Many people are looking to get a grill, and want to know what the offset smoker is. I am about to end your confusion.
An offset smoker is a smoker that is attached to a grill that uses the heat and smoke from the grill to cook things such as meat and vegetables. They are normally stocked with shelves for multiple items to be cooked at the same time.
Listen up. A big truth bomb is about to get dropped right into your lap. You know the old saying, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”?
Well here’s the secret. It’s not just men, it’s women too. Now you might think that’s pretty obvious, but here’s the other part of the secret. Smoked meat is gonna pull right on those heartstrings and have everyone you know coming back for more.
And of course, you can’t make killer smoked meat without the right tools. If you’re here, you already know you can’t go wrong with an offset smoker. It’s the traditional way of smoking meat with indirect heat so you can infuse that aromatic flavor right into every bite.
But even if you’ve already decided on an offset smoker, there are still a lot of factors that differentiate one from the next.
Lucky for you, you’re gonna get the down-low on what’s to like and not like about the best smoker in its price range.
Especially for newbies, there are some things you might not have considered. That’s why this buyer’s guide is here for you.
Because no one wants to drop a bunch of money on a smoker just to find out it’s not what you actually want. Here’s a look at some of the most important features to consider when it comes to getting an offset smoker.
Control the Heat and Airflow for That Perfect Smoked BBQ Taste
Who was the first person that thought of throwing a bunch of meat onto a rack and then slow cooking it with heat and smoke? A lot of people are in line ready to shake his hand.
Now it doesn’t take a genius to learn this cooking technique. And sure, pellet smokers or even a basic barbeque in a pinch will smoke your food just fine. But nothing establishes you as Barbeque Pit Master Extreme like an offset smoker.
Most horizontal offset smokers have similar construction. There’s a barrel-shaped box with a lid. On one end is a fire chamber that’s slightly lowered where you throw some charcoal or wood for heat. And on the other end is a chimney where the smoke exits.
Sometimes the firebox is in the back. But wherever it is, it gives your meat indirect heat and is never directly below it.
The defining feature of an offset smoker is your ability to control heat and airflow. Because some food is closer to the heat source, the temperature difference affects how quickly some foods cook.
More sophisticated smokers now feature reverse flow technology to make up for this heat disparity. You’ll want to figure out which features fit into your budget and go from there. Here are the top picks, complete with pros and cons, for offset smokers.
Your Guide to the Best Offset Smoker Grills of 2019
There are a lot of factors to consider when buying an offset smoker. The main ones include price, craftsmanship, and size of the cooking area.
Of course, what works for you depends entirely on what you’re using it for. Here’s a list of buyer’s favorites starting with the leading smoker that’s jam-packed full of features.
#1 Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker
With a name like Oklahoma Joe, you know this puppy means business. Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Smoker is for people who take smoking very seriously.
With a price tag upwards of 800 big ones, you will want for nothing. Weighing in at 226 lbs, you know it’s built like a heavy-gauge steel tank that’s designed to smoke you right into old age.
This incredible smoker features 4 removable baffles that guide the heat and smoke to engulf your meat so every single bite is delicious.
You can also move the smokestack where you like it and use the dampers for even more heat and smoke control.
- 1060 total square inch cooking space
- Reverse flow technology ensures even cooking
- Stainless steel fuel basket
- Dedicated ash removal door
- Heavy duty front and bottom shelves
- Large 10” wheels for easy transport
- Not large enough to process restaurant amounts of meat
Basically, the only thing that could make this smoker any better is if it came with never ending briquettes.
Its horizontal design means you won’t break your back smoking meat. And the reverse flow technology means you won’t get uneven results.
If you’re on a mission to become the king of all things smoked, don’t pass up on the Oklahoma Joe.
#2 Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-D Vertical Offset Smoker & Grill
This version of the Dyna-Glo smoker is all about versatility. It has 5 chrome-plated cooking racks, an offset smoking chamber that doubles as a grill, and sausage hooks in the ceiling of the main chamber.
You’ll feel the quality as soon as you lay a hand on its heavy-duty steel body. It’s loaded with features like a cool-touch spring handle, an analog temperature gauge that tells you ideal smoking and grilling temps, and a removable ash pan.
- Heavy-duty steel construction design
- Removable ash pan
- 1382 square inches of cooking area
- Oversized steel wheels for easy transport
- Must stoop down to reach bottom racks
- Ashpan is hard to clean during long cooks
This Dyna-Glo grill and smoker is perfect for the serious-minded backyard chef who knows quality starts with the tools he uses.
#3 Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Charcoal Offset Smoker
This bad boy is made out of steel with a high-temperature powder coat finish. Its charcoal chamber keeps the coals stacked tightly for better burn efficiency. And you control the airflow with the handle on the smokestack.
The vertical design helps even out heat distribution since heat rises and allows for more uniform cooking.
- Double door design minimizes heat loss when adding fuel
- Extra-large cooking area holds up to 100 lbs of meat
- Optional cover sold separately
- Removable steel ash pan
- Easy assembly
- Doesn’t function as a grill
- Smoke loss through the gaps in the door
This smoker is perfect for processing larger amounts of food and has a durable design that’s sure to last.
#4 Royal Gourmet Charcoal Offset Smoker
Now we start moving away from heavy-duty options and into our affordable budget options.
The Royal Gourmet has a good amount of convenient features for its price range. First, it comes with a cover to help protect it from the weather, which is important if you live in an area with a lot of rain or a powerful sun.
This smoker gives you more control over the cooking heat with an adjustable charcoal tray and air vents. Although its materials aren’t very heavy duty, it gets the job done with a generous cooking area at an affordable price.
- 2-level adjustable charcoal pan helps control heat
- Adjustable air vents
- Good seal performance to contain smoke and heat
- Comes with a cover
- At 58 lbs, it’s a little harder to transport
- Doesn’t have an oil drip pan
This budget offset smoker gives you more options and control over your cooking without costing you an arm and a leg.
#5 Giantex Charcoal Grill with Offset Smoker
The Giantex offset smoker is an excellent choice for someone who hasn’t tried smoking meat yet. Simply because of its affordable price tag, you get everything you need to make a delicious meal.
- Lightweight design at just under 30 pounds, it’s easy to move and transport
- Easy assembly
- Convenient storage shelf for grilling tools
- Affordable price tag
- Cooking area is on the small size, suitable for one meal up to 3 people
- Some smoke loss through the gaps in the lid
Overall, the Giantex is the best budget option for the person that wants to try out smoking for the first time.
Take Your Cooking Game to the Next Level with An Offset Smoker Grill
Now that we’ve covered what separates a sophisticated smoker from a basic one, you’re ready to dive into the world of smoking meat.
Remember to consider what you’ll use it for. Someone who hunts and fishes will likely smoke more than someone who doesn’t.
Ask yourself, are you going to smoke meats many times a year? Will you use it just to make dinner or to process large amounts of food?
Whatever you decide, make sure you read reviews and buy from a reputable source so you don’t get ripped off.
And when you’re ready to become the master smoker who could win over any crabby teenager or a crotchety old guy with your fall-off-the-bone barbeque, you know what to get. You need the best smoker that will give you food no one in their right mind would ever turn down. You need the Oklahoma Joe.