Holds a Master’s degree in Linguistics, loves traveling and learning new languages. Fluent in Spanish, is learning French and Czech at the moment. Enjoys exploring national cuisines every time he visits new countries.
Claims that grilling is the art that he has been learning all his life long and is not planning to stop. Has been grilling for as long as he can remember. Author of numerous online and offline grilling masterclasses runs his own BBQ accessories shop.
Last updated: July 17, 2021
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When you think of good barbecue, you think of food that is down-home and rustic, but incredibly satisfying. Similarly, a good smoker doesn’t need to be anything fancy (although they do have some pretty cool modern features) but instead needs to focus on being durable, efficient, and easy to use. That’s one reason why Dyna Glo smokers have become some of the most popular around.
However, there is a wide variety of these smokers around and selecting the best Dyna Glo smoker for you might require a lot of work. Between gas and charcoal, digital or analog, as well as the amount of actual cooking space, you can get a vastly different experience. It may be difficult to wade through all of the information on your own.
Thankfully, we’ve done a ton of research to help make the decision easier for you. We compiled information to present to you in an easy and digestible form. In particular, we’ve examined five of the most popular Dyna Glo smokers. Each of them has been given a score so you can see where they rank. You can also dive a bit deeper with a detailed product review for each smoker. We also added a handy buying guide to help you navigate through the features. All of this information should ensure that you’ve got everything you need to select the best Dyna Glo smoker to get delicious food at your fingertips. That way, you can move on to the best part as soon as possible: preparing and enjoying delicious meals!
If there is one mantra that everyone knows about smoking food, it’s “low and slow.” The time and love put into this long process comes through in the food and makes some absolutely amazing meals. This particular smoker was a champion, using precise and indirect heat to produce top-notch food with a huge depth of robust and smoky flavor. A classic charcoal fueled smoker, this device showcases offset heat, where the heat source is separate from where the food is actually cooked.
One of the keys to success with low and slow cooking is temperature control, and this Dyna-Glo smoker has a ton of features to give you total control. A dual door allows you to continue to add wood chips, without a ton of heat loss, enabling fantastic control. The steel smoke stack is adjustable, which increases the heat precision as well. To make it easy, the smoker also features a visual “Smoke Zone” to help illustrate when food is getting the maximum flavor.
This smoker is available in both a standard or wide version, and you can get up to a whopping 1,890 square inches of cooking space. Designed for a long-lasting life, there is an in-depth charcoal and ash system to help eliminate the smoking by-products and keeping everything clean. To prolong the lifespan of the smoker, custom made Dyna-Glo premium covers are also available for sale separately.
While not quite as versatile as the smokers that also have a grill, this one still earned our Editor’s Choice award for incredible temperature control, cooking space and durability.
The perfect one-stop-shop for all your grilling and barbecue needs, this smoker offers just about every kind of cooking surface you can hope for. First off, the centerpiece is obviously the 5-grate main smoking chamber, offset from the heat source. Perfect for classic smoking, this chamber has just about everything you need, including pre-installed sausage hooks, cool touch handles, and a visual analog temperature guide, showing ideal ranges for smoking, barbecuing and grilling.
However, it doesn’t end there. The heat source doubles as a traditional grill, allowing you to put vegetables, burgers, brats, or just about anything over the direct heat during the finishing phases of your smoking time. Altogether, that means this smoker features a massive 1,382 square inches of cooking space. You can spend the day cooking something low and slow in the smoker and then grill all the accompaniments right over the heat source, making this the ultimate feast making device.
Throw in the fact that the smoker includes large steel wheels to make it relatively mobile before and after use, and you have an amazing device for tailgates, summer parties and simply massive feasts. Custom-fitted covers to increase the durability of this beauty are also available. While this is one of the more expensive options, the cooking space and versatility of this Dyna-Glo smoker make it one of the best choices for a stellar smoke flavor in your food.
What makes it special?
Massive amount of cooking space
Both offset and direct heat allow for smoking and grilling
Sometimes, it seems like some devices and appliances are made “smart” just for the sake of saying that they are more technologically advanced. However, when done right, adding these kinds of enhancements offers a new and improved experience. This smoker is a good example of taking a classic smoking setup and bringing it into the 21st century.
This digital electric smoker gives you the ability to monitor every aspect of the cook with a simple press of the button. This includes the cooking time, external temperature, and meat temperature (via an integrated and digitally controlled thermometer). All of this comes with Bluetooth capability that makes for no-hassle cooking. Adding to the ease of use, you can set the smoker to automatically turn off when your meat hits the final temperature you set. All of this allows you to enjoy a fabulously easy experience, with classic conveniences like a removable rib rack, as well as sausage hooks.
The only sacrifices you make with this is the cooking space. The smaller, 30-inch version offers only 732 square inches of cooking space, making it the smallest Dyna-Glo smoker we’ve researched. While the larger, 40-inch smoker does offer 951 square inches, in the end, both wind up on the smaller side. However, the plus side of this is that the smokers are all very space efficient, making them ideal for compact setups. With this in mind, these smokers are still excellent options and will produce some outstanding food, with an incredible ease of use.
This smoker earns our Budget Pick designation because it doesn’t have any of the bells or whistles of some of the other options but still offers a top-notch charcoal smoking experience without the same price tag. Although not as large as some of the other Dyna-Glo options, this device still features four steel racks, which are adjustable, as a solid 784 square inches of cooking space. The vertical, stacked design makes it more space efficient and compact than other models, allowing it a better fit for smaller smoking setups.
You may not get anything fancy, but you still get an excellent smoker with plenty of crucial heat control choices. Dual doors allow for minimal heat loss as more wood chips are added during the smoking process. The side and top dampers are all sliding and adjustable, allowing for quick and easy heat adjustments during cooking. In addition, this has plenty of smart features to ensure you get top quality food. A high capacity water bowl helps keep the meat moist and tender, while still bringing maximum smoky flavor to the cook.
For ease of use, there’s a cast-iron burner features a push button, electric ignition, and 15,000 BTUs. A relatively large and high capacity wood chip box allows you to cook without any maintenance for hours, providing minimal heat loss and maximizing ease. Just like other Dyna-Glo smokers, fitted protective covers are available separately to enhance the durability of the smoker.
Relatively compact, this smoker earned our Most Versatile pick because it can do a whole lot without being the same behemoth that some of the other smokers are. It features a relatively modest 730 square inches of cooking space, but that’s spread over both a charcoal grill and an offset smoker. The primary heat cooking area takes up 443 of those inches while the offset area utilizes the remaining 287. While you may not be cooking up any massive feasts with this smoker, it’s beyond adequate for family use, and it takes up less space as a result. In fact, it’s fairly comparable to the average backyard grill in size. However, it adds the smoking feature, which provides a whole new dimension to cooking.
The smoker itself is smartly designed with plenty of features that make for delicious cooking. The handles are all cool-touch springs, making it easy and safe to open during the cooking process. With the dual cooking surfaces, there is a handy analog temperature gauge that shows off the “Grill Zone” and the “Smoke Zone” so that no matter your method of cooking, you are hitting the right temperatures and getting all the delicious flavors you are looking for. The grates are porcelain enameled steel, ideal for retaining heat. Cleanup and maintenance are a breeze, with an easily removable charcoal grate and ash pan in the offset heating unit. For durability, a custom cover is also available for separate purchase.
What are our favorite features?
Both primary and offset heating sources
Perfect for family use
Wheels make for easy mobility
Durable steel body
What could be better?
Smaller cooking space than other options
Lacking digital features
Things to Consider
Getting a smoker can elevate your cooking game to an incredible level. Adding delicious smoke flavor to a host of foods, not just classic barbecue, can add layers and depths of flavor. Thankfully, the ability to smoke is getting easier and more accessible with some of the smokers out there. That doesn’t mean that choosing a smoker is easy – there are plenty of brands and features to consider. We’ve done the work on researching five popular options from Dyna Glo, and we’ve put them through the paces to help you make the right decision.
Why choose a Dyna Glo smoker?
Dyna Glo has a sterling reputation for producing high-quality equipment. They institute their own internal series of thorough and rigorous tests. These tests focus on durability, quality, and functionality with a goal of not just meeting industry standards but far exceeding them. Along with this commitment to quality, Dyna Glo also offers a high level of customer service. On top of that, the range of smokers is top-notch, spanning different types, sizes, and setups. Each and every product comes with a warranty to ensure that you have confidence when you buy one of their devices. The long story short is that customers choose Dyna Glo smokers with such high frequency because they are consistently high quality and long lasting, which should earn them a long, hard look when you are selecting a smoker.
Features to consider while choosing a smoker
There is no clear and easy choice for the best Dyna Glo smoker because there is such a wide range of choices. The smokers span massive differences in cooking space and size and there are plenty of variables to consider. In the end, it will come down to what you are looking for. If you like to make massive feasts for large groups with a long history of smoking, you’ll choose a very different smoker than someone who plans to utilize their smoker for a family of four, looking for the bells and whistles to make smoking an easy and hassle-free process. Some of the things to consider when selecting a smoker are type, cooking area, number and coating of grates, dimensions, and weight, extra features they offer, and warranty.
When it comes to smokers, the type generally refers to the fuel used to generate the heat and smoke. There are three main types: charcoal, gas and electric, and Dyna Glo smokers span each of the types. Generally, it comes down to personal preference, as there are pros and cons to each.
Charcoal is often considered the purist’s choice for smoking and grilling, since it imparts a massive amount of distinctive flavor. In addition, the ability to move the coals around provides you with incredible temperature control in specific areas of the grill. However, charcoal requires the most maintenance, with a long lighting time and more ash clean up.
Gas, using propane tanks, are one of the more convenient options, in terms of start-up time. Propane smokers ignite easily, and the gas doesn’t require the same cleanup. However, utilizing propane tanks themselves aren’t always convenient. They can be expensive to refill, and you have to find a business that offers those refills. On top of that, you haven’t owned a device with a propane tank until you unexpectedly run out of propane, which can leave you in a bad spot if you are in the middle of making dinner. Lastly, propane tanks are combustible in hot weather so can’t be left outside on hot days, making the setup of the smoker a little more arduous.
Electric smokers are excellent for beginners and exceptionally easy to operate. Because they are entirely operated electrically, these smokers often have the most digital features, including timers, built-in thermometers and Bluetooth capability. Also, the “fuel” tends to be the cheapest, since electricity is far cheaper than some of the other smoker choices. On the flip side, electric smokers aren’t able to infuse as much wood smoke flavor as the other choices. In addition, generally, the heat generation can take a little longer for larger cooking loads.
In the end, choosing a type of smoker all comes down to your personal preference. Whichever you choose, Dyna Glo offers good options for you.
Smokers come in a variety of sizes, some as small as 400 square inches of cooking space while some behemoths push the space up to nearly 2,000 square inches, over five times the overall space. In the five we examined for this guide, the range spans from about 730 square inches all the way up to 1,890 square inches. In fact, our Editor’s Choice, the Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Charcoal Offset Smoker, can smoke up to 100 pounds of food at once. This can be great if you are working through a feast or smoking for commercial purposes, but would be a little intense if you are doing a home barbecue for a family.
Also, the larger the smoker, the more fuel it needs to smoke so larger smokers can be more work to operate. Consider your planned usage and make sure the smoker can handle your capacity.
Number and coating of grates
In addition to space, the number of grates determines the total cooking area. The five Dyna Glo smokers we’ve examined in this guide feature anywhere between two and six separate grates. Each grate allows for different cuts of meat and utilizes the space well. More important than the number of the grates is the coating of the grates. Grate coating serves a couple of beneficial purposes. The coating can help retain and distribute heat, helping to develop a better crust on the classic barbecue and make the smoking process more efficient. In addition, one of the biggest maintenance tasks of a smoker is cleaning the grates, and certain grate coatings lend themselves to cleaning.
Dimensions and weight
Smokers range from compact devices that can fit in small spaces to behemoths that weigh over 120 pounds (before you add any food!) and stand nearly five feet tall. If you are shopping for a small space, one of the more space efficient smokers may make sense. Another consideration regarding the setup is the mobility. The weight of the bigger smokers makes it difficult to set them up temporarily and then take them down.
If you have a permanent spot for a smoker, utilizing one of the bigger and heavier wheel-less smokers makes sense. If the spot is more temporary, a smaller or more mobile smoker will be a better fit.
There are plenty of extra features to consider when deciding which Dyna Glo smoker is the best for you. One of the first items is whether or not it’s a combo grill and offset smoker or just a dedicated smoker. The ability to cook on direct heat as well as the low and slow smoking method increases the amount and variety of food you can prepare with the device. The downside is that some of the cooking space might be split, offering you a smaller dedicated smoking section.
A lot of the cool, optional features come with electric smokers like the Dyna-Glo DGU951SDE-D Two Door Digital Bluetooth Smoker. These electric smokers include options like Bluetooth compatibility so that you can check and adjust your smoker from your smartphone, built-in meat thermometers to check the internal temperature while you are cooking and automatic shut off features. All of these won’t make the food taste better but they can make the process easier and more accessible, particularly for beginning smokers.
Another extra feature you might be interested in is specific to certain foods. Some smokers come with built in sausage hooks, for smoking your own links at home, or removable rib racks, perfect for getting the best out of a rack of ribs. Especially if you plan on making a ton of these particular foods, these features can help take a smoker over the top.
When you are investing in a cooking device or appliance, you want to make sure you are going to get the bang for your buck, and that means you need it to last for a long time. In addition to the extensive testing, Dyna Glo puts their smokers through before releasing them into the market, these smokers all come with a warranty of at least one year, to be sure you can feel confident that you are getting a quality product that the company stands behind.
Dyna Glo smokers go through a rigorous testing process to ensure a high-quality product for the customers. To that end, the standard warranty on these smokers is one year from the date of purchase. This protects from any defect in the materials of craftsmanship of the device. Extended warranties are often available for purchase.
For those smokers that come with both a direct, primary cooking surface as well as an indirect, smoking surface, absolutely. The biggest trick is maintaining temperature in the offset heating chamber during grilling. For instance, opening the lid on the grilling surface will let out heat which may eventually drop the temperature in the smoking chamber. However, with proper heat management (made easier by the many easy-to-read temperature gauges on most of these smokers!), it is very possible to grill and smoke simultaneously.
Smoking food can open up new levels and depths of delicious flavors and that extends far beyond just traditional meaty barbecue, even though that’s obviously delicious. Vegetables can be smoked as well and the good news is that the often require far less time than the low and slow cooking of meat in a smoker. While it can vary based on personal preference and how you slice the vegetables, a good rule of thumb is to start smoking vegetables at about 250 degrees for about 45 minutes. It could take up to 60 minutes. Some favorite vegetables to smoke include onions, peppers and squashes.
While it’s hard to go wrong with any Dyna Glo smoker, our favorite had to be the Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Charcoal Offset Smoker. A robust and solid smoker that gives you plenty of cooking space, this one came out on top. Coming in a close second was the Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-D Charcoal Smoker & Grill. The versatility of having a primary heat grill, as well as the smoker, helped nab this gem the second spot. It may not have any of the fancier bells and whistles but the Dyna-Glo DGX780BDC-D 36″ Vertical Charcoal Smoker earned our Budget Pick award, because it does a very respectable job at creating exceptional food. It may not have digital features or a primary heat source, but it does the job of smoking very well, and that’s the main reason you get a smoker. No matter what you decide is best for you, adding a smoker to your home setup will get you some amazing flavors.