A vertical smoker is an interesting piece of equipment that will surely add a wow factor not just to your backyard but also to the food you will cook using it. These smokers come in different shapes and sizes, but their common goal is to produce the juiciest and most delectable smoked foods that you will no longer have to visit your favorite steaks and ribs diner.
Cuisinart COS-118 Vertical 18″ Charcoal Smoker is dubbed as an inexpensive version of the Weber Smokey Mountain Vertical Smoker. Is that really all there is to this smoker? We’ve gathered every bit of detail possible that will highlight its best features and will set it apart from other vertical smokers.
In-depth with Cuisinart COS-118 Vertical 18″ Charcoal Smoker
Setting up this smoker is easy. All the parts and accessories you will need to assemble it are all included in the box. You will get two (2) stainless steel grates, porcelain-enameled lid cover and water bowl, a charcoal chamber with vertically hinged door, charcoal ring, handles and all the rivets. You will basically need a couple of your own screwdrivers and thirty minutes of your time to start enjoying your smoker.
This smoker has three main parts. The uppermost part has the lid and its cool-touch handle. There are adjustable dampers on the lid and a built-in thermometer, so you don’t have to use the ones for the oven. The topmost level also covers the first layer of the grilling rack. The middle part makes up 50% of the total size of the smoker. It has two side handles that make it convenient to lift if you need to refill charcoal or clean the bottom part of the smoker.
It has a hinged-door that makes the lower level grate accessible once you start smoking. This opening also lets you add more charcoal to the bottom chamber as necessary. The bottom part of the grill is the charcoal chamber. It is connected to the body of the smoker with three (3) steel locks. It has an adjustable damper for better temperature control.
Other accessories that make this smoker ideal to practice traditional smoking are: the fire ring the keeps the charcoal and briquettes within an area, and a water bowlthat helps with promoting better heat circulation and retention and adds to the juiciness of your food.
It is easy to get this smoker started, simply place the water bowl and the fire ring in the charcoal chamber. Fill the circle with briquettes or charcoal and start the fire. You may purchase a separate fire starter that will get your charcoal burning in minutes. Having this accessory will help you establish your ideal smoking temperature in a shorter period.
Inside the bottom door, you will have a large capacity charcoal chamber seated on a stainless steel grate. Below this is a removable ash pan for quick disposal and cleaning. On top of the charcoal chamber is a wood chip box that allows you to enjoy your wood chips of choice for quality smoking.
- Easy to setup
- Porcelain-enameled lid and interior
- Carrying handles on the sides
- Adjustable dampers
- Vertical doors for easy charcoal top-up
- Large charcoal chamber
- Water bowl smoking
- Affordable smoker
- Damper or vents can be too hot to touch
- User reports that the lid needs to be sealed
- User reports of peeling exterior paint
Cuisinart COS-118 Vertical 18″ Charcoal Smoker versus Weber Smokey Mountain 18” Smoker
A lot of smoking enthusiasts and consumers have noticed the close resemblance of the Cuisinart COS-118 Vertical 18″ Charcoal Smoker and the Weber Smokey Mountain 18” Smoker (WSM). Aside from its 18” diameter and vertical smoking setup, almost all parts of these smokers are identical. Both stand on three steel legs, have two levels of stainless-steel racks, have water bowls for wet smoking and porcelain-enameled interior.
In terms of built, both look and feel sturdy and the bodies of the smokers were made with all-steel materials. One noticeable difference is the absence of carrying handles on the sides of the Weber Smokey Mountain. There is also a big difference in the warranty coverage as Weber offers ten years for their smoker and Cuisinart offers three years.
The price difference can be the main factor for consumers to choose one over the other. WSM is 60% more expensive than Cuisinart COS-118 despite their similarities in many aspects. Because of this, a lot of users consider the Cuisinart 18” smoker a dupe of the WSM.
Accessories to Purchase with Your Cuisinart COS-118 Smoker
This is a perfect accessory when grilling delicate food such as fish and seafood. Just put it on top of the grate and its non-stick mesh will prevent the food from sticking to the grates which may result to disintegration. It also prevents small and thin food from falling off in between the grill.
Aluminum drip trays should not be taken for granted. Not only does it help collect drippings that may be used for sauces and dips, but it also makes keeping your smoker easy to clean and maintain by preventing meat juices and food build up at the bottom of your cooker or on the water bowl.
Take your smoking and grilling to the next level by equipping yourself with the best tools from Cuisinart. This set comes with a pair meat shedding and lifting claws, a pair of silicone gloves for optimum heat protection and meat injector with two sizes of tips to inject different kinds of meat with juices and marinades to achieve mouth-watering results.
There is no doubt that smoking will bring out the natural flavors from meat, poultry and seafood. It is also the best way to infuse other flavors and aroma when you use different types of wood. But not all smokers are created equal. Some may come really expensive. Other smokers have complicated temperature settings and most will still need a lot of accessories to achieve the impressive smoked food quality that you deserve.
Cuisinart COS-118 18” Vertical Smoker proves to be a practical investment that is built to last for many years. It was made and designed the same as expensive brands for a fraction of the price. It has better warranty coverage of three (3) years compared to other brands. It is a smoker perfect for beginners who want to learn to smoke through a grill that will surely deliver.