This one is for the serious grillers who consider themselves more of a “pit-master” and crave that sweet smoky flavor.
If you’re in the market for a charcoal/smoker combo, you’re not here just for convenience and a quick sear on some steaks a few times each summer.
You’re here to find a top performer that can be your ride or die through some smoke-infused meat bad-assery. This is more of a specialty niche and if you’re just getting into smokers and combo grills, this is a great way to narrow the field.
A solid charcoal/smoker combo should be roomy, built with high quality materials and designed for convenience and ease of use.
We’ve put together a short list of the only grills you really need to consider in this category. They’re all solid, proven performers and offer a range of sizes and bells and whistles to check boxes on any list.
This list is a compilation of our favorites with a complete spec breakdown to help narrow the field so you can become the tailgating king.
If the Smoke Hollow in our top spot isn’t hitting the mark when it comes to size and you regularly feed a bigger horde, this offering from Oklahoma Joe’s is a great contender.
Hitting our #2 spot, this grill is a bigger strain on the budget but it delivers on size and performance. If you’re a more committed smoker fan, the investment will pay off.
Overall size, since we’ve been highlighting it non-stop, is 1,060 total square inches with 310 square inches devoted to the firebox and 375 each to the gas and charcoal chambers. All cooking grates and porcelain coasted cast iron.
On the gas side, there are three powerful primary burners pumping out heat at 12,000 BTUs each. An added side burner is well-placed for sauce or side prep and also accommodates a charcoal chimney starter.
The smoke chamber for the smoker box has multiple dampers for optimal control of both smoke and heat.
Both main chambers also feature lid-mounted temperature gauges and the lower cart rack is roomy and perfect for storage of tools and prep materials.
The firebox has it’s own front access so the fire can be stoked and finessed without disturbing the smoke concentration in the main cook chamber.
This is a top-notch pick if you have a more flexible budget and want to commit to having extra space for grilling up front. This is not a compact set up by any means, so it will definitely take pride of place in any backyard kitchen.
The 850C from Smoke Hollow nabs our top spot for being incredibly versatile and easy to use for anyone serious about getting into smoking and meat infusions.
The Smoke Hollow is not only a charcoal grill with a smoker box attachment, it is also a propane grill, so if you need to cook using gas, you have that option available too.
With 857 square inches of total cook area, it is sizable but not so large that you won’t have space to park it. It is certainly not the biggest on our list, but if your usual crew is 10 or less, this size should be just right and the price is within most budgets.
So what does that mean in terms that matter? The charcoal side can handle a large pork butt and 6-8 sausages at once, or about 4 large steaks. Not massive, but big enough to tackle most jobs handily.
So what does it pack for each grill type? On the gas side, you get 3 burners at 10,000 BTU each, cooking grates are porcelain coated cast iron and flare guards are also porcelain coated. A 9,300 BTU side burner is great for sauce and marinade prep. The grease tray is removable for easy clean-up and maintenance.
On the charcoal side, you’ll find an adjustable tray for fine-tuning your heat distribution as well as a removable ashtray for clean-up.
The smoker includes front door access in addition to a side access door with air damper control for monitoring and adjusting heat levels.
The grill comes equipped with two separate temperature gauges, one for the charcoal and the other to monitor the propane side. It is also outfitted with heavy duty casters and a wire rack for tool storage.
Smoke Hollow wins out for sheer versatility and the ease of cooking just about anything, in any kind of weather or with any kind of time restraints.
Looking to take your time and infuse a lot of smoky goodness into your meat? CHARCOAL. Have limited time and a hangry family? GAS. Ready to get down and dirty and REALLY slow cook a rack of ribs? SMOKER.
Ok guys, if you thought the last option was big, prepare to meet the next level up: The Put Boss Memphis.
This is a lot of grill. A whole lot. It ranks in our third spot because unless you are semi-pro, this is almost too much grill for even a series smoker/charcoal lover.
If you want to go all in, then the Pit Boss is a great fit. Boasting a crazy 2,167 square inches of total cooking area and 1,327 square inches of primary cooking area, it is IN CHARGE.
The smoker itself id 840 square inches so you can almost cook restaurant-style on this guy.
Grill grates are porcelain-coated cast iron and the gas side offers 3 burners at 12,000 BTUs each. This grill also features 2 side burners instead of just 1.
The lower area houses the smoker box so there is less space for storage, though there is room on either side to store a few tools or other grilling essentials.
Adjustable vents are well placed for controlling heat and smoke in the cookbox and are easily maneuvered to desired settings.
This is an exceptional professional size grill that would suit competition or restaurant-style set ups better than the average backyard kitchen.
We love the budget-friendly Smoke Hollow grill in our top spot and if you’re looking for a solid upgraded version of essentially the same grill, the 3500 is it.
The size on this grill is essentially the same – 860 square inches compared to the 850 on the lower-end version.
The BTUS offer the same output and a side burner is placed in the same spot for sauce or side prep.
The main difference is the air damper control on the charcoal grill front panel that allows you to finesse the heat and smoke in the chamber. Draft control on the 850 is a little less precise and that spot is filled by a front basket for condiments or tools.
The handles and fittings on the 3500 are also slightly upgraded, but not significantly enough to warrant the higher price tag.
Finishing off our combo smoker/charcoal grill list is the 5050 from Char-Griller.
This grill is somewhat different from the others on the list as it doesn’t offer a dedicated firebox to fuel the smoker chamber. Instead it relies on the main charcoal box with a small chimney for air control.
This doesn’t allow for nearly the range of regulation of the other options where the smoke and heat levels can be controlled independently, without opening up the chamber where the meat is being smoked.
Overall specs include 1260 square inches of cooking space with three 12,000 BTU primary burners and an additional side burner for sauce or prep. Cooking grates are porcelain-coated cast iron and both cook boxes feature lid-mounted temperature gauges.
A front mounted condiment rack and lower level shelf allow for handy storage of tools and other essentials.
A firebox can be purchased an added separately, though for the price, we advise purchasing one of the other options on our list instead.
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I am a grill freak! It's hard to pick my favorite thing to grill, but if I had to choose... it is still a tie between pork ribs and a juicy beef burger. I am currently grilling on a Weber S210(I live in a small space) but my dream grill is definitely a summit. Those things are bad ass. Anyways I would love to hear from you, leave a comment or question below!