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Vertical Smoker vs Horizontal Pellet Smoker

While learning smoking skills demands patience, selecting the right smoker grill is no less challenging!

By kristina artherPublished 4 years ago 3 min read

In earlier days, barbeque and grilling were done on traditional equipment, but today there are plenty of companies that have launched a variety of smoker grills having several features, designs and functions. So when it comes showing off your barbeque prowess among friends and family, you need a perfect smoker grill to entertain your guest. While learning smoking skills demands patience, selecting the right smoker grill is no less challenging!

As we know, there is no limit to the range of smokers in the market; the best ones are considered vertical or horizontal smokers. However, it entirely depends on your preference and space for choosing in between the two of smoker grills. To help you work out which type of smoker that can work perfectly for you, this article delves into vertical and horizontal smokers.

Vertical Smokers

As a name suggests, vertical pellet smokers have a perpendicular design in which smoke and heat comes out from a single direction. It travels from the bottom towards the top direction. Vertical smoker pellet has an installed burner in the lower section where you can put charcoal, wood or a mixture of both accordingly. There are three kinds of vertical smokers available in the market; Drum smokers, Box smokers, and Smoker ovens. No matter which one you choose, ultimately they all have a compact designing which can be placed anywhere.

Horizontal Smokers

Horizontal Smokers need special attention in handling, especially when using wood pellets as the source of fuel. In some of the horizontal smokers, you might need to connect it with an electric power source to ignite its hot rod. The best part of Horizontal smokers is it can be used for smoking, grilling, roasting or even baking. Making it a multifunctional pellet, horizontal smokers have a pre-installed fan that blows heat and smoke evenly from chambers.

Factors distinguishing Vertical vs Horizontal Smokers

1. Energy Efficiency

In terms of using less energy, both vertical and horizontal pellet smokers are countable that saves a lot of fuel than the traditional offset smokers. When it comes to vertical smokers, the compact design consumes less fuel and heats up faster than a horizontal pellet. All it needs constant attention to monitor the fuel requirement until the temperature gets set.

In a Horizontal pellet smoker, controlling temperature is pretty easy with an automated electric feed system. It even takes less quantity of wood pellets than you would use in vertical smokers.

2. Portability

Designing and well- structured Vertical smokers are undoubtedly convenient to move from one place to another. Also, it doesn’t require any large area to be placed or any electric connection, making it undemanding equipment for smoking purposes.

Whereas, the Horizontal pellet smoker takes a considerable space due to its shape and size. The user needs to put it near a plug connection for a power source. In terms of portability, horizontal smokers are quite high-maintenance.

3. Durability

Vertical smokers will last longer than a horizontal pellet smoker, as they don’t come with any part which can be damaged or needs repair or replacement. A good quality vertical smoker can accompany you till lifetime if used with care. Horizontal pellet smokers are installed with wires and parts that make it non-functional for a time-being if anything breaks.

4. Features and Functions

We all know vertical smokers are only used for one function, which is smoking. You cannot even try to grill or bake in vertical smokers; however, it does an excellent job in smoking meat or other items than Horizontal smokers.

Whereas Horizontal pellet smokers are multi-purpose; you can use it for grilling, roasting, baking pizza and ofcourse smoking! You don’t need to buy extra grilling pans if you own a horizontal pellet smoker. It’s a good investment for those who perform smoking and grilling on a regular basis.

5. Ease of Use

In terms of handling, both vertical and horizontal pellet smokers are convenient and easy to use, for those who are skilled in smoking. For beginners, Vertical smokers might need assistance in learning, adjusting the temperature and placing fuel. Here, Horizontal smokers make a win, as it only needs to connect with an electric plug to turn the hot rods on and addition of some wood pellets to perform any of the functions.


Selecting in between the vertical and horizontal smokers is not an easy job. Here you need to observe and make a list of your requirements, plan a budget and go for the one that fits in your lawn or space. Choose the type of smoker grill that will work best for you. We hope this article helps you to figure out the perfect smoker grill for the next barbeque party!

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    KAWritten by kristina arther

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