Best Offset Smokers for Every Price Range and Use 2021

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Last Updated on November 25, 2021

Offset smokers are the classic smoking tool.

They’re simple, but effective. While it might seem like there’s not a lot to them, don’t be fooled. Smokers are more than just a spot for charcoal and another for food.

Offset smokers come in a few different configurations. From upright models, to reverse flow units, there are smokers for every use.

From materials, to the way they’re configured, it all makes a difference in how the final product comes out.

smoked bacon
Jim Bob
A long-time contributor to GrillBabyGrill. Jim has had a lifelong relationship with the art of grilling, passed on from his father and grandfather to him.

Our Top Choice

Dyna Glo DGO1176BDC
  • Large cooking space for big crowd
  • Heavy duty steel body construction
  • Perfect for novice and professional smoker
  • Features and ensures quick and reliable ignition
  • Great value for your money
The Process

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Product

Price

Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D

Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D

BEST CHOICE

  • Delivering an even and delicious result
  • Removable baffles and optional smokestack locations
  • Large stainless Steel fuel basket
Check on Amazon

Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn

Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn

RUNNER UP

  • Delivering an even and delicious result
  • Removable baffles and optional smokestack locations
  • Large stainless Steel fuel basket
Check on Amazon

Oklahoma Joe’s Combo Offset Smoker

Oklahoma Joe’s Combo Offset Smoker

VALUE CHOICE

  • SUPER EASY Cooking even for Beginners
  • EASY To Assemble and Use
  • Great ALL AROUND Smoker & Grill
Check Price on Amazon

Top 9 Offset Smokers Reviews (For Better Smoking)

1. Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Charcoal Offset Smoker

Why you’ll love this:

This is the perfect offset smoker for both beginners and advanced users. While it doesn’t double as a grill, like some other options, it provides unmatched smoking power. With an accurate and versatile thermometer, and easily adjustable dampers that can be moved into a huge number of potential positions, it makes smoking easy, while leaving room for improvement if you want to add a digital temperature controller or some such.

Combined with its powerful steel construction and reasonable price point, along with the immense capacity , it’s more than enough to last you a lifetime of smoking with ease.

For those that just want to smoke, a vertical charcoal smoker is the way to go. Rather than laying all your food out on one grate, vertical smokers allows you to stack grate on top of each other in the unit

The Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Charcoal Offset Smoker is a solid option that lets you smoke a lot of meat at once. With six cooking grates and nearly 800 square inches of cooking space, this smoker can handle up to 100 pounds of meat. Heavy duty construction and plenty of vents allow for good temperature control.

2. Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Reverse Flow Offset Smoker

Why you’ll love this:

An excellent alternative to our winner if you want something that also doubles as a grill. While it lacks the sheer massive capacity of some dedicated smokers, it more than makes up for it in performance, being a reverse flow smoker.

The spacious front rack and comfortable heat resistant handle round out the package. The only drawback is the higher than average price. You’ll need to be certain that this grill and smoker does everything you want it to before committing to it.

If you really want to get the best smoke flow possible, you need a reverse flow smoker. And the Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker is one of the best.

The Longhorn has plenty of space—over 1000 square inches of cooking are—and is made from a heavy gauge steel for better heat control. Porcelain coated grates make for easy cleanup and maintenance.

The baffles, which control the reverse flow, can also be removed. This allows users to cook in a traditional way.

3. Oklahoma Joe’s Combo Offset Smoker

Oklahoma Joe Combo Smoker

Why you’ll love this:

This three in one charcoal and gas grill with offset smoker is the perfect choice for the griller who wants maximum versatility above all else. The propane gas grill portion is powerful, with three high heat burners for when you need a quick grill fix, plus a side burner for warming sauces and sides (like baked beans).

On the other side is a fairly spacious charcoal grill, with a nice smoker firebox attached. All of this comes together on a convenient cart, with sturdy wheels and overall construction, and even better; at a great price. The only issue is that each individual cooking surface is relatively small; about as large as a kettle grill.

If you want a smoker that can do it all, the Char-Broil Oklahoma Joe’s Charcoal/LP Gas/Smoker Combo is a great choice.

With the ability to run on both charcoal and propane, this grill can smoke and grill at the same time. Over 1000 square inches of cooking space is plenty of room for a large gathering.

Thick gauge steel makes this grill both durable and efficient. Dual temperature gauges make it easy to monitor food and its progress.

4. Char-Griller E1224 Smokin Pro Offset Smoker

Why you’ll love this:

In terms of looks, this grill is a clear winner, with its nice wood side tables and handle. In terms of performance though, it falls short.

While the interior space is good, and the offset smoker box works well, it falls apart primarily when it comes to the legs. The steel of the body is strong and thick, but the legs are simplistic and likely to be the first thing to fail when it comes to this grill.

Primarily, this grill falls short because while its raw performance might be solid, its longevity is in question.

For a simple, traditional offset smoker that won’t break the bank, look no further than the Char-Griller 1224 Smokin Pro.

This grill has plenty of space with 580 square inches of cooking area in the smoker and 250 square inches in the fire box. Cooking space in the firebox does allow for direct cooking and searing.

Charcoal drawers make adding charcoal and removing ash easy. The cast iron cooking grates and overall construction is very heavy duty, meaning long life and durability.

The Smokin Pro does also include a temperature gauge and is well ventilated.

5. Landmann 560202 Charcoal Grill with Offset Smoker

Landmann

Why you’ll love it:

This squat, boxy charcoal grill is definitely an interesting choice. It works great for people with limited storage space, with a folding side table and a very compact design for the size. In terms of performance it works pretty well, with a great cooking surface size and construction.

It’s also extremely affordable, making it the best budget model here. In terms of drawbacks though, the main thing is that it’s nothing special; it does everything the others do in terms of basic functionality, with none of the bells and whistles.

If space is at a premium, you need a smaller smoker like the Landmann 560202 Vista Barbecue Grill with Offset Smoker Box.

With a little over 360 square inches of cooking space in the smoker and just 169 square inches in the firebox, this is not a large grill. But, for a family or a few friends, it’s really all you need—especially if your tight on space.

For heat control, this Landmann includes a temperature gauge, plenty of vents, and a hand crank to adjust the height of the charcoal tray. It’s also easy to clean with plenty of openings and a charcoal tray.

6. Char-Broil American Gourmet Offset Smoker

Char-Broil American Gourmet

Why you’ll love it:

  • Versatile. Comes with combination offset smoker, bbq and charcoal grill
  • Easy to clean
  • Comes with adjustable cooking grates
  • Best entry level smoker

If you’re looking for a smoker for your next backyard cookout or during federal holiday bbq party , it’s hard to go wrong with the Char-Broil American Gourmet Offset Smoker.

The Char-Broil American Gourmet is a simple offset smoker with plenty of space for a family cookout. This grill has a separate firebox that can also be used for direct cooking and searing.

With plenty of vents and a temperature gauge, tracking and adjusting temperatures is easy to do. Inside, the American Gourmet has trays for both wood chips and water. Wheels make for easy transport.

7. Broil King 958050 Offset Smoker

Broil King 958050

Why you’ll love it:

  • Easy to use dampers.
  • Built in thermometer.
  • Easy access fire chamber.
  • Thick cast iron cooking grids aid heat distribution for more even cooking.
  • Good price.
  • Excellent interior cooking area.

This is a pretty big offset smoker. 625 square inches of primary cooking space is nothing to sneeze at, especially for the price for this one, which falls a fair bit under what you’d end up paying for some other grills or smokers of this size.

625 square inches is the perfect size for what I’d call the dedicated hobbyist. It’s large enough to cook a great amount of food for fairly large gatherings of people (family reunions, huge backyard barbeque events, that kind of thing) without breaking your budget or leaving you scratching your head on where exactly you’re going to put an enormous 800+ square inch grill and smoker.

Combined with its construction, that perfect mid-high end sizing makes this a formidable smoker. The all stainless steel construction is thick and sturdy, with thick cast iron cooking grids giving you better heat retention than stainless steel, and better heat distribution due to the increased surface area per grate.

The dampers are excellent and easy to use for anybody familiar with grilling, and the included thermometer built into the lid is accurate and gives a clear indicator of when the temperature might need to be adjusted, which is easy with the fairly large heating chamber set off to the side.

All in all for the price, you can do a lot worse than this simple, well built smoking machine.

8. Royal Gourmet BBQ Charcoal Grill and Offset Smoker

Royal Gourmet BBQ

Why you’ll love it:

Royal Gourmet provides us a good budget option in this grill and smoker combo.

For the insanely low price for a grill of this size, that little bit of misleading wording is easy to look over. You’re looking at paying about 1/8 what the Broil King smoker is on offer for, and you’re getting at minimum about 2/3 of the space; that’s a good deal.

You get quite a good amount of cooking surface for the price: 438 square inches of primary cooking area. This is quite good, though the 800 square inches it claims it is not; that’s the whole cooking area including the warming rack. While a 183 square inch side box is great, and a 179 square inch warming rack is nice, those are harder to factor into the total size of a grill.

The construction is the main issue here. It’s stainless steel, which is good, but while the body is clearly fairly sturdy, the legs leave much to be desired. The wheels are cheap and flimsy, as are the front legs and storage grate connecting the two.

Still, again, as a budget model it acquits itself well. Just don’t expect it to wow you.

9. Z Grills 8 in 1 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker

ZGrills 8 and 1

Why you’ll love it:

  • Great hopper capacity.
  • Relatively cheap for a pellet grill and smoker.
  • Great construction.
  • Good table placement and design.

This is a good midrange grill with an offset smoker.

Z Grills knows how to make a solid grill without driving up the price, and this is no exception. You get a great shell, made of stainless steel, with excellent nonstick porcelain enamel cooking grates to make cleanup easier once you’re done with a long smoking or grilling session.

I really like the arrangement of tables on this. You get a great front rack here which is removable so you can get it into places easier, put it into storage, or just get to whatever you’re doing at the time without a rack in the way. The side table under the chimney at first glance looks cumbersome, but there’s actually plenty of space between the table and chimney to set your grill sauces and other small utensils, bowls, and containers within easy reach.

The interior is fairly spacious, with a good workable space, though it’s separated into three parts. The main grill chamber gives you a solid 324 square inches of primary grilling space, plus a good swing away warming rack measuring 128 square inches.

Rather than a traditional firebox, this instead has is a pellet grill, meaning it has an auger system that continuously pushes through pellets to keep the heat going low and slow as long as you need it to.

Additionally it has a built in electronic temperature controller, so you can be assured the proper temperature for smoking is always going inside, even when you’re not directly monitoring the smoker.

FINAL VERDICT

jim bob

While there are plenty of great smokers on the market, if you’ve got to pick just one it’s hard to go wrong with the Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Charcoal Offset Smoker. This smoker provides a good mix of features and value.

Dyna-Glo’s provides over 784 square inches of cooking space. Made of heavy gauge steel and well ventilated, this smoker cooks and maintains smoking temperatures well. Adjustable height cooking grates make for maximum control.

If you’re looking for a good smoker, check out this product from Dyna-Glo today.

Read more: Learn how to season a smoker.

What to Look For in an Offset Smoker?

There are few things more American than grilling.

And what better way to perfect your next brisket or hamburger than with charcoal. Charcoal infuses a flavor that just can’t be matched.

While more advanced barbeque tools have emerged over the years—powered by everything from electricity to propane—nothing quite compares to the classic offset charcoal smoker.

If you’re looking for your next smoker or are thinking of picking up your first, there’s a lot to choose from.

Size Matters

Smokers come in all shapes and sizes.

When choosing one, you’ll want to start by considering how much space you need for cooking. If you plan on just preparing food for you and your family or a few friends, a smaller smoker is probably all you’ll ever need. But, if you plan on cooking for a crowd, you may need a much larger smoker.

Storage space is another concern. Many offset smokers are fairly long, meaning you’ll need plenty of space to store them. If you don’t have a lot of space, make sure you pick a smoker that fits in the space you need it to.

Construction

How a smoker is put together is another major consideration before buying.

Many inexpensive smokers are made of thin metal that doesn’t hold or transfer heat well. Since smoking—and often grilling—are all about keeping heat even and low, it’s important to have a smoker that can get the job done. A good smoker will be made of thick enough metal to keep the heat inside and efficient.

Proper ventilation is also important to a good smoke. So, make sure your smoker has enough vents to get the smoke flowing just right.

Portability

Being able to move the smoker around is another important feature for many users. Storage is at a premium for many, so having a smoker that will not only fit, but can be moved easily is an important consideration.

While many smaller smokers have wheels, larger units often do not.

Ease of Maintenance

Cleaning out a charcoal grill can be a pain. It’s one of the few downsides of the platform.

When shopping for a smoker, you’ll definitely want to consider how easy it is to clean and maintain. Many smokers have a catch pan beneath that can be easily removed to dispose of the ashes.

Budget

Price is always a big consideration. Thankfully, offset smokers are relatively affordable compared to some of their more advanced counterparts.

Most offset smokers can be had for less than $500, with many available closer to the $200 mark.

What’s for Dinner?

One of the biggest things to consider when choosing a smoker is what you’ll be cooking.

If you’re just planning to smoke meats like ribs or brisket, choosing an upright smoker might be the best option. But, if you’d like to sear a steak every now and then or cook the occasional burger, a more traditional offset smoker with a place to sear meat is a much better choice.

Pros and Cons of Offset Smokers

Pros

  • Create a delicious barbecue flavor – Because the offset smoker uses wood or charcoal as its fuel source, it produces meat with an incredibly delicate, smoky flavor. The smoke rises into the cooking container relatively unregulated, moving across the meat and cooking it slowly and thoroughly. Offset smokers can create an intensely full-bodied, slow-cooked brisket.
  • You can also use them as a grill – An offset smoker can double up as a grill. Bypass the firebox and add charcoal to the bottom of the main container. Put a grill rack above the charcoal, and you’re ready to grill. Grilling cooks the meat faster than smoking does and ensures that you produce the juiciest possible result.
  • Don’t require electricity – These smokers are old-school. They don’t need any electricity to operate, so you can also barbecue almost anywhere you want. You’ll also save on any electricity costs you’d be paying with other grill options.
  • Don’t require electricity – These smokers are old-school. They don’t need any electricity to operate, so you can also barbecue almost anywhere you want. You’ll also save on any electricity costs you’d be paying with other grill options. 
  • Tend to be cheaper – These smokers’ initial cost tends to be less expensive than some other, electricity-operated options. 
  • Can cook a lot of meat at once – You can fit a lot of fuel in the firebox of an offset grill, allowing the cooking container to retain a high temperature over a long time. There’s also plenty of room in a traditional offset smoker, so you’ll be able to lay out several large chunks of meat with no problem at all.
  • Easy to source fuel – The charcoal and wood fuel sources are easy to find at various stores.

Cons

  • Need to check on the temperature frequently – You’ll need to keep manually checking on the temperature of your firebox and the cooking container to make sure that your meat is cooking correctly. Whenever you open up the large container’s lid, you run the risk of losing heat and smoke from the barbecue, so try to avoid doing that too often.
  • Very difficult to use in adverse weather conditions – These grills are difficult to use in rainy, windy, and cold weather. Poor external conditions can make it even more challenging to control and retain the smoker’s internal temperature, and wet weather can dampen the fuel source.
  • It takes a long time to cook meat – It can take time to heat the fuel source and the barbecue. Afterward, the smoker’s slow-cooking style means that you’ll be waiting a while for your meat to cook properly.
  • It’s more challenging to get an even cook – Sometimes, the area of the smoker nearest to the firebox is the hottest, meaning you’ll have to keep rotating meat to make sure it gets cooked evenly. This problem is significantly more likely to happen with a traditional offset smoker model.
  • High running costs – Traditional models tend to be less fuel-efficient than other options, meaning they have higher running costs.

Using an Offset Smoker

Using an offset smoker requires a level of expertise that other grills don’t demand. Besides being an immensely rewarding cooking experience, you can amaze your friends and family with an expert grilling display using an offset smoker.

Lighting the Fire

The best way to light an offset cooker is by using charcoal. This fuel source lights quickly and also provides that sought-after smoky flavor throughout your meat and vegetables. 

Use a chimney starter, which comes with predrilled holes and vents for near-instant lighting, and then tip the glowing coals into the offset smoker’s firebox for the fastest results. Try to place the lit charcoal at the back of the firebox, so when you stoke the fire, you are not reaching over the burning coals.

When the fire is burning, it’s time to add wood to maximize the smoky flavor. You can choose from a range of woods, experimenting with oak, apple, cherry, and others. Many tastes combine well with certain meats, so you can find the ideal wood to go with steak, chicken, or turkey. 

For the first 10 minutes, place the wood beside the hot charcoal, allowing it to dry out and heat. When the wood is sufficiently dry, you can set the pieces on top of the charcoal.

It’s a good idea to put another piece of wood beside the charcoal each time you move a separate log onto the coals. This means you always have a warm and dry log to place on the coals when one has burned through.

Set the Temperature

Your offset smoker has an airflow vent, otherwise known as a damper, which you open and close to control the amount of air that reaches the charcoal and wood. Flames need oxygen to burn, and opening the damper allows more oxygen into the firebox, which is ideal when raising the temperature. 

Your offset smoker may have an integrated thermometer, or if your model doesn’t have one, you should invest in a separate temperature gauge. Watch the heat level rise, and when you reach your desired level, partially close the damper to maintain a steady temperature. Usually, it’s best to leave the damper open by ⅓ or sometimes ½, to allow some oxygen to fan the flames. You need to monitor the temperature throughout cooking and open and close the damper accordingly to ensure the temperature remains steady. 

Using a Reverse Flow Offset Smoker

A reverse flow offset smoker adds a baffle below the cooking surface, and the chimney is on the same side as the fire box. This arrangement allows for smoke to move evenly from one side of the cooking chamber to the other. 

Smoke and heat is pulled below the baffle into the far side of the cooking chamber and then passes horizontally over the food, to the chimney on the other side.

Learn more about reverse flow offset smoker.

Offset Smokers vs. Reverse Flow Smoker

The choice between a reverse flow smoker vs. offset is entirely subjective. You may prefer the ease of a reverse-flow smoker with its simple set-up and consistent heat flow, or perhaps you enjoy the challenge of an offset smoker with its clean burn and extra airflow. Whichever you choose, as long as you pair your meat with tasty wood smoke, you’re sure to get a winning result

Building Offset Smoker at Home

If you can’t find an offset grill that perfectly suits your outdoor entertaining space or culinary needs, you can quickly and easily build your own with just a few simple materials and a little know-how. This may sound daunting to many, but there are several great reasons to do it. 

Not only will you be able to customize your grill to suit your needs, but you’ll also be the most popular smoker owner on your street. What are you waiting for? Put on your welding gear and build your smoker just in time for summer.

While you are here, you can also check out other most popular types of smokers: propane smokers fro beginnerscharcoal smokersthe pelletthe drum and high-end electric models.JIM B.