Call them barrel smokers or horizontal smokers, the traditional offset smokers are excellent and low-and-slow cooking. This is the traditional method of smoking meat and food, so there are plenty of options floating in the market. That’s why choosing the best offset smoker to buy can get overwhelming.
Choosing offset smokers is often more desirable for those who prefer the traditional way. There are other and perhaps more convenient ways like electric smokers, but there is a charm to staying traditional.
When picking an offset smoker, we want something that is built to last. It shouldn’t leak like a sieve and have enough capacity to cook up plenty of delicious food. Let’s see what’s on offer!
Top Offset Smokers That Should Be On Your Radar
- Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker
- Char-Broil 12201570-A1 American Gourmet Offset Smoker
- Royal Gourmet CC1830SC Charcoal Grill Offset Smoker
- Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Offset Smoker
- Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker
- Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-D Heavy-Duty Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker & Grill
- Royal Gourmet CC2036F Charcoal Barrel Grill with Offset Smoker
- Char-Griller E1224 Smokin Pro
1. Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker
When you want a dedicated smoker that can offer quality, reliability, and a build that will last years, Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker becomes an obvious choice.
While the smoker isn’t exactly cheap, it is excellent value for money. Basically, you get premium quality for a relatively low price. And that’s what makes this a choice worth considering.
Of course, it’s not just the price that makes Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker a desirable pick. It’s being an amazing smoker that makes it the right choice.
There are four baffles on this reverse flow smoker, designed to deliver smoke and heat to the main chamber. The baffles are removable, so you get greater control over the heat and the smoking process.
Inside the main chamber, you get 750 square inches of cooking space. That’s plenty generous and provides plenty of room and options for cooking and smoking food. If you still need more room, there is 309 square inches of space in the firebox chamber. That takes the total available cooking space to 1,060 square inches.
Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker has quite a few “quality of life” options as well, which make things a lot more convenient. It comes with four grates, cool touch handles, a temperature gauge on the main chamber, and conveniently placed shelves at the front and bottom.
There’s something to like about the warming area over the firebox too! Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn is made from heavy-gauge steel and is built to last a long, long time.
- Excellent value for money
- The smoker is easy to assemble
- Large cooking area
- Multiple dampers for better control over heat
- Conveniently built for ease of use
- There is a possibility of smoke leakage that might require user intervention and modifications to the smoker
2. Char-Broil 12201570-A1 American Gourmet Offset Smoker
Char-Broil 12201570-A1 American Gourmet Offset Smoker is a combination of offset smoker and a BBQ & charcoal grill. And for all of those things it does, this smoker comes at a very low price. This is a budget option for those who take to smoking food only occasionally.
Cost affects quality. So while I’ll call this a good smoker, this isn’t one to pick if you want a setup that lasts years. Although the material is steel, it gives the clear impression of being thin and somewhat flimsy. All that may not seem as impressive, but this offset smoker grill has impressive features, and bells and whistles for its price.
A thermometer will keep you informed of the temperature in the chamber. It’s a useful tool, but don’t take it as gospel. It isn’t all that accurate, so consider the thermometer’s readings more as useful suggestions.
Char-Broil has placed multiple dampers here for easy control of the airflow and hence of the temperature in the chamber. These are useful, but again, the performance here is somewhat average.
The total cooking area on the Char-Broil 12201570-A1 American Gourmet Offset Smoker is 430 square inches. This includes the 290 square inch area in the main chamber, while the remaining 140 sq. in. comes from the firebox. Though that part is obviously more useful as a grill rather than a smoker.
- Attractive and low price
- Convenient ash removal
- Fairly good cooking area
- Has an adjustable height fire grate
- Build quality leaves something to be desired
- May leak smoke, even with some modifications
3. Royal Gourmet CC1830SC Charcoal Grill Offset Smoker
Here’s another contender for budget pricing which can be fit for entry-level smokers. They even include a free cover to get things rolling. Even with all that Royal Gourmet CC1830SC Charcoal Grill Offset Smoker is on something of a precarious ground.
It has somewhat better build quality than cheaper options, but the improvement on quality isn’t as impressive. In any case, it’s a decent enough product and worthy of some consideration. Royal Gourmet CC1830SC is primarily a grill with an offset smoker attached.
There is plenty of cooking space to utilize. Royal Gourmet says 801 square inches of space is available, of which 189 sq. in. is available in the offset smoker. The offset smoker attaches to the grill quite easily and does a magnificent job at ensuring heat and smoke circulation. The smoker gets leaky, but it can be fixed with some modifications.
However, it’s important to remember that the primary concern here is working as a grill. Being a smoker is a secondary concern, but that doesn’t impact overall performance all that much. A temperature gauge is available on the main compartment. Again, the accuracy is questionable, so use it more as a guide rather than an absolute value.
- Budget pricing
- Large cooking area
- Fairly easy to assemble, though newbies may have to put in more effort
- Relatively easy to clean
- Build quality is below average
4. Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Offset Smoker
Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Offset Smoker is one of the best traditional offset smokers available in the market. It’s quite similar to its sibling, the Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker, but it has its own impressive characteristics and style to boast about.
You can use wood or charcoal to manage the heat and smoke on the Highland. I see wood as the preferable source for smoking, but hey, take your pick. Some descriptions on the internet (erroneously) describe the Highland as powered by natural gas, that’s not true. You don’t need propane or lp gas to get this smoker in gear.
Highland has 619 sq. in. of cooking space in the main chamber and 281 sq. inches in the secondary chamber. That’s a total of 900 square inches of cooking space. If you’re keeping count, yes, the Highland is smaller than the Longhorn.
Use the multiple adjustable dampers to regulate heat and smoke inside this offset smoker. There’s no need to open the main chamber lid once you start cooking. The wood or charcoal can be tended through the firebox door. As with any other smoker, there is some potential of leaking smoke, but it’s nothing some simple modifications won’t fix.
The cool touch handles on the Highland are well-designed and stay conveniently cool throughout the cooking process. You’ll find a temperature gauge over the main chamber. It gives a fair idea of the temperature inside the smoker. Remember not to discount the need for a meat probe to have clear information on the food temperature.
Overall, this is a well-built wood/charcoal smoker. The heavy steel body will last years, but don’t neglect maintenance. Oklahoma Joe’s Highland covers most bases you’d expect from a quality smoker.
- Excellent build quality
- Relatively easy to assemble
- High-quality construction means smoke and temperature are easy to manage
- Easy to clean firebox
- Cool-touch handles
- Some possible smoke leakage, though it can be easily fixed
5. Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker
Budget and style come together beautifully in the Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker. Dyna-Glo’s lineup has some very useful offset smokers to buy. So, it makes sense that several of them show up on this list. Plus, their budget pricing does credit to this lineup.
Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker has a massive 1,176 square inches of cooking space. To make organization easier, this space is split between six shelves. If you organize it right, the capacity is good enough to cook 150 pounds of food in a single go.
That’s quite a lot and something that an average user would rarely need. But it’s good to have options and if you want some, Dyna Glo vertical offset smoker has you covered.
Temperature and smoke control come easy with an adjustable flue with smoke stacks. Cleaning ash from the fire chamber is easy thanks to a removable steel ash pan. You don’t need to deal with the ash pan too often. This smoker realizes it’s expected to run for hours, so the pan is designed to handle large amounts of ash.
The main chamber has a stainless steel thermometer gauge. This shows the temperature in the smoker. Markings on the gauge suggest the right temperature for smoking. The visual feedback makes it easier to know the temperature and handle cooking requirements.
It does an average job where build quality is concerned. The build looks solid, but not particularly impressive. All said, this is an excellent smoker and does its job beautifully.
- Large smoking area for cooking
- Good price point
- Easy to clean fire chamber and ash pan
- Grease management system makes cleaning easy
- No cooking grates in the firebox
- Some smoke leakage does happen
6. Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-D Heavy-Duty Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker & Grill
Here’s something that could handle all your smoking needs and even be a decent companion to grilling and bbq options. Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-D Heavy-Duty Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker & Grill is a large setup capable of cooking/smoking a fair amount of food.
The total available cooking area here is 1382 square inches. That’s thanks to the vertical setting of the main chamber, alongwith the availability of five chrome-plated cooking grates. Smoke travels to the main chamber through the firebox. And should you need more cooking space, utilize the firebox!
A thermometer/temperature gauge is placed on the main chamber of the smoker. The dial is helpfully configured to show not just the temperature, but also the temperature range suited for smoking, BBQ, and grilling. That should give you a good idea of where the temperature of this combo smoker and grill is headed.
The temperature gauge is fairly accurate and you can depend on it. Remember, these gauges aren’t a replacement for probe thermometers. After all, the temperature of the food is as important a metric as the internal temperature of the smoker.
Heavy-duty performance and plenty of room for smoking food is the highlight of the Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-D Heavy-Duty Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker & Grill. Even so, be prepared to add some gaskets or do some modifications to stop it from leaking smoke. It’s not terribly leaky, but in some cases, there is enough smoke to cause concern.
- Well-made unit with quality construction
- Very spacious with plenty of cooking area
- Easy to assemble and use
- The steel used is thin, so temperature management can be tough
7. Royal Gourmet CC2036F Charcoal Barrel Grill with Offset Smoker
Royal Gourmet CC2036F Charcoal Barrel Grill with Offset Smoker lays claim to a massive cooking area. It’s something of an exaggerated claim, but notable nonetheless. It has 654 square inches of cooking space in the cooking grates (main chamber), 267 square inches in the offset smoker, and another 267 square inches on the warming rack.
I’d say counting the warming rack is something of a reach, especially when the actual cooking area isn’t too bad either.
The height-adjustable charcoal pan offers better heat control. It’s not exactly groundbreaking, but it helps a bit. At full load, this pan can handle 7.7 lbs of coal, which is sufficient to keep the smoke going for a long time. On the other hand, the side charcoal door only works with 3.3 lbs of charcoal.
Royal Gourmet’s smoker has an acceptably resilient build, though quality control leaves something to be desired. Several of its reviews point to some defects in the smoker. It’s worth mentioning that there are a lot of happy customers as well.
A thermal gauge on the main chamber keeps you informed of the temperature in the chamber. Unfortunately, this doesn’t provide a dependable reading, so you’re better off using a probe or thermometer to get that temperature yourself.
Overall, I’d say this is a pick geared towards the budget-conscious. And that often shows in the construction and performance of this offset smoker.
- Attractive pricing
- Large cooking area
- Easy to assemble
- Convenient to clean
- Several reports of quality control issues
- The temperature control needs improvement
8. Char-Griller E1224 Smokin Pro
Char-Griller E1224 Smokin Pro is an offset smoker and grill combo. As with many of its competitors, this one seeks to stay put in the budget segment. There is an attempt to have a somewhat unique look with wood accents.
Despite the claim of being made from heavy gauge steel, the E1224 can’t hide the fact that it can feel flimsy at points. In fact, a lot of it does feel flimsy, so don’t expect it to last years. Although, it might be good for a few seasons, provided you put in all that elbow grease necessary for maintenance. And you are going to need a lot of it.
The total available cooking area for the Char-Griller E1224 Smokin Pro is 830 square inches. Of these, 580 sq. in. is available in the main chamber cooking area, while the firebox offers another 250 sq. in.
A temperature gauge is placed on top of the main chamber door. It’s a good point to get an idea of the temperature inside, but don’t rely on it too much. Assembly is fairly easy. I’m assuming that since you’re buying one of these smokers online, you know a thing or two about putting them together.
And that’s all that is needed. Pretty much all offset smokers mentioned in this list offer convenient and easy assembly.
A door at the side of the firebox lets you load and manage the fuel. A vent with several openings is available to make it convenient to manage
One thing to keep in mind is that the Smokin Pro can get leaky. Be prepared to seal it and use gaskets to keep things as you would prefer.
- Attractive pricing
- Fairly large cooking area
- Simple assembly
- The construction quality isn’t exactly top-notch
What Qualities Should You Look For In The Best Offset Smoker
What Is An Offset Smoker And Why Should You Consider One?
An offset smoker separates the fire and the cooking chamber. The smoke from the firebox is sent to the cooking chamber through vents and baffles, thus beginning the cooking process.
Generally speaking, this is the conventional method for smoking food. An advantage here is that the main chamber door doesn’t have to be opened, so there isn’t as much of a risk of losing smoke. This setup also makes temperature management and cooking times easier to handle.
The smoke can eventually exit from a chimney or vent, It’s a simple and elegant method with excellent returns.
There are various types of offset smokers available. The best-known varieties for this category are vertical and horizontal offset smokers. Reverse flow smokers have a similar principle, though they push in more air into the smoker. This helps maintain a better, more uniform temperature.
When compared to competitors like electric smokers, offset smokers generally have a larger cooking area. Besides, many pitmasters consider this traditional way of cooking to be the “authentic” way to go about smoking food.
Should I Get An Offset Wood Smoker?
Most smokers listed here use a combination of charcoal and wood. Although it is possible to simply use an offset wood smoker. After all, wood is the key ingredient here – and the one responsible for the distinctive taste and flavor of smoked food.
Using charcoal is often a good idea to manage costs, temper flavors, and to keep the smoker going for a long time.
Considerations For An Offset Smoker Grill
Given the very basis of the design, most offset smokers can report to grilling duties too. The whole smoker can’t be up for this job as they’re generally not designed to handle fuel in the main chamber. But, the firebox is yours to command and you can indeed use it to grill food.
Most of these smokers can work as an offset smoker grill easily. The general setup lends it well to work on this combo function!
Things To Look For When Buying An Offset Smoker
Quality Of Construction Is A Big Part Of The Deal
An offset smoker needs to be tough. It’s going to spend its entire life outdoors and be exposed to very high temperatures. Yes, that’s applicable even if you store the smoker by packing it in a high-quality cover. In fact, never cheap out on the cover – always get one that’s heavy and the best fit for the smoker.
Also, remember when you do use it, the smoker is going to be exposed to very high temperatures. There are also things like ash, grease, and general wear and tear to consider.
Long story short, you want an offset smoker that’s built like a tank. Its material should be tough, sturdy, and strong enough to take on all these pressures.
Cheap smokers are alluring and easily available. More often than not, they’re also unlikely to last beyond a couple of years.
Consider The Weather And Climate For Where You Live
The grilling site and local weather conditions go hand-in-hand with the performance of an offset smoker. Offset smokers don’t really go well with insulation, so you will have to consider things like wind, rain, and low temperatures. All of these will negatively affect the cooking process.
You’ll need plenty of space to use an offset smoker. These tend to have a large footprint and will occupy a fair chunk of space.
Choosing The Right Offset Smoker
There are several quality options available when you go for buying the best offset smoker. My top pick would be the Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker, simply because of its amazing build quality. However, the others listed here aren’t slouches either. It is best to carefully consider your own requirements before you commit to a purchase. Budget plays an important role, but don’t let it push you into buying a low-quality smoker.