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There are few things more American than grilling.
And what better way to perfect your next brisket or hamburger than with charcoal. Charcoal infuses a flavor that just can’t be matched.
While more advanced barbeque tools have emerged over the years—powered by everything from electricity to propane—nothing quite compares to the classic offset charcoal smoker.
If you’re looking for your next smoker or are thinking of picking up your first, there’s a lot to choose from.
Keep reading for a closer look at the best offset smokers on the market.
Best Offset Smoker Reviews
- Heavy gauge all-steel construction ensures a long life for your new grill
- Traditional charcoal grill with side firebox for Texas style barbecue
- Combination Offset Smoker, BBQ & Charcoal Grill
- Heavy duty steel body construction with High Temp powder coat finish
- Heavy-gauge all-steel construction, porcelain-coated cooking grates
- 3" professional temperature gauge easily controls
- Heavy-gauge Steel body construction
How to Choose the Best Offset Smoker for Your Needs
Offset smokers are the classic smoking tool.
They’re simple, but effective. While it might seem like there’s not a lot to them, don’t be fooled. Smokers are more than just a spot for charcoal and another for food.
Offset smokers come in a few different configurations. From upright models, to reverse flow units, there are smokers for every use.
From materials, to the way they’re configured, it all makes a difference in how the final product comes out.
Smokers come in all shapes and sizes.
When choosing one, you’ll want to start by considering how much space you need for cooking. If you plan on just preparing food for you and your family or a few friends, a smaller smoker is probably all you’ll ever need. But, if you plan on cooking for a crowd, you may need a much larger smoker.
Storage space is another concern. Many offset smokers are fairly long, meaning you’ll need plenty of space to store them. If you don’t have a lot of space, make sure you pick a smoker that fits in the space you need it to.
How a smoker is put together is another major consideration before buying.
Many inexpensive smokers are made of thin metal that doesn’t hold or transfer heat well. Since smoking—and often grilling—are all about keeping heat even and low, it’s important to have a smoker that can get the job done. A good smoker will be made of thick enough metal to keep the heat inside and efficient.
Proper ventilation is also important to a good smoke. So, make sure your smoker has enough vents to get the smoke flowing just right.
Being able to move the smoker around is another important feature for many users. Storage is at a premium for many, so having a smoker that will not only fit, but can be moved easily is an important consideration.
While many smaller smokers have wheels, larger units often do not.
Ease of Maintenance
Cleaning out a charcoal grill can be a pain. It’s one of the few downsides of the platform.
When shopping for a smoker, you’ll definitely want to consider how easy it is to clean and maintain. Many smokers have a catch pan beneath that can be easily removed to dispose of the ashes.
Price is always a big consideration. Thankfully, offset smokers are relatively affordablecompared to some of their more advanced counterparts.
Most offset smokers can be had for less than $500, with many available closer to the $200 mark.
What’s for Dinner?
One of the biggest things to consider when choosing a smoker is what you’ll be cooking.
If you’re just planning to smoke meats like ribs or brisket, choosing an upright smoker might be the best option. But, if you’d like to sear a steak every now and then or cook the occasional burger, a more traditional offset smoker with a place to sear meat is a much better choice.
Top Products On The Market Today
The Best Offset Smokers by Type
Best Reverse Flow Offset Smoker: Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Reverse Flow
If you really want to get the best smoke flow possible, you need a reverse flow smoker. And the Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker is one of the best.
The Longhorn has plenty of space—over 1000 square inches of cooking are—and is made from a heavy gauge steel for better heat control. Porcelain coated grates make for easy cleanup and maintenance.
The baffles, which control the reverse flow, can also be removed. This allows users to smoke meats traditionally.
Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker Specifications:
Best Backyard Offset Smoker: Char-Broil American Gourmet
If you’re looking for a smoker for your next backyard cookout, it’s hard to go wrong with the Char-Broil American Gourmet Offset Smoker.
The Char-Broil American Gourmet is a simple offset smoker with plenty of space for a family cookout. This grill has a separate firebox that can also be used for direct cooking and searing.
With plenty of vents and a temperature gauge, tracking and adjusting temperatures is easy to do. Inside, the American Gourmet has trays for both wood chips and water. Wheels make for easy transport.
Char-Broil American Gourmet Specifications:
Best Vertical Offset Smoker: Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D
For those that just want to smoke, a vertical charcoal smoker is the way to go. Rather than laying all your food out on one grate, vertical smokers allows you to stack grate on top of each other in the unit
The Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Charcoal Offset Smoker is a solid option that lets you smoke a lot of meat at once. With six cooking grates and nearly 800 square inches of cooking space, this smoker can handle up to 100 pounds of meat. Heavy duty construction and plenty of vents allow for good temperature control.
Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Charcoal Offset Smoker Specifications:
Best Horizontal Offset Smoker: Char-Broil Oklahoma Joe’s
If you want a smoker that can do it all, the Char-Broil Oklahoma Joe’s Charcoal/LP Gas/Smoker Combo is a great choice.
With the ability to run on both charcoal and propane, this grill can smoke and grill at the same time. Over 1000 square inches of cooking space is plenty of room for a large gathering.
Thick gauge steel makes this grill both durable and efficient. Dual temperature gauges make it easy to monitor food and its progress.
Char-Broil Oklahoma Joe’s Charcoal/LP Gas/Smoker Combo Specifications:
Best Traditional Offset Smoker: Char-Griller 1224 Smokin Pro
For a simple, traditional offset smoker that won’t break the bank, look no further than the Char-Griller 1224 Smokin Pro.
This grill has plenty of space with 580 square inches of cooking area in the smoker and 250 square inches in the fire box. Cooking space in the firebox does allow for direct cooking and searing.
Charcoal drawers make adding charcoal and removing ash easy. The cast iron cooking grates and overall construction is very heavy duty, meaning long life and durability.
The Smokin Pro does also include a temperature gauge and is well ventilated.
Char-Griller 1224 Smokin Pro Specifications:
Best Small Offset Smoker: Landmann 560202 Vista Barbecue Grill with Offset Smoker Box
If space is at a premium, you need a smaller smoker like the Landmann 560202 Vista Barbecue Grill with Offset Smoker Box.
With a little over 360 square inches of cooking space in the smoker and just 169 square inches in the firebox, this is not a large grill. But, for a family or a few friends, it’s really all you need—especially if your tight on space.
For heat control, this Landmann includes a temperature gauge, plenty of vents, and a hand crank to adjust the height of the charcoal tray. It’s also easy to clean with plenty of openings and a charcoal tray.
Landmann 560202 Vista Barbecue Grill Specifications:
The Best Offset Smoker Brands
Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Review
For over 20 years Oklahoma Joe has been making an assortment of charcoal smokers. Though they’re now owned by Char-Broil, their smokers are still made in the US with the same care. All of their smokers are made from 12 gauge steel for Texas style barbeque.
One of their best and most traditional models is the Char-Broil Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Offset Smoker.
With over 1000 square inches of cooking space, this smoker has plenty of space for a crowd. Users can smoke or grill indirectly in the smoker or grill directly in the firebox. The Longhorn also has plenty of adjustable vents for heat and smoke control.
RiverGrille Rancher’s Grill Review
RiverGrille is another major manufacturer of grills and smokers in the US. One of their most popular models is the RiverGrille Cattleman 29 in. Charcoal Grill and Smoker.
The Cattleman is made of a heavy-duty steel and is adequately sized for a family with a little under 800 square inches of cooking area. The fire box can be used for direct grilling in addition to the smoker.
A pair of six-inch wagon wheels make this grill easy to move around and the porcelain coated grates make for easy clean up. An attached side shelf allows users to set things down while cooking.
Smoke Hollow Review
Smoke Hollow makes a wide range of smokers and grills. From propane to charcoal, they make just about everything.
The Smoke Hollow 4-in-1 LP Gas Charcoal Smoker Searing BBQ Grill Model PS9900 is one of their top offset smokers. This grill gives users tons of cooking space and the option to use either propane or charcoal. Smoke a brisket on one side and grill burgers on the other.
This grill and smoker combination even includes an infrared burner to help you get the perfect sear.
Dyna-Glo makes a number of grills, home heating products, and more. While they only make a few smokers, the Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-D Heavy-Duty Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker & Grill is by far one of their most interesting offers.
This unit is both a vertical smoker and a grill. The fire box pulls double duty as a grill while the vertical part is all smoker. This unique configuration gives cooks nearly 1400 square inches of cooking, including nearly 300 square inches of cooking area in the firebox.
For those that want a vertical smoker but don’t want to sacrifice the ability to grill directly, check out this Dyna-Glo smoker.
Char-Griller makes many different grills and smokers at reasonable prices. If you’re looking for a simple, no frills smoker that will get the job done, the Char-Griller 1224 Smokin Pro is for you.
The Smokin Pro is made of heavy duty steal and has plenty of vents for good heat and smoke regulation. It’s also plenty big enough for the whole family with over 800 square inches of cooking space.
Charcoal can be easily added and ashes removed with removable drawers. Cast iron grates hold steady heats and clean up nicely.
Char-Broil has been making grills of all types for over 50 years. While they got their start with charcoal, they’ve since branched out into propane and even electric smokers.
One of their most popular—and affordable—smokers is the Char-Broil American Gourmet Offset Smoker, Deluxe. This grill is a great size for most families and gatherings. The American Gourmet can smoke just about anything in the smoker and can also be used for direct grilling in the fire box.
This smoker also has containers for water and wood chips while cooking. Good ventilation keeps temperature and smoke consistent.
The Best Offset Smokers for Every Budget
Under $1000: Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Reverse Flow Smoker
If you want the best, Oklahoma Joe’s makes some of the best smokers on the market. Made of heavy gauge steel, these smokers are ready for Texas style barbeque.
For under $1000, the Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Reverse Flow Smoker is one of the best choices you can make. This smoker has over 1000 square inches of cooking space and takes advantage of reverse flow smoking.
Under $500: Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn
For a few dollars less, the Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Offset Smoker maintains Oklahoma Joe’s quality and most of the features found in the Highland.
Though it’s not a reverse flow smoker, the Longhorn still has over 1000 square inches of cooking space, heavy duty construction, and good ventilation.
Under $300: Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-D Heavy-Duty
If you’d like to spend a little less and like the sound of a vertical offset smoker, the Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-D Heavy-Duty Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker & Grill is a great buy.
This smoker has a small, easy to clean form factor that’s still capable of smoking enough meat for a crowd.
Best Cheap Offset Smoker
If you’re just getting into smokers and aren’t quite ready to make a big financial commitment, the Char-Broil American Gourmet Offset Smoker is an inexpensive option that can still do a good job on a side of ribs or a brisket.
With over 600 square inches of cooking space between the smoker and fire box, the Smokin Pro has space to smoke and grill directly.
FINAL VERDICT: The Best Offset Smoker for the Money
While there are plenty of great smokers on the market, if you’ve got to pick just one it’s hard to go wrong with the Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Offset Smoker. This smoker provides a good mix of features and value.
For under $500, the Longhorn provides over 1000 square inches of cooking space. Made of heavy gauge steel and well ventilated, this smoker cooks and maintains smoking temperatures well. Adjustable height cooking grates make for maximum control.
If you’re looking for a good smoker, check out the Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Offset Smoker today.