Is the Unit Durable?
You’ll be spending hundreds of dollars to acquire a vertical pellet smoker, which is not small money. Having said that, you need to ensure that the unit you purchase can put up with the pressures of constant use and still serve you for a long time.
If you’re buying a smoker for outdoor uses like camping, you will need to ensure that its construction can withstand the elements. Some of the best vertical pellet smokers are constructed using heavy-duty materials that resist rusting and corrosion.
Additionally, the type of finish that the unit has is also a factor to consider. Though a classic finish can be appealing, it should also be very protective so that your unit can stand the test of time. Some of the common finishes include stainless steel, chrome, and porcelain coating. A durable unit is a great value for money. Don’t invest in a cheaply made smoker.
What’s the Size of the Cooking Surface?
The area of cooking is another thing you must consider before buying the right vertical pellet smoker for you. How big or small do you want it to be?
That will mainly depend on how much food you intend to be cooking. It can also depend on where you’ll be using your smoker.
For example, if you’re buying a smoker for commercial use, then a unit with 2000+ of the total cooking area can be the perfect choice for you. The same can be good for household uses if you intend to entertain your guests at home or you have a large family.
However, if you just want a unit for preparing food for two or three at home, a small cooking area of about 500 or more square inches can be ideal.
You should also be aware that the size of the cooking surface is affected by the hopper capacity. A bigger unit with a generous cooking surface should come with a large-capacity hopper of at least 40 pounds.
With such a capacity, it will be able to accommodate enough pellets to take you several hours of cooking without reloading. On the other hand, if you’re buying a small unit for your personal use, a small hopper capacity will just be fine.
How User-friendly Is It?
Where you’re a starter who wants to learn and take your smoking skills to the next level or a seasonal smoker who wants to entertain guests and family by preparing delicious food with that real-wood flavor, you’ll need a unit that’s easy to use.
Many features contribute to a unit being user-friendly. One is the meat probe feature that helps you get precise temperature readings instead of guesswork that can affect your overall results. With such a feature, you’ll be able to know the internal temperature of the food without opening the smoker.
The best vertical pellet smokers also come with digital control panels where you can have full control of your unit without any hassle. From the panel, you can control the temperature and everything in between for a smooth and convenient cooking experience.
The unit should also be easy to clean. Generally, the smoker will be getting dirty and require cleaning after every cooking session. If it’s hard to clean, then you can imagine the hassle you’ll have to go through to make it ready for the next cooking session. Some of the features that enhance cleaning include an ashtray and grease tray systems, the coating on the cooking grates, and the finish of the unit.
Your unit must be easy to transport. The best vertical pellet smoker is equipped with caster locking wheels that aid in its movement. If the unit is especially big and doesn’t have the means to facilitate portability, then you’ll require the help of another person to be able to move it. That can be very inconvenient.
How Versatile Is It?
Versatility matters whether it’s a unit for household or commercial use. Generally, you want a smoker but it won’t hurt if you have a unit that can do something more than just smoking.
The best vertical pellet smokers offer you other conveniences like roasting, baking, braising, and barbequing. Pellet smokers are poor when it comes to grilling but if you could find a unit that can also grill, the better.
A versatile vertical pellet smoker is a valuable unit for households with many family members who have different tastes and preferences. While some members would prefer their meals smoked, others would prefer baked ones.
Additionally, some meals are better braised than baked or better smoked than roasted. Sometimes, you may want to roast some foods like maize or barbeque some types of meats, and if you could do all that in one unit, then you can realize how convenient the whole thing is.
A versatile smoker is economical even though the initial buying price would be higher. That’s because you may not require purchasing another unit for doing other types of cooking at home. Therefore, before you buy the most ideal unit for your needs, ensure you consider this factor.