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Best Smoker Grill Combo for Slow/Fast Grilling & Smoking

Ask just about any grilling enthusiast and they’ll confirm that the list of essentials required for grilling is as follows. It includes dry rubs for the barbecue, a digital thermometer for meat, a barbecue cookbook, the best meat you can get your hands on, and of course the best smoker grill combo.

The beauty of combination grills like these is that they’re the complete package. In fact, with some of them, you can even switch from one cooking style to another using an app. Even controlling the unit via the app is possible in a few scenarios. And you know what this means? That beginners as well as smoke experts can have the time of their lives!

So if you don’t have the space to install two separate units, then consider choosing any one of these flexible combination grills for yourself and your weekend social gatherings

1. Z GRILLS ZPG-450A 2020 Upgrade Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker

Compared to just about any old slow and difficult to control/clean smoker, this 2020 upgrade by Z GRILLS is a solid contrast. The phenomenal Wood Fire technology reaches the target temperature incredibly quickly and also accurately.

Furthermore, there’s no build-up of grease and the wheels are the sole reason why portability is such an effortless task. Also, the installation part isn’t all that intimidating either. Just one hour tops!

And expect your favorite meat to come out all sweet-flavored and tender. Bye-bye old charcoal grills.

Key Features

  • Barbecue wood fire grill with Pellet technology
  • PID technology maintains a consistent temperature
  • Compact size and sturdy steel construction
  • High temperature resistant powder-coated finish
  • Large capacity pellet hopper ideal for longer cooking sessions

2. PIT BOSS 700FB Pellet Grill

You get the PIT BOSS benefit of cooking up the finest wood-fired gourmet food. This pellet grill works on cooking-grade, all-natural pellets. So no propane, charcoal, or gas used for fuel. There’s a digital control dial that you can operate very easily.

On top of that, the combination of fan-forced air and electric ignition speeds up and preserves the burning flame to produce generous amounts of convection heat. Ultimately, providing that perfectly clean and flavorful smoke.

So if you’re a smoker purist, then you might just love the fact that you can use this PIT BOSS grill for everything - searing, smoking, grilling, and even baking with a smoke finish.

Key Features

  • Digital Control Center for temperature is easy to use
  • Side plate Flame Broiler allows direct flame grilling
  • Heavy-duty, durable PVC/polyester backing
  • Works on all-natural hardwood pellets

3. Char-Broil Oklahoma Joe’s Charcoal/LP Gas/Smoker Combo

Char-Broil’s multi-purpose grill here is equipped with both a gas and charcoal chamber, along with an offset firebox. And it’s built with nothing but long-lasting durability in mind. For example, the cast-iron grates are porcelain-coated. Then there’s the heavy-gauge steel construction as well.

You get more heat than you’d ever need. But it’s the sturdy design of the cast iron that makes this model superior to each and every entry-level smoker grill.

Key Features

  • High-functional, 3-in-1, heavy-gauge steel combo grill
  • Individual cooking chambers deliver high-capacity smoking
  • Adjustable dampers for smoke and heat regulation
  • Metal shelf for storage below the cooking chamber
  • Lid-mounted temperature gauges and Cool Touch steel handles

4. SUNLIFER 20.5 Inch Vertical Charcoal Smoker and Grill Combo

You get three different barbecue pits - one propane and two charcoal. So preparing small, family-sized batches feels like a breeze. Or you can cook as much as the cooking chamber can fit, which is a pretty generous amount by the way. Be it vegetables, beef, or poultry!

As for assembling this charcoal smoker and grill combo, it’s quite easy and straightforward. You can take apart the double layers in order to clean or transport the unit. And with its latch locking mechanism, solid stability is also a part of your every grilling experience.

Key Features

  • Multi-functional, versatile combo grill with a large capacity
  • Integrated thermometer and detailed temperature scale
  • Air vents adjustability offers temperature control
  • Heavy-duty, durable steel body construction
  • The latch locking system provides tons of stability
  • Two access doors for more convenience and flexibility

5. Char-Griller 5030 2-Burner Gas & Charcoal Grill

You can enjoy the benefits of dual function in the form of both a charcoal and gas grill. The unit features a heat gauge, triple-walled steel insulation, and double smokestacks. And then other minor details are also well taken care of. Such as a sturdy, solid side shelf and easy-dump ash tray.

And let’s not forget just how attractive and stylish looking this gas and charcoal combination grill is. You can smoke chicken wings and ribs as well as grill your favorite steak with charcoal over the weekend. And also quickly cook hamburgers and sausages during your busy week.

Key Features

  • Heavy-duty, durable steel construction
  • The powder-coated finish adds visual appeal
  • Easy-dump ash tray, temperature gauge, and adjustable grate height
  • Porcelain-coated cast-iron grates prevent food from sticking

6. Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill

First off, this Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill is easy and quick to assemble all by yourself. Just make sure you’re following all the instructions properly.

And one very useful piece of advice - close the lid and bottom vents of the grill for reducing heat. Also, use the chimney starter and the brand’s Fire Starter cubes for getting the charcoal ready quickly for grilling.

Those that have only used propane grills may express their doubts and criticism. But once you see thick burgers cook through right down the middle, you’re sure to change your mind.

Key Features

  • Adjustable, rust-resistant dampers for precision heat control
  • Easy-to-clean, heat-retention cooking grates
  • One-touch cleaning system with removable, high-capacity ash catcher
  • Heat-shield lid handle and durable wheels

7. Char-Griller E1224 Smokin Pro Charcoal Grill

When you take into account the price factor, this Char-Griller model seems like the perfect deal. Even as a grill, it’s pretty exceptional with its cast-iron grates, large cooking surface, adjustable charcoal tray height, controllable vents, and warmer tray. But as a smoker, it’s just alright. In short, an ideal choice for the average Joe.

Smokin Pro Charcoal Grill is certainly an upgrade from your older version. The charcoal drawer is removable, which means you can add charcoal easily and even dump the ashes easily.

In our opinion, it’s the perfect traditional charcoal grill experience for your weekend Texas-style barbecue parties.

Key Features

  • Powder-coated, heavy-gauge steel construction
  • Non-stick cast-iron grates deliver even heating
  • Easy-transport wheels and temperature gauge
  • Removable charcoal drawers for easy loading and unloading
  • Double-bottomed design provides long-lasting durability

8. Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Smoker Roaster & Grill

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Here’s yet another amazing combination grill by Char-Broil. It lets you grill, roast, and smoke. And with the brand’s exclusive TRU-Infrared cooking technology, expect zero flare-ups. Only evenly-cooked, juicy, tender results even in the case of large cuts of meat.

Most of the grill comes pre-assembled, which makes installation much easier and quicker. And just so you know, the internal cooking basket accommodates a generous amount of turkey. Along with the large-capacity grill grate that offers all the space you might need for grilling burgers, chicken, steaks, or sides.

Key Features

  • The TRU-Infrared cooking system offers evenly-cooked, juicy results
  • Easy to use, and portable with a detachable grease tray
  • Side-mounted smoker box for adding wood chips conveniently
  • 2 side-mounted carry handles give you the convenience of portability

9. Camp Chef PG24MZG SmokePro Slide Smoker Grill

The good part includes the large-capacity of the pellet hopper, which makes it possible for you to get 10 to 16 hours of unhindered smoking. Along with easy usability without having to supervise the grill. And even when it comes to changing out pellets, it’s pretty simple and quick because of the pellet hopper release mechanism.

And no doubt, things like temperature control, ash cleanout, and assembly also don’t attract any major negative complaints.

Key Features

  • Premium wood-fire flavored smoker grill combo
  • Digital control includes temperature adjustment and meat probe
  • Ash cleanout system for quick cleaning between cooking sessions
  • Designed with a full-sized folding front shelf

10. Char-Griller E16620 Akorn Kamado Charcoal Grill

If you’ve dreaded using a charcoal grill and instead have switched to the convenience of gas, then gas charcoal combo grills are made just for you. Even this Char-Griller model is something that’s bound to eliminate that long-standing dread.

It may as well be the best combination grill you may have ever owned. The unit holds the temperature consistently for slow grilling or smoking ribs. Preparing partially smoked chicken wings that are juicy and crispy is also an easy, effortless undertaking.

Key Features

  • Double-insulated construction for maximum heat and minimal airflow
  • Non-stick porcelain-coated cast-iron cooking surface
  • The powder-coated steel design looks very attractive
  • Rubber wheels and locking casters
  • Easy-dump ash pan and two foldable metal shelves

What Factors to Consider When Buying Smoker Grills

Types of Smokers

The main point of consideration here is choosing between a barrel or vertical smoker. Both of these can be either a combination with an offset or a 2-in-1 kind of a unit. The former, which is offset, means the box that produces the smoke is installed at the side of the grill. And that’s where you smoke your food as slowly as you like without running the risk of charring or burning it.

What form of fuel do these types of smokers work on? Wood pellets, charcoal, electric, or propane gas. No doubt, charcoal is the most commonly used because it’s the best option to create the perfect smoky flavor. Something you can come close to with wood pellets indeed but just can’t achieve with the electric or gas counterparts.

Insulation

To sear steaks over the burners of the grill means dealing with around 37,500 BTUs (unit of heat). So, at such times, the most useful factor takes the form of good insulation.

Insulation also matters a lot when you shut the lid to slow-cook your food at a low temperature for several hours. So make it a point to choose a grill with double insulation.

Technology

Can you control the grill using an app on your phone? Is WiFi connectivity one of the priorities?

To be honest, there isn’t a single or straight answer here. It all depends on what the brand has to offer. And then based on the advanced features provided, whether you would benefit from it or not. For example, Wood Fire technology maintains the desired temperature accurately after reaching it quickly.

Materials and Durability

Durable, strong hinges, handles, and the like are the building blocks of smoker grills. So you have to check if they’re well constructed.

On the whole, keep in mind that thickness goes a long way when it comes to ensuring maximum durability and high quality. Stay away from thinner metals because these perform poorly in terms of heat retention. So don’t expect even heat distribution around the smoking chamber.

Ease of Use and Cleaning

Do you absolutely need a greater amount of controls and sensors? Or are you quite content with your combination grill built with simple features perfect for daily grilling/smoking tasks? If it’s the latter, then don’t waste your money and just get a basic model.

Then comes the part of cleaning, which can be a nuisance for some. Whatever the case, it’s better to buy a grill with non-stick porcelain-coated grates. So you don’t have to waste your time scrubbing dirty grates.

Weight and Size

Firstly, the space you have available should decide the size of your new grill. And not the other way around. Brands often tell you how much clearance or extra room is required to keep the grill to work safely. So avoid buying a heavy-duty, bulky unit unnecessarily if your outdoor area or backyard is small.

Speaking of weight, a heavier gauge steel construction is actually a good thing. But if portability matters to you, then either choose a lightweight design or one with sturdy wheels.

Quality of Grates

The top-rated combination grills reviewed in this article feature stainless steel grates. These, no doubt, are more durable, unlike chrome grates that often rust too quickly and then become unusable.

Temperature Range/Regulation

Almost every recent combination grill is outfitted with a temperature gauge. It’s what helps in keeping the temperature consistent throughout the operation.

Cooking large batches of turkey, for example, demands a higher temperature (around 400 degrees Fahrenheit). The normal smoking temperature, however, is in the range of 225-275 degrees Fahrenheit. And steaks, on the other hand, cook at an even higher temperature than turkey.

So is your grill up to the task? Find out first and then buy.

Tips for Smoking Meat the Right Way

As far as the right way is concerned, slow cooking is what matters the most. And not how expensive your cuts of meat are. Meaning you can use BBQ smoking to achieve the most delicious, delicate, and tender results even with the cheapest meat out there.

So when using a smoker grill, instead you should experiment with various blends and types of wood chips. Keep in mind that excessive smoke makes the meat acidic, which is definitely not desirable. The smoke should be either white or clear. And if it isn’t, then you’ve certainly done something wrong.

The Minion Method of Charcoal Control

This particular method involves slow cooking at a low temperature that’s between 180 and 220 degrees Fahrenheit. The biggest advantage here is that you don’t have to supervise the entire session, which means overnight cooking is possible.

So what’s the basic principle of this minion method? Place the chimney full of charcoal briquettes in the charcoal pan. Then add some hot coals right over the charcoal briquettes, which keep the temperature fairly low. And while the top charcoal is burning out, it ignites the ones placed below to create long-lasting, consistent heat.

And don’t forget the keep the bottom air vents open, so the charcoal doesn’t go off.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between grill and smoker?

Grills are mainly designed for searing food at a high temperature (up to 700 degrees Fahrenheit). While what a smoker does is pave the way for slow cooking at a much lower temperature (225-300 degrees Fahrenheit).

Smokers are mainly used for cooking traditional low, slow-style barbecue. For example, smoked brisket or pulled pork. And since grills cook faster and at a higher temperature, chops, vegetables, fish, steak, etc. are the most suitable for them.

What are the benefits of a grill and smoker?

It’s simple logic here - smoking is what’s best for large cuts of meat. Such as ham, roasts, briskets, and ribs. The smaller cuts (fish, steaks, chicken), on the other hand, cook better on the grill.

And with a combination grill, you can braise, bake, smoke, and roast. That means access to a wide variety of dishes simply by adding charcoal or pellets.

Is smoked meat bad for health?

Smoked food, as research points out, is packed with harmful chemical contaminants. That are often associated with fatal diseases such as heart conditions and cancer. This is the long-term effect of course.

The blackened, charred areas consist of heterocyclic amines. And then the smoke carries with it polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Both compounds are a part of well-done meats, and both have carcinogenic properties.

Can you smoke and grill at the same time?

Combination grills are designed with separate chambers for smoking and grilling. So you can smoke and grill simultaneously.

Is smoking better than grilling?

This is a matter of your personal tastes and preferences.

Smoking, no doubt, enhances the flavor of your food and gives it more juice in the form of moisture. However, the process is slow. As for grilling, it’s fast. But the downside is that grilling dries out the meat.

Then comes the question of what it is that you want to grill or smoke. Because different items give rise to different results. Such as burgers taste the most delicious when grilled while ribs are better when smoked.

Final Words

When buying, more often than not, the budget seems like the most important thing. Keeping that in mind, the products shortlisted in the article include both high-end and inexpensive combination grills. So you just can’t go wrong, no matter what you choose from the list.

Make sure to also consider other factors, such as portability, grilling capabilities, smoker performance, temperature control, and such. Once you do that, you’ve upgraded your delicious BBQ weekend sessions.

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