Devon Ferguson
Published by Devon Ferguson
Last Updated On: January 25, 2023

Fish can be challenging to smoke correctly. You don’t want to go crazy with too much heat and burn your meat. This is a problem with many popular fish smokers.

They are overkill for fish. That’s why we’ve tested and reviewed the best fish smoker to help you find the best option for you.

The 11 Best Fish Smokers in 2023


1 - Pit Boss Copperhead 3 Vertical Pellet Smoker

Copperhead 3-Series

The Pit Boss Copperhead 3-Series was created for individuals who want a good space-saving alternative and a device that can handle huge amounts of smoke.

This Pit Boss Copperhead is easy to use, built with insulated walls, big pellet hoppers, and a convenient multi-position rack arrangement on the market for cooking large tuna or trouts.

This vertical pellet smoker is made of premium steel. I like that the cooking box has dual insulated walls and high-quality powder-coated paint on the outside to keep it rust-free.

A pan of water is placed beneath the cooking rack on this pellet smoker. During my salmon smoking sessions, the water in the skillet lasted for around 3 hours.

When using this smoker, I recommend smoking your fish, particularly salmon, on a grill mat to prevent your fish from sticking on the surface or falling apart when you toss it around.

  • Excellent construction build
  • Budget-friendly
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Compact footprint
  • Large built-in hopper
  • Not weather resistant
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Quick Facts:

  • Total cooking space : 901 square inches
  • Pellet hopper capacity : 40 lbs
  • Dimensions : 42.5 x 19.5x 22 inches
  • Max temperature : 450 degrees
  • Material : Powder-coated steel

2 - Traeger Pro 780

Traeger Pro 780 CTA

Traeger Pro 780 makes it easy to achieve wood-fired flavor thanks to the Set-It and Forget-It feature. You can set the fish smoker to the temperature you want and go about your business while the fish smoker does all the work.

The smoker comes WiFIRE® technology which allows you to check and control the smoker’s temperature from any location via the Traeger app. In case you don’t want to use the app, the meat probe lets you check the fish temperature without having to lift the lid.


Traeger Pro 780 has a hopper trapdoor for easy hopper emptying. This made it convenient to swap pellets and get different flavors when smoking.

Finally, we loved the all-terrain wheels. We moved this smoker all over the backyard without any issues.

  • Fast startup time
  • Easy hopper cleanout
  • Comes with a meat probe
  • WiFIRE smart technology for remote control
  • Traeger won’t replace the smoker in case of issues
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Quick Facts:

  • Product Dimensions : 48.7 x 26.7 x 54.4inches
  • BTU Value : 36,000 BTU
  • Cooking Area : 780 square inches
  • Hopper Capacity : 18 pounds
  • Fuel Type : Wood Pellets
  • Material : Stainless Steel

3 - Weber 18-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker

Weber Smokey Mountain cooker

The Weber 18-inch Smokey Mountain is a charcoal smoker that, according to Weber, is best for infusing fish and other meats with a traditional smokehouse flavor.

We like this charcoal smoker because of the versatility you have to either grill or smoke foods and the smoker's durability overall.

The Smokey Mountain Cooker is made from high-grade steel and comes with two easy to clean nickel plated smoking racks for ample cooking room.

The model is also easily portable, weighing in at only 39lbs (17.69 kilograms), and has a front thermometer for monitoring the internal temperature.

  • Lightweight yet durable construction
  • Easy to clean cooking chamber
  • Heavy-duty nickel plated smoking racks
  • Comes with complete buyer's guide
  • No food viewing window
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Quick Facts:

  • Product Dimensions : 21 x 19 x 41 inches
  • BTU Value : N/A
  • Cooking Area : 481 square inches
  • Hopper Capacity : N/A
  • Fuel Type : Charcoal
  • Material : Stainless Steel

4 - Z Grills-7000E Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker

CTA of Z GRILLS-7002B2E (7002E)

When it comes to versatility, the Z Grills-7000E Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker is hard to beat. With 8-in-1 capabilities, it can act as a grill, smoker, oven, roaster, and more. All you have to do is set the machine to the desired cooking style using the digital control board.

Because it automatically feeds pellets into the system as needed, you can set it and forget it. This is a good feature when you're smoking, as it ensures that the temperature remains consistent throughout the cooking process. No babysitting is required.

We appreciate that the convection heating of this grill reduces flareups while ensuring even cooking. It lights quickly, and there are no hot or cold spots on the grilling surface.

The most significant negative about this smoker is that it is not Wi-Fi enabled. That means you have to be present if you want to make any adjustments to the cooking process.

  • You can sear, smoke, BBQ, roast, char-grill, braise, bake, and grill on this machine
  • The digital control board is user-friendly and maintains a constant temperature
  • It has convection heating to reduce flareups and ensure even cooking
  • No babysitting is required thanks to the automatic pellet feeder
  • It's not Wi-Fi enabled, so you have to be present to make adjustments
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Quick Facts:

  • Product Dimensions : 48 x 22 x 51 inches
  • BTU Value : N/A
  • Cooking Area : 697 square inches
  • Hopper Capacity : 20 pounds
  • Fuel Type : Wood pellets
  • Material : Heavy-duty steel

5 - Char-Broil Digital Electric Smoker, Deluxe, Silver

Char Broil 17202004 fish smoker

Char-Broil manufactures numerous types of smokers, from natural gas to charcoal and propane smoker models.

Their Digital Electric Smoker is one of the better models that we’ve tested and may be a good option to use if you want something easier to use.

The smoker has a sturdy insulated double-wall construction with a glass door viewing window.

It has 1000 square inches of smoking space spread over four adjustable grates, giving an ample room for smoking fish.

  • Simple to clean wood tray
  • 1000 square inch capacity
  • Glassdoor for viewing
  • Wheels and handle for mobility
  • Weighs over 50lbs (22.67 kilograms)
  • Grill cover is not included
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Quick Facts:

  • Product Dimensions : 16.5 x 23.4 x 40 inches
  • BTU Value : N/A
  • Cooking Area : 1000 square inches
  • Hopper Capacity : N/A
  • Fuel Type : Corded Electric
  • Material : Stainless Steel

6 - Smokehouse Products Big Chief Electric

smokehouse big chief smoker

Smokehouse has an advantage over other manufacturers in that their first model was made specifically for sport fishermen.

Though the unit has modernized a bit, Big Chief electric smokers are still solid options.

The durable aluminum construction provides a unique look with a non-adjustable heat element that burns at a consistent 165 degrees Fahrenheit (73.88 degrees Celsius).

The flavor fuel pan and drip pan are both dishwasher safe and provide a means of simple cleaning. We like the no-assembly construction and 50lb (22.67 kilograms) capacity.

  • Durable aluminum construction
  • Originally designed to use with fish
  • Consistent heat source
  • Cooking capacity up to 50lbs (22.67 kilograms)
  • No viewing window
  • No side carrying handles
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Quick Facts:

  • Product Dimensions : 12.38 x 18.25 x 27.12 inches
  • BTU Value : N/A
  • Cooking Area : N/A
  • Hopper Capacity : 50 pounds
  • Fuel Type : Wood
  • Material : Synthetic

7 - Cuisinart COS-330 Electric Smoker

Cuisinart electric smoker

Cuisinart has a solid reputation for home kitchen appliances, and that carries over nicely to their smokers.

Their 30 inches (76.2 centimeters) electric smokers can be a good choice to use if you want an easy-to-use smoker.

The model boasts over 500 square inches of cooking space with a temperature range of between 100 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit (37.77 and 404.44 degrees celsius).

The smoker has a 1,800-watt heating element with three removable stainless steel shelves for easier cleaning.

  • 548 square inches of smoking space
  • Heavy-duty stainless steel design
  • 3-year limited warranty
  • Removable water and wood trays
  • Cover not included with smoker
  • No easy viewing window
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Quick Facts:

  • Product Dimensions : 22 x 19 x 37.5 inches
  • BTU Value : N/A
  • Cooking Area : 548 square inches
  • Hopper Capacity : N/A
  • Fuel Type : Electric
  • Material : Stainless Steel

8 - Royal Gourmet SE2801 Electric Smoker with Adjustable Temperature Control

Royal Gourmet se2801

Royal Gourmet has a reputation for quality design, and their electric smokers are no different. We like the adjustable knob they have, making it easy to control the temperature.

The smoker also has an ample 457.86 square inches of cooking space spread out over three chrome-coated smoke racks.

The 1,500-watt heat element can operate at a minimum temperature of 240 degrees Fahrenheit (115.55 degrees Celsius) and 300 degrees Fahrenheit (148.88 degrees Celsius), a good temperature range for fish smoking.

  • 457 square inches of cooking space
  • Integrated door thermometer
  • Easy clean tray for wood chips
  • Adjustable temp control knob
  • Bulky and less portable
  • No front door viewing window
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Quick Facts:

  • Product Dimensions : 37.1 x 19 x 20.6 inches
  • BTU Value : N/A
  • Cooking Area : 457.86 square inches
  • Hopper Capacity : N/A
  • Fuel Type : Electric
  • Material : Stainless Steel

9 - Smokehouse Products Little Chief Front Load Smoke

Smokehouse Little Chief fish smoker

The Smokehouse Little Chief electric smoker comes in at one of the 5 best smokers for fish.

It’s the smaller version of the Smokehouse Big Chief capable of smoking up to 25lbs (11.33 kilograms) of meat.

The easy-to-use plug-and-go setup makes hot smoking convenient, with operating temperatures of 165 degrees Fahrenheit (73.88 degrees Celsius).

The smoker has a removable tray for loading wood chips which makes cleanup easy. We also like the durable aluminum frame and front-loading design.

  • Smoke up to 25lbs (11.33 kilograms) of food
  • Consistent temperature settings
  • Easy clean wood chip tray
  • Durable aluminum construction
  • No cover included with smoker
  • No frog door viewing window
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Quick Facts:

  • Product Dimensions : 11.5 x 11.5 x 24.5 inches
  • BTU Value : N/A
  • Cooking Area : N/A
  • Hopper Capacity : 25 pounds
  • Fuel Type : Electric
  • Material : Powder-coated Steel

10 - Masterbuilt MB20073519 Bluetooth Digital Electric Smoker with Broiler

Masterbuilt mb20073519

Masterbuilt is a favorite here, and their Bluetooth Digital Electric is one of the better smokers that we’ve ever used for fish smoking.

With the Bluetooth capabilities, you can monitor the heat from your phone for remote control and operation.

The 30 inches (76.2 centimeters) smoker has ample room and an easy side-mounted tube for wood pellets or chips.

Cleanup is easier compared to charcoal smokers while still providing a solid smoke flavor for your fish.

  • Remote monitoring and control
  • Side mount wood chip loader
  • Four chrome-plated smoke racks
  • Built-in meat probe
  • No cover included
  • Must request warranty from manufacturer
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Quick Facts:

  • Product Dimensions : 19.88 x 20.66 x 33.46 inches
  • BTU Value : N/A
  • Cooking Area : 457.86 square inches
  • Hopper Capacity : N/A
  • Fuel Type : Electric
  • Material : Stainless Steel

11 - Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker

Dyna Glo dgO1176bdc-d offset smoker

We’re fans of Dyna-Glo smokers due to their durability and ease of use. Their vertical charcoal smokers are some of the best offset smoker models on the market.

This model has over 1,170 square inches of smoking area, making it the largest grill here. The offset design helps to grill by evenly distributing the heat and smoke.

This is one of the best charcoal smokers that we’ve tested and comes with a solid 25 lbs (11.33 kilograms) of smoking capacity per smoking rack.

As long as you season your offset smoker properly, you won't have to look for a new smoker in years to come.

  • Thermometer with smoke zone indicator
  • 1,176 square inches of smoking space
  • Charcoal and ash management system
  • Six height-adjustable cooking grates
  • Now front viewing window
  • Bulky and less portable
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Quick Facts:

  • Product Dimensions : 20.2 x 34.52 x 47.03 inches
  • BTU Value : N/A
  • Cooking Area : 1176 square inches
  • Hopper Capacity : 25 pounds
  • Fuel Type : Charcoal
  • Material : Stainless Steel

Buying Guide For Choosing A Fish Smoker

Different Types Fish Smokers

Type of Smoker


Charcoal is traditionally the better option as it is capable of using a richer smoke taste in your meat. The major downside is that it can be more difficult for beginners to use.


Electric smokers are better for beginner users, especially the digital type with easy controls. However, these are not as portable as you will need a source of power.


Propane smokers offer a nice balance with the ease of using an electric smoker but a richer smoke taste when used with wood chips.

“Gas smokers are ideal for cooking fish, roasting vegetables, or making a fast dinner of sausages and peppers.”
- Josh Cohen, New York Restaurateur (1)

Material Quality and Construction

With any smoker, one of the primary concerns you should have is what materials it’s built from and how durable the construction of the smoker is. The best smokers from reputable companies like Weber and Char-Broil are built with quality construction in mind.

For materials, you want the outer shell and grates to be constructed from insulative yet durable material. Two of the primary materials you should be on the lookout for are stainless steel or cast iron (2). Particularly stainless steel is a good option due to its ability to withstand corrosion and rust.

“Stainless Steel is widely used in food- and beverage-relevant applications because of its high corrosion resistance in combination with good mechanical properties.”
- Neda Mazinanian, KTH Royal Institute of Technology Division of Surface and Corrosion Science (3)

Heat Control and Temperature Range

smoking raw fish

Because filets can burn so easily, you want the ability to easily control the temperature range.

Therefore, it’s ideal that the smoker has some kind of numbered heat control settings such as the Weber Smokey Mountain has on the damper or some kind of precision digital control system (4).

Ease of Use and Maintenance

The easier that a smoker is to use, the more likely your meat will turn out correct.

If you don’t have any experience with charcoal, gas smokers and electric smokers can be good choices. Gas and electricity are a bit easier to control and also clean and maintain than charcoal and wood.

Total Cooking Area

Regarding the cooking area, the best smoker is the one that fulfills your specific needs. If you are only using your smoker for occasionally cooking a few filets for your family, you will be fine with 300 to 500 square inches of smoking space.

If you are regularly smoking for large groups, however, we recommend 800 square inches or more.

Dimensions and Weight

The dimensions and weight will affect how portable your fish smoker is. Some of the best models have been created to take on camping trips and other areas you might need them.

Consider if you will be traveling with your smoker and if so you should factor that in when looking for the best model for your needs.


Because smokers take a lot of abuse, buying a model that has a good warranty is essential. Ideally, you want to look for a model that provides at least a two-year warranty on all parts.

Pay particular attention as many companies will provide different warranty lengths on different parts of the smoker.

Extra Features

preparing before smoking meat

You can find numerous extra features when it comes to the best smoker for fish, and while many of them are helpful, not all of them are essential.

Some of the best extra features that we like to see include:

  • Shelving space for plates
  • Hooks for storing grill brushes
  • Meat probes for internal monitoring
  • Digital thermometers
  • Storage spade for gas tanks (propane smokers)

Tips on Smoking Fish

Fish can burn incredibly easily, and the last thing you want is to ruin your meal. Remember that lower temperatures and longer smoking times are always preferable to a charred meal when smoking fish.

Make sure that you aren’t drying out your fish by smoking them for too long.

Fatty fish like tuna is better for smoking than salmon. This is because the fat absorbs the smoke flavor better than leaner fish with less fat content.

If you're looking to buy the fresh fish and other seafood conveniently, check out Sizzlefish. Their ready-to-cook fish are wild-caught, fresh, and great for smoking.

When smoking fish, you also want to make sure you are using the right woods, so you don’t get any funny flavors. The best woods to use when smoking include:

  • Apple
  • Cedar
  • Cherry
  • Alder
  • Hickory
  • Maple
  • Pecan

Related articles:


Will smoking fish ruin my smoker?

No. Smoking fish will not ruin your smoker. Many people think that the fish smell will get into the smoker, however, this should not be a concern if you are smoking fish at low temperatures and cleaning your fish smoker after each use.

What is the best temperature to smoke fish?

The ideal temperature to smoke fish is between 175 and 225 degrees Fahrenheit (79 and 107 degrees celsius). Smoking fish is possible at lower temperatures to ensure the flavor is being infused in the smoked fish. However, you need to heat your meat to these temperatures for safety.

Do different fuel sources affect how smoked fish tastes?

Yes. Different fuel sources such as wood and gas can affect how smoked fish tastes. It’s important to make sure you are using a wood type that matches the specific smoked fish you are making. Because smoked fish has a strong flavor, you want a wood that will infuse well into the meat.

Is cold-smoked fish safe?

Yes. Cold smoked fish is safe if you do it correctly. You must brine the meat to kill off bacteria. You should also ensure that you are not rushing the cold smoking process. The primary reason people get sick from cold smoking is due to pulling the meat too early.

How long should you smoke fish?

You can smoke fish for a few hours at low temperatures for a rich wood taste. However, you should heat the meat between 175 and 225 degrees Fahrenheit (79 and 107 degrees Celsius) for at least 20 to 30 minutes to kill off parasites and bacteria.

Our Verdict For Best Fish Smoker

From a large cooking area and functional smoke vault to a pellet grill, the Pit Boss Copperhead 3-Series is everything you need for a perfectly smoked fish.

And because the right temperature for smoking fish is tricky to achieve, the good news is that this versatile smoker comes with an inbuilt temperature knob to set and track different temperatures.

We recommend it because it does an excellent job of infusing a rich wood flavor into smoked fish with its smoke technology that controls the amount of smoke you use.

We also like the convenience that comes with this appliance: you can braise, smoke, roast, and BBQ your smoked fish.

Pit Boss Copperhead 3 Vertical Pellet Smoker

Our #1 Recommendation

  • Excellent construction build
  • Budget-friendly
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Compact footprint
  • Large built-in hopper
  • Get the BEST PRICE until the end of June
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One thought on “11 Best Fish Smokers (2023 Update) Reviews & Buyers Guide

  1. The Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker is a great choice for smoking fish, as it can maintain a consistent low cooking temperature that will keep the fish moist and flavorful!

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