What is a Vertical Smoker and How to Use it? (Ultimate Guide) - Grill Armor Gloves - Heat Resistant Oven Gloves

What is a Vertical Smoker and How to Use it? (Ultimate Guide)

Today we are going to discuss all the aspects of a Vertical smoker and how to use it.

You will be enlightened about every type of Vertical smoker that is available in the market.

You will also know about how to use these different Vertical smokers and which is the best one for you.

Knowing the information on the right type of product can help you in gaining better items for your use. 

Want to know the exciting part of this whole review?

In this review, we will provide you with all the essential details that can help you attain a better understanding of vertical smokers.

It will give you all the information that you need to know for using vertical smokers for your benefit. 

We will provide you a better understanding of the different types of Vertical smokers available in the market.

When you know about the right kind of Vertical smoker, only then can you choose the specifications you need. 

We will give you information on some of the top-ranking vertical smokers available in the whole market.

They will allow you to make up your mind and get the best item for yourself. 

So, let's get started with the informative stuff, shall we?

Without taking more of your precious time, we will take you straight towards the best and most fantastic content pieces.

We will provide you all the essential information about the vertical smokes and how to use them.

It will be an excellent way of gaining a better understanding of Vertical smoker. 

What are Vertical Water Smokers?

Vertical Water Smokers

Among the most famous smokers, one is the Vertical Water Smoker. The common reason for theses smokers being so popular is the choice for newbies.

Also known as Bullet smokers, these are not only compact but suit any patio size. Hence you can enjoy the meal without the worries of having small patios.

Unlike conventional smokers, vertical smokers are easy to use. These smokers don't have various mechanical and electrical parts to make them complex.

But the only problem is the small size of these smokers. Hence you won't be able to cook more significant portions of meat in vertical smokers.

But here's the kicker

You can still cook ten racks of baby back ribs or 2/4 pork shoulders of 10lb in these vertical smokers.

If you are in search of a reliable yet affordable smoker, then nothing can beat theses smokers.

Rather than spending a hefty sum on other smokers, you can enjoy cooking with these smokers.

Not only will you end up saving money, but these are available almost anywhere. The compact size makes portability further facile.

Now, the only downfall is the size as it restricts the amount of meat you can smoke.

Also, the pan tends to get dirty often, resulting in frequent washing. The critical point here is to use these smokers for only BBQ smoking.

Different Types of Vertical Smokers:

Vertical Smokers

You might be wondering if any available vertical smoker is ideal to use. The answer is no, as there are three varying types of vertical water smoker.

They are easy to use and have better applications when you use them for cooking purposes.  

Below we have jotted down these types so you can have a glance at them. Only then will you be able to know which model suits your requirements.

It will make sure you get yourself the best one and have a better understanding of Vertical smokers that you need to buy for yourself. 


Electric Smokers:

For people who want a convenient option, try electric smokers. Other vertical smokers come with the stress of fuel, fire, etc.

But with electric smokers, you can be at ease. Now, a few electric smokers come along with temperature controls.

At the same time, other vertical smokers don't have this feature. Hence it depends on you that you want the feature or not.

Here's the deal

When you keep the water pan inside and full, there won't be a problem. The temperature will then be around 220 degrees or less.

Or you can also use an oven thermometer to keep a check on the internal gauge.

These smokers have a drawback; you can't always control the temperature. Thus it is your call if you skip the temperature control feature.

Gas Smokers:

Gas Smokers

These smokers are among the most popular ones and most comfortable to use.

Gas vertical smokers come along with a chip box and are reliable with temperature.

Want to know the best part?

The chip box lets you get that specific smoky flavor in the meats. Suppose you are also skeptical about your food tasting like gas.

Then sit back and relax when you have a clean-burning gas flame.

Now, the color of the flame can tell you how much cleaner it is. Often the fire with blue, little yellow color is clean.

But if the light is orange/yellow, your burner needs cleaning.

Charcoal Smokers:

If you are up for a cheaper option, then charcoal smokers are the optimal choice.

Furthermore, vertical charcoal smokers are the most portable option among other smokers.

Though you get a plus point relevant to the price, yet these are hardest to use unless you have adequate know-how about using such smokers.

With such vertical smokers, temperature maintenance is always a problem. Hence the choice of charcoal has a direct impact on temperature control.

But here's the kicker

You can adopt a few basic approaches while starting your smoker. First, set the bricks on fire and then keep adding more as much as required.

Then you can also fill up the pan with unlit charcoal and cover it with burning charcoal. For that delicious, smoky flavor, you can add wood to the charcoal.

How a Vertical Water Smoker Works?

Water Smoker

The working of vertical water smokers consist of 3 different parts, listed below:

  • the bottom/firebox
  • water pan
  • cooking chamber

To maintain the level of heat, there is a door in the water chamber. You can open it and add the desired amount of water or fuel to settle the level.

This door lies in the middle section of the vertical smoker. Whereas the top section has a cooking chamber where you do the cooking.

At the bottom, there is a heating source, causing the entire smoker to heat up. The heat, while traveling upwards, heats the water fan first.

Now, this term water pan seems to misguide many beginners. As most of the people put water in it yet, some adventure-stricken people prefer beer, cider.

Hence it is entirely alright to add water as it provides the necessary moisture. This creates an ideal environment resulting in a tender, delicious smoked meat.

Beginners are more engaged in vertical water smokers due to this simple process.

These smokers are efficient, small, consume a minimal amount of fuel. Moreover, you only have to start the fire and put in the meat.

And voila! The smoker will do the rest of the job. The lowest compartment of the vertical smoker holds the heat source.

Either this heat source is charcoal, electric heating element or a gas burner. This depends on the type of vertical smoker you opted for in the first place.

More On Working of Vertical Water Smoker?

Water Smoker

Next, the water pan lies in the mid-section and make your smoker work. This pan is the reason that the heat of the smoker remains regulated.

It also averts the direct anger coming from the source while maintaining the moisture. The absence of this moisture can lead to dry, wilted meat.

At the top of the smoker, we have the cooking chamber where the underlying process occurs.

It only gets worse at this point when you open the lid to have a look. While doing so, you allow max heat to dissipate, and the temperature gets altered.

Buying the Right Vertical Water Smoker:

Vertical Water Smoker

With many options offered in the market, it can be pretty tough to pick one. This is crazy, as each vertical smoker has its own set of features.

So we are here with a few essential tips that will help you out. Let's take a quick look:


If you want something with a larger capacity, then vertical smoker is not for you.

These are smaller in size compared to other smokers and hold less meat. Even charcoal smokers are a bit complex for a novice. 

So only opt for vertical smokers if you need minimal capacity.

Whether it has a limited capacity, but it provides the perfect results when you want to give your food the best smoky flavor. 


Now, most of us will not consider this as a crucial factor as vertical smokers are cheap. The market has some great options with varying price ranges.

Each smoker has a specific set of features. Thus you need to keep in mind the budget and then buy a vertical smoker.


Here's the deal, the smokers with splayed legs are the best for stability. But the only problem is that vertical smoker are not as sturdy as other smokers.

So extra security can prove out to be a more significant plus point.


As we have already mentioned the three types of a vertical smoker, you can pick any.

Opting for the right model is also an essential aspect while buying any item. If you have to invest some money, then the product must fit your needs well.

For cheaper options, you have charcoal smokers. Then most comfortable are the electric smokers, but each has its pros and cons.

Hence read the above-listed pointers for better understanding.

How to Use a Vertical Water Smoker?

Vertical Water Smoker

When you intend to learn about using a vertical water smoker, what's the bottom line?

Well, it depends on the type of vertical smoker you opted to a great extent. But the overall steps are somewhat similar so you can understand it with ease.

  • First of all, fill the smoker
  • Next, fill the water pan with water or any liquid you prefer.
  • Now, place this chamber on the top of the firebox
  • For enhanced smoky flavor add any wood of your choice
  • For about 10-15 minutes, preheat the smoker
  • After preheating, place the meat inside

While using vertical smokers, the first step is to fire up the smoker.

In case you have a charcoal smoker, then prepare the charcoal beforehand. Here the rule simple; more charcoal means more heat in the smoker.

As soon as the coal burns up and becomes hot, fill the water pan with at least 3/4th with liquid of your choice. Then put this chamber on the top of the firebox.

Now, when the fire starts, this is the queue to add any desired wood. Then preheat your smoker for about 10-15 minutes, at least.

When the smoker seems to be enough preheated, place the meat inside.

Your actual job has only begun when the meat is in the chamber. Not only you need to keep a keen eye on the water levels but also check the fire.

The fire and water are in a separate room then the meat, so adding more is pretty facile.

Once you see the meat is all smoked with perfect crisp, remove it from the cooking chamber and voila!

A tip is never to forget to clean the smoker when it is a bit warm.

Wrapping It All Up!

I am sure that you will love all the Vertical smokers' contents and how to use them.

Every detail of the usage of these Vertical smokers is organized perfectly throughout the review.

It allows you to know better information and reach it fast. Every bit of content in here is well-researched in all the aspects.

This makes everything authentic and useful. We hope that all the information in this review will help you understand everything about Vertical smokers and how to use them.

But if there is still something which is stuck in your mind, then you do not need to worry about it at all. 

You can ask us anything you need to know about the best Vertical smokers and how to use them.

We will analyze your queries and provide you simple and viable solutions for your problems. 

Back to blog