Best Offset Smoker in 2019

Best Offset Smoker

Table of Contents

We have talked about the convenience of infrared grilling before. And to give you a rundown, infrared grills generally allow you to cook perfectly seared meat fast and hot. However, if you are a pit master at heart, you can’t deny the unbeatable flavors and textures unique to smoked meat.

Smoking originated way back in the Paleolithic era. But nowadays, you don’t have to smoke foods like our ancestors in the Stone Age. Smokers, mainly offset smokers, will satisfy your smoked meat cravings easily.

An offset smoker is composed of a long, horizontal (or vertical) chamber and a firebox. The horizontal/vertical chamber is where you place your food, while the separate firebox is where the smoke comes from. It’s a pretty simple design, and if you think about it, it’s reminiscent of conventional smoking.

You can use different kinds of woods to give your food various flavors. Mild flavors include apple or birch, while acacia and black walnut are on the stronger spectrum. And because the firebox is not directly under the meat, the flavors seep in more slowly. Smoking may not be as fast as grilling, but the mouth-watering layer it adds to the food is worth the wait.

But how can you find the best offset smoker in the market? We reviewed ten different offset smokers so that you don’t have to smoke your patience out comparing each model. You can also visit our buyer’s guide to get a gist on different grills, and factors to consider when choosing a unit.

Best Offset Smoker Comparison Table

ModelDimensions
(inches)
Cooking Surface Size
(square inches)
Firebox Chamber Cooking Surface Size
(square inches)
Check Price
Oklahoma Joe's Longhorn
36.5 x 64.3 x 55.5751309 Check Price
Oklahoma Joe's Highland
Reverse Flow Smoker
33.5 x 57 x 53619281 Check Price
Oklahoma Joe's Highland
39 x 20.9 x 23619272 Check Price
Dyna-Glo Signature Series
Editor's Choice
59.8 x 33.9 x 52443287 Check Price
Dyna-Glo Charcoal
Vertical Model
20.2 x 34.52 x 47.031,176 (total from 6 grates)N/A Check Price
Char Griller Smokin Pro
62 x 29 x 50580250 Check Price
Char-Broil American Gourmet28.25 x 60.25 x 51670335 Check Price
Char-Broil Offset Smoker
54.3 x 43.9 x 22.7477N/A Check Price
Royal Gourmet Charcoal Grill with Offset Smoker
45.3 x 26.8 x 48438183 Check Price
Giantex BBQ Grill
45.5 x 25.5 x 42.5N/AN/A Check Price

Best Offset Smoker Reviews

Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Offset Smoker – Best in Ease of Assembly

Oklahoma Joe's Longhorn Offset Smoker Review
Source: www.oklahomajoes.com

If you did a quick glance at our comparison table, you have probably noticed that the first three smokers are by Oklahoma Joe’s. The first one is the Longhorn unit, and it has the largest cooking surface and firebox chamber.

Heavy and Solid But Straightforward Assembly

The unit doesn’t require any complicated assembly. The overall construction also feels solid thanks to being mainly made from heavy-gauge all-steel material including its fuel basket and lids. The lids of each chamber even have chrome-plated spring handles, which is a nice addition as they do not retain heat. While assembling the smoker is as straightforward as attaching some bolts, the pieces are quite heavy, so you may still need some assistance.

Total of 1060 Square Inches Cooking Area

The 751 square inches of the main cooking surface and 309 square inches of firebox chamber are both made from the same material and are porcelain-coated as well. The main cooking surface allows you to indirectly cook your ingredients. However, if you prefer to use direct heat, the firebox chamber’s grill will do it for you.

Easy Heat and Smoke Control

The Longhorn utilizes a 3-inch temperature gauge for monitoring the temperature of the chambers. To control the unit’s temperature, you can adjust the dampers inside the smokestack of the main chamber.

If you keep the dampers closed, the hotter and smokier your food gets since less heat and smoke will escape through the smokestack. While in the firebox chamber, simply alter the height of the charcoal grate depending on the temperature you need (i.e., raise for higher temperature or lower to reduce temperature.)

The unit also has two shelves, one within your working height (e.g., below the lid handle) and the other located under the unit. The work shelf is pretty long so you can keep your tools and ingredients within arm’s length as you cook. The shelf under the unit is also useful for storing your grilling accessories neatly.

Accessible Firebox for Refills and Clean-Up

As for tending your fire and cleaning up ashes, the firebox has a door available at its side. You can also quickly fill (or refill) your firebox from its top lid. However, it would’ve been better if Oklahoma Joe’s included a removable ash drawer for the main chamber. If you aren’t using the unit as a smoker, and instead, for barbecues, then you would have to scoop the ashes out manually.

Pros
  • Solid construction
  • Chrome-plated spring handles
  • Large cooking surface
  • Built-in thermometer
  • Easy smoke and heat control
  • Work and storage shelves
  • Accessible firebox with side door and lid
Cons
  • Heavy
  • No removable ash drawer

Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Reverse Flow Smoker – Best Reverse Flow Smoker

Oklahoma Joe's Highland Reverse Flow Smoker Review
Source: www.oklahomajoes.com

Our next unit is from the Highland series of Oklahoma Joe’s. The Highland smokers are smaller than the previous Longhorn models. The Highland also has two versions which are the reverse flow and the original. We will take a look at both Highland models, but first, let us start with the Highland Reverse Flow.

As Sturdy as Longhorn

Similar to the Longhorn smoker earlier, the Highland Reverse Flow has a solid heavy-gauge all-steel construction. The grates of both chambers are also porcelain-coated, and the lids have the same chrome-plated spring handles.

The work shelf and storage shelf are even in the same positions, and to be honest, the overall look doesn’t stray too far from the Longhorn. The only noticeable difference you’d recognize from a quick glance are the positions of the thermometer and smokestack.

The firebox chamber of this model also uses a stainless steel fuel basket like the Longhorn. It even has the same side door for removing ashes. But like with any piece subjected to high temperatures, expect discoloration. Our solution for this is seasoning the outside of the firebox. You can also spray paint it with a heat-resistant coating.

Reverse Flow Technology

Have you ever thought of the way smokers are designed? The primary heat source is at the other end, so realistically, the other end will have lower temperature. But what sets the Highland Reverse Flow from the other smokers in this review is the fact that the heat flow “reverses” throughout the unit.

Equal Temperature Throughout

The secret behind this feature are the four thick baffles unique to the Reverse Flow version. Because both the heat and smoke also move backward, you can expect that there will be no hot or cold spots inside the main chamber. However, the Highland Reverse Flow also has the option for you to customize it into a “traditional” non-reverse flow model. You can do this by removing the baffles and placing the smokestack in a new location.

Expect Some Modifications

Compared to the 1060 square inches cooking area of the Longhorn, the Highland Reverse Flow only measures 900 square inches. Still, this is enough space for cooking large proportions. However, we recommend putting sealants and (or) gaskets on both the firebox and the main chamber to avoid any leaks while cooking.

Pros
  • Solid built
  • Chrome-plated spring handles
  • Built-in thermometer
  • Work shelf and storage shelf
  • Accessible firebox with side door and lid
  • Reverse Flow Technology for equal heat and smoke distribution
  • Can be customized as a traditional smoker
Cons
  • Must seal both chambers and any spaces to prevent leaks
  • Firebox’s paint job is average

Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Offset Smoker – Best for Those Starting Out

Oklahoma Joe's Highland Offset Smoker Review
Source: www.oklahomajoes.com

As we have promised earlier, we will also take a look at the traditional Highland offset smoker from Oklahoma Joe’s. If the previous Reverse Flow version has some similarities with the Longhorn, then this particular model looks more like the smaller cousin of the Longhorn.

Heavy-Duty Built, But Smaller

The Highland Offset Smoker has only 619 square inches of main cooking surface and 272 square inches of surface if you opt to grill in the firebox. We don’t want to sound redundant, but overall, the built of this unit is as solid as the previous models we reviewed from Oklahoma Joe’s.

Some other familiar features found in an Oklahoma Joe’s smokers are the upper and lower shelves for storing and holding your materials. There are also chrome-plated spring handles on both chamber lids, similar to the Reverse Flow and Longhorn. Once again, these handles are nice additions since they won’t retain heat during smoking.

As for the unit’s firebox, you can take advantage of its top warming plate while waiting for the dishes in your main chamber to cook. You can also notice the familiar lid and side door on the firebox that we introduced on the previous models.

Easy to Assemble But…

Assembling the pieces are straightforward, and the guide is easy to follow-through even for beginners. But although this unit feels heavy-duty, we found some flaws similar to the previous Reverse Flow model of the Highland series.

While the side door makes it easy to access the ashes or refill the firebox, we still think that users will appreciate if you can remove the ash drawer fully. And if you need to take the charcoal grate out, you also have to use the top lid. Lastly, we recommend that you repaint the firebox with a heat resistant paint and season the interior of both chambers to protect them from rusting over time.

We also recommend that you put gaskets or sealants on both chambers since smoke tends to leak out. Remember that it is important to keep a steady flow of smoke and heat inside, especially with how offset smokers are designed.

Highland Traditional vs Highland Reverse Flow

In the Reverse Flow version, the heat starts entering the cooking chamber from the right side since that is where the firebox is located. But the exhaust is located on the right side of the cooking chamber. There are also four baffles that reverses the smoke and heat.

The traditional Highland, on the other hand, has its firebox on the right side and then exits on the left side instead. There are also no baffles for the heat and smoke to enter through. As you can see, the traditional Highland is the same with virtually all offset smokers. What we mean by this is that the heat source and heat exit are on opposite ends with each other. Therefore, the side farther from the heat source is going to be significantly cooler.

Modifications for Improvement

The thermometer is also closer to the exhaust so you can expect that it shows a lower temperature of the chamber. What you can do is add another thermometer close to the firebox so you can get an idea on where you should place your food. Fortunately, the Highland is ready for this modification.

Another thing that you can do to improve the heat and smoke distribution is to lower the smokestack down to the grill level of the main chamber. Some users also add a metal inside to deflect the heat. These alterations will even out the heat’s path, and you can read more about these positionings in our buyer’s guide.

Overall, we recommend the traditional Highland model for those who want a smoker, but are also not ready to fully commit on expensive units. If you’re just starting out, you can give this unit a chance, at the expense of some modifications.
Pros
  • Affordable alternative to the Longhorn model
  • Easy to assemble
  • Solid built
  • Chrome-plated spring handles
  • Work shelf and storage shelf
  • Accessible firebox with side door and lid
Cons
  • Average paint job on the firebox
  • Thermometer may not be accurate
  • Needs modifications to improve internal heat flow

Dyna-Glo Signature Series – Editor’s Choice

Dyna-Glo Signature Series Review
Source: dynaglogrill.com

Our next two units are from Dyna-Glo, and what we have here is the DGSS730CBO from their Signature series. This unit also happens to be our top pick; find out why.

Although this smoker only has a total cooking area of 730 square inches, its heavy-gauge steel body, welds, fasteners, and legs are almost as sturdy as the previous pricier models. The manufacturer also made the cooking grates from porcelain-enameled steel, which according to Dyna-Glo, helps with heat retention.

Removable Charcoal Grate and Ash Pan

Let’s talk about the model’s overall anatomy. Both lids of the firebox and the main cooking chamber have spring handles for burn-free lifting. The firebox also has a warming plate and a side door. However, we like how you can pull out the charcoal grate and ash pan instead of manually reaching it inside like with the previous models. You can even push the ashes in the main chamber into the firebox so you can pull out all the ashes in one go.

Grill Zone and Smoke Zone Temperatures

The main chamber’s thermometer is conveniently located in the middle. It even shows a “grill zone” and “smoke zone” to give you an idea if you’re reaching the ideal temperature. And as for the model’s storage space, you’ll get a shelf close to the main chamber’s handle and a shelf underneath the unit. A nice touch with the upper shelf is you can collapse it downwards if you’re having trouble reaching the main chamber. We think this is an excellent feature because some people might find the shelf intervening when they cook.

Sealed Firebox

What felt short with our previous models are their fireboxes. As we have mentioned earlier, refilling and clean-up is significantly easier with the pull-out charcoal grate and ashpan of this model. But more than those details, the firebox itself does not need any sealant or gaskets. It has no fissures for water to leak in that can cause rusting. And because it is “sealed” (i.e., the hinges are tight), you’ll have better heat retention since only a minimal amount of smoke leak outs.

The Drawback

The one drawback we found with this smoker is its paint job. It would’ve been better if Dyna-Glo used a heat-resistant coating. The high temperatures and exposure to various elements can affect your model. However, the remedy for this is to repaint the unit yourself.
Pros
  • Heavy-duty unit
  • Removable charcoal grate and ash pan
  • Thermometer with grill zone and smoke zone
  • Work shelf can be collapsed
  • Heat-resistant lid handles
  • Sealed firebox with warming plate top
Cons
  • Needs repainting with heat-resistant powder coat

Dyna-Glo Charcoal Offset Smoker – Best Vertical Offset Smoker

Dyna-Glo charcoal offset smoker review
Source: dynaglogrill.com

Straightforward Assembly and Lightweight But…

The other offset smoker we have from Dyna-Glo is the DGO1176BDC-D. But what sets this unit apart is that instead of having a horizontal cooking chamber, the DGO1176BDC-D has a vertical one. Yes, there are vertical offset smokers, and this one is fairly lightweight.

Another good news is that although you’ll need some tools for assembling, it doesn’t require you to have a degree in engineering. However, because it is lightweight, the metal of this unit is quite thin. We recommend that you line the interior with something heavy-duty.

Stacked Cooking Grates for a Total of 1,176 Square Inches

The biggest advantage you’ll get with a vertical cooking chamber is the ability to cook more dishes simultaneously. The reason for this is because you can stack them inside like a cabinet with multiple drawers. This particular model has six cooking grates with heights that you can switch to accommodate different sizes of food.

Dyna-Glo also designed this model with two-doors. This feature adds convenience to the user because you can quickly move out your food even with the unit still smoking.

Removable Steel Ash Pan

However, you can only cook with indirect heat in this model. Its smoking area functions solely as a smoker and not as a griller. But nonetheless, you have enough space inside the cooking chamber. The fact that the smoking area is separated helps in maintaining the heat throughout the cooking chamber as well. And as for the clean-up, we’re very pleased that you can remove the steel ash pan conveniently.

Smoke Zone

Like the previous unit, the thermometer of this smoker has a “Smoke Zone.” This area indicates the ideal temperature that you want to achieve to get the perfect smokey flavor. Speaking of which, you can adjust the smoker’s temperature by altering the flue of the unit’s smokestack. And during usage, we also recommend that you fill the charcoal basket to minimize the need of refilling it constantly.

Essential Modifications

Indeed, the DGO1176BDC-D performs excellent as a vertical offset smoker. But in order to maximize its full potential, you need to do some adjustments. This includes sealing (e.g., silicone sealants or gaskets) up all the grooves for potential leakings. Other than the chamber doors, some users even recommend sealing the chimney, as well as the thermometer.

Pros
  • Straightforward assembly and lightweight parts
  • Vertical stacking of grates gives you 1,176 square inches of cooking area
  • Removable ash pan
  • Thermometer has a smoke zone
  • Adjustable smokestack flue
Cons
  • Firebox can’t be used as a griller
  • Thin metal material
  • Needs modifications to get a tight seal

Char-Griller Smokin Pro 830 – Best for Newbie Cooks

Char-Griller Smokin Pro 830 Review
Source: www.chargriller.com

Earlier, we recommend the Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Offset Smoker for those “starting out.” However, if you are a newbie cook and you’re afraid to ruin your food with a smoker, this unit is for you. The Smokin Pro 830 from Char-Griller may have a “pro” in its name, but it is a friendly smoker for novice cooks.

Like the previous models, this smoker requires some assembly after you get it. It may not be the easiest instructions to understand, but it shouldn’t take you long. Char-Griller even included some barbecue recipes so you can start without the guessing game. The Smokin Pro 830 also offers separate accessories for purchase. These include a rotisserie kit, warming shelf, and a propane igniter.

Now, let’s talk about the quality of its built. Both the main cooking chamber and firebox are made from heavy-gauge steel. Char-Griller also claims that their unit is powder-coated, but we rather recommend you to repaint, especially the firebox. However, the cast-iron cooking grates are non-stick, which every cook can always appreciate.

Simple Temperature Control

During usage, you can alter the height of the grate inside the main cooking barrel. This adjustment is particularly useful for accommodating various dishes, but it’s also for temperature control. Because you are adjusting the grate upward or downward, you’re also putting the ingredient in the hot, medium, or warm setting. And like with any typical smoker, you can also open (or close) the dampers to regulate the heat and smoke inside the barrel. For reference, you can also use the thermometer at the lid.

The firebox itself has a top lid for convenient tending to the fire, but what’s great is its side drawer. Because you can slide the coal drawer fully, you can easily add charcoal and remove the ashes without meddling with the grill grates. Speaking of which, you can grill directly on the firebox, but we advise you to season it first and stick to low heat. Otherwise, you run the risk of the paint getting onto your food.

Three Shelves Included

Looking at the overall unit, it’s pretty aesthetically pleasing because of the uniform shelves and handles. You’d get two shelves on the same level as the main cooking chamber, both at its front and side. We think the side shelf is excellent because some people may find it challenging to reach onto the main chamber with a fully stacked shelf on their way. Nonetheless, you can also use the bottom rack similar to our previous models.

Modifications Needed

Unfortunately, you might need to do some modifications with this smoker. But don’t worry, some of them are pretty simple, especially for newbies. For example, you can seal the bottom of the grill in the main cooking chamber with aluminum foil. One user mentioned inverting the charcoal pan and filling the gaps with crumpled aluminum foil. Another simple thing that you can do is to put a gasket around the base of the smokestack to prevent smoke from leaking out.

Overall, we still recommend the Smokin Pro 830 for beginner cooks. It’s pretty straightforward to operate, and with some modifications, you’ll have a small room for error. However, if you’re a seasoned griller, then this model might be subpar for you.
Pros
  • Pretty average assembling
  • Non-stick cast iron grates
  • Rotisserie kit, warming shelf, and propane igniter available for separate purchase
  • Adjustable grate and dampers
  • Removable coal drawer
  • Three shelves
Cons
  • Needs repainting with high-temperature paint
  • Needs modifications for sealing the smokestack and chambers

Char-Broil American Gourmet Offset Smoker – Best Griller and Smoker in One

Char-Broil American Gourmet Offset Smoker Review
Source: www.charbroil.com

Our next two units are from Char-Broil, but first, let us take a look at their Deluxe American Gourmet Offset Smoker. We called this griller the “Best Griller and Smoker in One” because you can also grill in its main chamber. However, although Char-Broil tagged this unit as “deluxe”, we think this unit is not at par with the pricier models earlier.

Quick Assembly with Heat-Resistant Chrome-Plated Spring Handles

On the bright side, you can assemble this unit on your own. It also has a steel construction similar to our previous models. Amazingly, the Deluxe American Gourmet even uses cool-touch spring handles like our favorites from Oklahoma Joe’s. The grates inside the barrels are also porcelain-coated which are pretty impressive for this price point.

This unit has two shelves, one at the bottom and the other close to the main cooking chamber. You’ll also get a warming rack measuring 140 square inches and 670 square inches of cooking surface in the main chamber. In the firebox, you’ll get 355 square inches of cooking surface, but we recommend that you season it first if you’ll use it as a grill.

Griller and Smoker in One

As we have said earlier, the main barrel of this unit also works as a grill. You can use it with direct heat underneath (i.e., charcoal or wood) if you don’t have time for slow cooking with the smoker.

However, you cannot adjust the grill height inside, so the only temperature control you have depends on how much fire you make. On the other hand, if you’re using the smoker, you can adjust the dampers to control the heat. You can use the lid temperature gauge as a guide, but we find it not as accurate as the previous units. And as for the clean-up, the firebox has a door but unfortunately, it has no slide-out ash drawer.

Does it need any modifications? Yes, but nothing too different from the previous suggestions we have with other smokers. You can use silicone sealants to all the potential leakage spots. This includes the smokestack, lids, and any other crevices. We also recommend using a high-temperature paint in the firebox to help it last.

Pros
  • Quick to assemble
  • Heat-resistant handle
  • Porcelain-coated grates
  • Comes with a warming rack
  • Allows grilling (direct heat cooking) in the main barrel
Cons
  • No slide-out ash drawer
  • Needs sealing and repainting
  • Grill height is not adjustable

Char-Broil Offset Smoker, 30″ – Best Gift Idea

Char-Broil Offset Smoker 30''
Source: www.charbroil.com

Are you looking for a smoker as a gift, but is afraid of being potentially embarrassed by the unit’s quality? No worries, we have a suggestion for you. The next unit we have is the more affordable 30-inch offset smoker from Char-Broil. This unit has a main cooking chamber measuring 30 inches wide and 20 inches deep. However, you can also use the included charcoal grates and grill directly in the firebox for a total of 605 square inches cooking surface.

The overall built of this unit is steel with porcelain-coated grates. But if you compare it to the Deluxe model from Char-Broil earlier, the handles this unit has are not chrome-plated springs. This means you have to be careful as the handle will conduct heat.

Side and Bottom Shelf for No-Hindrance Cooking

And as for your storage, the 30-inch Smoker has two shelves attached. But the difference it has with the previous smokers is that instead of having its shelf at the front, Char-Broil set it on the side. Again, this is a convenient location as you’re cooking because nothing’s on the way. On the contrary, the other shelf is underneath the barrel similar to traditional smokers.

The firebox of this offset smoker is 1.2 mm cold-rolled steel. It has a top lid and a side door, not straying away from the designs of the previous fireboxes we reviewed. Sadly, it lacks a removable coal drawer, so you have to scoop out the ashes inside.

For controlling the unit’s temperature, you’d get a temperature gauge in the middle of the top lid. You can then use the smokestack’s top damper to adjust the temperature. However, if you’re giving this unit as a gift, make sure that you advise your friend about its assembly.

Assembly is Not for Beginners

We mentioned this statement right after temperature control because users have been reporting about the smokestack’s fit. But don’t worry, if you or your friend has some knowledge with assembling smokers, the straightforward instructions are going to be easy to follow.

Overall, the 30” Offset Smoker is an excellent gift idea. The construction feels solid, and it is spacious enough for cooking for a crowd. However, make sure that the assembling is correct to avoid any leaks. Nonetheless, it is always a great idea to do some modifications to make sure the smoker performs best.

Pros
  • Fairly affordable
  • Construction feels nice
  • Conveniently located shelves
  • Porcelain-coated grates
Cons
  • Lid handles conduct heat
  • No removable coal drawer
  • Needs modification
  • Assembly is not for beginners

Royal Gourmet Charcoal Grill with Offset Smoker – Best Value for Money

Royal Gourmet CC1830F charcoal grill with offset smoker Review
Source: www.royalgourmetcorp.com

Before we take a look at our final unit, let us review this charcoal grill with offset smoker from Royal Gourmet. We think this model gives you great value for your money without sacrificing too much in quality.

The overall unit is made of steel, but as you can expect, the paint will chip off over time. However, you can simply solve this by using a high-temperature paint. And like with our previous smokers, make sure to season the interiors before using. Don’t worry because you will see some instructions about curing the grill along with its assembly directions. And speaking of which, following the instructions for assembly is pretty easy considering Royal Gourmet labeled each part properly.

Cool-Touch Spring Handles

The stainless steel grates are porcelain-coated while the warming rack is made of chrome. The lids feel reasonably solid, and each has a spring handle that’s great for avoiding burns. The unit also has two shelves, one at the front of the main chamber and the other at the bottom.

Swing-Away Chrome Warming Rack

Overall, you will get a total 800 square inches of cooking surface. This includes 183 square inches in the smoker and 179 square inches for its warming rack. We should also mention that you can swing the warming rack away to get more space inside.

Height-Adjustable Coal Pan

So far, the Royal Gourmet CC1830F is almost identical to any typical smoker. But what we love about this affordable unit is the fact that you can even adjust its coal pan inside. All you have to do is lift the pan’s handles, and you’re now in control of the temperature. You have two levels to choose from, not as plenty as the options you’ll get in a vertical chamber, but still pretty useful.

You can use the thermometer on the main chamber’s lid as a guide. But if you want more control, you can adjust the dampers on the smokestack and air vents on the firebox. Of course, modifications are going to be useful to keep any heat and smoke from leaking out.

Overall, the Royal Gourmet CC1830F comes at a reasonable price. You will need some sealing and repainting, but it’ll get the job done. However, you’ll have to manually scoop the ashes out because the firebox has no removable coal drawer.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Porcelain-coated stainless steel grates
  • Cool-touch spring handles
  • Swing-away chrome warming rack
  • 2-level adjustable coal pan
  • Vented firebox
Cons
  • Paint tends to chip
  • Sealants and gaskets are necessary
  • No coal drawer

Giantex BBQ Grill with Offset Smoker – Best Affordable Unit

Giantex BBQ Grill with Offset Smoker Review
Source: www.giantexer.com

We are down to our final and most affordable unit coming from Giantex. While it doesn’t have a warming rack and adjustable coal pan like the previous model, if you’re limited in your budget, the Giantex delivers.

Wooden Handles

Giantex mainly made this unit from steel. It has wooden handles in contrast to the spring cool-touch handles of competitors. Still, because they will not conduct heat, they are pretty useful during cooking. You will also get two shelves, with the upper one made from wood instead of steel. The model’s thermometer is at the top lid of the main chamber so you can adjust the damper of the smokestack depending on the temperature.

Vented Firebox

The firebox of this unit comes with air vents similar to the previous Royal Gourmet. It has a top lid for accessing the interior, but it also lacks a pull-out charcoal drawer. This is a common feature lacking in the budget-friendly models but nonetheless, you can just manually scoop the ashes out.

All in all, the Giantex is an affordable unit that you can consider. However, it lacks useful features such as a pull-out coal drawer, warming rack, and adjustable grates. You should also expect that it needs sealants and gaskets, as well as high-temperature paint similar to the former model.
Pros
  • Affordable
  • Wooden handles
  • Vented firebox
  • Fairly spacious
Cons
  • No warming rack
  • Grates aren’t adjustable
  • No pull-out coal drawer

Best Offset Smoker Buyer’s Guide

Best Offset Smoker Buyer's Guide
Source: media.defense.gov

Types of Smokers

Handheld Smokers

A handheld smoker is typically powered by batteries and has a small opening where you’ll put in the wood chips. To use it, you have to place its tube in any covered container. After you light the wood chips, you can then blow the food with the smoke that’s going to come out of the tube.

This type of smoker is very straightforward to use and is ideal for those who have no available patio. However, it only imparts a smokey flavor on the food. You cannot cook food with a handheld smoker.

Offset Smokers

In our introduction, we have briefly given you an idea of how offset smokers work. Unlike handheld smokers, you can also cook your food with an offset smoker. They come in a variety of sizes, but nonetheless, you can cook for a crowd with their capacities. However, offset smokers require you to have a good fire control. This means you should monitor it often to make sure that your food cooks evenly.

Electric Smokers

If you despise watching what you’re smoking like a hawk, electric smokers are for you. Because they don’t need charcoal to work, you don’t have to monitor them for refills. The lack of charcoal needed also works to your advantage because there will be no ashes to clean afterward.

Electric smokers work by replacing charcoal with a heating element. You’ll place the wood chunks over its plate as it heats up to create smoke. The usage is a simple as plugging in and turning the dial to your desired temperature.

Bullet Smokers

From the name itself, this smoker is bullet-shaped and does not require a large space. It is relatively easy to use, which is why beginners tend to use them first. But because of their sizes, you are also limited to its cooking capacity.

If offset smokers are commonly horizontal, bullet smokers always have a vertical orientation. And although they have lids, you can control the temperature and airflow inside using their vents. How does bullet smokers work? The wood chips are underneath the charcoal, while a water pan sits above the charcoal to evenly distribute the heat on the food. This pan also catches all the drippings to create a moist cooking environment. But consequently, the pan gets greasy, so you have to be mindful about clean-ups.

Cabinet Smokers or Box Smokers

Like the bullet smokers, cabinet smokers stand vertically. They are so-called because they do not have a lot of parts and generally look like cabinets. This type of smoker is what contests typically use because it has shelves for cooking multiple batches.

You can access both the cooking chamber and charcoal chamber on the front of the unit. And since the chambers are separated, you can add more wood or charcoal without needing to open the cooking chamber.

Drum Smokers

One of the more inexpensive types, drum smokers are so simple, you can make one yourself! It’s basically a steel drum with a cooking rack on the top and a firebox underneath. While it is fully sealed, there are vents on the lid and base so that you can adjust the drum’s temperature.

Because of the direct heat, you can also cook your food in a drum smoker. However, make sure to not go crazy with the temperatures to avoid flare-ups and burned food. Perhaps, this is also a consequence of direct heat.

Smoker Ovens

As you may have assumed, smoker ovens look like your typical oven. In fact, they work the same way too. Smoker ovens use an electric heating element underneath an insulated box. However, smoker ovens have the solution for the consequence of direct heat found in drum smokers.

Smoker ovens have a metal funnel in between the heating element of food. This metal collects the drippings for avoiding flare-ups while keeping the heating element clean. Because of this funneled metal, the radiant heat will not also directly contact the food.

Factors to Consider When Buying an Offset Smoker

Orientation

Although offset smokers typically have horizontal chambers, there are also units like the Dyna-Glo Charcoal Offset Smoker with vertical chambers. What’s the advantage of having vertical chambers? Because of their orientation, the smoke coming from the wood chunks rises more naturally. Vertical cooking chambers can also accommodate more types of food because of the multiple racks they have inside. However, since offset smokers are more common, those with vertically oriented chambers tend to cost more.

Materials

The way offset smokers are designed is that their firebox is on the other end. This means that this end will be hotter than the opposite end. The solution to avoid hot spots and cool spots is to find a smoker made of a material that can keep the temperature consistent throughout the unit. A good example is a steel around ¼ inches thick, which will also improve the overall durability of the smoker.

You should also be wary of the model’s paint job. Because you’ll be subjecting your smoker to high temperatures, a thin coating is a no-no. Once the paint chips off, you’ll have exposed metal that is prone to rust.

Quickly Accessible Firebox

Like with any other grill components, the firebox should be well thought out. And one of the most important characteristics that it should have is for it to be easily accessible. The firebox must have a door so that you can quickly refill it, as well as a removable ashtray. Having a drawer-type ashtray will make your cleaning experience faster and more efficient.

Thermometer, Dampers, and Smokestack

Monitoring the temperature and smoke of your food throughout the cooking process is crucial to achieve good results. A thermometer inside the smoking chamber will give you an idea of whether you need to increase or decrease the cooking temperature.

The dampers and smokestack, on the other hand, are useful for monitoring the unit’s smoke.

Basically, the dampers are the smoker’s vent, while the smokestack acts as the chimney. You can open or close the dampers to control the amount of smoke given off by the unit. The smokestack has the same function, but some models also have adjustable ducts, which is always a pleasant addition.

What you want are vents that you can quickly adjust and are large enough to have an effect. And speaking of vents, you should also check if the smoker has internal ventilation. You need the connection between the cooking chamber and firebox to be lower than the grill height to get an effective heat distribution.

Reverse Flow Technology

Smokers like the Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Reverse Flow Smoker utilize a reverse flow technology. What this feature does is that both the smoke and heat flows twice throughout the cooking chamber. And because they manage to give the food a second “hug,” you can expect a better, if not, equal heat dispersion.

Capacity and Storage

The size of the cooking area will depend on how many servings you’ll need. Larger smokers also tend to be bulkier, so having a good set of wheels is something that you’ll always welcome. As for the storage, additional hooks, shelves, or grates will keep everything neat as you cook. Some units even utilize every space they have, so no room goes wasted.

Griller

Most of the units in this review allow the user to grill in their firebox. This feature is excellent not just for multi-tasking, but also for giving you the option to cook with direct heat. However, you have to season the firebox if you don’t like your food tasting like paint.

But don’t worry if you have days where you do not have the time for slow-cooking. Models like the Char-Broil Deluxe American Gourmet Offset Smoker take it up a notch and gives users the option to grill directly in the main chamber.

Conclusion

Dyna-Glo Signature Series Grill and Offset Smoker - Best Offset Smoker Review
Source: dynaglogrill.com

There are no other cooking techniques that can match smoking. It gives food a unique texture and flavor that people universally crave for. You can use different types of smokers but offset smokers also produce indirect heat to cook your food. They are also reasonably spacious, so cooking for a crowd is no problem.

Our top pick is the Dyna-Glo Signature Series. It is not too pricey to cost you an arm or leg, yet it has a durable overall built. It also has removable charcoal grate and ash pan giving added convenience.

However, our review has various models from a reverse flow smoker to a vertical offset smoker. Depending on what’s practical for you, the “best offset smoker” will vary for each person.

You might have noticed that some units require modifications and that might turn you off. However, if you want your smoker to last you, maintenance and preventative measures are always necessary.

What model is your favorite? If you have any questions, leave them below! 

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