Fish is such versatile meat as there are so many ways you can prepare it, but one of the best ways for many people is to smoke it. However, not every smoker is ideal for preparing fish, so it’s important to find the right one.
We carefully researched dozens of smokers to find top-rated ones that should help you make delicious fish with that perfect smoky flavor. Let’s help you find the fish smokers by starting things out with our number one pick.
Best Fish Smokers
1. Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker
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The Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker is a spacious fish smoker that has four adjustable racks for cooking a variety of food. It features a glass door for easy monitoring without opening it up, and there’s even an integrated, removable thermometer to consistently check the internal temperature.
With its large smokebox, you should get around 4-7 hours of smoke time before you have to refill it. When the food is cooked to your desire and the temperature is met, the smoker keeps everything warm until you open it.
Buyers seem to largely enjoy the built-in thermometer as it makes it simpler to check on the internal temperatures of the meat. Alongside that, they like the multiple racks and how user-friendly it is overall thanks to the drip tray, the wheels and handle for easy mobility, and the LED light.
Some did complain that the glass door, regardless of how useful it is to keep an eye on the food, may cause some heat loss. Also, the door doesn’t seem to stay open on its own, and it isn’t as well-insulated as the rest of the smokers.
- 725sq in. capacity with 4 removable racks
- Digital controls with blue LED display
- 4-7 hour smoke time
- Removable food thermometer
- Warming feature
- Simple to move around as needed
- Integrated food thermometer and digital temperature controls
- Large capacity
- Glassdoor lacks insulation
2. Masterbuilt MB20051316 Propane Smoker with Thermostat Control
The MB20051316 Propane Smoker from Masterbuilt makes it easy for first-time smokers thanks to its safety shut-off valve feature. This ensures that if the flame blows off, the propane is automatically turned off.
As for cooking, there are four chrome racks for cooking in larger quantities. With the chip tray built-in, you can switch out without losing the heat. There’s a heat diffuser for even distribution and temperature sensor controls to better maintain your set temperature.
Consumers like that this propane smoker is rather low in maintenance, and with the safety valve, it makes it ideal for first-time users to master. It maintains the temperature well, and as for its construction, it appears rather well-built.
Despite it holding its temperature, the gauge doesn’t appear accurate, so you may have to adjust accordingly. Additionally, consumers did mention it can be difficult to assemble.
- Safety shut-off valve
- Type 1 regulator with fuel level gauge
- Temperature sensor controls
- Built-in wood chip tray
- 4 chrome-coated racks
- Heats up fast and maintains its temperature well
- Built-in safety shut-off valve
- Good temperature controls
- Temperature gauge read-out isn’t always accurate
3. Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-D Heavy-Duty Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker & Grill
The Dyna-Glo Signature Series is a quality smoker for smoking fish that’s built with a roomy cooking interior and five cooking grates. It’s versatile too as you can cook up side dishes on the offset surface that need different temperatures compared to the fish.
There’s an analog temperature gauge with “smoke zone” and “grill zone” labels to give you better control. For mobility, this features oversized steel wheels so you can move them as needed.
Consumers feel this is a well-made fish smoker thanks to the even heat distribution and the versatility it offers. With the five grates in the main body, there’s more than enough room to fire up multiple portions of meat, a useful feature if cooking for a group.
Some did complain about the thin steel construction as it might cause the unit to lose heat fast. They also say that it may be difficult to clean. The ash doesn’t come out as easily during longer smoke sessions, and the racks aren’t removable individually.
- 1382sq in. cooking space with 5 chrome-plated racks
- Stainless steel temperature gauge
- Cool-touch handles and spring lid
- Offset ash pan and charcoal grate
- Oversized wheels
- Good large capacity
- Even heat distribution
- Oversized wheels for easy moving
- Thin steel may cause heat loss
4. Traeger Grills Pro Series 575 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker with Wifi
The Traeger Pro Series 575 is a modernized smoker that allows you to control the grill from anywhere thanks to the WiFIRE technology. Simply download the app or connect it to your Alexa to manage the temperature from inside your home.
It’s known as a 6-in-1 unit due to the versatile cooking experience as you can smoke just as well as you can braise on the same surface. For faster heat-up, there’s a D2 drivetrain to help start the wood pellets quicker.
Consumers appreciate this as a portable fish smoker that’s great for small-space use thanks to the built-in wheels. Above all, users praise the WiFi control as it’s easy to monitor from anywhere. The pellet design also allows it to heat up quickly.
Many did say that the temperature probe might be off. Furthermore, some complained that the weather can heavily impact it as there doesn’t appear to be much insulation.
- 575sq in. cooking surface
- D2 direct drive drivetrain
- WiFIRE technology with an app and Alexa-enabled voice control
- Built-in meat temperature probe
- Compact size with transportation wheels
- WiFi control for easy start-up and maintaining temperatures
- Fast heat-up process
- Quality pellet sensor
- The meat probe is off by about 10° or so
5. Weber 14-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker
The 14in. Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker is a compact smoker designed for easy backyard use. It features a built-in lid temperature gauge for quick monitoring and for temperature control, adjustable dampers. This also has a silicone grommet for you to easily insert a meat probe without lifting the lid.
There’s a water pan that further helps regulate the temperature, and thanks to the porcelain-enameled bowl and lid, there’s better heat retention.
Consumers feel that this compact smoker does well at maintaining more consistent temperatures. They also claim that it’s fuel-efficient and, after a break-in period, simple to control overall. The thermometer appears accurate as well.
Some users did find issues with the side door handle as it may be difficult to properly latch. Also, the fuel door might come off a bit too easily.
- Double cooking grates with 286sq in. total space: 143sq in. main area
- Built-in lid thermometer and adjustable dampers
- Removable fuel door
- Porcelain-enameled bowl and lid and rust-resistant metal legs
- Water pan
- Heats up well with good heat retention
- Side grommet for adding a meat probe
- Features two cooking racks
- Issues with the fuel door
6. Primo Grills and Smokers 773 All-in-One Kamado Round Grill
This All-in-One Kamado features plenty of cooking space for smoking fish. There’s an easy-read thermometer, and for safe use, a stay-cool handle. It’s made from high-quality ceramic material, and although heavy, there are built-in wheels for transportation.
There are side tables for a simple setup of food preparation and serving, and it also features a lower stainless steel vent and a cast iron top vent.
Many consumers appreciate how well this can smoke food at both low and high temperatures. They also enjoy the quality ceramic build as well as the large space for smoking more than one piece of fish at a time.
Concerning the overall size, some felt it may be too heavy and sometimes tough to move even with the built-in wheels. Also, some complained that the side tables, although useful, can be difficult to lock into place.
- 280sq in. porcelain-coated reversible cooking grates
- Ceramic construction
- Built-in wheels
- Ergonomic, stay-cool handle
- Easy-read thermometer
- Good temperature control and retention
- Easy to smoke at high and low temps
- Spacious cooking area
- Some issues with the locks on the side tables
7. Masterbuilt MB20100112 Slow and Cold Smoker Accessory Attachment
The Masterbuilt Cold Smoking Kit is designed to work with all Masterbuilt electric smokers. It has a continuous wood chip system, and this should accommodate up to six hours of smoke time.
For the sake of durability, this smoking kit is made from steel, and it features a black powder-coated body.
There are many positive notes about how compact the unit is, and when attached, it shouldn’t take up too much space. It’s simple enough to load additional wood chips without opening the main area, and it manages to heat up well.
Among that, consumers claim that without a good seal, it may leak an excessive amount of smoke. Also, there’s mention that the paint inside may chip and wear away after initial use.
- Continuous feed wood chip | 6-hour smoke time
- Black powder-coated body with steel construction
- Temperatures as low as 100°F to 120°F
- Electric power source
- Simple to use
- Fast heat-up
- Small in size
- Can leak out too much smoke
8. Bradley Smoker 4-Rack Outdoor Electric Smoker
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The Bradley Digital Smoker is a 4-rack smoker that can provide around eight to nine hours of controlled smoke cooking. With a digital function, you have full control of the temperature, smoking time, and cooking time on the panel. The variety of racks allows you to smoke more than fish at the same time.
When smoking, there’s the option to add 12 different varieties of wood smoking bisquettes. Clean-up is simple thanks to the water basin that collects those bisquettes as well as grease droppings. Once everything’s done and you want to store the smoker, you can simply remove the generator and pack it up.
Consumers praise this fish smoker for its easy temperature control and since you can effortlessly monitor the internal oven temperature as well, there’s little need to babysit it. They also appreciate the spacious interior and how simple the smoker is to clean.
Many people did note, however, that because of the size of the heating element, this smoker may struggle to maintain a proper temperature when used in cold weather.
- Digital generator with the temperature set up to 320°F
- Smoke vent
- Multi-rack design
- Smoke diffuser for an even smoke
- Stainless steel interior
- User-friendly design with straightforward temperature controls
- Made from sturdy material that’s easy to wipe clean
- Minimal monitoring needed
- Doesn’t work as well in colder weather
9. Char-Broil Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Offset Smoker
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The Highland Offset Smoker is a horizontal smoker that provides more than 600 sq. in. of cooking space. There are numerous adjustable dampers to control the smoke and heat, and with the firebox door, you can stoke the fire without ever opening the chamber lid.
For better monitoring, there’s a lid-mounted temperature gauge. You have easy access to all your tools and such thanks to the built-in front shelf. If you need to move it around, you can make good use of the wagon-style wheels.
One of the most talked-about aspects that smoker consumers like is the adjustable damper setup. It allows for better maintenance of the smoke and temperature. They also enjoy versatility thanks to the offset chamber and warming mechanism.
Many did say that controlling the temperature may require a learning curve. It also might require some modification in certain areas as, for instance, it can experience some heat fluctuations due to the thinness of the steel.
- 900sq in. total space: 619sq in. primary | 281sq in. Secondary
- Swing-open firebox door
- Multiple adjustable dampers and lid-mounted temperature gauge
- Cool-touch handles and wagon-style wheels
- Firebox warming area
- Versatile thanks to the double cooking chambers
- Multiple adjustable dampers
- Simple to clean
- It May require frequent monitoring
10. Masterbuilt 20051311 GS30D 2-Door Propane Smoker
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The Masterbuilt GS30D Propane Smoker is a quality and affordable smoker that features an electric push-button igniter. There’s plenty of space with more than 700 sq in. of room along with the four chrome-coated racks.
It has an air damper for smoke control, a built-in temperature gauge, and a locking door with an inner liner to maintain the heat inside. Cleaning is simple too as the water pan and the wood chip tray are removable.
Consumers enjoy that this smoker is simple enough to assemble and works well as a beginner’s propane smoker. It even heats up at a good speed so you can start cooking sooner. There’s also an appreciation for the cool-touch handle for safety purposes.
Some users touched on an issue with some smoke leakage around the door as the seal isn’t as tight as it should be. Also, many mentioned that the drip pan is small, so it may need replacing.
- 4 chrome racks with 717sq in. cooking space
- Porcelain-coated wood chip tray and water pan
- Built-in temperature gauge
- Locking door with liner and cool-touch wire handle
- Push-button electric ignition
- Cool-touch handle
- Racks are easy to set up and clean
- Heats up well
- The drip pan may be too small
Factors to Consider
To pull off a quality, tasty smoked fish, you need the right smoker. We put together a brief guide that should help you decide which smoker is best suited for your needs. This way, you should have an easier time choosing among our previous picks.
Types of Smokers
Before you can address what smoker to get, it’s best to understand the various types of smokers available. There are four main kinds: electric, wood pellet, gas, and charcoal.
Electric smokers are known as a more convenient way to smoke fish. Many first-time users opt for this thanks to the ease of use and a more hands-off approach since you typically don’t have to watch over it often.
There are both analog and digital versions with the digital ones usually being more expensive. At the same time, the digital ones require less oversight compared to the analog versions.
Pros of Electric Smokers:
- Fuel-efficient thanks to the electric design
- Best for apartment and condo use
- User-friendly for first-time smokers
Cons of Electric Smokers:
- Some issues maintaining set temperatures
- Compared to other types, minimal smoky flavor
Wood pellet smokers are best when you want to get a natural smoky flavor for your fish.
You can easily use a variety of wood to achieve your desired results, and they do well at holding your set temperature while offering even heat distribution.
Pros of Wood Pellet Smokers:
- Great temperature control and heat distribution
- Usually works with WiFi technology
- Authentic smoky flavor
Cons of Wood Pellet Smokers:
- Expensive, especially when it comes to replacement parts
- Not easy to always find the specific type of fuel
Available in both propane and natural gas versions, these smokers are commonplace.
They are usually more affordable compared to others, mainly propane versions, and they are easy to learn if you’ve already used grills with similar fuel.
Pros of Gas Smokers:
- User-friendly setup, use, and clean-up process
- Cost-efficient fuel source
- Good maintenance of temperature control
Cons of Gas Smokers:
- May eat up fuel fast, so you must replace it often
- Doesn’t offer a strong smoky flavor
Next to gas, charcoal smokers are readily available and commonly used.
It’s another one that can offer an authentic smoky taste for your fish, and it is versatile in that you can use it outdoors. These smokers also come in a good variety of styles and sizes.
Pros of Charcoal Smokers:
- Offer great smoky flavors
- Easy to find the fuel
- Affordable option
Cons of Charcoal Smokers:
- Ashes leave a lot to clean up
- Requires frequent monitoring
Ease of Use
When smoking at home, it helps if the unit is simple to use. Your smoker of choice shouldn’t be too difficult to set up and cook with. It helps if there is a good cooking space depending on how many people you plan to feed. This is why many quality smokers come with multiple surfaces.
Also, check on the safety aspects. Some propane-based smokers feature shut-off valves, while other smokers boast cool-touch handles that free you from using gloves.
Temperature and Smoke Control
Of course, you’ll want to consider the temperature and smoke control options. It’s common for smokers to feature built-in temperature gauges for better monitoring as well as adjustable dampers to control the smoke release.
Some may even have built-in meat probes or an area where you can slip one in without lifting the lid. Electric ones provide digital panels for straightforward controls, while wood pellets tend to have WiFi control to monitor from inside your home.
What is an ideal temperature to smoke fish?You generally want to smoke your fish at around 175°F to around 200°F. So, it's best to find a smoker that can reach those lower temperatures and maintain them well.
What type of fish is best to smoke?For the best flavor, you will want to smoke fish that's generally high in fat. These are fish found in cold bodies of water like tuna, mullet, salmon, trout, and sea bass, to give some examples.
How long does smoked fish last?The edible shelf life of smoked fish depends on how you prepare and how you store it. When brined, it can last for months. Most smoked fish can survive a few weeks in the refrigerator or six months or longer when vacuum sealed and placed in the freezer.
Making the Decision
If you are looking for something simple to smoke your fish at that doesn’t cost too much, we recommend the Bradley Smoker Digital Smoker. It’s user-friendly with easy temperature controls, and you can cook a variety of food thanks to the 4-rack design. You don’t have to monitor as much, and it’s quick to wipe down clean.
Of course, if that electric smoker isn’t what’s best for your home, feel free to take a look at the rest of our chosen smokers to find one that serves your needs better.