Home Reviews The 8 Best Offset Smokers for 2019

The 8 Best Offset Smokers for 2019

by Burning Brisket
Best Offset Smokers 2018

Dreaming of mouth-watering, competition-worthy, low-and-slow meats? Offset smokers, also known as barrel smokers or horizontal offset smokers are often thought of as the traditional smoker for their simple, yet effective design. With one of these bad boys you’ll be able to impress your family, friends, and, even yourself. Powered by charcoal and/or wood, they’re ideal for anyone who wants to master the conventional way of smoking, and, cook a large quantity of deliciously smoked meat in the process. Sound like you? Here you’ll find reviews of the best offset smokers 2019 has to offer. We’ve also included specs for the top offset smokers plus a rundown of their pros and cons so you can find the perfect traditional offset smoker for your needs.

Things to Consider When Buying an Offset Smoker

Before we get started, it’s important to have a think about what your needs are. Ask yourself about these things:

1. Your Investment

Like everything, there’s a huge difference between cheap offset smokers and quality offset smokers. Generally speaking, spending more now means investing in a product that could last a lifetime instead of a couple of seasons. However, in saying that, having smoked meat is better than not so don’t be put off by thinking that you need to spend a fortune on one of the very best offset smokers. Aim to find a model that’s a good balance between meeting your needs and your budget. We’ve included lots of affordable offset smokers in our reviews.

2. What Will You Be Cooking?

After you’ve determined your budget, consider how much and what types of meat you want to cook. Do you need the space to be able to cater for a crowd? Will you be cooking low and slow meats most of the time? If so, an offset barbecue is for you. But you might want to consider models that allow you to grill on it as well if you’d like to sear a steak or sausages every now and then.

3.  Storage

Most offset smokers do take up a significant amount of room. Where are you planning on using your new smoker? Because traditional horizontal offset smokers are heavy, you’ll most probably be storing it where you cook. So, how much room you’ve got available might limit the size of the cooker you can buy. If the horizontal style doesn’t suit your area, consider a vertical offset smoker instead. But, you’ll need to find somewhere that’s protected from the weather and where the smoke won’t be wafting into your house.

4. Features

Once you’ve decided on what you need in terms of cooking and storage, it’s time to look at the fun stuff. Is ¼ inch steel a must? Would you prefer a reverse flow smoker that provides more even cooking? Would you use a second barrel for vertical cooking? Will large handles and/or wheels be helpful so you can move it easily? And, what sort of warranty would you like?

If you don’t have all of the answers to those questions, don’t worry. Read on and we’ll guide you through the best offset smokers.

Want to learn more about how an offset smoker works and who they’re best for? Check out our complete guide to buying an offset smoker.

Best Traditional Offset Smoker:

Char Broil Oklahoma Joe Highland Offset Smoker

In our opinion, Char Broil offset smokers are the Webers of the smoking world. With a great mix of quality, features and price, their Oklahoma Joe’s range of offset smokers are unbeatable when it comes to backyard or even semi-professional smoking. So, it’s only natural that our top traditional offset smoker would be their all-rounder, the Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Offset Smoker.

Crafted from high-temperature steel, this unit gives you a generous 619 square inches of cooking racks in the main chamber. And, while that’s more than enough for a whole brisket and a pork butt, it’s not so much that it’s hard to heat.

Controlling the temperature is easy with multiple, quality dampers which are easy to adjust and the steel is thick enough to hold heat well in most weather conditions.

The Char Broil Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Smoker has all the standard features you need to make barbecuing easy. A removable shelf to keep your utensils handy, cool-touch handles, a built-in thermometer and a heavy-duty cart with wheels making it possible to move it around on your own.

In the firebox you’ll also find an additional 281 square inches of space to grill over the coals. But, if size is your priority, simply go for the Highland’s big brother, the Char Broil Oklahoma Joe Longhorn Offset Smoker  with a total of 1,060 square inches of cooking space instead of 900.

The Highland is sometimes criticized for leaking a bit of smoke. But, in our experience, the leakage is minimal and doesn’t need to be addressed. However, a few simple and inexpensive mods will sort that!

But, if you’re looking for a quality, traditional offset smoker inspired from the Texas Oil Fields, the Oklahoma Joe’s Highland is all you truly need to make incredible, perfectly smoked meats in your own backyard.

Stats for the Oklahoma Joe Highland Offset Smoker

Barbecue material: Painted 2.5mm steel

Grate material: Porcelain-coated wire

Fuel type: Charcoal or wood

Primary cooking capacity: 619 sq in

Secondary cooking capacity: 281 sq in

Total cooking capacity: 900 sq in

Model: 15202031-63

Assembly required: Yes

Assembled size (in): 57″(W) x 33.5″(D) x 53″(H)

Weight: 178lbs

Warranty: 2 years

Pros of the Oklahoma Joe Highland Smoker:

  • Good cooking capacity without having to heat excess space
  • Multiple dampers for easy heat control
  • Built from painted, heavy-duty steel to minimize chance of warping and rusting
  • Easy to clean porcelain-coated cooking grates that are also durable and rust-resistant
  • Integrated storage space
  • Strong cart with wheels for one-person moving
  • Cool-touch handles
  • Built-in thermometer
  • Additional bung for you to easily add another thermometer if you want to
  • Easy to clean firebox design

Cons of the Oklahoma Joe Highland Smoker:

  • Susceptible to some smoke leakage which can be addressed with a few simple modifications

Best Budget Offset Smoker:

Char-Griller Smokin Pro Offset Barbecue

If you’re looking for a top offset smoker but you’re on a budget, this is one for you! The Char-Griller Smoking Pro has all the basic features you need to make deliciously smoked meats at home without the hefty price tag. It’s perfect as a beginner offset smoker but is also great for anyone who wants ribs and brisket without having to spend on a professional smoker.

Although it’s not THE cheapest offset smoker on the market, we rate it as the BEST cheap offset smoker because it’s great value for money.

In this price range, you’ll notice the handles change from cool touch wire to wood which can get hot. It also has cast iron cooking grates instead of ceramic coated wire. Now, there’s nothing wrong with cooking on cast iron (we’re total fans), but you will need to keep the grates dry and well-seasoned to stop rust from developing. Good news though, if you do forget to wash the barbecue and they do go rusty, simply give them a good scrub with steel wool, re-season and they’ll be good to go.

While you shouldn’t expect the same study and durable construction as more expensive and quality barbecues, the Char-Griller 1224 is a little smaller, lighter and easier to move than larger barrel smokers.

However, it does come with 2 storage racks, a built-in thermometer and a removable ash tray to make cleaning simple. You’ll also be able to make use of an additional rack inside the cooking chamber which can be used to keep food warm while using the barbecue as a charcoal grill.

And, to top it off, there’s a 1 year warranty for your peace of mind.

Stats for the Char Griller Smoking Pro

Barbecue material: Heavy gauge steel

Grate material: Cast iron

Fuel type: Charcoal or wood

Primary cooking capacity: 580 sq in

Secondary cooking capacity: 250 sq in

Total cooking capacity: 830 sq in

Model: 1224

Assembly required: Yes

Assembled size (in): 50(H) x 62(W) x 29(D)

Weight: 113lbs

Warranty: 1 year

Pros of the Char-Griller Smoking Pro 1224:

  • Inexpensive
  • Reasonably large cooking capacity
  • Easy to move
  • 2 steel racks for convenient storage
  • Removable ash tray for easy cleaning of the firebox
  • Professional grade thermometer with grill and smoke zones to make cooking easy
  • Adjustable fire grate for greater temperature control
  • Strong cast iron cooking grates

Cons of the Char-Griller Smoking Pro 1224:

  • Won’t last as long as a higher quality offset smoker
  • Thinner metal means greater heat loss while cooking
  • Cast iron cooking grates need regular maintenance to prevent rust
  • More prone to smoke leaks
  • Some reports of paint bubbling and flaking

Best Reverse Flow Offset Smoker:

Char Broil Oklahoma Joe Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker

Char Broil have taken their ever-popular Oklahoma Joe Longhorn smoker and amped it up with some sweet reverse flow technology to create this baby!

But, not only can you control the baffles for a more even temperature throughout, you can also use it as a regular, traditional offset smoker. Simply remove the plates and relocate the smoke stacker to the secondary port and away you go. However, regardless of which way you decide to use this barbecue, adjusting the temperature and smoke levels is easy with multiple dampers and a professional quality thermometer.

The Char Broil Oklahoma Joe Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker offers a huge 7,51 square inches of cooking space in the main chamber. You’ll also find another 309 square inches in the firebox for direct grilling, bringing the total cooking space to a giant 1,060 square inches.

Throw in a large, easy access firebox, 2 storage shelves to make life easy, quality heavy gauge all-steel construction for even heat without warping and 10 inch wheels to move her around and you’ve got yourself one awesome, all-round quality smoker. The Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker offers an unparalleled smoking experience for such great value. It’s definitely one of our favorites in our best offset smokers!
If you like the sound of the Longhorn Reverse but don’t need quite this much space, the Oklahoma Joe Highland Reverse Flow Smoker is about 100 square inches smaller but still has the same quality and technology.

Stats for the Oklahoma Joe Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker

Barbecue material: Painted 2.5mm steel

Grate material: Porcelain-coated wire

Fuel type: Charcoal or wood

Primary cooking capacity: 751 sq in

Secondary cooking capacity: 309 sq in

Total cooking capacity: 1060 sq in

Model: 17202053

Assembly required: Yes

Assembled size (in): 55.5(H) x 64.25(W) x 35.5(D)

Weight: 226lbs

Warranty: 2 years

Pros of the Oklahoma Joe Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker:

  • Reverse flow set-up for increased evenness of smoke and heat distribution
  • Multiple dampers for increased heat control
  • Large cooking capacity
  • Can be set up as either a reverse flow offset smoker or a regular offset smoker
  • Heavy duty steel that’s less susceptible to warping and rusting
  • Durable, rust resistant and easy to clean porcelain-coated grates
  • 2 steel racks for convenient storage
  • Sturdy wheels to make moving easier
  • Cool touch handles
  • Comes with large stainless steel fuel basket for easy fire handling
  • Large door to make cleaning out ash easy
  • Built-in thermometer for easy heat monitoring

Cons of the Oklahoma Joe Longhorn Reverse Flow Smoker:

  • Not completely smoke-tight but this can easily and cheaply be addressed if you wish

Best Multi-Fuel Offset Smoker:

Char Broil Oklahoma Joe Longhorn Combo Smoker

Love having options when it comes to cooking and entertaining? Then look no further than the Oklahoma Joe’s Longhorn Combo Smoker.

Char Broil’s Oklahoma Joe range of smokers have been around since 1998. During this time, they’ve built a reputation as one of the strongest and sturdiest at-home smoker manufacturers. And, the latest edition to their line, the Longhorn Combo Smoker adds yet another impressive element to an already great barbecue. Not only will you get a heavy gauge steel barrel for traditional smoking or to use as a charcoal offset smoker, you’ll also be able to fire up the gas to quickly sear a steak for the ultimate, no-fuss dinner. Or, try reverse searing to take your tri-tip and other meats to the next level.

While the Oklahoma Joe Longhorn Combo Smoker does offer a huge 1,060 square inches of cooking space in total, don’t forget that this is split use. The 750 square inches of primary cooking space equates to about 375 on the smoker side and 375 on the gas grill. This means that although you should be able to smoke a whole brisket and grill enough sausages to feed the family, don’t expect to be able to load up with a pork butt, brisket and some ribs as well.

However, the quality porcelain-coated cast iron racks, multi-temperature gauges, easy to adjust dampers and ready storage space make the Oklahoma Joe Longhorn Combo Smoker and Grill a clear winner for anyone who likes to have it all.

Stats for the Oklahoma Joe Longhorn Combo Smoker

Barbecue material: Painted 2.5mm steel

Grate material: Porcelain-coated cast iron

Fuel type: Charcoal, wood and gas

Primary cooking capacity: 750 sq in

Secondary cooking capacity: 310 sq in

Total cooking capacity: 1,060 sq in

Model: 15202029

Assembly required: Yes

Assembled size (in): 50.6(H) x 74(W) x 31.5(D)

Weight: 205lbs

Warranty: 2 years

Pros of the Oklahoma Joe Longhorn Combo Smoker:

  • Highly versatile barbecue – smoke, gas and charcoal grill
  • Large overall cooking capacity
  • Heavy duty steel that’s less susceptible to warping and rusting
  • Durable, rust-resistant porcelain-coated grates
  • Two thermometers for accurate heat measurement
  • Large firebox making stoking and controlling fire temperature easier
  • Rack for convenient storage
  • Sturdy wheels to make moving easier
  • Cool touch handles
  • Easy to clean firebox
  • Good warranty

Cons of the Oklahoma Joe Longhorn Combo Smoker:

  • Less cooking space if you only want to cook one method at a time

Best Small Offset Smoker:

Dyna-Glo Barrel and Offset Smoker

When space is limited but you still want a traditionally shaped, barrel smoker, the Dyna-Glo Barrel and offset smoker is the go-to compact cooker that’s still capable of producing great meat.

Made from the same heavy-duty steel you’d expect from the other top offset smokers, it’s finished with long-lasting porcelain-coated racks, a removable ash pan and a professional grade temperature gauge. However, it’s smaller size makes it perfect for anyone who doesn’t want to cook such large quantities in one go or someone with a smaller yard or deck. You can even fold down the front working table and easily wheel it around for out of the way storage while you’re not barbecuing.

But, if the idea of limited cooking space is putting you a bit off, the Dyna-Glo barrel smoker does contain an extra grill in the firebox making it perfect to throw some sausages, burgers or vegetables on to grill when the smoking’s almost done. It’s a great all-round barbecue with a very reasonable price tag.

Stats for the Dyna-Glo Barrel and Offset Smoker

Barbecue material: Heavy gauge steel

Grate material: Porcelain-coated wire

Fuel type: Charcoal or wood

Primary cooking capacity: 443 sq in

Secondary cooking capacity: 287 sq in

Total cooking capacity: 730 sq in

Model: DGS730CBO-D

Assembly required: Yes

Assembled size (in): 59.84(H) x 52(W) x 33.86(D)

Weight: 123lbs

Warranty: 1 year

Pros of the Dyna-Glo Barrel and Offset Smoker:

  • Smaller footprint in same shape as traditional offset smokers
  • Lighter than most offset smokers with 2 steel wheels to make moving it easy
  • Heavy duty steel construction that’s less susceptible to warping and rusting
  • Durable, rust resistant and easy to clean porcelain-coated grates
  • 2 steel racks for convenient storage
  • Cool touch handles
  • Removable charcoal grate and ash pan for easy access to and cleaning of the firebox
  • Professional grade thermometer with grill and smoke zones to make cooking easy

Cons of the Dyna-Glo Barrel and Offset Smoker:

  • Smaller cooking capacity

Best Vertical Offset Smoker:

Dyna-Glo Vertical Charcoal Offset Smoker

If you’ve got a limited space but you’d still like to cook a lot of food at once, consider a vertical offset smoker. Although they don’t have quite the same kind of visual appeal as the traditional, barrel shape, they work the same way to infuse your food with that delicious, smoked flavor.

Dyna-Glo make one of the best value vertical offset smokers on the market. Since it’s got a huge 1,176 square inches of cooking space, spread over 6 shelves, you can smoke up to 150 pounds of food to feed the whole family. If you do want to cook a larger piece of meat though, simply remove and adjust the cooking grates to accommodate for its size.

Controlling the temperature is easy too with an adjustable smoke stack flue. Then, make sure it’s in an ideal range for smoking using the built-in thermometer.

However, the thing I like most about the Dyna-Glo Vertical Charcoal Smoker, is its improved burning efficiency due to the carefully designed porcelain-enameled fire chamber that keeps the briquettes tightly stacked. It’s an efficient use of space and fuel to turn out quality meat definitely make it one of the best offset smokers for home use.

If you interested in learning more about Dyna-Glo’s electric smokers, check out the Electric Smoker Guy’s article, Dyna-Glo Analog And Digital Vertical Electric Smoker Reviews.

Stats for the Dyna-Glo Vertical Charcoal Smoker

Barbecue material: Heavy gauge steel

Grate material: Chrome plated steel

Fuel type: Charcoal or wood

Primary cooking capacity: 1176 sq in

Secondary cooking capacity: None

Total cooking capacity: 1176 sq in

Model: DGO1176BDC-D

Assembly required: Yes

Assembled size (in): 50.2(H) x 35(W) x 21(D)

Weight: 57lbs

Warranty: 1 year

Pros of the Dyna-Glo Vertical Charcoal Smoker:

  • Inexpensive
  • Large cooking capacity
  • Small footprint
  • Easy to move with heavy duty handles
  • Adjustable cooking racks to fit a variety of sizes
  • Matching cover available for purchase
  • Built-in thermometer to easily monitor cooking temperature
  • Grease management system to make cleaning the cooking chamber easy
  • Removable steel ash pan to make cleaning the firebox easy
  • Adjustable flue to greater temperature and smoke control

Cons of the Dyna-Glo Vertical Charcoal Smoker:

  • No additional cooking grate in the firebox to quickly grill additional food
  • Chrome plated steel cooking racks don’t offer the same durability or heat distribution as ceramic coated
  • Prone to smoke leakages

Best Premium Offset Smoker:

The Good One Generation 3 Marshall Smoker

Huge, high-quality and suitable for competitions and light commercial use make the Generation 3 Marshall Smoker from The Good One the top choice when it comes to a premium offset smoker. Yes, you’ll pay a bit more for this baby. But, it’s also got the strength, size and durability to guarantee you many years of smoking enjoyment in your backyard.

Made from 11 gauge painted steel, the Generation 3 Marshall Smoker is excellent at holding the heat without warping. And, there’s a fancy internal damper that runs the entire length of the firebox to even out smoke distribution while making sure that your whole cook is free from nasty hot-spots.

In fact, the Marshall has been specially engineered to maximize smokiness while minimizing fuel usage. This is achieved through the unique, angled box design that helps the smoke to roll evenly through the cooking chamber so that you don’t need to flip the meat around during your cook.

Another cool feature of this premium offset ‘cue are the cool spinner vents. These are used both on top of the cooking chamber and as exhaust vents in the firebox to allow precise control of the airflow, heat and smoke levels and are so easy to use!

With a huge 2,849 square inches of cooking space split between smoking and grilling, the Good One Gen 3 Marshall Smoker is a seriously strong unit that can handle pretty much anything you want to throw at it.

Specs for The Good One Marshall Generation 3 Smoker

Fuel type: Charcoal and wood

Barbecue material: Painted 11-gauge steel

Grate material: Expanded steel

Cooking capacity: 2,849 sq in

Model: The Marshall Generation III

Assembled size (in): 55(H) x 38(W) x 46(D)

Weight: 497lbs

Warranty: 10 years

Pros of The Marshall Gen III from The Good One:

  • Heavy-duty, 11-gauge full steel smoker offers excellent heat retention without warping
  • Very large cooking capacity split over a number of grates for flexibility
  • Large grilling area in the firebox
  • Very large firebox allows for maximum heat transference to the smoking chamber
  • Internal damper runs the full length of the smoking chamber creating even heat and smoke distribution
  • Unique boxed design encourages ideal smoke and heat flow so you don’t need to flip meat
  • Spinner vents are easy to use and allow for precise control of your cooking environment
  • Very efficient fuel usage due to innovative smoker shape
  • Removable drip pan
  • Removable ash pan
  • Easy to clean
  • Suitable for barbecue competitions and light commercial use as well as regular home use
  • Large wheels and locking casters make it easy to move
  • Limited 10 year warranty for peace of mind

Cons of The Marshall Gen III from The Good One:

  • It will take a bit of time to get used to using the internal damper and spinner vents to control your cooking environment
  • Unit is very heavy which indicates it’s quality but makes it hard to move in and out of a truck if taking to competitions
  • Full firebox design means you need access to both sides of the smoker at once. But, due to it’s efficiency, you shouldn’t need to add more fuel for 6-8 hours and could use the wheels to turn the unit if necessary

Best Innovative Offset Smoker:

KBQ C-60 BBQ Smoker Pit

For anyone who loves traditionally wood smoked meats but doesn’t have the patience to learn and master how to use an offset smoker, the KBQ BBQ Pit Smoker is king!

This cleverly designed offset smoker was created by a veteran US Navy Submariner with one goal in mind – to make it easy burn wood with a clean, blue smoke to make smoked meats taste better and be and healthier to eat. And, that he has done!

You’ll notice that the firebox on the KBQ C-60 sits neatly on top of the cooking chamber. From here, it burns pure wood, pulling heat and smoke from under the fire through the flames to burn off the heavy smoke and dangerous gases that leave a nasty creosote flavor on the meat. From there, clean, thin blue smoke is sent into the thermostatically controlled cooking chamber to create unbelievable smoke rings and perfectly crispy bark.

It’s called inverted flame technology. It’s trademarked and 100% simple to use. You literally don’t need any experience to create competition-worthy results from the very first time you use this smoker. The only thing to take note of is that just like a traditional offset smoker, the KBQ C-60 is not a set and forget smoker! You will have to keep feeding the right sized logs into the firebox every 30 minutes or so. But, keeping the fuel coming is all you need to do. Forget about struggling to keep the temperature constant, having the right amount of smoke and turning meat, all of that’s looked after for you and is what guarantees those mouthwatering results.

To top things off the right way, KBQ have set all this innovation inside a super strong, rust-resistant 18-gauge 430-grade stainless steel box. It’s hand-made in the States and holds 960 square inches of cooking space. The adjustable stainless steel racks are also interchangeable with catering pans which are great to keep food warm or for laying vegetables and other small things for smoking.

The KBQ C-60 Smoker really does produce some of the finest smoked meats you’ll ever taste. And, you can make it yourself, easily in your own backyard!

Stats for the Karubecue C-60 Pit Smoker

Fuel type: Charocal and wood logs

Barbecue material: 18-gauge 430 stainless steel

Grate material: Stainless steel

Cooking capacity: 960 sq. in.

Model: C-60

Dimensions: 41.7(H) x 25.6(W) x 19.3(D)

Weight: 92lbs

Warranty: 2 years

Pros of the Karubecue C-60 BBQ Smoker Pit:

  • Trademarked inverted flame technology burns thin, blue smoke that’s absolutely perfect for creating the best smoke rings, flavor and crispy bark you’ve ever tasted
  • So easy to make your own competition-quality meats on this unit
  • Creates consistently amazing results
  • 100% stainless steel build for strength, rust-resistance and making it easy to clean
  • Thermostatically controlled cooking chamber for effortless temperature maintenance
  • Dual fans to circulate heat for an even cook
  • Large cooking capacity with removable racks for flexibility
  • Small footprint
  • Easy to put together
  • Hand-made in the USA
  • Approved for use in most barbecue competitions
  • Winner of numerous awards for its innovative design and incredible results

Cons of the Karubecue C-60 BBQ Smoker Pit:

  • Although it’s thermostatically controlled, it’s not set and forget. You’ll need to add wood every 30 minutes to keep the fire running
  • Need a steady supply of logs a little larger than a can of Red Bull but smaller than the average brick
  • Uses an open flame so needs to be treated like a campfire and kept somewhere safe away from where kids and pets can reach it
  • Also requires electricity to run convection fans
  • Not suitable for grilling

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