9 Best Smokers for Fish of 2020

Last update: Nov 25, 2020

Outdoor gathering with your friends and family is fun and great. You can have a barbeque party or smoke some fish play games while waiting for it to be done.

It would be even better if you have the best smoker for fish at home that will give you the best meal.

Here are the best smokers for fish you can buy in 2020:

  • Best for Salmon (Charcoal Smokers): Weber 14-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker
  • Large Cooking Space (Charcoal Smokers): Cuisinart COS-118
  • Best Overall (Electric Smokers): Masterbuilt MB20071117 30-inch Digital Electric Smoker
  • Best for Seasoned Smokers (Electric Smokers): Cuisinart COS-330 Electric Smoker, 30"
  • Best for Large Groups (Electric Smokers): Char-Broil 19202101
  • Best for Big Families (Propane Smokers): Dyna-Glo DGW1235BDP-D 36" Wide Body LP Gas Smoker
  • Best for Salmon (Propane Smokers): Masterbuilt MB20050716
  • Best for Beginners (Pellet Smokers): Z GRILLS ZPG-7002E
  • Large Cooking Capacity (Pellet Smokers): Traeger Grills TFB88PZBO
9 Best Smokers for Fish
Best for Salmon
Weber 14-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker
  • Charcoal Smokers
Large Cooking Space
Cuisinart COS-118
  • Charcoal Smokers
Best Overall
Masterbuilt MB20071117 30-inch Digital Electric Smoker
  • Electric Smokers
Best for Seasoned Smokers
Cuisinart COS-330 Electric Smoker, 30"
  • Electric Smokers
Best for Large Groups
Char-Broil 19202101
  • Electric Smokers
Best for Big Families
Dyna-Glo DGW1235BDP-D 36" Wide Body LP Gas Smoker
  • Propane Smokers
Best for Salmon
Masterbuilt MB20050716
  • Propane Smokers
Best for Beginners
Z GRILLS ZPG-7002E
  • Pellet Smokers
Large Cooking Capacity
Traeger Grills TFB88PZBO
  • Pellet Smokers

Best for Salmon (Charcoal Smokers): Weber 14-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker

Weber 14-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker
Weber 14-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker
9.2Outstanding
Pros
  • Able to grill various foods at a time – large grilling area of 286 square inches
  • Simple to track the inner temperature – an attached lid thermometer
  • Durable – rust-resistant metal legs and plated steel cooking grates
  • Easy to assemble
Cons
  • Require more briquettes to the process
  • If you need water in the middle of a smoke, it’s difficult to add

If you want to have a balance between fish, poultry, beef, and pork, the Weber 14-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker is for you. It’s awesome, relatively affordable, and easy to use.

The two 18-inch racks and almost 290-square-inch cooking area are enough for two large salmon fillets, a couple pounds of beans, a 5- to 6-pound pork shoulder, two full slabs of baby back ribs, six ears of corn, and more.

A big bonus is you can do both hot smoke and cold smoke salmon on this versatile smoker.

We also do appreciate its simple construction so installation isn’t really a big deal. The included instructions are easy to follow and there are lots of good tips on their website as well.

Weber 14-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker Specifications

Weight

24 lbs

Dimension

14.7" W x 14.7" D x 31.4" H.

Smoking Area

Main Grilling Area 143 Sq. Inches. Total Grilling Area 286 Sq. Inches

Capacity

13 1/2 X 13 1/2" grid

Highlight Features

Total Grilling Area 286 Sq. Inches; ease of assembly

Verdict

The Weber 14-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker provides very ideal smoking area and temperature ranges for salmon cooking.

Large Cooking Space (Charcoal Smokers): Cuisinart COS-118

Cuisinart COS-118
Cuisinart COS-118
9.2Outstanding
Pros
  • Large cooking space - 510-square-inch smoking area and two racks
  • Good air ventilation - top and bottom vents
  • Ideal for low and slow cooking - huge-size water pan
Cons
  • The door latch could be sturdier
  • Coals fall through the grate on the bottom

If you’re a fisherman who smokes more fish than pork, beef, and poultry, the Cuisinart COS-118 is very ideal because it provides 510-square-inch smoking area and two large racks.

To ensure the best smoking results, it is added with top and bottom vents. The hinged door is vertically designed for souped-up ease of use.

Such that reasonable arrangement allows this smoker to cook more while taking less floor space.

Another impressive thing is it can hold at 250° easy for almost 12 hours, which is a big thank you to the huge-size water pan.

Cuisinart COS-118 Specifications

Weight

25 pounds

Dimension

22 L x 24 W x 43 H inches

Smoking Area

510 square inches

Capacity

Two 18" stainless steel racks

Highlight Features

A 510-square-inch smoking area and two racks; top and bottom vents; huge-size water pan

Verdict

Whenever it comes to a good charcoal smoker with large cooking space, we always think about the Cuisinart COS-118. It’s always the best!

Best Overall (Electric Smokers): Masterbuilt MB20071117 30-inch Digital Electric Smoker

Masterbuilt MB20071117 30-inch Digital Electric Smoker
Masterbuilt MB20071117 30-inch Digital Electric Smoker
9.2Outstanding
Pros
  • Easy to control – feature a digital panel control and a thermostat-temperature control
  • No air leakage – the door seals well
  • Convenient to use – a side wood chip loading system
Cons
  • Too short power cord

Out of many electric smokers we’ve tested, the Masterbuilt MB20071117 leaves us the best impression.

It’s very durable, controllable, and easy to use. Our most favorite is the digital panel control where you can easily track many indicators, such as cooking time, temperature, and Power On/Off.

There is also a thermostat-temperature control for consistently low-and-slow smoking and during our tests, it works accurately.

Temperature maintains consistently and it produces a lot of smoke. The door seals good and no air leakage, which is a big plus.

The patented side wood chip loading system comes in handy as no need to open the door if you want to add some wood chips.

Masterbuilt MB20071117 30-inch Digital Electric Smoker Specifications

Weight

45.9 pounds

Dimension

20. 47 in. Large x 19. 88 in. W x 33. 27 in. H

Capacity

6 chickens, 2 turkeys, 4 racks of ribs or 4 pork butts

Highlight Features

a digital panel control and a thermostat-temperature control; a side wood chip loading system

Verdict

The Masterbuilt MB20071117 tops our list of electric smokers for its highest overall scoring.

Best for Seasoned Smokers (Electric Smokers): Cuisinart COS-330 Electric Smoker, 30"

Cuisinart COS-330 Electric Smoker, 30
Cuisinart COS-330 Electric Smoker, 30"
9Outstanding
Pros
  • Easy for seasoned smoking – feature a 1500-watt heating element and an easy-to-read thermometer
  • Portable and maneuverable – lightweight frame and two handles
Cons
  • Require constantly adding water and chips – the pans are small
  • Time-consuming

The Cuisinart COS-330 is great for those new to smokers but also good for a more seasoned smoker.

It highlights a 1500-watt heating element, an easy-to-read thermometer, and nearly 550-square-inch smoking area.

All you need to do is powering it, seasoning for a couple of hours (in the first smoking time to remove all the manufacturing residue), adding your food, choosing the temperature, and wait. Very simple!

This smoker is generally well-built but we’re amazed by how lightweight the frame is. Combining with two solid handles, it’s greatly maneuverable and portable.

Cuisinart COS-330 Electric Smoker, 30" Specifications

Weight

51.5 pounds

Dimension

22 x 19 x 37.5 inches

Smoking area

548 square inches

Highlight Features

a 1500-watt heating element and an easy-to-read thermometer; lightweight frame and two handles

Verdict

For the best-seasoned smoker, we think this model from Cuisinart is our top pick.

Best for Large Groups (Electric Smokers): Char-Broil 19202101

Char-Broil 19202101
Char-Broil 19202101
9Outstanding
Pros
  • Spacious enough for huge smoking load – 4 adjustable racks and 725-square-inch cooking area
  • Simple to use – a glass door, an advanced LED display control panel and compatibility with remote control
  • Optimal insulation - double-wall construction
Cons
  • No remote controller included
  • The smoker box lasts only 4-5 hours, not as 6 hours as advertised
  • The vents aren’t adjustable

The Char-Broil 19202101 is a great addition to one’s cuisine-making arsenal, especially if you have a large family or crowded friend groups who also love smoked food.

It has 4 adjustable smoking racks and 725-square-inch cooking area, which is enough for a salmon, a brisket, a whole chicken, mixed vegetables, and more.

Don’t worry if you’re a first time user because this model is very simple to use. It has a glass door for easy monitoring the food inside, an advanced LED display control panel and the best thing is it’s compatible with remote control.

We also appreciate its double-wall construction for optimal insulation as well as the smoke-tight seal locking latch for no air leakage.

Char-Broil 19202101 Specifications

Weight

50.2 lbs.

Dimension

18 1" W x 16 5" D x 32 5" H

Smoking area

725 Square Inches

Highlight Features

4 adjustable racks and 725-square-inch cooking area; a glass door, an advanced LED display control panel and compatibility with remote control

Verdict

For one of the easiest-to-use electric smokers in our test, we think the ultra-large smoking space of Char-Broil 19202101 is pretty impressive, making it ideal for large groups.

Best for Big Families (Propane Smokers): Dyna-Glo DGW1235BDP-D 36" Wide Body LP Gas Smoke

Dyna-Glo DGW1235BDP-D 36
Dyna-Glo DGW1235BDP-D 36" Wide Body LP Gas Smoker
9Outstanding
Pros
  • Able to handle different kinds of food with big loads - four adjustable cooking grates, and 1,235 square inches of smoking area
  • Safe to use - no danger of burning up the ignition wire
  • Durable – sturdy components and heavy-duty racks
Cons
  • Heavy and bulky
  • No side wood chip loader

The Dyna-Glo DGW1235BDP-D is an extremely safe and easy-to-use smoker specifically designed for big families.

It lit the first time easy as can be with no danger of burning up the ignition wire. It doesn’t like some other brands which construct the supply line close to the flame or the electronic ignition wire next to the burner input, which is quite scary.

The smoker itself is quite large, highlighting four adjustable cooking grates, dual cast iron burners with 20,000 total BTUs, and 1,235 square inches of smoking area.

It has enough width to fit an untrimmed slab of ribs or a full brisket as well.

The racks are heavy duty and all components are sturdy and high quality for the money. A bonus for its dual-door design so that you lose less heat when you add more water or wood to the smoker.

Dyna-Glo DGW1235BDP-D 36" Wide Body LP Gas Smoker Specifications

Weight

56 lbs.

Dimension

46.46" x 27.01" x 19.76"

Smoking Area

1,235 square Inches

Capacity

22.25" W x 13.46" D grates

Highlight Features

four adjustable cooking grates, and 1,235 square inches of smoking area; sturdy components and heavy-duty racks

Verdict

Designed with 1,235 square inches of smoking area, four adjustable cooking grates, and user-friendly construction, the Dyna-Glo DGW1235BDP-D is best for big families.

Best for Salmon (Propane Smokers): Masterbuilt MB20050716

Masterbuilt MB20050716
Masterbuilt MB20050716
8.6Great
Pros
  • Require no babysitting just to keep your desired temperature - Temperature sensor controls burner
  • Even heat distribution - Heat diffuser
  • Able to check the remaining fuel left - Fuel Level Gauge
  • Safe to use - Safety valve shuts off Burner
Cons
  • A bit struggling to put together

With airtight seal door and effective temperature sensor controls burner, the Masterbuilt MB20050716 is a consummate propane smoker for salmon.

It requires no babysitting just to keep your desired temperature and doesn’t give unevenly cooked food due to poor heat distribution during the smoke. Different from the ordinary propane smokers, this model bolds a heat diffuser.

And because of the propane-powered design, it is leveraged with more safety features, such as the safety valve shutoff burner.

You’ll also be able to check how much fuel is left through the provided fuel level gauge which comes along with the Type 1 regulator and hose.

Masterbuilt MB20050716 Specifications

Weight

75.90 lbs

Dimension

17.32 x 18.31 x 26.18 inches

Smoking Area

14x18 rack

Capacity

Enough for 12 chickens, 2 turkeys, 4 racks of ribs, or 4 pork butts

Highlight Features

Temperature sensor controls burner; Heat diffuser; Fuel Level Gauge; Safety valve shuts off Burner

Verdict

If you’re a big fan of smoked salmon and want to try them at home, the Masterbuilt MB20050716 is a shining candidate.

Best for Beginners (Pellet Smokers): Z GRILLS ZPG-7002E

Z GRILLS ZPG-7002E
Z GRILLS ZPG-7002E
8.6Great
Pros
  • Easy to control and use - visual LED temperature display, digital auto temp control, and auto-start ignition
  • Simple to clean - waste oil collector
  • Efficient – pellet grill technology and a huge hopper capacity
  • Versatile – 8-in-1 construction
Cons
  • Legs and wheels seem a little weak
  • The heat is a bit inconsistent
  • The metal is slightly thin

If you think that pellet smokers are hard to use, the Z GRILLS ZPG-7002E is here to prove it wrong.

It features visual LED temperature display, digital auto temp control, and auto-start ignition that is able to start up just by simple one-button pressing.

Besides, the unit reduces starter fluid as well as doesn’t mess up your cooking space thanks to the added waste oil collector. It’s also easy to maneuver when added with a smooth-rolling caster wheel kit.

The hopper capacity of this model is super-huge, which goes up to 20 pounds and it is very efficient. Each 20 pounds of pellet can keep the machine running for nearly 20 hours.

Combining with the 8-in-1 construction, it is versatile enough to help you BBQ, braise, roast, bake, smoke, grill, etc. effortlessly.

Z GRILLS ZPG-7002E Specifications

Weight

112 lbs.

Dimension

48" x 22" x 51"

Smoking Area

700 sq in

Capacity

19. 2 x 26 inches, smoking/warming rack

6. 9 x 27. 5 inches, total rack

Highlight Features

visual LED temperature display, digital auto temp control, and auto-start ignition; waste oil collector; 8-in-1 construction

Verdict

Don’t worry if you’re just a novice, the Z GRILLS ZPG-7002E – designed with versatility, simple construction, and safety in mind – will be your best workhorse in the smoking field.

Large Cooking Capacity (Pellet Smokers): Traeger Grills TFB88PZBO

Traeger Grills TFB88PZBO
Traeger Grills TFB88PZBO
8.6Great
Pros
  • Huge capacity - 884-square-inch smoking area & two racks
  • Accurate temperature control - Digital Pro Controller rocks Advanced Grilling Logic
  • Superb maneuverability – all-terrain wheels
Cons
  • No easy ash cleanout system

For large groups or big families who love enjoying uniquely pellet smoked foods at home, the Traeger Grills TFB88PZBO – featuring 884-square-inch smoking area – is a good choice.

It is roomy enough to capably accommodate 40 burgers, 7 racks of ribs or 8 chickens at a time, along with two large racks for better organizing.

The biggest selling point is the added Digital Pro Controller rocks Advanced Grilling Logic, which provides a +/- 15-degree F accurate temperature control. The 6-in-1 design allows it to BBQ, braise, roast, smoke, bake, and grill food to perfectly juicy levels.

A compliment for its wheels. Very sturdy and roll smoothly. They can go over most terrains without wobbling or making the machine fall aside.

Traeger Grills TFB88PZBO Specifications

Weight

136 lbs.

Dimension

49x53x27 in

Smoking Area

884 Sq. In.

Capacity

main rack 34 in. X 19 in. (24 burgers), extra rack 34 in. X 7 in. (16 burgers)

Highlight Features

884-square-inch smoking area & two racks; Digital Pro Controller rocks Advanced Grilling Logic

Verdict

With top-notch smoking capacity and accurate temperature control, the Traeger Grills TFB88PZBO is our favorite option when it comes to the largest cooking pellet smoker.

How To Choose The Best Smoker for Fish?

Types of Smokers

If you think you can just go to the store and buy a smoker within minutes because “they’re all the same,” you’re wrong. There are many types and styles of the smoker for fish and you need to decide which one you want.

Some of them can run on charcoal, others use electricity, or gas propane, each of which operates differently to meet different needs.

Cooking with propane gas is the same as using a stove. Cooking using wood pellets or wood chips is equivalent to using a log fire, with additional woody taste to your meat. Meat cooked with coals is the popular favorite flavor we all love.

Temperature Range

Pay attention to the minimum and maximum temperature on the smoker to see if it offers the temperature range you want.

For example, some people like their fish cooked at as low as 145 degrees F, but they also cook other meats at high temperatures like 375 degrees. Therefore, they need to make sure the smoker features that range of temperature.

Total Cooking Area

The total cooking area is corresponding to the size of a smoker. You need to have an idea of how many people your smoker will have to serve, which will help you know how big you want the smoker to be. Then, pick a smoker that matches the size you need.

Which Brands Make The Best Smoker for Fish?

Weber

Weber is one of the oldest, largest grill makers on the market. The brand offers many types of grills so that you are able to find the most suitable one for your needs.

Cuisinart

Cuisinart is a brand offering a wide range of products. In terms of grilling, Cuisinart sells charcoal, electric, and gas propane smokers. The brand makes some of the best smokers and grills out there.

Char-Broil

From its early days in 1948, Char-Broil has innovated its products to set the standard for modern grills. The brand also works to make grilling in your backyard easier, cheaper, and more affordable.

Dyna-Glo Masterbuilt

This brand makes a range of products for households and commercial purposes, including grills and smokers. Besides, the brand also offers heating solutions for outdoors and indoors.

Z GRILLS

This brand has been on the market for over three decades, making pellet grills for many renowned companies. Today, Z Grills has become the best value per square inch in the market while the pellet grill is growing the fastest among segments.

Traeger

This brand has attracted some of the best influencers, cooks, chefs, as well as media outlets for a partnership in growing awareness and promoting the brand. It offers a variety of products, which include pellet grills, wood pellets, and accessories.

FAQs

Will smoking fish ruin my smoker?

No, it won’t.

While many people claim this is true, it’s actually just a myth. Smoking fish will not ruin your smoker, but if you are worried, there are a few things you can do: preparing a drip pan and a medium to put the fish in, hot smoke your fish, and clean the smoker after smoking fish and on a regular basis.

How do you know when smoked fish is done?

Most fish fillets are done when the internal temperature gets to 160 degrees F. But if you can check the internal temperature, make sure you have smoked your fish for 3 hours at 175-200 degrees F.

How do you use a fish smoker?

To cook fish in a smoker, you need to preheat the smoker and add wood chips, let it preheat for 45 minutes. Then, just put the fish in the smoker and leave it there for 3 hours at 175-200 degrees F.

How long does it take to smoke fish in a smoker?

It takes about two to three hours for the fish to be done at 200 degrees.

Can you smoke fish and meat together?

  • Yes, you can, though it’s best to cook them separately because meat can be cooked at a higher temperature than fish.

There are some notes to take:

  • Make sure smoke can penetrate your fish.
  • When smoking fish and meat together, you should be careful with maintaining low temperatures (180 degrees F).

Conclusion

Choosing the best smoker for fish is not an easy task as you have to consider types of smokers, temperature range, and total cooking area while there are countless brands and models out there.

But if you follow our guidelines and take some time for careful consideration, you will manage to find the perfect smoker for you and your family.


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