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Man standing next to a vertical smoker


Vertical smokers are great for beginners due to their affordability and ease of operation. Their heavy steel construction allows for excellent heat retention. This guide will get you started with using a gas-powered vertical smoker.


1Check your connections

Make sure that the gas bottle's connections have all been tested for leaks, then connect the gas bottle to the smoker and turn the gas on.

Person turning tap on a gas bottle

2Ignite the gas

Use a piezo igniter to light the gas. Piezo ignition involves using a spark rather than a flame.

Person adjusting the heat on a vertical smoker

3Add charcoal, pellets or wood chips

Load the smoker box with charcoal, pellets or wood chips. Chips will need to be soaked for around 20 minutes prior to being used in the smoker.

Person adding wood chips to a vertical smoker tray

4Add the water pan

The water pan helps to stabilise the temperature and minimise fluctuations. The internal cabinet temperature can be further controlled by the gas control at the bottom of the unit and by opening or closing some or all of the intake vents on the cabinet. The smoker will reach ideal cooking temperature quickly so make sure you're ready to add your meat!

Person adding water to a vertical smoker tray

5Find your perfect barbecue or smoker

Ready to get started barbecuing or smoking your favourite food? Check out some our recipes and ideas to get you started. Or, take a look at our great range of barbecues and smokers and you'll be cooking in no time!

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.