Our guide to the best affordable, low to mid-range offset smokers on the market today looks at them and reviews them. You will also learn what to look for in one, what to avoid, and a warning on what sometimes looks like a bargain! Are you thinking about purchasing a dedicated smoker? That’s great!
The results you want and deserve are far more difficult than those you can achieve with a standard grill. The offset smoker may be the smoker you choose if you’re serious about smoking (and if you’re reading this, then you must be). Grilling enthusiasts sometimes have both a barbecue and a dedicated smoker.
You probably won’t be surprised to discover that there are many offset smokers available if you’ve ever taken the time to pick a grill before. We have taken you through the various factors you need to consider when choosing the best offset smoker and whittled it down to just a few of the top options out there.
The research has been done, and we’re presenting our findings here. As well as features that you should look for in an offset smoker, we also discuss a few that are simply unnecessary or even detrimental to your cooking experience.
You’ll be introduced to a few of our favorite recommendations, which we believe are among the best offset smoker on the market, and we’ll discuss the pros and cons of each one, allowing you to make an informed purchasing decision. It’s time to start the smoke show!
1. Cuisinart CPG-4000 Wood BBQ & Smoker Pellet Grill
By their very nature, offset smokers are expensive, but you don’t need to spend a fortune to get a reliable machine. You should keep this in mind if you are just beginning your journey into the world of smoking. Obtaining a Cuisinart model such as this is an inexpensive and straightforward option that will allow you to make delicious food in an efficient manner.
Starting with the hopper, this model provides a high capacity. By using this larger style hopper, your cooker is easier to heat up to the appropriate temperature so that your food will be cooked with the appropriate amount of heat without the need to refill it frequently. Additionally, because it uses wood pellets that burn efficiently, it won’t need to be refilled very often.
Despite being one of the less expensive options out there, it still offers a good range of temperature settings. One thing to watch out for with this model is when working with high temperatures. Despite the temperature gauge’s accuracy at lower temperatures, it is becoming less accurate at higher temperatures, which limits the cooker’s flexibility. Smokers should be used only as smokehouses and not as grills.
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In a price range with this model, you would expect a relatively small product. This model has a compact design that is ideal for spaces with limited space. With its collapsible front shelf, its overall dimensions are reduced even more. Additionally, this grill is quite lightweight, so you can easily move around even if you are alone.
2. Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker
One of the reasons why people stay away from offset smokers is because of the smoke it produces. If you are particularly sensitive to smoke, then this can be a very serious problem for you and/or your loved ones. Coughing and having swollen eyes can make an enjoyable experience really miserable.
With its reverse flow design, Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Smoker creates great smoke flow. In any case, you can remove the baffles controlling smoke flow if you so wish. Your offset smoker will then be able to be used in the traditional manner.
You will enjoy the large cooking area on this model if you are planning a party. With more than a thousand square inches of grilling space, Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker is perfect for on-the-go meal preparation. With plenty of room for even the largest gathering, it’s sure to impress.
Durable steel construction helps deliver optimum heat control. Grates are also porcelain-coated for durability. These grates are very easy to maintain and help to simplify the cleanup process.
As you might expect, the Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker needs to be assembled before it can be used. This step is generally very quick and easy. Easy to attach large wheels enable this model to be portable.
3. Pit Barrel Cooker Co. 18-1/2 In. Classic Pit Barrel Cooker Package
To use an offset smoker successfully after never having used one before, you will need a model that is exceptionally easy to use. Even though traditional offset smokers work well, they can be rather intimidating to see. In many cases, they require quite a lot of skill and know-how, which may seem a little daunting at first.
Built from simple materials, the Pit Barrel Cooker Co. is 18-1/2 in. “Classic Pit Barrel Cooker Package” is extremely simple to use. It is not necessary to regulate the temperature or smoke with this top-of-the-line model. It will handle the rest by loading up your food, setting the desired temperature, and letting it cook.
Another great benefit is that this model is also easy to clean. The charcoal grate can simply be removed and the excess ash wiped away. Using this method makes starting a fire much easier.
It is one of the great aspects of this model that so many accessories are included. A collection of stainless steel hanging rods and hooks is included with the kit. A pair of stainless steel grills fitted perfectly into the drums are also included.
By doing so, the compact model compensates for its lack of storage space. For those of you who like to keep their condiments and seasonings close at hand, this may seem inconvenient. Despite this, however, the Pit Barrel Cooker Company was 18-1/2 in. As an introductory package to offset smokers, the Classic Pit Barrel Cooker Package introduces you to this innovative appliance.
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4. Dyna-Glo DGO1890BDC-D Wide Body Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker
This smoker’s vertical offset design naturally addresses the number one problem of most horizontal offset models. It should go upward instead of sideways, so there will be no sideways flow of hot smoke.
Furthermore, a wide-body version can offer you up to 1,890 square inches of cooking space with six adjustable grates on either the standard or wide-body model. Therefore, you can prepare up to 150 pounds of meat at a time.
But it needs to be assembled before it can be used, and the warranty only lasts a year. Even so, Dyna-Glo offers it at such an affordable price that the small disadvantages will be easily overlooked.
Furthermore, it is equipped with an innovative charcoal management system. Besides the grate and sliding ash pan, this has a large, enameled chamber for optimum charcoal holding. In addition to the grate and sliding ash pan, this is one of the best offset smokers available.
5. Broil King 958050 Offset Smoker
On his special day, give him this Broil King 958050 Offset Smoker if you aren’t able to come up with a great gift. Best wood smokers with an offset design are a great compromise between the high-end offset smokers and the cheap big box hardware store models.
There is a great 625 square inch primary cooking space, which is a decent amount when you consider you get the same space with more expensive models. Having this space is sufficient for an enthusiastic hobbyist and will also allow you to cook for a large family or gathering.
This unit is well cared for in terms of quality. It comes with a thick (2mm) and durable steel body that has been designed to withstand high heat exposure and last for a long time. Cast iron cooking grids further enhance the food’s heat retention and flavor distribution, as they retain more heat than stainless steel.
Also included are three cast aluminum dampers that effectively manage airflow and ensure that your barbecue gets to the perfect temperature. One thermometer is positioned centrally on the lid to provide you with the precise temperature of the cooking chamber. Also equipped with a large stainless steel handle, the lid swings wide open to reveal the entire interior of the chamber.
You’ll also receive removable ashtrays, hooks for utensils, a lower storage shelf, and even a bottle opener with this smoker.
6. Char-Griller E1224 Smokin Pro 830 Square Inch Charcoal Grill
Are you one who keeps all your cooking tools close at hand when you cook? A constant search for condiments and other items in the kitchen can be very annoying. When preparing a meal, you’ll want everything you need within reach.
With the Char-Griller E1224 Smokin Pro 830 Square Inch Charcoal Grill, there are several prep and storage spaces integrated into the unit. Wood is used both on the front and the sides of this mighty model. This allows for easy cutting of meat, placing plates, and storing seasoning bottles.
This model includes a special wire rack at the bottom that provides additional storage space. Its open design makes it possible to see everything at a glance. The area provides ample space for things like burger buns, sauces, seasonings, and many more.
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A generous 580 square inches of cooking space, coupled with a generous 250 square inches of the firebox, are offered by this smoker. It also features special charcoal draw mechanisms. You can add quality lump charcoals and easily remove ash thanks to this.
It is somewhat heavy, weighing 146 pounds, the Char-Griller E1224 Smokin Pro 830 Square Inch Charcoal Grill. On the bright side, this model includes large wheels embedded in its base. The wheels help make moving it into position very easy.
7. Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Reverse Flow Smoker
Do you need an offset smoker that has been constructed to last? The Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Reverse Flow Smoker is built with solid steel construction, so it is extremely durable. Steam engines are reminiscent of this model, which is sure to add a touch of class to any event.
It has dampers that are used to control both the airflow and the temperature of the chimney. By constructing a baffle system under the grate, heat and smoke are directed underneath the meat. This means that this model is extremely efficient, and therefore will not produce excessive amounts of smoke.
These models have specially designed cool-touch handles to minimize the risk of burns. A great benefit if you’re the type of cook who has burned fingers even with the oven mitts. Despite gripping the handles for several seconds, you will not feel any burning.
Decorative steel mesh shelves at the front of this model can be used for storing cooking tools. The main barrel also has another shelf beneath it. There is plenty of room to store spare coals and other items that you would like to keep close at hand.
Because of this model’s solid construction, it weighs more than two hundred pounds. The wheels on one end of the offset smoker make maneuvering it into position easier, however. Even though assembling the washer and dryer takes some effort and time at first, it is worthwhile in the long run.
8. Char-Broil 12201570-A1 American Gourmet Offset Smoker
Now that we’ve discussed the two big names on our list, let’s look at the Char-Broil A1 offset smoker. Anyone who wants to start smoking meat and learn more about BBQ grilling will find this charcoal smoker an excellent choice.
Despite being the most budget-friendly smoker on our list, it is still a great smoker for those who don’t want to spend too much. For those who are looking for an offset smoker on a budget or a smaller one, the A1 may be an ideal choice.
A great value, and small enough to fit into most backyards. There isn’t the same level of quality and features in this list as those of the big dogs. With no shelves, a smaller cooking surface, and cheaper metals used for construction, the Char-Broil is a simple grill.
The cooking space available on this charcoal smoker is 440 inches. The main cooking area has 290 square inches and the firebox has 140 square inches. The offset smoker we reviewed is the best value on this list.
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Guide to Buying Best Offset Smokers
Here you can see those offset smokers are available in an array of different styles. I am sure that by now you have already determined which one is your favorite. You should think twice before making a purchase. Here are a few things to consider.
Producing and Filtrating Smoke
Smoking meats is most effective when the smoke flavor is maintained throughout the cooking process. If you don’t burn enough smoke, your food won’t be infused with many flavors, and your neighbors will be upset by the lack of aroma. As a result, you will need to purchase something with a heavier gauge of steel– which is very hard for beginners! The coal-burning design of offset smokers requires more attention during operation than other types of smokers.
Take some time to consider how much space you would require for cooking. To make sure that you choose a model with a large capacity, you should throw barbecue parties frequently. For those who only cook for their families and perhaps one or two friends, a smaller model may be sufficient.
Considering how much storage space your new offset smoker will require is also essential. These models tend to be quite bulky and long. When not in use, you will need a large, covered storage space to keep the offset smoker protected from the elements.
Vertical Offset Smoker
A vertical smoker is essentially one that is vertically oriented. The charcoal is either placed in the bottom of the cooking area or in the firebox that is connected to it via a damper. By drawing smoke and heat up through the cooking racks, these smokers deliver heat and smoke directly to the top. The top drum releases the smoke. Overhead smokers typically use one or more pans to hold wood chips or water to achieve the desired results. While vertical offset smokers use fuel to power themselves, vertical offset smokers can use wood as well.
Barrel Offset Smokers
A barrel smoker, which is also known as an offset smoker or a horizontal smoker, has a simpler design than a vertical smoker. Besides the firebox, there is a cooking chamber where the source of heat is placed. Barrel smokers are most common on the market. You can choose from the Char-Griller 1224 as well as the Camp Chef Woodwind Classic as examples of these smokers.
Between the firebox and the cooking chamber is a regulating intake valve. Heat and smoke escape through the cooking chamber when a lift or sliding door opens into the cooking chamber.
Thick metals are used in offset smokers, which are efficient at transferring heat and retaining it. In general, thicker metal construction offers better heat transfer. The smoking device must also provide good ventilation in order to facilitate the process.
The overall quality of the construction and build of an offset smoker will greatly affect its cost. More expensive options tend to be more durable and dependable, using both high-quality materials and high-quality materials for both the smoking chamber and the exterior. Consequently, increased durability, less warping, fewer parts that fail or need replacing, as well as increased smoke production are all advantages of efficient heat transfer.
Ease Of Use
You may not want to start off using an offset smoker built for long-term use if you’re a newcomer to the art of smoking meat. It is best to purchase a smaller smoker with an easier design. The only way you’ll become familiar with your smoker is by trying it! In that case, starting out small will be less painful! A stainless steel finish on more expensive models is often extremely difficult to operate due to heavy construction materials that resist temperature fluctuations. During the cooking time, constant attention is required – something that does more harm than good to your meat.
The control of temperature is essential when smoking meat at low temperatures. If the temperature is not properly controlled by an offset smoker, the meat is likely to be dry and tough rather than juicy and flavorful. This usually involves purchasing a product that has multiple levels of grates, allowing food to be removed at different times during the cooking process, or using indirect heat.
Is your new offset smoker going to be fixed in place, or do you require a model that is easily maneuverable? You may need to move your offset smoker in and out of the storage area you have chosen. However, due to the thick and solid construction of the offset smokers, they tend to be quite heavy.
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Thus, if you want to choose a model with wheels or rollers, choose one that has wheels. You should make sure that these wheels are strong and firmly attached by carefully inspecting them. Having them come loose while you are moving your offset smoker would be detrimental.
Every purchase should be based on a budget – more expensive doesn’t always mean better, but more expensive does not necessarily mean better, either. You get to choose what you want/need. Knowing where to look can enable you to find really great offset smokers without spending a fortune!
In addition to the type and size of offset smoker you need, your cooking style will affect the size and type. You should use upright smokers when smoking meat like brisket or ribs. Nonetheless, more traditional models are ideal for steaks, burgers, and other meat items, since they have a place to sear meat.
An offset smoker is in a class of its own, and anyone wanting to smoke meat should consider one. We frequently use offset grills to smoke briskets and other types of meat differently than charcoal grills, and we would never use anything else. Find a grill that offers the features you need, quality, and the cooking space you need within your budget.
Every grill has a different set of features, and some of those features would assist in controlling smoke and heat. Try spending your money on features and quality products that control heat and smoke to the extent your budget allows. The cooking capacity of the grill is also important, but starting with a grill that is durable and offers a good warranty is a good place to begin.
I prefer smokers that are easy to maintain, are not made from cheap thin materials, and can spread heat evenly along the entire cooking surface. Smokers need a built-in thermometer to monitor their temperature and are able to accurately smoke meat.
There are quality features such as an ash pan that is removable and accessible, air vents that regulate temperature, and thick gauge stainless steel construction. Having space for storage is also beneficial. You will be using all kinds of tools when you smoke meat with these smokers, so it’s nice to have storage for them all in one place.
What can smokers do to offset smoking?
Besides delivering delicious smoked barbecue, an offset smoker can be used for a variety of other purposes. Some people also roast meat with these barbecue makers. Along with barbecuing, Traeger Grills can also bake, braises, and smoke.
Which is better, a smoker or a griller?
Food is cooked in a smoker using smoke. Heat can be provided by charcoal, wood, electricity, or gas for smokers. However, wood and charcoal smokers produce more authentic barbecue flavors despite being easier to use. They produce meat that is tender and bursting with flavor.
Alternatively, a grill makes fast work of cooking food. This is because food is rotated regularly and is thus evenly heated. If you grill your food over high or low heat, this will largely depend on the kind of food that you are grilling. You can grill small pieces of meat over low heat.
When should my offset smoker be cleaned?
When you neglect to clean the smoker’s lid of carbon buildup and grease scale, the life of the smoker is shortened. Despite popular belief that carbon-coated grill grates and grates greasy with grease improve the flavor of meat, this is false. Cooking with rancid grease results in a bad taste, especially when it is hot.
Make sure you clean your smoker before using it to cook. It helps to remove flavors while maintaining the equipment’s performance at a high level. Whether you use the smoker often or not, you should do a thorough cleanup and maintenance once a year. Alternatively, if you frequently smoke your meat, clean the smoker two or three times each year. Cleaning the smoker before storing it away for the winter is also essential.
Offset smokers can be stored outside.
An offset smoker is constructed of very tough materials that can withstand fires and harsh environments for many years. Although this cooking companion cannot be left out in harsh weather for a long time, it is not designed to do so. If you leave your smoker outdoors, it will corrode and deteriorate faster. In case of insufficient space for storing it under a roof, consider buying an offset smoker’s cover.
Is it Possible to Clean an Offset Smoker?
Maintaining your smoker’s cleanliness helps keep its vents clear as well as prevent it from aging. You cannot just spray the house down with the hose, so how do you get into the corners and crevices of the house to clean it?
Here’s a simple breakdown of the different ways to clean.
- Fill the firebox with ashes. Empty the ash and any remaining larger pieces into the sink. You can throw the ash into the garden or just throw it away.
- Make sure the cooking chamber is clean. You can clean it with a clean cloth or paper towel, not water. Abrasives can damage the finish and lead to cracking and rust if you get too close to it.
- You should wipe down your heat deflection plate. The rules are the same. Do not soak them.
- Take care of your grills. Among the parts that might soak are the trays. Be sure the stainless steel is food-grade and can be submerged.