Best Offset Smokers: The Essential Equipment of Backyard Enthusiasts

Good day to you all, my backyard-barbeque-party-enthusiast readers.

Since you have found your way to my article about the best offset smoker, you are looking to have a backyard party of your own, aren’t you?

A party where you are the one hosting and cooking I assume? If this is your first time doing so, then it is more of a reason to read my article.

A party where you are the one hosting and cooking I assume? If this is your first time doing so, then it is more of a reason to read my article.

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The Smoker is an Indispensable Thing in BBQ Parties

Grilling and smoking food looks fun, and yes, it is fun, but it can be quite rough, especially if you are working on a smoker that is not suitable for you.

This article shall give you a general picture of what to expect and how to avoid wasting your hard-earned money.

What Are Offset-smokers Exactly?

Why offset? Why not a whole set?

Well, my friend, smoking a chunk of meat usually takes several hours, and meanwhile, you might leave to grill meat or burger buns on another griller.

So why not have a piece of equipment that can do both?

best offset smoker under 500

Thus, the birth of an offset smoker. You could grill sausages, burger patties, and pizza slices in the middle, while simultaneously monitoring the ham you are smoking on the side right there.

Offset smoker always comes with at least a meat smoking chamber and a grilling chamber. Some manufacturers would add a rack, extra holding tray, wheels here and there, but basically, it will come with at least these two functions.

Now that the necessary knowledge is covered, even if you are a novice backyard BBQ host, you should consider buying an offset smoker.

Top 3 Best Three Offset Smokers : A Comparison Chart

Editor's Choices
Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Charcoal Offset Smoker*
Royal Gourmet CC1830F Charcoal Grill with Offset Smoker, Black*
Best Selling
Smoke Hollow 4-in-1 LP Gas Charcoal Smoker Searing BBQ Grill Model PS9900*
Power source
Charcoal
Charcoal
Gas and charcoal
Best feature
Best balance between price, functionality and durability
Extremely high heat resistance
4-in-1 combo
Prime
-
Customer Rating's
Price
from $200.61
$99.98
$838.11
Editor's Choices
Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Charcoal Offset Smoker*
Power source
Charcoal
Best feature
Best balance between price, functionality and durability
Prime
Customer Rating's
Price
from $200.61
Royal Gourmet CC1830F Charcoal Grill with Offset Smoker, Black*
Power source
Charcoal
Best feature
Extremely high heat resistance
Prime
Customer Rating's
Price
$99.98
Best Selling
Smoke Hollow 4-in-1 LP Gas Charcoal Smoker Searing BBQ Grill Model PS9900*
Power source
Gas and charcoal
Best feature
4-in-1 combo
Prime
-
Customer Rating's
Price
$838.11

Top 8 Best Offset Smokers You Will Love

Dyna-Glo Vertical Charcoal DGO1176BDC-D – The Winner

The reason why this bad boy is on the top of my list is due to several factors, but the most crucial aspect for a product to be on top of the list is a balance.

This Dyna-Glo vertical offset-smoker does have its shortfalls here and there, but overall it achieves the optimal balance point between price, functionality, and durability.

It has received quite a lot of praises because it has great space to cook on. It is easy to assemble, lightweight, and the handles are non-heat conductive.

Though it is not without any flaws, the design does not include a deflector between the pathway from the firebox to the cooking chamber. As a result, the food at the bottom will get cooked up faster.

There are also complains that the built-in thermometer is not reliable.

VERDICT

Beginner barbecue smokers would love it due to the consistency between price, quality, and durability.

A veteran would not mind the cons since they mostly know how to deal with them, and it is perfect for huge family gatherings as there is space to cook enough food for everyone.

Pros
  • Relatively low cost
  • Lightweight
  • A lot of space to cook
  • Easy assembly instruction
  • Non-heat conductive handles
  • Relatively durable
Cons
  • The meat inside is not evenly cooked
  • Constant attention required during its cooking process

Royal Gourmet – Runner Up

The Royal gourmet was reluctantly put as a runner up owing to several reasons.

Do not think it is less worthy just because it is tagged with a lower price. It does have several common issues with its offset smoker, but its durability and functionality are on par with the winner product.

It meets standard quality in being porcelain for non-stickiness, adjustable rackets, and high heat resistance so it wouldn’t break down halfway through your party.

Remember how the winner offset smoker does not cook the meat evenly on all rackets; this one has not received a complaint on that.

Alright, here come the shortfalls. Although it has a sturdy base, the paint peels off quite quickly so it might not look like brand new after a couple of uses.

In terms of portability, it does have wheels to support moving around, but it is quite heavy, so moving it off the ground and placing it somewhere else could be hard.

VERDICT

This one's for you if you are looking into starting this as a hobby and do not want to commit financially.

At the same time, you are not looking to waste it either, as it is built to be budget-friendly and long-lasting.

Pros
  • Adjustable height
  • A low effort on the cleaning duties
  • High heat resistance
  • High durability
Cons
  • Assembling it is difficult
  • Heavy
  • Paint peels off easily

Searing BBQ Grill Model PS9900 – Best for All-In-One Combo

I guess the outstanding feature of this smoker is pretty self-explanatory from its name. Charcoal and gas grilling, meat smoking and searing burner, the all-in-one feature is the highlight of the PS9900.

The price is pretty indicative of the quality of this smoker, so there is no need for me to repeat the sort of standard quality it has. So let’s move on with trade-offs.

The smoker might not work properly right after assembling it. There can be issues with airflow, and it can get ashy during uses.

Of course, it is not entirely broken, with a bit of tinkering and twisting here and there, and the problem will be fixed. Though, bad luck for consumers who aren’t aware of the know-how.

Other than that, the other trade-offs aren’t that significant, and everything else is mostly perfect; which will still be mentioned in the pros and cons list.

VERDICT

Looking for a “one-man-army” offset smoker and you are a veteran in BBQ smoker setting yourself? The Cupid is already aiming the arrow of love at you two.

Pros
  • All-in-one convenience
  • Easy cleaning
  • High heat resistance
  • High durability
  • Grill and searing burner are superb
Cons
  • Setting it up is a bit time-consuming
  • Heavy ( approx. 200 pounds)
  • Smokers require additional work to work properly
  • The design looks bulky

Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-D – Best for Capacity

Firstly, the price is average for a smoker. The overall design is more high-end. The common issues of smoke leakage due to gaps appropriately sealed and inaccurate built-in thermometer do not exist with this Dyna-Glo smoker.

Also, the cooking space available for your barbeque party is impressively big for an offset smoker, 1382 and 284 square inches. It is made for heavy-duty, so that you can expect durability on par with the top winner.

Another standout feature, which is liked by a lot of fathers who love BBQ parties, are the indicators for the ideal temperature for a specific flavor you want to achieve for your food.

However, even though the materials are mostly high-end, for some reason, the steel wall is a bit thinner than expected. Thus, this smoker has a bit of heat retention inferior complex with the top winner.

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VERDICT

Suitable for massive gatherings. I am talking like at least 3 to 4 families’ gatherings and also perfect for semi-experienced barbecue enthusiasts who regularly hold backyard parties.

Pros
  • Massive room to cook your food
  • Easy to assemble
  • Gaps are properly sealed
  • No smoke leakage issue
  • Easy to clean up
Cons
  • Thin steel wall
  • Require constant attention for temperature management
  • Can be a bit pricey to some people

Oklahoma Joe's Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker – Best reverse flow offset smoker

A warning for people who don’t have a restricted budget and who care for high-end luxury: the Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn is very costly, but if you have some time to spare, check this smoker out, it is quite a sight for the eyes.

First, some standard features it comes with are high-end materials, a space of 1060 and 309 square inches for grilling, and a thermometer on the top to keep track of the temperature.

This offset smoker keeps its pride in the reverse flow design that directs the smoke from the smoke box around the grilling space to evenly distribute heat to the entire cooking area.

So what is the big deal? Any BBQ lover would know this is a massive deal because one of the toughest jobs of grilling food is not to let it burn.

Grilling a sausage roll or two is an easy task, but when you are preparing burger buns, beef patties, pizzas, and even casserole in the kitchen, keeping track of how long the food has been cooked is extremely challenging. It gets even crazier when your offset smoker does not cook evenly.

Another outstanding feature is the modification site. We are not certain how it originated, but there is a whole community offering detailed instructions on how to modify this specific smoker.

There is not much negativity for this smoker except for two things; it is pricey and extremely heavy. Its portability is significantly lowered due to its total weight of 196 pounds. Imagine accidentally landing it on your toes during the relocation process.

VERDICT

Don’t care about the cost? Have a dedicated spot in your backyard for the smoker that will never move? Grab this babe immediately then, because as far as you are concerned, he does not have any flaws at all.

Pros
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Modification is detailedly available
  • Supreme heat distribution
  • High-end materials
Cons
  • Low portability
  • Expensive

Oklahoma Joe's Charcoal/LP Gas/Smoker Combo – Best 2-in-1 Offset BBQ Smoker

Oh my god, Aunt Josephine is coming, and she doesn’t like the food cooked with charcoal, but Aunt Karen insists food is best cooked with charcoal, not with gas, but the #3 product is too expensive, what do I do?”

I will tell you what to do; you get this triple combo of charcoal, gas, and a smoker. Yes, although it is cheaper than the #3 four-in-one smoker, it is still quite pricey, but either your wallet or your ears, one of two would have to bleed.

As expected of a pricey smoker, apart from the triple combo function, the materials used to make the smoker are extremely high-end, hence the high durability and superior design (i.e., gaps are adequately sealed, doors can be closed perfectly, no smoke leakage, etc.)

However, it is not without cons. In fact, for a price like that, one would expect the issue would lie in anything else but its materials. Specifically, the ash drawer somehow seems inferior to other more budget smokers, and cooking space is sort of smaller too.

VERDICT

Perfect for serving a small group of picky eaters with different preferences. It is made to be long-lasting and quality barbeque experience.

Pros
  • Triple function combo
  • High durability
  • The minimal smoke leakage issue
  • No heat distribution issue
Cons
  • Pricey
  • Inferior ash drawer
  • Rather small cooking space

The Char-broil American – Best for Beginners

Not every party needs an offset smoker that can cook meals from 20 different countries. If it is a simple offset smoker you are looking for, this should be just the thing for you.

The Char-broil American comes at a budget price but still equipped with almost every minimum feature required to host a backyard BBQ party.

It was not that hard to analyze the pros and cons of this smoker. The minimum, but essential requirements are all satisfied; e.g., the smoker is coated in porcelain for easy cleaning, handles stay cool to avoid burning your hands, dampers are adjustable, and there is a luxury version if you are satisfied and would like a better-looking one.

However, there have been complaints on the paint peeling off easily, which is to be expected, and also the thin metal gets distorted when temperatures get too high.

Other cons are the common ones you should know already, smoke leakage, poor heat retention, and the built-in thermometer that is not reliable at all.

VERDICT

If a pitmaster looking smoker with 1000 functions and 20 stovetops feels sort of overwhelming to you and you are not looking to hold heavy-duty BBQ parties anyway, then the Char-Broil American is definitely the right choice.

It is perfect to be a budget price smoker that can hold a light-hearted BBQ party.

Pros
  • Budget
  • The basic setting is mostly there
  • Non-heat conductive handles
  • Deluxe version is available
Cons
  • Poor heat retention
  • Smoke leakage
  • Thin metal is easily wrapped by high temperature

Char-Griller E1224 Smoking Pro – Best for Upgradability

There are times when you are sure you will be a backyard BBQ-er for some time, but not quite sure for how long that would last? If that’s your situation right now, you should go for the E1224.

Why? The reason is simple. If you purchase a budget offset smoker right now, you might end up having to spend money to get another one better later.

On the other hand, if you give everything for a high-end offset smoker but end up thinking it is not needed, well let’s just say it’s tough living with that decision.

With the Char-griller you explore this newfound hobby in a light-hearted manner first. It comes with 580 square inches of cooking space, a porcelain coat for easy cleaning, stainless steel for corrosion resistance and all those things you normally expect an average offset smoker would have.

Though, the E1224 is known for its extreme extent for upgradability. The cons I am about to be mentioned below, are mostly, if not entirely, eliminated with the appropriate upgrade, which you could decide to spend on later, once you have determined you need it.

As always, the cons are usual flaws you would see with a budget offset smoker, smoke leakage, unreliable thermometer, temperature loss, and assembly issue.

VERDICT

Use this offset smoker to explore your newfound hobby as a backyard BBQ griller and smoker.

Once you are sure it is the sort of hobby you want to get serious with and tinker around grilling and smoking food, you could always upgrade it to become a somewhat high-end BBQ smoker without having to spend on an entirely different offset smoker.

Pros
  • Extreme upgradability
  • Anti-corrosion material
  • Easy cleaning
  • Budget
Cons
  • Assembly issue
  • Smoke leakage
  • Bad temperature retention

What to Look For In a Good Offset Smoker

There is no perfect offset smoker, just one that suits you the most. Though, that does not mean you could just pick anything.

The following are the most important aspects of an offset smoker

1. Heat Distribution

A bit of uneven heat distribution is fine, but when the bun at the bottom turns into crisp while the meat on top is still raw on the outside, is unacceptable. 


2. Porcelain and Stainless Steel

best offset smokers 2019

After the cooking, comes the cleaning. It will be much easier if the smoker is made of stainless steel and coated with porcelain.


3. Gaps and Doors

Again, it is fine with a bit of imperfection, but make sure you check the gaps thoroughly as smoke leakage is a common issue, and it impacts the flavor of the smoked meat.


4. Thick Metal

It is quite essential for heat retention. It is not as important if you are the fuel-carefree kind of guy, but generally, you would want the metal gauge as thick as possible.


5. Durability

Not having to buy another one is one thing, but you would want your smoker a bit durable and sturdy for safety reasons.

How to Setup and Modify Your Offset Smoker

best offset smoker under 2000
  • Clean and Season: Make sure you clean and wipe the whole thing before use and wait to dry it out. Then if you are feeling like a master chef, sizzle vegetable oil inside the cooking chamber. Light up a fire with all vents opened for 30 minutes.
  • Air Intake Damper and Chimney: Fire needs oxygen, basic physics. So open the damper for airflows and chimney to let out the smoke.
  • Light the Chimney With Briquettes: Fill the charcoal and briquettes in the chimney starter and light it up. The process should take about 30 minutes.
  • Stoke the Coals: When the briquettes are ashy and hot, move them to the firebox and add hardwood for extra smoked meat flavor, then close the lid.
  • Maintain Heat: During your cooking, the temperature will decrease, so check the thermometer and maintain the heat by adding briquettes as you see fit.
  • Moisture: Place a pan of water inside the firebox to prevent food from being dried up.

Time to Hold Your BBQ Party!

Phew, that’s quite a list there heh? The award for the best offset smoker goes to Dyna-Glo Vertical Charcoal without a doubt, but that depends mostly on your needs.

No matter how good it is, if you don’t need it, then it is not as good as people say.

Sale
Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Charcoal Offset Smoker*
  • Heavy gauge porcelain enameled steel wood chip box
  • 15,000 BTU Heavy Duty Cast Iron Burner; Electronic pulse ignition system ensures quick and reliable ignition
  • 784 square Inch of total smoking area; Smokes up to 100lbs of food at a time. Dimensions : 20.2 × 34.52 × 47.03 in. Weight : 57 lbs
  • Dual door design minimizes heat loss while adding wood chips throughout the smoking process
  • Heavy duty steel body construction with High Temp powder coat finish for durability and long life

So read my reviews and think about what it is that you need right now when searching for the best offset smoker, and hopefully you will find just the right one for you.

Feel free to share your BBQ experiences with us in the comments.

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