As a host, you want to serve meals that cater to even the pickiest, gluten-free dietary guests, while impressing them with your divine culinary skills. Smoked fish meat is the perfect treat! So, you’ll need to find the best fish smoker.
Most smokers are able to handle smoking both meats and fish, but you want a unit that maintains consistent heat and provides more temperature control, in the event that you would like to cook your fish at a lower temperature. Or maybe you want a smoker with portability, therefore, wheels would be important, as well as weight and dimension.
We’ve put in over 100 man-hours of loading wood chips and coal, seasoning, soaking/brining, smoking, checking water basin levels, tasting fish, cleaning out ash – the whole gamut, just to bring you our findings.
Below is a list comprised of in-detail product reviews, and a buying guide for the best fish smokers, how we rated them, and our recommendations, all for your consideration when making your purchase.
More features: 4 smoking grill grates, 3 jerky racks, 2 temp read probes, 1 hanging rack w/ 12 sausage hooks, grease mgmt system, pellet hopper purge, smart smoke technology, ash cleanout system
You will find everything you need from a smoke vault and pellet grill in this single machine. It is no surprise that it is our editor’s choice product. You will never run out of space to smoke or grill your food in the New Camp Chef XXL WI-FI, as it comes with a sausage rack with twelve hooks, as well as three jerky racks and four meat racks. What’s interesting about this Camp Chef pellet grill is that its temperature can be controlled digitally, and with its smart smoke technology, you won’t have to wait and keep hoping it generates the right amount of smoke. The temperature probe also allows you to keep a close watch on your food. In addition to the convenience of cleaning the ash after use, this machine can maintain temperatures between 150° F to 350° F.
You will need to purchase an XXL Vertical if you are in the business of smoking or grilling food or for personal use at home. It has never been more delicious or easier to smoke. The New Camp Chef XXL Version is an upgraded version from the Camp Chef brand, and it comes with new, exciting features like a bottle opener, a new door, a larger hopper lid, and a pellet hopper window.
More features: built-in lid thermometer; heavy-gauge steel charcoal grate
This smoker is a camper’s delight! Weighing less than 40 pounds, you can carry this little guy with you on all of your outdoor excursions. Load it with coals or rocks, then let the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker do its job. Whether you’re a nomad, outdoorsman, or conqueror of all waters, you can add your fresh catch to the chamber wherever you go. Live in a flat or an apartment that has a limited patio space that’s too small for a standard grill? Forget about it! This was made especially for you. You won’t find another like anywhere on the web. It’s light-weight, compact, easy-to-clean and friendly on your pocketbook.
More features: PID temperature control technology, dual-walled construction, an LCD screen with 2 meat probes
When it comes to grilling products, Z Grills is one such popular name that comes to our mind. Z grills come with the most convenient controls and their 700D4E model consists of many useful and innovative features that can make your grilling experience even better. This model weighs 132 lbs. and measures 48 X 22 X 51 inches. The 700D4E model offers an extremely large cooking area, covering 697 sq. inches which allows you to cook multiple items at one time. Not only this, but the model also includes features such as temperature control technology, dual-walled construction, an LCD screen with 2 meat probes, and much more.
Taking a step up from the previous models, the 7000D4E model features a PID controller that helps maintain your desired temperature settings. This model also has a wider temperature range for grilling that allows you to cook many different types of fish and meat. This model is definitely a step up from Z Grills previous pellet smokers.
More features: Wi-Fi connection, 18 lb hopper capacity, powder coated steel, digital thermometer, caster wheels
Need a smoker that does more than just smoke? Take a look at this unit by Traeger, it does everything but slices and dices. Sear, bake, roast, grill, braise and grill, on this electric, wood-burning kitchen on locking wheels. The manufacturer produced this unit with the individual in mind, adding a waste bucket to collect oil, which can be reused for flavor or gravy. Not to mention, that it makes clean slightly easier. Speaking of clean-up, as impressive as the Traeger smoker is, it has its fair share of minuses as well, like the lack of prep table and ash cleanout. While it may not be easy to clean, and you may have to invest in a table attachment, most other offset smokers will still pale in comparison. Popular with Amazon customers, this smoker holds up to the reputation of the Traeger name.
More features: 800W heating element, integrated Bluetooth technology, patented side wood chip loading system, integrated thermostat temperature control
Smoke to the future with this Masterbuilt’s Bluetooth-ready smoker. This baby also comes with a patented side-loader for adding your wood chips, which means no one else has this capability. No seepage here folks, this smoker’s window design is not only attractive to look at, it serves as an air-tight insulator, locking in the heat. It comes complete with an integrated thermostat temperature control, so you can kick back, relax and watch the smoking process take effect while listening to your favorite podcast.
More features: 800W heating element, removable food thermometer; wheels and integrated handle
This unit combines the traditional smoking method, with new age digital tech. Save money on gas with this plug-in smoker that reaches temperatures as high as 275 degrees. Not sure if your meat has reached the desired internal temperature? No problem! The Char-Broil Digital Electric smoker comes with its very own removable thermometer. Beat that! You won’t have to worry about your heat or smoke escaping because this puppy is sealed tighter than a bank vault. Slow and low cooking is its specialty, so if you’re looking to do some big-time grilling, this isn’t the smoker for you. Only snail-paced, slow-cooked, juicy, mouth-watering meat output here buddy, sorry.
More features: digital controller; smart smoke technology, digital display, ash cleanout system, collapsible tray, smart smoke tech, sausage hooks, 4 grill grates, jerky racks
If you’re looking to smoke or grill for a large group, Camp Chef’s is a great fit! With 1,950 square inches of cooking space, it is the largest of all on our best smokers list. XXL indeed! It offers the Smart Smoke Technology which ensures the necessary amount of smoke and stable temperature while you’re smoking fish, as well as a digital display with a controller and a collapsible tray. It also brings the heat, so if sausage is in your menu, it’s got hooks waiting just for them. You can’t go wrong with this smoker because not only is it the most versatile of all our picks but has all of the features you want in a quality smoker. If you don’t mind the heavy weight, and the small investment in sealant to make it pro-grade air-tight, then you have a winner in this Camp Chef XXL mega-smoker.
Having trouble deciding? The following buyer’s guide will lay it out for to help you narrow down your decision.
One of the many benefits of using a top-quality smoker to smoke fish, is being in the spirit of “set it, and forget it.” One only needs to do minimal prep work, and let the smoker do the rest. However, temperature control is a very important feature. You want to buy a smoker with a wide temperature range in order to smoke fish at lower degrees, or to make jerky or sausages at higher temps. Achieving restaurant quality smoke flavor, right in your own backyard!
When choosing a smoker, consider the conditions in which you are likely to smoke. Will you need to move it around or travel with it? Then a smoker with wheels would be best for you. The ability to control a wide temperature range is important as well, in the event a recipe calls for extremely high or low heat. A unit that is well-insulated matters greatly, as well as whether or not it can maintain its heat levels when you check the internal temperature of your meat. Is a digital readout important to you? How do you intend to fuel the smoker, and have you considered what affect can it have on the resulting taste? These features should all be taken into consideration when making your shopping selections.
Buying a smoker isn’t as simple as you may think, as they come in multiple types and styles, for example, best charcoal smokers. They can run on the traditional charcoal, the more convenient plug-in electric, or the ever-popular gas propane, each operating differently and manufactured to suit your smoking needs. Cooking using propane gas should be equivalent to using your stove, other than what you add in your recipe (i.e. seasoning, marinade, flavored chips), you can expect it to serve as a heat source only. Cooking with wood chips or wood pellets would be the same as cooking over a log fire. There is an added hint of outdoorsy, woodey taste to the meat, in any flavor of your choosing, such as: cherry, mesquite, apple, hickory, and many others. Meat prepared over coals ensures that backyard barbecue flavor we’ve all come to love.
You can also combine coals and wood to create your very own distinct, signature flavor that would hold its own in any smoking competition. Just send us a plate after your first blue ribbon.
Some people prefer to smoke their fish at a lower temperature, in which case you would want to select a unit that can be set as low as 145 degrees Fahrenheit, and still be able to maintain that heat level, as it is the minimum cooking temperature recommended for smoking fish. If you will use your smoker to cook other meats, or to prepare jerky, the unit will need to reach temperatures 375 degrees and above.
Best commercial smokers are available for mass output, however, for residential purposes consider your family size when selecting a smoker. A safe bet would be to go for a unit slightly larger than what you would need for your household, the event that you decide to entertain. Otherwise, you would have to spend an entire day preparing batches, while the quality of the dish diminishes in the meantime.
The size and weight of a smoker should matter to a buyer as much as the cooking capacity. Units without wheels can prove to be difficult to carry so take into consideration if you will need to carry or move your smoker around much. That’s to say, if you have a smaller garage, yard, or patio where you plan store it.
As a rule of thumb, any product supported by a lifetime warranty means that the manufacturer fully guarantees and stands behind their product. This signals that a unit is built to last, and assures your product purchase with warranty protection to ensure that it does. Same goes for the Protection Plan that is offered on Amazon for the majority of these products.
Added features like Bluetooth technology, internal thermometers, digital readouts, and self-cleaning systems can be quite handy, and impressive! Imagine being able to entertain your guests in the living room, while adjusting the temperature setting on the smoker out on the patio, with a simple click. Checking the internal temperature of your fish is a must, so why not buy a unit that comes with its own? If you wear glasses, save yourself the eye strain and get a smoker with a digital readout. Problem solved! Food’s done and everyone has gone home, and it is on you to clean up the mess of ashes? No problem there, simply buy a smoker with a self-cleaning system, and the work is done before you even begin.
Here is a helpful list of tips on smoking fish, which will help you achieve the desired results:
The Camp Chef PGVXXLC Wi-Fi Pellet Smoker has made food smoking enjoyable and easier. If you enjoy smoking food; meat, fish, pork, sausage, and so on, you may want to try out this machine. You can make virtually anything that can be made in a standard oven in this multipurpose XXL smoker.
Our second pick is the Weber Smokey Mountain. Smoking is all about being in the great outdoors, and this smoker is a celebration of that, in all its splendor. This is perhaps the only vertical water smoker with such a great performance. Just ask anyone who has one.
Our grill and smoker combo pick for fish was the Traeger Pellet Grills TFB78GLE Pro 780. This horizontal barbeque style model combines the best of both worlds and makes your cooking options almost limitless.
We enjoyed bringing you the tools to finding the best fish smoker. We hope you find our research helpful, and will refer back to us when you are seeking expert product reviews.