Top 12 Best Offset Smoker Reviews For The Money

Best Offset Smokers Reviews

Why should you read our best offset smoker reviews? You’re doing some renovations behind your house and suddenly, you smell the most incredible aroma from your neighbor’s backyard. Peaking over the fence, there stands the most appetizing barbeque you’ve seen in a long time. You can’t help noticing the shiny offset smoker too.

And now, you’re yearning for one of your own so you can smoke your turkey, beef, pork, and so on. But there’s a problem – there are so many options that you can’t decide on one. You don’t even know what features to look for.

I started in the same place and honestly, it took great efforts to get the right offset smoker and become the meat smoking guru I now am.

So, I will take you through a simple but effective guide on smoking using the offset smoker. I will not only show you the best offset smokers on the market today but also present you with great info and tips on meat smoking with the offset smoker.

If you don't have time to read the whole article, check our top 3 picks below in short!

Top 10 Best Offset Smokers Reviews 2019

1. Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Charcoal Offset Smoker

Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker
  • Vertical design lends itself to naturally rising heat, achieving greater efficiency and improved smoke flavor....
  • Six height-adjustable cooking grates accommodate various sizes of food. 784 square Inch of total smoking area; 1176...
  • Porcelain-enameled steel charcoal chamber is designed to keep briquettes stacked tightly for improved burn...

One of the most important considerations you need to make before purchasing an offset smoker is cooking capacity. This is particularly vital if you’ll be serving a crowd.

Smoking more than 100 pounds of food per session, the Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D vertical offset smoker is, without doubt, a perfect fit for mass smoking.

Moreover, its wood chip box is made from heavy gauge porcelain-enameled steel. This makes it not just durable but also ideal for holding your coals and maintaining temperature levels. And, with a dual door design, you don’t have to worry about heat loss at all.

The dual door design doesn’t just help with heat maintenance; it gives you easy access when you need to add more coals or wood.

The Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D has 6 cook grates that you can effortlessly adjust to add more food. In fact, I normally set mine to hold up to 150 pounds when I have my cousins over (we’re a large family).

Maybe you want something that will look great sitting on your yard; something you can be proud of. The Dyna-Glo DGO1176BDC-D’s exteriors are made of cold-rolled steel with a black finish. It’s basically a fine piece of art and I’m sure you will love it. This smoker can help you achieve a smoky flavor for your steaks, ribs, chicken, etc. 

Highlighted Features:

  • A smoking capacity of more than 100 pounds of food.
  • Adjustable cook grates.
  • Dual door design for easy heat maintenance.
  • Beautiful black finish.

2. Char-Broil American Gourmet Offset Smoker

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Are you a beginner? Instead of focusing on the quantity of output, maybe you should concentrate more on sharpening your skills. With that said, I’d encourage you to go for a simple offset smoker like the Char-Broil.

This smoker model is also ideal for anyone who’s not looking to feed a crowd.

The door has a simple design, allowing you easy access so you can remove the ash effortlessly. The drawers are also easily accessible, and therefore replenishment of water and wood is a simple process.

With a steel make coupled with square legs, the smoker is very stable and robust.

The smoker box is welded such that the heat and smoke get locked inside for some time before escaping through the chimney. This helps the meat gain lots of flavor.

The Char-Broil Offset Smoker comes with adjustable heat control, meaning you can manage the heat levels easily. Moreover, with an adjustable chimney vent, managing the smoke level is also pretty easy.

Looking to move your smoker about from time to time? Maybe you want to be able to move it from the store to the backyard and back to the store in the evening. In that case, the Char-Broil Offset Smoker would be perfect, as it comes with wheels and handles for easy movement.

Highlighted Features:

  • Adjustable chimney vent.
  • Easy heat control.
  • Porcelain-coated grills.
  • Beginner friendly.
  • Wheels and side handles.

3. Royal Gourmet Charcoal Grill with Offset Smoker, 30'' L

Royal Gourmet CC1830F Charcoal Grill with Offset Smoker, Black
  • Ample Cooking Space: A total of 823 sq. in. cooking surface includes 443 sq. in. porcelain-enameled steel wire...
  • Great Performance: With a firm combination of offset smoker, this charcoal grill delivers excellent performance....
  • Heat Control System: 2-level height-adjustable charcoal pan creates better heat control. Cooking chamber maintains...

Maybe you’re looking for a smoker that will keep looking good as new for a while. That would be the Royal Gourmet Grill with Offset Smoker. It’s built with a revolutionary design that prevents the paint on the firebox from flaking even with the high temperatures.

The cooking area is made from porcelain steel, which facilitates not just quick cooking but also longevity.

The Royal Gourmet Grill with Offset Smoker is a two-in-one gadget. It has a heating surface, where you can roast side dishes, while smoking your meat. Maybe you can take advantage of the heating surface the way I do.

I use the heating surface to roast veggies and corn for the vegans in my family while using the cooking chamber smoking ribs for the rest of us.

The charcoal pan has a huge capacity, as it can hold 5 pounds of that at a time. And, it has lifting handles to help you adjust the charcoal’s height for more efficient cooking.

Apart from that, this smoker comes with a heavy-duty lid and a damper that you can adjust easily. These give you lots of control over the air flow.

Highlighted Features:

  • Easy cleaning and maintenance.
  • Heating surface for side dishes.
  • Compact design.
  • Porcelain steel cooking surface.

4. Char-Griller 1224 Smokin Pro 830 Square Inch Charcoal Grill with Side Fire Box

Char-Griller E1224 Smokin Pro 830 Square Inch Charcoal Grill with Side...
  • Traditional charcoal grill with side firebox for Texas style barbecue
  • Grill barrel and side firebox provide heavy-gauge powder-coated steel construction; nonstick cast-iron cooking...
  • Removable charcoal drawers allow users to add charcoal and dump ashes easily; double bottom for long-term...

Want to do Texas-style barbecue? Go for the Char-Griller 1224 Smokin Pro. It’s the perfect traditional grill with a firebox on the side.

Its firebox and grill barrel feature a heavy-duty steel design with a powder coating. Also, the cooking grills are made of cast iron and are non-stick, thus offering maximum protection for your food against damage.

This smoker’s charcoal drawers are removable, meaning you get to add coals and dump the ash with ease.

With a double bottom, the smoker allows you to enjoy Texas-style smoking for a really long time.

Aside from that, this smoker model comes with a temperature gauge and a storage rack where you can keep various items. And, with two sturdy wheels, transporting the smoker is virtually effortless.

The Char-Griller 1224 Smokin Pro is one of the offsets that offers you plenty of smoking room. There’s a 250 firebox that you can also use for smoking some of your food, and there’s the 580 main cooking chamber. That’s a total of 830 worth of cooking surface.

Highlighted Features:

  • Removable charcoal drawers.
  • Double bottom.
  • 830 sq. inches cooking surface.
  • Cast-iron grills.

5. Char-Griller 2-2424 Table Top Charcoal Grill and Side Fire Box

Char-Griller E22424 Table Top Charcoal Grill and Side Fire Box, Black
  • Removable ash pan for easy coal clean up
  • Offset for Texas style smoking
  • Attaches to all Char-Griller barrel grills (#2123, #2828, #2137 and the #5050 Duo Gas and Charcoal Grill)

Looking for a smoker suitable for picnics or camping? The Char-Griller 2-2424 is the best portable offset smoker. You can take it with you wherever you’re off to if you’re looking to enjoy some grilling fun away from home.

And, with a robust steel construction and cast-iron grills, you don’t have to worry about damage. The smoker can withstand the harshest of conditions.

The smoker has a sliding drawer to help you access the charcoal and ash quickly. It also comes with an ergonomic pan for damping the ash. This makes the clean-up process fast and easy.

This smoker comes with a grilling space of 250 but maybe you’ll want more space sometimes. You can easily mount the entire smoker on a Char-Griller barrel grill and in so doing, create more grilling space.

Additionally, you can attach this smoker on the Chargriller Pro Deluxe, Outlaw, Duo, or Wrangler as a side firebox. Note however, that once you do that, the modification is permanent and can hardly be reversed.

Highlighted Features:

  • Can be attached to Chargriller barrel grills as a firebox.
  • Sliding drawers.
  • Stay Cool hood handle.
  • Cast iron grills available. 
  • Adjustable dampers.

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

Dyna-Glo Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-D Heavy-Duty Vertical Offset...
  • Features five chrome-plated cooking grates and a total cooking space of 1382 square inches
  • Heavy-Gauge Steel Body Construction. The temperature gauge features a smoke zone which indicates the ideal...
  • Cool-touch spring lid grip provides safer access to food

Maybe you need a machine that you can switch from a smoker to a grill whenever you want. If that’s so, the Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-D by Dyna-Glo will do.

It has a smoking part and a grilling part. That empowers you to diversify your cooking options.

And, if you’re looking to attend to a crowd, this smoker will work just fine for you. With a cooking area of more than 1380, you can smoke lots of chunks of meat and serve an army.

The cooking grates are chrome-plated, and thus they are able to retain the heat for a long time and distribute it evenly on your food.

Furthermore, with a heavy-gauge steel make, this offset smoker is able to retain the heat more effectively, minimizing the amount of fuel needed and thus enabling you to save on fuel expenses.

It’s a robust offset smoker that offers easy heat and smoke control for those looking to enjoy smoking with a vertical smoker.

Have a big family or have many friends or relatives come over from time to time? With this smoker’s 1382 total smoking space, you’ll be able to smoke lots of meat at once for them.

The charcoal grate and ash pan are removable, thus providing you with fast access to the fuel, and making ash disposal effortless.

Moreover, this Heavy-Duty Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker makes it possible for you to diversify your options. You can either use it for grilling or smoking food.

Besides that, the Signature Series DGSS1382VCS-D comes with a removable ash pan and charcoal grate. That not only allows you to add the fuel easily but also enables you to dispose of the ash easily and quickly.

Highlighted Features:

  • 1382 cooking area.
  • Heavy-duty steel body.
  • 284 grilling space.
  • Removable fuel grate and ash pan.
  • Chrome-plated cooking grates.
  • Removable charcoal grate and ashtray.

7. Classic Pit Barrel Cooker Package

18-1/2 in. Classic Pit Barrel Cooker Package
  • Includes 8 stainless steel hooks to hook-n-hang your meal and a standard grate for grilling and searing
  • Included coal basket is sized for the ideal amount of charcoal for the perfect cook
  • Unique design makes the PBC simple to operate, producing consistently impressive results with minimal hassle...

How about a smoker that lets you hang your meat? That’s exactly what the Classic Pit Barrel Cooker Package offers you.

It comes with 8 hooks, made of stainless steel, where you can hang your meat as it cooks. Apart from that, it has a standard grate, where you can grill and sear your food.

In the firebox, there’s a charcoal basket, perfectly sized for a moderate cook.

And oh, maybe you’re wondering why it’s called a package. Well, that’s because it offers you all you need to get started with smoking. That includes hanging rods and hooks, grates, hook remover tools, a steel drum (porcelain-coated) and a charcoal tray.

If you’re looking for a special vertical smoking experience, the Classic Pit Barrel Cooker Package is ideal for you.

It’s made in such a way that the cooking session is shorter without requiring you to regulate the smoke and heat levels very closely.

And tell you what? This drum smoker has received much acclaim from some of the biggest names in barbecue. For instance, Steven Raichlen, a renowned TV host and writer, showed admiration for this smoker by adding it to his Barbecue University’s smokers and grills collection.

Many review sites have given it very high ratings and awards because of its ease of use, exceptional performance, and great value. With the Pit Barrel Cooker, your meats will be juicy and have that natural smoke flavor you’ve always wanted.

Highlighted Features:

  • Barrel stand.
  • Hanging rods system.
  • Porcelain-coated steel cooking chamber.
  • Great vertical smoking experience.
  • Fast cooking.

8. Oklahoma Joe's Highland Reverse Flow Smoker

Oklahoma Joe's Highland Reverse Flow Smoker
  • 900 total Square inch cooking surface- 619 Square inches in main chamber, 281 Square inches in firebox chamber
  • Reverse-flow smoker employs a Series of 4 baffles to guide heat and smoke through the main chamber delivering an...
  • Removable baffles and optional smokestack locations for a customizable setup

Nothing beats a reverse flow offset smoker when it comes to smoking food. The reverse flow mechanism is all about guiding the smoke and heat through a duct system to the main chamber, so the food benefits optimally from them.

The Oklahoma Joe's Highland is the best reverse flow offset smoker, with four baffles for guiding the smoke and heat to the smoker box. This mechanism helps you achieve delicious, even results speedily.

Even better, you can remove the baffles and customize them in whatever manner you like.

With a cooking surface of 900, you can smoke food enough to feed a huge family.

The firebox contains a big charcoal basket made stainless steel and an easy door. This makes adding fuel, emptying ash, and easy cleanup processes.

The smoker features a heavy-duty steel construction and the cooking grates are porcelain coated. This not only means efficient heat retention but also longevity. With the smoker’s multiple dampers, smoke and heat control becomes effortless.

The Oklahoma Joe's Highland reverse flow offset smoker comes with huge 10-inch wheels. That means mobility is never a problem.

Highlighted Features:

  • Cool-touch handles.
  • Made of steel.
  • 10-inch wheels.
  • Reverse-flow mechanism.
  • Porcelain-coated cooking grates.

9. Char-Broil Oklahoma Joe's Bandera Smoker and Grill

Oklahoma Joe's Bandera Smoker and Grill
  • 254 sq. In; Primary cooking surface in grill chamber
  • 738 sq; In; Primary cooking surface in smoker chamber
  • 992 sq; In; Total cooking surface

The Char-Broil Oklahoma Joe's Bandera is another great option for those who look to feed an army from time to time. With a total cooking area of almost 1000 sq. inches, you can smoke plenty of meat at once.

The ashtrays cover the grill’s entire bottom, making ash removal even easier.

The smoker comes with robust wheels. These allow you to move and place the unit with ease.

With the smoker’s adjustable side vents, temperature control also becomes very efficient.

Highlighted Features:

  • Large capacity  (992
  • The cast-iron grates are porcelain coated.
  • Locking caster wheels for easy movement.
  • 4 adjustable cooking grates.
  • Rib rack set and two meat hanging hooks.
  • Adjustable side vents.

10. Landmann 560202 Vista Barbecue Grill with Offset Smoker Box, Black

Landmann Vista Barbecue Grill
  • 52.1 in. L X 25.5 in. W X 47.5 in. H (44.1 lbs)
  • Primary cooking size: 374 sq. in
  • Secondary cooking size: 201.9 sq. in.

Got a small patio or compact cooking space? Then you need a compact offset smoker like the Landmann 560202 Vista.

This smoker’s foldable side shelf and huge wheels make it very easy to move about or take with you wherever you go. Looking for a model suitable for camping or picnics? Get this one.

It comes with a 363 cooking space made of porcelain-coated cast-iron grates. And when you need to do a larger cookout, the firebox has a cooking grate that gives you 169 worth of extra grilling space.

The charcoal tray has a crank handle that lets you adjust it to multiple positions. And, with a big front panel, you can easily access the coals for filling, ignition, extinguishing, etc. The ash accumulates on a huge tray that occupies the entire bottom. This tray is removable, making clean-up quick and easy.

In addition to that, the Landmann 560202 Vista’s chimney has a damper that you can adjust and control the heat levels effortlessly.

Highlighted Features:

  • Huge, removable ashtray.
  • Adjustable damper for heat control.
  • Foldable side shelf.
  • Huge wheels.

11. Oklahoma Joe's LP Gas/Charcoal Smoker Combo

Oklahoma Joe's Charcoal/LP Gas/Smoker Combo
  • 1,060 total square inch cooking surface
  • 750 square inch primary cooking surface in main chamber over porcelain-coated cast iron grates. Number of grates: 6
  • 310 square inch cooking surface in firebox chamber

Maybe you want a smoker that offers you total versatility. In that case, I’d suggest the Oklahoma Joe's LP Gas/Charcoal Smoker Combo. With this smoker, you can use either charcoal or gas. That means you get to enjoy smoke-cooked food even if you live in an apartment (unless they have banned the use of propane).

With a total smoking area of 1060, this BBQ smoker and grill is a great option for those looking to serve a crowd.

750 of that is in the main cooking chamber, while the other 310 is in a chamber in the firebox.

The smoker features porcelain-coated grates made of cast iron. That means there’s uniform distribution of heat plus excellent retention of that heat.

The gas grilling chamber has a capacity of 36000 BTU. That means high efficiency even when you choose to smoke using gas.

The Oklahoma Joe's LP Gas/Charcoal Smoker Combo features a heavy-duty steel construction that not only makes it durable but also makes heat distribution and retention even better.

Highlighted Features:

  • Convenient access to the fire.
  • Multiple dampers for heat control.
  • Uses gas or charcoal.
  • 1060 cooking space.
  • A charcoal chimney starter.

12. Outsunny Backyard Charcoal BBQ Grill & Offset Smoker Combo With Wheels

No products found.

A grill and offset combo offers you flexibility in that you can easily switch between smoking and grilling food.

One of the pros of this smoker is that it is a two in one, in that you have the option of using it as a griller or a smoker.

To experience the ultimate backyard experience, you need a smoker that gives you options. The Outsunny Charcoal Grill & Offset Smoker Combo comes with 2 different openings – one for the smoker part and the other for the griller part.

There are two separate wooden shelves on this smoker, providing you with ample work space. One is on the side while the other one is in front. Apart from that, there is a metallic grate on the lower side, thus maximizing shelf space.

If you have a sense of adventure, you need a BBQ smoker and grill that is lightweight, like this one, so you can move it around easily. It even has wheels for better mobility.

Highlighted Features:

  • Vent on side of smoker for improved air flow.
  • Wheels.
  • 2 wooden shelves.
  • Wooden handles.
  • Lightweight design.

What Exactly is an Offset Smoker?

Maybe you’re wondering what an offset smoker is exactly. It’s a popular classic smoker design where meat smokes in a stretched chamber with charcoal burning in a firebox connected to the smoker box on one of the sides.

It normally features a few shelves in the smoker box. These shelves enable you to handle many meat pieces at the same time.

How Does it Work?

Remember, offset smokers have a long cylindrical chamber where the smoking takes place while a side attachment, called a firebox, houses the charcoal.

To smoke the meat, all you have to do is light up a small fire in the firebox. Airflow in the firebox is rigidly controlled, and so the smoke plus the heat from the fire are conveyed to the smoking chamber via an opening or a connecting pipe.

The smoke and heat cook and add flavor to the meat and then escape through a small outlet located on the other side of the smoking chamber.

This is the design that comes to the mind of meat smokers when they think of BBQ smokers. Even huge commercial units utilize the same central design of a large smoking chamber with a smaller firebox attached to the side.

Things to Consider When Looking for the Best Offset Smoker for You

There are lots of things you have got to look out for to ensure that you choose the best offset smoker particularly with regard to performance. Let’s go through the most important ones.


I recommend you spend as much as your budget allows. Why? There’s a wide variation between inexpensive offset smokers and those that are more expensive. You’re looking for the best quality, right? If you want a smoker that will last a lifetime rather than just a few months, go for the most expensive model you can afford. That being said, you don't have to spend a fortune. There’s an assortment of affordable smokers that have excellent features and with this review, you’ll definitely get yourself a great offset smoker affordably.

What You Will Be Smoking

After setting your budget, it’s time to think about the meat you will be smoking in terms of type and quantity. If you will be catering for a crowd, that means you will need to smoke more meat, translating to the need for a bigger smoker.

What you need to consider here is the capacity of the cooking area. Some smokers allow you to cook your food in the main cooking chamber as well as the firebox.

If you love searing steaks and sausages, you might want to get a model that lets you grill.


The benefit with vertical offset smokers is that they don’t consume too much storage space. But, even the best horizontal offset smokers are quite bulky, and you’ll possibly have to store them in the same place you cook.

Find a cool, dry place that is protected from direct sunlight or rain. Ensure it’s a place where the smoke from the smoker will not drift into your house.

Important Features

Here comes the fun stuff. What internal rack layout do you have in mind? Do you prefer ÂĽ-inch steel?

If you’re looking for a smoker that facilitates uniform cooking, I suggest you go for a reverse flow model.

Looking to move the smoker from time to time? Then you will need a model with wheels and handles. Another important feature to look out for is warranty.

With that said, you can proceed to the next section. I have reviewed only the best offset smoker models based on my experience and also what other BBQ lovers say. With this review, I am sure you will find the right offset smoker for your needs.

The History of the Offset Smoker

Before we dive into the history of the offset smoker, it’s important to know a thing or two about the history of smoking meat.

It’s believed that the first guys to smoke meat were the primitive cavemen. It’s thought that these early men hang meat so it could dry without infestation by pests. By accident, they discovered that meat that was hung in smoky places gained a better flavor and stayed longer without going bad than meat that was dried in non-smoky areas.

The smoking strategy was thereafter combined with curing meat in salty brines prior to smoking, creating a preservation method that was even more effective.

Before the modern era, the main purpose of smoking was to preserve meat rather than to add flavor. But at the dawn of the modern era and with the invention of better transportation systems, the purpose of smoking started shifting to adding flavor.

In the 1930s, a machine known as the Torry Kiln was created in Scotland. It facilitated even smoking of large quantities of meat and is seen as the prototype for the offset smoker and other modern smokers.

With technology advancement and technique refinement, the offset smoker was introduced, making smoking a lot easier. Nonetheless, the basic steps of smoking have remained the same as they were in the ancient world.

It’s supposed that the first offset smoker was designed by oilfield workers in Oklahoma and Texas.

Away from home and with no restaurants nearby, the BBQ-starved workers looked at the oil pipes and steel drums and sae smokers and grills. The design was based on old-style brick BBQ pits where a fire was lit in one chamber and the heat and smoker crossed to the food in a separate chamber.

In the 1980s, oil prices dropped tremendously. Mr. Whitworth, who runs an oil-dependent metal fabricating business in Texas, began making BBQ pits to keep his workers engaged in the oil recession. He named his smoker venture “Pitt’s & Spitt’s”, and it has since been among the most reputed brands in the offset smoker industry.

Advantages of Using an Offset Smoker

An offset smoker is an equipment that produces the smokiest, richest meat. Here’s why you ought to get one:

  • You can install a grill grate on top of the firebox and use the unit for direct grilling. And, most models come with a custom grill grate.
  • It has a huge cooking chamber that enables you to smoke big chunks of meat.
  • It doesn’t need electricity so there are no electricity bills to pay and there are no moving parts so you will hardly ever have to replace anything.
  • The best offset smoker brands provide you with a broad range of accessories and customization options.
  • It has a high cool factor, particularly if it’s a big black steel offset smoker.
  • There are several fuel options and they’re all cheap. These include wood chips, wood pellets, logs, wood chunks, and charcoal.
  • You can add the fuel without having to open the cooking chamber. This way, you avoid disrupting the heat and smoke levels.
  • With proper maintenance, the smoker will last a lifetime.

Types of Offset Smokers

There are 2 main types of offset smokers. Let’s go over them quickly:

Traditional offset smokers

Reverse flow offset smokers

The Difference Between a Traditional and a Reverse Flow Offset Smoker

Apart from that categorization, we can also divide offset smokers into 2 categories based on quality:

  • Cheap Offset Smokers (COSes)
  • Expensive Offset Smoker (EOSes)

The price tag of EOSes normally ranges above 800 dollars and as you might guess, these smokers are far better than COSes.

COSes, on the other hand, range below 400 dollars most of the time but you’ll find that the low price is because some important features have been compromised.

Let’s remind ourselves of a few things from our physics classes: smoke and heat are less dense than air, and so they will naturally want to go upwards rather than sideways. So, as the smoke and heat exit the firebox, they try as much as possible to go up, making the side of the cooking chamber that’s closest to the firebox much hotter than the other parts.

For that reason, if you placed 5 ribs in there, some will smoke faster and better than others. You can try moving them about, but that can be quite tiring and ineffective with a COS.

The problem with COSes is that they lack features to distribute smoke and heat evenly. Then again, their fireboxes usually leak, so some smoke and heat will escape before it ever reaches the meat. With this issue, you also can’t control the fire very efficiently.

This issue is that COSes are usually built from thin metals, making heat retention quite difficult especially in cold weather. These smokers are also vulnerable to fast rusting.

EOSes, on the other hand, are manufactured from thick metals that absorb and distribute heat much more uniformly. Their dampers and doors are so tight that temperature regulation becomes effortless.

In fact, some EOSes come with a duct system to ensure efficient conveyance of smoke and heat through the entire length of the cooking chamber. The duct system normally travels beneath a thick metal plate so the chamber warms from below.

Moreover, the chimney is positioned on the side where the firebox is located so it can pull the heat and smoke across the top of the meat.

My recommendation? Go for an EOS if your budget allows it. It will serve you much better, and for longer.

What are the Best Offset Smoker Brands on the Market?


Oklahoma Joe’s



How to Use and Cook on an Offset Smoker

That offset smoker might look intimidating but it’s actually really easy to use when you know how to regulate the temperature.

Start the smoker by lighting some briquettes and tossing them in the firebox. Place your meat in the cooking chamber and be sure to stick to low temperatures as the meat smokes.

Regulate the vents and put some more coals in the firebox to sustain the fire. You can add some flavoured wood to enhance your meat’s flavor.

Smoking meat (or any other food) with an offset smoker is easy. I have broken the process down into 3 easy steps and I believe you’ll understand them effortlessly.

Below is a video that should enable you to use an offset smoker in under 5 minutes:

Step 1: Starting The Offset

Smoking with a new offset smoker? Consider wiping it clean with some soap and water and a piece of cloth. Then, rinse it to remove any remaining grease or dust. As soon as the smoker is dry, sprinkle some cooking oil over the cooking chamber on the interior.

Open the vents and light the wood chips or charcoal in the firebox. Let the fire burn for around half an hour before you start smoking your meat.

There’s something you’ve got to know about that built-in thermometer you see at the offset’s lid. It measures the heat level at that zone only rather than the exact place where the meat is smoking. That’s why you can’t rely on it.

Here’s what you can do: get 2 digital air probes and insert them at both ends of the chamber. These probes will provide you with the most reliable readings as they measure the temperature inside the cooking chamber. Want to be able to move them about? Get some with wires attached.

On the firebox’s side, there’s an air intake vent. Open it to provide the fire with some air so it can keep burning. Also, open the chimney vent so smoke can get an escape route.


in the smoking industry, we also call vents baffles or dampers.

Put some charcoal in a chimney starter and ignite them. Let the charcoal heat up till it starts glowing and ashes over. The process should take just about 10 to 20 minutes.

Now, transfer the burning charcoal to the firebox and spread them a little. And, if you’re looking to boost the flavor, include a log of hardwood like mesquite or apple.

Close the firebox’s and cooking chamber’s lid.

Pro tip:

Don’t make a fire out of wood entirely, as it will be difficult to maintain or control over a lengthy period of time.

Don’t forget to monitor the heat level in the cooking chamber. I suggest smoking your meat between 230 and 280 °F.

Arrange the meat or any other food you’re planning to smoke on the cooking chamber’s racks. I recommend putting refrigerated meat in there without warming it first, as cold meat absorbs the smoke more than warmer meat.

Close the chamber’s lid.

Need to maintain the fire or enhance it? Put some unlit briquettes into the firebox. A grill hoe will help you push the ashy coals to one corner to make room for more fuel.

I suggest checking the firebox twice every hour to make sure the fire is still burning.

Is the cooking chamber’s temperature still dropping after adding new coal? Place a log of wood in the firebox. Also, ensure the air inlet vent is open so the fire can get enough oxygen. A minute or two are enough to bring the temperatures up.

On the other hand, if the temperatures are too high and you need to decrease them, just close the vents. And if they’re not reducing as you’d want them to reduce, open the cooking chamber’s lid for about one minute. This tactic drops the temperatures very swiftly.

Don’t forget to shut the vents once the cooking chamber attains the heat level you want.

Step 2: Adding The Meat

Arrange the meat or any other food you’re planning to smoke on the cooking chamber’s racks. I recommend putting refrigerated meat in there without warming it first, as cold meat absorbs the smoke more than warmer meat.

Close the chamber’s lid.

Need to maintain the fire or enhance it? Put some unlit briquettes into the firebox. A grill hoe will help you push the ashy coals to one corner to make room for more fuel.

I suggest checking the firebox twice every hour to make sure the fire is still burning.

Is the cooking chamber’s temperature still dropping after adding new coal? Place a log of wood in the firebox. Also, ensure the air inlet vent is open so the fire can get enough oxygen. A minute or two is enough to bring the temperature up.

On the other hand, if the temperatures are too high and you need to decrease them, just close the vents. And if they’re not reducing as you’d want them to reduce, open the cooking chamber’s lid for about one minute. This tactic drops the temperatures very swiftly.

Don’t forget to shut the vents once the cooking chamber attains the heat level you want.

Step 3: Smoking the meat

Place a big log of wood or two into the firebox once per hour.

The idea here is to smolder the log rather than to burn it up with an open flame. So, set the log next to the fire. Also, consider using a log of wood rather than wood chips, as these burn off rapidly.

Looking to attain the finest flavor? Go for hardwood, nutwood or fruitwood.

There’s no need to soak the wood, as the moisture will only cool the coals, and we don’t want that.

It’s important to turn the meat at least once every hour. To do that, just open the cooking chamber’s lid and move the meat. A pair of tongs will be really handy here. The purpose of turning the meat is ensuring even cooking.

If you’re smoking several pieces of meat, all the pieces cook evenly and if it’s just one huge piece of meat, both sides get access to the heat uniformly.

Worried that the meat will dry out due to the long smoking duration? Introduce some moisture in the firebox. Here’s how to do that:

Set up a metal rack over the charcoal. Then, put some water into an aluminum pan and place it on the rack. This strategy is aimed at moistening the smoke before it makes its way to the meat.

Spray the meat with some water, juice or even beer. Wondering how to do that? Put the liquid in a spray bottle and spray it on the meat when the smoking session is almost finished. You can do the spraying every 20 minutes in the last hour of smoking.

How to Clean and Take Care of Your Offset Smoker

Maybe you just spent $800 on a brand new, high-quality offset smoker. It’s only natural that you’ll want to take care of it exceptionally. In this section, I will be showing you exactly how to do that.

Haven’t bought a cover yet? It’s about time you did so, particularly if you’ll be leaving the smoker outside.

After a great cook, you’re likely to be left with several things to deal with. Possibly, there will be a few pieces of meat or wood in the smoker but most certainly there will be grease and fat deposits on the floor of the cooking chamber.

Also, there will be some ash in the firebox.

Maybe you feel worn out after a long smoking session and don’t feel like cleaning the smoker immediately. That is okay; I don’t clean mine immediately either. However, I recommend you don’t let it sit there dirty for too long. Do it the day after.

If you let it stay dirty for days, you’ll without doubt, be reducing its lifespan by increasing the rate of wearing.

The following steps will help you clean and take care of your offset so it serves you excellently and for a long time:

Step 1: Emptying the Firebox

This step will take 5 minutes or so.

Remove the firebox’s grills and allow the remaining woods and the ash to fall to the firebox’s base. With a brush, sweep the ash into the ashtray.

Do you see some big pieces of wood or charcoal? Take them out first as they can get jammed in the ashtray.

Open the ashtray. Transfer its contents to the garbage bin or sprinkle them in your flower garden. They make a great fertilizer for plants. Wipe the tray clean and slide it back into the firebox. You can use a moist piece of cloth for the first wipe and use a clean, dry piece of cloth for the last wipe.

Noteworthy tip:

Some charcoal/wood varieties produce more ash than others. If the ash is too much, try scooping some out first then remove the tray to avoid spillage.

Step 2: Wiping Out The Cooking Chamber

This step will also only take about 5 minutes.

To clean the cooking chamber, you will need access to its floor. To gain that, just remove the heat deflection plates and the grills.

Why focus on the cooking chamber’s bottom more? Now, after a smoking session, the bottom portion of the chamber is normally left with a deposit of solidified cooking fat.

What you want to do is wipe out that fat with a paper towel. I strongly discourage using an abrasive, as it might ruin the chamber’s protective coating.


If you don’t remove that fat, it will overflow when you use the smoker again.

Step 3: Cleaning The Heat Deflection Plates

This step needs only 2 or 3 minutes.

A paper towel will help you wipe out the fat deposits from heat deflection plates. Are there some stubborn deposits? Use a spatula to carefully scrape them out then wipe down with a clean towel.

Step 4: Dealing with the Cooking Chamber Grills

If you’re using a high-quality smoker, the grills will most likely be food grade and made of stainless steel. That makes them very easy to clean.

If you have a large sink, consider smoking the grills in hot water. Alternatively, you can spray them with a barbecue degreaser and let them sit for about 7 minutes before scrapping with a brush.

After scrapping, wipe them down with a clean towel, and if they’re moist, allow them a few minutes to dry before placing them back into the cooking chamber.

Minus the drying part, this step takes only about 10 minutes.

As you can see, cleaning your smoker doesn’t take too much time. 25 minutes should be more than enough.

How to Set Up and Modify an Offset Smoker

So, you have just purchased a new offset smoker but have no idea how to set it up so you can get started with meat smoking? This section is for you. We shall first go over the setup process, then look at the modification process.

Setting Up

Here, we'll take a look at the steps involved in setup along with some important tips.

Light the fire

Preheat The Smoker

Test The Heat Levels

Close The Lids

Turn The Meat

Regulate The Vents

Don’t Let It Get Too Smoky

Be Wary Of The Weather

Get A Chair 

Add Some Moisture

Season It

Various Modifications You Can Make to an Offset Smoker

Looking to turn your new device into a serious smoker producing the very best results? This section will help you make various modifications to optimize your smoker for the job. Smokeheads call these modifications mods.

Add a convection plate, a duct, or a deflector.

The part of the cooking chamber that is nearest to the firebox is normally hotter than the other sides. That’s because as the heat travels from the firebox to the cooking chamber, it scatters a lot and loses intensity.

But, the heat won’t scatter as much if the cooking chamber is made of a thick metal.

Unfortunately, most offsets’ cooking chambers are thin, especially the cheap ones.

To deal with the problem, here’s what you can do:

  • Fix a metal flap between the opening of the firebox and that of the cooking chamber at an angle.
  • This way, you will be deflecting the smoke and heat downward and in so doing prevent them from scattering and losing intensity.
  • If you have trouble doing this, have a metal works guy do it for you.
  • Maybe the temperature difference between the side of the cooking chamber that’s nearest to the firebox and the opposite side was 50 °F initially. The deflector can reduce that to around 10 °F.
  • Maybe you cannot afford a commercial convection plate and your wife won’t let you improvise with her cookie sheets (they also work pretty well). Just wrap the cooking rack nearer to the firebox with a foil and poke slits in the foil.
  • Some people say it works very well for them and evens out the temperatures efficiently.
  • Maybe the two previous modifications don’t work for you. Here’s the ultimate solution. Have a metal works guy fabricate a duct for you. This modification, called a reverse flow, is very effective at radiating the heat to the side opposite the firebox.
  • As a matter of fact, the duct system is applied in the large commercial offsets to distribute heat evenly in the cooking chamber. As the meat cooks, the duct heats up the cooking chamber from below.

Here are other important offset smoker mods:

Lower The Chimney

Get A New Chimney

Get a water pan

Boost The capacity

Charcoal Tub

Mud Pan

Seal The Leaks


A Drain

A Chimney Cap

Add A Computerized Thermostat

A Can Of Cooking Spray

Safety Concerns of Offset Smokers

Just like most of the gadgets or machines that we use in our daily lives, offset smokers are pretty helpful but they also pose certain risks to us and the environment around us.

On one hand, an offset smoker provides you with tasty smoked food but on the other, it presents certain dangers.

This section will discuss these dangers and showing you the best way of protecting yourself against them.

Food Safety

Fire Safety

The Charcoal

Offset Smoker VS Electric Smoker VS Vertical Smoker - An Ongoing Battle

Maybe you’ve been wondering what the differences are between these three types of smokers. In this section, I will unravel the mystery and help you realize which one best suits you.

Electric Smokers

Vertical or Cylinder Smoker

Offset Firebox Smoker






3 Mouthwatering Smoked Food Recipes

Barbecuing is an incredibly tasty means of enjoying many food varieties, and for most of us, smoked meat takes a huge part of it.

This section introduces recipes with the aim of highlighting how simple it is to enjoy smoked food. Once your family and friends have a taste of what you will prepare with these recipes, they will be lining up with their plates, waiting to have more.

When shopping for ingredients, don’t forget to get some marinades for seasoning your meat. They’re crucial to creating these smoked wonders.

Joe’s Tasty Barbecue Ribs Recipe:

These will take a while to prepare but once it’s all over, you’ll know it was worth the wait. As you eat them, go easy on your fingers or else you’ll lick your skin off. Mmm! I like smoking with hickory wood but of course, you can use your favorite.


  • Paprika (2 tsp)
  • Cayenne pepper (1 tsp)
  • Garlic powder (1 tsp)
  • Onion powder (1 tsp)
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • Ground cumin (2 tsp)
  • Brown sugar (1.5 TBS)
  • Ground cinnamon (1/4 tsp)
  • Ground cloves (1/8 tsp)
  • Ground nutmeg (1/8 tsp)
  • Pork spareribs (5 pounds)
  • Hickory wood chips                  (2 pounds, soaked)

Prep time – 15 minutes

Cook time – 8 hours


  • Blend all the ingredients in a medium bowl (except the pork and the wood chips, of course).
  • Apply the blend to the pork ribs generously.
  • Put the ribs into a large roasting skillet, cover it, and leave it in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Remove the ribs from the refrigerator an hour before you smoke them.
  • Prepare your offset smoker, and bring the heat to around 220 °F.
  • Smoke the ribs for around 8 hours. Don’t forget to add the wood chips from time to time (maybe every 30 minutes) to keep a steady smoke. When you notice the ribs have become crispy on the outside and a tender interior, then you know they’re done cooking.
  • Remove the ribs from the smoker and let them cool down for at least 10 minutes before serving.

As you plan when to barbecue these pork ribs. Let’s move on to the next tasty smoked food recipe.

Fennel-Smoked Salmon Recipe:

This is for those who love seafood. Maybe you’re trying to enjoy smoked salmon but it keeps sticking to the grill grates. In that case, try fennel-smoked salmon. With this method, the salmon doesn’t have to touch the grill.


  • 1 bulb fennel
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • A juiced lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of fennel fronds and threads
  • 2 seven-ounce salmon fillets (trimmed and sliced very thinly)
  • 1 cup of quartered cherry tomatoes
  • A pinch of white sugar
  • 2 cups of wood chips

Prep time – 15 minutes

Cook time – 30 minutes


  • Transfer the wood chips to a bowl and cover them with some water. Let them soak for around one hour.
  • Preheat your outdoor grill moderately and oil the grates lightly.
  • Sprinkle the wood chips over the charcoal in the grill and close the door. Leave the chimney open but when the smoke starts escaping, close them.
  • Place the fennel slices on the grate.
  • Season the salmon fillets with pepper and salt and place them on the fennel slices.
  • With the vents shut, let the salmon cook till it goes tender and starts flaking. This should take 30 minutes at most.
  • Remove the salmon from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes.
  • Mix up the olive oil, lemon juice, tomatoes, and fennel fronds in a bowl and add a little salt and pepper. Sprinkle the mixture over the smoked salmon and enjoy.

Spicy Chicken Wings Recipe:

This is without a doubt my family’s favorite dish.


  • 3 cups of hickory wood chips
  • 3 pounds of chicken wings (divided)
  • 4 tablespoons of Cajun seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of minced garlic
  • 16 ounces of hot sauce (I recommend Frank's Red Hot)
  • 4 cups of vegetable oil

Prep time – 15 minutes

Cook time – 2 hrs 15 min


  • Preheat the smoker to around 200 °F.
  • Add one cup of the wood chips to get the smoke rolling.
  • Coat the chicken wings with some of the Cajun seasoning generously.
  • Position the wings on the grates and add more wood to keep the smoke going. Let them smoke for about 2 hours.
  • Blend the garlic, butter, and some Cajun seasoning in a saucepan and place the pan over medium to low heat. Let them cook for a minute or until the butter melts. Add some hot sauce to the blend and let it simmer for around half an hour or until the sauce thickens.
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan, at around 370 °F.
  • Preheat the grill to 370 °F.
  • Cook the chicken wings, ten at a time, in a deep fryer till the wings get lightly browned. This should take around 5 minutes. Remove them from the oil and let the excess oil drain.
  • Transfer the wings to a baking sheet and coat them with the hot sauce blend.
  • Place the wings on the grill and cook them till the sauce caramelizes and the wings become a little crispy. 5 minutes should be enough.

Frequently Asked Questions About Offset Smokers

1. How Does An Offset Smoker Work?

2. How Can I Use A Smokerbox With A Charcoal Or Gas Or Electric Grill?

3. How Do I Use A Charcoal Smoker Correctly?

4. How Do I Use Wood Chips In A Charcoal Grill?

5. Which Is Better – Lump Charcoal Or Briquettes?

6. How Long Should I Smoke Ribs At 225 °F?

Final Review of the Best Offset Smoker

Smoked food is a common delicacy in many cultures. The main benefit here is that the food is cooked on low heat, and thus it’s able to retain most of the nutrients. For that reason, smoked food is the best health-wise.

Apart from that, the smoke adds flavor to the food. Do you have a poor feeder in the family? Try giving them some smoked pork ribs. The additional flavor might just prove helpful.

Most types of meat are ideal candidates for smoking. That includes pork, beef, lamb, turkey, and chicken. Seafood, including salmon, can also be smoked.

Remember, the offset smoker is the best kind of smoker for smoking meat, because it produces the finest results. Go through the review section to find the best offset smokers on Amazon. Don’t forget to look over the buying guide to know what to consider when shopping for an offset smoker that fits your needs.

I bet you have a friend or family member who loves barbecue (we all do). Why not share this post with them and help them find the best gadget for smoking meat? Feel free to leave your comments.

Last update on 2021-09-25 at 23:45 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


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