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Best Smoker for Cold Weather [2023 Top 5 Comparison]

So, you enjoy a barbecue and you don’t want to let cold weather stop you from cooking delicious slow-smoked meat? Well, you need a smoker that is as tough as you are and won’t wimp out at the first sign of frost! You need to find the best smoker for cold weather, and I am here to help you with that search!

In this article, we review the best smokers for use in cold climates. These smokers are suitable for use in a variety of weather conditions, including rainy, windy, and snowy weather. They are all excellent choices for creating mouthwatering barbecue, whether you are treating your family or entertaining friends. 

What to Look For in The Best Smoker for Cold Weather:

Insulation: Look for a smoker with good insulation to keep heat in and minimize the need for adding more fuel.

Fuel efficiency: Consider the type of fuel the smoker uses and its efficiency in cold weather. Some fuels, like charcoal, may burn longer in cold weather than others, like propane.

Size and capacity: Make sure the smoker has enough space to accommodate the amount of food you want to cook, as well as enough fuel to last the duration of the cook.

Ease of use: Look for a smoker that is easy to use, with clear temperature controls and a good sealing lid to maintain heat. Oh and some have remote controls so you can monitor your cooking from the warmth and comfort of your home. It’s cold out there you know!

Durability: Choose a smoker that is built to withstand cold weather conditions, with a sturdy construction and materials that won’t rust or degrade in the cold.

Kamado Joe Classic II

The Kamado Joe Classic II is a top choice for smoking in cold weather due to its excellent heat retention

Kamado Joe KJ23RHC Classic II Charcoal Grill

Its thick, ceramic shell allows for 360 degrees of radiant heat, and the cool-touch exterior, industry-leading gasket, and stainless steel latch help to keep the heat contained within the cooking chamber. 

The Kontrol Tower, a patented, cast-aluminum top vent, is designed to keep wind and rain out of the cooking chamber while also allowing for precise temperature control.

The Kamado Joe Classic II is extremely versatile and has a unique firebox design, making it the best kamado grill for smoking in cold weather.

Specs for the Kamado Joe Classic II

  • Fuel type: Charcoal
  • Barbecue material: Glazed ceramic
  • Grate material: 304 stainless steel
  • Cooking capacity: 256 sq. in. in basic setup, 407 sq. in. with grill expander, 508 sq. in. with 2 sets of grates or 660 sq. in. with 2 sets of grates and expander
  • Heat Range: 225°F-750°F
  • Model: Classic II
  • Assembled size (in): 46.5″ W x 48″ H x 28″ D
  • Weight: 188lbs
  • Warranty: Lifetime on ceramics, 5 years on metal parts, 3 years on heat deflector and pizza stone, 1 year on thermometer and gasket

Pros of the Kamado Joe Classic II for Cold Weather Smoking:

  • Thick ceramic shell locks in heat
  • Industry-leading gasket for a strong, lasting seal
  • Stainless steel latch for a tight fit without heat or smoke leakage
  • Kontrol Tower protects cooking chamber from wind and rain
  • Hands-off cooking for up to 12 hours (depending on weather)
  • Can also be used as a grill or pizza oven for summer meals

Cons of the Kamado Joe Classic II for Cold Weather Smoking:

  • Limited cooking capacity compared to other types of smokers

Overall, the Kamado Joe Classic II is a top choice for cold weather smoking due to its thick ceramic shell and industry leading gasket, which work together to provide excellent heat retention the tight seal makes sure that all the heat and smoke stays inside the cooking chamber where you need it to cook some awesome winter meat. 

Its Kontrol Tower also helps to minimize wind and rain from entering the chamber and disrupting the cooking conditions.  

Don’t worry though, the Kamado Joe Classic II is versatile enough to be used in warmer weather as well, making it a great all-around choice for smoking whatever the weather.


Traeger Pro Series 34 Pellet Grill

The Traeger Pro 34 inch pellet grill is an excellent option for cold weather smoking due to its ability to maintain a consistent temperature and its large smoking capacity. 

The Digital Pro Controller with Advanced Grilling Logic ensures that the grill releases the correct amount of pellets to stay within a 15°F range of your desired temperature. 

While it may use more pellets in colder weather, the included insulation blanket helps offset the cost. The Traeger Pro 34 is a reliable and straightforward choice for smoking, but it is not the best for grilling. 

On the plus side, it has plenty of space to smoke a variety of meats, including eight chickens, forty burgers, or seven racks of ribs.

Specs for the Traeger Pro Series 34 Pellet Grill

  • Barbecue material: Powder-coated stainless steel
  • Grate material: Porcelain
  • Cooking capacity: 884 square inches
  • Pellet hopper capacity: 18 lbs
  • Temperature range: 160°F – 475°F
  • Fuel type: Wood pellets
  • Model: TFB88PZB
  • Dimensions: 53″ W x 49″ H x 27″ D
  • Weight: 136lbs
  • Warranty: 3 years

Pros of the Traeger Pro 34 for cold weather smoking:

  • Digital Pro Controller maintains a consistent temperature of within 15°F of your target temperature
  • Insulation blanket helps to retain heat and minimizes pellet usage
  • Large cooking capacity allows for a variety of meats to be smoked at once

Cons of the Traeger Pro 34 for cold weather smoking:

  • Not ideal for grilling due to low maximum temperature
  • Additional pellet usage may be required in cold weather for consistent temperature control

Overall, the Traeger Pro 34 pellet smoker is one of the best pellet smokers for cold weather thanks to its advanced temperature control and insulation blanket. While it may not be the best choice for grilling, it excels in low and slow cooking and offers a generous amount of smoking space.


Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker

The Weber Smokey Mountain smoker is a bestselling and top-rated choice, but it is not ideal for smoking in cold weather on its own. Its thin metal shell will not retain heat well and you will need to use a lot of extra fuel to keep it going if it is very cold outside. 

However, help is at hand! All you have to do is pair it with a specifically-made thermoblanket and it suddenly transforms into a great option for smoking in cold weather.

It offers a lot of capacity, quality, and versatility, as well as a lightweight and space-saving vertical design. It is easy to move the Weber Smokey Mountain to a sheltered spot in your yard to minimize the impact of wind and rain on your cook. 

You will need to use more charcoal to reach your target temperature, but the quality dampers on the Weber Smokey Mountain make it easy to maintain low and slow temperatures. It also has a removable fuel door, so you can add more charcoal without letting heat escape from the cooking chamber. 

The porcelain-enameled shell is rust-resistant and can withstand some water. It is also compatible with the Weber iGrill 2 meat thermometers for hands-off monitoring of your cook. 

The Weber Smokey Mountain is available in three different sizes and is a competition-quality smoker that can be used year-round with the help of a thermo blanket. We love this smoker in any weather but with the blanket it’s probably the best insulated charcoal smoker for cold weather.

Specs for the Weber Smokey Mountain Charcoal Cooker 22″

  • Fuel type: Charocal
  • Barbecue material: Porcelain-enameled steel
  • Grate material: Plated steel
  • Cooking capacity: 726 sq. in.
  • Model: 731001
  • Dimensions: 48.5(H) x 23(W) x 24(D)
  • Weight: 68lbs
  • Warranty: 10 years on bowl and lid, 5 years on plastics and cleaning system, 2 years on remaining parts

Pros of the Weber Smokey Mountain (with thermo blanket) for cold weather smoking:

  • Can be used with a meat thermometers for hands-off monitoring
  • The door is removable so you can manage fuel without opening the lid 
  • Good quality dampers make tit easy to control the temperature
  • Rust resistant porcelain-enameled shell
  • Three sizes available 

Cons of the Weber Smokey Mountain (with thermo blanket) for cold weather smoking:

  • Thin metal shell is not effective at retaining heat on its own and requires a thermo blanket to be effective in cold weather
  • Not as efficient at maintaining temperature as other types of smokers

Just remember that when smoking in cold weather, you need excellent heat retention so this is only a good option if you have the thermo blanket. Without it, you’ll burn through fuel and struggle to keep temperatures where you need them. Luckily the thermo blanket fits p[erfectly and does the job nicely.

If you want more options, check out our full article on the best charcoal smokers

The Good One Generation 3 Marshall Smoker

The Marshall Smoker from The Good One is a great choice for those who prefer offset smoking and want something that can handle cold weather. 

It is made from 11-gauge steel that is thick enough to retain heat without needing insulation blankets. The unique design of this traditional smoker allows for successful smoking even in sub-zero temperatures. 

It features an angled firebox that runs the length of the cooking chamber, allowing the smoke to evenly roll over the meat and eliminating the need to shuffle it around mid-cook. 

The Gen 3 Marshall Smoker also has spinner vents that can be closed off to minimize fuel consumption and temperature spikes in windy conditions. 

It is one of the most efficient offset smokers on the market in terms of fuel usage, although you may need more charcoal to run it in cold weather.

Specs for The Good One Marshall Generation 3 Smoker

  • Fuel type: Charcoal and wood
  • Barbecue material: Painted 11-gauge steel
  • Grate material: Expanded steel
  • Cooking capacity: 2,849 sq in
  • Model: The Marshall Generation III
  • Assembled size (in): 55(H) x 38(W) x 46(D)
  • Weight: 497lbs
  • Warranty: 10 years

Pros of the Good One Marshall Gen III for smoking in the cold

  • Heavy-gauge steel construction helps to minimize heat loss in cooler climates
  • The angled, full-length firebox distributes heat and smoke evenly 
  • You can precisely control the temperature using the Spinner air vents (even if it’s windy) 
  • The internal damper > normal damper for heat and smoke control 
  • It’s on wheels so easy to move
  • Very large cooking capacity
  • Fuel efficient
  • Can be used as a grill for quick meals
  • Removable racks, drip pans, and ash pans make it easier to clean

Some cons of the Good One Marshall Gen III for smoking in the cold

It is a manual-style smoker that requires regular monitoring you can’t just set it and forget it while you sit back with a beer.

Smokin-It Model #2

If you’re looking for a reliable option for smoking in cold weather, an electric smoker might be the way to go. Electric smokers are great because they allow for hands-off cooking and are easy to maintain a consistent temperature. 

However, not just any electric smoker will do when it comes to cold weather smoking. You’ll want to look for a model that has good insulation and a powerful heating element to ensure that you can reach a safe cooking temperature even in colder conditions.

One electric smoker that we particularly recommend for cold weather smoking is the Smokin-It Model #2. 

This model is made from heavy-gauge stainless steel with fiberglass insulation and features a double-latch door system to keep the heat where it needs to be. 

It’s also rust-resistant, which is a nice added bonus if you have to deal with any rain or snow during your cook.

One of the great things about the Smokin-It Model #2 is how easy it is to use. Simply turn it on and set the temperature using the dial. 

The smoker will then maintain a consistent temperature within a 25-degree window, making it easy to get reliable results no matter what the weather is like outside. 

And when it comes to cleaning up, the removable drip pan and dishwasher-safe racks make things a breeze.

Overall, the Smokin-It Model #2 is a solid choice for cold weather smoking and probably the best electric smoker for cold weather. It’s durable, easy to use, and efficient, making it a great value for the money.

Specs for the Smokin-It Model #2 Electric Smoker:

  • Barbecue material: Double walled 18 gauge, 201 stainless steel with fiberglass insulation
  • Grate material: Stainless steel
  • Cooking capacity: 1,247 sq. in.
  • Fuel type: Electric
  • Wattage: 800 watts
  • Model: Model #2
  • Assembled size (in): 28.25”H x 17”W x 20.5”D
  • Weight: 114lbs
  • Warranty: 3 years

Pros of the Smokin-It Model #2 for smoking in the cold:

  • Insulated stainless steel construction reduces heat loss in cold climates
  • Double latch door design creates an excellent seal against the elements
  • Set and forget temperature control using electricity as the fuel source
  • No need to stock up on extra fuel during the winter
  • 201 stainless steel is rust-resistant and can handle adverse weather conditions
  • Castor wheels and long power cord make it easy to move and place the smoker in the best location
  • Removable cooking grates and drip pan make cleaning easier and quicker
  • Available in three different sizes to accommodate different cooking capacity needs and minimize electricity consumption

Cons of the Smokin-It Model #2 for smoking in the cold:

The need to add wood chips every now and then means a trip outside into the cold

No side loading port for adding wood chips, so the door needs to be opened to do this, resulting in some heat loss.


What is the best smoker for low temperatures?

The best smoker for cold temperatures is the Kamado Joe Classic II. It has a really well insulated ceramic shell that keeps the heat and smoke inside where you need it. It is a very versatile smoker that will get great use all year round.

Is it okay to use a smoker in cold weather?

It is ok to use a smoker in cold weather. Just be aware that you need a well insulated smoker, otherwise you will burn through your fuel in no time and you will struggle to maintain the temperatures that you require for low and slow smoking.

Will a pellet smoker work in cold weather?

A pellet smoker will work in cold weather as long as you are able to maintain and stabilise the temperature of your smoker. To do this you will need a well insulated smoker, this can be achieved by using an insulated blanket.

Can you use an electric smoker in cold weather?

You can use an electric smoker in cold weather. As always you will need to ensure that you have a source of electricity to power the smoker and in the cold weather you will need to use a well insulated electric smoker or it will struggle to maintain temperatures.

What’s The Best Smokers for Cold Weather?

When it comes to choosing the best smoker for cold weather, it’s important to consider factors such as insulation, heat retention, fuel source, and ease of use. All of the smokers above fit the bill and will work well, even in the depths of winter.

In terms of choosing an overall winner as the best smoker for cold weather, we have gone for the Kamado Joe Classic II it just does a great job in all weathers and the well-insulated shell makes it a great choice for winter as you don’t need to worry about using an insulated blanket.

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