How Does a Gravity Feed Smoker Work [Step By Step Guide]

Wondering about how does a gravity feed smoker work as you are planning to buy one?

The simple answer is a gravity feed smoker is easy to control & keeps you free from the hustle. It’s a magic smoker as an outdoor smoker. You don’t need to sit beside it for hours to adjust the cooking temperature.  

However, the charcoal heat does the trick for you and offers you the best juicy smoke flavor. Indeed, this smoker promotes this motto- set it and forget it.

So, without further ado, let’s dive deeper into the guide to know details about how a gravity feed smoker works: 

What is a Gravity Feed Smoker?

A gravity feed smoker is a type of advanced smoker that controls the temperature by putting gravity to work. You don’t require babysitting to cook or smoke food hours after hours. As a result, you can perform other activities by leaving the smoker. 

Now, you may ask- Doesn’t it bring any damage or issue if I leave it?

The answer is No. 

The gravity and the ball valve do all the tricks like controlling the temperature and circulating heat. That’s why the gravity feed smoker has become one of the most sought-after smokers today. 

How Does a Gravity Feed Smoker Work [Step By Step Guide]

You know what a gravity-feed smoker is from above. Now, it’s time to learn how a gravity smoker functions. Before knowing how a gravity feed smoker works, let’s cover the anatomy of this smoker. 

A gravity-fed smoker consists of the following parts that will help to come up with your query:

  • A cooking chamber
  • A charcoal chute
  • An open firebox (situated below)
  • Fire grate & Ashtray
  • Air intake damper & A ball valve
  • An exhaust chimney with a damper

Now let’s know in detail how do gravity fed smokers work:

  • Inside the cooking chamber, we will put all the meats and foods we want to smoke. 
  • Right-side of the cooking chamber, there is a charcoal chute which you should fill up with charcoal. Make sure you add enough coal to cook for a long time.
  • You can also add some wood chunks with the charcoal to add a different smoke flavor. 
  • There is an open firebox below following the charcoal chute where all the magic happens. You can find two components: a fire grate (upper left) and an ashtray (at lower left).  
  • Once you fill the charcoal chute with charcoal, they all sit on the charcoal grate or fire grate. 
  • On the firebox, there is a ball valve. It lets you control how much air will draw into the cooking chamber. Indeed, it’s a temperature regulator. It helps to draw air inside the cooking chamber and distributes the heat to cook. 
  • Finally, the exhaust chimney with a damper! It helps to draw air out of the cooking chamber and prevent condensation from dripping on food.

Thus, all of a gravity feed smoker’s features work this way and offer you juicy, soft, and delicious smoked meat. Here knowing the use of a charcoal smoker may help you to make your cooking job simple and smoked food more delicious.

Best Gravity Feed Smokers in the Market

Now, you know how efficiently a gravity feed smoker works and offers the best smoked meat. Therefore, you don’t need to be an expert on controlling the heat & temperature as this smoker does the rest of it. 

So, you turn on your MAC or Desktop and jump the gun on searching for a gravity-fed smoker. But the search result makes you disappointed as there are a lot of options available out there. 

Each of them comes in different price tags, sizes, and so on. Consequently, it will be a bit challenging which one you should pick. 

To make your buying decision easy & profitable, we enlisted the top 5 best gravity-fed smokers. 

Here is the list of them: 

  • Masterbuilt gravity feed series 1050 Digital Charcoal Grill + Smoker
  • MMS- G9 Vulcan Gravity Feed Smoker
  • Viking Gravity Feed Smoker
  • Bradley Smoker BS611 Electric Smoker
  • Masterbuilt MB20040220 Gravity Series 560 Digital Charcoal Grill + Smoker


How does the masterbuilt gravity series work?

The MasterBuilt Gravity Series has a hopper. It puts gravity to work and lets the fuel (charcoal) burn at the bottom of the hopper. There is a fan in the grill, which helps to distribute the heat. To control the temperature, this gravity smoker features a thermostat. In this way, the MasterBuilt Gravity Series works and helps to smoke the meat. 

Who makes the best gravity feed smoker?

MasterBuilt, Myron Mixon, Viking, and Dyna-Glo are some of the well-known brands that make the best gravity-feed smoker. 

How does a reverse flow smoker work?

In a reverse flow smoker, the heat draws from the firebox to the cooking cylinder. Then, the heat travels down under a baffled-flue to the end. Finally, the heat reverses flow and moves back over the top of the baffled flue

How do you use a Masterbuilt gravity smoker?

Follow the below steps to use a MasterBuilt gravity smoker:

  • Fill the charcoal chute with charcoal.
  • Light the gravity smoker by putting a fire starter block in the starting area and ignite it.
  • Shut the firebox door off & set the temperature you wish to cook and leave it.  

Where are Backwoods Smokers made?

Backwoods Smokers are made in Dixie, Louisiana. 


Throughout this guide, we discussed how does a gravity feed smoker work. It puts gravity to work and helps you control the temperature, and circulates the heat automatically to cook or smoke meat. In return, you don’t need to babysit beside the smoker for hours. 

Apart from these, we also recommend you top five best gravity feed smokers in the market. Each of them meets your requirements and offers you the best smoking output. 

So, are you going to try out the gravity-fed smoker to smoke the rib or wings? Do you have any questions about this smoker? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

About William

William is the founder of He has real life practical skills in fixing smoker & heating appliance issues. He loves to share his knowledge & helps others in fixing their appliances & saving their money. William firmly believes that anyone can repair his or her unit with the correct guidance & knowledge. See more at about us.

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