5 Best Vertical Pellet Smokers of 2024 (Reviewed & Rated)

By Ben Isham-Smith

Published:

Vertical pellet smokers offer a whole new barbecue experience. They provide a larger cooking space and better airflow than many of their contemporaries, while still providing the high temperatures and fuel efficiency of standard wood pellet models. Here are 5 of the best vertical pellet smokers to help take your BBQ smoking to the next level.

Best Vertical Pellet Smoker

Vertical pellet smokers offer beginner-friendly controls paired with excellent cooking performance, all within a spacious cooking chamber that provides efficient airflow. These innovative pellet-fuelled barbecue smokers are a great choice for BBQ fans who want to up their smoking game without compromising on ease of use.

These backyard cookers offer a truly unique way of barbecue cooking and offer an impressive range of features, from precise temperature control to huge hopper capacity, and multi-rack cooking to durable construction. So where to begin?

We’ve got you covered. Take your pellet smoking to the next level with our guide to the best vertical pellet smokers out there today.

At a glance: Our Top 5 Best Vertical Pellet Smokers

But where to start? Here’s my breakdown of five of the best out there, and what to look out for when buying your next smoker.

Don’t forget to check out our guide to the best pellet smokers

Pit Boss Grills 77550 5.5 Pellet Smoker

pit boss copper vertical pellet smoker
Photo: Lowes.com

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Want to smoke a lot of food at a time? Then perhaps consider buying the Pit Boss Grills 77550 5.5 pellet smoker.

The highlight of this pellet smoker is its 1,830 square inches of total cooking area in 5 cooking racks. Not only is this thing high-capacity, but its cooking racks should serve you for a long time thanks to the porcelain enameling.

Besides, you have more food & rack layout options with the 5 racks.

Features

  • Smoker Capacity: 40lbs
  • Temperature Range: 150-400°F
  • Cooking Area: 1,830 Sq. Inches

What Pit Boss Grills also boasts is high pellet capacity. You can load this thing with up to around 40 pounds of pellets and use the smoker for multiple sessions without refilling. Notably, Pit Boss Grills also boasts that 40 pounds of pellets will keep this thing going for around 24 hours!

Check out our review of the Pit Boss 700FB

And in spite of its high capacity, this pellet smoker makes monitoring the cooking process easy due to the large viewing window.

pit boss copper vertical pellet smoker grates and pellet hopper

Pros

  • High cooking capacity
  • Versatile thanks to the 5 racks
  • Durable cooking racks
  • Makes monitoring the cooking process easy

Cons

  • Bulky and heavy

Masterbuilt MWS 330S Pellet Smoker

Masterbuilt MWS 330S Pellet Smoker

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Masterbuilt’s MWS 330S pellet smoker is at the other end of the spectrum – it focuses on space efficiency rather than cooking capacity. Aside from that, it’s pretty cheap and thus pocket-friendly.

Masterbuilt claims that this thing can take up to 12 chickens, 2 turkeys, 2 racks of ribs, or 3 pork butts. While this sounds impressive, for comparison, the Pit Boss Grills pellet smoker will probably take much more.

Features

  • Smoker Capacity: 40lbs
  • Temperature Range: 150-400°F
  • Cooking Area: 1,830 Sq. Inches

For convenience, this pellet smoker has preset cooking and smoking cycles. If you want more flexibility though, this smoker allows you to control the cooking temperature along with smoking and cooking time.

One thing we dislike about this smoker is that it doesn’t have any windows to view the food through, which may be a major downside for some people. There seem to be some quality control issues with this unit as well, so we suggest that you have a look at buyer reviews before making a purchase.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • 4 chrome-coated smoking racks
  • Meat probes included
  • Small footprint.
  • Not too heavy

Cons

  • No way to check on the food from outside
  • Some quality control issues

Masterbuilt MWS 140S Pellet Smoker

Masterbuilt MWS 140S Pellet Smoker review

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The Masterbuilt MWS 140S is a more advanced variant of the MWS 330S pellet smoker. The two pellet smokers look similar, but there are a few big differences that you may have been able to spot already.

First and foremost, this pellet smoker has a front window for food viewing, which we think is a big advantage. Secondly, the MWS 140S smoker is larger and thus will take much more food.

Features

  • Smoker Capacity: 12lbs
  • Temperature Range: 150-400°F
  • Cooking Area: 1,830 Sq. Inches

More specifically, Masterbuilt claims that this smoker fits up to 16 chickens, 6 turkeys, 8 racks of ribs, or 8 pork butts. This is much more than with the MWS 330S.

Other than these two differences, the two Masterbuilt pellet smokers appear to be identical. Unfortunately, this also applies to the quality control issues the other unit had.

Pros

  • Fairly compact
  • 4 chrome-coated smoking racks
  • Meat probes included
  • Programmable smoking & cooking times and temperature
  • Transparent front door

Cons

  • Quality control issues

Louisiana Grills Vertical Pellet Smoker

Louisiana Grills Vertical Pellet Smoker review

Think that the Pit Boss Grills smoker won’t be capacious enough for your smoking needs? Have a look at this smoker by Louisiana Grills then!

With 6 porcelain-coated racks, this thing offers 2,059 square inches of total cooking area. Aside from having a lot of room, the 6 racks will allow for more flexibility when it comes to food layout.

See Prices On Amazon

Features

  • Smoker Capacity: 60lbs
  • Temperature Range: 150-450°F
  • Cooking Area: 2,059 Sq. Inches

The Louisiana Grills vertical pellet smoker is also claimed to take up to 60 pounds of wood pellets, which should be enough for about 35 hours of cooking time.

Of course, when dealing with such a huge pellet smoker, you can forget about storage efficiency. This thing is pretty pricey as well, so it definitely isn’t a budget-friendly option.

Pros

  • 6 porcelain-coated racks
  • 4 chrome-coated smoking racks
  • 2 meat probes included
  • Large viewing window
  • Large cooking temperature range

Cons

  • Large and heavy
  • Expensive

Camp Chef XXL Vertical Pellet Smoker

Camp Chef XXL Vertical Pellet Smoker review

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Finally, for more versatile cooking, consider the XXL vertical pellet smoker by Camp Chef.

The most notable thing about this smoker is the variety of cooking racks included – you get standard racks, jerky smoking racks, and one hanging rack with a dozen sausage hooks.

Read our full Camp Chef XXL review

Features

  • Smoker Capacity: 18lbs
  • Temperature Range: 150-350°F
  • Cooking Area: 2,059 Sq. Inches

Capacity-wise, this thing seems to be close to the Pit Boss Grills smoker. However, the Camp Chef smoker doesn’t make as good use of its size, in our opinion. Nearly a third of its height is legs, which arguably is a waste of space.

The temperature here also goes from 150 degrees to only 350 degrees Fahrenheit. This will be perfectly acceptable for many people, but the lower temp limit makes this smoker unsuitable for some high-temperature cooking techniques.

Pros

  • 4 standard racks, 3 jerky smoking racks, and one hanging rack with 12 sausage hooks
  • Dual meat probes

Cons

  • Short temperature range
  • Heavyduty

About the Author

Ben Isham-Smith

A BBQ obsessive, Ben is behind 250+ of The Online Grill’s recipes, as well as countless barbecue guides to help barbecue newbies get to grips with the world’s best form of cooking.


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