Ways To Use A Vertical Water Smoker

by Evelyn Brown | Published On

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A vertical water smoker is the widely used option for BBQ smoking. With smoked meats becoming one of the most loved delicacies by the public in general, being able to easily smoke at home has become a preferred option. To serve this purpose, vertical water smokers come in rather handy. In the article that follows, we shall elaborate upon the various specifics of vertical water smokers.

What Is Vertical Water Smokers


Vertical water smokers are one of the most widely used water smokers available to consumers. The primary reason behind its popularity is that it is the most well-suited choice for beginners. Vertical water smokers are extremely convenient smoking appliances due to their compact size and therefore, portable nature.

Also known as bullet smokers, vertical water smokers offer ease of use primarily due to the absence of mechanical or electrical parts. However, due to their small size, they’re unable to cook large amounts of food in a single go. Nonetheless, vertical water smokers allow you to cook up to 10 racks of baby back ribs at once.

Vertical Smoker

Another merit of these smokers is their affordable nature. Therefore, vertical water smokers enable consumers to experiment with a new type of cooking method without feeling obligated to spend a large sum of money. Vertical water smokers are easily available in the local market. If you need to transport these smokers, it’s an easy job because you can easily break down the parts. All you need to do is ensure that the ashes have been removed from the smoker before transporting it.

Just like any other appliance, the vertical water smoker has its drawbacks. For one, it is not competent to cook large quantities of food due to its compact size. Secondly, it requires frequent washing because the water pan dries out very easily. And lastly, these smokers are particularly manufactured for BBQ and perform this function rather commendably.

Different Types Of Vertical Smokers

Vertical water smokers come in three variants: electric, gas, and charcoal. Each one of these smokers has its respective features to offer.

  1. Electric smokers are the most convenient smokers available in the market. This smoker eliminates the need to purchase fuel or worry about the fire. While some models of electric smokers offer temperature controls, there are others that don’t.

    Whether you opt for one with temperature controls or without it is entirely upon your requirements and your budget. If you keep the water pan inside the electric smoker full, there is no need to worry because the temperature will circle around 220 degrees Fahrenheit. In fact, you can use an oven thermometer to keep a check on the temperature and ensure that it suffices your needs.

  2. Gas smokers are the easiest vertical water smokers when it comes to monitoring temperature. If you purchase a gas vertical water smoker with a chip box, you can enjoy your meats with an added smoky flavor. Often people are apprehensive that using gas smokers might leave the taste of the gas in their meat.

    However, this shouldn’t be something you should worry about provided you have a clean burning gas. To determine if your flame is clean, observe its color. If the color is blue or green, the flame is clean, but if the color is orange or yellow, you need to change the burner or clean it.

  3. Charcoal smokers are a popular choice among many due to their inexpensive nature. Additionally, these smokers are easily portable. However, you need to have prior knowledge before you start operating these smokers. Make sure you choose the right charcoal for your smoker because the temperature of your vertical water smoker depends on it. In fact, if you want to enjoy a smoky flavor, you can also add wood to the charcoal fire.

How Does A Vertical Water Smoker Work?

A vertical water smoker has three parts: the bottom, a water pan, and the cooking chamber. The bottom of the vertical water smoker is the place where the heat source is situated. The water chamber or water pan has a door that allows you to add more water or fuel to your vertical water smoker to maintain the right temperature for your cooking purposes. The water pan is the middle portion of the water smoker.

The cooking chamber is the top-most section of the vertical water smoker. The heating source that is situated at the bottom of the water smoker provides heat to the satirical smoker. Traveling upwards, the heat first warms up the water chamber and thereafter, the cooking chamber.

Operating a vertical water air smoker is an easy process. With its compact size, users are required to invest only a small quantity of fuel. Once you put in the fuel and start the smoker, all you have to do is wait for the food to be ready.

Buying The Right Vertical Water Smoker

There is a vast multitude of vertical water smokers to choose from. With the myriad of options available, it can undoubtedly be overwhelming to pick the right option for oneself. There are a few things that you need to consider before you make the decision to purchase a smoker.

To start with, how many people will the smoker cater for? Are you buying the smoker for a large family or a small one? If you’re planning on buying a smoker for a large family, a vertical water smoker is not a recommended option.

Secondly, among the different types of smokers available, charcoal smokers can be slightly tricky to use and therefore, are not fit for beginners. Lastly, you should definitely consider the amount you’re willing to spend on the smoker. Vertical water smokers come in all prices ranging from very expensive to considerably budget-friendly.

You must note that vertical water smokers are not as durable as the other types of smokers in the market. To ensure their longevity, however, you can purchase splayed legs for extra stability when using the appliance.

Next up, analyze the size of the smoker that you wish to purchase for yourself. Whether you wish to use it to entertain guests, or cater to a large family, make sure you consider your size needs before you make the purchase decision.

You’d also want to have a look at the features offered by the smoker. Consider the temperature range required by the food items you’re going to cook in the smoker. For example, smoking turkey in a vertical water smoker requires completely different temperature values as compared to smoking fish. In addition, go for a smoker with 2-door access. The smokers with this feature will allow you to inspect the temperature and moisture without having to open the chamber where the meat is being cooked.

Lastly, you would also want to consider the type of vertical water smoker that fits your requirements. Charcoal smokers are the most inexpensive option in the market. Gas smokers come in as a convenient option for those who just want to turn on the appliance and leave it to itself. An electric smoker is the easiest one to operate but is an expensive smoker when compared with the others.

How To Use A Vertical Water Smoker?

Although the process is subject to variation depending upon the type of smoker, the steps to use a vertical water smoker are generally the same.

Start by firing up the smoker. In the case of a charcoal smoker, you ought to prepare the charcoal to lighten it and start the fire. Remember that the temperature of the smoker is directly proportional to the quantity of charcoal that you use. Once the charcoal begins to heat up, simply use the liquid as per your preference and pour it into the water chamber. The pan should be 3/4th full.

Next, position the chamber above the firebox. When the fire starts, choose the wood of your choice to add a smoky flavor to your dish. For approximately 10 to 15 minutes, preheat the smoker before you place your meat inside the cooking chamber. When the chamber is sufficiently preheated, place your meat inside it.

Once the meat is inside the cooking chamber, you need to regularly check the water levels and at the same time, you must ensure that the fire is still going. Once the meat has been cooked to perfection, transfer it to a plate. It is advisable to clean the vertical water smoker when it’s slightly warm for easier cleaning.


Vertical water smokers, therefore, are a worthwhile investment especially if you have a small family size. These smokers function as a portable and inexpensive option to enjoy deliciously cooked meat.

A vertical water smoker tends to retain the moisture of the meat during the cooking process, thereby preventing the meat from drying out. In addition, vertical water smokers are fuel-friendly appliances as compared to horizontal water smokers. The only drawback of these smokers is their compact size.

As discussed already, you must take several factors into consideration before buying a vertical water smoker. The price of the smoker, the features offered by it, the type of the smoker, and the ease of cleaning are some of the things that you must take into account before arriving at the conclusion regarding the best vertical water smoker for yourself.

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Evelyn Brown

Evelyn Brown is a housewife and spends most of the time at home taking care of her infant son. The time that she has left after cleaning the house and taking care of the son and the daddy is dedicated to making her mark on the internet. She loves to write about the kitchen appliances that she uses in her daily life. She also likes to spend quality time with her husband and drink aged wine and scotch.

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