If you are a beginner in the art of grilling and searching for the best tool you can use to enhance your skills, you have come to the right place.
More so, maybe you are a passionate griller who’s seeking for the perfect tool you’ll enjoy throughout the years. Well, look no further.
In this article, we listed down the best offset smoker you can get your hands on. We handpicked each product in this list to make sure it will pass your standards. Not only that, we included a buying guide and by the end of this article, we're sure you'll have your pick, so keep reading!
Top-Rated Offset Smoker Comparison:
Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker
KBQ C-60 BBQ Smoker Pit
Charcoal & Wood
18-1/2 in. Classic
Camp Chef SmokePro
Royal Gourmet BBQ
Charcoal & Wood
Charcoal & Wood
Dyna-Glo Signature Series
Charcoal & Wood
10 Best Offset Smoker Reviews
It can be hard to choose which offset smoker to buy with all the models in the market. We did the job for you and chose the 10 best options, so be sure to check each product out.
1. Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker 18 Inch Smoker
The first model in our list takes a different approach when it comes to offset smoking. Instead of having the traditional horizontal design, this one is a bullet type smoker.
Since the heat flow goes straight up, a bullet type smoker is easier to use and is more forgiving. If you're a beginner in the field of smoking, this model is a good choice. Its compact, simple, and straight to the point.
What you need to keep in mind is that this is a low and slow cooking tool. If you’re looking for something that can speed-grill your meat, this is not the product for you. But if you’re craving for that tender meat falling off the bone, keep reading.
This model is obviously smaller than the others, which means it weighs less. So, if you don’t see any wheels in it, it’s pretty much not needed in the first place. It’s only 18 inches in length and is the perfect go-to smoker when going for camping and other outdoor activities.
The package comes with pretty much all you need. It even comes with a cover to protect it when not in use. We can say this is the best cheap offset smoker.
Its steel body is coated with a black porcelain-enamel finish that will make it last for years. When it comes to the legs, you don’t have to worry about it rusting. The two cooking grates are also made out of steel to ensure durability.
Speaking of cooking grates, the two grates it comes with will let you cook a decent quantity of meat despite how compact it is. Also, the two-level smoking gives you a total of 481 square inch cooking space. Plus, the water pan and charcoal box are very easy to reach.
2. KBQ C-60 BBQ Smoker Pit
Let me tell you that KBQ really went for it with this model. Just by the looks of it, you can tell that it is what pro grillers have been dreaming of. We even considered it as the best competition offset smoker.
It's a vertical type smoker, but the source of heat is on top. Yep, you read that right. The Inverted Flame technology pulls the heavy heat and smoke from underneath the fire. The perfect light blue smoke will then go straight into the cooking chamber and perform its magic.
If you think that’s the most innovative way to smoke your meat, well, it does not end there. With the Smoke Selector technology, you can set the firebox in three positions.
Choose between the under-fire smoke, combo smoke, or the overfire smoke setting. You can definitely play around between a moderate to an ultra-smoky flavor.
This model also comes with an AutoDraft feature, which does the job of maintaining the perfect temperature for you. The draft fan in the chamber will automatically go on and off to draw the heat only when required.
For the capacity, you get a total of 960 square inches of cooking space, thanks to the 4 stainless steel racks. Since the chamber is made from stainless steel, you don’t have to worry about any paint chipping off. Plus, it will last you for decades.
To ensure nice cooking on the inside, you need to feed the firebox every 30 minutes. Without any doubt, this is the most innovative and convenient offset smoker you can invest in.
3. Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Charcoal Offset Smoker
For years, Dyna-Glo has been on top of the grilling game, and this offset smoker does not come short. With its very generous cooking space, this model has been a favorite of many grill enthusiasts.
To start off, let me commend Dyna-Glo for releasing this budget-friendly smoker in the market. Despite its price, it is still a durable product since it is made from powder-coated steel. It’s not too heavy and can handle a high level of temperature. Plus, the adjustable chimney damper makes it easy to control the heat.
Looking at the design, the firebox is easy to access as well. It comes with a nice rotary air intake damper. A charcoal basket is also included in this product to ensure that the coals maintain heat better.
It will wow you with its cooking space. You can maximize the 1,176 square inches however you want. The uneven heat inside the chamber might be off-putting to some, but once you know how to take advantage of it, you’ll be able to cook with more efficiency.
Looking at the other components, the legs are sturdy enough to carry the weight of the smoker, even if it’s full. It can be transported, but a set of wheels would make it better. The product also comes with a temperature gauge, but I would prefer using my own thermometer.
In terms of cleaning, the removable ash pan will help you get the job done faster.
All in all, this product is an awesome choice. The price will not break the bank, and it is still packed with features that will let you get that perfectly cooked meal.
4. Char-Griller E1224 Smokin Pro Charcoal Grill with Side Fire Box
At first glance, you’ll fall in love with how this smoker looks. It carries the look of the classic barrel grills which were used 30 years ago while adding some wood accents. Well, it’s not just the look that matters. Let’s talk about its specs.
This model is made from heavy-duty thick grade steel. However, the heat resistant powder coat might be a downside to some users. The hinges are also not waterproof and might result in rust issues. Yet, this smoker will still last you for years, especially if you maintain it really well.
Okay, enough of the bad side. Let’s talk about its grilling performance! The chamber has a nice capacity to it. Plus, the side firebox works as a grill too. Imagine grilling sausages while smoking your favorite piece of meat. Talk about multitasking!
You can employ a lot of cooking techniques with this product since the grate height is adjustable. Place it right down by the charcoal for searing or in the middle for grilling. The highest level is perfect for slow cooking a piece of lamb. Delicious!
Since it has a large chamber space, you can play around with the heat. Crisp up your chicken’s skin on the far-right side while you heat up the sauce on the opposite side.
It is equipped with an infra-red thermometer, so you know how hot it is inside when smoking. Furthermore, it features a pull-out charcoal drawer and nonstick grates for easy cleaning and maintenance. Oh, and also, the wheels make it easy to transport.
5. 18-1/2 in. Classic Pit Barrel Cooker Package
If you’re not familiar with offset-smoking, chances are you wouldn’t recognize this product as a smoker. It carries the classic Ugly Drum Smoker design. Yes, it’s not as aesthetically pleasing as other models out there, but it will make you go wow with its performance.
A lot of grill enthusiasts will tell you that this model is a challenger of the first product in this list (Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker), but you have to understand that they are very different from each other.
For starters, this model uses the hook and hang method. The 8 stainless steel hooks will suspend your meat vertically inside the drum. Aside from allowing more space to cook, this method will cook your meat better. With the help of an even heat and gravity, you can cook the meat with its own juices. No need for a water pan!
If you need the traditional way of smoking, you can install the grill grates it comes with, no worries. The smart positioning of the charcoal basket will help achieve consistent and even heat inside the chamber.
Considered the best vertical offset smoker, you can just set up the fire and forget it. Can you believe that you can cook your meat for almost 12 hours without adding charcoal? Thanks to the vents!
The downside of this model is that you have to buy the ash pan separately, but a few bucks would be worth it after all. It’s made from steel with porcelain enamel coating. If you want better protection, you can also buy a separate cover.
6. Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill
This product is not like the others on this list. As the name suggests, this is a pellet type grill. Instead of using charcoals and bricks of wood, pellets are all you need to make this work.
No doubt that this is a very easy to use tool that incorporates cool, modern features. For starters, it can reach a temperature of 500 degrees Fahrenheit in a matter of minutes. It does all the hard work for you.
While it’s true that pellet grills need constant attention, this model will not give you a hard time. It features an LCD screen, which easily shows the temperature. On top of that, it comes with an easy to use dial system which offers various pre-set temperatures and other different modes you can choose from.
Another highlight of this product is the built-in cooldown function, which automatically lowers the temperature when needed.
This product comes with everything you need. You'll appreciate the drip bucket and the ash cleanout tray, which allows you to cook without any mess. The pellet rake can hold up to 18 pounds of pellets, so you don't need to refill it over and over.
When looking at the construction, this will not let you down. Both the body and legs are made of heavy-duty materials, and you get a set of wheels too! Like most smokers, this is quite vulnerable to weather damage. If you can't keep in indoors, make sure to cover it properly to maximize its life span.
7. Royal Gourmet BBQ Charcoal Grill and Offset Smoker
If you are looking for a foolproof multifunctional grill for any occasion, this product from Royal Gourmet is for you. It functions as a charcoal grill, barbecue, and, most importantly, an offset smoker. What more can you ask for?
Before we go on about its performance, let’s talk about construction. It’s solid and sturdy, plus the grates are made of ¼ inch thick porcelain! This rust-resistant tool will surely last you for years. A heavy-duty lid and an adjustable damper are also present in this model.
The grilling space is pretty large, as well. You'll notice that the height of the firebox is lower than the chamber so you can maximize the smoke you produce.
One downside of this tool is that it’s quite easy to overheat, so you need constant checking on the firebox. Plus, the hinges are not waterproof, which may lead to rusting in the future.
It does a good job as a direct heat charcoal grill. The cart is expandable, and you can grill a lot of veggies and meats at the same time. Moreover, you may want a little more space in terms of smoking since the chamber size is not ideal for larger cuts of meat.
For cleaning and maintenance, this product has its advantages and disadvantages. The grates are very easy to clean, but the smoker box does need some effort. All in all, if you need one product that's capable of doing a variety of cooking techniques, this is a good choice.
However, if you are passionate about smoking, this may not be the best one for you.
8. Char-Griller E22424 Table Top Charcoal Grill and Side Fire Box
There’s a reason why they named this product the “Tabletop Charcoal Grill." Just by the looks of it, you know it will need just a little space from your porch. Although small, it's made of thick heavy-duty steel. It’s only 39 lbs. so you can carry it wherever you want to.
First off, you need to know that this is not an offset smoker on its own. This is a charcoal grill that can act as a side firebox if you connect it with other Char-Griller barrel grills. And once you use it as a firebox, there’s no coming back.
It will arrive almost fully assembled, just a little tightening on the screws, and you're ready to smoke. In terms of grilling, this is a good choice. The 250 square inches of space is just enough for you to grill whatever you want to. It comes with cast-iron grates that will last you for years.
The size of this tool is what makes it a good firebox. It's large enough to let you add all the charcoal and wood you want to. What's more, you get a thick lid that's cool to the touch.
When you use it as a grill or a firebox, you don’t have to worry about cleaning. The removable ashpan will do the job for you.
9. Dyna-Glo DGX780BDC-D 36" Vertical Charcoal Smoker
This 36-inch vertical smoker from Dyna-Glo is a staple for many grillers. For starters, the price will not break the bank. Considering what it can do for you, you get more than what you pay for.
The capacity of this appliance is more than enough for most users. You get four cooking grates which results in a total of 784 square inch of cooking space. These grates are totally adjustable, depending on how close to the heat you want your meat to be placed. Plus, these grates are easy to clean!
What makes this popular among users? Well, the material used is steel, which ensures durability and longevity. On top of that, users enjoy how easy it is to use. The two side doors give you access to either the cooking chamber or the firebox without having to open both.
For maintenance, the firebox is very easy to clean since it comes with a charcoal grate and removable ash pan. It is also spacious, so you can load pretty much a lot of wood into it. The built-in thermometer is also a good addition.
As with other offset smokers, the exterior looks can be vulnerable to bad weather conditions. There have been reports of discoloration with this product. If you can’t store it in your garage or indoors, we recommend purchasing the custom fit cover to protect it fully.
10. Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-D Heavy-Duty Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker & Grill
This product is a step up from all other Dyna-Glo models on this list. Passionate grill enthusiasts should check this out. You can grill using the side firebox while smoking your favorite cut of meat on the chamber.
Since the price of this is affordable, you can’t really expect it to have the thickest steel as per construction.
It comes with large steel wheels to help you transport it around the porch. The thick, stout legs will ensure the product’s stability.
A lot of experts will tell you that grilling while smoking is not the best thing to do. You always need to keep both the chamber and the firebox close to make sure that the smoke will penetrate into the meat. Nevertheless, it is always good to have that option.
The five chrome-plated grates make way for a large cooking capacity. You can maximize the 1382 square inches however you like. The temperature gauge in the chamber door will help you know how hot it is in a glance. It also indicates if you have reached the ideal temperature to add that smoky flavor you want.
Both the handles and the lid on this product are cool to the touch, but it’s always recommended to use safety gloves. For cleaning, the pull-out charcoal pan makes it easy to dispose of the ash.
Why Get an Offset Smoker?
There are many benefits of using an offset smoker, here are just a few.
It Gives the Best Smoked Flavor
Adding a beautiful smoky flavor to your food is important, and not to mention delectable. The main purpose of an offset smoker is just about that. It is specifically designed so that the smoke and heat will travel and penetrate the meat and cook it before it escapes the chamber.
This technique is what makes offset smokers stand out from the rest of the grilling tools out there. You can never achieve a more beautiful smoky flavor from other types of grill.
Cook More Meat in More Ways
When you watch barbeque competitions, you may notice that offset smokers are very widely used, and we won’t even wonder why. For starters, they can cook more food compared to other tools. On average, smokers can cook about 20 burgers at a time.
Moreover, there are a few ways you can cook with it. You can grill, smoke, and roast using one tool. How convenient is that? Not only does it save you money, but it saves you a lot of space.
What to Look for in an Offset Smoker?
Not all offset smokers are designed the same, just like not all users are looking for the same functions. So, how do you make sure your future offset smoker will work the way you want it to? Here are a few points to always look for.
Quality Material and Construction
The very design of an offset smoker is what makes it unique in the cooking game. Instead of the heat source being directly in contact with the meat, you might notice that smokers concentrate the heat source in one area, more known as the offset-firebox.
That said, it is a function of a good offset smoker to be able to generate even heat all throughout its body. No one wants an extremely hot firebox and a cool working area on the opposite side. This might be apparent with smokers that are constructed with lightweight materials. So, grabbing one that’s cheaply made is a no!
What you want is a smoker that will keep the heat consistent. Steel is, of course, the best option when it comes to the material. Try looking for one at least ¼ inch in thickness.
Good Paint Job
I know, the smoker's paint will not necessarily affect the meat's taste. But as much as you want your smoker to perform well, you also want it to look beautiful. It's just like purchasing a car – looks and performance are both priorities.
Also, getting a smoker with an awful paint job will lead to future issues. Once the paint chips, the metal it should be covering will soon be exposed to humidity, and it might lead to rusting. This will decrease the lifespan of your smoker, plus it is going to be an eyesore at your gatherings. Yikes!
“Looking ain’t cooking." This old saying is the most applicable to offset smokers. Since opening the chamber grill from time to time is a mortal sin in smoking, the best way to control the heat inside is through the firebox.
Let's talk a little bit of science here; without oxygen, there is no fire. That said, oxygen is a very important element in cooking your meat. Getting a smoker with very small vents will not allow you to adjust the temperature since oxygen is not going in.
Another thing we may remember from grade school is that heat likes to go upwards. In terms of internal ventilation, it is important to know how the firebox and the main chamber connects.
You want to avoid models where the chamber and firebox are designed at the same level. Always look for models wherein the chamber is placed higher.
Since you’re looking for a model that is constructed with heavy metal, chances are it is not going to be an easy job to transport it around the yard. You don’t want to injure yourself before you can even start cooking!
You can always appreciate having some sturdy wheels incorporated in your smoker. These will let you take your smoker from one place to another without the possibility of accidents.
In all forms of cooking, temperature is key. And in terms of smoking, it's not only the meat's temperature that is important but also the smoker's temperature as well. A good built-in thermometer will make your life so much better, I swear!
As simple as it is, a thermometer lets you know how hot it is on the inside. Plus, it will tell you exactly when to put your meat and add your wood!
Good Chamber Capacity
Unless you’re smoking for business, you don’t necessarily need a model that can cook ridiculous quantities of meat at a time. Yet, it’s always nice to have one that’s able to do so, at least a couple of burgers at a time. You never know when you’ll need to feed the whole neighborhood!
Ample Storage Space
Since you will probably use your offset smoker outside, you don’t want to rush back and forth to the kitchen when you need a tool. It’s a waste of time and not to mention tiring. That said, you can always use some storage space your offset smoker provides.
Most models come with space where you can hook your tongs and other utensils, but it’s a bonus if it can also accommodate some extra plates and sauces.
It will not hurt if your smoker can do other things. If the smoker can grill and roast, it’s better to spend some extra than buying these appliances separately, especially that they’re expensive. Plus, you save a lot of space.
Ample Firebox Size
The good thing about offset smokers is that you can experiment and try different materials for different flavors. Make sure your smoker’s firebox will give you enough space to play around. You should be able to fit your desired wood chips and split wood into it.
If possible, look for a model that comes with a cover. Since you will most likely store your offset smoker outside, you don’t want rain and dust to wear it out when not in use.
Good Seals and Dampers
The last thing you want is for the smoke to leak from your tool. You worked hard to produce that smoke, and you want it to penetrate the meat as much as it can. Look for models that are proven to not let smoke escape anywhere other than the chimney.
You should always clean your smoker every time after use. A good choice is one that comes with an ash cleanout tool and, of course, a drain.
These are the two major types of horizontal offset smokers that you can choose from.
Traditional Offset Smoker
This is the most common type you see in the market. With traditional smokers, the chimney is located the furthest away from the firebox. Uneven heat is a common issue with these models.
Reverse Flow Offset Smoker
Instead of the chimney being placed on the opposite side of the smoker, it is located near the firebox. This allows the smoke to fully travel within the chamber before escaping, allowing a more even temperature all throughout.
It Needs Constant Attention
Offset smokers are not as easy to use as your standard charcoal grill or your gas barbeque. You need the fire to be burning at the right size for hours, and the smoke needs to be continuously checked as well. To be able to do that, you need to give it constant attention.
Weather Affects the Offset Smoker’s Performance
Consider the weather condition, at least in the area you wish to use it. Remember that low temperatures, heavy rains, and strong winds will probably result in the smoker not performing as well as it should.
It Needs Quite a Large Space
You might have noticed that most offset smokers are bulky. Before you end up purchasing one, make sure it will fit your space.
Bargains and Good Quality Smokers Do Not Come Hand in Hand
Only the strongest, most durable materials should be your top picks. Cheap offset smokers tend to be constructed with cheap materials as well. This will give you a hard time in cooking, plus they won't last as long.
Sure, you can make cheap smokers work, but it will not give you the same flavor and experience as the ones on this list.
Frequently Asked Questions
Most offset smokers consist of two major parts, the firebox (smaller box commonly placed on the right side) and the smoking chamber where you do the cooking. How does it work? First, you fire up the firebox with your materials such as charcoal and your desired wood.
The heat and smoke produced will then travel from the firebox to the cooking chamber. This smoke and heat will penetrate and cook the meat before they come out of the chimney.
Each type of wood results in a different smoky flavor. The most commonly used are woods from trees that are fruit and nut-bearing. Fruit woods will give you a mild sweet flavor. Nut-bearing woods, on the other hand, will give you a heartier smoke flavor.
The most efficient and easiest way is to start with charcoal as a base. You can fire up the charcoal in a different container at first, then transfer it to the firebox, consuming half the space. Be sure to leave the dampers open. After this, you can start adding more charcoal and wood to build up the heat.
If your model comes with an ash cleanout tool, you can just remove it, and you're good to go.
Adding one 14-inch split log into the firebox every hour will do the trick.
That’s about it! We hope this article was able to help. By now, we’re pretty sure you have chosen the best offset smoker for you. The only thing left to do is to cook that meat! So, good luck and enjoy smoking!
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