Buyer Guide for Commercial Smokers

With so many commercial smokers on the market, it can be hard to figure out which one is going to be the best option. There are some features you should consider in order to find the right smoker, instead of just relying on the price point alone. 

Number of Racks

Vertical smokers have more racks, so you can load more meats. These products are going to be a better choice for restaurants that have limited kitchen space. Rib racks that have four or more spacer bars will allow for heat to pass through more evenly, so your area is able to smoke more ribs at once. The best smokers will help make sure that the cooking temperature through the grill is even so that you can have more racks and still have a consistent flavor throughout all the meats you are cooking. 

Dimensions and Size

If you have a small restaurant, then you may only have space for a smaller smoker. Larger kitchens and cooking outlets are able to accommodate smokers that are seven feet wide to get faster smoking results for a large number of meats. You also want to consider the type when looking for the right choice. If you have a compact or vertical smoker with racks arranged in layers, then you can have two of them side by side if space allows, to increase the square-inches capacity easily.

If you choose to have a 100% wood-burning pellet-fired smoker, then you will need to make sure you have the extra space that is needed for the offset firebox. Whatever price point you choose, find a smoker that features four locking wheels. This will make it much easier to place the smoker in the right grilling spot for safety. 

Fuel Type

Commercial smokers can use electricity, wood, charcoal, or gas as fuel. If you want to use an electric smoker, then you need to have access to an electrical power source. When choosing an option, keep in mind that an electrical or gas smoker doesn’t provide the same smokey, charred flavor that wood or charcoal can. No matter the fuel type, you can find one that is easy to use with fully digital controls for maintaining optimal cooking temps and cooking the meat. These newer products are designed to have the best accuracy. A gas smoker grill is one of the most popular choices because it is usually affordable and is easier to use than some other options. 

Temperature Control 

Choosing a smoker with top quality control features makes it easy to regulate heat and the process of generating heat. There are different capabilities from different brands when it comes to digital controls to manage temperature fluctuations and cooking temperatures. 

Cooking Area

If you have limited space in the kitchen, then you will need a vertical smoker. A water pan can be one of the best features you can get to keep the meat moist if you have the space. Larger restaurants may need a bigger smoker in order to increase cooking capacity. 


Ideally, commercial smokers have durability and are made from top-grade steel. The best options are made on a tubular steel perimeter and can be strong enough to be moved around without warping or bending. The seams around the smoker should be sealed securely to prevent any water absorption. You also want to have high-quality insulation in place to avoid heat loss. 


Most products have a one- or two-year warranty, but an extended warranty can be helpful for commercial smokers to kick in if the smoker breaks down when you are using it. Be sure to always check the warranty before buying. 

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