Food tastes better in a crowd, and what’s better than having a BBQ? I like cooking, and I truly enjoy sharing my creations with friends and family.
You might be looking for a prime quality grill too, so read on, and let’s take a look at the best charcoal grill smoker combo models.
What Are the Differences Between a Grill and a Smoker?
Grilling is subjecting food to direct intense heat. This is usually sufficient to cook it quickly and to sear it from various spots.
The food could also become charred at some parts where it’s touching the cooking surface, and if you’re not careful, it could end up much too well done.
Grilling on charcoal gives food a smoky flavor quite similar to that of smoked food. That’s one of the main reasons grills are more popular than smokers.
Smoking is a slow process of cooking food at low heat, and an integral part of it is using wood with a special aroma.
The food retains so much of its juices and all of its flavor. It also takes a layer of taste from the smoke and depending on the type of wood used, this could be mild or overpowering.
Smoking takes more time and preparation than regular grilling, and normally it needs special gear. This limits its usage in BBQs, parties, and tailgating.
That’s why the charcoal grill smoker combo is a great device. It brings back the deliciousness of smoking together with the quick and easy backyard grilling.
How to Choose the Best Charcoal Grill Smoker Combo
Grills are big appliances, so it’s best to look closely at their specifications before signing the cheque. Here are some of the main features of a good grill smoker combo.
Temperature Control and Monitoring
This used to be a tedious process of adding more coal, adjusting the height of the grid or rack, turning the food, or using a rotisserie.
Monitoring the grill temperature was more of an educated guess than a precise measurement. Few people used food thermometers, but that’s not the norm.
New grills are mostly automated, you just set the right temperature and let the grill do its thing.
The temperature control system is connected directly to a feed control mechanism, which adjusts replenishing wood chips to maintain the required temperature.
There are built-in gauges in the grill and smoker compartments to keep track of the current temperature. It’s not very accurate, but it’s a good indicator.
Charcoal Access and Hopper Capacity
Barbequing involves adding more coal whenever the fire is dull. It’s best to have an automated feed system and a large reservoir for coal or wood chips.
This way you need to interfere once at the beginning to replenish, and once by the end to clean up the ashes.
Having easy access to coal is a real bonus, and it keeps many fingers happy and safe from BBQ burns
Make sure that they don’t rust or break after a while.
I once had a grill that I used infrequently and I was shocked to notice that it started rusting after a few months. It broke completely in two years.
Many cooks prefer cast iron grates, as they leave the familiar grill marks on food. They’re hard to clean though, and several chefs are opting for a wire grid.
Lid and Frame
The efficiency of smoking food is highly dependent on how leak-tight the smoking compartment can be.
This, in turn, hinges on the lid. The material of the lid is of importance, and of course, its weight.
The construction material is also evident in the frame. A good BBQ grill and smoker must have a sturdy body and a heavy-duty lid.
Grease and Ash Removal
Collecting the ashes was a tedious chore back in the time, but now, most combos have removal ash containers.
Some grills also include a small cup hanging on the side just below the grill surface. This is used for collecting grease after plenty of food is barbecued.
Seasoned chefs know that to control temperature they need to have a mechanism that would increase or decrease the glow of coal. This was simply done by fanning on the grill or covering it.
The same effect can be reached by letting in more oxygen, or by choking its supply. This is done by adjusting the dampers.
What Are the Different Types of Charcoal Grill Smoker Combo?
There are four main types:
In the offset smoker, the compartment where smoke is generated is annexed to the compartment where grilling takes place.
It should have vents and side access doors. This is the type best suited for the grill smoker combo.
Barrel and Drum Charcoal Smoker
The bottom of the barrel smoker has the fire compartment, while the food grid is placed on top, with a lid on it.
There are vents at both ends of the barrel to control the heat generated. This setup is great for cooking large amounts of food.
The box smoker is the simplest type, and there are many DIY models people actually make and use. It’s basically a well-insulated cabinet, with a suitable area for coal and a grill for food.
Bullet smokers have a cylindrical structure, and usually they have an internal water container. The moisture and large capacity of this device make it perfect for slow smoking.
The body and components of the grill should be able to withstand long hours of exposure to intense heat.
My Top Picks of Charcoal Grill Smoker Combo
These are the best grill smoker combo models, this list has a variety of configurations, sizes, and price ranges.
Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker with Patio Cover
Having friends around is so much fun, that sometimes we forget to check the grill, and there you go, I’m sure you too remembered those burned burgers.
Automated temperature control minimizes the possibility of these unsavory incidents.
This is a medium-sized grill, measuring 48”x22”x42”, but it can accommodate up to 24 burgers, 6 chicken, or 9 racks of ribs.
You can use this amazing combo to grill, smoke, bake, roast, or BBQ. It’s guaranteed to inspire you to try new dishes.
- Smart BBQ technology
- The automated electric feed system
- Temperature adjustable from 180°F to 450°F
- Temp controller keeps temperature variation within +/- 20°F
- The smoker is fueled by 100% wood pellets for best flavoring
- The large grilling area with a usable surface of 25.9”x19.3”
- warming/smoking rack is 27.4”x6.7” which is wide compared to similar models
- High volume hopper decreases the need to replenish pellets
- Storage room big enough to hold the various BBQ tools
- Waste oil basket where a plastic cup can collect the excess fats
- High-quality paint protects the grill body from rust and scratching
- Four sturdy castor wheels for mobility
- It has a built-in fan-forced convection cooking system
- It doesn’t need a rotisserie for even cooking.
- It has an ergonomic design, so you’ll feel comfortable while using it
- 3-years warranty
- It’s a bit heavy with 146 lb and needs some muscle to move around
Weber 14402001 Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill
The Weber Grill looks basic and retro, which is a lovely touch in a backyard BBQ party, but it doesn’t fall short in high tech features.
The main feature I like is the premium quality materials used for the various parts of this grill.
The cooking grate is made from plated steel, and the other parts are made from porcelain-enamel, aluminized steel, and rust-resistant aluminum. This is a durable and sturdy grill.
- The porcelain-enameled bowl is of a practical size with a 22” diameter
- The usable cooking area of the grill is 363 sq in which is wide enough for a nice meal
- One-touch cleaning system makes after-party tidying up much easier
- The ash catcher has a large enough volume so it doesn’t need frequent emptying
- The handles are made from glass-reinforced nylon so they’re strong and won’t overheat
- It has a built-in lid thermometer to monitor the grill temperature
- There are hooks on the sides for grilling tools
- It’s a compact model with an assembled size of about 39”x27”x23”
- The temperature can be controlled without removing the lid by adjusting the dampers
- Charcoal can be replenished while cooking
- There’s a heat shield under the lid handle to keep it from overheating
- There’s a hook on the side to hang the lid conveniently
- It weighs only 32 lb
- It has two high strength wheels to move the grill easily in the yard
- Few users found the ash catcher hard to open and dismantle.
Z Grills ZPG-450A 2019 Upgrade Model Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker
Z Grills is a US-based brand that’s been making high-end grills and smokers for over 30 years. They distribute and export their products widely, and so far clients are happy with their new Grills.
It’s a well-designed grill with overall dimensions 42”x27”x49”. It’s luxurious, practical, and generally well designed.
It provides all the good tech, and it’s up to us now to provide good food!
- Multi-use grill with 6 different cooking modes
- Doesn’t need constant checking
- Fan-forced convection air circulation for even roasting
- Grill auto-ignition
- Temperature is controlled automatically ranging from 180°F to 450°F
- The variation in set temperature moves around 10°F only
- The digitally controlled pellet feed system
- The amount of produced smoke can be decreased at will
- A very large 450 sq in grilling area
- The hopper capacity is about 15 lb
- It has a foldable working shelf
- It contains 2 heavy-duty all-terrain wheels to increase its mobility
- The castors have a locking mechanism for stability and safety
- It has an LED display for quick temperature readout
- Easy-to-use even by beginners
- There’s a waste-oil collector on the side to facilitate cleaning up
- It comes with a waterproof grill cover
- Few users had a problem with temperature consistency
- The pellet feeding system might get stuck on rare occasions
Char-Broil American Gourmet Offset Smoker, Deluxe
This is a compact grill with a streamlined frame and minimalist design. It’s medium-sized, and it has all the basic requirements of an efficient grill, plus some smart options.
The cooking surface is quite generous, and the organization of the various compartments makes using this grill a pure pleasure.
I like neat surfaces and reasonable engineering in any device. This design is very suitable for weekend gatherings, tailgating, and September morning brunches.
- It’s a heavy-duty char-broil-smoker
- Various kinds of food can be arranged along the length of the grill
- It has full heat control with adjustable temperature
- It has chrome-plated cool-touch handles for hand protection while opening the lid
- There’s a wide storage rack to keep utensils and other cooking gear handy
- The all-black sleek exterior is visually pleasing
- It has porcelain-coated grates for extra durability and safe cooking
- Its stainless steel frame and square legs make it quite stable
- The welded cooking chamber keeps most of the smoke inside
- The amount of smoke can be adjusted through the chimney vent on top
- The cooking surface and dash have 290 sq in of usable area
- The warming rack has an ample area of 140 sq in
- It’s a compact unit with overall dimensions 48”x18”x45” approximately
- Easy access drawers to replenish water and wood chips
- Few users found that the built-in grill thermometer is not very accurate
Char-Griller 5050 Duo Gas-and-Charcoal Grill
This charcoal and gas combo is practical in many ways, especially with the 1260 sq in of cooking space. The design is efficient and truly understands what a cook needs.
The rectangular cart-like design makes it easy to place and move around, its overall dimensions are about 60”x25”x50”, so it doesn’t take up much space.
I like the dual cooking surfaces, and I’m currently thinking about all the possible dishes I could create with that arrangement.
- Adjustable grate height for temperature control
- Chrome-plated warming rack should be rustproof for safe cooking
- Stainless steel heat gauge to monitor the grill temperature
- The porcelain-coated cast-iron grates provide significant heat retention
- The grates are durable and easy to clean
- It has an easy-to-dump ash pan to facilitate cleaning up the grill
- It’s made from heavy steel so it’s quite rugged and durable
- There are warming racks in both the gas and the charcoal compartments
- There are separate gauges in each lid for temperature control
- The extra burner can be used for making sauces and side dishes
- The side burner can be covered if it’s not in use to offer extra working space
- It has a double bottom to increase insulation and efficiency
- It comes with a grate lifter tool to facilitate replenishing the charcoal
- It has plenty of storage in the lower shelf and condiment basket
- Very few users found the frame a bit flimsy and in need of some repairs
My top choice is the Z Grills Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker with Patio Cover. It has the perks of a grill, plus the flavors of a smoker.
Almost all of its functions are automated and monitored, so it makes life much easier.
Even after the day is done, and it’s time to clean up, it’s easy to return everything to its prime condition.
The Char-Broil American Gourmet Offset Smoker, Deluxe is another good grill/smoker combo. It has an amazing design, and as a cook, I appreciate the organization of its surfaces, cooking compartments, and storage areas.
It’s portable, efficient, sturdy, and it’s also a budget-friendly alternative.
I hope this in-depth look at the various grills, and all the talk about cooking, has helped you to pick the best charcoal grill smoker combo.