of accessories, they are able to grill, smoke, cook pizza like a genuine brick fired oven and also act as a standard convection oven. This means you can cook just about anything on it.

The Akorn cooks very evenly – An even heat will make smoking and grilling much easier, and on the Akorn it is about as simple as it can get.

Wide temperature range – The Akorn can comfortably cook at temperatures of 200 – 700°F (93°C – 371°C).

Good value – You get a lot of the best features of the more expensive kamado grills at a much lower price.

Char-Griller Akorn Kamado Kooker Review
Char-Griller Akorn Airflow

Cons of the Char Griller Akorn

Build Quality – Whilst the Akorn Kamado Kooker isn’t ‘bad’ it isn’t the same as a Kamado Joe for example. You do get what you pay for and seeing as this is a lower budget product you can’t expect the build quality to be amazing.

The learning curve can be quite large – If you’re used to normal grilling then cooking on a kamado will be a very different experience. This is a lot of fun to learn as you go, but it might result in a few bad experiences along the way. If you keep control of your temperatures with a digital thermometer and remember that it’s much more difficult to decrease the temperature than it is to increase it, you shouldn’t have a problem.

Steel isn’t ceramic – This is an arguable point, but we believe ceramic is much superior to steel for kamados. It holds its temperatures better and we think it makes for a better general cooker. Also, steel can rust.

Overall, the Char Griller Akorn is a great product at a great price. If you’re looking for a cheap and cheerful kamado that acts as a brilliant grill smoker combo and more, then the Char Griller is a great buy.

For more information on the Char Griller Akorn read our full review.

Check the latest price on Amazon.

 

Weber Genesis II E-310 Weber Genesis E-310

Primary Use: Grilling

Secondary Use Effectiveness: Good

If you know anything about grilling you’ve probably heard of Weber. We’ve reviewed a lot of Weber product on our site and our go to smoker is the Weber Smokey Mountain. But Weber also make fantastic grills, the Genesis II series, being one of them.

The Weber Genesis II E-310 is a 3 burner, gas powered grill. One of the best grills in its price range and it brilliantly built. It has Porcelain enameled cast iron cooking grates that provide 513 square inches of cooking space with a 156 square inch Tuck-Away warming rack overhead. That’s a total of 669 square inches of cooking area and can easily serve 5 – 7 people. The 3 burners are made from stainless steel and the grilling area includes Weber’s new flavorizer bars and a grease management system to reduce the risk of flare ups.

The majority of the rest of the grill is made of stainless steel and it includes 2 generously sized side prep workspaces, with integrated hanging hooks and an incredible 10 year guarantee!

But how can you smoke on such a grill? The best method and the one I would recommend is using a product like the A-MAZE-N Pellet Tube Smoker.

This houses wood pellets, goes inside you grill, heats up and starts smoking. It really is that simple and this little tube will cost less than $25. It’s recommended not to expose it to direct heat so leave one burner off and place it over that.

Another method is the coffee tin method. This is where you get an old coffee tin or something similar, poke some holes it in and fill it with wood chips. Place it in a similar position as you would the A-MAZE-N tube smoker, away from direct heat and you’ve got a free smoking tube. Doing it this way probably won’t create as good of a finished product but it’s a free alternative that’s pretty easy to do.

 

Pros of the Weber Genesis

Fantastic Warranty – The Weber warranty is one of the best on the market right now and should give you complete peace of mind when buying a Genesis.

Outstanding Build Quality – Weber is know for building top of the range products and this is no different. The burners, cooking grids and general finish are excellent.

Easy Smoking Options – Having the ability to adapt a gas grill into a fully working smoker for free is brilliant. The heat distribution of the Genesis makes this process much easier, as if you bought a dedicated smoker.

Weber Genesis E-310

Cons of the Weber Genesis

Expensive – The Weber Genesis series are not cheap grills. You do get what you pay for but there are much cheaper options on this list that would do a very similar job.

If you’re looking for an excellent grill that can occasionally smoke some meat then this is a great option.

Check the latest price on Amazon.

 

Weber Original Kettle

Weber Kettle 22 Inch Charcoal Grill
Weber Kettle 22 Inch Charcoal Grill

Primary Use: Grilling

Secondary Use Effectiveness: Excellent

As our second option for a standard grill we’ve chosen the Weber Kettle. This is one of the best selling and most popular grills in the world, and for very good reason.

The 22 inch version of the Weber Kettle includes a cooking area of 363 square inches. It has a brilliant ash catching system that makes ash removal very easy. There are two heat resistant nylon handles for safe removal of the lid. There are multiple vents to allow a very versatile cooking system and helps you to maintain a lot of control over the internal temperatures. The general build quality is fantastic and the performance is about as good as you’ll get at this price range. Speaking of price, the Weber Kettle is one of the best value for money grills we’ve ever used.

So, we know it’s a great grill at a great price. But how well does it handle smoking?

In short, very well! There are a few ways you can smoke on the Weber Kettle.

The first way is to buy an extra piece of equipment that basically does all the work for you. We love and recommend the Slow n Sear. Read our full review here.

The Slow ‘N Sear is a simple accessory that sits inside your 22 inch kettle grill and creates a boundary to give you two distinct cooking areas. It uses a water reservoir to split the cooking area of your grill into a super hot sear zone and a convection oven/smoker zone.

To smoke with the Slow ‘N Sear is surprisingly simple. Start by lighting a bit of charcoal in the corner of the Slow ‘N Sear and when that catches fill the entire thing. Then place your meat on the other side, in the newly formed smoker zone of your grill. Make sure the vent of the lid is placed above your meat and is partly open to create a suitable airflow and you’re cooking.

But not only does it allow you to smoke well, it also gives you the option to sear meat just as simply. You just have to load it up with charcoal, light it and when you’ve got a nice hot grill start searing away.

The other way to smoke on your Weber Kettle is to create a hot zone and a cool zone to allow for indirect heat and smoke to cook your meat. There are a few methods to do this, here’s Malcom Reed from HowtoBBQRight giving you one of the simplest methods.

 

Pros of the Weber kettle

Inexpensive – A small standard Weber Kettle can be bought for less than $100. This will give you everything you need to get smoking and grilling on a single grill. A larger one and any extras like the Slow n Sear will increase the price, but for the mid range Weber Kettle and the Slow n Sear you’ll be paying less than you would for a Weber Smokey Mountain. And you can do a lot more on a Weber Kettle with a Slow n Sear.

Fantastic Build Quality – As you would expect from one of the best companies in the business, the build quality of the Kettle is brilliant. Chances are you’ll buy one and in 5 or 10 years you’ll still be using it.

Versatile – The Weber Kettle gives you more options per dollar than almost any other grill we can think of. It also gives you the ability to mod it how you like and there are several great resources online that can help you with this.

 

Cons of the Weber Kettle

Requires a bit of work – If you’re looking for something that requires very little work then the Weber Kettle plus extras probably won’t be for you. Instead check out our next section where we look at a couple of the best pellet grills on the market.

Overall, the Weber Kettle is a fantastic purchase and one of our all time favorite grill smoker combos. It can do everything very well, has huge potential and is very versatile. If you don’t mind a bit of work then this is almost a necessary purchase.

Check the latest price on Amazon.

 

 

Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Review

Primary Use: Smoking

Secondary Use Effectiveness: Good

Despite being called a grill, the Camp Chef SmokePro DLX is definitely primarily a smoker. In our review we go into much more detail about the Camp Chef if you’d like to know more.

The Camp Chef SmokePro DLX is a mid range pellet smokers which offers a very nice balance between features and price. The SmokePro does all the basics very well. It produces fantastic quality meat simply and easily with a large cooking area of 573 square inches. It has great build quality and is easy to assemble with a large hopper capacity of 18lb of pellets. But what the SmokePro does best is the small quality of life enhancements that Camp Chef have introduced. It has an ash removal system that makes cleaning out the ash an absolute breeze, one of the very few models on the market to include one. In addition to this is a pellet bin clean out that makes sorting out the pellets much easier. It also has a built in dual LED readout connected to thermometers for toggling between cooking temperature and internal meat temperature.

So, smoking one the Camp Chef Smoke Pro is about as easy as you’ll get but is it possible to grill?

It can reach a maximum temperature of about 500°F which is enough to get a good crispy skin on chicken. This gives you a decent amount of versatility but where the SmokePro excels is the additional sear box that you can buy. This is a propane burner with stainless steel construction and enamel-coated cast iron grilling grates. As it runs on propane, you can be smoking low and slow on the main grill using wood pellets whilst quickly firing up some steaks on the side burner. This is a solid accessory that gives you even more options and versatility for your Camp Chef pellet grill. It’s not quite the same as searing on an infrared grill, but the outcome is still very good and we’d highly recommend it.

Camp Chef Smokepro DLX Searbox

 

Pros of the Camp Chef SmokePro DLX

Innovative Design – There are some great design features that make the SmokePro DLX one of the easiest to use pellet smokers we’ve tried. The ash cleanout system is the best one here that makes cleaning up much easier with a simple and elegant design solution.

Even Cooking – The temperature control system and auger work together brilliantly to give you the ability to have a very precise and consistent cooking experience. The build quality and the main body of the smoker also help to keep the cooking area very even, meaning that you won’t get hot and cold spots.

Well Priced – You’ll be very hard pressed to find a better pellet smoker at the same price point as the Camp Chef SmokPro DLX.

 

Cons of the Camp Chef SmokePro DLX

Can be difficult to remove excess pellets – Whilst you can leave pellets in the hopper you might want to change pellets for different flavors or just for better storage. This can be a little tricky due to the safety grate over the entrance to the auger. There is a pellet dump but it can still be a bit tricky to get them all out.

Overall, the Camp Chef SmokePro DLX is one of our favourite smokers. Add on the sear box and you have one of the best all round grill smoker combos. It does come in at the high end in terms of price but you’re paying for high quality, super ease of use and a fantastic 3 year warranty as standard. If you’ve got the money then this is almost a no-brainer.

Check the latest price on Amazon.

 

Traeger Junior Elite 

Traeger Junior Elite Pellet Smoker
Traeger Junior Elite Pellet Smoker

Primary Use: Smoking

Secondary Use Effectiveness: Good

Traeger was the company that started the whole revolution of pellet smokers so you know their products will be some of the best. The Traeger Junior Elite Grill is a good budget pellet grill.

The Junior Elite is a relatively small pellet smoker that would make a nice addition to any garden. It is very portable having a nice set of solid wheels. It produces great quality meat and is very simple to use. The digital controller works well and takes the effort out of the cooking. The Junior Elite has a nice sized cooking area at 300 square inches.

It’s definitely more of a smoker but can reach a max temperature of 500°F which gives you a lot of options.

 

Pros of the Traeger Junior Elite

Thermostatically Controlled – This allows you to set very precise temperatures and then forget about it whilst it does all the hard work. You could easily leave this to cook over night without much trouble. (As long as there’s enough pellets). The digital controller that it is equipped with, gives you an accurate and easy to see temperature reading in real time which makes smoking super easy.

Portable Design – Whilst the design doesn’t allow for the same portability as smokers such as the Davy Crockett, this is still light and mobile enough to be able to be taken camping, tailgating or just allows for easy movement around the garden. That means you can have a smoker and grill with you wherever you go.

A variety of pellet flavors – Different flavors of pellets give you so many more options with no extra effort. You can get a range of flavors such as apple, cherry, maple, hickory, pecan and bourbon. The pellets can be changed over or mixed up to give you a huge potential canvas of flavors that are waiting to be tried and experimented with. Check out our ultimate guide to smoking with wood for more information on wood flavors and the combinations you can create.

 

Cons of the Traeger Junior Elite

Build Quality – The biggest problem is probably the build quality and reliability of the thermostat controller. Some of this can be due to user error when it comes to assembling the smoker. Some of this is due to ambient conditions. But some of it is down to Traeger, unfortunately.

Overall, the Traeger Junior Elite is a relatively inexpensive pellet smoker that would be perfect for someone looking to try one out who’s on a budget. It’s also small and light enough to make a great traveling smoker, working well for tailgating and camping. The grilling side of things might be a little underwhelming, but the as a smoker it works very well.

For a more detailed look at the Traeger Junior Elite read our review here.

Check the latest price on Amazon.

 

 

Conclusion

I hope this has given you a good idea of what grill smoker combos are available to buy. Any of the listed products will work fine but do take note of what they excel at and what they don’t. If you’re thinking of upgrading to a dedicated smoker or grill then check out these posts where we go into a lot of detail about the best options on the market.

 

Best Beginner Smokers under $500

Best Pellet Smokers | Best Pellet Grills

Best Charcoal Grills under $200

 

 

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One commentOn The 7 Best Grill Smoker Combos

  • I personally like Weber Original Kettle Grill, because it is very traditional brand and they make high quality stuff. It works very well, looks good too and is easy to assemble. I really like grilling with it.

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