Weber Smokey Mountain 18
The Weber Smokey Mountain is the standard by which all backyard charcoal smokers are measured. With some practice, it can be set up to hold temperatures for longer than any piece of barbecue requires. While this is a relatively small smoker, it has the capacity to fit most people's needs. Since it is so popular, the internet is loaded with tips and tricks and there are a host of accessories to make it even easier to use.
Primo Oval XL
I have chosen the Primo Oval XL for this list because of all the Kamado grills on the market, it has the capacity and shape that makes it the perfect backyard smoker. This is the most expensive cooker on this list, but with the added value of being a fantastic grill, it is the one cooker that can do it all. Durable, well constructed and capable of producing a lot of barbecue, for those willing to spend more, this is the product to buy. You won't be sorry.
Also see the Best Kamado Grills
Pit Barrel Cooker
Read the Full Review of the Pit Barrel Cooker
Barrel cookers or pits are simple in design and use, yet offer a wide range of cooking versatility. The Pit Barrel Cooker comes with everything to smoke, roast and grill. In this design, food hangs over a charcoal fire that is controlled by little more than the way the cooker is built. Because of the hanging style of cooking, this unit has one of the largest capacities on this list and can cook several large roasts or racks of ribs.
The Good One Open Range
The Good One smoker (yes, that is the name) is based on the classic offset smoker design. The innovation here is that two chambers, the fire and smoker chambers run parallel to each other, reducing the size of the smoker and putting the heat more evenly associated with the smoking or food chamber. A single baffle or door runs between these so that the smoke chamber can be cut off from the fire chamber as needed. Highly precise vents control the airflow and what you get is an efficient and capable smoker in a small size. There is also a grate over the charcoal, so this smoker can also grill. It does it all.
Napoleon Apollo 300 Charcoal Smoker
The Napoleon Apollo is billed as the smarter bullet smoker (similar in size and capabilities to the Weber Smokey Mountain above). This is a theme you find with Napoleon. What makes this smoker different is that it is actually three cookers in one. The two center sections can be removed as desired so it can be a full sized smoker, or a small, portable charcoal grill. The sections lock in place (something the Weber could stand to consider) so it is easy to move and the airflow is better controlled. If you don't want the Weber, this is the one to look at.