Vertical pellet smokers are true wonders of the cooking world.

This type of smoker is not very common, but it does a great job producing more tender, juicier, and tastier meats. It generally looks like a big box with layers of racks on it, and the heat source is right at the very bottom.

Since heat rises, it allows you to cook everything on the racks at the same time, which means you can cook for a large number of people. The high temperature is easily maintained, and since you’re using wood pellets, it’s more environmentally friendly.

In other words, vertical pellet smokers offer you the best benefits you can get from pellet grills and vertical smokers. And even if you’re not used to “low and slow” smoking (or cooking) yet, you’ll find vertical smokers very easy to use.

Now, if you’re having a hard time finding the right one to use, below are the five best vertical pellet smokers you can check out:

Comparison Table

Our #1 Choice
Camp Chef XXL Vertical Pellet Smoker with Cover (PGVXXL & PCPGXXL)

1. Camp Chef XXL Vertical Pellet Smoker

This model is the best on this list with its large cooking area of 2,408 square inches; it comes with four standard racks, three jerky racks, and one sausage rack with 12 hooks. ​​ – Read Review.
9.8
Close Runner Up
Pit Boss Grills 77550 5.5 Pellet Smoker, 1548 sq. in Cooking Space

2. Pit Boss Grills 77550 5.5 Pellet Smoker

This model also features a large cooking area, wide temperature, longer cooking times, and a 44-pound hopper capacity​​ – Read Review.
9.6
Most Versatile
Louisiana Grills Vertical Pellet Smoker

3. Louisiana Grills Vertical Pellet Smoker

This model has a 2,059 sq. inches of cooking space and comes with six adjustable porcelain-coated racks and four chrome-coated racks; it comes with double-walled insulated steel construction that promises excellent quality​ – Read Review.
9.5
Best Budget
PIT BOSS PBV3P1 Vertical Pellet Smoker, Copper

4. PIT BOSS PBV3P1 Vertical Pellet Smoker

This model only offers 901 sq. inches of cooking space but with a 40-pound hopper capacity; it’s a budget-friendly smoker that manages to provide ample cooking space, wide temperature range, and easy monitoring​​ – Read Review.
9.3
Most Aesthetic
PIT BOSS PB7000SP Wood Pellet Smoker, Black

5. Pit Boss Sportsman 7 Series Vertical Wood Pellet Smoker

This model is one of the most aesthetically pleasing vertical pellet smokers on the market; it offers a large cooking area with six adjustable cooking racks and six stainless steel hooks for more cooking variations​​ – Read Review.
9.0

Camp Chef XXL Vertical Pellet Smoker

  • Cooking Area: 2,408 square inches
  • Fuel Source: Pellets
  • Temperature Range: 150-350 °F
  • Dimensions: 18 x 38 x 54.5 inches
  • Weight: 136 pounds

More features: four standard smoking racks; three jerky smoking racks; one hanging rack with 12 sausage hooks; ash cleanout system; smart smoke technology; digital temperature display; grease management system; pellet hopper cleanout; swivel wheels; compatibility with deluxe collapsible side shelf

The Camp Chef XXL Vertical Pellet Smoker, as the name implies, is a large smoker that can surely do a big job.

It has a total cooking area of 2,408 square inches, larger than most vertical pellet smokers can offer. And if that’s not enough, it already comes with four standard racks, three jerky racks, and one sausage rack with 12 hooks to give you more versatility in cooking – from large, whole meat to sausages and fish.

The temperature can range from 150 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, giving you more cooking options. The product also comes with two internal meat probes to get a precise temperature reading and not burn your meat.

When it comes to quality, Camp Chef won’t let you down. The smoker is majorly built from 16-gauge steel covered with a powder-coating.

The hopper capacity is only 18-pounds, but this is not something to worry about as this can already last for up to 12 hours of continuous smoking. But the best part is, it can even go past that with the product’s Smart Smoke Technology, which helps improve the overall efficiency and pellet consumption of the smoker. And since there’s a pellet window, you can monitor if you need to refill the hopper.

As you can see, the Camp Chef XXL Vertical Smoker is equipped with lots of features, but it doesn’t just stop there. It also provides easy clean up with the ash clean out and grease management system. And if you need to change places due to unexpected circumstances, the wheels will make moving easier.

Pros

  • High-Cooking Capacity
  • High-Quality Steel Body for Excellent Durability
  • Provides Cooking Versatility
  • Portable and Easy to Clean
  • Smart Smoke Technology

Cons

  • Inefficient in Cold or Windy Weather
  • Dripping Cups is Not Big Enough For Long Cooking Sessions
  • Racks are Not Porcelain-Coated

Pit Boss Grills 5.5 Pellet Smoker

  • Cooking Area: 1,548 square inches
  • Fuel Source: Wood Pellet
  • Temperature Range: 150-450 °F
  • Dimensions: 28 x 29 x 53 inches
  • Weight: 131 pounds

More features: five porcelain-coated cooking grids with porcelain-coated water pan; heat deflector; auto-start igniter with automatic shut-off option; digital LED readout for monitoring internal temperatures; meat probe

Pit Boss has always been known to produce the best smokers, particularly vertical smokers. The company has always promised that its vertical smokers would always offer:

  • Ample Cooking Space
  • Impressive Cooking Times
  • Wide temperature range
  • High-Quality materials; and
  • Large Hopper Capacity

With that said, let us take a look at the Pit Boss Grills 5.5 Pellet Smoker.

This vertical smoker features a large cooking area of 1,548 square inches allowing you to cook more for many people. This cooking area is divided into five porcelain-coated cooking racks for even heat distribution and longer cooking time.

Besides the rack, the smoker also comes with a porcelain-coated water pan and heat deflector to expect a better cook on your meat. As for the temperature range, the smoker can go from 150 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit for more cooking options.

Conveniently monitor the temperatures inside with a digital LED readout. Or you can use the meat probe that comes with the product to check the cook of your meat. This way, you get to ensure that your food is cooked to perfection.

The best part about this smoker (and what Pit Boss is most proud of) is the high pellet capacity. You can load the hopper with up to 40-pound pellets that will allow you to keep the smoker going for 24 hours.

Other features of the product include the auto-start 300-watt igniter for easy start-up and an auto shut-off to ensure that the temperature doesn’t go over the required temperature range.

Pros

  • Large Cooking Area
  • Versatile Cooking and Longer Smoking Times
  • Porcelain-Coated Cooking Racks
  • Large Hopper Capacity
  • Easy Temperature Monitoring

Cons

  • Heavy and Bulky
  • There have been complaints about quality issues

Louisiana Grills Vertical Pellet Smoker

  • Cooking Area: 2,059 square inches
  • Fuel Source: Hardwood Pellets
  • Temperature Range: 99 to 450 °F
  • Dimensions: 27.9 x 28.9 x 57.7 inches
  • Weight: 96.12 pounds

More features: digital control board; CRS High Heat Coating; High-Temperature Door Seals; Heavy Duty Caster Wheels; 2 meat probes; fan-forced convection coating; auto-ignitor

Next on our list is the Louisiana Grills Vertical Pellet Smoker. This is another smoker to look at if you’re looking for a large cooking capacity.

The product features up to 2,059 square inches of total cooking area to provide you ample space to cook more meat for a larger number of people. The product already comes with six adjustable porcelain-coated racks and four chrome-coated smoking racks that promise even heat distribution and more flexibility.

The temperature can range from 150 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit to give you more versatility in how you cook your meat. Two built-in meat probes and an LCD display will help you know what temperature your meat is at.

For better monitoring, the smoker also comes with a glass window so you can easily see what’s going on with your meat inside. This simply gets rid of all the burnt meat fear that you possibly have.

The whole smoker comes with double-walled insulated steel construction to ensure that temperature and smoke remain consistent. You’ll also love the 60-pound hopper capacity, which provides 35 hours of non-stop cooking. And if you’re worried about fuel running out, you have a pellet viewing window that you can monitor.

Other features you’ll enjoy from this smoker are the locking wheels for easier transport, the water tray, and the grease spill tray.

Pros

  • High Cooking Capacity
  • Large Glass Door, 2 Meat Probes, and LCD Temperature Display for easy monitoring of the
  • Temperature and cook on the meat
  • Large Cooking temperature Range
  • High Quality

Cons

  • Large and Heavy
  • There’s a complaint that you need to keep adding water every 3-4 hours
  • Expensive

PIT BOSS 3-Series Vertical Pellet Smoker

  • Cooking Area: 901 square inches
  • Fuel Source: Hardwood Pellets
  • Temperature Range: 150 to 450 °F
  • Dimensions: 26 x 22 x 53 inches
  • Weight: 97 pounds

More features: porcelain-enameled, cast-iron cooking grates; electronic ignition; built-in thermometer; two folding work tables; conversion for full-sized propane tanks is available

Another excellent Pit Boss vertical pellet smoker on our list is the PIT BOSS 3-Series Vertical Pellet Smoker.

Compared to other vertical pellet smokers from Pit Boss, the 3-Series Vertical Pellet Smoker only has a 901 square-inches cooking area. However, this is still considered bigger compared to when you use other smokers or grills.

The product already comes with four porcelain-coated cooking grids that allow even heat distribution. The temperature can range from 150 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, and you can easily control that with a knob.

The smoker has a large front window, so you wouldn’t have to keep opening the smoker to see the cook on your meat. Added to that, you can still monitor the internal temperature with a digital LED readout and a meat probe.

As for the hopper, it is said to hold up to 40 pounds of pellets, offering you continuous smoking for as long as you want.

Other features you’ll also enjoy are the water pan or grease tray, ash pull-out system, and an auto-start igniter with an automatic shut-off option.

Pros

  • Amply Cooking Space (although it may not be as big as other vertical pellet smokers)
  • High Copper Capacity
  • Large Glass Viewing Window
  • Budget-Friendly

Cons

  • There have been complaints about quality issues

Pit Boss Sportsman 7 Series Vertical Wood Pellet Smoker

  • Cooking Area: 1,853 square inches
  • Fuel Source: Pellets
  • Temperature Range: 150 to 450 °F
  • Dimensions: 28 x 29 x 58.5 inches
  • Weight: 142 pounds

More features: 6 adjustable cooking racks; heavy-gauge steel construction; 55-pound hopper capacity; large pellet view window; caster wheels; one meat probe

The last vertical pellet smoker on our list is the Sportsman 7-Series Vertical Pellet Smoker, which is also made by Pit Boss.

As promised, the product features a large cooking area of 1,853 square inches, which will allow you to smoke, bake, rose, barbecue, or braise meats for a large number of people.

The smoker comes with six adjustable cooking racks and six stainless steel hooks to offer you great versatility on what to cook. If you want to cook a whole chicken, you can remove a rack to make it fit; if you want to hang meat, you can use the hooks.

The product’s temperature can range from 150 to 420 degrees Fahrenheit fast, and you can control the temperature as you please. There’s a meat probe inside, and a digital control board outside that will help you monitor the temperature and the cook of the meat without opening the door.

The whole pellet smoker comes with heavy-gauge steel construction, promising you that it will last for years. And if you’re looking for a 24-hour barbecue experience, you’ll definitely love the 55-pound hopper capacity. You won’t even have to worry if fuel is running low with its large pellet viewing window.

Other features you’ll love about the Pit Boss Sportsman 7 Series are the automatic ignition that promises you an easy start and the glass window that makes it aesthetically-pleasing.

Pros

  • Large Cooking Capacity
  • Durable and Versatile
  • Attractive Design
  • Huge Hopper Capacity

Cons

  • Released recently

Are Vertical or Horizontal Pellet Smokers Better?

When cooking smoked meat, there are only two pieces of equipment that can cook it best – a vertical smoker and a horizontal pellet smoker grill. But if you’re still wondering whether you should purchase a vertical or a horizontal pellet smoker, let’s try to find out which is better or which one is for you.

Vertical pellet smokers, as the name implies, comes with a vertical design. The smoke or source of heat is at the bottom of the chamber. In other words, the direction of heat only goes upward, giving that equal cook throughout all racks.

Horizontal Pellet Smokers, on the other hand, comes in a flat form and provides more versatility as you can use them to grill, roast, smoke, or even bake. This means that you don’t need to buy different equipment if you need to grill something.

Now that we’ve pointed out the difference between the two, let us compare the two with their main parts:

Energy Efficiency

As both smokers utilize wood pellets as fuel, it is generally more energy-saving than their counterparts. It’s a perfect choice if you want an environment-friendly smoker.

As the vertical pellet smoker comes with a compact design, you can expect the smoker to heat up faster, even with lesser fuel used. However, depending on the smoker you get, you’ll need to monitor fuel and temperature manually. Compare that to the horizontal pellet smoker that uses an automated electric feed system, which allows you to easily control the temperature, allowing you to save more wood pellets.

Versatility on Cook

Vertical pellet smokers are generally designed to smoke and roast food only as the heat source is located at the bottom. On the other hand, with the horizontal pellet smoker grill, you’ll be able to smoke, grill, roast, and bake as the flame is nearer.

In other words, a horizontal pellet smoker is already an all-in-one equipment that allows you to save money instead of buying a grill and a smoker separately. However, if you really want a delicious, smoky taste for your meat, nothing would beat a vertical pellet smoker.

So, try to ask yourself. What are you looking for? Or what type of cook do you want?

If you’re smoking food often, then it’s best to go for the vertical pellet smoker.

Durability

Any product, when used and maintained properly can last for years. However, if we compare a vertical and horizontal pellet smoker, vertical pellet smokers would win in this category.

Why?

Well, vertical pellet smokers already come in a compact design. There are not a lot of moving parts that you’ll need to worry about, especially if you’ve bought one with a heavy-steel construction.

On the other hand, horizontal pellet smokers will need to be assembled and therefore have a lot of moving parts. So, in case one component gets damaged, you may no longer be able to use the whole smoker.

Our Verdict

Vertical pellet smokers may not be the most common cooking equipment used when we speak of barbecue, but it’s definitely promising.

Of the five vertical pellet smokers on this list, we can say that the Camp Chef XXL Vertical Pellet Smoker is the best vertical pellet smoker. It offers you a large enough cooking space and high-quality materials that will last for years. On top of that, the tools that come with it give you more flexibility on what meat to cook.