Most pellet smokers on the market maintain a traditional barrel shape but what we love about vertical smokers is how much extra space the design allows for holding meat while taking up very little actual room in your yard or patio.
Pellet smokers can be big and bulky so having a compact footprint offered by a vertical style is a great advantage if you don’t need a traditional grill component.
The selection for vertical pellet smokers is more limited so we’ve compiled a list of the 8 worth considering.
These smoky little beasts are all thoroughly researched and vetted by us and offer a range of sizes and price points for any griller.
This list is a compilation of our favorites with a complete spec breakdown to help narrow the field.
Ok guys, if you came to this list looking for a big old honking smoker with room for getting some serious smoking done, here she is, the XXL from Camp Chef.
This gal is one of the biggest on our list at 1,950 square inches and made to be packed full of all your favorites so you can tackle several smoking projects all at once. This is great vertical smoker for a serious hobbyist who is committed to regular smoke outs.
The Camp Chef XXL comes with EIGHT 12.5×14’’ racks (specifically, four standard smoking racks, three jerky smoking racks, and one hanging rack) that you can pack full or ribs, pork butt and whole chickens. It includes dual meat probes so you can monitor different pieces of meat simultaneously, and also offers a special hanging rack with 12 sausage hooks.
The total temperature range is 150 to 350 degrees and pumps out heat at 33,000 BTUs per hour. It has an easy ash cleanup system and a fun bottle opener attached right on the pellet hopper so you have everything you need right at your fingertips.
The temperature readout is digital LED so it’s easy to monitor what’s going on internally.
The total hopper capacity is a whopping 18lbs, one of the largest on this list. The hopper itself has a pellet window so you can easily monitor the fill level as you’re cooking.
This is a great mega smoker for the serious and dedicated griller.
A sweet example of another large and in charge vertical pellet smoker perfection from Pit Boss, this is a killer option for serious smoke pros.
The vertical style gives you lots of room to work with and the 77550 from Pit Boss includes five porcelain-coated adjustable racks (24’’ in width) for even heat distribution and 1830 square inches of cooking space. That’s the equivalent of 9 turkeys all at once, in case you’re wondering.
An included meat probe and digital LED readout allows you to monitor temperatures which can be fully programmed in 20 degree increments from 150 to 450 degrees.
It also includes an auto-start igniter and shutdown system when your meat is done smoking.
Construction is double-walled with blanket insulation to maintain internal temperatures for precision smoking and the best results.
The hopper is HUGE on this guy with a 40+ lb capacity that Pit Boss claims lasts over 24 hours, making it a set it and forget it operation for just about any project. It also has an auto-purge feature for easy maintenance.
This seems to be a trend with vertical smokers, but the Pit Boss also includes a mounted bottle opener. I wish more traditional propane grills did this.
Coming in hot at 2,059 square inches, this model from Louisiana Grills is massive.
It includes 6 porcelain-coated cooking racks so you can customize the internal space to gold a bunch of whole chickens or hang some freshly packed sausages.
It offers a temperature range like the Pit Boss, from 150 to 450 degrees with a built in meat probe to precisely monitor internal temperatures. It also includes an auto-ignitor for easy starts and an easily accessible ash clean up can.
The temperature readout is digital LED like the other models on our list and is super easy to monitor.
This model also uses double-walled insulation to lock in heat.
The pellet hopper is freaking epic and can hold up to 60 lbs of pellets at once. That’s by far the biggest on our list and in my opinion, a little overkill. Somewhere around 40 lbs is the sweet spot range, especially as we prefer to refresh weekly/or bi-weekly. If you’re cooking almost daily this makes sense, otherwise, you’re going to be hassled doing the clean out.
This is a great competition-ready model and ideal for a serious smoker.
This smoker always makes me think of the meat being on lockdown. It’s big, vertical and windowless so you can’t exactly see what’s going on in there, but you know it’s good. It also offers a dual-door design which is unique to Masterbuilt.
This is a more compact 30’’ model with four chrome-coated cooking racks that can be arranged internally to suit whatever you’re cooking. Included meat probe thermometers allow you to monitor your cook with precision and a digital control panel keeps tabs on temperature, cook, and smoke time.
The total temperature range capability is 180 to 350 degrees and a heat diffuser makes for even heat distribution throughout the inner chamber.
Ash is easily removed and disposed of and the hopper is similarly easy to clean out when nearly empty. Total hopper capacity is 8 lbs of pellets, which is on the smaller size.
This is a great vertical smoker with a pretty reasonable price tag that’s especially attractive if you’re newer to the smoking game and not ready to invest in a Traeger or PitBoss just yet.
Pit Boss is one of our favorites for quality pellet smokers and this is another solid option in a more compact size for newer smoker fans.
Total area is 901 square inches, nearly half the size of the largest options in the 1-3 spots. It includes four porcelain-coated cooking racks along with a porcelain coated water and heat deflector.
Despite the smaller chamber size, it does come with a nicely sized 40 lb pellet hopper with a side display window for easy monitoring and purge function.
Temperature is fully programmable from from 150 to 450 degrees and offers the standard auto-start igniter with auto-shut off you will find on most pellet smokers.
The PBV has a digital temperature readout with LED display and a meat probe for monitoring internal temperatures.
A more mid-sized option, this is a popular one from PitBoss.
Offering 1,540 square inches of cooking area along with five porcelain-coated racks, this is an ideal size if you’re more experienced with smoking but aren’t a committed hobbyist or competition-level pit boss.
It also includes fan forced convection cooking with auto start and shut off, a temperature range of 150 to 450, like all of our PB models, auto-ignitor and a digital temperature gauge with LED readout.
The hopper is generous despite the smaller size at 50lbs with a purge feature and viewing window to track your pellet level.
This model is very similar to the 330B option in the #4 spot, but for a few minor differences.
The overall size is 40’’ while the 330 is more compact at 30 inches. That’s there equivalent of 16 chickens, 6 turkeys, 8 racks of ribs, or 8 pork butts. Not modest by any means.
The pellet hopper size is also a little more generous at a 12lb capacity instead of the 8 lbs on the 30’’ version.
All other components and features remain the same so if you’re in the market for a Masterbuilt but need something a little roomier, this is your pick.
The 44’’ from MasterBuilt has a bit of a different build and is pretty hefty in size compared to the 40’’ and 30’’ versions. This isn’t our favorite option on this list, but just so all your bases are covered, we decided to include it anyway.
Like the other two Masterbuilts, it includes a windowless dual-door design, ash cans and grease trays that can be emptied without accessing the inner chambers, six chrome-coated smoking racks and a digital LED display for monitoring internal temperatures. The range is the same as all other models at 180 to 350 degrees.
The pellet hopper on the Sportsman Elite is the largest on any of the Masterbuilt designs at 17lbs, which is much more in line with what we like to see for a vertical smoker.
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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!