Best Offset Smoker You Can Possibly Get

If you are in the market wondering what smoker to get to make good smoked food. One of them you would come across is surely an offset smoker. Here, we breakdown and share what we know about offset smokers and how you can get the best offset smoker to make delicious smoked food.

However, if you are only looking for a quick recommendation, we suggest that you go for the Royal Gourmet BBQ Charcoal Grill and Offset Smoker a try. It is affordable, smokes decently well, can accommodate to a medium sized crowd and can double up as a grill when needed. It would be a good choice for those that are starting out in the smoked food area.

If you do have the time, read on.

The Models That We Are Introducing In This Guide

What Is An Offset Smoker?

You might be confused by the different iterations of smokers in the market, but who can blame you? As long as there are people who love to experiment with cooking their food, there will be no shortages of novel cooking apparatus. In this case, an offset smoker, well, is just a smoker but the big difference lies in the design of it as compared to other types of smoker. Let’s delve into it right now.

An offset smoker is the classic smoker design where food is smoked on a horizontal chamber while charcoal, wood pellets, or woodchips are burned in a firebox beside it. This design usually means a larger than your usual Kamado smoker.

How Does An Offset Smoker Work And How To Use It?

Once you got a new offset smoker, you would have to season it before using it. Wipe the grates and the exterior of the smoker clean then smear a thin layer of oil on the metal grates. After that, light up a fire in the firebox and leave it to heat and smoke for about 30 minutes.

To use an offset smoker, fill your fire chamber with the fuel source of your preference – be it lump charcoal, briquettes, chips or pellets. Monitor the temperature and let it rise to the range of 225F to 250F. At this point, you would want to maintain the temperature. How long would you need to smoke the food depends on whose recipes are you following.

If you are having difficulties tracking the temperature, a BBQ smoker temperature gauge might be what you need here.

What Are The Advantages Of An Offset Smoker?

Advantage #1. Offset Smoker Can Cook Loads Of Food At One Go

An offset smoker is made to be huge and the main smoking chamber can easily fit in several people worth of food at once. This is great for large dinner crowds. Smoking food takes up a lot of time and can span from hours to even weeks for some recipes. The last thing you want is to disappoint your guests with a lack of food. Chances are they might not turn up again at the next gathering weeks later. Worst, they might even bring their own food – we are not holding a potluck party, is it?

Advantage #2. They Are Relatively Inexpensive

Offset smoker generally runs on charcoal and wood and with the lack of any kind of electronic devices comes cash savings. An offset smoker is generally cheap to get.

Advantage #3. An Offset Smoker Can Be A Grill Too

At times, you might feel like you want to change it up and grill instead. Chances are you do not want to buy a new separate unit just to do that. It is not going to cost – effective. This is where an offset smoker is great, the big amount of space in the main smoking chamber means that there are some models that allow you to add charcoal directly in it. In an instant, it changed to a grill and you can start sizzling food on it.

Advantage #4. It Is Easy To Add Fuel To An Offset Smoker

If you are a big proponent of not peeking at your food while it smokes, an offset smoker is great in the sense that the firebox and the main smoking chamber are separate. You can add more fuel into the fire box without opening the smoker chamber. This means that there won’t be any disruption to the temperature and allows the heat to stay constant throughout the cook.

What Are The Disadvantages Of An Offset Smoker?

Of course, there are always two sides to a coin. There can’t be a thing that is all good without any bad. Here are the disadvantages of an offset smoker if you choose to get one.

Disadvantage #1. There Is A Steep Learning Curve

Smoking with charcoal makes great food but that also means that you will have to master the art of controlling the temperature. With smoking, not only do you have to get the heat to the right temp, but you would have to maintain it over a long period of time, which is no easy feat to do. Unlike gas type smokers where you can calibrate the burner with just a flick of a switch and turn of the knob. It will take you a couple of smokes before you are able to get consistently good food. But you will get there.

Disadvantage #2. Offset Smoker Are Huge

Yes, we have mentioned that you will get an enormous amount of space to smoke your food. But that also means that the footprint is going to be huge too. You won’t be able to tuck the offset smoker into a corner or a cupboard. It is always going to be an elephant in the room or backyard. One tip here, always gets those offset smokers with wheels so that you can easily move them around.

Disadvantage #3. It Takes Longer To Start Up

Let’s face it. We are dealing with charcoal, wood chips or pellets. That means a good deal of time is going to be spent on lighting it up. It is going to be a dirty, thankless chore but, the end product is going to well worth your time. You can go for a gas smoker to take that chore away, but it might also mean that you are not going to get that smoky flavor that we all crave. There is a give and take here.

What Are The Features That Make An Offset Smoker Great?

Feature #1. Durable And Built To Last

To ensure that your smoker lasts as long as it should be, get one that is made with quality material such as steel. Full bodied steel will be ideal. Aluminum body should be a no no. Also, it will do you good to get one that is thick – like a ¼ inch thick. This will ensure that that the offset smoker will retain heat for faster, even smoking. In addition, the thicker material will make it less likely for the body to wrap under high heat if you are going to use for grilling.

One tip here is to keep your smoker dry with a cover. While the surface is often painted with rust proof paint, it is going to wear down if it is going to take a constant beating from the weather all the time. Either keep it the garage if you are not using it or get a quality grill cover.

Feature #2. Comes With Temperature Gauges

As we have mentioned, you are going to smoke your food for a long period of time and one of the biggest challenges is to keep the temperature constant. Furthermore, you need to do that without opening the cover often to check it with your probe. Therefore, it is very helpful to get an offset smoker that comes with an in-built temperature gauge.

Feature #3. Making Sure That The Seals And Damper Are Well-Made

Temperature control is a big deal and you wouldn’t want poorly made seals and vents to sabotage that effort. Check the seals to check that there are no gaps that allow smoke to get out or any extra oxygen to seep in. Also, make sure that the dampers can slide open and close easily.

Feature #4. Does It Come With A Cover?

You can always buy a cover elsewhere, but it may not be the best for your offset smoker. Why? That is because covers that are sold by some other brand are often designed to fit a large number of different offset smokers and that means that it is likely to be too big for yours. While this is not a deal breaker, but it is often ideal if there is a customized cover that comes along with your purchase.

Feature #5. Comes With A Good Warranty

While affordable, who wouldn’t want to not spend a dime when it comes to replacing hardware. A dollar saved is a dollar more in your pockets. Buying an offset smoker that comes with warranty gives you and your pockets a peace of mind.

Feature #6. Ample Cooking Space

This is important. The idea of using an offset smoker is to have that large smoke area, and you should not shortchange yourself on that count. Always get one that is more than what you need as the large footprint is already a fact that cannot be changed. So why not get one that actually does more?

Feature #7. Large Firebox

Make sure that the firebox is large enough to fit all the fuel you need for that smoke. Running in and out of the house to refill the box is a waste of time and that amount of time can be better spent elsewhere – like having dozens of ice cold beer on the couch.

Best Offset Smoker To Smoke Your Food This Summer

#1. Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Charcoal Offset Smoker

 

The first model that we are going to introduce in our list comes from Dyna-Glo. This offset smoker is huge featuring a cooking area of 1,890 square inches. This means that you can smoke for up to 45 people at any one point in time. Again, 45 people – it is going to feed an entire family with extended family, and the pets.

After the smoke, you will want to be able to clean the mess up with ease. This model allows you to do that with a removable ash pan. What you need to do is to only pull that pan out and dump the ashes – simple.

This model comes with an in-built temperature gauge which is great for monitoring the heat and controlling it effectively. What’s better is that this model has its own bespoke cover which means it is going to be able to fit snugly onto your offset smoker. Now, it can keep those rain out. For stability, this smoker features 4 steel legs to ensure that it does wobble while the huge amount of food is smoking in it.

At the point of writing, this offset smoker comes with a 3-years limited warranty. However, do check with the manufacturer before you get it as the terms of the warranty may change from time to time.

Features And Specification Of The Model At A Glance

  • Material: Steel
  • Cooking Area: 1,890 Square Inches
  • Other Features: Removable Ash Try, Removable Grease Cup
  • Dimensions: 50.2 x 43.3 x 21 inches
  • Weight: 83 Pounds
  • Warranty: 3 Years Limited Warranty

#2. Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-D Heavy-Duty Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker & Grill

 

If you are thinking that the DGO1176BDC-D is too big for your needs and you want one that can be moved around easily. Consider this Dyno-Glo Signature. Featuring a total cooking area of 1,382 square inches, the amount of food that it can smoke at any one point in time can cater up to 34 people, which is nothing to snuff about.

Made to last, this model are made with heavy steel to ensure that it can last a long time and to be able to efficiently retain heat inside it for even cooking. The grates are also made from chrome steel to distribute heat evenly throughout.

And now, to move it around, this offset smoker has cool touch handles and 2 wheels for increased mobility. If you are changing the look of your backyard, this is definitely handy. Also featuring a temperature gauge, it can help you determine the smoke zone which indicates the ideal temperature for smoking. Not forgetting that it also has a bespoke cover to this smoker which saves you time and effort to look for one that can fit it.

At the point of writing, this model comes also with a 3-year limited warranty. Be sure to check with the manufacturer before buying as it might change from when we wrote it.

Features And Specification Of The Model At A Glance

  • Material: Heavy Steel
  • Cooking Area: 1,382 Square Inches
  • Other Features: Removable Ash Try, Removable Drip Pan
  • Dimensions: 58″ H x 45.5″ W x 24.9″ D
  • Weight: 124 Pounds
  • Warranty: 3 Years Limited Warranty

#3. Royal Gourmet BBQ Charcoal Grill and Offset Smoker

 

If you fancy a dual purpose smoker that can be used for grilling, then check this out. This design in the traditional offset smoker design. Featuring a main chamber smoking area of 438 square inches, it allows you to make enough food for 11 people at once. The side firebox can double up as a grill, offering 183 square inches of cooking space. This takes the total to about 620 square inches of total cooking area.

The grates on this model is made of porcelain wire. This makes the heat distribute evenly. To control the temperature, there are two adjustable dampers at the side. There is a thermometer on the heavy duty lid for precise temperature monitoring.  After the smoke, easily dispose of the ashes with the removable ash pan.

For additional storage space, there is a front and underneath the rack to store your charcoal, utensils, and sauces. The grill has 2 wheels designed for easy transport, convenience to move around your backyard or patio. There is no bespoke cover with this purchase.

Features And Specification Of The Model At A Glance

  • Material: Steel
  • Cooking Area: 438 square inches in the main chamber, 183 square inches in the side firebox for either charcoal grilling or smoking
  • Other Features: Removable Ash Try
  • Dimensions: 55.1 x 27.2 x 48.4 inches
  • Weight: 54.2 pounds
  • Warranty: Not Stated. Check With The Manufacturer Before Purchase

#4. Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker

 

The next model on our list comes from Oklahoma Joe. This is a reverse flow smoker. We will take this chance to explain what it is. A reverse flow smoker is basically an offset smoker with an additional metal plate (or baffle) below the grates to direct the smoke under and over the meat before venting it through the chimney. This is also to protect the meat from direct heat.

Featuring 1,060 square inches of cooking area, divvy up into 751 square inches for the main chamber and 309 square inches for the firebox chamber, this model is enough to smoke food for about 18 people at once.

To control the temperature, there are dampers at the side which can be opened, not slide, easily. To move it around, there are two oversized wheels for mobility.

This model is made with all steel construction, making sure that it is durable, retains heat effectively, and can last a long time. After the smoke, the fuel basket and clean-out door help to remove and dispose of the ash quickly and easily. Just remember to let it cool for a little while.

Features And Specification Of The Model At A Glance

  • Material: Steel
  • Cooking Area: 751 Square inches in the main chamber, 309 Square inches in the firebox chamber
  • Other Features: Removable Ash Tray And Fuel Basket
  • Dimensions: 35.5 x 64.2 x 55.5 inches
  • Weight: 226 pounds
  • Warranty: Not Stated. Check With The Manufacturer Before Purchase

#5. Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Reverse Flow Smoker

 

Loving the concept of a reverse flow smoker? But think that it could be made a tad smaller? Then consider this highland model. Featuring a cooking area of 619 Square inches in the main chamber and 281 square inches in firebox chamber. This is made to smoke food for up to 15 people.

Also made with full bodied steel, this model can last a long time unless something unexpected happens to it. This model also features porcelain-coated cooking grates for better heat distribution and multiple dampers for easy heat and smoke control.

For mobility, there are two oversized wheels to move it around your backyard. Just a note, this model is heavy so do be careful handling it.

Features And Specification Of The Model At A Glance

  • Material: Steel
  • Cooking Area: 619 Square inches in the main chamber, 281 Square inches in the firebox chamber
  • Other Features: Removable Ash Tray And Fuel Basket
  • Dimensions: 33.5 x 57 x 53 inches
  • Weight: 180.8 pounds
  • Warranty: Not Stated. Check With The Manufacturer Before Purchase

Offset Smoker For Large Crowds

In this guide, we have gone through what we believe makes a good offset smoker and have also made some recommendations for you to get started. We don’t have to tell you smoked food is delicious. If at this point, you are still unable to decide on one, we suggest that you give the Royal Gourmet BBQ Charcoal Grill and Offset Smoker a try. It is affordable, smokes decently well, can accommodate to a medium sized crowd and can double up as a grill when needed. To grilling!

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