If you’re new to the world of offset grills and are looking for the best offset smoker grills, we put this buying guide together to try and help you buy an offset smoker or grill.
Everyone's barbecue budget is different so we've broken this guide down into different price points so you can see the best of what you can afford right now, and start dreaming and saving for what you can afford in the future.
We've cut right to the chase and are revealing our top picks for each category right away, followed by more in-depth reviews of each of the 22 offset smokers we considered.
When navigating this article, begin thinking about what you want out of an offset smoker. Each smoker will offer something different that another smoker will not. With that in mind, compare your wants with the features of each offset smoker and determine which offset smoker is best for you within your budget.
the best offset smokers for the money
Best Under $2,000
Lang 36" Patio Smoker
Our winner for the best offset smoker for under $2,000 goes to the Lane 36” Patio Smoker. Based purely on performance, this smoker goes above and beyond. It has plenty of cooking space and should be able to fit all the different meats you’re cooking at the same time.
As with all Lang smokers, it is also a reverse flow smoker. This is widely preferred among pitmasters as it results in a smokier and juicier meat than a conventional smoker.
Thanks to how versatile this unit is, with the ability to be a grill in addition to a smoker and reach very diverse temperatures, this might just be the best grill on the entire list.
Best Under $1,000
Horizon 16" Classic Smoker
The Horizon 16” Classic Smoker is a very good unit despite the limited cooking space. It has the option to be fueled from a couple different sources, wood, charcoal or both, and can reach temperatures at almost a 200 degree difference.
It comes packed with additional features like meat hooks, a grease drain and a convenient ash removal tray that makes clean up easier. The final touch on a very good grill is the lifetime warranty against burnouts on this unit.
Best Under $500
Oklahoma Joe's Bandera
The Oklahoma Joe’s Bandera is a great overall unit. It has tons of cooking space and is capable of cooking many different foods simultaneously. The vertical design of the smoker allows for both more space and a more flavorful cook. The natural rise of the smoke into the food creates a smoky and delicious taste every time.
While it uses more fuel than other smokers on this list, that can be forgiven as the smoker will last a very long time and produce consistent and flavorful results.
Best Under $300
Oklahoma Joe's Highland
The Oklahoma Joe’s Highland is the best unit under $300 because of how solid the smoker is for as cheap as it is. There is nothing special or flashy with this smoker. It is simply a solid and reliable smoker at a low price. That is why the price is a good deal for the smoker that you get.
It doesn’t try to be more than it is, and it knows that if you want a flashier option, you can find one at a higher price. It will give consistent results over a continued period of time.
Best Under $200
Char-Griller Smokin’ Pro
With a smoker under $200, you usually won’t get much. You might get a functional smoker for a couple months, only to see it burnout quickly. With the Char-Griller Smokin’ Pro, you get a smoker that is very effective and lasts longer than virtually every other smoker at its price point.
It’s pretty cheap, but still has some fairly impressive features like a charcoal hopper and two wheels that are big enough to navigate on off road surfaces.
Oklahoma Joe's Bandera
Our pick for the best value offset smoker goes to the Oklahoma Joe’s Bandera. For the price, you can’t really beat this unit. It gives the Lang 36” Patio Smoker a run for its money for the best offset smoker on this list at a fraction of the cost.
So whatever price range you’re looking at, be rest assured in knowing that the Oklahoma Joe’s Bandera is a smoker that performs well above its price point.
Best Reverse Flow Smoker
Lang 36" Patio Smoker
The Lang 36” Patio Smoker is probably the best smoker on this list, but is definitely the best reverse flow smoker here. This smoker gives very consistent and reliable results and can effectively smoke different meats at the same time.
It’s a bit pricier of a unit, being our winner under $2,000, but if you’re in the market for a smoker around that price, this could be a great option for you.
Talk of the Town
Hamrforge Beast Smoker
The Hamrforge Beast Smoker is just fun. It’s a massive tank of a smoker that is incredibly eye catching. The look of it just immediately draws you in and makes you want to see it in action. Besides the cosmetically interesting aspect, it is actually a very good and reliable smoker.
It is very durable and comes with a lifetime warranty at purchase. It has more than enough cooking space and comes loaded with different features. If you want a smoker that is going to be the envy of the town and still produce a very good meal, the Hamrforge Beast Smoker might just be your best bet.
Offset smoker reviews
Offset Smokers Under $200
Char-Griller Smokin’ Pro
The Char-Griller Smokin’ Pro is often regarded as a starter grill or smoker. Many customers have stated that they purchased this grill with the idea of it being an entry into the world of offset smoking, or simply when they were on a budget.
The Smokin’ Pro largely has positive reviews across the internet, gaining 4 out of 5 stars on their website, and is highly thought of among grillers who are just starting. Most customers of this grill rave about the amount of cooking space that this grill offers.
Full of features, this grill comes with a charcoal hopper that makes it easier to add charcoal than others models at a similar or even higher price.
Another convenient feature on this model is the ash pan, which makes dumping out old ash and cleaning it up much simpler than other models without such a feature.
It comes with two big wheels, capable of moving on either hard surfaces, like a driveway, or offroad on grass or dirt. It has a built-in temperature gauge to give you up to date temperature readings.
Some customers have reported that their included thermometers weren't always accurate, but it can be easily replaced by a more effective thermometer.
With all of these features, the Char-Griller Smokin’ Pro is not as expensive as you might think it would be.
The Smokin’ Pro could be a good starter grill for someone without much experience, or for someone who is looking for a new smoker while on a budget.
If you want to buy this smoker, we recommend that you buy from Amazon, as they have the cheapest price that we could find at the time of this article.
Char-Broil American Gourmet Offset Smoker
The Char-Broil American Gourmet Offset Smoker is the cheapest smoker on this list.
However, its additional features are ones that are standard on smokers that are a few hundred dollars more, making this a great buy for anyone, especially at the price point.
This offset smoker comes with features like rust resistant cooking grates, a firebox ash door and three extra cooking grates.
This smoker prides itself on reducing smoke loss by including a smoking chamber that eliminates wind drafting and helps with smoke control. With that, you get more consistent temperatures and results.
So while this grill is pretty standard and doesn’t have any extra features that will blow you away, it is still a solid smoker, especially at the asked price.
The most common complaint with this model of smoker is that the cooking space is very small. Outside of that, it is very highly reviewed and is recommended for those new to the world of smoking, as well as those looking for a smoker while on a budget.
If you are considering this smoker, you probably know what you're getting. It probably isn't the smoker of your dreams, but it does a great job of providing great cooks at a cheaper price and a higher quality than its competitors.
Char-Broil Offset Smoker
Slightly different from the standard American Gourmet Offset Smoker, this offset smoker acts as a deluxe version of the American Gourmet.
It’s definitely bigger than the American Gourmet, having 739 square inches of cooking space, and is overall 25 pounds heavier.
A large part of the additional weight can be attributed to the use of higher quality metal than the standard American Gourmet.
It also doubles as a grill, like the American Gourmet, so you wouldn’t require another completely different unit when you want to grill.
This could be convenient to those that regularly do both and would definitely be an upgrade over the American Gourmet.
A common complaint with this combo grill is that the paint begins to bubble and chip very quickly, some saying even in the first use. While the metal is higher quality than the standard American Gourmet, it is still prone to the same cosmetic issues.
These issues exist because the metal used on the American Gourmet Deluxe is cheaper than more expensive smokers, allowing them to keep this smoker more affordable for customers like you.
However, that is the only consistent complaint, so it’s nice to see that there aren’t any consistent performance issues with this offset smoker.
Some nice features of the Char-Broil Offset Smoker is a lid mounted temperature gauge, porcelain cooking grates and an ash removal trey.
So while this grill doesn’t come with a wide range of additional features, it’s nice to see that the important and common ones are still there.
If you’re considering this grill, we have to stress that buying a combo smoker and grill can be risky as they tend to burn out quicker. With this combo being more inexpensive than many of its competitors, though, it is worth the risk.
Royal Gourmet CC1830F Charcoal Grill with Offset Smoker
The Royal Gourmet CC1830F Charcoal Grill with Offset Smoker is very cheap and small. Coming in at less than 60 pounds, you should have no problem taking this grill anywhere you want it to go.
Even better, it’s a grill and smoker combo, making it easy for you to seamlessly switch between smoking and grilling.
While this smoker might not last you for years on end, the price and portability could make this smoker a good choice for at least the short term.
Don't let the size fool you. This Royal Gourmet can pack quite a punch and deliver quality meats as a result.
This smoker is probably best for campers and tailgaters. Just load this smoker up in your car or truck and see what this smoker can do for you.
Lastly, the cooking space on this grill is pretty small and won’t give much space for more than one different kind of food to be made at the same time.
It will positively impact you down the road to do so, as this option is more than likely to break down before another option would, leaving you to have to cover the expense of this grill, as well as your replacement for it.
Offset Smokers Under $300
Dyna-Glo Wide Body Vertical Offset
The Dyna-Glo Wide Body Vertical Offset offers a huge amount of cooking space, boasting 1,890 square inches.
Another heavyduty vertical offset charcoal smoker, the design of the Dyna-Glo Wide Body Vertical Offset allows your meats to get all the flavor that you desire as the smoke rises to all of your meats.
This smoker has a very wide base, allowing you to smoke many different meats at the same time. It, similar to the Oklahoma Joe’s, uses more charcoal than a horizontally designed smoker.
However, if that is a trade off that you are willing to make, you may find that the design of the smoker helps to create a more flavorful taste to your meats.
This smoker comes with features like adjustable cooking grates, a stainless steel ash pan for easy clean up, and a preinstalled thermometer, among others.
The Wide Body is most often recommended for people with smoking experience already. However, the biggest complaint with this grill is the lack of wheels.
Weighing 83 pounds, it isn’t the heaviest grill in the world. However, with its shape, moving the grill can be very awkward and time consuming.
This grill, or vertical smokers in general, are not often recommended for beginners, because the vertical design can be more difficult to cook with if you have no prior smoking experience.
However, vertical smokers are great options for those with some experience, as the end product tends to be of very high quality.
Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Offset Smoker
Another Oklahoma Joe’s grill on the list, The Oklahoma Joe's Highland is a smoker on the cheaper end, but that doesn’t away from the quality of this model.
The Highland is a very reliable smoker that has 619 square inches of primary cooking space, and 281 square inches on secondary cooking space, giving this smoker a decent amount of total volume to be able to prepare your meat on.
It comes in at around 180 pounds, 53” tall, and 57” long.
Luckily, this model comes with two wagon style wheels that are capable of mobilizing in on hard surfaces, but is not recommended for off road movements.
This model does come with some additional features as well. It comes with easy to clean cooking grates, cool touch handles and an accurate temperature gauge.
While these features may be pretty common on smokers by today’s standards, these smaller add ons are still a solid addition at the cheap price.
If this model is of interest to you, consider the Oklahoma Joe’s Highland reverse flow offset smoker as well.
Dyna-Glo Signature Series Vertical Offset
The Dyna-Glo Signature Series Vertical Offset is a very tall and skinny smoker.
This model is uniquely designed to actually sit on the left side of its firebox, while most other offset smokers sit to the right of their fireboxes. It is a charcoal based grill and stands 59” tall and weighs around 125 pounds.
The Dyna-Glo Signature Series Vertical Offset comes with two sturdy wagon wheels, but with the unique design of the smoker, can be tough to maneuver.
It does, however, have a big amount of cooking space available, coming in at almost 1,400 square inches. With that much space, you should have no problem preparing your meats for your next barbecue.
Customers who have purchased this Dyna-Glo vertical model rave about that it can be transformed into a grill to almost make it a hybrid model.
With this smoker, its features are fairly limited. It does come with a removable charcoal grate and an ash pan, but it doesn’t come with anything that isn’t standard in today’s market.
So, we think that there should be some more additional features to push this good smoker over the edge into being a great smoker.
However, being able to additionally use this smoker as a grill is a good step forward.
Offset Smokers Under $500
Oklahoma Joe’s Bandera
The Oklahoma Joe’s Bandera is uniquely a vertical offset smoker.
The design of the Bandera allows for a great amount of cooking space, nearly 1,000 square inches spread out across 4 different cooking grates.
The vertical design allows the smoke to naturally float up towards the chimney and your meats.
This smoker features a temperature gauge, a removable ash pan, meat hooks meant for sausage and other smaller meats and several other common features that can be expected for smokers of this size and cost.
At 63” tall and weighing almost 200 pounds, you may think that the Bandera will take up a lot of space in your yard, garage or driveway. However, because of the unique, vertical design, it will take up less space than your usual, horizontally designed smoker.
The only drawback of the vertical design is that it causes the smoker to use more fuel than a horizontal smoker may use.
The bandera has two wheels, but they are recommended for use only on harder, street-like surfaces.
It routinely has 4 and 5 star reviews across the internet and is largely thought of as a very reliable smoker.
Oklahoma Joe’s is very reputable brand and tends to treat their customers very well, so if you are considering the Bandera or another grill from Oklahoma Joe’s, you can be rest assured that the brand will treat you right.
Oklahoma Joe's Longhorn Offset Smoker
The Oklahoma Joe's Longhorn Offset Smoker, not to be confused with the The Oklahoma Joe's Longhorn Offset Combo, is the most expensive offset smoker model that the brand offers.
It offers consistent results by giving adjustable dampers that can help your regulate the smoke and temperature of your smoker.
However, a common complaint is that the vent stack is too high up on the smoker, thus letting out more heat than you would want.
Additional features of this model include rust resistant cooking grates, front shelf for cooking utensils and cool touch handles.
You may see that the features included here are very similar to the other two Oklahoma Joe’s smokers on this list.
For the price asked of the Longhorn offset smoker, we wish there would be a bit bigger distinction of features from this model to the other two.
The Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Offset Smoker comes in at 237 pounds and has two big wagon wheels for easy navigation.
The smoker itself does not take up as much space as you might expect. It’s fairly compact for the weight, being 64” long, 55” tall, and 35” deep.
You should have no problem finding somewhere to put this smoker.
This model can use either wood or charcoal effectively, but some customers have said that charcoal has been a better experience for them and that it took quite a bit of wood to keep the smoker warm and ready to use.
Landmann Smoky Mountain Bravo Offset
The Landmann Smoky Mountain Bravo Offset is actually a grill first, smoker second unit, meaning that this model’s primarily a grill.
However, it also has a smoker offset attached, making it a smoker grill combo. This model runs purely off of charcoal.
Some customers have reported issues reaching their desired temperatures. However, once that temperature is hit, you should be off and running towards a successful cook.
It comes in at 128 pounds and has four wheels, though the wheels are very small and should not be used for anything other than movements on hard surfaces.
It has common additional features like a removable ash tray and a large side table for meal preparation.
A very good feature of this model is that it has plenty of storage space in a couple doors below the grill.
With that, you can keep all of your grilling supplies in one space and not worry about having to have something like an outdoor kitchen.
Offset Smokers Under $1,000
Oklahoma Joe's Longhorn Reverse Flow Offset Smoker
The Oklahoma Joe's Longhorn Reverse Flow Offset Smoker is very similar to the standard Longhorn model, with the one big difference being that this version is a reverse flow model.
A reverse flow model has an additional metal plate installed that serves the purpose of protecting the food from too much heat.
It then reverses the smoke around and has it go towards the food before finally going out the chimney.
People tend to want a reverse flow smoker because it gives a smokier flavor than you’ll get compared to other smokers.
Most people love their reverse flow smokers, because it really makes their jobs easier as they try to smoke their meat.
The really only fairly consistent complaint is that it can be easy to get the food almost too smokey.
However, that’s obviously a user error and takes practice, just as smoking and grilling does in the first place.
The Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Reverse Flow Offset Smoker comes with the same features as the standard Longhorn model, but the grill is $50 more MSRP.
So, you’ll need to weigh your options as to whether or not you want a reverse flow smoker if you’re looking at the Longhorn.
The Yoder Cheyenne smoker prides itself on being a slow cooking smoker. This works because the smoker is designed to indirectly draw the smoke and heat through the cooking chamber.
This consistently gives the meat a juicy and smoky taste as it gets cooked slower than a traditional smoker.
The cooking surface isn’t huge, but it should be big enough to fit the meats that you want to cook.
It comes in at 703 square inches and 315 pounds, but does have two wheels to give the smoker extra mobility.
The Yoder Cheyenne smoker comes full of features like a grease drain, temperature gauge and a log grate.
In addition, you have the choice to upgrade your grill to include features like a pot warmer or a heat management plate.
These features, while more expensive and costly than not upgrading, can come in handy and potentially save you from having to spend extra money on similar features made from outside of the company.
This Yoder smoker comes in at a fairly high price, so if you are considering a grill of this cost or one similar to it, we would recommend that you continue to do your research.
If you want a more mobile smoker that you can take to tailgates, you may want to find a cheaper or smaller smoker.
But, if you want to host cookouts with family and friends and want to impress them with the quality of your meats, this might be the smoker for you.
Horizon 16" Classic Smoker
The Horizon 16" Classic Smoker is a very diverse smoker. It can handle temperatures from 160 degrees, all the way up to 325 degrees, depending on what it is that you are wanting to make.
However, this smoker only offers 680 square inches of cooking surface. This number obviously grows if you upgrade to a larger model that they offer, but at a fairly high price, we were hoping for a bit larger space to cook.
Despite the cooking space, the Horizon 16" Classic Smoker still comes loaded with features.
This model has a side fire box door for easy access to ash removal, grease drains and meat hooks, but does not come with a smoker box for additional smoke to your food.
This smoker can also burn wood, charcoal or both at the same time, giving you a few choices for how you can ignite the flames.
And, at 380 pounds, it’s a good thing that this model has a couple of heavy duty wheels for enhanced mobility.
Coming with a lifetime warranty against burnouts, this grill should be able to last you a long time and produce hundreds of hours of grilling.
This could be your grill if there are many different methods or items that you have been wanting to smoke.
It can handle a variety of different foods and temperatures, giving you a diverse lineup of possibilities.
Broil King Smoke XL 32-Inch Offset Charcoal Smoker
The Broil King Smoke XL 32-Inch Offset Charcoal Smoker is an upgrade over the standard The Broil King Smoke XL 32-Inch.
The same smoker is available for around $300 MSRP less than the version with the offset.
However, many people that decided to upgrade to the offset version immediately saw the results in that they could smoke many different foods at the same time with the heat source being on the side, rather than directly in the middle.
Whether or not you want the offset version or the standard version is up to you and your preferences.
There can be advantages to both, and the standard smoker is essentially the exact same as the offset smoker, with the only difference obviously being which part of the smoker the heat source is coming from.
Customers rave how quality the materials of the smoker are for the lower price attached, as well as how easy the smoker is to use.
A very common complaint, like many other offset smokers, is that the paint bubbles and then chips very quickly. This is purely a cosmetic issue, so if that doesn’t bother you, you should be able to enjoy cooking on this smoker.
Offset Smokers Under $1,500
Old Country 20x48
The Old Country 20x48 is, simply put, a huge grill. It boasts a 30” long barrel cooker and an 18” firebox. This giant of a grill weighs nearly 400 pounds.
This makes this smoker one of the biggest on the market. If you’re considering a grill of that size, you must already know this, but it’s worth considering how much space a grill like this will take up.
However, with all that size, how reliable is it?
At the hefty price of this model, this grill better be reliable. Thankfully, it is.
The 20x48 grill has great reviews overall, with really the only constant complaint being that the paint begins to chip fairly easily, and rust takes over where the paint was.
Other than that, this grill has shown to be very reliable amongst its customers.
It has a large cooking area that can fit many different cuts of meat at once, and even has an attached collapsable table to prepare your meat on, or even possibly serve the meal on.
This can be a very helpful feature for barbecuers who are strapped on space or don’t have an extra table readily available to them.
The Old Country 20x48 is a smoker that is, for the most part, strictly for experienced grillers and smokers.
We recommend that, if you are just beginning to smoke meats, you go with a cheaper and simpler option.
However, if you have plenty of smoking experience and want a top of the market smoker, the Old Country 20x48 could be a great option for you.
Lonestar Grillz 20x30 Offset
The Lonestar Grillz 20x30 Offset looks very different from the rest of the grills we’ve mentioned so far. It has a square firebox, different from the normal circular one.
With this, it allows for more logs to be fit into the firebox, as it fits better with the actual shape of the logs.
This grill is fairly limited on the features that it offers without paying extra to upgrade.
It offers a temperature gauge with temperature controllers and cool touch handles, but those are both standard features at this point.
Most other features, like an ash pan or grease drain, are available at extra costs, most of which are actually pretty expensive.
With the smoker itself being very expensive, it is crazy to us how little features are included and how expensive those features are to add on.
When it comes to the mobility of the grill, it weighs 455 pounds and comes with 5” wheels. However, for yet another add on cost, they have two options that let you upgrade the wheels.
You can choose to add 8” wheels for $125, or upgrade them to an off road package for a ridiculous $795. We can see why there are increased prices for higher quality wheels.
Our issue, however, is that there is no middle ground between the two possible upgrades.
We would have loved to see Lone Star Grillz have just the four off road wheels available for purchase, rather than requiring that those wheels be bundled together with a cart to further push the price up.
Lang 36" Patio Smoker
The Lang 36" Patio Smoker is a hybrid smoker, meaning that it is half a smoker, and half a barbecue grill. This makes this smoker very diverse and capable of many different recipes and meats.
You could quite literally grill your entire meal at the same time with this grill, as it is capable of grilling and smoking at a diverse range of different temperatures.
This is a very spacious model and should be able to handle all of your foods at one time. It has six cubic feet of cooking space, and can hold around 75 pounds of food at the same time.
This is useful when cooking for bigger parties or just for cooking a wide variety of different foods.
This is a very heavy grill. It comes in at 750 pounds, and thankfully has a couple of heavy duty wheels with it.
It comes with two 8” tires, and can be upgraded to include two additonal tires and a swivel axis to make transporting the grill even easier.
This wood and charcoal grill with offset smoker hybrid is a good option for those that want an all in one model.
As with all Lang brand smokers, they use a reverse flow design. It is pricey, but being that it is essentially two different machines in one, it is overall not too bad of a price.
It could actually save you money as you won’t need a separate smoker or grill in addition to the Lang 36” Patio Smoker.
Texas Original Pits Luling Offset Smoker
The Texas Original Pits Luling Offset Smoker comes in three different sizes: 16x38x18, 20x40x20, and 24x48x22. This offset smoker comes packed full of features like a pot warmer, a grease drain, and a firebox cleaning tool.
With this smoker, the models vary widely in how much meat can be cooked at one time.
This smoker boasts that it offers superior smoke and heat control because of how the smoker itself is constructed.
It uses thick steel all around the grill to lock in the temperature and not let heat out.
With all the different sizes available, it can be hard to determine what size is right and practical for you.
So, the smallest size they offer, the 16x38x18, is best for those that are cooking for the family over the weekend.
The medium size, the 20x40x20, is best for cooking for a large family or small to medium party.
The biggest size, the 24x48x22, is best for those cooking for a larger party or even those that are doing competitive barbecuing.
There were not any common or consistent complaints with this individual smoker. Most reviewers said it surpassed their expectations.
Offset Smokers Under $2,000
Gator Pit 20x32 Smoker
The Gator Pit 2032 Smoker is a more traditional smoker. It exclusively uses wood for fuel and goes in the 20” x 20” firebox. The smoker itself is pretty big, being 64” long, 34” wide, 66” tall and around 450 pounds.
It comes with a few additional features, but in total doesn’t really have any features that make this smoker stand out.
For instance, the smoker comes with a gage coupler, but you have to buy a temperature gauge separately from the rest of the smoker.
That is a key feature of many smokers today, so asking their customers to buy the temperature gauge separately could be a problem for some.
Gator Pit as a company, however, has a very high reputation for both customer service and the quality of their smokers.
They can take a while to ship the smoker pit to you, however, but that is due to the demand of the grills, and not poor customer service.
Pitts & Spitts Ultimate Smoker Pit
The Pitts & Spitts Ultimate Smoker Pit prides itself on being a very versatile smoker that is capable of anything from meat to pizza.
It has a big cooking space of 853 square inches, so it should be able to handle multiple different options at the same time.
Customers of this model love the versatility that it provides, but think that the cost of the smoker pit is more than they think it is worth.
This model comes with several additional features, like a paper towel rack and three tool hooks to hang your cooking utensils on.
Additionally, there are tons of add on options available on Pitts and Spitts website.
You can add things like a side steak grill, a pizza oven or even extend your cooking surface by 40%.
There are plenty of options for how you can make this smoker model run to your exact desire.
Offset Smokers Under $4,000
Hamrforge Beast Smoker
The Hamrforge Beast Smoker is a big smoker that looks like a tank. It is very sturdy and comes packed full of features that will definitely steal the attention of anyone lucky enough to see it.
With the smoker’s expensive price, however, you get the most unique looking smoker, and probably the highest quality smoker on the market.
Backed by a lifetime guarantee, this smoker sets out to make sure that you will never have to buy another smoker in your life.
That makes this smoker incredibly reliable.
It can cook anything from meats to pizzas as it can maintain a consistent temperature without a problem.
It comes loaded with features like a built in thermal, utensil hooks, an ash basket, cooking racks and even a bottle opener.
With 758 square inches of cooking space available, with the option of adding three included grates to take it to 2,275 square inches, you should have no problem preparing your meats on the Hamrforge Beast Smoker.
The Beast Smoker can use either charcoal or wood as a fuel source, and prides itself on being able to use up to 50% less charcoal or wood than its competitors.
At 1,200 pounds, this smoker is a tank. Luckily, it has four wheels that can lock in place to provide stability when on the go or when stationed at a spot.
Jambo Backyard Smoker
The Jambo Backyard smoker will probably be the most expensive backyard grill that you will look at, and is the second most expensive on this list.
As the industry standard in smokers, they actually have a wait list that can take up to a year to get your smoker. However, if you can afford the high price and the lengthy wait, a Jambo brand smoker might be your best option.
The Jambo Backyard is the smallest smoker that Jambo offers, but still has the quality of the more expensive Jambo brand smokers. It is still a big smoker at 500 pounds, 76” long, 72” tall and 35” wide.
So this is still one of the biggest smokers on the list, so don’t be down on the size.
Overall, the features of the Backyard are solid. It has temperatures that can range from 50 degrees to 500 degrees, the highest temperature on this list, as well as the widest range, and has 8 square feet of cooking space to boast.
So, when deciding on a smoker, do you want a top of the line smoker, or are you okay with something a little cheaper? If you do want a top of the line smoker, this is the top offset smoker for you.
Granted, you’ll have to wait a while to receive it, but once you do, you’ll be set.
Note: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. This doesn’t cost you any more than normal. Read our disclaimer for more info.
Introduction to Offset Smokers
If you’re new to the world of offset grills, we put this buying guide together to try and help you buy an offset smoker or grill. An offset smoker can be identified by the heat source being offset from the cooking surface.
Most grills and smokers have the food cooking directly over the heat source, but an offset smoker keeps the fire away from the food and is an indirect cooking method.
Traditional offset smokers are best when wanting to smoke many different meats at the same time, or keeping the cooking chamber closed when you need to add more fuel to the fire without lowering the cooking temperature.
When using an offset smoker, be familiar with the fuel source options that are available to you. A smoker can be fueled by charcoal, wood, wood chips, pellets, propane or many other fuel sources. Some companies even make an electric smoker.
So, it’s vital to know which fuel source works best for your smoker. Most of the options on the market can take more than one different fuel source, though they tend to work best with charcoal or wood.
How Does an Offset Smoker Work?
An offset smoker works by setting the heat source apart from the cooking chamber, and the heat is controlled by two primary factors, the size of the fire in the offset chamber and the amount of air that can feed through an intake and exhaust vent..
So if you can control the size of the fire and the amount of air that can feed through with your offset smoker, you’ll be able to easily set your desired temperature.
Pitmasters around the world are pretty particular about their smokers. There are some who will say that the best smokers are offset smokers.
They tote the superior smoke ring and 100% wood fired flavor as making offset smokers the premiere pit to smoke any food.
There are drawbacks to an offset smoker though, as the fire needs to be stoked about every 45 minutes to an hour on average.
Is a Vertical or Horizontal Smoker Better?
A vertical smoker has the heat source right below the food being cooked, while a horizontal smoker has the heat source directly to the side of the food being cooked.
A vertical smoker tends to produce a more flavorful taste. This happens as the juices from the meat drip down into the flames and create a vapor that rises into the meat, similar to pit barrel smokers. However, it is harder to cook with a vertical smoker, as it is directly above the heat source.
With a horizontal smoker, you won’t get that same flavorful vapor, but it’s easier to cook with and burning of the food is far less likely. So, which is better depends on what you’re looking for out of your smoker.
Differences in Preferences
Cooks around the world are somewhere between purist who will stay up all night to smoke a 15 hour brisket, adding wood every hour.
Others, though, would rather light up a pellet grill, set the temperature on the dial and go to bed while monitoring their cook from their phone.
This will alert them if something goes wrong during the night. The best BBQ smoker is relative for the cook, but many purists will argue that an offset delivers the truest form of BBQ.
Weigh Your Options
When deciding on a charcoal offset smoker, think of what you want it for and what features you want it to have. Many offset smokers can both grill and smoke.
Since many offset smokers have a large chamber in which the food is kept, charcoal can many times be added directly to the cooking chamber to turn it into a horizontal or vertical charcoal grill.
Other offset smokers have a grate add-on that allows a grill grate to be placed directly above the fire in the firebox, adding direct grilling to the abilities of the grill.
Most offset smokers will use either charcoal or wood to fuel their fire. Many pitmasters will get the grill up to temperature with a charcoal chimney or two full of lit charcoal, and then add splits of wood until the grill is ready for the food to be added.
There are all types of offset grills, so the fuel that your offset grill will use will depend on the model that you get. A pellet smoker is a type of offset grill, but not in the purest sense.
The hopper of unlit pellets is kept off to the side of the grill where the offset fire is usually held, and pellets are fed by an auger into the bottom of the cooking chamber where the fire is lit in a small firepot.
What to Look For in an Offset Smoker
Weight is an important characteristic to consider because a heavier grill will retain heat better than a grill constructed with thinner metal. Grills tend to blow in the wind if they’re not heavy.
Thicker metal means longer use before they burn out and need to be replaced. So, as a general rule, the heavier and sturdier that an offset grill is, the more likely that it is to be a reliable and consistently effective smoker.
Here are some questions you should ask yourself when considering a smoker:
Another key characteristic to consider is the construction of the smoker. Larger wheels are better, because offset smokers are usually very heavy grills.
You must ask yourself all of these questions before deciding on a grill to be sure that you’re getting the one that fits your needs best.
What to Look For in Accessories
Consider the accessories and extra features that the offset smoker that you’re considering comes with. Ask yourself:
Some of these may not be completely vital to you. A couple though, like finding if the wheels lock, is very important. You don’t want a grill that will move in the wind or roll down an inclined surface.
What to Look for With Cooking Space
Last, look at how big the cooking surface of the grill is. You want space to be able to cook more than one kind of meat at the same time. Ask yourself:
Smaller cooking spaces may be fine for you, depending on how many people you’re cooking for at a time or if you’re cooking competitively. However, if you want more space to use your grill as pizza ovens or something like that, then cooking space may be important to you.
Every question that you ask yourself will be subject to what you feel that you actually want and need.
Offset grills specialize in being able to cook large amounts of meat at one time. Offset grills vs Kamado Joe or Green Egg grills for instance should be able to cook two or three times more meat at one time than those grills, but not necessarily your standard gas grills.
If you were thinking about what you want out of an offset smoker while looking through this guide, you may have found an offset smoker that is able to accommodate your needs. It can be tough to find the perfect offset smoker for you with so many different options out there. However, we hope this buyers guide has helped you find your top pick in offset smokers. If you would like to see some more grill reviews, or maybe want to find some recipes to cook on your new offset smoker, come see us again right back here at The Barbecue Lab.