Unlike the Char-Griller Outlaw (*Est. $240), the Char-Griller Smokin' Pro charcoal grill's side firebox (for smoking meals) is standard equipment. The Smokin' Pro is also a little smaller with 850 square inches of total cooking area (including the warming rack); otherwise, it's basically the same grill. Although most users like their Smokin' Pro grills, some complain about the build quality and assembly process; others say that it leaks both smoke and air, and a few comment that this grill goes through both wood and charcoal very quickly. We also found a few comments that the Char-Griller Smokin' Pro isn't great as a dedicated smoker, but it's a good choice if you want to be able to both smoke and grill. If you'd rather have a larger cooking area than a side firebox, the Char-Griller Outlaw gets good reviews from owners who say it's sturdy, durable and big enough to cook for a whole crowd.
We found the best expert review of the Char-Griller Smokin' Pro at About.com. A blogger offers his opinion at BarbecueGrillsAndSmokers.com and an ExpoTV.com user posts a video of himself demonstrating the Smokin' Pro. User reviews at Walmart.com, Amazon.com and GrillsDirect.com round out the coverage of this barrel-style grill.
About.com's guide to barbecues and grilling, Derrick Riches, reviews the Smokin' Pro as both a smoker and a grill, rating it 4 out of 5 stars overall. He notes that it can be hard to control the temperature because this grill doesn't have a vented lid, but he likes the Smokin' Pro's ability to grill and smoke food effectively. He also speaks favorably of its large cooking area and its range of features. Riches concludes, "If you want a good smoker but don't want to spend a lot, track one of these units down." (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Review: Char-Griller Smokin' Pro, Derrick Riches
More than 50 Amazon.com users give the Char-Griller Smokin' Pro a 4.1-star average rating. Most say it's a great grill, but some users report problems assembling the grill. Others complain about poor build quality, and one reviewer says "this grill leaks like an old bucket."
Review: Char-Griller 1224 Smokin Pro 830 Square Inch Charcoal Grill with Side Fire Box, Contributors to Amazon.com
More than 100 people post reviews and ratings of the Char-Griller Smokin' Pro on Walmart.com; they give the grill an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Most of the complaints center around the grill arriving damaged or being difficult to assemble, and several users complain that it rusts very easily (or sometimes even arrived rusted).
Review: Char-Griller Smokin' Pro Grill & Smoker, Contributors to Walmart.com
About 90 reviewers give the Smokin' Pro a 4.4-star average rating. Most like the large grilling surface and excellent flavor it adds, but a few complain that cleanup is messy. "Not bad for the bucks," writes one reviewer.
Review: Char-Griller Smokin' Pro Charcoal Grill, Contributors to GrillsDirect.com
Anonymous blogger "Doug" offers his assessment of the Char-Griller Smokin' Pro focusing on its large cooking area. He writes that "if you plan on buying a great quality charcoal grill that can feed a small army for a reasonable price… then this might be your best bet."
Review: Char-Griller 1224 Smokin' Pro Charcoal Grill Review, "Doug", May 15, 2007
This owner demonstrates his Smokin' Pro in action; his grill looks like it's seen a lot of use, and he says he has had it for a long time. The video is a good way to see this grill without going to a store.
Review: Char-Griller Smokin' Pro Charcoal Grill Reviews, "Tripp V .", Dec. 24, 2007