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Char-Broil Vertical Gas Smoker Review

Char-Broil Vertical Gas Smoker

Char-Broil’s vertical gasser is one of many smokers that share the same basic design. This cabinet style device has one door for the cooking chamber and a pull out drawer at the bottom to access the combo water pan and wood tray, allowing you to tend the wood and water without disturbing your smoke box. Rotary ignition and a control knob for the 16,500 BTU burner are located on the control panel under the drawer. It comes with three adjustable chrome plated cooking grates. One of the unique features is the wire rack above the chimney that is perfect for keeping your sauce warm. At 19.5″ deep x 21.5″ wide x 45.5″ high, it is large with a low price.

Feedback from owners is typical of these low cost devices. Some are very happy and getting satisfactory results, others complain of poor construction and gaps in the doors that leak heat and smoke. But as Meathead explains in our intro to gas smokers, leaks won’t hurt your food, just raise your wood and fuel costs slightly. And for this money, how can you gripe about construction?

The heat indicator is especially bad on this model. Some folks even replaced them with other cheap dial thermometers and declared that to be a significant improvement! Fuhgeddaboudit. Do yourself a favor and pick up an accurate digital thermometer.

Our science adisor, Dr. Greg Blonder, recently conducted experiments using this model. “Well, it’s a mixed bag”, he states,.”Better quality steel than I expected. Some bent grill parts. Door seals ok. Cheapest thermometer I’ve ever seen on a smoker. Wound wire handles on door too thin to protect your fingers against heat- useless. Biggest issue is combined water tray and smoke tray, which are concentric donuts with smooth sided walls. Filling the outer water tray is very likely to slosh into the inner wood tray, extinguishing the fire – Bad design. Burner flames are efficient according to my combustion gas analyzer. Cannot run under 285F without water pan, then drops to 240F. Water lasts about an hour, 4 oz oak wood about 45 minutes. The flames in the Charbroil are actually pretty hot, and convert nitrogen in air to NO, (nitrogen monoxide), to a thin  “smoke ring”. No wood required. But the wood adds BBQ flavor and a wider, deeper colored ring.Click here to learn more about how the smoke ring is formed.

It is what it is. If you’re looking for a cheap gas smoker Char-Broil is as good as it gets in this price range. Furthermore you can easily find deals on this guy. Even Wal-Mart sells them for way under the posted MSRP.

  • Model:
    Vertical Gas Smoker
  • Item Price:
    $ 180
  • Where to buy (buying from this supplier supports this website):
  • Made in USA:
    no
  • Review Method:
    Cooked On It
    We have hands-on experience testing this product. We have also gathered info from the manufacturer, owners and other reliable sources.
  • Primary Function:
    Smoker
  • Fuel:
    Propane Gas
  • BTU:
    16500
  • Heat Flux:
    28.55
    Heat Flux is the BTU per square inch and is a more useful measure of how much heat a grill delivers than BTU alone.
  • Primary Capacity:
    578 square inches

Published On: 3/25/2013 Last Modified: 3/12/2021

  • Max Good - Max Good, AmazingRibs.com's Vice President of Product Reviews & Keeper of the Flame, is the man in charge of finding the best products for the AmazingRibs.com Equipment Reviews section. Max bottles his own barbecue sauce recipes and now sells them around the country.


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