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What Is The Best Commercial Smoker?

by Ian Bond September 01, 2020

What Is The Best Commercial Smoker?

The best commercial smokers give your meat that delicious smoky flavor you get from a smoker or homemade firepit and can make your daily kitchen operations more efficient. 

Make the wrong choice, and you face problems associated with your commercial BBQ smoker where your food does not have the texture and flavor you want. Poor functioning smokers also become an obstacle in your kitchen operations.

Reviews of the Best Commercial Smoker

1. Cookshack SmartSmoker SM160 20" Stainless Steel Commercial Electric Smoker Oven

Cookshack SmartSmoker SM160 20" Stainless Steel Commercial Electric Smoker Oven

Ideal for small restaurants and caterers, the Cookshack SmartSmoker SM160 20” Commercial Electric Smoker Oven comes with features that can produce a moderate amount of smoked and barbecued foods within its 1,620 square-inch cooking area.

You can produce hot or cold smoked lox-style salmon or pit barbequed meat and vegetables at low 100 ̊F - 300 ̊F digital readings with no drying air drafts. That means there would be no temperature variations inside the product, even if you grill for a long time.

Around 1 lb. of pellets are ignited at 250 ̊F per hour to control the required amount of smoke for smoking your food.

You can operate this product indoors 24 hours a day with a Cookshack Smokehood, exhaust fan, or hood for outside ventilation.

The five layers of grills and racks ensure your food is cooked evenly with control readings gauged by its exclusive IQ5 digital control box.

When it comes to cooking capacity, you can cook different meats with this product - 20 whole chickens, 50 pounds of ribs, 120 pounds of pork butts, or 120 pounds of brisket per load. 

You'll find that this has great Amazon reviews, evident that people love the features it comes with.


  • Suitable for small restaurants or outdoor cookouts that don’t require large amounts of smoked food
  • No drying movement of air that affects the cooking temperature
  • Drippings go into one of the drip pans that is easily removed and cleaned
  • Accessible price
  • Four wheels for easy movement


  • Needs smokehood and an exhaust fan for ventilation when smoking
  • May be too small for the needs of a large restaurant

2. Cookshack SmartSmoker SM360 47" Stainless Steel Commercial Electric Smoker

Cookshack SmartSmoker SM360 47" Stainless Steel Commercial Electric Smoker

One of the largest electric pieces from the Cookshack product series, the Cookshack SmartSmoker SM360 47” Commercial Electric Smoker has features that can produce 550 pounds of heavy meat cuts per load.

This product features smolders heated in a wooden box with 100 ̊F - 300 ̊F readings gauged by four digitally-gauged 1500-watt heating elements.

Specially designed for the barbeque menu, this easily programmable commercial-grade smoker grill yields tender results at low temperatures.

When used indoors, you want the SM360 to be close to an exhaust fan for adequate ventilation. Alternatively, it can be easier to fit a Cookshack Smokehood.

Unlike smaller models like Bradley and Masterbuilt, this smoker is made to handle up to 270 pounds of ribs, 500 pounds of brisket, 500 pounds of pork butts, and 100 whole chickens per load.


  • One of the largest capacities available for BBQ smokers
  • Features the ability to cold smoke fish and cheese
  • This smoker produces high-quality meats without shrinking them


  • Requires an electrical power source

3. Cookshack Fast Eddys FEC240 46" Stainless Steel Commercial Smoker Oven

Cookshack Fast Eddys FEC240 46" Stainless Steel Commercial Smoker Oven

Because of its 100% heat and flavor woodburning capacity, the Cookshack Fast Eddys FEC240 46” Commercial Smoker Oven maintains a temperature of 160 ̊F - 400 ̊F. Instead of a thermometer, the new IQ5 digital system retains control over the temperature.

It features a great 3128 square inches cooking area that allows you to cook large quantities of food.

Our tests showed that the Cookshack FEC240 commercial smoker fully controls smoking temperatures very quickly with its simple flip-switch auto-start feature.

This top-notch commercial smoker grill does not warp or bend even with a forklift. With its features, it can cook up to 60 chickens, 240 pounds of brisket, 180 pounds of ribs or 250 pounds of pork butts per load.


  • Burns more cleanly and reduces emissions
  • Features a convection fan and offset firebox to circulate smoke and heat for consistent cooking temperatures that last a long time
  • Small footprint so it can fit through doors
  • Features four wheels for easy transportation
  • Comes with digital controls, which makes cooking easy


  • Size requires more kitchen space

4. Cookshack Fast Eddys FEC500 66" Stainless Steel Commercial Rotisserie Smoker

Cookshack Fast Eddys FEC500 66" Stainless Steel Commercial Rotisserie Smoker

Featured with a patented automatic 100% food-grade wood pellet system, the Cookshack Fast Eddys FEC500 66” Commercial Rotisserie Smoker does not require any professional setup or gas lines so you can save on fuel.

Our research has found that this is one of the best large-capacity smokers that's also easy to use in an outdoor cookout. When smoking, consider that it needs proper ventilation with well-directed flues to control the unit when used indoors.

The FEC500 sustains 130 ̊F - 400 ̊F readings throughout its large cooking area of 7350 square inches. It also comes with one of the most accurate IQ5 digital control systems in the market.

Two pounds of wood chips or pellets burn at 250 ̊F per hour to produce the required amount of smoked air, enabling the smoker to reach the required temperature in just 15 minutes time.

Heat fluctuations on this extremely sturdy cast-iron smoker are avoided by placing different foods on rotisserie racks, which comes with a heavy-duty foot pedal. This smoker can hold up 400 pounds of brisket, 155 pounds of ribs, 500 pounds of pork butts, or 70 chickens per load - all without compromising quality.


  • No gas lines required
  • Features a large capacity 7350 square inches of cooking area for restaurants or outdoor use
  • Comes with an accurate digital temperature control


  • Needs proper ventilation for indoor use

5. Cookshack Fast Eddys FEC300 49" Rotisserie Smoker Oven

Cookshack Fast Eddys FEC300 49" Rotisserie Smoker Oven

This heavy-duty commercial smoker comes with innovative features such as a self-closing door and power-washable removable cooking racks.

You can set and maintain 130 ̊F - 400 ̊F readings with a highly accurate IQ5 digital control box that enables you to reach and control the required temperatures in just 10 to 15 minutes.

In our analysis, we find that the FEC300’s effective 850°F Spin-Glass™ insulation reduces food-grade pellet fuel costs even further by effectively preventing heat loss.

With its large cooking area, you can cook up to 350 pounds of pork butts, 100 pounds of ribs, 300 pounds of brisket, or 45 chickens per load. That also means placing two of the smoker ovens side by side with left and right-facing doors can effectively increase the grill capacity by 600 pounds.


  • Features power-washable smoking racks that can be removed
  • Doesn't make a gas after-flavor in your food
  • Comes with burners that continue to be on even when the door is open to maintain the temperature
  • Large cooking area, easy digital control features, self-closing door, and wheels


  • Having two smoker ovens side by side may take up substantial kitchen space
  • Price may be steep for people who want a smaller product

6. Cookshack Fast Eddys FEC750 84" Stainless Steel Commercial Rotisserie Smoker

Cookshack Fast Eddys FEC750 84" Stainless Steel Commercial Rotisserie Smoker

With its generous holding capacity of 750 lbs., the Cookshack Fast Eddys FEC750 84” Commercial Rotisserie Smoker increases the temperature to 130 F ̊- 300 ̊F in just 10 to 15 minutes and maintains control over your cooking temperature.

It generates pure wood smoke flavor for its cooking area of 10,800 square inches using economic 100% food-grade pellets.

Our product experiments showed that manual rotisserie racks on this rugged cast-metal grill are easily maneuvered with the help of its heavy-duty foot pedal.

The Cookshack Fast Eddys FEC750 uses one of the best digital controllers to prevent heat fluctuations. So, you get great results without shrinkage, similar to what you get with a Masterbuilt or Bradley.

Proper ventilation is needed to operate it indoors, but the exceedingly fast heating system allows you to keep the burners on and control them with the door open.

With this top-notch product, it's easy to cook 110 chickens, 700 pounds of brisket, 750 pounds of pork butts, or 300 pounds of ribs per load. That means you can make more dishes if you want.


  • Large capacity available for large barbecue restaurants
  • Digital control maintains consistent temperature to avoid shrinking and drying of the meat
  • Rotisserie racks can be rotated to load meat easily
  • 10,800 square inches of cooking area


  • Requires sufficient combustion air for safe operation

7. Cookshack Fast Eddys FEC120 47" Stainless Steel Commercial Smoker Oven

Cookshack Fast Eddys FEC120 47" Stainless Steel Commercial Smoker Oven

If you're looking for that authentic barbeque flavor, the Cookshack Fast Eddys FEC120 47” Commercial Smoker Oven featured with an offset firebox is a great choice that's made to last.

This BBQ smoker oven features a digital control system to produce tender and moist barbeque across its spacious 1,955 square inches cooking area.

Approved by USDA and NSF, BBQ smokers come with optional racks and shelves mounted on sturdy tubular steel frames that simply do not warp or bend.

Our research showed that its patented automatic pellet system quickly sets and sustains temperatures of 160 ̊F - 400 ̊F without meat shrinkage.

The Cookshack FEC120 commercial smoker is backed by a 2-year limited warranty. Like the Bradley smoker, you can often find it in food trucks, cooking competitions, restaurants, catering units, and grocery stores.

This Cookshack can support 150 pounds of pork butts, 30 chickens, 120 pounds of brisket, or 90 pounds of ribs per load.


  • Features an automatic release of pellets to maintain cooking temperature
  • Provides a great flavor to your meats all the time
  • Less ash produced each time, which makes it safer for use
  • Affordable price for the features
  • No charcoal needed
  • 1955 square inches of cooking area


  • Need to buy pellets to power the smoker continually
  • Unable to support large amounts of meat compared to other BBQ smokers on the market

    8. Cookshack SmartSmoker SM260 26" Stainless Steel Commercial Electric Smoker

    Cookshack SmartSmoker SM260 26" Stainless Steel Commercial Electric Smoker

    Last on our list is the he Cookshack SmartSmoker SM260 26" Commercial Electric Smoke. It can run for 24 hours a day and has features that can cook 240 pounds of delicious smoked foods and barbeques.

    Designed for small catering units and restaurants, this smoker grill is easy to use. It can control thermal readings between 100 ̊F - 300 ̊F with its fully digital temperature control system, instead of the traditional thermometer.

    The double-walled SM260 comes with a handy removable drip pan that holds meat drippings at the bottom.

    All accessories, including the drip pan, wooden box, and nickel-plated grills, can be removed and cleaned. 


    • Able to cold smoke foods such as fish
    • Features great energy efficiency for easy smoking every time
    • Comes at the optimal size for small restaurants
    • Accessible price
    • No charcoal needed


    • Heating elements will not stay on when the door is open, leading to temperature fluctuations when grilling

    Buyer Guide

    Looking for the best features at the right price is not without challenge, but it can be easy.

    In our buying guide, we discuss the key features you need to consider when you search for the best commercial smoker.

    No. of Racks

    Vertical smokers like the Bradley and Masterbuilt 20075315 have a higher number of racks so that you can load more meats. These products are ideal for restaurants that have limited kitchen space. Rib racks with four or more spacer bars allow heated air to pass through evenly while you can smoke more ribs at once.

    The best commercial smokers help ensure that the cooking temperature throughout the grill is even so that you can get more racks and have a consistent flavor throughout all the meats you cook. 

    Size & Dimensions

    Many small restaurants may only have space for one of the 20-inch commercial-grade smokers, while larger cooking outlets and kitchens can accommodate 7-feet wide smokers to achieve faster smoking results for a large number of meats.

    Also consider the type when looking for the best choice. If you have vertical and compact smokers with racks arranged in layers, having two of them side by side makes it easy to increase the square inches capacity.

    Size & Dimensions

    If you have a 100% woodburning pellet-fired smoker, you need to consider the additional space needed for the offset firebox. 

    Whatever the price, consider a product that features four locking wheels. This makes it easier to place it at the right grilling spot.

    Fuel Type

    Smokers can either use gas, charcoal, wood, or electricity as fuel. 

    You will need to have access to an electrical power source near your smoker if you want to operate an electric smoker. A gas smoker or an electrical smoker also doesn’t provide that full charred, smoky flavor like charcoal or wood can. 

    While some people think that only an electrical, charcoal, or gas smoker is easy to use, there are smokers that have fully digital controls for cooking the meat and maintaining the optimal cooking temperature. These new products are designed to have top-notch accuracy.

    For instance, the KBQ C-60 BBQ smoker pit is a commercial-grade cooker on Amazon that uses real wood fire instead of charcoal for fuel. The KBQ C-60 BBQ also features an inverted flame firebox, producing blue smoke. This blue smoke from the inverted flame firebox is a sign of a clean burning fire.

    However, a gas smoker grill is one popular product many people search for as well. One reason why people love grilling with gas grills is it's easier to use, and the price is good.

    Temperature Control

    Looking at the size, a commercial smoker grill has features that can attain the required heat and temperature settings powered by an hourly feed of one to three pounds of pellets at 250 ̊F.

    Top-quality digital control features makes it easy to automate the process of generating and regulating the heat to cook food at low temperatures. Many different brands of quality commercial smokers like Bradley and Masterbuilt have different capabilities when it comes to how accurate the controllers can monitor the cooking temperature and manage temperature fluctuations for a long time.

    Cooking Area

    There is a wide variety of products ranging from the small KBQ C-60 BBQ smoker pit to the largest BBQ commercial smokers. Large establishments may need bigger smokers and grills to increase their hourly output, which usually means more space.

    If you have limited space, you may need to buy a vertical smoker with more racks, like the Bradley or the KBQ C-60 BBQ smoker pit. You can opt to place two or more units side by side to help increase your capacity.  

    When you buy a product, a water pan is one of the best features you can get as well. A water pan, like in some Bradley smokers, makes it easy to keep the meat moist.


    Ideally, the interiors and exteriors of commercial smokers have a top-grade steel make for durability and to prevent any leaks that can weaken the structure over time.

    The best commercial-grade types are built on a tubular steel perimeter and are strong enough to be moved around on a forklift without bending or warping.


    The seams around the body should be securely sealed to prevent water absorption. Your smoker should have high-quality insulation material to avoid the loss of heat. 

    Many people search for durable charcoal or smoker grills on Amazon, including great models from Bradley and Masterbuilt. 


    The last factor on our buying guide is the warranty. Most products have a one year warranty or a two year warranty. Ideally, a more extended warranty period would help if your smoker breaks down in the time that you are using it.

    Some manufacturers also send technicians to repair your smoker if it is within the warranty period and may be able to provide refunds if you find yourself dissatisfied with your new smoker as well. Always check the warranty if you're buying from Amazon or in-store.

    How Do Commercial Smokers Work?

    Usually, restaurants that serve quality barbecue meat have commercial smokers as replacements for a wood-fired heat source like KBQ C-60 pits to make a smoky meat flavor. They control low temperatures of around 225 ̊F to produce smoked and barbecued foods.

    Pellet Smoker

    For top-quality and authentic BBQ flavor, this is considered one of the best commercial smokers, next to probably a real wood fire KBQ C-60 BBQ pit or a direct heat source. This smoker product is automated to a great extent, whick makes smoking for 24 hours a day easy.

    Smoked food produced from these units comes with a smoky flavor matching the type of pellets used [1]. 

    For commercial -grade BBQ smokers, you feed wooden food-grade pellets into the offset firebox at the side. The ratio is usually one to three pounds of pellets or wood chips fed every hour to sustain 250 ̊F temperature readings.

    Once you load the smoker with the meats, you can set the required temperature, and the product is easy to use.

    A convection fan best ensures there is minimal shrinkage of meats and that they remain tender and moist. The digital control box in the smoker ensures that the optimal temperature is reached with high accuracy each time.

    Pellet Smoker


    Every time you open the door, the temperature begins to drop. Burners remain lit so that users can leave the oven door open to load and unload while preventing steep temperature drops. When the door closes again, the smoker reaches the required temperature readings in less than 15 minutes.

    Every load goes through the cook and rest temperature cycles, and this happens automatically. The best commercial smokers do not need human intervention, but you can establish cycle times for certain types of meat.

    If used indoors, the ventilation unit must be close to the exhaust so that any smoke is directed outside. 

    The best commercial smokers on Amazon are designed to keep energy costs down with insulated wall linings that will retain maximum heat.

    Electric-Powered Smoker

    An electric-powered smoker can take a wide variety of loads over 500 pounds and is made specifically to produce smoked and BBQ foods. There is a wood box contained in the smoker to create the smoke you need.

    It comes with several heating elements generate the required heat. For safety reasons, they automatically turn off when the smoker is open. A digital controller will control heating and hold cycles in the smoker.

    These commercial electric units, which you can find on Amazon, are designed to run 24 hours a day and to last a long time. It can easily smoke traditional barbeque, sausages, and fish. However, you will need to ensure there is proper ventilation for the smoke to leave the kitchen for safety.

    One of the pros of an electric-powered commercial smoker is it's fully digital and programmable as well. Once you establish the temperature readings and cooking cycles, it’s just a matter of downloading these cook times to run the controller and firepot. 

    How To Clean Your Smoker

    A lot of smoke is generated, especially if 12-hour cycles are set daily.

    You need to maintain regular maintenance schedules that include cleaning the insides, the water pan, accessories, and smoke pots of pellet smokers.

    Accumulated grease and carbon buildup do not just affect the taste of the menu served at the table but may also trigger fires that disrupt cooking temperature settings.

    Check out these handy cleaning techniques used to clean a commercial smoker. (Want other cleaning tips? Read what we wrote about infrared grills and cleaning.)

    How To Power Wash Cooking Racks

    The best commercial smokers have removable racks made of high-quality steel.  

    Grease and carbon accumulated on these grates can dry up if they are not regularly wiped off after each cooking cycle.

    Over time, it becomes difficult to remove this hardened debris with soap and water.

    The best and easy way to complete this task quickly is using a steam cleaner to power wash these racks.

    You'll find that steam cleaners come with brushes that make it easier to push off stubborn debris

    Strong solvents and acidic cleaners may leave behind an unwanted residue that’s likely to affect the taste and quality of smoked foods the next time you cook.

    How To Power Wash Cooking Racks

    For non-stick racks and rib racks, avoid sharp-edged metal or other brushes that may damage the top coats of the non-stick layers.

    Make sure you dry and load moisture-free racks back into the smoker every time, as moisture can damage digital components and turn real wood fire pellets into a slurry that then burns differently and generates more ash.

    How To Clean Smokers From The Inside

    Scales appear inside the smoker over some time, and they contain soot, carbon, and combustion residue formed during the smoking process. Remember to check the sides and the hood when looking for residue.

    If they are not removed, they fall off and settle down over your cooked foods.

    Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best and safest way to clean burners and thermostats inside the electric smoker.

    It's also easier to get a commercial oven cleaner product from Amazon specifically designed to clean and disinfect KBQ C-60, Bradley, Masterbuilt, and many other BBQ smoker ovens.

    Use a sharp putty knife to dislodge scales, making sure the blade does not directly come in contact with the sides.

    A smoky appearance on the inside may help you reach required temperature readings faster during regular loading cycles.

    Get an industrial-grade vacuum cleaner as well to remove dislodged scales.

    Remove the drip pan found at the bottom of the electric smoker. Power wash and dry it.

    How To Clean The Offset Firebox

    Check and remove all signs of ash and residue accumulated in the offset firebox. 

    Dislodge accumulated residue formed close to the smoked air outlet and tip the ash away from the inlet.

    Use a piece of cloth to remove fine residue accumulated at the bottom of the box.

    Have your own grill at home you want to convert? Here is how you turn your grill into a pellet smoker.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What are the best smokers on the market?

    The best smokers in the market are those who recreate the authentic flavors of popular woods traditionally used in natural wood units.

    A modern smoker recreates that same process with bonded sawdust pellets from natural logs, advanced digital components, burners, enhanced insulation materials, and commercial-grade inner and outer body sheets.

    What type of smoker gives the best flavor?

    The type of BBQ smoker that gives the best flavor is the wood-fired pellet smoker.

    Since it uses real wood fire pellets, they retain the authentic bark and flavor of natural wood that you get from KBQ C-60 pits and can produce amazing smoked foods and barbeques.

    Pellet smoking units with rotisseries provide one of the easiest ways to distribute smoked air evenly for that consistent cooking flavor.  You can quickly understand the exact temperature readings and cook timings needed for their specialty foods.

    What kind of smokers do restaurants use?

    The kind of smokers restaurants use is commercial smokers.

    Automation is the key to a busy barbeque restaurant with consistent cook cycles to produce foods with regular flavors.

    These smokers have digital controllers to control the amount of smoked air entering and leaving the inner cooking chamber. Ideally, the smoker should also have low fuel costs and run for 24 hours.

    What kind of smokers do restaurants use?

    Compact kitchens use vertical units with more racks and rib racks to increase food-loading capacity per run.

    Restaurants with extended menus usually have electric-powered BBQ smoker ovens that allow them to smoke, cook, heat, and bake non-BBQ items.

    What is the best wood for a smoker?

    The best wood for a smoker is hickory. Hardwood pellets made of hickory provide pure flavors without the additions of preservatives, fillers, and binders.

    These Hickory pellets produce the classic smoky flavors that traditional grilling enthusiasts enjoy.

    Specialty food restaurants also use maple pellets for the sweet and robust fruity flavors it produces in smoked vegetables and protein foods. 

    What should I look for in a smoker?

    What you should look for in a smoker is whether it produces all popular flavors of smoked foods, runs on complete automation, and only requires wood pellets other than electricity to run without human intervention.

    Smoker ovens are the best cooking resources for small and large restaurants or kitchens that serve many people at any given time. 

    Our Top Pick - Cookshack SmartSmoker SM160

    Cookshack SmartSmoker SM160

    Our top pick for the best commercial smoker is the Cookshack SmartSmoker SM160 Smoker.

    This is one of the best commercial units to use in indoor and outdoor settings and produces excellent smoking results wherever you use it.

    Even though it features a smaller cooking area of 1,620 square inches, the smoker can handle significant number of food that's enough for a small food business to run smoothly.

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    Want to get a gas grill for your home? Learn which between the AOG and Weber grills are worth investing in, next!

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