My friends and I are packing up our smokers for a competition, and packing these on a trailer has us wondering how much does a BBQ smoker weigh?
BBQ Smokers weigh 19 to just under 200 pounds depending on the manufacturer. Custom BBQ Smokers can weigh 400 to 600 pounds and over depending on the size and thickness of metal. There are even BBQ smokers and built into trailers that can weigh thousands of pounds. We’ve put together a list of different BBQ smokers to compare with yours if you are wondering how much does a BBQ Smoker weigh.
What is a BBQ Smoker?
A BBQ smoker is cooking equipment that cooks at low temperatures using smoke in an enclosed chamber. This piece of equipment is most associated with making BBQ. The smoke comes from burning wood that will create both the smoke and the heat to cook the food. The main thing is making sure there is enough space between the heat source and the food; otherwise, you will be grilling and not smoking.
A BBQ smoker has a smoking chamber and a place for the heat source. Most people think of a horizontal smoking chamber, but there can be vertical smoking chambers also. The heat source is typically found in a separate enclosure on the side of the smoking chamber called the firebox. There are single chamber smokers that contain both the smoking chamber and heat source in one chamber or box.
If you want to learn how to use a BBQ Smoker, view our post on how to use a BBQ Smoker.
What materials are used in making BBQ Smokers?
BBQ Smokers are made using mostly steel and are the reason why these are so heavy. The different sizes and thicknesses of steel are what you want to look for here. Most commercial smokers are made using 1/16 inch size steel while the heavier ones are using 1/8 inch steel. The thickness of steel will contribute to not only the weight but help with performance and add durability.
Custom smokers typically use 1/4 inch for the walls and 3/8 inch for the lids and doors. With custom BBQ Smokers, you can get the firebox insulated. This helps with heat retention and avoid some accidental burns if touching the wrong piece of metal. At our last competition, the guy next to us had counterweights that were made out of steel. This allowed him to easily open his lids to the smoking chamber and use the same thickness of steel everywhere.
It is always best to check with the manufacturer of each custom smoker for exact weight.
Different types of BBQ Smokers
The four most common types of BBQ Smokers are stick burners, charcoal, pellet, and electric. Technically there are also gas smokers, but the gas is usually used to start up the stick burners and hooked up to the firebox. Neither of these is bad or worse than the other, and a lot of times, you will find that people own multiple types. It really depends on who is doing the cooking, what is being cooked, and how many people are eating.
Stick Burners Smokers
Stick Burner Smokers rely solely on wood as the fire source. These are most associated with offset smokers because the firebox is easily accessible. These have a higher learning curve because it is about managing the temperature and require constant attention. These are going to be the heaviest smokers, and the custom smokers use high-quality materials and thicker steels.
Charcoal smokers and including bullet smokers and ceramic smokers are not self-automated, but they require less attention than Stick Burners. These are single-chamber smokers where the smoking camber and heat source are in the same chamber. The temperature is controlled by the built-in dampers to control the airflow. Most of the charcoal will produce the smoke needed, but you can add wood chips on top or layer in the wood with the charcoal to add extra flavor.
Pellet Smokers are controlled by a thermostat, much like an oven. Plug it in, fill it up with pellets, set the temperature, and the smoker will automatically get up to that temperature, and stay there. It automatically feeds pellets of compressed sawdust wood into a firepot to burn up.
These do need to be monitored because they are made of advanced technology, which means they are also breakable. A Pellet Smoker will also need to be supplied with power. Because they lack a pure fire, some people believe that.
If you want to learn more about pellet smokers, view our post on How Do Pellet Smokers Work.
Electric Smokers are also very similar to ovens. You add wood chips, water, and a heating element then is activated that will produce smoke without the use of an open flame. The lack of a real fire and wood combustion doesn’t provide incredible flavor, but it will give you some. These are great for beginners who are just starting out because there is no temperature management. It is as close to an oven as possible.
If you want to learn how to use an Electric Smoker, view our post on How to Use an Electric Smoker.
Which BBQ Smoker weighs the least?
The electric smokers are going to weigh the least because there isn’t a real fire, so less space and material is used when making these. They average around 50 pounds.
Charcoal and Stick Burners are going to weigh around 80 pounds but can get over 120 pounds depending on how big and the thickness of the metal. This isn’t including the custom smokers.
Pellet smokers are going to be the heaviest because they account for both a firebox, a smoke chamber, and all the electronics to control the device. These are usually around 100 to 130 pounds but can get up to 200 pounds depending on the manufacturer.
If you are looking for how much does a grill weigh, see our post specifically for grills.
For exact weights and size, see the full list below.