10 Best Fish Smokers

10 Best Fish Smokers
Best Overall 🏆
PIT BOSS Grills 77550 5.5 Pellet Smoker, 850 sq inch, Copper
Best Budget 💰
Cuisinart COS-330, Electric Smoker, 30"
Runner Up 🥈
Traeger Grills Pro Series 780 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker with Alexa and WiFIRE Smart Home Technology, Black
Pit Boss 5-Series Wood Pellet Vertical Smoker
Cuisinart COS-330 Electric Smoker
Traeger Pellet Grills TFB78GLE Pro 780

Pros:

  • 55lb hopper capacity
  • 1,657 square inches of cooking area
  • Highly durable
  • One meat probe and 5 cooking racks included
Cons:
  • No warranty on the smoker
Pros:
  • Comes with a 3-year warranty
  • Large cooking capacity
  • Easy and convenient to use
  • Easy cleanup
Cons:
  • It has a heavy weight of 52lb
  • Immobile
Pros:
  • WiFIRE Technology
  • Hopper cleanout
  • Great temperature control
  • Porcelain-coated grates included
Cons:
  • Ash cleanup tray not included
  • Might need to purchase a table attachment
Best Overall 🏆
PIT BOSS Grills 77550 5.5 Pellet Smoker, 850 sq inch, Copper
Pit Boss 5-Series Wood Pellet Vertical Smoker

Pros:

  • 55lb hopper capacity
  • 1,657 square inches of cooking area
  • Highly durable
  • One meat probe and 5 cooking racks included
Cons:
  • No warranty on the smoker
Best Budget 💰
Cuisinart COS-330, Electric Smoker, 30"
Cuisinart COS-330 Electric Smoker
Pros:
  • Comes with a 3-year warranty
  • Large cooking capacity
  • Easy and convenient to use
  • Easy cleanup
Cons:
  • It has a heavy weight of 52lb
  • Immobile
Runner Up 🥈
Traeger Grills Pro Series 780 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker with Alexa and WiFIRE Smart Home Technology, Black
Traeger Pellet Grills TFB78GLE Pro 780
Pros:
  • WiFIRE Technology
  • Hopper cleanout
  • Great temperature control
  • Porcelain-coated grates included
Cons:
  • Ash cleanup tray not included
  • Might need to purchase a table attachment
Table of Contents
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    Nothing is better, after a long day on the water than coming home and eating the fish you caught and smoked yourself. Anglers can relate to the joy of eating a hot plate of smoked salmon that they caught earlier that day. 

    Even if you don’t catch your own fish, you enjoy the taste and flavor of smoked fish. Although smoked fish tastes great, smoking fish at home can be a hassle, especially without the right tools, equipment, or a really good smoker. 

    Luckily, fish smokers have advanced over the years. Fish smokers have now become very affordable and easy to use. On this page, we’ll go over whatever you need to know concerning fish smokers and discuss the finest alternatives for smoking your own fish on the market.

    Our Top Picks At A Glance

    Buying Guide To Purchasing The Best Fish Smoker For You

    Before you start thinking about which fish smoker to buy, there are a couple of factors you’ll need to consider to ensure that you get the right smoker for you. 

    Thinking about the conditions in which you’ll be using the smoker, what you intend on fueling the smoker with, and so on, will, in one way or the other, affect the decision you’ll make. 

    A smoker that might be ideal for someone else, might not work so well for you. That’s why it’s important that you keep these factors in mind while searching for a new smoker.

    The following are among the factors to consider when deciding if a fish smoker is appropriate and worth the expense:

    Type of Smoker and Fuel: There are three main types of smokers you’ll commonly see on the market namely; charcoal, electric, and gas/propane.

    A charcoal smoker makes use of coals and wood as its fuel, which helps in infusing this smokey, and woodsy taste and aroma in the fish. Depending on the type of wood used, the fish will have its own unique flavor. This alone makes the charcoal smoker more traditionally preferred over the other types of smokers, even though it can be a bit more of a hassle to operate.

    Electric smokers are more convenient and beginner-friendly. Recent designs even come with digital controls making operating the smoker much easier. Just plug it in and it’s ready to go. On the other hand, an electric smoker isn’t as portable since it can only be used where there’s an outlet.

    Gas/Propane smokers are a balance of the two. It comes with the ease of using an electric smoker by providing a consistent cooking temperature and, you can also add wood chips or pellets to get that smokey flavor that comes with using a charcoal smoker. You might have to make sure that you have extra tanks of propane available for lengthier meals, since a single tank may not be enough.

    Ease of Use and Maintenance: Nobody wants a smoker that’s a hassle to set up and difficult to operate. The smoker should be relatively easy to use whether you’ve been smoking fish for years or you’re just a beginner. 

    You shouldn’t need assistance, and you shouldn’t have to take a crash course prior to smoking fish. If you do not have any experience smoking fish, try purchasing an electric or a gas smoker. 

    A gas smoker will even give you the opportunity to experiment with wood chips and try new flavors. If you have more experience smoking fish, then consider purchasing a charcoal smoker.

    Material Quality and Construction: Ensuring that the smoker is durable is essential since it makes no sense to purchase a smoker and watch it deteriorate a year later. The smoker needs to be composed of high-quality materials and built to endure wear and tear. 

    When considering which materials to look out for, you might want to narrow your search down to smokers made from stainless steel and cast iron. 

    Also, ensure that the smoker has an outer shell and grates made from insulative and durable materials. Smokers made by Weber and Char-Broil are known to be especially durable.

    Total Cooking Area: The most suitable smoker for you should be able to adequately meet your cooking needs. If you simply use your smoker to prepare a few filets for your family on occasion, 300 to 500 square inches of smoking area will be enough. 

    To be on the safer side, you can choose a unit slightly larger than what you would require for family use, in case you have friends over. 

    Alternatively, if you know that you’ll end up smoking fish for large groups of people regularly, try investing in a larger smoker, maybe 800 square inches or more.

    Heat Control and Temperature Range: When smoking fish, being able to control and maintain a consistent cooking temperature is very important. 

    Depending on whether you prefer smoking fish at a lower or higher temperature, you’ll need a smoker with an adequate temperature range that’s suitable for your smoking preferences. 

    Besides controlling the temperature, you’ll also need to be able to regulate the smoke in order to properly infuse its flavor into the fish. 

    As a result, you must select a model that allows you to easily handle and manage these two features, ideally one with an analog or digital control panel.

    Dimensions and Weight: If you plan on taking your smoker with you on trips, then look for one with a convenient size and weight that makes it easily portable. 

    Some manufacturers have realized the importance of the dimensions and weight on the portability of the smoker and have designed smokers meant for camping trips and any other situation where they may be required. 

    The maximum weight for most portable smokers is 30 pounds. However, if it does not fit your requirements, try reading some reviews on other smokers and see what they have to offer so you can locate the best match for your need.

    Warranty: Although smokers are built to b durable, they experience a lot of wear and tear. If you plan on using the smoker for only a year or two, then you may not be so concerning about receiving a warranty. 

    However, if you plan on using the smoker for much longer than that, a warranty will give you the extra assurance that you need. 

    Plus, a smoker with a warranty from the manufacturer signifies that the manufacturer completely guarantees and supports their goods. It also signals that it’s of high quality and extremely durable.

    Extra Features: Some smokers come with additional components when purchased. They could be shelving space for plates, digital thermometers, hooks for storing grill brushes, and so on. 

    They make the smoking experience easier, help reduce costs, and stop you from buying one or two things required to smoke fish. Bluetooth technology, inbuilt thermometers, digital readouts, and self-cleaning systems are all useful and remarkable features that come with some smokers. 

    Imagine being able to enjoy your guests in the living room while modifying the temperature setting on the smoker out on the patio with the push of a button.

    1. Pit Boss 5-Series Wood Pellet Vertical Smoker

    Pit Boss 5-Series Wood Pellet Vertical Smoker

    The Pit Boss 5-Series Wood Pellet Vertical Smoker can be considered a combination between an electric smoker and a charcoal smoker since it’s completely fueled on only hardwood pellets but still requires to be plugged in to work.

    It is designed with a large hopper capacity of 55 pounds, meaning you could smoke whatever you want for up to 25 hours non-stop. You could leave a steak in this smoker to slow roast in the morning and get it in time for dinner without having to refill the hopper.

    It has a massive cooking area of 1,657 square inches which is perfect for parties and large gatherings with friends. Its stain steel construction also makes it very durable and easy to clean.

    Another great thing about the Pit Boss 5-Series Wood Pellet Vertical Smoker is its front view window, which means you don’t have to open up the smoker to check on the fish.

    It has a wide temperature range of 150ºF to 420ºF, allowing you to not only smoke but to braise, roast, BBQ, and bake.

    Pros:

    • 55lb hopper capacity
    • 1,657 square inches of cooking area
    • Highly durable
    • One meat probe and 5 cooking racks included

    Cons:

    • No warranty on the smoker

    2. Traeger Pellet Grills TFB78GLE Pro 780

    Traeger Pellet Grills TFB78GLE Pro 780

    If you’re looking for the smoker of the future, then look no further than the Traeger Pro 780. The Pro 780 is a pellet smoker that makes achieving that desired wood-fired flavor so easy.

    This smoker comes with a smaller pellet hopper capacity of 18lb but it’s designed with a trapdoor that empties out the hopper permitting a convenient and simple pellet flavor switching.

    The maker designed this equipment with the person in mind, including a waste pail to collect oil, which may be reused for taste or gravy. Not to mention that it makes cleaning marginally simpler.

    Speaking of clean-up, as wonderful as the Traeger smoker is, it does have certain drawbacks, such as a lack of a prep table and ash cleanup. One thing that makes the Traeger Pro 780 stand out is its WiFIRE Technology. 

    This tech will connect the smoker to your home WiFi, enabling you to remotely monitor the smoker, and regulate the temperature from any location using the Traeger App. It also has great temperature control, cooking at temperatures of up to 500ºF.

    Pros:

    • WiFIRE Technology
    • Hopper cleanout
    • Great temperature control
    • Porcelain-coated grates included

    Cons:

    • Ash cleanup tray not included
    • Might need to purchase a table attachment

    3. Weber 18-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker

    Weber 18-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker

    The Weber Smokey Mountain is a multi-level smokehouse with smoke that is uniformly distributed around grills and cooking meals. This smoker has a bigger than the typical hole that allows you to refill it while it is in use. 

    The Smokey Mountain Cooker is built of high-quality steel and includes two easy-to-clean nickel-plated smoking racks for plenty of cooking space. You can conveniently cook 4 racks of ribs in this smoker as it has a total cooking area of 418 square inches. 

    Its shiny finish also makes it more resistant to rusting, peeling, and cracking when cooking at high temperatures. Controlling the temperatures is made easy by just adjusting the dampers on the top and bottom of the smokers. 

    It also comes with an added water pan that further helps to regulate temperatures inside the smoker as well as adding moisture to the heat. 

    You can also monitor the smoker on your phone via Bluetooth with the Weber Connect Smart Grilling Hub. This smoker is also available in a smaller 14 inches and a larger 22 inches.

    Pros:

    • Perfect for smoking fish
    • Very durable
    • Produces a unique smokehouse flavor
    • Highly insulated

    Cons:

    • It has no wheels, stationary
    • Small cooking area

    4. Z GRILLS Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker

    Z GRILLS Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker

    When it comes to infusing that perfect smokey aroma into fish, you can do no better with a pellet smoker. Z GRILLS Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker does that and more with its 8-in-1 versatility. 

    Not only does this grill smoke, but it can also barbeque, bake, roast, char-grill, sear, braise, and grill. And it gets even better! This smoker is no hassle to heat up, all you need to do is get set the cooking temperature and sit back, relax, and watch the Wood Pellet Grill automatically start heating up. 

    Its PID technology ensures that the smoker maintains a tight and consistent temperature throughout the cooking process. With a cooking range of 180ºF to 450ºF, this smoker is great for smoking fish at low temperatures and roasting chicken at high ones. 

    It has a hopper capacity of 20lbs offering a longer cooking time. And you can be sure that this smoker is built to last due to its sturdy steel design and high-temperature powder coating finish, providing you with years of ultimate wood-fired grilling enjoyment.

    Pros:

    • 8-in-1 BBQ grill
    • Smart Digital Controller
    • Produces a great smokey and woodsy flavor
    • Advanced pellet grill tech

    Cons:

    • No food viewing window

    5. Masterbuilt 20077515 Front Controller Electric Smoker

    Masterbuilt 20077515 Front Controller Electric Smoker

    If you don’t have must experience smoking fish, then consider purchasing a Masterbuilt 20077515. The Masterbuilt 20077515 is intended to be the entry-level smoker in their series. 

    It’s a low-cost method to get yourself established and invested in the realm of smoked meat and fish. At the same time, anyone who has smoked or made a barbecue will enjoy all of the convenience features included in this electric smoker. 

    In direct sunlight, the blue led display makes it simple to read temperatures and cooking times. Temperature, time, interior light, on/off, and meat temperature are all controlled and monitored via an RF remote. 

    The Masterbuilt 20077515 also comes with a redesigned front drip pan, improved wood chip loading mechanism, and side/top air damper. In addition to the front viewing window, the smoker is also constructed with internal lighting that allows you to watch your food smoke whenever you wish to check on the cooking process. 

    The locking door and inner liner aid in keeping the heat and smokey taste within. Whether you’re cooking pork, poultry, beef, or shellfish, the pleasantly smokey scent that emanates from the Masterbuilt 30-inch electric digital smokehouse draws friends and family together in the spirit of good times and excellent cuisine.

    Pros:

    • Can be digitally controlled
    • Food viewing window
    • Large cooking capacity
    • Designed with a side-loader and drip pan
    • Easy cleanup

    Cons:

    • Lower temperature range
    • It has a heavy weight of 68lb
    • Immobile

    6. Cuisinart COS-330 Electric Smoker

    Cuisinart COS-330 Electric Smoker

    You may be familiar with the Cuisinart brand and may own maybe one or two of their home kitchen appliances. They are well-known for having a stellar reputation for all of their products, especially their smokers.

    Their 30 inches COS-330 Electric Smoker has a spacious interior cooking capacity of 548 square inches ensuring that you can smoke enough for you and a large group of people in one go.

    It comes with three stainless steel racks that are detachable which is perfect for smoking huge portions of meat. Cleaning these racks is very easy since they are dishwasher safe.

    The device is built with a temperature range of 100ºF to 400ºF. The Cuisinart Electric Smoker does not require any specific expertise or prior knowledge to provide outstanding results.

    It’s quite simple to use: load it with food, add wood chips and water to their respective trays, set the temperature, and forget it. This efficient electric smoker will offer delightfully smoked meats in hours, saving you the stress of dealing with filthy charcoal.

    Best of all, it comes with a three-year warranty, meaning that you and your smoker are protected from the occasional wear and tear.

    Pros:

    • Comes with a 3-year warranty
    • Large cooking capacity
    • Easy and convenient to use
    • Easy cleanup

    Cons:

    • It has a heavy weight of 52lb
    • Immobile

    7. Camp Chef XXL Vertical Pellet Smoker

    Camp Chef XXL Vertical Pellet Smoker

    Camp Chef’s is an excellent option if you need to smoke or grill for a large party. It has the most cooking space on our best smokers list, at 1,950 square inches. 

    It has Smart Smoke Technology, which assures the right quantity of smoke and a consistent temperature while smoking fish, as well as a digital display with a controller and a folding tray. 

    It also adds heat, so if sausage is on your menu, it’ll have hooks ready for them. Remember that like every other pellet smoker, the Camp Chef XXL Vertical Wood Pellet Grill Smoker will infuse an excellent smokey flavor into whatever fish or meat that you are smoking. 

    It also comes with added accessories such as 4 smoking grill grates, 2 temperature read probes, 12 sausage hooks, 1 hanging rack, and 3 jerky racks. Yes, it comes with all that. It also comes with an ash cleaning system, that makes cleaning the smoker very easy. 

    You can’t go wrong with this smoker since it not only has the greatest versatility of any of our recommendations, but it also has all of the features you desire in a premium smoker.

    Pros:

    • Ash cleaning system
    • Mobile wheels
    • Wide temperature range
    • Large cooking capacity of 1,950 square inches

    Cons:

    • Expensive
    • Manual Readout

    8. Kamado Joe KJ23RH Classic

    Kamado Joe KJ23RH Classic

    The Kamado Joe KJ23RH Classic offers you an upgrade to your traditional charcoal smoker. It’s known for infusing a great smokey flavor into fish and meat. 

    It comes equip with Kamado’s 2-tier Divide and Conquer Cooking System transforming the modest grill grate into the most potent culinary instrument in your arsenal. 

    The groundbreaking half-moon design allows you to cook different items in different methods at different temperatures all at the same time. 

    Its Control Tower Top Vent allows for the control of airflow, enabling you to maintain a consistent temperature, whether you’re cooking at 225ºF or at its maximum temperature of 750ºF. 

    The Kamado brand has also taken the Joe KJ23RH Classic smoker one step further by including a patented Ash drawer that allows to you quickly dispose of any ashes, even when you’re still cooking. 

    You won’t find this design in any other smoker. Although the Kamado Joe KJ23RH Classic is much heavier than other smokers, weighing in at 188lb, its added wheels make it easier to move it around.

    Pros:

    • Easy to clean and maintain
    • Highly durable
    • High-temperature range
    • Kamado’s Divide and Conquer Flexible Cooking System
    • Easy to assemble

    Cons:

    • Smaller cooking area
    • Very Heavy

    9. Royal Gourmet SE2801 Electric Smoker

    Royal Gourmet SE2801 Electric Smoker

    If you’re avoiding a gas smoker because transporting gas tanks can be a hassle, then you should consider the Royal Gourmet SE2801 Electric Smoker. This electric smoker so is easy and convenient to use since it’s powered by electricity. 

    It has 1500W of heating power with a digital controller that is completely adjustable and detachable. It is also constructed with a stainless-steel water pan and lidded wood pellet box which produces a great smokey aroma. 

    This smoker is designed with a large cooking capacity of 458 square inches which means you can easily put pies, ribs, and even a whole turkey inside of it. 

    It comes with three chrome-coated racks which are easily adjustable to get the correct height to fit in food of various sizes. 

    Because of the multi-functional capabilities, diverse applications such as smoked barbecue, firewood grilling, steaming, drying, and so on may be expected. 

    Although the smoker is not designed with a food viewing window, it does have an integrated door thermometer, meaning without opening the smoker you can conveniently monitor the temperature inside.

    Pros:

    • Large cooking capacity
    • Integrated door thermometer
    • Royal Gourmet Smoker’s cooking book included
    • Easy to assemble
    • Adjustable temperature control

    Cons:

    • Stationary and bulky
    • No food viewing window

    10. Char-Broil Standard Digital Electric Smoker

    Char-Broil Standard Digital Electric Smoker

    Last on the list is the Char-Broil Standard Digital Electric Smoker. This electric smoker comes fully assembled so you won’t have to go through the hassle of putting it together. 

    It is constructed with an advanced digital control panel with a blue LED display that anyone can read. It has an interior size of 725 square inches, making it perfect for large cookouts. 

    One great thing about the Char-Broil Standard Digital Electric Smoker is this air-tight design. With its large locking latch that creates a smoke-tight seal and its heavily insulated double-wall construction makes heat and smoke loss practically impossible. 

    You can definitely be sure that with this smoker, your fish will absorb as much flavor as possible. It has a low temperature range, reaching a maximum temperature of 275ºF, which is perfect for smoking fish but limits the smoker’s versatility.

    If you’re the type to enjoy a good slow roast, then this is the one for you. If not, try the other smokers mentioned above.

    Pros:

    • Large cooking capacity
    • Detachable thermometer
    • Very Durable
    • Well insulated
    • Adjustable temperature control

    Cons:

    • Low-temperature range
    • No food viewing window

    Tips on Smoking Fish

    When a fish is smoked to perfection, it will produce results that your tastes buds will forever be grateful for, but getting that perfectly can be difficult, especially if it’s your first-time smoking fish. 

    There are so many things to put into consideration, like what temperature to smoke at or what type of wood to use. This can make the task seem a bit daunting, but we are to help! 

    We have provided below a list of tips on smoking fit, to get you closer to that perfectly smoked fish.

    • It’s important to keep in mind that fish can burn quickly, and the last thing you want to do is ruin your supper. Therefore, it’s better to smoke fish at lower temperatures, even though that would lengthen your smoking time, than having to eat charred fish. Remember to regularly check the smoker, to see if you’re drying out the fish by smoking it for too long. You could also try cutting the fish into smaller fillets if you wish to shorten the cooking time. They’ll cook in less time than a full fish.
    • To infuse the right flavors into the fish, it’s important to get familiar with the type of taste a particular wood pellet will produce. We would recommend using woods like hickory, maple, cedar, apple, and cherry to get a really good smokey flavor in the fish. Mixing different types of woods too can produce excellent results too. However, if you’re not yet familiar with what woods to use when smoking, try adding salt and spices to your fish first.
    • Understanding the type of fish you’re smoking, will help you know exactly how to smoke it better. For example, fish with a lot of fat, e.g. tuna, will absorb the smoke flavors better because of their high-fat content, making them better for smoking than leaner fish, like salmon.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    The recommended temperature for smoking fish is 175ºF to 225 ºF (79 ºC and 107ºC). Smoking at lower temperatures ensures that the taste is incorporated into the fish. However, to kill all the bacteria in the fish, you’ll need to cook the fish at the recommended temperature for up to half an hour so the fish can be safe for consumption.

    Smoking fish is a time-consuming procedure that necessitates the use of specialized equipment, but it’s not so much about which smoker is best for fish, but which smoker is better for you. You must understand which features and types of equipment are ideal for your style of cooking cuisine. There are so many different types of smokers out there, and with the way smoker technology is advancing, there’ll be many more to come. We’d advise you to get a smoker that you feel comfortable using.

    No. Smoking fish will not cause your smoker to fail. Many people believe that the fish scent will permeate the smoker; however, if you smoke at moderate temperatures and clean your smoker after each use, this should not be an issue. Do not neglect the importance of cleaning and regular maintenance on the smoker, if you really want it to have a long lifespan.

    It really depends on the type and number of fish that you want to smoke. It usually takes about 3 – 6 hours for fish to properly smoke, depending on the temperature you’re smoking at. You can try smoking fish for a longer duration and at lower temperatures to really infuse that smokey flavor into the fish.

    Whether your smoker is fueled with gas, charcoal or electricity will have a direct effect on the flavor left in the fish. A pellet or charcoal smoker would do a better job of getting the best taste infused into the fish. Because fish has a strong taste, you want a wood that will permeate the meat thoroughly.

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