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6 Best Gravity Smoker In 2023: Review & Ranking

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Choosing a gravity smoker is not that easy, and it’s important to make sure that you choose the right one for your smoking needs. You want to ensure that you’re getting the best possible quality smoker for your money, and it’s important to do research before making any purchases. I’ve compiled the 6 best gravity smokers on the market so that you can make an informed decision.

Masterbuilt Gravity Series 800

  • 800 Square Inches
  • Can be used as a flat-top griddle
  • Fold-out cord storage
  • Folding front shelf
  • Cast iron grates
  • 3 cooking racks

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Masterbuilt Gravity Series 560

  • 560 Square Inches
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Affordable
  • Cast iron grates
  • 16-pound charcoal hopper

Read Review

Char-griller 980 Gravity Fed Charcoal Grill

  • 980 Square Inches
  • Porcelain-coated grates
  • Folding front shelf
  • Large main cooking space
  • Wifi, Bluetooth

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Masterbuilt Gravity Series 1050

  • 1050 Square Inches
  • Easy dump ash pan
  • Wifi & Bluetooth connectivity
  • Cast iron grates
  • 16-pound charcoal hopper

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old country gravity fed smoker

Old Country Gravity Fed Smoker

  • 1,082-square inches
  • 4 smart protein settings Fully insulated chamber with 3 smoking racks
  • 20 pounds of charcoal
  • Stainless steel grates

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Smoking with charcoal is one of the oldest and most delicious techniques for flavoring food.

But it’s also one of the trickiest things to master. And because there are so many variables involved with smoking, it can be easy for beginners to get frustrated if they don’t understand how it all works.

But it doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, using a gravity smoker allows you to enjoy perfectly smoked food, which is difficult to achieve with traditional charcoal meat smoking.

If you are unfamiliar with a gravity-style smoker, in this guide, I will break down what it is and how it works, along with the 6 best models on the market you can buy today.

Let’s dive in!

What is a gravity smoker?

Gravity smokers are also known as gravity-fed or gravity-feed smokers. They combine the best features of a charcoal smoker and a wood pellet grill. Here are the distinctions between the two.

A gravity smoker is a type of barbecue smoker that uses the force of gravity to feed charcoal into the firebox.

Charcoal chunks are placed in an ash pan below the gravity-fed hopper (charcoal chute), and when the embers from burning charcoal fall through the charcoal grate, they burn, producing smoke that can be used to cook and flavor your food.

How does gravity feed smokers work?

The gravity-fed smoker works by letting unlit charcoal fall to the bottom of the smoker, where it burns and heats up to make smoke that cooks your food.

First, there is a hopper that can be filled with charcoal and lit from the bottom. After setting your desired temperature with a controller, a variable-speed fan on the side of the firebox begins to blow through the coals to keep the air on them.

The PID controller will tell the fan to speed up or slow down depending on how much smoke your smoker requires.

The charcoal is burned from the bottom and replaced by the unlit charcoal above; it is fed by gravity, so the smoker does not overheat.

There is an ash clean-out pan at the smokebox where we can place the wood chunks. Charcoal that falls through the grate from the hopper will burn the wood chunks,  imparting a smoky flavor to the food. The ash pan also makes cleanup easier later.

What is the best gravity smoker?

Here are my top 6 picks for the best gravity smokers

1. Masterbuilt Gravity Series 800

Best Overall

Overview

The Masterbuilt Gravity Series 800 is the company’s second model to hit the market after the 560. The 800 is a more advanced version of the 560, with more features and a better design.

In this smoker, the top and entire lid that covers the top of the grill have been removed to allow for more space in the warming rack.

The main distinction between the two models is the cooking space — the 800 has a larger cooking capacity, allowing you to cook more food at once.

Another feature is the stainless steel front shelf—it is an excellent place to place your meat when preparing it for cooking, which is simple to clean and attractive.

But what sets this smoker apart from the other Masterbuilt gravity-style models is the included flat-top griddle, which is not available with the 560 or 1050 series. 

Also, along with the griddle, you can get the most out of this unit by using the rotisserie kit, which is perfectly compatible with the 560, 800, and 1050 series.

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Top Features

  • This grill can reach temperatures of 225°F in 8 minutes, 450°F in 10 minutes, and 700°F in 14 minutes—allowing you to cook food quickly and efficiently.
  • It includes the flat top griddle gives you more surface space to work with while cooking burgers, steaks, and more.
  • The digital fan allows you to control the temperature precisely without babysitting.
  • It has convenient fold-out cord storage in the back of the side shelf, so you can easily store your cord when not in use.

What I like/dislike about this product

Pros
  • Easy to use and control cooking temperature
  • In real-time, you may check the weather with the app and the digital reader.
  • Can be used as a grill and griddle (Unique feature)
  • It lights up quick
  • It features a front shelf
  • It has more space in the warming rack
Cons
  • The assembling is difficult and confused

The Bottom Line 

The Masterbuilt Gravity Series 800 is best for those looking for a heavy-duty grill that can quickly cook large quantities of meat. It’s also great if you want a grill that has multiple uses and can act as a grill, griddle, and more.

You can check the latest price and buy the Masterbuilt Gravity 800 here:

2. Masterbuilt Gravity Series 560

Best Overall

Overview

The Masterbuilt Gravity Series 560 was the first customer-ready gravity feed smoker on the market and sold at a very reasonable price. Since it’s the first-ever model, it also had its fair share of minor issues that Masterbuilt has since fixed.

It is a powerful and versatile grill that can do it all—smoke, grill, sear, roast, and bake.

It’s equipped with an easy-to-use digital control panel and reversible cast-iron grates that allow you to smoke, grill, sear, bake and roast all in one space.

The DigitalFan keeps the desired cooking temperature by circulating air around the fire to keep it constant.

The flame height can be adjusted with just a few clicks on the digital control panel or with your smart device.

The gravity-fed charcoal hopper can hold up to 12 hours of charcoal, and gravity ensures that the fire has constant fuel.

Top Features

gravity charcoal smoker
  • Cooking space: 560 square inches
  • It can reach 225°F in 7 minutes or 700°F in 13 minutes,
  • It has a built-in temperature gauge and a meat probe thermometer to get the best-tasting results every time.
  • The digital fan makes it easy to keep an eye on the temperature.
  • The charcoal hopper can hold up to 10 pounds of lump charcoal or 16 pounds of briquettes for up to 12 hours of use, which means you can cook a lot at once without having to worry about running out of fuel!

What I like/dislike about this product

Pros
  • Great temperature retention
  • The app is useful for checking the temperature from a distance
  • The PID controller
  • It lights up quick
  • The fan runs quietly
  • Tall cooking chamber
  • The construction materials make it lightweight and portable
  • The PID controller keeps the temperature from going up or down by more than 5 degrees.
Cons
  • Some say that the assembling is difficult since there are so many parts
  • Hard to produce an open flame consistently
  • The hopper opens to the right, so you can’t open the cooking chamber’s lid and the hopper’s lid at the same time.
  • It doesn’t come with a front shelf

The Bottom Line

The Masterbuilt Gravity Series 560 is an excellent choice for novice and experienced smokers looking to invest in a low-cost appliance that makes smoking meat easy.

You can check the latest price and buy the Masterbuilt Gravity 560 here:

3. Char-griller 980 Gravity Fed Charcoal Grill

Best With Unique Design

Overview

The Char-Griller 980 Gravity-Fed Charcoal Grill uses advanced digital technology and the force of gravity to give the food the classic taste of charcoal while giving you precise control over the temperature when smoking.

The blue cooking chamber lid is an eye-catching design element that makes this unit stand out.

The heat detector and drip pan are the most significant improvements to this unit over the Masterbuilt gravity series. With a grill reaching up to 700 degrees, a lack of grease management can result in flare-ups.

This grill is very versatile: it can be used for smoking, grilling, and everything in between.

It also comes with a front shelve that gives you a place to prepare your food.

Top Features

best gravity fed smoker
  • Total Cooking Area: 980 Square Inches
  • Primary Cooking Area: 680 Square Inches
  • The cooking grates are coated in porcelain for easy cleanup.
  • It features an LCD screen and Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to set up your grill and monitor the progress of your meal at all times.
  • It also has built-in wifi, so you can use it remotely from anywhere in your home or yard!
  • This grill includes a meat probe, which allows you to monitor the temperature while cooking without having to buy an external thermometer.
  • lt comes with a fixed side shelf and folding front shelf as standard features. These shelves help hold items such as plates, utensils, and spices while cooking.
  • The included hopper can hold 16 lbs of briquette charcoal
  • Easy Dump Ash Pan for easy disposal of ash.  

What I like/dislike about this product

Pros
  • It comes with a unique blue/red color
  • The front shelf folds down nicely and is larger than other units
  • The slotted design on the shelf and the side makes it easy to keep clean when it rains outside
  • The turbo mode speeds up the fan for hot and fast cooking
Cons
  • The second grate is small

The Bottom Line

The Char-griller 980 Gravity Fed Charcoal Grill is perfect for people who want a grill that is well-built, easy to clean, and can cook large quantities of food. This model comes with some of the best features on the market today and is backed by 1-year limited warranty.

You can check the latest price and buy the Char-Griller 980 Gravity-Fed Grill here:

4. Masterbuilt Gravity Series 1050

Best Overall

Overview

Among the Masterbuilt gravity series, the Masterbuilt 1050 has the most cooking space.

It’s ideal for smoking, searing, and slow-cooking a large amount of food.

The gravity-fed charcoal hopper holds up to 8 hours of briquettes and is easy to refill with a push-button lid.

The digital control panel includes an integrated meat temperature probe, making it easier than ever to cook perfect meals every time.

The built-in meat probe and connective technology allow you to easily monitor the temperature of your food as it cooks, ensuring that you get a perfect meal every time.

This unit is WI-FI and Bluetooth enabled, allowing you to monitor your cooking using the Masterbuilt smartphone app remotely.

Top Features

gravity charcoal smoker
  • Cooking space: 1050 square inches
  • It reaches 225°F in 10 minutes or 700°F in 15 minutes.
  • With a PID digital temperature control system, you’ll get precise fule heating speed and temperature every time.
  • It comes with a gravity-fed charcoal hopper that holds 10 lbs. of lump charcoal or 16 lbs. of briquettes for up to 8 hours of use.
  • It features a foldable stainless steel front shelf for easy access to food and a stainless steel side shelf for holding plates and utensils.
  • It comes with Bluetooth and wifi connectivity, so you can remotely control the smoker from your smartphone or tablet.

What I like/dislike about this product

Pros
  • Large cooking space
  • It heats up fast
  • Along with the tool hangers on the side, there is a pull-out storage compartment at the back.
Cons
  • The assembled instruction is confusing
  • The space on the front folding shelf is small.

The Bottom Line

Masterbuilt gravity series 1050 is best for cooking for a large group of people, especially if you want to cook lowly and slowly to get that tender and juicy smoked meat. It is easy to use and comes with a lot of features.

You can check the latest price and buy the Masterbuilt 1050 here:

5. Old Country Gravity Fed Smoker

Best for durability

old country gravity fed smoker

Overview

The Old Country Gravity Fed Smoker is designed for serious meat smoking. It has all the features you need to make cooking easy and enjoyable—and with its commercial-grade construction, you won’t have to worry about your smoker turning into an expensive paperweight in a few years.

For starters, the 1,082-square-inch cooking surface provides plenty of room to prepare meals.

Then there’s the fully insulated chamber with three smoking racks, which can cook up to six briskets at the same time.

That allows for 12 hours of cooking time, which means less time spent loading up on charcoal and more time with family and friends!

And what about cleaning up after dinner? For easy access, simply slide out the trays and pop out the ashtray.

And because there isn’t a lot of air passing through the cooking chamber, you don’t need a water pan when cooking with this unit; as long as you keep the temperature consistent, your meat will remain moist and have a great smokey flavor.

Furthermore, the stainless steel cooking grates are simple to clean! 

Top Features

Old Country Gravity Fed Smoker
  • The 1,082-square-inch cooking surface provides ample space for your perfect meal.
  • It lets you cook up to 12 hours of food without adding charcoal.
  • The smoker comes with a carbon-steel construction that gives it durability.
  • The smoker also comes with slide-out trays for easy access, making it easier to get your food ready!
  • It has wheels for easy mobility.
  • It holds up to 20 pounds of charcoal
  • It has 3 clamps to ensure a tight seal

Side note:

This smoker creates the best results with charcoal briquettes thanks to their uniform shape, which makes it easy for them to slide through the grate.

What I like/dislike about this product

Pros
  • Large cooking space with 3 cooking racks
  • You don’t need a water pan when cooking with this smoker as long as you keep the temperature consistent
  • Along with the tool hangers on the side, there is a pull-out storage compartment at the back.
Cons
  • When you relight the fire after putting it out, it won’t be as hot as it was before.
  • Only works best with briquettes and small enough lum charcoal

The Bottom Line

This smoker is perfect for a BBQ aficionado who wants a high-quality charcoal smoker with plenty of cooking space that provides the best charcoal smoke flavor without having to manage the temperature all day.

You can check the latest price and buy the Old Country Gravity Fed Smoker here:

6. Myron Mixon G33

Best For Catering And Competiton

Myron Mixon G33

Overview

The Myron Mixon G33 gravity feed smoker is a military-grade smoker built for durability and performance.

It has all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a high-end smoker, like stainless steel hardware and a double-sealed firebox door.

This unit’s 33-square-foot cooking space is ideal for commercial applications, including catering, restaurants, and competitions.

It’s also got a round charcoal chute that can hold up to 20 pounds of briquettes, so you can smoke for up to 10 hours without having to worry about running out of fuel.
Additionally, it comes with 7 nickel-chrome racks that can be kept neatly organized and provide 4600 square inches of cooking surface.

However, it can support up to 11 smoking racks, providing approximately 7600 square inches of cooking surface, allowing you to cook 26 pork butts or 300 chicken wings at once.

It’s also got slam latch doors so that you can easily open and close the smoker and a built-in thermometer that allows you to monitor the temperature inside.

But what really sets this smoker apart is its water pan: it’s removable and easily accessible to allow you to add water, which will help keep the meat moist and prevent it from drying out.

Top Features

gravity charcoal smoker
  • It features military-grade insulation.
  • It’s also got stainless steel hardware for durability and longevity, which means it’ll last through years of use.
  • The rounded charcoal chute can accommodate 20 pounds of charcoal at once.
  • Removable water pan.
  • The double-sealed fire door ensures that your food stays smoky and rich-tasting even after hours of cooking.

The Bottom Line

The Myron Mixon G33 gravity feed smoker is best for the serious outdoor cooking enthusiast. It’s got the most features and is designed to last through years of use. While it may be a bit pricier than some, it’s worth every penny if you want all the bells and whistles.

You can check the latest price and buy the Myron Mixon G33 Gravity Feed Smoker here:

What to consider when buying gravity-fed smokers? 

You don’t want to spend your money on a smoker that won’t get the job done. Below are a few things you should consider before buying one:

Fuel Type

You’ll want to consider the type of fuel you’ll need for your smoker. Some models require electricity, while others are designed for charcoal. If you plan on using charcoal for smoking, make sure that your model is designed for this purpose.

Ease of use

You’ll want to look for a smoker with a simple layout and intuitive controls. This will make it easier to get started and help you get the hang of things quickly.

Which size is the best fit for you?

Remember to take into account how much room you have in your backyard. A larger smoker is going to take up more room than a smaller one.

If you have the space, it’s always better to go for a larger size than what you think you’ll need. This way, you can always have enough food to feed your family and friends without running out!

Versatility

Do you just want a model that can only smoke food, or do you need something that can also be used as a grill?

If you just want a smoker, then you can go with a simple model that only has one function.

However, if you want something that can do double duty as a smoker and grill, then it’s best to look for a versatile model like the Masterbuilt 560, Masterbuilt 1050, or Char-Griller 980.

And beyond that, a good example of a versatile model is the Masterbuilt 800, which you can use as a smoker, flat-top griddle, or grill. This model is a great choice if you want something that can do it all!

What is your price range?

Consider how much you can afford to spend on your new smoking device. This will help you narrow down which models are best for you.

For example, if you’re looking for a smoker that’s relatively easy to use but doesn’t have all the bells and whistles, then it might be better to go with a less expensive model like the Masterbuilt 560.

Cooking Space

You’ll also want to consider how much space in the smoker you need. This will depend on how many people you plan on serving and how much food you need to smoke at once.

If you’re looking for a model with more room, then the Masterbuilt 1050 or the Old Country Gravity Fed Smoker is a good choice because it has more than 1000 square inches of cooking space.

Additional Features

WIFI & Bluetooth

If the smoker features WIFI & Bluetooth connectivity, it will allow you to monitor your meat without ever having to leave the comfort of your home, which is especially handy if you’re cooking for more than one person.

Meat Probe

Another feature worth considering is the meat probe thermometer. This allows you to monitor the internal temperature of your meat while it’s cooking, which means that you won’t have to worry about overcooking your food or burning it on the outside.

Build Quality

You want something that’s going to last a long time but not break the bank in the process. A good smoker should be well-built, durable, and easy enough for anyone to use.

FAQs

Yes, you use wood chips with gravity-feed smokers. When smoking food, you can put them in the ash pan, and when hot coals fall through the charcoal grates, they will ignite the wood and impart a smoky flavor.

Yes, you can use either lump charcoal or briquettes with a gravity charcoal smoker as long as they don’t contain any chemicals or additives. If you’re starting with briquettes, make sure they’re made from pure hardwood and nothing else.

Some models are designed for both grilling & smoking and others are just for smoking only. The best way to find out if your model is suitable for grilling is to look at the manufacturer’s website, which will usually give you relevant information.

Final Thought

Gravity-feed smoker has become tremendously more capable in a relatively short period of time as modern technology has been applied to charcoal smoking methods with traditional offset smokers.

In the end, the best gravity smoker is the one that suits your individual needs and has the features that you are looking for.

It is hard to rank these smokers from one to another because they all have their own specific purposes and distinctions. For an all-around smoker that will serve you well for many years, we recommend the Masterbuilt Gravity Series 800, as it has ample cooking capacity, quality construction, and a reasonable price.

Related article: Char griller 980 Vs. Masterbuilt 800: Which Is The Winner?

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