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If you’re looking to up your barbecuing game to the next level, you might look into adding the best reverse flow smoker to your wishlist. Reverse flow smokers are a subset of offset smoker with an added metal plate. This additional plate both protects the meat from the highest temperatures and directs smoke underneath and back over the meat for the perfect even smoky flavor. If this sounds good to you, check out our reverse flow smoker reviews and ratings below.
In This Article
Reverse flow smokers are an investment in your meat smoking skills, but you have to keep in mind they are an investment. You need to do careful research to determine which is the best reverse flow smoker to fit your needs and budget. Fortunately, we’ve scoured the internet and found the best reverse flow smokers so you can go through and choose the most important features for you. Check out our reviews of the top five best reverse flow smokers for sale below.
The Dyna-Glo Signature Series Heavy Duty Reverse Flow Smoker is the best reverse flow smoker because its gauge makes it easy to see if it’s at the right temperature for smoking or grilling.
The Dyna-Glo Signature Series Heavy Duty Reverse Flow Smoker has both grilling and smoking capabilities as well as hooks for hanging meat to smoke. The analog temperature gauge tells you when you are in the “Grill Zone” and “Smoke Zone” to aid you in perfecting your grilling and smoking, respectively.
The removable ash and charcoal pan makes for easy cleanup. Because it’s an offset smoker, you can grill other foods at different temperatures. For a heat source, this smoker can run on wood pieces, wood chips, or charcoal. There are 5″ of space between each rack, but racks can be removed for extra height and larger cuts of meat.
- Temperature gauge has zones for grilling and smoking
- Ash tray makes cleaning the grill easier
- Internal sausage hooks
- Doesn’t come with assembly tools
The Backwoods Smoker Chubby 3400 Outdoor Charcoal Smoker is the best reverse flow smoker because it is a professional-quality smoker that doesn’t need to be monitored constantly while it’s smoking meat.
Many smokers come from exclusively consumer series, but the Backwoods Smoker Chubby 3400 Outdoor Charcoal Smoker is the smallest model from a line of professional-level smokers. This puts it at the intersection between restaurant-quality smokers and smokers that are still accessible to backyard grillers.
This high-end smoker uses water for steam to keep the meat moist and tender. It’s the simple, high-quality, low-tech charcoal smoker that you never knew you needed. Once you get the hang of dialing in the temperature, these smokers can largely be left to do their own thing. This is the kind of smoker that does one thing very well, so if you are only looking for a way to smoke meat, this may be the reverse smoker for you.
- Comes fully assembled
- Fully insulated double-wall design
- No grilling ability
The Char-Griller E1224 Smokin Pro Reverse Flow Smoker & Grill is the best reverse flow smoker because it’s a great affordable option for grillers on a budget but still has a lot of features from high-end models.
The Char-Griller E1224 Smokin Pro Reverse Flow Smoker & Grill is a great, affordable option for versatile backyard grillers. This reverse smoker boasts a total of 830 square inches of grilling space between the main grill and the side fire box. It is formed in the classic barrel design for smoking and comes with a charcoal drawer for easy cleaning, temperature gauge, wheels, and storage rack.
The grill is cast iron to avoid warping and last a lifetime with the proper care. The powder-coated steel is made to endure high temperatures, and the adjustable dampers and fire grate allow you to control the heat. This smoker is perfect for large gatherings and parties with the sheer amount of grill space and versatility it grants you.
- Grate height can be adjusted for different food sizes and temperatures
- Slide out coal drawer for easy adding and cleaning
- Exterior paint tends to chip
The Oklahoma Joe Reverse Flow Offset Smoker & Grill is the best reverse flow smoker because you can choose between burning either wood or charcoal, and it can be used for grilling as well.
The Oklahoma Joe Reverse Flow Offset Smoker & Grill is also a smoker/grill combo that would work great for backyard barbecues. This is a larger and sturdier appliance than the Char-Griller, so it’s almost a hundred pounds heavier but more durable.
For this reverse smoker, the separate firebox chamber is both the grill and what makes it a smoker. You use the smaller chamber of the firebox to burn your wood or charcoal, and it directs the smoke through to the main chamber where you’ve placed your meat for smoking. The sidebox is also where you can find the grill for this smoker. It has a second cooking surface with adjustable height porcelain wiring for grilling. All of your grill tools can be conveniently stored below the smoker, so you don’t have to worry about struggling to find anything last minute!
- Uses both wood and charcoal
- Capable of smoking and grilling
- Chrome plated spring handles
- Heavy and requires assembly
The Tital Distributors Great Outdoors Reverse Flow Vertical Smoker is the best reverse flow smoker because it has a giant capacity of 4,665 cubic inches, ensuring that you can smoke food for the whole family and then some.
The Tital Distributors Great Outdoors Reverse Flow Vertical Smoker looks like a vault you’d see in the mansion of a millionaire in a classic film. This smoker is a similar style to the Backwoods Chubby at a lower price point. All you need to operate is food and charcoal, and the Titan includes a removable water pan for grease collection and easy cleaning. With 4665 cubic inches of cooking space across four racks, this smoker is ideal for entertainers who cook a lot at once or small competitions.
- Steel cooking trays to prevent warping
- Removable ash pan
- Simple design and easy cleanup
- Not capable of grilling
Features to Consider for the Best Reverse Flow Smoker
When you buy any sort of camping grill, you need to know what you’re getting. Reading reverse flow smoker reviews is a great way to get a better idea of what’s on the market, but now comes the time to do some soul-searching and decide what you truly want out of your reverse smoker. Here are some things to consider when trying to find the best reverse flow smoker.
Vertical versus Horizontal Smokers
The main benefit with vertical smokers is that there is no “hot side” and “cold side”. The heat source is below and the food is above, and since heat rises, all the heat and smoke rises to evenly surround the food. With horizontal smokers, you run the risk of temperature differences. However, you may want this if you want to have two different temperatures at once.
Offset versus Not
With offset smokers, there is no direct contact with the heat source, so it allows you to cook with just the smoke from the side box. Offset is nice for the extra space for cooking as well, and there is often a grilling option that vertical smokers may not have. Horizontal offset isn’t necessarily reverse flow, though a smoker can be horizontal offset reverse flow.
Charcoal, Wood Burning, and Both
Charcoal burns hotter than wood, but it can be harder to control and maintain the temperature. Wood chips take longer to set up and longer to cook, but are perfect for slow and slow smoking. However, they don’t work quite as well as charcoal for grilling because of the lower temperature.
A lot of it comes down to experience and personal preference, but you must find a smoker that allows you to use both if you want to keep that option open. If you want to exclusively use charcoal or wood burning, just make sure the smoker fits with that desire.
Powder Coated Steel
Some smoker grills may have a powder-coated steel finish. Powder coating just means that it is has a protective finish of pigment and resin that is durable, heat-resistant, and corrosion-resistant. While it’s not necessary by any means, it is a low-maintenance finish that can help the exterior metal stay nice for longer.
Steel, Cast Iron, and Porcelain-Coated Wired Grates
Depending on which smoker option you’re looking at, you may encounter steel, cast iron, or porcelain-coated grates. Which is most appropriate for your situation largely depends on what your budget is and what elements the smoker will be exposed to. Steel and cast iron are extremely durable, but cast iron corrodes easily and is often higher maintenance (needing to be cleaned and seasoned regularly). Steel and cast iron are also going to be the better options for conducting heat.
Stainless steel doesn’t get as hot as iron, but tends to hold heat better. A lot of this depends on the quality of the steel, as different grades do not perform equally. Stainless steel will also be more resistant to the elements if you keep your high-end smoker outside in the elements instead of a protected space when not in use.
You may also come across porcelain-coated cast iron. The porcelain coating eliminates a lot of the maintenance requirements of cast iron, protecting it from corrosion and eliminating the need to season with each use. However, porcelain coatings are more prone to damage and can chip or crack if not treated with care. If you’re looking for the whole sensory experience, porcelain may also not give you that dark sear mark and sizzling sound iconic in grilling.
Benefits of Using Reverse Flow Smokers
Using the best reverse flow smokers result in a more even and more intense smoky flavor. Though it depends on the design, reverse flow smokers typically have the heat source separate from the food and a protective metal plate guarding the meat from the most intensive heat. Instead, the metal plate directs smoke underneath the cooking plate and back over the food before escaping through the chimney. This imparts a wonderfully smoky flavor over time without drying out or cooking too fast with too much direct contact with heat.
Reverse flow smokers are less likely to have sharp temperature spikes when you add fuel since it’s not a direct heat source like in other smokers. This helps keep a nice, even temperature through the whole smoking process. Because of the even smoking, the need to turn meat during the cooking process is completely eliminated.
With a standard offset smoker, the heat from burning fuel in the sidebox rises directly from underneath and out the chimney on the other side instead of being forces to pass over. This results in hotter and cooler spots depending on the distance from the heat source, though for some situations this is advantageous because you can cook at several different heats simultaneously. Ultimately, it depends on your personal smoking goals and what you would like to achieve.
Precautions of Using Reverse Flow Smokers
Reverse flow smokers are ideal for low and slow smoking. They cook at a lower, more even temperature for a longer period because the hottest smoke is traveling underneath the cooking plate and hasn’t yet made contact with the food. By the time it does, the temperature has reduced and the direction of the flow forces the smoke to stay inside the smoker for a longer period of time.
While excellent for cooking large cuts or amounts at once, even the best reverse flow smokers are not as ideal for cooking multiple different sizes and cuts of meat at once when they may require different temperatures. For these situations, a traditional offset smoker with hotter and cooler spots may be more advantageous. The best reverse flow smokers do more of the job for you, so for the most part you can set them up and let them go, as long as you keep a periodic eye on the temperature.
Depending on the design of the smoker, it may also be a bit harder to clean up compared to a regular offset smoker because the metal plate that directs the flow of smoke is often not removable. If this is a concern, make sure you look for a reverse flow smoker that allows for easy cleanup and maintenance.
While all of these reverse smokers are great, I think the Dyna-Glo Signature Series Heavy Duty Reverse Flow Smoker is the best reverse flow smoker. This incredibly versatile mid-range smoker has all of the advantages of offset, reverse flow, and vertical smoking in one. Not only that, there are hooks to hang meat for smoking, and it can even grill! The removable charcoal and ash pan in the sidebox makes it easier to clean up after and maintain as well. It’s hard to beat the quality and versatility for the price, and at 125 pounds it isn’t as cumbersome as lot of the other options, either.
I hope these reverse flow smoker reviews have helped you! No matter what you choose, happy smoking!