Dyna-Glo Compact Charcoal Bullet DGVS390 Smoker Review

Dyna-Glo Compact Charcoal Bullet SmokerIf you’re looking for a charcoal smoker grill combo for your RV or to take camping, have a look at this one. The Dyna-Glo Compact Charcoal Bullet Smoker offers portability, easy cleanup, grilling and smoking functionality and it is very budget-friendly.

Meet the Dyna-Glo Compact Charcoal Bullet Smoker

Dyna-Glo Compact Charcoal Bullet Smoker Green IsolatedThe Dyna-Glo Compact Charcoal Bullet Smoker is an excellent solution if you want to cook a barbecue lunch by the side of the road, in the campground, or in your own backyard. It has a small footprint, so it’ll fit into your patio, and it even comes in two colors.

It has 390 square inches of total cooking space and each of the two cooking grates holds 25 pounds of food. That’s 50 pounds of food that can be smoked in this compact package!

Dyna-Glo products are manufactured by GHP Group Inc, which has lots of experience with “hot” household items, such as heaters, fireplaces, fire pits, and their accessories. They have been around since 2003 and they are continually adding well-designed products to their portfolio.

Dyna-Glo Compact Charcoal Bullet Smoker Colors

Construction

The steel in this compact smoker is porcelain-coated on the exterior for better heat retention. The charcoal and ash chamber in the base of the unit is constructed of galvanized steel and the stainless steel side door makes internal access easy. The two cooking grates are chrome-plated, making cleanup very easy.

This smoker stands on four feet and is in three sections held together with three stainless steel clip latches for easy transportation.

The base holds the heating chamber, the middle holds the water bowl and the cooking grates, and the lid sits on top.

This unit will be hot during the cook; you need to have BBQ gloves to open the access door to top up the water and to lift the middle section (with the lid) off to add more wood chips.

If you’re traveling with this smoker, you need to take the cool-down time into account. It’s not safe to move or clean the unit until it is completely cool, which can take 45 to 60 minutes.

Dyna-Glo Compact Charcoal Bullet Smoker Info

Temperature Control

There are two sliding vents in the base of the unit and one in the lid to control airflow and for fine tuning cooking temperature.

Dyna-Glo Compact Charcoal Bullet Smoker Green VentsThe water pan is almost as wide as the unit and will temper the heat, creating steam and providing thorough heat distribution. Plus it will catch any drippings, which will contribute to the easy cleanup. There is easy internal access to add water during the smoking session using the access door, but make sure you wear your BBQ gloves.

Dyna-Glo Compact Charcoal Bullet Smoker Green From Top

There is a thermometer inbuilt in the lid that clearly shows the best smoking and grilling zones so you’ll know when to adjust temperatures with your vents.

Dyna-Glo Compact Charcoal Bullet Smoker Green Thermometer
This smoker will take 45-60 minutes to cool down completely and should not be moved until then.
This is a charcoal smoker with real flames, and you need to have your BBQ gloves or oven mitt ready. Although the lid and side handles are molded for comfort, they are unfortunately not heat-resistant. They should not be touched without protection until the smoker has cooled down. The outside of the smoker will be hot, so the kids and pets should not be close by.

Ensure that the lid is correctly set and sealed during the smoking session and the cooldown period to avoid the extra oxygen causing flareups.

Ease Of Use

If you’re used to dealing with lighting charcoal and adjusting airflow, this smoker is very easy to use.

To get a smoking session going, you lift the middle section including the lid off, remove the charcoal grate and add your coals.

Use a chimney starter or your normal method to light the coals. When they are showing ash, which should be about 20 minutes, pour the hot coals evenly over the cold charcoals.
During the time that the coals are lighting, you can:

  • Set your wood chips to soak
  • Fill your water pan
  • Make sure the food to be smoked is handy

When the coals are ready, sprinkle your wet wood chips over them.

Replace the middle section, remove the lid, and put the water pan in place at the bottom. Put one cooking grate in, top with food. Do the same with the other cooking grate and replace the lid.

Now you need to keep an eye on the temperature and the vents, which is easier said than done. Leave the lid on until the smoking time is up. Add water at intervals with your gloves through the access door. It would be easiest to use something in the shape of a used soda bottle.
Dyna-Glo Compact Charcoal Bullet Smoker Green Lid off, food on

Flexibility

The removable middle section allows the Dyna Glo compact smoker to double as a portable charcoal grill, which is an advantage if you’re traveling, offering versatile cooking options.

Just unclip the latches and lift the middle section off. You’re left with the heating chamber and the grate that the water usually sits on. Then you’re ready to grill!
Dyna-Glo Compact Charcoal Bullet Smoker Green Charcoal Pan With Food

Size

This smoker has 2 chrome-plated cooking grates. They are not height adjustable, but they are placed so that whole chickens could be placed on both grates. There is a total of 390 square inches of cooking space. Each cooking grate is 14.84 inches across and can hold 25 pounds of food, giving 50 pounds capacity in total.

This Dyna-Glo Compact Charcoal Bullet Smoker is large enough to smoke a lot of food, but it doesn’t take up too much space, being 20.8 x 18.9 inches and almost 29 inches high.

When it’s in sections, it makes packing it into the car, RV, or the cupboard in the garage very easy.

At 17.2 pounds it’s not heavy. The 3 latches hold the unit together while you move it, and the side handles are designed for comfort.

Dyna-Glo Compact Charcoal Bullet Smoker Green Patio

Assembly

According to the user manual, this unit should take about 30 minutes to put together, and from the comments of the owners, it seems like it’s pretty straightforward.

Cleaning

After the smoker has cooled down completely, take the pieces apart. The ash pan lifts out to be emptied.  Wash the components with warm water and mild dishwashing detergent. Rinse and allow to dry completely.  Spray everything except the charcoal grate and the ash pan with vegetable oil spray to discourage rust.

Warranty

The warranty is for 1 year which is below the average among other smokers, although this is not an expensive smoker. The water pan, ash pan, and paint are covered for 90 days. The paint is not covered for rust.

However, this is a very cost-effective unit and doesn’t have any electronics. Any problems should show up in the first year.

Does The Dyna-Glo Compact Charcoal Bullet Smoker Provide Value For Money?

This is not an expensive smoker. For the price, I believe the Dyna-Glo Compact Charcoal Bullet Smoker provides value for money and should last a while if it’s looked after.

Dyna-Glo Charcoal Bullet Smoker Summary

What’s Nifty About The Dyna-Glo Charcoal Bullet Smoker?

  • Easy to transport and store – this smoker comes apart into 3 sections, so it’s easy to carry, and it fits into smaller spaces in the car and the garage.
  • Small footprint – this is a great choice for a small patio as long as there are no regulations against charcoal smokers.
  • Can also be used as a grill – some smokers can be used as a grill if you do some tinkering, but no adjustments are required here. Just lift the middle section and the lid off and you’re ready to grill.
  • Great choice for RV, camping, or vacations – being easy to transport makes it a suitable smoker for your travels, or in your backyard.
  • Thermometer shows smoking and grilling zones – an inbuilt thermometer is a nice addition, and it shows which temperatures are best for each type of cooking. Of course, you should test the internal temperature of your food before serving it.
  • 2 colors available – you can choose from classic black or a lovely forest green just for something different!

What’s Not So Nifty About The Dyna-Glo Charcoal Bullet Smoker?

  • Cooking grates do not have handles – you’ll need to use your tongs while wearing your BBQ gloves to get the top grate out to gain access to the lower grate.
  • Handles are not heat-resistant – the handles are designed for comfort when the smoker is cold, but when it’s hot you need to protect your hands and keep the kids and pets away.
  • No cover included – this is pretty standard for most smokers.

How Could The Dyna-Glo Charcoal Bullet Smoker Be Improved?

The main thing I would add is heat-resistant handles, but that would add to the cost. Keep your BBQ gloves handy. The second feature would be to add some simple handles to the cooking grates so they could be easily lifted out.

Dyna-Glo Compact (Green or Black ) Charcoal Bullet Smoker DGVS390 | Wayfair
Fuel Source: Charcoal
Cooking Surface (Square Inches): 390
Cooking Capacity (Pounds): 50
Weight (Pounds): 17.2
Footprint (W x D x H Inches): 20.8 x 18.9 x 28.9
Warranty: 1 Year
Pros:
  • Easy to transport and store
  • Small footprint
  • Can also be used as a grill
  • Great choice for RV, camping or vacations
  • Thermometer shows smoking and grilling zones
  • 2 colors available
Cons:
  • Cooking grates do not have handles
  • Handles are not heat-resistant
  • No cover included
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Who Is The Dyna-Glo Charcoal Bullet Smoker For?

This unit is for someone who is used to dealing with lighting fires with charcoal. It’s for someone with a small patio, although most apartment buildings won’t allow charcoal-fueled appliances; it’s best to check that.

This smoker will travel well and is easy to transport and store in sections. If you pull over to the side of the road for lunch, allow time for the charcoal chamber to cool down before you move on. You’re there to enjoy the scenery anyways.

Tips For Best Performance Of Your Dyna-Glo Compact Charcoal Bullet Smoker

Always have your BBQ gloves and tongs available. When the smoker is hot, so will the access door, vents, and all the handles will also be hot.  There is no handle on the top cooking grate so you’ll need your tongs to remove the top grate.

Applying a light coat of vegetable oil or vegetable oil spray to the interior surfaces of the smoker can help prevent rust.

  • Take the water bowl and the charcoal grate out of the smoker.
  • Spray a light coat of vegetable oil to all interior surfaces of the smoker.
  • Don’t put any vegetable oil on the charcoal grate or the ash pan.

Contacting The Manufacturer

The toll-free number for GHP Inc is 1-877-447-4768, or you can email them at customerservice@ghpgroupinc.com

Verdict

If you’re looking for a budget charcoal smoker on the smaller side and you’re used to dealing with charcoal or are willing to experiment, this smoker may be for you.

If your budget is not so strict, you might like to consider the Weber Smokey Mountain Charcoal Smoker.

Weber 18-inch Smokey Mountain Charcoal Smoker Cooker | Amazon
$419.00
Fuel Source: Charcoal
Number of Cooking Racks: 2
Cooking Surface (Square Inches): 481
Weight (Pounds): 47
Footprint (W x D x H Inches): 19 x 21 x 41
Warranty: 10 Years Total
Pros:
  • Charcoal and water can be added without opening the cooking chamber
  • Easy to store and transport
  • Readymade port for internal temperature probes
  • Space saver
  • 3 Sizes to choose from
  • Cover included
  • Customer support available
Cons:
  • Low to the ground; bending required
  • Water level hard to see during cook
  • No hinge on lid, but hinge kit is available
  • Some smoke may escape the door
  • No side handles, but smoker dismantles into 3 pieces
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05/20/2022 12:41 am GMT
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Should You Buy The Dyna-Glo Charcoal Bullet Smoker?

This smoker is not suitable for someone who wants to “set and forget” their smoking session. This baby needs monitoring regarding temperature and dampers. There are no bells and whistles, no technology to speak of, so it would suit someone who would like a simple and functional smoker.

How Does The Dyna-Glo Compact Charcoal Bullet Smoker Stack Up Against Similarly Priced Smokers?

Smoker NameSmokerCooking Racks (Each)Cooking Surface (Square Inches)Weight (Pounds)Footprint
(W x D x H Inches)

Cuisinart COS-116 Charcoal 16-Inch Vertical Smoker

Cuisinart COS-116 Vertical Smoker, 16 Charcoal24022921 x 21 x 32

Realcook Vertical 17 Inch Charcoal Smoker

Realcook Vertical 17 Inch Steel Charcoal Smoker, Heavy Duty Round BBQ Grill245318.5535.03 x 22.04 x 17.03

Wishing you sunny smoking days!

Tom Plummer
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