Seasoned grillers know the importance of having a high-quality BBQ pit for their indoor and outdoor grilling experience. These grills come in different sizes, prices, with different features. If you are considering buying one for your cooking needs, it may be a fatal mistake to just rush into the market and select one that most appeals to your eyes.
There are certain things you need to consider before making that buying decision. That’s why we are here. This content is going to x-ray the different types of BBQ pits, paying particular attention to their most important features.
We will also compare the different types of smokers (electric, gas, and pit) to help you decide which one is most ideal for you. But before moving into the main discussion, it’s important to understand what a BBQ pit really is.
- 1 Best BBQ Pits to buy this season
- 1.1 Fire Sense Folding BBQ Pit
- 1.2 Pros
- 1.3 Cons
- 1.4 Best overall: Earth Oven® Grill
- 1.5 Pros
- 1.6 Cons
- 1.7 Giantex Portable Fire Pit
- 1.8 Pros
- 1.9 Cons
- 1.10 Titan Outdoors smoker
- 1.11 Pros
- 1.12 Cons
- 1.13 AmazonBasics 26 Folding Fire Pit
- 1.14 Pros
- 1.15 Cons
- 1.16 Looimage Portable Outdoor BBQ Grill
- 1.17 Pros
- 1.18 Cons
- 1.19 Pit Boss Kamado BBQ Grill
- 1.20 Pros
- 1.21 Cons
- 1.22 Kamado Classic Charcoal Grill
- 1.23 Pros
- 1.24 Cons
- 1.25 Difference between BBQ pit smoker and an electric smoker
- 1.26 Popularity
- 1.27 Portability
- 1.28 Safety
- 1.29 Convenience
- 1.30 Flavor and taste
- 1.31 How food smoked in BBQ pit is different from the one smoked in the electric smoker?
- 1.32 Things to consider when buying a BBQ pit
- 1.33 Heat retention
- 1.34 Durability
- 1.35 How portable is the smoker?
- 1.36 Finally, consider the Brand
- 1.37 Why should I buy a BBQ pit smoker?
- 1.38 Conclusion
What is a BBQ Pit?
The term BBQ pit was cued from the traditional way of barbecuing meat from a constructed equipment buried in the ground with an opening at the surface. It was known as Earth Ovens for many years until technology came up with a better design idea.
These days, a BBQ pit is well constructed to provide barbecue on the go. A BBQ pit is a portable BBQ pot with legs and a small cooking space. It uses mainly wood to ignite the fire and smoke the meals. These devices are specially made to provide natural smoky flavor using a slow cooking process by burning wood in the fire pit.
Grillers have options to smoke different types of meals, including meat (pork, beef, turkey, etc), fruits, and vegetables. They come in different sizes and are suitable for camping, picnics, and any other outdoor get together. BBQ pits produce more smoky flavors than electric or gas powered smokers because they still retain the traditional way of cooking with wood and charcoal.
Best BBQ Pits to buy this season
Okay, now you know what a BBQ pit really is, let’s look at the best models available in the market and what features make them stand out.
Fire Sense Folding BBQ Pit
Fire Sense is a heat-resistant BBQ pit that gets the job done the right way. It is very portable and the temperature control level is excellent. The smoker is one of the most portable BBQ pits you will ever see considering its lightweight and compact design.
There are other features that make this BBQ pit stand out among other models in the industry. It comes with a carrying pack for easy transport, folds up easily, takes no time to assemble, and is designed with durable steel material.
Cooking grate and wood grate are included to make your grilling task an easy and efficient one. It’s also moderately priced compared to some other BBQ pits in its quality category.
If you are looking for a superior BBQ pit for your cooking needs, Fire sense will definitely serve you well.
- Excellent temperature retaining the capacity
- Comes with cooking grate and wood grate
- Durable construction
- Portable and easy to assemble
- Legs are not solid
Best overall: Earth Oven® Grill
If you value simplicity when smoking your food with a BBQ pit, there’s no doubt you will love this model. The smoker combines modern cooking with a traditional twist, as it allows you to effectively cook your meal while retaining the right flavor.
The smoker is designed with first-grade steel, which is the reason why it has a superheat retention capacity. Despite the heavy steel construction, the earth oven pit is quite portable and lightweight. Moving this pit outdoors for a party or other outdoor use will not be difficult.
If you are new to the whole world of cooking with a smoker pit, you will love the simplicity of this model. There are simple instructions to follow for the best way to set up and use the smoker.
- Designed with first-grade steel
- Maintains and holds temperature effectively
- Insulates heat effectively
- Maintains good smoky flavor
- It’s a bit pricey
Giantex Portable Fire Pit
Unlike the Docamp model reviewed above, Giantex has strong legs that can stand the test of time. But that’s not its major benefit. The smoker is designed with superior quality steel. This makes it easy to retain heat levels for a long time.
Giantex also comes with a fire tool, cooking grate, and log grate. These are included to make your cooking task a lot more fun and enjoyable. With a folding design, you will be able to carry the pit smoker for camping and any other activity.
Again, you don’t need any tool to assemble this unit. It’s simple to set up. Overall, Giantex comes with a strong construction anyone will love.
- Convenient to use
- Strong heat retention capacity
- Foldable legs and easy to use
- Comes with cooking grate and log grate
- Not as portable as many would want
Titan Outdoors smoker
One very good thing about this pit smoker is the different size options you have. If you want a larger or a more portable one, the company has them. While it may be more expensive than some other models, the overall features definitely make up for the price. Titan has a strong anchor pin that enables the smoker to tip back.
This helps users to easily clean and maintain the smoker. It comes with heavy-duty construction, suitable for use in any weather. The brand knows this pit may be used outdoors, so they have made the exterior resistant to dews and rain.
- Heavy duty construction
- Daft holes for good ventilation
- Produces well-flavored food
- Comes in different sizes
- A little more expensive
AmazonBasics 26 Folding Fire Pit
AmazonBasics is a portable cooking pit with fire screen and painted steel bowl. The pit is heat resistant and comes with fire tool, carrying bag, cooking grate, as well as log grate.
These are the reasons why the product is one of the most popular models among seasoned grillers. AmazonBasics is considerably cheaper than most other types of smokers in its class. With this model, you don’t need to do any assembling, as everything comes pre-assembled.
It is one of the most common pit smokers not for bad features but for its most amazing smoking benefits and durability. Overall, AmazonBasics is definitely a great choice for those looking for high-quality cooking smokers to prepare their favorite meals.
- Very portable
- Heat resistant
- Designed with mesh fire screen
- Comes with 1-year limited warranty
- Comes with cooking grates and carrying bag
- Not suitable for outdoor use
- A bit too small
Looimage Portable Outdoor BBQ Grill
If you’re looking for a very affordable cooking grill with the ability to effectively retain heat, you may not find a better one than Looimage BBC grill. The cooking pit is designed with premium quality stainless steel that stands the test of time. It’s very portable and can easily be carried for camping and other outdoor activities.
Looimage is ideal for different cooking activities such as tailgate parties, picnics, backpacking, and picnics. But remember that its cooking pan is not deep enough, and may not be ideal for baking food for more than 4 people. This may not be your spec if you are looking for a larger family sized cooking grill. Otherwise, every feature about the product is top notch.
- Designed with premium grade steel
- Portable for camping
- Lightweight and compact design
- Very affordable
- Excellent heat retention capacity
- Cooking pan Ideal for only 2-3 people
Pit Boss Kamado BBQ Grill
Pit Boss is a household name in the industry. The brand is credited with the manufacturing of some of the best smoker grill models in the market. This Kamado model actually represents the class the brand is known for. It features a premium quality ceramic design and a top tamper made of cast iron. This provides total control over the flow of air in the cooking space.
It also comes with strong side shelves designed with sturdy bamboo for proper storage. And when it comes to the heat retaining ability, Kamado stands out among other models. The dual cooking grates give grillers enough space to prepare meals for more people.
Overall, Kamado cooking pit is definitely the answer for those who want an efficient and durable cooking grill.
- Strong ceramic design
- Comes with dual cooking grates
- Very easy to use
- Provides the right air flow
- Easy-read thermometer
- Replacement parts difficult to get
Kamado Classic Charcoal Grill
Although it’s the last on the list, Kamado Joe is definitely not the least important in the review. Just like its sister Kamado model above, the pit Grill oozes quality in all areas. Those looking for durability will love the Grill’s premium quality aluminum design. The smoker is simple to use and does not require much expertise.
Its multi-level cooking system design provides enough space to cook any type of meal for a larger group of people.
The grill comes with a customized thermometer, multi-panel firebox, and fiberglass gasket for efficiency and ease of use. Its portable and rain-proof design makes it ideal for outdoor use. If you’re looking for a portable grill for a picnic or outdoor party, this smoker will serve you well.
- Built-in thermometer
- Designed with a superior multi-panel firebox
- Maintains steady temperature settings
- Portable but spacious for party meals
- A bit more expensive
Difference between BBQ pit smoker and an electric smoker
Electric smokers and BBC grills are used for the same purpose, but they both have their differences. While some may prefer an electric grill because of their simplicity and convenience, others would rather go for a BBQ pit for their flavor and portability.
If you enjoy making your own fire with charcoal or wood, you may not have serious consideration for an electric smoker. But if you are not bothered about having a smoky flavor in your food but just want more convenience, a BBQ pit may not appeal to you.
There are other differences between these two types of smokers. Here we are going to explore their differences and see the benefits of using either of them for smoking your favorite meals.
While this is not a tangible feature, you may consider popularity when selecting a smoker if you are the type that loves to impress with your gadgets. Obviously, an electric smoker is more popular than a BBQ pit because of the large interest of grillers and the fall in their price.
When it first came out, an electric smoker was more expensive, which makes it out of reach for some users. However, their drop in price makes them more affordable. And because they are more convenient, some people tend to prefer them compared to barbecue pits. However, if you are the old fashioned type who can’t substitute flavor and taste for anything, this will not bother you.
If you are going to need your smoker for camping and outdoor BBQ party, a BBQ pit will be an obvious option.
They are more portable because they don’t require electricity to function, unlike their electricity counterpart. Although some electric smokers can be more compact (because of little or no space for charcoal and wood), they are usually stationed where there is electric power.
This is certainly not the case with BBQ pits. They can be taken out for picnics, camping, and other outdoor activities. But if you are going to need the smoker just for indoor purposes, I’ll advise you to go for an electric smoker. A BBQ pit will need more space indoors to create room in case of fire hazards.
Well, for safety purposes, an electric smoker is far better than a BBQ pit. Most electric smokers don’t need to use charcoal or woods. Fire can be ignited pretty easily through the burners, unlike a BBQ pit where a wood fire is needed to cook your meal. You need to pay regular attention to the fire to avoid fire outbreak through a BBQ pit. This precaution is less obvious with an electric smoker.
An electric smoker is noticeably more convenient than a BBQ pit. Some come with automatic temperature control unit and some even come with Smart apps. You can easily monitor the temperature of the smoker and don’t need to regularly add wood or charcoal to the wood space.
Once you have conveniently set the temperature, the smoker does the rest of the job and alerts you when the food has received enough heat. That is why an electric smoker is a better option for the novice griller, because of its cooking convenience.
Flavor and taste
This is where a BBQ pit comes top on demand. Most grillers prefer a BBQ pit than an electric smoker simply because of the natural smoky flavor it provides. Otherwise, you would just prepare your meat in other ways instead of bothering about making a BBQ.
The charcoal or wood used in BBQ pit gives the meat that natural smoky flavor and taste. Foods cooked in a BBQ pit usually taste softer and better than foods cooked with an electric smoker. BBQ pits cook slower and longer than electric smokers.
As the meat absorbs the heat slowly, the juice comes out properly, leaving you with a softer and a tasty meal with more juice.
On the whole, the choice is yours. You have to decide the benefits you want and which type of smoker will give you those benefits. Your priority may be the taste and flavor or the convenience you get. And it’s important to select a smoker based on your priority in order to get true value for your investment.
How food smoked in BBQ pit is different from the one smoked in the electric smoker?
When it comes to taste, a smoked meat using BBQ pit is usually better than electricity/gas smoker. The smoking process of the former is usually slow and steady. It allows the meat to receive a steady level of heat, which usually brings out the juice better than in an electric smoker. As a result, smoked meat with BBQ pit usually tastes richer and softer than smoked meat with an electric smoker.
Even the best electric smokers augment and improve the smoky flavor with spices and other ingredients. But when you want the pure natural flavor, you will get that from a BBQ pit.
However, if you would rather sacrifice taste for a fast meal, an electric smoker is still a better option. And for most experienced grillers, there is nothing better than tasting a well-smoked meat with its entirely natural and smoky flavor intact. That’s the reason why BBQ pits are still very relevant in the market today.
Things to consider when buying a BBQ pit
If you really want to have a great time grilling your own meal with a BBQ pit, there are certain things you need to consider. You need to have the right grill to do a great job and enjoy your BBQ. Below are certain things to take note of when buying a BBQ pit.
The heat retention capacity of a BBQ pit is very important to give your meal that sweet and savory taste you crave for. If it doesn’t heat up enough, it will take more time to get the meal ready. Apart from that, your smoked meat won’t have the level of juice you want. Everything boils down to the design material.
Generally, a thicker material like steel will retain more heat than other types of materials. So you need to consider the design material if you’re looking for a BBQ pit with better heat retention capacity.
You wouldn’t want to spend money every time on replacement parts or have to buy a new BBQ pit after a few months of using your current one. When buying a BBQ pit, look at the material construction on the body and legs.
Some poorly manufactured pits have wobbly or flimsy legs. Look at the material used in its design when selecting a BBQ pit. Generally, most high-quality cooking pits are made of first-grade steel. This is not just durable but rust resistant. Some have ceramics design. The quality of the material will define how durable the BBQ pit will be. So pay attention to material construction
How portable is the smoker?
If you are considering taking the BBQ pit for picnics and camping activities, portability will be one of your priorities. A lightweight and compactly built smoker is ideal for grillers who will need them for outdoor use. Some have simple foldable legs to help users easily transport them. But remember that you have to sacrifice cooking space if you are looking for a smaller size smoker.
Finally, consider the Brand
Consider brands with a reputation for manufacturing high-quality barbecue pits. Reputable brands are less likely to provide inferior products because they wouldn’t want to tarnish their image. This does not mean you may not find one or two fewer quality products from reputable brands. But you’re more likely going to buy a high-quality BBQ pit from a reputable brand than any other place.
Why should I buy a BBQ pit smoker?
There are many reasons why seasoned grillers would prefer investing in a BBQ pit than any other type of smoker. But the most common reason is the rich flavor they get from this method of smoking. BBQ pits use wood and firewood to grill meals.
This brings out natural smoky flavor you may not get from electric gas smokers. In fact, the flavor you get from an electric smoker does not come close to the level you get from a BBQ pit.
Another reason for buying a BBQ pit is the portability feature. Portability becomes prevalent if you are having a BBQ party, a picnic, or want to have a camping experience. Unlike an electric smoker or a gas smoker, a BBQ pit does not need electricity or gas to function. For an electric smoker, you need to station the machine close to an electricity source. And I’m not sure you will get that source of power in a camping ground. On the other hand, the gas smoker is usually heavy because of the extra weight of the gas cylinder. This leaves you with the most ideal option: the BBQ pit.
We have seen the difference between a BBQ pit and their electric and gas counterparts. We also reviewed the best BBQ pits for sale based on their durability, portability, heat retention capacity, and smoky flavor.
There’s no doubt that BBQ pits have their own benefits over other types of smokers. Seasoned grillers will definitely love the smoky flavor they add to the cooked food. They are also very portable and definitely great for camping and picnics.
If you are looking for the best BBQ pit that gives value for money, the models above currently have top rankings in the market. We know you’ve found the model with features that appeal to you. Good luck with your purchase, as you enjoy your grilling experience to the fullest.