Best Offset Smoker Reviews (2018): Our Top Recommendations For The Money
Some of my dearest memories from when I was a child are of weekends spent in our backyard, my dad standing by the smoker and me playing with my siblings, waiting for him to finish preparing some delicious ribs. That time, I knew I wanted the same experience when I grow up.
Now, it's kind of a tradition – my hubby by the offset smoker and my kids in the backyard keeping me company. Sounds lovely, doesn't it? That's why I'm here - to help you find the best offset smoker that will take you one step closer to making such memories yourself.
Quick Comparison: Top Offset Smokers 2018
**Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
What Is An Offset Smoker?
Even though there are plenty different types of smokers to choose from, this one, by far, is the most popular one. I think the name alone says a lot – an offset smoker. The idea is that you have two separate chambers, one that you use as a firebox and the other where you place your food. The heat and smoke then find their way from the firebox to the cooking chamber. Sounds simple enough, right? Let's just say it like this – if you've learned how to build a fire, you've learned how to use an offset smoker.
The two chambers are barrel-like and in most cases positioned horizontally. The firebox is slightly lowered than the cooking chamber. There is a chimney that connects the two, and there's another one on the other end of the cooking chamber, through which the smoke exits it.
An Offset Smoker vs. Other Types of Smokers
If you've paid attention so far, then you've learned that what makes offset smokers different from other types of smokers is the way they're built. The first advantage is that when you're using an offset smoker and want to add more fuel to the fire, there's no need to open the cooking chamber. It dispenses with that need because the firebox is not in the cooking chamber.
You also have the option of turning this into a grill, thanks to its firebox set-up. For this, many manufacturers and sellers will include an optional grill grate to make grilling possible. Imagine having a smoker and a grill all in one. An offset smoker can make that happen.
And can I just point out how cool it looks? I know you agree or you wouldn't be here reading this. Imagine yourself on a sunny Sunday afternoon, enjoying a cold drink, chatting with your family and friends, all while standing by your new offset grill. Sounds great, doesn't it?
One thing that I can list as a disadvantage is that an offset smoker will take up a lot more space than other smoker types due to the way it's built, so keep this in mind if you have a smaller backyard.
What To Look For In An Offset Smoker?
As a buyer, you would want to choose an offset smoker that has a good quality. But what does "quality" stand for when you're picking out an offset smoker? I'm going to name a few things that can help you decide if the smoker you are thinking of buying is worth your money or not.
This one depends on your personal preferences. Take a look at the various offset offerings in the market and check out how much they cost. After that, come up with a reasonable budget that you know will get you a decent offset smoker.
2. Material and Construction
This one is important. Even if you know nothing about offset smokers, it makes sense to buy one that is made out a high-quality material such as gauge steel. Let's say this is pretty much the golden standard - always go for gauge steel.
Another crucial factor. You'll be dealing with fire, high temperatures, and thick smoke – you need a smoker made in such a way that it provides safety in those conditions. Watch out for the welds and the seal of the lids, make sure they look well-built. Of course, you can't know that for sure until you've used the smoker for the first time, but this way you'll lessen the chances of making the wrong choice.
This one depends mainly on your lifestyle. For example, if you like to entertain larger groups of people and prepare food for them, consider buying a larger grill. If, however, you plan on occasionally cooking something for your family, there's no need to go overboard with the smoker size. I do believe, though, that getting a larger smoker could motivate you to host dinner parties more often.
As you can imagine, offset smokers tend to be pretty heavy, so if you plan on moving it around a lot, be kind to your back and buy one that has wheels or casters.
5 Our Best Offset Smokers 2018
If you're looking to buy a smoker for under $200, then this is the one for you. This model is made out of steel coupled with a high-temperature powder coat finish. These are characteristic that make this offset smoker a durable choice.
Another thing to note about this product is how the cooking chamber is positioned. This one has a vertical chamber, which is different from the usual horizontal ones.
This product can offer you a great introduction to the offset smoker. It’s an ideal option for budget-conscious individuals and for those who don’t need one that is too complicated.
- It's easy to assemble it
- It's budget-friendly
- The vertical offset, instead of the typical horizontal, makes it stand out from other models on this list and allows for a good heat flow
- The vertical positioning of the chamber reduces its footprint, making this more ideal for people with space constraints.
- It might not be that portable because of its lack of wheels.
- It doesn't come with a cover, so you'll need to buy it separately
If you have this offset smoker, you don’t need to buy anything else. This smoker does more than just smoke meats. You can also barbecue and grill with it. It has a good grilling surface, allowing you to cook more food at a given time.
Get this if you are looking for a heavy-duty offset smoker that isn’t difficult to set-up and operate and produces the best smoking results. It also comes with a storage rack, so you have plenty of space for all your extra grilling or smoking paraphernalia.
- It’s easy on the budget. The price is cheaper compared to other similar offset smokers
- It’s very easy to set up. Even those who are new to offset smokers assembled it with ease with just the use of the manual.
- It holds up well against a considerable level of abuse.
- The size is just right for small to medium smoking or grilling needs
- Like most smokers, some had issues with the accuracy and consistency of the thermometer
- This might not be the best for quick cooking but is superb for slow cooking such as smoking meats
This model is a crowd favorite because of its superb features. It’s more expensive but its features more than make up for its higher price tag.
One of its remarkable features is its digital temperature control that lets you have full control over the temperature of what you are smoking or grilling. If you don’t like to babysit your offset smoker all day, this is the perfect, no-fuss option for you. The way this smoker, Camp Chef PG24 Deluxe Pellet Grill and Smoker BBQ is built, is what makes it the best offset smoker.
- This model offers digital temperature control, which means you don't have to spend your time constantly checking the temperature – set it all up and relax while you let the smoker do the work.
- It has wheels which make moving it a lot easier.
- It has a wide temperature range. It can reach temperatures of up to 500° F.
- Some users might find the one-year warranty disappointing.
- There is some possibility of smoke leaking from the chamber
This model is one of the reasonably-priced offset smokers on this list. Made out of heavy gauge steel, this one can withstand a good amount of abuse. It’s also a nice-looking smoker that you will be proud to showcase to your friends.
Oklahoma Joe's basic smoker package is nice but if you have some money to spare, get the smoker sealer. It will help prevent problems like leaking. You would want to get an additional cover as well to complete your set-up.
All in all, this is offset smoker is worth every penny you spend on it. Even if you get the additional accessories, it still won’t break the bank.
- Reasonable price
- It uses reverse flow technology, which gives you a more even distribution of smoke and heat
- It has wheels for better portability
- The firebox has a clean-out door which helps when it's time to remove the ashes
- The entire smoker is made from gauge-steel
- It needs to be additionally sealed, as there are some problems with leaking smoke
- Some users reported a problem with the built-in thermometer
Need an offset smoker that already comes with everything you need? This is the right choice. It doesn’t just come complete with accessories, it also has a thoughtful and striking design. Price-wise, this isn’t too hard on the budget. The price is accessible and reasonable given its many features.
- This model has a standard firebox, as all offset smokers do, but it also has an added gas-powered cooking chamber
- It can be used as a smoker and as a grill
- When the chambers are combined, it has a larger cooking area than most other models on this list
- It has wheels, but they are too weak to carry the weight of the smoker (around 200 lbs), so you'll probably need some help when you lift it
- You need to buy an additional cover for it
Still having trouble deciding what to get? Let’s go over these products once again so you can finally narrow down your options to just one.
The Dyna-Glo offset smoker is recommended if you like a reliable smoker with multiple racks that you can use for smoking a lot of meat. This can be a good addition to your business or can be a treasured item in your home. The vertical structure of this smoker makes this more ideal for those with smaller spaces.
Get the Char-Broil American Gourmet Offset Smoker if budget is an issue. Even when the price is at the lower-end of the market, its features and functions can trump many of the features of other pricier options.
For serious meat smokers and grillers, you can’t go wrong with Camp Chef. The features are just right, and the smoking temperature will enable you to produce the best-tasting foods. Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Reverse Flow Smoker is a good alternative to the Camp Chef. It has a unique reverse flow technology feature that will allow you to get better smoke distribution, which can result to the best-tasting foods.
For those looking for more versatility, the Char-Broil Oklahoma Joe’s Charcoal Combo product won’t disappoint. You can also do some serious grilling with this, perfect for those weekend outdoor parties.
Make sure you consider these things when buying. If you are looking for more meat smokers, grillers and even other kitchen equipment and essentials, check out our homepage to find more reviews, product recommendations and buying guides.